Kids Gone…Vegan

Kids, what’s the matter with kids these days…

Probably nothing, as the same question was asked about us in our halcyon youth…and depending on your point of view, we turned out ok.

Naturally, as the world is a different place than it was say 50 years ago, it seems perfectly reasonable that the perspectives of our children, and grandchildren for those so fortunate, will be different from ours. I don’t pretend to understand life during the depression of the 30s any more than my kids would understand life in the 60s. We all get our turn at the wheel.

This also applies to what we choose to eat.

I am an unreconstructed omnivore, raised in the wilds of that commercial wonderland, or wasteland if you prefer, of my youth, and as such, have a deep affinity for all that is sweet, sour, and salty in its glory, both natural and unnatural—life in these United States cannot be lived, without having been influenced by the cacophony of advertising blasted at us uninterrupted for all the years I’ve been alive. Consequently, I am a sucker for the following: burgers, pizza, fried chicken, mac and cheese, faux Mexican, Italian, Chinese; you name it.

I’ve also developed a taste for fine dining, have always liked salads and vegetables, fruits, and baked goods. I am, in short, a gourmand for my times. And as far as I can tell, it has not harmed me overly; remember I said as far as I know. Here in the land of all that is chemically composed, what we don’t know…you know.

Thus it does not bode well for me when one of my offspring and his delightful better half inform me that they have taken to becoming vegans; I, of the double bacon cheeseburger. In my fervid mind, the land of beans beckon. (My first encounter with the vegan diet occurred many years ago and the meal consisted almost exclusively of beans in their many iterations.) Consequently, trepidation did fill my heart.

Turns out, it was even worse than I could have imagined. What they fed me was, to be frank, really good. Tasty.

And I would eat it again.

In truth, there was no reason to assume it would not be flavorful. Having grown up in the wide world of cuisine, my son and his wife were conversant with good food and the understanding that it didn’t have to include animal proteins. Many cuisines are vegetable based, Indian for instance. But this here is America, where as my good friend and songwriter Benny Lee would sing, we live for “burgers, BBQ, and steak.”

So, in some respects, I get to have it both ways: a stand-up guy for the planet when in the company of my delightful children, and a reprobate stuffing his face with all kinds of terrible (but terribly tasty) fare when I’m not. My only beef (wink wink), as it were, is the need to replicate meat meals without meat, say a “pulled pork” sandwich made of dragon fruit. It’s not pork!

It’s my problem and I’ll deal with it.

Happy New Year.

©2021 David William Pearce

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