Stupid vegan week.
At the beginning of this week, I decided (for some reasons best left unspoken) that I needed to be a little healthier. A couple years ago, I started trying to be a vegan and I attribute that folly to the confluence of many terrible events (I started at a really humiliatingly bad job and… that’s it, I guess) and the relentless arguments of my one vegan friend. (I know what you’re thinking, and I wouldn’t have been friends with him either if he had been vegan to start with. He *became* a vegan during our friendship. Loophole.) He had me read The China Study (or, more accurately, had my wife read it) and I started to fall victim to the notion that everything that is wrong with the world stems directly from animal protein.
Back then, for the two or three months that I ate no meat or dairy or eggs, I started to feel wonderful (in many ways, including some that are best left unspoken), but the brute force of my love for everything that stems from animal protein won the day and I stopped the madness.
So, two and a half years later, I came to the conclusion that I needed a Vegan Week to see if I could reclaim the lost physiological glory that came from my last foray into the world of dietary extremism. And now I’m on day three. Day three’s temptations: oatmeal raisin cookies, ice cream, and a slab of cheesecake. Day two’s temptations: Mexican food from a shockingly great restaurant. Day four’s temptations are, at a minimum, going to include free In-N-Out burgers at work.
And instead of all of this gluttony, tonight I got to eat sautéed spinach with a pile of black beans and toast with almond butter. (It was pretty good.) We went to get ice cream and I was stuck with their one dairy free option of pink lemonade sorbet or dessert at the vegan place. At the behest of my wife, I tried dessert at the vegan place.
Me: My wife says I should try the peanut butter parfait, but how does it compare with the brownie?
Employee: I LOVE the peanut butter parfait. I eat it all the time. It’s way better than the brownie.
M: Does it have any soy products in it?
E (Concerned): Yes, it does. It has a (no idea what she called it, something like Toe-Feety cream cheese product) in it. That’s what makes it so creamy.
M: Sounds horrifying.
E: It’s so good!
She seemed convinced that it was delicious, and my wife was convinced too.
M: Well. My wife tells me this is amazing. Let me ask you this: are you a a vegan?
M: Were you ever *not* a vegan?
M: Okay, so I’m trying to find out if a normal person would like this. If you weren’t a vegan, would you still like this thing?
An important question. You wouldn’t ask a gay dude if he thought your new girlfriend was hot, would you? Based on my extensive experience with vegans (sample set of one, unless you count Alicia Silverstone), they like some funky shit and they are deluded enough to think it is normal. But a lifelong vegan wouldn’t know what normal *is*. So I had to ask.
E: I think it would be really good.
So I went for it. Now a while back, I worked at a coffee shop, and the skim milk just made me want to puke with its unnatural hue and its watery thinness. And soy, rice, and almond milk were even more offensive to me. I detest fake milk. But I am all for personal growth, and so I figured that this was as good a time as any to see what the world of totally contrived fake foods had to offer.
Can we even trust the chocolate chips anymore?
And it was pretty good, I’m not going to lie. The fo-teety or tofurky or fo-tooty or whatever it was was repugnant to me, just like I thought it would be. It didn’t taste repugnant, mind you. It just *felt* repugnant, objectionable on a moral level, right to the core. Overall, the dessert was a little too sweet for my liking, but it was okay, and I think I might have liked it if I could somehow forget that it’s an unnatural substance that is designed to trick people into thinking they’re eating dairy. Fortunately, come Saturday, I won’t have to worry about any more of this culinary chicanery and I can eat some of the good stuff, like movie theater cheese and twinkies.
(I googled it. It’s Tofutti.)