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August 29, 2006


Van L. Hayhow

I've had the exact opposite reaction. I have been served a steak or cheeseburger and gotten nasty looks and comments from vegetarians.

The Happy Feminist

The portion of the Forbes discussion forum you linked is completely stupid of course, but nonetheless amusing because "Angry Muppet" gets in a good zinger in response to the anti-feminist who posted your pic.


You have some picky, picky, picky lunch mates :) Bring in some well-seasoned tempeh next time - or you could just add some sesame oil and sea salt to your rice cake "buns" (that sounds so wrong) and bake them for a bit until the oil becomes fragrant. You might have some takers then.

At least you weren't having Balinese ceremonial hash. (I love the stuff, btw.)


Actually, Burger King makes a veggie burger that's pretty good. (Though I don't think it's vegan.)


I must admit I shuddered at the description of your lunch. I love eating vegetables and I love tofu, but I like eating them as tofu and as vegetables, not as burger patties. As for rice cakes, I've had some mighty tasty ones before. They can be quite addictive!

But unless we were good friends, I would not have said anything to you about my feelings about your lunch, joke or no joke. It's still the workplace, and, well, it's just not nice.


Should I wrap my tofu vegie-burgers in Burger King wrappers to give them the illusion of cheerful carnivorousness? Should I put my little bag of organic fruit and nuts inside an M&Ms wrapper?

If this was me, I'd be inclined to come in tomorrow wearing a PETA teeshirt. But, of course, I enjoy being obnoxious and mooing at my veggie-inclined friends while they're trying to enjoy a steak/hamburger/etc. :-D

Actually, my real strategy for veggie education is to throw vegan potlucks once a month or so. I've actually moved a few of my fellow grad students a bit closer to vegetarianism over the past year.

Douglas, Friend of Osho

Ah, Hugo, you were just paying for the last vegan your colleague ran into. That's the way of the world. Your colleague probably ran into the PETA-pod type who took exception to her Reuben sandwich and she may not have had a comeback handy. Not everyone is as quip-ready as Elaine Benes.
I'm sure comments like that will die out eventually, Hugo. The good things in life take time. Besides, you must admit there are a lot of sanctimonious vegetarians out there.


I am very interested in reading more about your thoughts on student crushes.


Noumena, perhaps you have figured this out already, but 'being obnoxious' is not really the way to get your meat-eating friends to toss away their hamburgers and embrace your way of eating.

And what Sydney said. If this was a colleague close enough to you that you could josh each other about your food choices, that's one thing, but otherwise I think the Icy Stare of STFU is in order here.


Hugo: are you sure this was anti-vegetarian and not anti-diet?


For the record, now that Amanda has kindly linked to this post, it was a "Wildwood tofu-vegie patty" on two nice rice cakes. It was quite good, actually -- they sell 'em at Trader Joe's, and they really are tasty.

It is possible, given that my dietary choices are often noticeably different from those of my colleagues (I rarely touch the omnipresent sweets in the faculty lounge), that her distaste was more a response to "public and flagrant display of dieting by an already fit person".


Kudos to you for eating a vegetarian diet. When did you start? I gave up meat for Lent a couple years ago, and it was extremely hard to stay committed to that. I think it's a great way of approaching diet, though I probably won't ever be one. As for your collegue, I think you handled it well. You simply explained your eating choices and didn't imply that she should eat the same way as you. That only helps your cause - and never hurts it!


I am going to regret asking this question, but what is a "blog crush"?

Am I right in saying you've never met the man?

Tried tofu once. Tasted like a sort of tepid rubber crossed with slimy paste. Had to go and shoot something afterwards to get rid of the taste. :-)


mythago -
Of course I've realised that (though it's actually worked in a few cases). Hence the potlucks.


John, tofu as a meat substitute is pretty dire, IMHO. The cuisines from which it originates tend to use it alongside meat, which kicks ass.


I actually managed to convince the cafeteria here at work to serve one of my recipes on a regular basis, a veggie chili that seems to be reasonably popular when it’s on the menu.

There is a certain degree of militant attitude to vegetarianism. Many omnivores seem to feel compelled to apologize for eating meat, at least around here, which I think is weird since this is one of the reddest counties in a pretty uniformly red state.

Maybe the “lib’rul” messages are seeping into the memetic landscape after all.


I admit that I'm not a big fan of tofu-burgers, tofu dogs, and other "passing-off-veggie-products-as-some-sort-of-meat" foods. I always say if you're going to eat tofu, you might as well eat it in forms that highlight its essence rather than disguise it. Sichuan mapo tofu (w/o meat) and Korean "sundubu jjigae" (silken tofu stew flavored with Korean chili powder) are great examples of this.


I like "fake meat" products. I like meat, and I gave meat up for ethical reasons, not for reasons of taste. I eat lots of tofu dogs, and tempeh, and Quorn, and you name it. Yum.


Did you give up leather, too? (I'm serious. I've never understood the people who give up meat but not leather, except when the explanation is something like better use of resources -- like, it's ok to eat animals, but it uses too much grain, so I choose not to, or any non-ethics based reason. I'd love to hear of a more consistent explanation, other than 'it's hard to find shoes that aren't leather'.)


It is possible, given that my dietary choices are often noticeably different from those of my colleagues (I rarely touch the omnipresent sweets in the faculty lounge), that her distaste was more a response to "public and flagrant display of dieting by an already fit person".

Yawn. Maybe you're just a weirdo?


Russ, your comments are liable to be regularly deleted. Go amuse yourself elsewhere.

I did give up BUYING leather. I still wear my old leather shoes and belts. There's no point in being wasteful. Even PETA suggests giving fur coats to the homeless rather than destroying them.


Fair enough. (I'd argue it makes more sense to give them away rather than wear them, in the "well, the animal is already dead, why not eat it?" vein, but that's too nitpicky.) I am disappointed I haven't heard a good argument for people who do wear both.

PETA would then throw paint on the (finally warm) homeless, I guess. (I dislike PETA a lot; it's sexist and inconsistent.)


Russ, your comments are liable to be regularly deleted. Go amuse yourself elsewhere.

I think Hugo is just intimidated by strong men.


I think russ is intimidated by Hugo.


Right. Because the typical impression that most people are left with after reading arbitrary ad hominem attacks is "wow, that person is STRONG!"

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