Sunday, February 19, 2017

Vegetarians are Sissies.

Vegetarians are sissies. This thought occured to me after having been vegetarian for - oh a really long time (decade+) then going back to omnivore - and more recently (past year-ish) exploring what i'm calling "opportunistic veganism" That is: i optimise for not eating meat, includeing dairy especially when i’m eating away from home. It's kinda fun.

It's opportunistic because i'm looking for opportunities to practice veganism. And the biggest, easiest win consistently and especially at home is: getting rid of dairy.  Black coffee; black tea. Artisan breads.

I don't know why more folks don't start exploring heading towards a Plant eating regimine simply by first skipping out animal outputs rather than the animals themselves. Surely there's a name for this inverted vegetarianism?

Yes, any egress from an animal can be readily skipped. I haven't touched dairy since i started on this - and i haven't missed it. Milky tea - once a fave has been replaced with Black tea. Cheese as garnish has been replaced by cashews ground up with nutritional yeast (a combo known as vegan crack - and with good cause) - it's like parmesan. Yogurt? who needs it? I've got: water kefir, fermented oatmeal, saurkraut, home made red wine vinegar, sourdough.

 alternatives to yogurt abound - and are cheaper and producable at home - like this saurkraut.

beyond home made saurkraut, there's kombucha, water kefir, red wine vinegar, soaked/fermeted oats.
who needs yogurt?

Which brings us to why vegetarians are sissies. Most vegetarians -not all but most - are saying they're not ok with animal slaughter (or aesphixiation). That's nice. So why are they ok with well, how describe it? animal slavery?

Great you're not eating the hamburger - but that burger is just the end point of about 7 milk cows - or more - and that's not even healthy in terms of tracing say e-coli contamination. But i digress: point is, vegetarian sissies, after a life time behind bars - of those milking stalls - those poor tired girls are retired to macdonalds.

And those chickens you're not eating? That's limiting cruelty of factory framing is it?
What makes eggs ok? Are they all from free range hens? No? Yes? Are you sure those free range hens are really ranging freely? Does that restriction of conviction include the eggs in all the processed foods you may be having too?

THis barn apparently qualifies as "free range"

And let’s remember that for every female chick that is forced to squat in a barn to lay eggs, the male chicks are asphyxiated to go into cat food. For your pet. Way to go.

We won't even talk about all the itty bitty baby sheep that give their lives for parmesan cheese.
Hence the morality of vegetarianism - for those that claim that rationale rather than "i don't like the taste of meat" now kinda escapes me: once you look at the infrastruture that enables the animal outputs (ie dairy) to be produced/sold, it feels like vegetarianism on "moral and ethical grounds" is neither: it's hypocracy isn't it?

And speaking of that dairy infrastructure, what's easier to do? learn to skip the milk and like black coffee or give up bacon? You’ll crow about giving up steak but not cake?

Once in awhile: skip dairy

To all the non vegetarians out there who want to explore less animal in your diets, i say good for you. Why not start easy and with great health benefits:  skip dairy first - it’s more ubiquitous in your daily life but can be easier to eliminate, especially if you want to go higher nutrient for a leaner fitter you.

Worried about less calcium if you skip milk in coffee? Have some kale. Or broccoli. Get a double benefit of all the nutrients in the veg -including calcium - and fewer calories. And if you’re trying to be a little more resilient, learning how to do without what seems stupidly essential, find alternatives - means you’re just a little more versatile - a little less a slave to your tastes.

In terms of energy conservation and feeding the planet: What if all the demand for dairy dried up. First milk, then eggs then cheese. Imagine if all that acid whey poured off as waste in the making of greek yogurt - just dried up - cuz we weren't buying it anymore.

And then even baking started to change to find amazing egg and milk alternatives (they're there).

So - i'm saying this - especially to vegetarians: why not experiment with finding your opportunisitic vegan by starting with inverting the whole vegetarian thing. Start your un-animal quest by Taking a pass on the energy and un-ethics of dairy. 

Just see how that goes - you don't have to be a fascist about it. It's just, let's get real: vegetarianism is not really protecting animals. As we've seen, dairy is the pre and post process of meat practices. So if you’re skipping meat on ethical grounds, what are your ethics for dairy?

The Opportunistic Veganism Advantage: Better Wholer Food especially on the road

No one says you have to go Vegan full on all the time. A fantastic way to explore opportunistic veganism is to do it away from home. Here’s a few tips on how.

Practice on the Go

Folks who ask me (usually over dinner) about not consuming animal have heard me say if survival ever comes to a choice between me or the cow, the cow is going down. But i feel i'm put in that position less and less, or my opportunistic practice means i've learned how to dance that situation less and less.

For example: at a restaurant if there are no pre-fabricated mains on the menu that suit, i can ask if the chef will put together some ingredients that are on the menu: beans & greens make the scene.

This approach works really well at most hotels for breakfast-included buffet scenarios too: the staff can use the ingredients for omlettes to create something good. Even Brit full english buffets often have tomatoes and mushrooms, and the fruit area will have dark berries.

On the go, i also travel with a Dose Locker full of brown rice protein powder and Enerex Greens powder: nutrition anywhere anytime. Worst comes to Worst, oh gosh i can skip a full meal. I can do some hunger and be ok with that. OR i can eat the fish. Or the cow. Remember: i'm making a choice. I'm an opportunistic vegan - creating vegan opportunities all the time, as much as possible/desireable. It's fun. That's the thing: i'm taking control of my nutrition.

Optomizing Vegan Meals at Events

A quick tip: at various events when asking for dietary requirements "vegan” can quickly get translated as lots of pasta. To avoid this starch fest, you can add "gluten free” too and even add “please add lots of dark greens like spinach, broccoli” Such meals can still be epic fails, but often my special meal turns out to be tastier than the chicken or beef entree. I also usually get more whole foods when everyone else is getting a lot of white bread and mystery meat. Try it yourself: see what happens.

Optimizing Air Plane Food

On planes? If available, try the asian vegetarian option or similar before you go on your flight for your "special meal" - or bring your dose locker. Or consider fasting: which helps with jet lag (at least in mice).

Pretend to be Vegan Once in Awhile

Go ahead: pretend to be a vegan and see what license that gives you to EAT BETTER FOOD OUT - especially when restaurants don't know what to do and they ask you what would that include? Fantastic!

TO practice, why not go dairy-free? Up your veg instead. You can still get all those lucious fats that dairy offers and even more nutrients and fiber just by upping say avacados. Skipping dairy is also an easy way to start effortlessly reducing intake of excess calories if you’re trying to lean out but want to keep up your nutrition.

And heck: i am not vegan-pure; i'm opportunistic.
Sometimes i don't ask exactly what's in that oatmeal chocolate chip raisin cookie...



  • vegetarians are sissies (or (neo)liberal humanists). most of the veggies i speak with have rationalised their double standards to say they’re ok with them. That it’s just too much to try to go all the way. To which i offer: INVERT YOUR PRACTICE FROM TIME TO TIME try switching it up from time to time - learn the skills to skip/replace the dairy nutrients from other sources and confront the animal by having it on your plate. own up. If not why not?

  • ALL OF US try exploring going animal-less by less animal outputs. Just see what your paleo or regular life would be like if you pulled back on the animal stuff by cutting out animal outputs. Start there. Get some skills. Learn what the “intead of Dairy try X for more nutrients” Use the un-dairy as a way to (a) get healthier (b) learn more about how you and food connect to feel better.
  • have fun: be an opportunistic vegan more of the time to eat better when out - and those opportunities may become more and more frequent. Start with the out of the house; see what habits trickle to the back home.

Coda: We are so Privileged - let's practice options 

if we can dance in these meat or not meat choices, we're all extremely lucky and privileged.

Why not use that privilege to gain some skills on how to be more resilient?

Learning to eat less animal and animal related products - learning how to go without from time to time intelligently - is a great way to become more resilient. When we don’t HAVE to do something is a great time to learn HOW to do something so we’re not limited by our current constrained preferences.

Cutting dairy is a great way to start such an exploration, because for most of us, that dairy is just a bonus not an essential nutrient anyway - loads of other foods offer similar advantages, from fats to vitamins.

After you get un-dairy under control (up those greens and avocados and anything dark really) - you can try being an opportunistic vegan. You’ll be smarter about food, more reslient, and have more fun no longer being held captive by the buffet, but getting better food too, guaranteed.

Update: Feb 26 - i forgot that i posted this about male chicks back in 2010 - how time flies: The Evil Vegetarian and Her Eggs - with asphxiation video can you believe it!


Robin said...

Not that this is the main point of your piece, but Parmesan comes from cows' milk, not sheep. And at the parmesan cheese farm I recently visited in Parma, Italy, those cows were living a pretty comfortable life (having grown up on a dairy farm, I know the difference between animal centric farming and factory farming). This is not a justification for why I eat cheese or why others do, as I don't feel I need to justify my choices here, but just a bit of data.

dr. m.c. said...

Hi Robin,
Thank you so much for taking the time to write. DId you grow up on a dairy farm? I bet you have a fantastic gut microbiota - apparently in a large study of women, folks who grow up on farms seem to sustain a more diverse microbiota AND have less incidence of breast cancer. WOW.

indeed, thanks for the check on the cheese. Thinking pecorinos not parmesan perhaps - just remembering a discussion from the parma farm i was on a few years ago ( - lovely farm; great cheese all animal caveats taken on board), and how it was sheep's rennet they used in their cheese.

all parmesan to make it to that label at least in the EU - not unlike other cheeses - requires rennet ( And that comes from bits of animal - thus a double animal whammy - so anyone claiming to be a strict vegetarian really does have to check out their cheese choices. Or not. ain't no law.



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