Monday, September 27, 2010

Dealing with my obsession... (Faux Meat Dilemma)

No fun and games tonight, I'm having a somewhat of a dilemma. My friend Michelle asked me a few weeks ago what the point of the fake meat was. I cant recall what she said exactly, but it was basically; "Why go to the trouble of finding a chicken alternative, when you can just eat chicken?". Ok, I didn't debate her on the chicken industry, but I saw something deeper in what she was telling me. I've heard the; "humans are designed to eat meat" and "humans are designed NOT to eat meat" arguments. I've even heard the "god put animals on the planet to grace our tables" argument. (I think that last one is a bit of a stretch), But the point was there. You don't make it to the top of the food chain by nibbling on carrots. So are we or are we not suppose to eat meat? (Don't answer that,)

Another good friend, who is also a customer of mine is a very responsible carnivore. My friend Troy knows where all of his food comes from. He visits the farm he gets his pork, beef, chickens. He pays about $4 a dozen for his eggs, but he claims they are the best you've ever had, and he says the chickens get manicures and saunas (I made up that last part). He drives 45 minutes to get milk from one particular farm. And he is sickened by the state of commercial animal farming in this country, but he hasn't given up any of this food. He has taken a responsible look at what he buys and eats. He probably eats less processed food that I do, and I am out searching for the best fake chicken. Who is closer on the path of righteousness?

Maybe I'm being a little dramatic, but am I just trying to fool myself into thinking I'm still eating meat? Is this helping or hurting me in the long haul? I have to wonder.

I'm back in Milwaukee this week, and I went to another local veg place. This place is called Bombay Sweets (Note, this website is obnoxious as hell, dont let that dissuade you). The food was awesome indeed, but I was really struggling with the lady there to get my order right. I spent about 15 or 20 minutes going over the menu, I asked a number of questions, and had her confirm everything I said,.. no butter, no ghee, no paneer, cheese, VEGAN!. She must have serviced a half dozen others, and kept coming back to me. Finally we settled on some food, and I took it to go. I've never been so adamant to get my order right.

How are these two things related?  Lets just say I'm still struggling with this, and I have not lost the craving for my old foods. I was thinking about fried chicken and ribs this weekend. Am I so addicted, that I need to get away from those foods, and anything similar? Is eating fake chicken or faux-b-q keeping my head in the clouds?  Perhaps tonight I was overcompensating by being a royal pain in the ass at dinner? (the lady there was a sweetheart, and I tipped her handsomely, btw) I dont know, and I'm searching for the answer. I dont want to believe I have to give up yet another part of my diet. Another dilemma, create additional stress to get over my meat/dairy/eggs obsession, or stay closer to that addiction by fooling myself with bbg seitan and other similar products.

No answers,... just questions. I think work is getting to me a bit now, adding to my stress, which exacerbates this situation. As cool as Milwaukee is, I am looking forward to wrapping this up next week, and getting home for a while. Maybe that is the ticket.


  1. I think faux meat is a misnomer. It bothers me that everyone is making comparisons to meat to describe vegan food. Its not meat and it doesn't taste like meat. It has its own identity and it should stand on its own. I think converting to vegan diets are sometimes difficult because they are less filling, unless you start over carbing your meal, which I did because carbs are an easy transition. Being American we are used to over sized hearty meals and vegan dishes do not usually follow that model. Vegans are challenging what we are used to eating for a good reason. As American we are not healthy we need a change.

    I do not think there is anything wrong with creating new foods using tofu and grains and vegetables. They do make food more hearty and add more protein and grain to balance a diet. they help to create variety and allow traditional dishes to become vegan dishes. I think were we go wrong is calling it with a meat like name. I would go as far as say it is offensive to many who are taking great efforts to avoid consuming animals. Why remind them of eating animals when they are clearly not.

  2. thanks for the comment pickles, i agree, and i would feel much better if it were not "chick'n", but i guess it does, for me a clue what i am in for. this is why i love the field roast products, its not faux turkey or ham, its; sun-dried tomato, lentil, mushroom, etc... and in my opinion, much better than the faux products anyway.

  3. I get that "why eat fake meat" question a lot. I wasn't even attracted to faux meat at first, but there were times when I would have a craving for comfort food that included meat. I was raised on meat dishes, so I don't think it's weird at all to try to recreate those to some extent. Most meat dishes aren't in their natural state anyway. Currently I'm hooked on SmartDogs (blaming it on baseball playoffs!) and not only do they taste good but they are healthy too.

    I didn't become a vegan because I hate the taste of meat. On the contrary, I loved it. I gave it up because I can be healthy and have great tasting food without cruelty and that's more important to me.

    And I agree that it would be better to not call it "fake" or "faux" meat, cheese, etc. Give it a new name :)

  4. i agree, it would have been easy to give it up because i didnt like it. i loved it, i didnt just like it! i like the way you summed it up; "I can be healthy and have great tasting food without cruelty". i'll hold onto that one. thanks for the comment :-)