at least meat you can eat

I’m at Pure Food and Wine, drunk, as per usual, and it gets to the point where I interrupt my date with “hold that thought.”  I can’t hold it anymore.  I lean in, asking him, “Where’s the bathroom?”  Even though instinct would have lead me to the answer… because there’s something about him that makes me want to lean in.  I love that as I type this, I can smell him in my hair.  God, I love that.  He asks the bartender, with his hand on the small of my back.  I listen, and on the walk toward the back, I repeat, “to the right”  as if it’s a yoga mantra that will bring me through to the next power move.  When I go right, I’m greeted, not with a bathroom man and A-line skirt of a woman—universal symbols—but with a photo of a cow on one door, and a bull on the other.  Shit, damn, this is insulting.  I’m at a vegan restaurant, where their idea of lasagna involves pine nuts and jicama instead of cheese.  I’m sorry, that’s like serving jello and passing it off as a chocolate soufflé. Um, sorry, what?  At this vegan restaurant, I’m left only to identify with a bull or a cow?  I mean, an asparagus spear and a blooming artichoke, maybe.  Overall, any of the above are a bad user experience.  I’m sorry, where am I?

Vegetarians, whether you believe it or not, are fat sows.  You wouldn’t think so given the whole vegetable thing, right?  No, they eat pasta, fried, and anything parmesan.  Yeah, right, falafel.  Fried chickpea balls.  They eat balls, call themselves vegetarians, and give you a narrow eye because you say “medium rare.”  That’s what I call, “blow me.”  I’m just sayin’.  This Fresh Foods invites its vegan visitors, a.k.a. fataterians, to pee in a room with a cow on the door.  There’s something just wrong with a raw food (we don’t exceed 118 degrees) restaurant with artwork of mallards, cows, and bulls.  "Yes, the animals we save are our heros."  Oh no she di-ant.  "So we place the art of our heros on the walls."  Okay, Mighty Mouse or Underdog, maybe, but "our heros?"  Excuse me while I go vomit some pine nuts.  And, the ladies room is a fcuking cow?  Talk about a complex!  Then, you’re there, kind of drunk in the bathroom, wondering how long you’ve been there because the drunk in you is in the slow reading group, and he might kiss your hand, so you better wash it while you’re in the cow room.  So you do.  That’s how much you like him.  Still, you refuse to eat and move toward the ham bar next door.  “Oh, Bar Jamon?  Yes please.”  Vegetarians now scare me.  And please, I’ve paid my dues.  As a vegetarian for nine years, I’ve been there and got fat on that.  Do us all a favor and use the pointy teeth God gave you. 

COMMENTS:

  1. Cows and Bulls – that's kinda funny on a bathroom door. That's a wry observation about the composition of vegetarian food. I used to be a vegetarian, way back in 1989. I eschewed animal products for bean sprouts, mixed greens, felafel, vegetarian eggrolls, stirfries, lasagnas, and veggie burgers. Seems like an eternity ago. Veganism as you write, is even more extreme.

    Now I eat steak, lamb, fish, chicken, but not pork or veal. I tend to shop at Whole Foods where the quality of food is better and one can trust the origin of their meat, poultry, fish, and produce. I'll take my Niman Ranch or Coleman Beef and my wild (non-farmed) sushi grade fish prepared medium rare. Organic fruits and vegetables do taste better as well, though I don't see myself heading back to the extremes of 1989 style eating anytime soon.

  2. there is no reason for vegetarians to be any fatter than the meat eater next to them. its a simple concept: if you take in more calories than you burn off, you will gain weight. doesnt matter if its fried chickpeas, or chicken fried steak. i think people consistently look for an excuse for why they are fat. Eating low fat and healthy is an option regardless of whether you are a carnivore or grass eater. its all about self control (and namely portion control), and an understanding of nutrition, and it doesnt help if you expend your energy exercising rather than bitching about how the particular diet you have chosen has made you a sow (and by you i mean anyone who takes this approach).

    anyone who is a health conscious vegetarian realizes that a hard ball (with the same texture as anything fried, if its crispy it wont keep you wispy) that leaves an oil stain on your plate probably isnt the low cal option. just like when you are staring at the bowl of hummus, and realize that there is a half cup of oil sittingin the middle of it. the sow rips off a bigger piece of pita bread in hopes of being able to soak up as much oil as possible. the healthy eater carefully avoids much of the oil while realizing that eating an entire basket of pita bread JUST MIGHT make a guy or gal fat.

  3. Spot on Stephanie, in a disgruntled drunkard way. Vegans, like most zealots, are more interested in setting themselves apart than they are healthful living. Not that there's anything wrong with grains and veggies…

    The cow/bull thing? Maybe they meant to be whimsical, but my take is that it's playing into all them dang sexual stereotypes.

    I hope you managed to release your annoyance before you got back to your date. How'd that turn out? You kind of left us hanging…

  4. What's with the whole "guess which bathroom to go in" thing. I hate that. When I gotta pee, I gotta pee and I don't want to be guessing which bathroom is mine. I was recently in Mexico and a restaurant I was at had a weird looking flower on one door and a spear on the other. What's up with that? I know it's an obvious one but come on….

  5. Actually, the name of the restaurant is Pure Food And Wine. Although it is a raw food restaurant I wouldn't consider their clientele to be primarily vegan or even vegetarian – so your little rant seems rather…pointless.

    Also, I think perhaps you missed the joke – if you look around the reataurant you will notice that all of the photos / art depict animals that are often considered food.

  6. I only eat chicken. No red meat. Occassional fish. Yet, I am constantly reminded of the comment my father once made, "Why in the hell would you eat chicken over steak! Chickens eat their own shit." I simply do not like the texture of steak and how it seems to expand as you chew. Yet, chicken and shit sounds much worse.

    I second the observation that unless you are Gweneth Paltrow and eat only lentils, you will gain weight on a no meat diet. I did. Then again, I think it is lack of education on "balancing out your diet" that I lack…

    Nonetheless, this post was commical and charming in a way that only you Ms Klein can capture.

    xx Island Girl

  7. I have several vegan friends and have been to parties with them…it is true that they are gassier (and more potent gas at that) than the average Joe. It doesn't help that they don't like to wear deodorant either though.

    Bohemians = stinkers

  8. I assume the above post was a drunken attempt at humor? Because if not, it was quite tasteless and mean.

  9. Isn't vegan/vegetarian gas twice as bad as normal person gas? I heard that somewhere. I don't know, really. I live in Chicago, the "City of Broad Shoulders". Veggies live in fear here, much like Charleton Heston in Omega Man.

  10. No, it's true. Vegans have stinkier farts – common knowledge.

    It's OK – everybody poops.

  11. loved the post – this week i had my first burger in years, to which my friend said, "welcome back!" (it was delicious.)

  12. Nice drunk post. I think I'm going the other way. More open minded about the veggies out there. Used to have no tolerance for them when I owned the restaurant. Now, am appreciating the concept much more. Moderation, I always say.

  13. You may gain weight on a no-meat diet (almost all junk foods are meat-free, anyway) but being a vegan is ENTIRELY different.

    Most of the vegans I know are wiry and spare. Most junk foods do have dairy products, and the vegans I know aren't big on junk food, anyway. If you can't eat anything but lentils, beans, rice, vegetables, fruits, other assorted crudites… you're probably not gonna gorge yerself. And all that fiber takes some digestin'.

    Not that I'm a vegan, or even a vegetarian, for that matter… but from what I've heard on the vegetarian front, meat-eaters' feces smells far worse than vegetarians', and they poop more often and for longer periods of time…

    Quote: "I was waiting for him to get out of the bathroom, and he was probably a meat-eater, so it was gonna take a while…"

  14. I've seen fat vegetarians. I've also seen those who commit to stop eating meat and then gorge themselves on a loaf of bread piled high with peanut butter or eat pasta with fatty sauces and veggies of course! It's all in how and what you eat, calories consumed, etc. White bread metabolizes faster because the body doesn't know what to do with it, so it turns it into sugar which turns it into fat, same with white flour pasta. Whole grains metabolize slower because it takes longer to break down the fiber. Some of those who claim to have turned vegetarian without knowledge of nutrition will eat pancakes laden with syrup and butter, skip the sausage/bacon and maybe the eggs and scoff down a 16 oz. glass of orange juice to wash down their toast and on the way home, grab a triple latte or a mochachino and maybe a couple of those cookies that are 6 inches in diameter. Well, as long as they aren't eating meat, then everything else is fair game, right? The almost always replace meat with fat, and fat is fat, regardless of whether it comes as stick of butter or from olives. Although one is more nutritionally sound than the other. And they wonder why they've gained weight.

    I'm a vegetarian not by choice, but for health and medical reasons. I know my nutrition. I know how to eat and when to eat. I know what's good for me and what's not (and yes, I do fall off the wagon every so often). AND…. I'm one of the few people on earth who can eat beans without the noisy after effects!!! And I use my pointy teeth for pleasures other than food. Heh heh…

  15. Stephanie, had you been a healthy vegetarian, it would have been impossible to be fat, gain weight, not feel great. Check your facts before generalizing, then bashing an entire group. Many of us are just watching out for our own health and well-being. This hardly elevates us to a higher moral platform than does a non-smoker versus a smoker or a non-drug user versus and addict. It's a lifestyle choice and one that more people should consider given the horrendous weight issues exclusive to North Americans.

    Get your cholesterol checked, go for a run, then start your critique.

  16. Cows are vegans. Cows are fat. Elephants too.

    I am the number one result if you google "veganism is fucking retarded". And I never even wrote anything about vegans.

    The lord moves in mysterious ways. What a homo.

  17. I take your post as it was: a drunken rant. And that's fine. That's cool. But I do have to point out one thing (and I assume you already know this and were just trying to be funny):

    Our "pointy" teeth are not actually "canine" teeth. True canine teeth are long, pointed, and sharp, and are designed to rip and tear through flesh/hide. Humans could not hunt down a deer and tear through the hide and raw meet with our measely little points. Do five seconds of research and you'll find out.

    Fat is fat is fat. I think our disgusting food culture is to blame for fat meat eaters or fat vegetarians.

    In addition, I'm sorry to say it says something about your character if you were a vegetarian for nine years (as you claim) and then stopped just because you were tempted by one chicken nugget. Loss of control is never flattering, especially when it leads to an all-out surrender of conviction.

  18. Jenny, I was a vegetarian for 9 years, but you don't know WHY. Don't go assuming it was because of some moral conviction on my part. Moreover, it was a choice, not loss of control.

  19. I've gotta agree with Stephanie on this one Jenny — not all vegetarians chose to be vegetarians for moral reasons. I ate no meat (incl. fish and poultry) for about ten years, but not for any sort of moral compulsion, I just didn't like it that much and it grossed me out. I was super-thin, and decided I needed a bit more "meat" on my bones so slowly made myself eat it again. No loss of control there whatsoever. So relax on the judgment already.

    On a related note, what is up with comments (I've seen these type before) that critique either improper spelling, "lack of research," etc. This is a blog, who is going to research the correct clinical definition for "canine" teeth?? Good god.

  20. I am born and brought up as a vegetarian, which is common in India. I really do not understand the whole theory of vegetarians being fatter than meat-eaters, the fattest people I have seen are in the U.S. (aka The Carnivore Jungle), where people hardly get Vegetarian food.

    You took the decision to become a meat-eater again, you are entitled to do that. But the reasons you are giving for the switch is at best illogical.

  21. Veganism:

    "Lasagna without meat is a good meal. Lasagna without meat and cheese is a hate crime."

    -Jonah Goldberg

  22. Born and raised for 11 yrs. in Communist Romania (that's pre-1989, but post 1944). If we could find ANY kind of meat, it was cow's brains, pig's feet (is that a meat?), chicken feet (used for what? Perhaps some nasty spells you wanted put on someone), and occasionally "mountain oysters" (I think they're called here).

    So…uh yea. No chance of being vegetarian for me. I told God a long time ago: Look, I've eaten my fair share of cow's tongue and bull's balls. I'm buying this fucking T-Bone steak and that's the end of it.

  23. yeah, vegans are such _zealots_! How dare they not eat all the same stuff everyone else does? Especially since there's only one reason to not eat meat– so you can rub everyone else's face in it, and gorge on fried stuff.

    Luckily, all non-vegetarians and non-vegans are svelte and never put any strange signs on bathroom doors.

    I know, I know. These things make more sense after a few drinks.

  24. Not all vegans are zealots, though lots of non-vegans are zealous.

    Nothing like a little generalization to ruin things.

  25. so i was reading some of your older stuff and wow, your a total bitch! you officially turned me off from your blog for good. how can you say that vegetarians are fat…take a fukcing look around at this country and the majority of obese people are NOT vegetarians. i've been veggie my whole life and very fit and healthy and probably don't have the same fukced up obsession with weight that you have. also, when i was vegan for two years i lost ten pounds…by the way, read an f'ing book on vegetarianism/veganism and you'll find that there are amazing health benefits.
    one more thing, unlike the meat eaters i know, i've never spent more than a few minutes on the toilet

  26. thanks you so much for share this, so helpul

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