Monday Righteous Indignation and Retort

Monday, January 17, 2011

My parents are hosting some vegans tonight for dinner.

This is very foreign to my parents. Despite the fact that each of them are very tiny people**, they are died-in-the-wool omnivores who cherish their grill and smoker, each tool thoroughly stained and seasoned with the drippings and spatterings of various and myriad carcasses.

My mom, whom we will henceforth call Matriarch Smitty, visited Web MD to find out exactly what the rules are for this strange type of diet; what is forbidden and what is allowed. On her search, she found a review of the book Skinny Bitch, which Web MD describes thusly:

If you've always dreamed of having a model-thin body and are willing to adhere to a hard-core, low-calorie vegan diet, you may want to join the legions of women following the sassy, smart-mouth advice doled out in the book with the unprintable name: Skinny B****.

A drawing of a pencil-thin model type in a skintight dress graces the cover of "Skinny," which -- with a tone that's part girlfriend and part foul-mouthed truck driver -- is not for the faint of heart.
OK, says Matriarch Smitty, I dig it. Girl power, blah blah, been there done that from the beginning in the 60s, but I'm game.

The idea of this book and of the whole vegan diet quickly fell apart for Matriarch Smitty when she stumbled across this phrase in the article:
The long list of forbidden foods includes all animal products (meat, poultry, eggs, dairy, fish), soda, beer ("for frat boys"), alcohol, caffeine, foods with chemical additives like artificial sweeteners, and anything with refined flour or sugar.
Woa. Woa. Wait a is forbidden in this diet? Because it is for frat boys??.

Matriarch immediately called me on my cell with this emergency news that vegan diets are unacceptable, especially in light of the rip on beer. Bad enough, she reasoned, that beer - which is an organic product - is off the list; the reason they chose is crap.

I went to the Skinny Bitch website (link above), but couldn't find a comments page so I could flame it. Thus: the blog.

A few seconds' worth of searching Teh Google brings us to:

There you have it, Skinny Bitch.  Aptly named.  Typical elitist bullshit and a lack of understanding of the beer industry, unfairly lumping all of us into the "beer swiller" category.

I am hoping to find a way to email Skinny Bitch. If I can find her contact info, I may send her to this YouTube Channel, which, by the way, is so fucking great it actually inspires me. Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you the vegan's nightmare: Epic Meal Time.

**My mom is 5 feet tall exactly, and I believe she is less than 100 pounds, or right around it. My dad is 5'7 on a good day with big shoes on, and hovers around the 140-50 ballpark. By comparison, my brother and I are just a tad shy of 6-feet, and each of us 200 pounds or more. See folks? You can be small and have a healthy weight and not be a self-righteous vegan. Or you can also be me, with slightly-out-of-whack cholesterol and a need to drop 10-15 pounds...but hey, I'm pretty happy.


steves 3:27 PM  

I guess I would avoid any diet or eating plan that was advocated by some "bitch." Many years ago, someone bet me that I couldn't go a month on a vegetarian diet. I did, but by the end of the month, I was very uncomfortable and craving raw hamburger.

Smitty 3:34 PM  

someone bet me that I couldn't go a month on a vegetarian diet

Ya, I could go a month on anything for a bet of the right amount of money or to prove a point (especially to prove a point).

Seeing this just added fuel to my already huge sweeping opinion that all vegans are only in it to be holier than thou narcissists. Sure sure sure, I know about 4 people who did it because they had to - health reasons - but even they eventually became self-righteous assholes about it.

Vegans can't eat honey because it is apparently an animal product. Bees are animals??

steves 4:36 PM  

Don't even get me started. Unless you are gathering fruits and nuts from the wild, any kind of farming (even organic) has an impact on other species, including killing and displacing them.

Besides, meat is just so damn tasty.

Mrs. Smitty 4:40 PM  

Skinny Bitch is the type of woman I hate leading the Woman-power charge. We are not all crazy, vegans or debilitating obsessed about our weight. And being obviously not Frat nor Boy, I think beer is for college-educated females.

In fact, my crock pot is currently simmering a roast in beer. Maybe I should write a book too...

Monk-in-Training 7:14 PM  

roast in beer

.... surely a heavenly delicacy..

Bob 9:44 AM  

OK guys, let's not start ripping into all things vegetarian. You make yourselves sound like a bunch of uneducated, Howell-living, pick-up driving, confederate flag waving rednecks. I know you aren’t.

This is how people sound as they are giving my wife shit. She is vegetarian and 90% on her way to vegan. Our kids are being raised vegetarian (not vegan) I eat whatever she is cooking, which is almost always vegan.

She is trying to do her part for the environment, is an animal lover, and is lactose intolerant, so being vegan helps. That said, she never expects people to cook special for her. If we go somewhere, she eats what is served, minus the meat, but will eat the dairy and eggs.

Your list of “forbidden foods” is a bit extreme. It seems like a description of an organic/extreme vegan diet, not a simple vegan diet. Your good mom had a poor source of information on vegan requirements.

Here my take on the list of excluded foods in a vegan/vegetarian diet:

-Red meat, poultry, fish: defiantly not allowed for real vegans/vegetarians. (people who eat fish only are NOT vegetarians despite what they say.)

-Eggs, dairy: not allowed for vegan

-Honey: not allowed only in cases of extreme vegans. My wife eats this. The bees are happily making the stuff.

-Beer: WHAT? I suppose yeast isn’t a plant, but I don’t know a single vegetarian who doesn’t see beer as an appropriate part of a vegan/vegetarian diet. Do they only eat unleavened bread?

-Foods with chemical additives like artificial sweeteners: These things aren’t good for you, but they aren’t animal products.

-Refined flour: Again, not good for you, but still vegetarian

-Refined sugar: This is processed with animal bones, so in some ways is not animal-free, but you don’t actually consume the bone.

Since my meals are nearly all vegetarian, I am referred to as a “flexitarian”. My wife is a pretty good cook, so it works for me. That said, since so many people in my family/friends are now vegetarian due to various health and other issues, I am really in need of a fellow meat eater to dine with on occasion. I am running out of people who are willing/able to eat the prime rib I cook every Christmas Eve. It really blows.

Bob 9:58 AM  


A bunch of my wife’s vegan recipes use beer as an ingredient, including a great stew she made last week. Now I just need to teach her to not use my $5 beers as an ingredient.

Smitty 10:27 AM  


I didn't mean to offend your sensitive fee-fees. I was mad at Skinny Bitch and many of the massively self-righteous vegans I know, who are fucking assholes about it. That you and your wife are normal, sensible, well-informed eaters of the vegetarian and nearly-vegan diet (especially as your wife does it for health reasons), maybe you're the exception that proves the rule that exists in my massively-situationally-biased world.

We are also happy to cook veggie meals (though I did make a mistake once - only once - where I used chicken broth instead of vegetable bad...), especially for our friends.

But the Skinny Bitch thing set me off. The whole reason for the article was really because they included beer.

Bob 6:00 PM  

"I was mad at Skinny Bitch and many of the massively self-righteous vegans I know, who are fucking assholes about it."

You poor baby. Even though I cannot bring myself to be vegan, I realize it IS more healthy than the alternative.

BTW- "Skinny Bitch" is such a lame name. I know some seriously chunky vegetarians. My wife aint big, but she ain't no skinny bitch. She's got it where she needs it.

steves 8:01 AM  

Bob, there is plenty of evidence that eating moderate amounts of lean meat is healthy. I certainly won't tell others what they need to be eating, nor would any listen, but I will admit that the vegans that feel the need to act like "self-righteous assholes" are just as annoying as religious people that try to convert you. Both take the approach that they know what is best and that if you don't do what they do, you are harming yourself/going to hell.

Bob 8:26 AM  

"...but I will admit that the vegans that feel the need to act like "self-righteous assholes""

I know what you are saying, I guess I just never had to deal with those types.

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