Vegans - Strangers From a Strange Land

Have you ever tasted tofu?  For those carnivores who were either forced to or accidentally ingested tofu, the gag reflex kicked in immediately, don’t lie.  Well, it did for me anyway.  Homo sapiens were meant to eat meat, to hunt for meat-like food, to invent charcoal, Worcestershire sauce and steak knives.  It’s in the history books...look it up

The day I arrived at the ashram in Virginia for a month-long stay to acquire my yoga teaching certificate, the bliss ninnies cut off our meat supply, our dairy supply or anything else we might eat that did not sprout up from the ground.  Ever tried to quit something ‘cold turkey’ (see, even that description has meat in it)?  The students initially became agitated and aggressive, but because we were all trying to be spiritually elevated through our ashram experience, we had to internalize our aggression. Instead, it came out in the form of competition in every yoga class, because let’s face students all want to be the best, most agile, most flexible they can be. Don’t kid yourself

In researching ashrams before my arrival, I suspicioned that this food thing would be an issue for me, so I arranged aforehand to have my family and friends send me care packages.  While my fellow students took on a grayish pallor from lack of meat and meat-like protein, my cheeks were rosy and my weight a healthy, non-anorexic level.  I gorged myself on tuna fish, Cheetos, smoked meat sandwiches (yes...on WHITE bread), sardines, eggs and Vienna sausages.  One friend even sent me little airplane bottles of tequila and limes.  It’s the only way I survived!  Tofu will never ever, ever cross my lips again in this lifetime, okay?




Yes, unbeknownst to me, we actually had a real vegan in our house helping us learn how to edit our videos.  It came time for me to make lunch for everybody so I happily announced that I was making cheese burgers!  It was then that ‘Scott’ informed us that he was a vegan.  I was in shock.  I should have been warned.  It took me a while to process this

“Great!,” I said, “I’ll make you a grilled cheese sandwich.”  He told me he didn’t eat anything that had to do with any animal products.  No cheese.  “Okaaaaay;” my mind was racing.  I was trying to think about what we had in the fridge, but everything that came to me involved the usage of something from an animal (butter, milk or chicken embryos) or the slaughter and dismemberment of a cow, pig or in rare cases, a goat (cabrito)

This was like trying to feed an alien from another planet.  This guy looks really good and healthy.  How can that be?  But then I thought, “I am a cook, goddammit, I can do this!”  Did you know that yogurt is considered ‘dairy’?  I did not know that.  I guess I always thought of it as some kind of rampant culture that sprang out of eggplants or something.  Vegans no can eat that or even cereal (milk) or even Velveeta cheese which I thought might be acceptable, because I always suspected that it was made of plastic.   But no, no can eat

Here’s what I did.  I roasted a potato in olive oil with rosemary and grilled slabs of zucchini with herbs de Provence, and put some sliced tomatoes on the plate.  I gave him a bottle of ‘Mrs. Dash’ (no salt in there… I figured somebody this crazy probably wouldn’t eat salt either), and  then I ran away

He actually liked it


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