The veg narcissist

This article hit home. In the last year, we've become those people, the obnoxious couple nobody knows how to feed. This statement particularly rankled: “Like a lot of chefs, I’m convinced that these diets are not always the results of the compromised immune systems of American diners, but their growing infantilism and narcissism."


Since we've gone veg for health reasons, we can't stand on the we-did-it-for-the-animals soapbox, though that's a not-insignificant plus. We also can't say we did it for environmental reasons, though arguably, less resources go to our care and feeding. Nope, it's all about us.

Or is it?

I get the foodie argument; food is one of the great pleasures. But does relying on meat make you a better cook or one who lacks industry and imagination?

Having spent the last year slicing, dicing and bleeding and variously failing and triumphing in pursuit of the flavorful vegan meal, I can say without hesitation that it's a lot more work than throwing a piece of chicken on the grill.

Yes, I'm bristling about the narcissim shot, but there's no judgment here for meat eaters. Really. We spent five decades loving ribs and hamburgers and fresh salmon, and in certain circumstances, continue to enjoy these things. Humans are omnivores. We succeeded as a species because of our dietary flexibility. But we are not carnivores. We don't need meat three times a day; we may not even need it three times a week. Who knows?

What we are is diverse. We have witnessed friends transform after giving up gluten. We've dropped pounds by eschewing meat (not that Nake-id IT needed to, good gravy, the man's a string bean). Other friends have thrived as Paleos.

In Colorado, dietary splintering has long been a fact of life. Almost 20 years ago, we included a vegetarian menu option at our wedding to accommodate veg friends and largely kosher family members. Today when we have guests, we often include a meat dish in the spirit of inclusivity but don't expect others to do likewise unless they're up for the adventure.

Does that make us narcissists? Or bad vegetarians?

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