I met her one summer night in a vegan restaurant in Germantown. There I was, enjoying a glass of Kentucky Kombucha, a Beyond Burger on rye with fries when this hot dish stops beside my table and stares, deadpan. After an awkward moment, I say, “Hello,” with an overstuffed mouthful of food.
“May I join you?”
She’s looking at me, but I’m not believing. I look around then point to myself.
A tantalizing smile forms on her face, and she says, “Yeah.”
Dudes, eat your heart out. Here’s a classy chick who could have her pick — and asking to join me? No way. Something’s not kosher. Like, she’s a man-hating serial killer, and I have asshead wrote on my forehead. “Um,” I said.
“Thanks,” says the bombshell, pulls out a chair and sits. “Name’s Strob,” and thrusts her hand across the table.
Gratefully reblogged from Amanda’s think&thrive blog. Worth your moment, I believe.
I was not a Bourdain follower and did not know how viscerally vegans repulsed him, but it should come as no surprise whatever. Sideshow geeks draw paying customers and repeat business.
Endless memorials and testimonials celebrate a life well lived if decadently conducted. His views were highly respected and acknowledged, they have been immortalized. This video is the first negative review I’ve seen published, but vegan tails do not generally wag the dog, do they?
I wish the NYT had asked Andrew Kirschner to write this post on their editorial page. Aaron Carroll’s opinion piece should never have been approved by a media giant that proclaims itself the newspaper of record. I could not have done a better addressing the false statements myself — actually I would probably have lost myself to rants and ravings, so my grateful appreciation goes to Kirschner’s Korner for countering so much misinformation.
Announcing an alliteration to accompany my entry to Club Septuagenarius. Have I mentioned being born on my mother’s birthday: September 17, 1947? Well, I found a clinical word pair to celebrate a new decade — hedonic hyperphagia — eat one and you’ll eat them all. Whether potato chips (or crisps), Oreos®, All Hallows Eve candy: ad nauseam. It literally describes a fulsome moment. I raise my hand to admit something to a jury of my peers.
“My name is Bill and I am an hyperphagic.”
“Revealing the scientific secrets of why people can’t stop after eating one potato chip” couches that couch-potato moment in an article from Eurekalert.
Here are fifteen words to digest while digesting the last thing you consumed, such as Deep-fried Oreos® breaded with finely crushed chips (the crisp variety).
I know from studied experience that animal-based product may result in hedonic hyperphagia. You might not wish to know that the consumption of humus, not to be confused with hummus, is termed “geophagia.” I once (circa 1970) read an article in the Annals of the Association of American Geographers that earth-eating is associated with a low mineral diet. I also recall that Frank Zappa once warned about eating yellow snow.
Every time you eat or drink, you are either feeding disease or fighting it.
As a former loyal-to-a-fault meat and hide consumer I know that items containing meat and meat by-products are based on animalian cells. These cells are comprised of molecules that have a psychoactive effect on an homo sapiens’ brain, “hedonic hyperphagia.” Detox from such a diet is enervating to the extreme, both painful and discouraging. I had previously gone cold Tofurky® from tobacco and alcohol consumption before abstaining from animal-fare. I admit to the character flaw that accompanies total abstention however. Ambrose Bierce tosses well deserved water on my countenance. It’s called “total abstention.” 🙂
Vegans stand as infuriating reminders that they serve sentient beings to man. Damon Knight wrote the definitive “To Serve Man,” most familiarly associated with its adaptation into a Twilight Zone episode. I wish Rod Serling had kicked smoking. You too?
That introductory pith drawn from the work of Heather Morgan inspires me to join Morgan by paraphrasing her:
“Every time you eat or drink the lifeblood of another, you are either feeding nihilism or fighting it.” — Bill Ziegler
I leave tales of nihilism for a future post.
Here is another envisaged scenario: what would occur were I to show up at a pro-life rally with an enlarged photograph of an aborted calf fetus? It’s surely happened at some rally somewhere. Would one or more protesters counter that there’s a deity-informed difference between the immortal soul of a God-created icon found in a book called Genesis? Who made homo sapiens the boss of other sentient beings? May I beg to differ?
Gradual hearing loss brings unexpected blessings: I shall name but two:
An inability to overhear the conversations of strangers.
An inability to hear programmed music in übermarkets.
Lisa and I will be sitting at a table within earshot of others and I will be enjoying the still of an enveloping bubble — it’s like a meditation garden, monastery or babbling brook: a way around the babbling of maddening Babel. Couldn’t hear it if I squinted my ears.
Cut to the chase, Bill. Your annoying alliteration and meager metaphors test us to the teeth, they crawl into our craw, they bites our hands, they gnaws our feet.
Privacy without private spaces. Lisa will burst forth with OMGs and WTFFs and I’ve not a single clue to her consternation nor inspiration. By the bye, we’ll be a 25-year item next year, we’re now able to decipher misstated and unintended word misses and annoying affectations. We also assume the identities of avatars: German moose and Italian owl.
Listen Bill, you are dancing to the tune of thin ice. Life is to be gotten on with, not sallied about in the figments of a forest, feeling the fauna. Get a grip and move on. We sincerely hope you get the help you need.
Some years ago I packed my ears with sound deadeners to shop without agony. Such is the life of an agoraphobic tree-hugger. When I could hear proper my ear canals became desecrated by ear worms from worn tunes of outrageous decades, looping indefinitely. Gradual hearing loss now permits me to wander the aisles without mulling music lyrics and the likes, dislikes and “likes” of fellow shoppers.
Are you not also one of those annoying people who trundle about with a rücksack on your back, Bill? Do you deny this unfortunate character flaw?
I plead guilty with conviction and with impunity. A backpack permits right and left hands to page-flip a tome, pick up the ultimate stone or dead-head twigs along an arboral path. A pack on the back frees pockets, it supplies the only items necessary for a becoming existence: spare books, blank paper, full pens and what-the-nots.
I live in the land of the frenetic and the home of the Atlanta Braves (Atlanta was once the home of the Cherokee Nation), a left-handed vegan with a name at the tail of the alphabet, a card-carrying member of Jewish Voice for Peace (you do not have to be Judaic to join), a believer in the inalienable rights of all sentient beings and a speaker on the pompetous of love.
I leave this writing moment with a ponder. What reveals the following photograph from Houston Harvey? How might I convey the moment?
It’s a good day to weigh value systems and lifestyles.
Sounds judgmental, Bill. A waste of time and a waste of electrons. You know very well thatwe’re too busy and far too important to read your screed, yet you insist on inviting us to your frugal table. Why do that?
I don’t know.
Freneticism. An active lifestyle, branded on gross national consumption — consumers playing a complacent role toward a dismal goal.
Michael Ende’s classic novel Momo explains it well. Ende knows his Zeitdieben (time thieves) — those functionaries who siphon the productivity of persons more innocent, more gentle. Quite a fine book, if you have the time.
Do con artists ever have a hidden agenda? Just an idle question.
May we remind you, Bill, there is more money in beef than in beets. Jobs from sea to befouled sea, that’s what we’re talking about. Filling waste-management positions, artery pharmaceutical rep salaries, butcheries and slaughterers, belly futurists, hide sellers, Boeuf Taco artisans.
Meatism: a lifestyle based on flesh and blood, unfertilized eggs, calf milk, buttered bacon, Snausages® all nicely appointed on a dinner plate. Marketers know their play-books, how to drone a message into your psyche, how to grant you the illusion of independent thought — you are the one doing the thinking. Something to manufacture a lasting crave, powerful enough to drive you from refrigerator and pantry to the supermarket and back. Where are the car keys? The 12-hour Energy Boosters®?
Consume, c o n s u m e, C O N S U M E, c o n s u m e, consume.
The lab gals and guys have skills honed to fashion biochemical ions that stimulate taste receptors and simulate well-being. Palm oil fuels a munch crave. Be they chips or be they crisps — an open bag is an empty bag. Palm oil substitutes for hydrogenated oil, but threatens rainforests.
You’re a do-gooder and a poison-ivy hugger, Bill. Let us buy you an ivy salad. Our treat.
Buy another bag. And aren’t you clever now — buy a bigger bag or two, or five. Buy ten bags and save ten dollars. The more you buy, the more you save.
Wow. Where are the car keys? The 12-hour Energy®?
A dinner plate is a wasteland, absent a meat entree to grace it, my friend. We did not evolve to nibble bunny salads and sip miso soup. Let us tell you about tired emaciated vegans. God made animals for us to domesticate and to eat. F-ing cows were not created in God’s image. We are not Bottom-headed — and we’re not bottom feeders.
Warning. This post is rated VV — violently vegan. Not suitable for…?
We’re getting weary of your salad-eating-vegan fare , Bill. Let’s make something clear. Veganism is a form of terrorism, do you know what that makes you?
Do vegans threaten world order? Yes. World order implies the preservation of disorder — something Mayor Richard Daley uttered in 1968 with a memorable tongue slip:
“The police are not here to create disorder, they’re here to preserve disorder.”
Seventy billion kills per year implies disorder, in my mind at least. More on this in a minute.
Time for a few statistics. There are three times as many homo sapiens alive today as there were in 1947, when I personally joined the fray. What about fellow sentient creatures in factory friendly slaughter houses? Well, they suffer short brutal lives, but let’s call it inventory turnover. Why? Because one specie values them for their flesh, fur and hide. Consumers love everything about them. A snapshot census for your statistical curiosity: seven billion of one specie consume seventy billion fellow sentient creatures, annually
We like fine Corinthian leather and we like the smell of bacon in the morning, jellied gasoline, while we’re at it (ha ha. We made a funny). Love it or leave it, my friend. Get with the program before we body-slam you.
“Smart leather fashions are arriving just in time for your busy Summer.”
Who gives the thumbs up or thumbs down? Private and personal shoppers in the marketplace do, aisle by aisle by aisle: does the nutrition label of that item you’re tossing into the shopping cart contain body parts or body-part byproducts? When the barcode is read a replenishment order automatically issues. Death by scan.
Celebrate your heritage by firing up the barbie and wearing a meaty heritage on your apron (the one with the funny soundbites).
Holidays here march on. They mark successive memories of war or metaphors for war. Remember Hamburger Hill while enjoying ground-bovines. Equate patriotic soundbites with a craving for cheeseburgers while you sit on a hill with buns around sizzling bovines and tubed slaughter of befouled fowl, cow and cowering pig. Call it a hot dog memory.
If you like the seventy million so much, why don’t you join them. I hear they’re hiring in Meatland, Misery, if you’re man enough. Capiche?
A fellow blogger recently submitted a question to this desk, actually it’s not a desk but a dining room table without dead animals on it.
How long have you been vegan?
So I decided to ramble on about it right here…
…in a bid for garish aggrandizement, Bill?
No, in consideration of all the fellow sentient-beings that I have not killed by proxy several times today and several times tomorrow. Enlightenment brings more than inspiration and a healthier lifestyle — it entails (not entrails) a responsibility for passing the word forward for a better world.
It started with a flyer on a nondescript table in a university hallway 30 years ago (now three-sevenths of my life) — reasons for adopting a vegan diet. It was as dramatic as it was nonchalant.
During the first ten years I discovered that vegetarianism (keeping eggs, dairy and cheese in your diet) kept my body supplied with animal-derived molecules that fueled a craving for animal byproducts — the organs that excrete toxins, including your skin, were self-sabotaged. Detox is not pleasant, but there is no alternative. Not tossing meatables into a shopping cart results in fewer factory-farm orders for meatables.
I also discovered that fermented liquids might be a perfectly vegan alternative lifestyle choice, not all poisons come in animal-laden packages. That detox was also not very pleasant — just speaking from experience.
This great little saying is still my favorite for its truth and pithhood:
Search the internet for ‘vegan’ and ‘health’ to find statements from people who tried to become vegan but suffered from fatigue until they went back to meat. It takes as long as a year for toxins and craves to leave the body. “Out damned toxin!” But it literally liberates your mind and your brain.
In your opinion, Billy. Spam brought the Philippines into this modern world. Capiche?
I have discovered personally that your brain seeks alternate paths when not blogged down by crap. Check out the ingredients on fast-crap that people chew and chug all day. Dozens of long-named laboratory labels are strange, but not as loathsome as their crave-inducing effects. But who am I to question trillion-dollar industries?
How can 97% of the consuming public be wrong, Bill? Think about it and shut up.
Full disclosure first — I am the green sheep in the family: one of “those vegans” who have the temerity to speak up for “others” — more similar to us than not — who have no voice in determining their own destiny. Today I focus on the multiple billions living in camps
By this time next year 70 billion will have lived from birth to death in one of those facilities. Factory friendly farms.
Well there must be a good reason then.
Many reasons, but each is specious, spurious and tawdry. We deny inalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness to “the others.” Is that ethical behavior? Do animals volunteer their own destruction?
Bill, they outnumber us 10 to 1. So it looks like we are the ones endangered here. Do you call that fair? Let us tell you something. life isn’t fair and freedom fries aren’t free. It’s a wonder that any of us are left standing, actually. So it’s self-defense, us or them.
But can we talk about something a little less depressing?
Sorry. Let’s talk about optimal health, vibrance and well-being. In short: those habits that produce a healthy body. There are many ways to become ill: some involve luck, some are viral/bacterial, some are self-induced. I’ve tried many ill-advised styles of life.
To quote my own father “I would rather be rich and healthy than sick and poor.”
Majority rule then. You vegans comprise 3% of the eating public. Why force bunny-salads down our throats? We are not geese. We are designed to eat meat. Some call it stewardship in a dominion over all life. What’s wrong with being top dog? Beats low dog.
3% of human eaters are vegan, 3% of human scientists deny climate-change, 3% is a good guess at the percentage of lifeforms that would survive an extinction event — asteroidal, nuclear or climatological.
Detox is tough because meat is a powerful addiction that is socially acceptable and culturally sanctioned. Secreting toxins is wearying — so is withdrawal from other addicting chemicals. We are living and breathing chemical factories, walking bags of chemicals.
Some very good news: craving for meat and meat byproducts metamorphoses into repulsion.
There comes a time — quite often actually — when a reader’s “like” inspires me to craft a post from a comment.
Bill, you have a highly overdeveloped sense of your own importance. Is that not a superfluous sentence you’ve just written?
As a vegan, I join with non-such at a restaurant, open the menu and bite my (own) tongue at the overwhelming quantity of non-vegan fare that tastelessly adorns the menu — beef tongue is but one. Hey, why is tongue not among the lurid photographs of dismemberment, decapitation, mutilation and third-degree burns?
Wonder no more my friend, you do exactly the same thing with produce — dead on arrival at the supermarket.
Tongue bite: What is the difference between cannibalism, eating body parts from a fellow specie, and consumption of any other highly evolved sentient creature? “Meat” cuts come from an animal with a highly developed central nervous system.
It is societally sanctioned. Call it an appetizer, entree, craving, tradition, custom, rite, blessing, a dominion-over thing. We’re talking about a nutritionally healthy and balanced diet. Humans are hard-wired…
You see, it’s OK — those animal remains on our plate did not have four fingers and an opposing thumb, did they? Nor did they have vocal chords that produce words. So it’s OK, OK? It is OK, Bill. By the way, have you ever heard of the Natural Law?
Look here, Bill. We’re getting a little tired of vegans trying to stuff kale down our throats all the time. Do you have any idea what that’s like? Do you? Well let me tell you about the Natural Law. It’s what gives us dominion over all the beasts. Scripture tells us that man has an immortal soul, all other animals have mortal souls.
If that isn’t enough to stop your insane raving, we have saved the very best argument for last, so please, if it’s not asking too much. Might you leave us these two words — CANINE TEETH.