Thursday, November 8, 2007
Public Service Announcement
Look at those colorful vegetables. Look pretty good don’t they? I bet you want to eat them. I know I would if I were you. You would feel pretty healthy if you ate a great big plate that looked like that. Vegetables are special like that. And always good for a laugh when you are feeling blue (have you ever seen a blue vegetable?) Yes, we have had a lot of fun in this blog, joking about beans, dark cults, fungus and imported tropical water – the usual things you think of when you consider vegetarianism. But I want to talk to you about the side of vegetarianism you don’t hear about. It is not all fun and games for some people out there. There are those among us who are allergic to things like nuts and soybeans. Look at the person to your left, they may be one of them, you can never know. It is impossible. For these people, giving up meat means puffy lips, a rosy red face and an itchy inner ear. “Isn’t that what we have botox and blush for?” you may ask. No! Botox and makeup actually do not make your inner ear itch, and besides, to those affected by this serious condition it is anything but a romp through their grandmother’s cosmetics box. Every glass of soy milk, every veggieburger – yes, even the extra-chunky peanut butter – they are all close encounters with death itself. How do these people give up meat? Well, they usually don’t, and nobody is making them, so why are they complaining so much? This is not a serious problem at all. We need to spend less time worrying about things like this and focus our energy on the real problems our society faces, like monkeys who can’t read or children whose hair has gotten way too long. We can’t even see their eyes! Their beautiful young eyes…
On the other hand, people who are allergic to nuts and soy products really need to be careful. My beautiful girlfriend, Tabitha for those of you who don’t know her, despite her allergies, has been quite a trooper and stood by me as my vegetarianism has drove me to hit the nutbag hard these last couple weeks. (Wow, that was one of the funniest things I have ever written and I didn’t even do it on purpose…hit the nutbag hard…Alex, you old rascal, you’ve done it again!) Now, to be honest, I do most of the cooking in this relationship. That was bad news for Tabitha at the onset of this experiment. Where was she going to find food? Especially now that it is cold out and scavenging is getting harder every day. She might have to pull her summer stash out of the tree early this year. So, the other night I was preparing delicious bruschetta veggieburgers and I made one for Tabitha as well. Tabitha knew better than to eat them without checking the label for soy products. Soy was actually the main ingredient, but I, always being eager to see exactly how many peanuts etc. it would take to make her lips puff up like red bananas, encouraged her to just try some and see how it went. She made it through half of the burger just fine when her inner ear began to itch. I suggested it might just be her makeup, but she assured me makeup does not cause inner ear itching. I asked if she had ever put some on her inner ear before, because it didn’t seem fair to rule out my suggestion without firsthand experience on the subject. She still felt like it was the burger’s fault though. Her lips never puffed up, sadly, and she was just fine, thankfully, and I got to eat extra bruschetta burger, yay! Despite the happy ending in this case, the moral of the story stands. I am glad Tabitha is still here today, even if she does have to bring her own piece of chicken over every once in a while.
One concern when originally committing to write this blog was the ability to have captivating, engaging material on a semi-daily basis. Clearly, this has not been a challenge. How did we overcome this obstacle? I have been finding that many things in life are suddenly related to this little experiment. I am probably quite biased and on the lookout for relevant material, but nonetheless, I have many more stories to share. Since I know you are starting to read faster and faster, hoping to see those bold letters of the title beneath this entry every time you scroll through more of my silly yarns, I will only tell one story now and save the rest for later.
Last night, a small vegetarian hope of mine was fulfilled. (vegetarians have smaller hopes, its part of a lower calorie diet) My friend Grace, who I have mentioned as my vegetarian sage (think wise, old, wrinkly woman, not little green plant) has always seemed to hold most of her knowledge just out of my reach. She teases me with tales of how much she knows about maintaining a healthy vegetarian lifestyle, but rarely sends me away with more than a tidbit. However, last night she passed off her bundle of knowledge to me. She had formatted the key points about eating without meat into a colorful and easily understood fact sheet, which I got to take home. Jackpot! Has Grace been softened by the years? Have her miserly ways broken forth into a renaissance of free knowledge? No. She wants her sheet back in the end. One day I will journey back to her feet, where I will leave her colorful fact sheet. Until that day comes though, I will be eating a proper balance of fortified foods.
My deepest Thanks to Grace, and everyone else who I may refer to as an old miser, give squirrel-like properties to, or bear false witness of my interactions with in this blog. That probably includes all of you readers whether you know it or not. (I just find squirliness to be more universal than most, its not a bad thing)