It is almost the end of Lent and I can’t tell you how happy I am that Easter is this Sunday. As you may recall, I made the pledge to follow a vegan diet for the duration. Let me say this; there has been no end of delicious food to eat the other weekend, for example, I made vegan double chocolate ice cream ( made from raw cashews and richer than any gelato, who knew?) with vegan ultimate brownies and washed it all down with a vegan baileys liquor made from coconut milk. Sometimes I am a little too much of a good cook for my own good. Do you know anyone else who switched to a vegan diet and gained weight? I didn’t think so.
My energy is decidedly up, even with the never ending winter we have going around here and my skin looks fantastic. That being said, I want an over-easy egg so badly that I’m feeling decidedly stabby.
I believe in the health benefits of a vegan diet, I really do. I think all the milk and the meat definitely contributes to the high level of cancer and disease in this country. And while not particularly an animal rights advocate, I don’t think there is a single animal out there who is unjustified in thinking that we humans are just the biggest group of assholes roaming the planet. I was honestly 85-90% committed to making this a permanent change and then I hit the single, most effective argument against veganism:
Sunny Mac n cheese.
As in, macaroni in a sunflower “cheez” sauce. The saddest, most humorless bit of food I’ve ever put in my mouth. There was something so joyless about it, it was the color of putty and tasted like sadness. Even Oliver Twist would have taken one bite and declared himself full to bursting. (“Please, sir, I couldn’t eat another bite!”) Although I’d been enjoying some really fabulous meals up until then, something about joining a group that even accidentally came up with such a pitiful dish and then extolled its virtue via the interwebs seems wrong. Oh so wrong.
I am having a hard time outlining why this particular meal offended me so profoundly. It seems completely illogical and overwrought, but I can’t seem to shake its effect. It isn’t the badness of the dish, exactly. There are plenty of things I would prefer to never, ever put in my mouth; lobster (cockroach of the sea), blood sausage (things we secrete are not things we eat), anything in aspic (jello should be lime, not fish or tomato flavored). It’s the lie, pure and simple. Tell me, “Hey! This here tastes like drywall spackle but it’s good for you so choke it down.” and I can respect that. But lie to me and tell me it’s delicious or, worse, believe it is and I know you and I have very, very different views of food.
My ultimate decision to eschew a permanent vegan lifestyle is a blow to my inner extremist. God, I do love following the difficult path. And if the path has the faintest whiff of sanctimony…? Usually, my treacherous brain finds it damn near irresistible. But I just can’t manage this particular switch and so, for once, I’m on the side of moderation and common sense. It’s where the eggs are, after all.