Food · Humor

The Church Of Vegan-Lite

Was Your Communion Wine Clarified With Fish Bladders?

If being a vegan is akin to belonging to a particular religion, then I must be Catholic-Lite Episcopalian. What? you say. Vegans are nothing like Episcopalians; they’re militant, strict, judgmental – and they’re anxious to convert carnivores. Rather, vegans are the epitome of dogmatic zealots, much like the speaking-in-tongues, snake-handling, Born Again, fire and brimstone Charismatics that pepper the deep hollers of Appalachia and star in the Super Congregations we see on Sunday morning television. And you, Miss Snarky Pants, are nothing like that.

And you would be right about one thing; I am nothing like that. Although I grew up neck deep in a Pentecostal Christian guilt so mucky I was sucked beneath its surface every time I so much as played a Hall & Oates album, I am no longer that person. To be clear, though I once believed that only the metaphorical blood and body of Jesus – aptly played during Holy Communion by Welch’s grape juice and a stale water cracker, respectively – could save my soul, deep down a part of me was always asking pesky questions:

But there’s, like, hundreds or thousands of religions. How do we know that we’re right? What if the Jews nailed it from the beginning –  they’re awfully good with money and just look what they’ve accomplished in the film industry?

Even The Kabbalah Couldn’t Help Madge’s Film Career

What kind of God would send innocent people to Hell just because they live in a third world country and have never heard of  The Bible? Is it because they have rickets?

Why would God want elderly people living on Social Security to tithe 10% of their income when they can’t afford their diabetes medication? Is God punishing them for Supersizing one time too many?

Why does God only heal people who attend church on television? And why don’t they have diseases or injuries that we can see? You know, like leprosy or missing limbs?

Thanks A Lot, Guys! You Made Following Anyone Else Impossible For Me. Oh, Could You Heal Stephen Hawking? I’d Reconsider My Agnosticism If You Pulled That Off.

Despite my early indoctrination into the Assemblies of God faith, I’ve never been much of a follower in other areas of my life. I mean, once you’ve committed yourself to serving an invisible, holey (pun most definitely intended) half-man half-diety, his oft angry dad with a penchant for dishing out natural disasters, and some sort of third-wheel ghostie, becoming a member of the drill team is a bit anticlimatic.

As it turns out, my prospects as a leader were nil. I didn’t like leaders; they were typically mean girls who were good at kickball and quick with insulting and alliterative nicknames for their victims. Though I’m sure I could have become skilled at the latter, my legs were created to bang into stationary furniture with sharp edges. Kicking a rolling ball in a particular direction was beyond my capabilities, prompting me to ask more of my pesky questions:

Why does God want me to be picked last for kickball every single day of my life? Why did He make me so smart that the other kids hate me for setting the bell curve? Why can’t I grow breasts? Does God hate me, too? 

Kickball – I Guarantee You That The Best Players On The Team Are Also Mean Girls

As I aged, my disinterest in either leading or following left me in a precarious social position. Though I was no longer unpopular, I refused to fully commit to any particular clique. One day I’d eat lunch with my Smiths and Psychedelic Furs-loving friends and the next, I’d hunker down with my buddies-of-color so that we could argue about which one of us was going to be Michael Jackson’s first ex-wife. Then there were my Journey-loving compatriots; I’ll spare you the painful images of these mullet-sporting, muscle shirt-wearing, air guitar-playing fans, all of whom wore gold eighth notes around their necks in honor of their leader, Steve Perry. Athletics were out of the question. I declined my invitation to join The National Honor Society. Drama only held my interest if I had a lead role which was, erm, never.

After law school, I experimented with multiple careers, but none – including legal practice – satisfied me in the way writing does, though all paid considerably more. I know…poor, little lawyer girl. I’d hate myself, too, but then, I’ve seen my law school debt – and you haven’t.

For Years, I Worshiped At This Altar. Sigh.

If I was a devotee of anything at all, it was cow teets. I loved dairy. Cheese was something that I could commit to – after all, it could be sweet, sour, stinky, melty, salty, chewy, stringy, sharp, mild, nutty and creamy. It was as diverse as my interests and never expected me to tithe. Until I was introduced to the chocolate martini in my mid-thirties, milk held the title as my favorite beverage. Sexy, huh? Nothing says “fuck me” like your date ordering a glass of moo juice with her filet mignon.

So when I suddenly decided to abandon the greatest love of my entire life second greatest love of my entire life (because, of course, Hubby is the first) to join the Church of Vegan, I can assure you that more than a few of my friends and family members were perplexed. After all, these are people who had, over the years, become accustomed to asking me, “What is it you do, again?” Hell, if I couldn’t dedicate myself to one career path, why should they believe that I would deliberately eschew meat and all animal products for the rest of my life just because it’s supposed to be healthier? That never stopped me from mainlining vodka.

However, as the weeks turned into months, it appeared that I had finally made a true commitment. I started cooking, posting photos of one vegan meal after another on Facebook like those people who have absolutely nothing better to do with their time. Hubby and I joined a gym. I gave up hard liquor. I became the poster child for the kind of person who had embraced a plant-based diet; a kinder, gentler Miss Snarky Pants. Through the Internet, I met other local vegans and soon I was inundated with invitations to attend one non-carnivore event after another. Vegans adore newbies. And like Pentecostals, they love to recruit. Why else would they have some kind of vegan/animal rights festival every bloody weekend?

Being vegan made me feel accepted by a closely-knit group of people who looked at the world with the same pair of eyes. Despite the fact that Hubby and I had only moved to Tampa a few months before my big conversion, new friends were practically crawling out of the woodwork, ready to hang out just because I’d abandoned many of my beloved food choices. At restaurants, I no longer had to worry that the waiter would think I was cheap if I ordered a vegetarian entrée. Nope, all I had to do was explain, “I’m vegan” and every bit of judgment on the server’s face would vanish – only to be replaced with fear. At Whole Foods, it was as if I was wearing a flashing, neon sign around my neck. As the cashier rang up my items, she would invariably ask, “Are you vegan?” Before I could do more than nod, she’d burst out into a huge smile, then whisper loudly, “Me, too! Isn’t Daiya soy-free, vegan cheese the best?”

If by best, you mean barely edible and tastes nothing at all like cheese, then yes, it’s the best!

Daiya Cheese – Yes, It Melts. So Does Plastic. Big Fucking Deal.

Gradually, I discovered that worshiping at the Church of Vegan was complicated. Initially, I thought I was giving up dairy, meat and eggs, but there’s a whole lot of small print in the Vegan Bible. Did you know that gelatin is made of horses’ hooves and other disgusting stuff? Adios, Jell-O. Sayonara, marshmallows. See ya later, candy corn and jelly beans. Don’t even think about taking that Nyquil Gel Cap. And what about animal bone char? It’s utilized to refine sugar and turn crude oil into petroleum jelly. Oh, and it’s also used in making many kinds of BEER. Did I type that loudly enough? BEER. At least six thousand newbie vegans just said, “What the fuck?”

However, as a non-beer drinker, my first what-the-fuck? moment occurred when I was informed that I could no longer eat honey. “Why?” I asked a vegan friend. “The bees are just doing their thing. Making honey is kinda like their job…and the last thing we need in this country is a higher unemployment rate.”

“The bees are enslaved,” she responded, without a hint of irony. “They’re exploited by humans.”

Suddenly, my brain was flooded with images of bees humming “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot” and picking cotton. I imagined them cringing in front of a white-hooded beekeeper, buzzing, “Don’t blow that smoke at me, Massa! I’ll eat mo’ nectar and vomit up mo’ honey!” It occurred to me that some vegans were more concerned about honey bees’ rights than they were about the rights of immigrant field workers – the people usually responsible for raising and harvesting the plant-based diet that sustains the vegan lifestyle.

Really, Vegans? You’re Going To Compare Honey Bees To These Guys?

Shortly after the bee incident, being vegan really hit me where it hurts the most: my liver. At a cooking party I was hosting, a guest advised me that the wine I was drinking may have been clarified with isinglass, a substance derived from fish bladders. Having given up the hard stuff, wine had become my slower, but still lovely, intoxicant. “You’ll want to go online and research the brands of wine that you enjoy. You might have to switch,” she suggested.

Seriously, God – you really hate me, right? You don’t just plant the “Become a Vegan” idea in my head, then casually – at a much later date – drop the wine bomb on me. Oh, and God, in case you’re wondering, I’m officially agnostic.

I realized that these people were serious. Veganism wasn’t a diet; it was an admirable commitment to living life in a way that doesn’t exploit animals in any manner whatsoever. Yet, as much as I respected my new friends for making this difficult, moral choice, I also recognized that I had to be true to myself…and my embossed leather Coach bags. If I didn’t opt for a more compassionate non-leather sofa, I’d soon be a hypocrite – not to mention, I’d spend every spare moment removing fur from a friggin’ cat hair magnet a cruelty-free fabric recliner. It became clear that I was not an ethical vegan, as most of my friends called themselves. I was doing this for my health – and unless the occasional teaspoon of honey was going to give me cancer or cause Bob Barker’s head to explode, I wasn’t really worried about it. Where did that leave me? Was I an unethical vegan? And, more importantly, why was I letting the word vegan define who I was and what I ate? Vegans aren’t like virgins – you can be just a little bit vegan.

If One Dog Can Shed This Much Hair, Imagine What Three Cats Can Do

Thus, in the interest of not being a vegan fraud, a hypocrite, a sober person or just plain grumpy, I’ve decided to start my own church: The Church of Vegan-Lite. With all of the health benefits, but only half the guilt and no rosary, a Vegan-Litist, as I like to think of myself, is mostly vegan, but makes exceptions here and there. For example, though I will inform food servers that I’m a vegan, I am quick to reassure them that I’m not militant about it and won’t douse them with a bucket of red paint if they suggest the steak tartare special to Hubby. Likewise, I’ve chosen to integrate certain foods back into my diet, but those foods can’t be too decadent or I’ll be required to self-flagellate like an albino monk. Thus, I’ve reintroduced egg whites to our refrigerator; after all, they’re fucking egg whites. Is there a less-offensive and healthier non-vegan food out there? Doctors practically prescribe them. Dr. Carrie Rubin, back me up here, will ya?

Is That Brie In Your Fridge? Oh, Crap! I’ll Get Out The Cat O’ Nine Tails.

I’ve also discovered that if I drink a sufficient amount of vino, I completely forget all about fish bladders and bone char. Problem solved.

The only remaining issue is my hesitancy to lead – or follow, for that matter – which is why the Church of Vegan-Lite currently has only one member. So if any of you vegans out there are just jonesin’ to spoon some honey into your mug of cruelty-free, organic green tea, go for it. I grant you permission to become the bishop of your own Vegan-Lite parish. Just promise me one thing: switch the Welch’s out for a nice cabernet sauvignon, would ya?


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If you’re an ethical vegan, please know that I respect your views (and the fact that you aren’t, apparently, tempted by cheese every moment of the day) even though I don’t necessarily agree with them fully. So don’t be a hater. I really do love you guys!


Photo credits:
Holy Trinity:
Daiya Cheese:
Dog Hair:
Albino monk:

78 thoughts on “The Church Of Vegan-Lite

  1. LOVED. i have so many vegan-lite friends. like the friend that has a falafel sandwich with tahini. i mean, tahini sauce??!! all dairy, but she’s vegan-lite. we still have to make a second feckin’ meal from her when she comes over, but i can tolerate vegan-lite. it’s gluten-free that drives me nuts. everything. fecking everything – the laptop i’m typing on right now – has wheat in it. and wheat, apparently, stops things from tasting like sh*t! anyhoo, great post. momma loves you. xo, sm

      1. you’re always invited. i don’t eat head cheese. head cheese is for the undead and republicans. sorry, i just watched that joss wheadon thing… looool.

  2. My house isn’t vegetarian or vegan, but I like variety in my food, so I do make quite a few meatless – and even vegan – meals. I’m just not interested in giving up cheese or bacon over the long haul. My husband makes beer and wine at home, and as far as I know, doesn’t use any animal products in the process, so more vegans may want to explore homebrewing & winemaking if that’s a concern for them.

    1. I would like to offer up my home for your husband to engage in his winemaking. Of course, I would expect him to leave all the wine when he is finished. I hear you on cheese and bacon. Those were the toughies. Real bacon isn’t even allowed in my home. I can’t guarantee Hubby’s safety were he to cook some. Thanks for dropping by my blog. Visit again soon!

  3. First off, thanks so much for the mention. It is much appreciated! And yes, I back you up on the egg white thing. In fact, I eat them quite often. But I toss those little yolk balls right out. They’re gross.

    Secondly, kudos to you for being able to go vegan. Studies show you will be healthier than the rest of us, and your poo will be cleaner (well, I don’t know if studies show that last part, but it just makes sense). I try to eat very healthy, but I still consume white meat (no red meat), and I do enjoy my treats, which I’m sure contain many non-vegan elements. I like to live by the 90/10 rule: 90% of what I eat is good more me, 10% is not. Some days I may only hit an 80/20, but I try to cut myself some slack, especially on those days where I only hit a 70/30…

    Great post. I think I’m going to love stopping by here on a regular basis.

    1. Thanks for the doctorly backup (yeah, I know that’s not really a word). I do feel a lot healthier being vegan 99% of the time, so I don’t really sweat it when I cheat a little. Plus, because I’m eating so healthy, I have no guilt about making vegan goodies like banana coconut bread and stuffing my face with a slice or two. I agree with you about cutting yourself some slack. When you don’t, you’re likely to feel stressed and that’s one of the worst things out there for your body. And thanks for becoming a new reader, Carrie. I feel the same way about your blog, you poo-loving bloggess!

  4. Loved the post. As one who has gone to the vegan dance but left when they played waltz music. I’ve dived headlong into the vegan lifestyle and wound up with an angus burger in my hand three months. I confess, I’m a carnivore with vegan tendencies. I love garden fresh asparagus but it needs butter and some rib eye steak to keep it company on the plate. I’m happy you’re comfortable as a Vegan Lite but I need my protein fix in the form of a modest cheeseburger.

    1. Deep down, I’ve always been a bit of a vegetarian. Do you know that I’ve never eaten a McDonald’s hamburger? I actually prefer veggie burgers. Weird? But I grew to love bacon in a way that probably verges on bestiality. Fortunately, there are a couple of vegan/vegetarian-friendly bacon substitutes out there, so I can get my VLT fix once a week or so. So good on Cuban bread with sliced avocado.

      1. Don’t go down the fast food route, Miss Snarky Pants. In fact, it was fast food that turned many people I know into vegetarians for years. One got food poisoning, one bit into something unrecognizable, another dropped it on the ground and watched in horror as the patty literally unravelled as it rolled away.

  5. Me likes vegan-lite! As a newbie
    carnivore, I probably won’t be manning any parishes soon, but I do see the sense in drawing the line between animal cruelty and ascetism. Beyond that, fussing about trace ingredients here and there is just hair splitting.

    1. I like that. Trace ingredients. I’ll mention that to my vegan friends the next time we meet up.

      Me: Hey, enjoying that veggie burger?”

      Vegan Friend: Yeah. It’s delish.

      Me: Do you realize that insects, insect parts and bug poo are trace ingredients in most vegetarian and vegan food?

      Vegan Friend: (barfing)

      Me: Erm, sorry about that. Oh, there might be some egg whites in that, too.

  6. The bumble bees are free. It is the honey bees that have been enslaved. I shall pray for you, though I have grave fears for your eternal soul as you have bee vomit on your lips and the blood of many fishes on your hands. And, to covet cheese is a sin as foul as the exploitation of insects. Whipping may be the only way to get the devil out of you…

      1. And why not? If you are doing it for health reasons, you need decent protein! Moderation in all things (except those that make you really happy and don’t enslave insects).

  7. I’m in. The other day I was in a bar that sold marinated Camembert and I ate a huge slice of it with my cocktail and I can honestly say I had no regrets. Well, no cheese-related regrets; I did regret getting completely shit-faced this morning on my way to work when I burped dirty martini and nearly threw up into my handbag, but that’s not relevant.

    Alice ( x

    1. Alice, you are mind kind of chick. Damn, dirty martinis are what I miss the MOST! Especially with three blue cheese-filled olives…

      I will check out your blog as you seem to possess traits belonging to intelligent species.

      P.S. That’s what handbags are for, darling. That’s why there’s a little zippered section to protect your valuables.

  8. If I weren’t already a practicing member of the Church of What’s Happenin’ Now, I’d consider going with Vegan Lite. For my sins.

      1. Eh, the brie episodes were girlish pranks. What I’ve done in the name of creme brulée, on the other hand, could get me arrested in ten states.

      2. The perfect food, is it not? Eggy, creamy, not too sweet, but complemented by the perfect, slightly burned sugar carapace. Sigh. Not remotely on my diet.

  9. No cheese? No bacon? No beer? Nope. The vegan life is not for me! (Vegan-lite or otherwise) But good luck on your quest.

    (BTW With regards to the honey thing, without honey production they’d be far fewer bees. With fewer bees there’d be less flower pollination. With fewer flowers there’d be fewer plants. With fewer plants there’d be fewer animals. So…shouldn’t bees be a good thing?)

      1. No, I’m not an attorney. I’m simply an innocent bystander telling it like he sees it. I have no real interest in this story either way. I could take it or leave it to be honest. I’m simply a humble owner of small-time multi-million pound international honey and beeswax manufacturing empire, and part-time bee slaver trader. So, no vested interests whatsoever. 🙂

  10. I like teets. I like teets with honey. I like bread and butter, I like toast and jam. I drink cups of gravy. My stomach expands. I was nailed to the cross with hard tack bread. Stigmata over came me, I left the table, running, the nervous biscuits frightened me. Now is that a real poncho or a Sears Poncho?

  11. Love the perspective Cristy! As an ethical 98% vegan, I would not pass judgment on unethical, I mean vegan lites. 🙂 It all goes toward less cows ending up on the dinner plate. I find it amusing when people think I’m vegan because of the health benefits. Really? Have you seen me put away a (non-dairy) chocolate cake? It’s just a side benefit that allows me to get my fat in the form of (non bone charred ) sugar rather than animal fat.

    1. Oh, compared to any other “religion”, vegans are definitely not pushy. My meat-eating husband acknowledges that meat eaters are often more defiant and defensive about their food choices when faced with alternatives. We do tend to flock togetherbut that’s because we need to feel loved and accepted too!

      1. I think you’re right, Tamara. Even most of the ethical vegans I’ve meant aren’t pushy about it, but there are a few out there – and they’ve ruined it for everyone. It’s a shame that people can’t just do what they do without feeling the need to project it onto to other people.

    2. I’ve heard about vegans going down the path of vegan junk food. I’m trying very hard to avoid that path, but it’s difficult sometimes. I do love the fact that I’m losing weight, yet still eating lots of healthy carbs. Sure, the exercise plays a big part in that equation, but I feel better overall eating a diet that includes grains and legumes.

  12. Is it because they have rickets? – Ha! I almost choked when I read that. That is an instant classic. That line a lone has made me a new follower, but you know, in a good way. Not in a religious/church/cult sort of way.

    1. Good, because I’m a shitty leader, as I’ve explained. Yes, I believe that the public’s apathy about rickets has led to many a person being shunned by humanity and God himself. Don’t even ask me what Romney’s done to the poor rickety folks.

  13. Miss Snarky Pants : Seriously, God – you really hate me, right? You don’t just plant the “Become a Vegan” idea in my head, then casually – at a much later date – drop the wine bomb on me. Oh, and God, in case you’re wondering, I’m officially agnostic.

    GOD: I’m not angry at you.In fact I love you, so I give you a taste of being “Vegan”,so you would start your own Church and Spread THE WORD–>That Goin Full Vegan IS againts MY DESIGN. And your methods are GREAT.About the agnostic thing,its useless cause your actions are automaticly MY DESIGN, sooooo you and your hubby earn a freepass to MY joint up here,assuming you stay a GOOD GIRL until Judgement Day,wich is soon.Now,where do I put those lightning rods,I need to smite some Scientologist.

  14. I know ,thats why I’m called AngryDemon and the reason no bacon in heaven cause I ATE them all .Mmmm…BACON.

  15. I suspect I am too much of a Texan to go vegetarian or vegan. Though my favorite drink is made from a plant (can you guess?)

    My youngest son tried it once, he was a teenager. But when he and his friends went all militant on me in my home I suggested they buy their own food from that point forward, snotheads. They were sitting on my leather furniture, watching HBO in my house, paid for by me. They dared to be militant, with me? No, I don’t think so.

    1. Jesus once said that “Its not what you eat that damned you but what comes out of your mouth”. A wise word indeed.

    2. You go, gurrrrl! Make that snothead sit on the carpet if he’s gonna be all militant and holier than thou. Or better yet, make him eat raw okra – the slime factor alone would cause him to reconsider.

  16. Are Heath Bars vegan? That would be a deal killer for me, since I’ve existed on nothing BUT Heath Bars for the past week.
    How about Milk Duds? Actually, my guess is that since they contain the word “milk” in the title, it’s a no-go no matter what’s inside. I’ve heard that vegans can be really sensitive to lettering and stuff. Twix Bars? They’re only really good if they’re super-fresh, but if you can get to them BEFORE they start to metastasize into like, erasers, they’re super-awesome.

    I ditched dairy a long time ago due to lactose intolerance. Being the only person at a party who has to fart and run kind of sucks. Meat? Meh, I could live without it.

    But my favorite candy? That’s a no-go. You didn’t ask or anything, but I’m just sayin.

    BTW, doesn’t joining a gym sort of make you a follower, Richard Simmons-style?

    Great post as always BB.

  17. I was vegan-light for 6 years and I still believe that you should be really nice to your animals before you kill and eat them. That’s ethical-ish. I have to be careful about what I eat anyway, because I have a stomach like a wet paper bag, so I have to focus on what makes me faint and/or crap my pants, as opposed to what enslaves stinging insects. No offense to the stinging insects.

      1. Usually spicy food,that lead to bowel problems that lower the blood pressure and if not treated can cause faint.Also count factors as, heart diseases (coronary problems ),Diabetes , dehydration, food poisoning and also allergies.
        I almost faint once several years ago,during dinner in some Thai restaurant,the food was too spicy,but I eat it anyway,several hours later, my stomach hurts like hell, I’m felt so dizzy I couldn’t walk,and I sweat a lot.My pulse is slowing down.Almost fainted.Luckily my brother was there and keep telling me to drink water to prevent dehydration.I did and after a little while ,it passed.It seems our body has a maximum tolerance on how spicy our stomach can take it.
        But on the other hand ,some people believed spicy food can fasten your metabolism.Just google: Spicy Food Metabolism.

  18. You’re absolutely brilliant and hilarious. Thanks for making me L-O-L before my first cup of coffee for the morning.
    I work at a restaurant that caters to vegans, and your bit about bee slavery was my favorite…I’ve served a lot of militant vegans!

    1. So glad you enjoyed it. I love me my vegans, but people gotta chill out. Believe what you want and let me believe what I want.

      Unless you believe Romney should be president…in which case, you should believe what I tell you.

  19. Totally do not have the discipline for veganism, I can’t even claim to be fully vegetarian…. Apparently there is a term called “pescatarian” which is basically a vegetarian who cheats and ways fish…. That’s me! And I do not feel guilty about the wine! I think the approximate value of beverage ounces to guilt ratio is approximately 3 glasses per bottle- but I throw in the last glass to make sure!

  20. This is awesome. It’s not that I don’t respect vegans and what they live for. The problem I have, with anyone really, is when they’re so uptight in their ways that ANYTHING upsets them. I think the whole wine-fish-bones thing is a bit cuh-razy and while I (again) respect their beliefs, it stresses me out when its pushed onto me. Vegan-lite sounds awesome to me!!

    1. Thanks. I agree…and mostly because I’m way too lazy to look up every brand of wine I drink. I’d spend all my time Googling MD 20/20 instead of guzzling it. Just kidding. Like I’d drink MD 20/20 when Manischewitz is cheaper…and kosher. Duh!

  21. Just poking around a little more in your blog — I lean toward vegetarian, meaning I’m just not overfond of meat, although I do have a pork loin and some chicken breasts in my freezer, although they’ll probably be in there for a month, which is why I only lean and don’t topple.

    The thing that’s always bugged me about veganism is precisely the whole fake cheese, fake bacon, fake ice cream, fake mayonnaise, fake everything business. It doesn’t seem to be about eating food for what it is — learning to like vegetables more, and getting away from the standard processed crapo fake junk that most Americans live on. It’s just an even more fake way of living on ultra-processed fake junk. There’s a lie beneath it somehow — that people want to live on the same junky American crap food that they mock others for eating, only in a conscience-free way. Instead of fake nachos, why don’t they eat a well-cooked squash stew? And leave off the misspelled “cheez” sauce and just have it with some olive oil and garlic or something else that doesn’t lie about what phylum it’s in.

    Vegetarian food seems to be just appetizingly cooked plants. Vegan food seems to be fake versions of anything an 8 year old would live on if given half a chance. I mean really, what blow is one striking against the standard American crapo diet when one is eating nachos with “meaty crumbles,” “chikkin” fingers, and fake cookie dough brownies, only they’re “vegan?” It sounds to me like “vegan-lite” is a nice way of addressing this. Eating plants, but not to the point of eating plants that fake being animals.

    Anyhow, there’s a pointless ramble for your Friday afternoon. Nice blog. 🙂

    1. Thanks. It’s true that there are a lot of processed vegan foods, but many of them are made from organic ingredients and are healthier than their non-vegan counterparts. It’s also true that some vegans eat nothing but waffles and french fries. I’ve found that I pay a lot more attention to what I eat now that I’m vegan-lite. I read food labels and I try to ensure that my diet is varied and healthy – with lots of whole grains, legumes, veggies, fruits, nuts and healthy fats. Of course, I became a vegan for health reasons. Yes, I’m an animal lover as well, but I don’t chastise others because they don’t follow a plant-based diet.

      As far as substitutes go, some are delicious and made with healthy ingredients. Some are terrible. Vegan sour cream was a real disappointment, but I turned my dismay into a challenge. What could I top a baked potato with now? How about homemade guacamole or seasoned silken tofu? Both of the latter suggestions are much healthier than loads of butter and sour cream.

      You make an excellent point, though. I have some friends who are raw vegans. They opened a restaurant in town, but were so focused on creating raw versions of non-raw, non-vegan foods that they ended up alienating some of their non-raw customers. I witnessed one person claim that the raw pizza she ordered was terrible. I couldn’t blame her because she was expecting her meal to taste like traditional pizza and she was disappointed. You’re right in that vegans and raw foodies should focus on creating new dishes instead of trying to recreate pre-existing ones. That said, vegan substitutes really help some people make the transition to becoming vegan. It gives them something to eat while they are learning new recipes and becoming accustomed to a new way of life. Some are just plain tasty and will remain a part of their diet for the rest of their lives. I’m a huge fan of Field Roast – a type of veggie sausage. Almond milk is delish and much lower in calories than cow’s milk. Sure, it’s processed, but so is cow’s milk. I could make almond milk myself, but who has the time?

      BTW, I’ve tried my hand at vegan baking and have had some great results. My hubby loves my banana nut coconut bread. Anyway, thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts. Hope to see you here again soon.

  22. cracks me up, i read this after my post on food loving..damn you cheese, you get the best of us in trouble. I just love how good things can taste..I don’t really care (for the most part) whats in it, as long as it looks good and tastes divine! what I wouldn’t do right now for a good taco truck. :p

  23. I know this is an old post, but I cracked up through all of this.

    Obsessesed with cheese and running into inanimate objects? I feel like we must be soul sisters or something. 😉

    If I wasn’t married to a carnivore, I’d probably at least do vegetarian. Seafood would probably be the thing I would miss. It’d help with all the the health issues I have.

    1. I’ve heard that the vegan diet really helps reduce inflammation in the body, plus it’s great for cholesterol and cardiac issues. Glad you enjoyed the post. I’m married to a carnivore and it’s still worked out pretty well. As long as your spouse is supportive of your diet, you shouldn’t have a problem.

  24. I think we go to the same church. I used to go to the Orthodox Vegan church (though I was blissfully unaware of the fish bladders), but I lapsed.

    My hubby’s a neo-vegan and was surprised when he learned that strict vegans don’t eat honey, but I reassured us both that it’s good to support bees! They pollinate.

    Did you know there are vegan marshmallows now? They’re called Dandies. They taste just like the real thing, unlike Daiya cheese (which is, however, quite an improvement). If you want something that is more satisfying in a cheesy way, try the Veganomicon’s cashew ricotta or tofu ricotta recipes. YUMMMM.

    1. Thanks for the tip. I’m not a Daiya fan. I’m glad to hear that you’re no longer orthodox. However, if we keep agreeing on things, I’m afraid I won’t be able to be your evil twin anymore. I’ll just be your twin. (Please tell me that we’re much younger than, erm, 44!)

    1. I’ve had fantasies about ripping all 8 of their legs off just to see what the little monster would do.

      Some people spend their lives fearing spiders; others squash them and consider it justifiable homicide.

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