Friday, March 25, 2011

A Few Words on Faux Meats...

I have very purposely and consciously tried to keep this blog free from too many "op ed" type posts on veganism. I never want to be preachy. My intention has always been, from my very first post, to simply share food with you that would be enjoyable for vegans and non-vegans alike. I wanted the food to speak for itself, to look tantalizing enough for you to want to try it, no matter your level of commitment to veganism, if you have any at all.

I've never been a bean sprouts and salad kind of vegan. I mean, I like bean sprouts and I like salads, but I love to veganize non-vegan recipes and show the world that anything you can make, I can make vegan. And better. Besides, this is a food blog, and posts about bean sprouts and salads would be pretty boring. As would posts about my dinners of steamed vegetables. That's why I don't post those.

I wasn't born vegan. On the contrary, I was raised with a very typical middle-class American meat and potatoes (and don't forget the dairy) diet. So I know that meat can taste good. I've never argued the opposite. But for me, personally, the few moments of pleasure I might derive from eating an animal product will never be worth the pain and suffering that I would directly cause that animal, simply for the sake of my own selfish appetite. Faux meats solve this ethical issue. They taste good, they satisfy the nostalgic urges for the familiar dishes we grew up with, and most importantly, they don't require any animals to DIE.

That said, I woke up this morning to a charming comment on one of my posts from someone who is so brave in their conviction that they chose to remain anonymous. Here is anonymous' comment in its entirety:

I really fail to understand all of your obsession with fake meat and gluten (seitan etc)!!!! You pride yourselves on being vegan but eat crap that not only looks like meat but tastes like it!!! It's disgusting and not necessary at all, you might as well all eat meat!!!GROSS!!!

Well, anonymous, you certainly beat me in excessive exclamation point usage. Much as I would like to respond with my best Samuel L. impression, instead of breaking apart his or her comment line by line, I will simply reply with the words of someone far more eloquent than I will ever be. I credit my husband, a vegan of more than 20 years, for sharing these beautiful words with me.

Song of Peace by George Bernard Shaw

Slaughtered to satisfy our appetites,
We never pause to wonder at our feasts,
If animals, like men, can possibly have rights.
We pray on Sundays that we may have light,
To guide our footsteps on the paths we tread.
We're sick of war, we do not want to fight,
The thought of it now fills our hearts with dread
And yet we gorge ourselves upon the dead.
Like carrion crows, we live and feed on meat,
Regardless of the suffering and pain
We cause by doing so. If thus we treat
Defenceless animals for sport and gain,
How can we hope in this world to attain
The PEACE we say we are so anxious for?
We pray for it, o'er hetacombs of slain,
To God, while outraging the moral law,
Thus cruelty begets its offspring - War.

My final words to anonymous are that if you think we "might as well all eat meat," then you are very sadly missing the point. You don't get it, and sadly, you probably never will.


  1. Thank you for this post, as well as all of the amazing, compassionate recipes that you've shared. In the immortal words of my Nana, "go piss up a tree," anonymous!

  2. Indeed.

    I think too many people associate "vegan" with "healthy"... no matter what. I too have suffered some unenthusiastic comments with my ingredient lists... but for me (and many many vegans), it's not about my health (or weight loss! or glowing skin! or any other claimed health benefits that may or may not come from veganism), it's about having compassion. Sometimes it is difficult to be "ethically transparent" through a recipe, though. This post definitely helps the cause. Rock on Leinana! <3

  3. Wow! I really hope that anonymous is not vegan, because I feel that vegans (at least I do) get enough crap from omnivores with our lifestyle choices. It would be a shame to have someone who is also vegan unload a lot of self-righteous indignation on one of their own.

  4. It's really funny that some people are offended by fake meat. And then theg go and troll ramdom vegan blogs. I am sorry you had to deal with that.

  5. I take crap from people constantly about my usage of fake meat, and I like to smile about it as I devour delicious Gardein Chik'n tenders. Mmmmmm. I like the advice someone else on here gave them, they need to go "piss up a tree". Never let the hater's get you down. :)

  6. i absolutely love Shaw, and now i have even more reason to.

    thank you for sharing that!