It’s Lifestyle, Not Diet, But One Key Question Remains Unanswered
I have a friend, Shannon, who is a vegan.
I happen to like cheeseburgers but that’s not the point here. The point is that when we were out one night I finally learned what a vegan is thanks to her.
I had long assumed it was someone who did not eat meat. A vegetarian. The word “vegan,” I thought, was one of those odd L.A., twists to the word. After all, there are several of them here in Los Angeles (PV for Palos Verdes, GU for “geographically undesirable” and so forth).
So you can imagine my surprise when she explained to me what is the the difference in a vegan and a vegetarian.
A vegan is someone who does not eat any product from any animal. This includes things like cheese (which automatically excludes me from ever being a part of this group), eggs and such. Some diehards won’t even drink certain wines because it’s filtered through animal bones.
A vegetarian is someone who does not eat meat but does eat products produced from animals.
Another myth she debunked about both was that vegans and vegetarians eat fish. That’s not necessarily true. A vegan eats nothing from any animal and a vegetarian may or may not, depending on their level of commitment.
Things get a bit complicated at this point because apparently there are different levels of each and I’ll spare you the boring breakdowns.
Now here’s another myth that she poked holes in – like Swiss cheese, haha! I assumed she was a vegan to live a healthy lifestyle. But then she said she eats Oreo cookies. But wait – they have milk in them, right!? Surely the center white thing is made of milk, right?
“Oh no, it’s all chemicals, baby,” she said.
This had me really scratching my head until she said a lot of vegans are vegans not for health reasons but because (like her), they are opposed to the treatment of animals and using them as a food source. So for her and others, it’s a mental thing, not a heath thing.
Being an inquisitive journalist, I found all this interesting and educational. But only up to a point. She is forever trying to get me to eat vegan, to replace meat with some vegan substitute.
“Oh come on, it tastes the same,” she pleads.
“But,” I say in protest, “if I want to eat something that tastes like a cheeseburger then I want a real cheeseburger!”
There is one thing I certainly cannot figure out about vegans and vegetarians. And this is how this post now becomes the dumb guy’s guide to vegans and vegetarians.
How is it that vegans and vegetarians get enough fuel to beef up their bodies, so to speak?
For instance, if Shannon doesn’t eat meat, how come her breasts are so large? One look at her in this area and you would naturally assume she consumes mass quantities of some things that add to the development of this part of the female body. (Then again, maybe it’s those Oreo cookies, ha.)
Of course, I can’t figure out how gigantic animals like elephants, zebras, buffalo and rhinoceros get so big just eating grass and leaves, either.
Rather than spending the time trying to research the answer to these questions, I’ll spend my time doing something more constructive. Plus, the place down the street is about to open and they make terific cheeseburgers.