Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Biting into the Forbidden Non-Fruit

So you know already. I'm a recovering vegan. The entire vegan thing was very ugly. (For those of you who do not know, vegan is an extreme form of vegetarianism in which absolutely no animal products are consumed. That means no eggs, no cheese, no milk, no ice cream or yogurt. Sometimes it includes not wearing any animal-based clothing -- no leather or fur at all. Although, in economic and environmental terms, wearing and clothing oneself in petroleum-based products cannot be good for the world, either.) In fact, doctors told me to stop it because it was harming my health so badly. And, it was against my will. My ex-husband refused to eat any animal products, and instead of leaving him, which I damn well should have, I tried to please him and as a result lost my career, my health, nearly my life, and any opportunities to enjoy culture, art, love, or meat.

I've now met an incredible man, brought up on a farm, who makes a mean steak, among many other meat-based and fish-based dishes. He had to cook for us at first because a decade of being vegan meant that I'd never learned how to cook most things that are commonly eaten. But I'm getting there. I love cooking. The Food Network is my favorite cable station. Iron Chef!

And I love animals, I really do. I have a gorgeous German shepherd, whom I adore and is my beloved baby, and two rescued (adopted) Persian kitties who shed unmercifully but who are so cute that they are greeted by shrieks of "Awwww!" whenever people see them. One of them, we are convinced, could be a star in commercials and movies. Once his fur grows out of its current trim, that is. He's a cotton candy puff, ridiculously hard to groom.

Maybe it's making up for all of those years of living an existence where the diet was solely plant-based. Now it's real dairy. Real foie gras. Real caviar and sushi and lobster and crab and steak and lamb chops and BBQ and fried chicken and going fishing for perch and pike with my in-laws, and eating ridiculous helpings at those Brazilian meat restaurants along with downing bottles of shiraz and bordeaux. We had a debate about having one vegetarian offering at our wedding reception, and I said "No." Sorry. I'm politically incorrect these days, and that's how it's going to be. Deal.