Posts tagged ‘lifestyle’

21 August, 2010

Can vegans own venus-fly traps? (and 6 more vegan ethical-dilemmas)

1. Some vegans try to force dogs and cats to eat a fully vegan diet, despite their naturally carnivorous nature.

But what are the ethics of owning a plant that eats meat? Can a vegan own a plant that kills living creatures for its protein? Or can we train them to eat tofu?

2. Should Vegans listen to music from artists who shamelessly wear fur, such as Beyonce and Kelis, and those who think they are artists such as J-Lo? Every CD, branded perfume, or official merchandise is just more income.

However, if we illegally download their music and listen free, they get no royalties. Does that count?

fur hag Beyonce

3. Non-vegans who you love and live with who refuse to share cooking with you, because they “don’t know what vegans can eat”, yet, fully expect to eat what ever you cook. Is it wrong to sabotage your food? Load up what you cook for yourself with spices they don’t like, or make it extra-hot if they like mild? until they learn to share the cooking duties and stop taking your food.

4. Eating in meat-centred restaurants can be a minefield for a vegan, especially in places where everyone splits several entrees and sides to shares from the food middle of the table. You know you won’t find nearly as much to eat, and yet when the bill arrives, you are asked to contribute equally.

Do you refuse to go? Go but make sure everyone knows you feel left out, by sitting with an empty plate in front of you. Could you even trust the food from a kitchen that serves predominately animal products to be free from cross-contamination?

Or do you first make sure that the final bill will be split equally between everyone and then order the most expensive drinks on the menu, and if other complain at the end of the meal, call them self bastards for dragging you to a meat-eating restaurant in the first place.

Vegan desserts – I’ve often brought a cake, dessert or meal to a friends, and they express surprise ‘that’s quite tasty… for vegan food’. So the dilemma is, do you tell people it’s vegan before or after they taste it. If you wait til after you might change someone’s mind about how delicious vegan food can be. It might not create any converts, but it may just remove (or reduce some of the stigma against vegan food.

Can / Do vegans watch television shows starring meat-eaters and promoters. Someone told me once that to watch Jamie Oliver made me un-vegan. I didn’t even know who Jamie Oliver was, until I searched it. Apparently he is a British celebrity chef. He cooks with meat, he slaughters meat, his School Dinner Revolutions make animal products a requirement of “healthy” food, was given an award from RSPCA for humane meat.
In the below clip, Jamie Oliver is making chicken nuggets, from chicken carcasses and fillers. Will this make anyone ‘go vegan’? Possibly not, although it may make switch to what they believe is a healthier version, and eating more chicken.

So, does watching Jamie Oliver make someone not a vegan? and is their veginity restored if they stop watching?

7. And this dilemma, which I never feel I can answer adequately. What do you do with products and clothes that you bought pre-vegan days. To throw them out will be wasteful, and contribute to landfill. To donate or gift the to others, gives the impression that they are acceptable to use. To continue to use them, even in the privacy of your own home, away from the Vegan Police no one will know except you, but they are not vegan. But throwing them out cannot undo the animals that died or were used to produce those products. Some people say, it’s never acceptable to use them once you know. Others say, use them but when you replace them, replace them with vegan products.

If someone is poor, and has a hard time making ends meet, going out and replacing all their cleaning products, personal care products, half their clothes, blankets, bone china and so much more might be a cost burden that people can not afford.

This is my dilemma, I don’t have an answer for this one.

Feedback welcome.

8 May, 2010

Can’t you just take the meat out?

Can’t you just take the meat out?: Just one more of the stupid things people say to vegans.

I know, in my soul, that to eat a creature who is raised to be eaten, and who never has a chance to be a real being, is unhealthy. It’s like… you’re eating misery. You’re eating a bitter life.”
— Alice Walker

It’s Mother’s Day, and to celebrate I went out with my boyfriend, MacLeod, and his parents to a rather up market restaurant, the kind where they charge you for the air you breathe. Owned by a relative of Macleod’s boss, we choose that place to support a new establishment.

Knowing that we would be dining there, I rang up several days before to check and double check whether they had any vegan options on the menu. They assured me that they did. I rang up again before we left for the restaurant, to make sure one last time.

When we arrived, and settled, it was a gorgeous place, so warm and inviting. I looked at the menu, and noticed two items specified as vegetarian. Everyone else ordered, and began discussing drinks, while and the vegans ordered last, so as to not make a fuss.

When the waiter described the ingredients in the “vegetarian” meals, we discovered the accompanying vegetable dish to the stuffed mushrooms was green beans which had bacon and home made mayonnaise and seasonings stirred through, and whole baby pumpkin hollowed out and filled with roast seasonal vegetables was cooked with chicken stock.

Of the two “vegetarian” dishes, neither of these was actually vegetarian, and neither could be veganised (although, I don’t know, do vegetarians eat chicken stock, or do they not care if they can’t see it?).

We asked perhaps they could put together a special dish for us, after all, we called the restaurant beforehand and explained that vegan meant no animal products, and they said they could accommodate our wishes.

The waiter consulted the kitchen and came back shortly after and discussed our meal options, which involved more questions. Other guests at our table were served their entrees, so we finally settled on fresh fruit and garden salad of green leaves, cucumber, tomatoes and vinaigrette.

Food for Life distributes food on an internati...

Image via Wikipedia

My sister-in-law mockingly rolled her eyes and loudly complained about the embarrassing fuss we were making. Couldn’t we compromise, just for one meal, she asked. Ignoring the fact that we had compromised in the first place going to a non-vegan restaurant. “Can’t you just take the meat out?” well no, it doesn’t work like that, plus, I’m not sure how to take the chicken stock out of pan roasted vegetables.

This was a place that had assured us on several occasion they could do meals without any animal products, and when it came to the crunch, no they couldn’t. This establishment was suffering a serious case of “pants on fire” syndrome.

At the end of the meal when the discussion of desserts came up, the dessert list started “home-made toasted almond milk ice cream, leatherbox honey comb and banana brûlée” – at this point I stopped reading.

The night ended with lots of embarrassment, tension, an expensive meal which only some people could enjoy and others endure.

Lesson learned: if you want to eat the food, go to a vegan or vegetarian restaurant

Feedback welcome.

MacLeod was shortly after promoted. So it all worked out in the long term.