Can Conservatives be Vegans? —TeeGee

 

I am pretty much just a lurker here, but I’m going to take my cloak of invisibility off for a moment.

DocJay had a thread a few days ago about diet and health weirdness. My confession: my wife and I lean toward being vegans. While she would prefer to embrace veganism entirely, I still enjoy meat from time to time.

Here’s the thing: I find I feel better when I keep meat consumption minimal. I feel mentally sharper and in better control. I also feel more energetic, focused, and productive when my diet is more Spartan than Epicurean. 

Switching to a near-vegan diet did not lead to spiritual enlightenment. It did not clear up my complexion, make me happier, or produce any dramatic changes at all. It simply seems right.

There are two extreme points of view regarding veganism, both of which frankly bug me. 

First: yes, absolutely, there is an abundance of left-wing nut jobs who eat vegan and who insist on calling it the “vegan movement.” I’ve met any number of vegans who insist their diet is a pathway to enlightenment. That’s not me. Food is just fuel for my body. If there is any spiritual component to my diet, it comes from the company I keep when I eat. I might be nuts, but I am emphatically not left-wing, new age nuts. Nor am I particularly given to evangelizing about eating vegan.

Second: A lot of people on the right seem to think that people who prefer eating fruits and vegetables can’t possibly be conservative.

I am a conservative and I generally prefer meatless meals. It’s got nothing to do with my spiritual, political and philosophical convictions. It’s just about what works for me.

So can conservatives be vegans? What do you think?

Invisibility cloak back on.

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  1. Misthiocracy Member
    Misthiocracy
    @Misthiocracy

    Foxman: But mostly the proscriptions are on cutting hair, which can be anti-hygiene.

    Which is, of course, why I specified “sometimes”.

    ;-)

    • #31
  2. Midget Faded Rattlesnake Contributor
    Midget Faded Rattlesnake
    @Midge

    Tuck:

    Jains deduced the existence of microbes thousands of years ago… Interesting folk.

    Yes. As far as I’m concerned, their speculations compare favorably to other ancients’.

    Misthiocracy:

    Hygiene is a pretty big topic in most ancient religions, seeing as the were found before modern sanitation and medicine. A proscription on certain hairstyles may be a reflection of hygiene requirements in the religion’s region of origin. Sometimes.

    I wonder if that partly explains why many orders of monks and nuns throughout history have cut or shaved their hair. Maintaining hair hygiene without modern plumbing and shampoos is a rather time-consuming distraction from ascetic pursuits, and lice can spread quickly in institutional settings such as monasteries.

    • #32
  3. Kim K. Inactive
    Kim K.
    @KimK

    Of course you can be a Conservative vegan. It’s the other side that has made food choices a matter of ideology – “You’re eating non-organic corn?? Don’t you know what Monsanto is doing in Third World countries?? And didn’t you watch that YouTube clip about chicken factories?? Do you want to eat chicken after seeing all those sad chicken faces?? Pigs have the right to the pursuit of happiness, too, you know – how does your eating bacon make you feel about that??”

    • #33
  4. user_1938 Inactive
    user_1938
    @AaronMiller

    Merina Smith: It is interesting to me how food has become a moral flash point these days. […]

    Hedonism. In a materialistic society, physical health takes priority over spiritual health. Physical pleasure, physical pain, and physical purity are all given undue weight and attention.

    Then there’s the notion that animals are people, too… or something. 

    I will only object to conservatives abandoning red meat if the decreased demand results in decreased supply. 

    • #34
  5. Misthiocracy Member
    Misthiocracy
    @Misthiocracy

    Kim K.: Pigs have the right to the pursuit of happiness, too, you know – how does your eating bacon make you feel about that??”

    Prove to me that the pig I just ate was unhappy.

    • #35
  6. EJHill Podcaster
    EJHill
    @EJHill

    Tuck:

    You have no idea. Let me introduce you to Marion Nestle…

     Idiocy does not make it so.

    • #36
  7. user_517406 Inactive
    user_517406
    @MerinaSmith

    Aaron Miller:

    Merina Smith: It is interesting to me how food has become a moral flash point these days. […]

    Hedonism. In a materialistic society, physical health takes priority over spiritual health. Physical pleasure, physical pain, and physical purity are all given undue weight and attention.

    Then there’s the notion that animals are people, too… or something.

    I will only object to conservatives abandoning red meat if the decreased demand results in decreased supply.

     That’s no doubt part of it Aaron, but there is a moral dimension for many of them because they connect it with sustainability too, along with the save-the-animals aspect.  I think it’s misguided, but it’s a little more than hedonism and self-worship.  

    • #37
  8. Son of Spengler Contributor
    Son of Spengler
    @SonofSpengler

    You’re all out of your mind. Maybe those ChiComs can eat twigs and sprouts and things, and those cheese-eating surrender monkeys in France only play pansy games like soccer. But here in ‘Murica, we love our Nascar, our beer, and our Texas beef. You can’t bulk up to play a real game like football without meat and potatoes. Go enjoy your hot cocoa in Canada, pajama boy.

    • #38
  9. Misthiocracy Member
    Misthiocracy
    @Misthiocracy

    Son of Spengler: Go enjoy your hot cocoa in Canada, pajama boy.

    Typical American. Always dumping yer effeminate refuse on a true Conservative nation.

    ;-)

    • #39
  10. Midget Faded Rattlesnake Contributor
    Midget Faded Rattlesnake
    @Midge

    Misthiocracy:

    Kim K.: Pigs have the right to the pursuit of happiness, too, you know – how does your eating bacon make you feel about that??”

    Prove to me that the pig I just ate was unhappy.

    I can’t prove it, but would you be happy if you were castrated?

    Anyhow, male piglets are routinely castrated to avoid boar taint, a sweaty, urinous flavor that can accumulate in male pigs if their sex hormones are allowed to develop naturally. Now, given that livestock are usually prohibited from breeding, aside from the few that are selected as studs, maybe it  is  kinder to castrate them rather than leaving them sexually frustrated.

    But the European Union begs to differ, and appears to have a plan for ending surgical castration of pigs by 2018. One of their initiatives is called “Boars Heading for 2018”.

    • #40
  11. Douglas Inactive
    Douglas
    @Douglas

    Depends on why they’re doing it. If it’s just a matter of doing it for possible health benefits, sure. If it’s because you think “meat is murder” and all that PETA rot, no.

    • #41
  12. Misthiocracy Member
    Misthiocracy
    @Misthiocracy

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake: I can’t prove it, but would you be happy if you were castrated?

    I’m not a pig.

    • #42
  13. user_138562 Moderator
    user_138562
    @RandyWeivoda

    I don’t find it odd if a conservative is a vegan or vegetarian.  I should warn any vegetarians coming to the Fargo Meetup at Famous Dave’s Barbecue, though, you’ll probably want to eat before you get there.  That place is a meatopolis.  I really should have branded the gathering as the Fargo Meat-Up.

    • #43
  14. Misthiocracy Member
    Misthiocracy
    @Misthiocracy

    Randy Weivoda:

    I don’t find it odd if a conservative is a vegan or vegetarian. I should warn any vegetarians coming to the Fargo Meetup at Famous Dave’s Barbecue, though, you’ll probably want to eat before you get there. That place is a meatopolis. I really should have branded the gathering as the Fargo Meat-Up.

    Quick Tip: If you ever throw a barbecue and you want it to be vegetarian-friendly, try serving gluten instead of tofu.  It’s much more meat-like, and you get the added benefit that you’ll still offend a good proportion of ’em.

    • #44
  15. user_138562 Moderator
    user_138562
    @RandyWeivoda

    Misthiocracy:

    Quick Tip: If you ever throw a barbecue and you want it to be vegetarian-friendly, try serving gluten instead of tofu. It’s much more meat-like.

    You can buy blocks of gluten?  I thought gluten was just a protein in wheat, rye, and barley.  I’d never heard of anyone isolating gluten as a stand-alone food product.

    • #45
  16. Midget Faded Rattlesnake Contributor
    Midget Faded Rattlesnake
    @Midge

    Randy Weivoda:

    Misthiocracy:

    Quick Tip: If you ever throw a barbecue and you want it to be vegetarian-friendly, try serving gluten instead of tofu. It’s much more meat-like.

    You can buy blocks of gluten? I thought gluten was just a protein in wheat, rye, and barley. I’d never heard of anyone isolating gluten as a stand-alone food product.

    In China, they’ve used gluten as a meat substitute for a really long time, I understand. The old method of preparation involved slowly and painstakingly washing the starch away from a wad of gluten-rich dough after the gluten strands had been developed by kneading. I think.

    • #46
  17. Midget Faded Rattlesnake Contributor
    Midget Faded Rattlesnake
    @Midge

    Misthiocracy:

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake: I can’t prove it, but would you be happy if you were castrated?

    I’m not a pig.

    You could’ve fooled me ;-)

    • #47
  18. Misthiocracy Member
    Misthiocracy
    @Misthiocracy

    Randy Weivoda:

    Misthiocracy:

    Quick Tip: If you ever throw a barbecue and you want it to be vegetarian-friendly, try serving gluten instead of tofu. It’s much more meat-like.

    You can buy blocks of gluten? I thought gluten was just a protein in wheat, rye, and barley. I’d never heard of anyone isolating gluten as a stand-alone food product.

    Yup. I have bought it canned from asian groceries, where it might be called “seitan”, but usually I get it in powder form from the health food store. It’s sold mainly as an additive for bread-making, but I’ve made this recipe from time to time, which I really enjoy:

    http://www.food.com/recipe/homemade-seitan-barbecue-bbq-ribs-vegan-295097

    • #48
  19. Misthiocracy Member
    Misthiocracy
    @Misthiocracy

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake:

    Randy Weivoda:

    Misthiocracy:

    Quick Tip: If you ever throw a barbecue and you want it to be vegetarian-friendly, try serving gluten instead of tofu. It’s much more meat-like.

    You can buy blocks of gluten? I thought gluten was just a protein in wheat, rye, and barley. I’d never heard of anyone isolating gluten as a stand-alone food product.

    In China, they’ve used gluten as a meat substitute for a really long time, I understand. The old method of preparation involved slowly and painstakingly washing the starch away from a wad of gluten-rich dough after the gluten strands had been developed by kneading. I think.

    Yup. It isn’t nearly as popular as tofu because the process for isolating gluten tends to be expensive and wasteful if yer simply flushing all the starch down the drain.

    • #49
  20. Misthiocracy Member
    Misthiocracy
    @Misthiocracy

    For the record: I’m not vegetarian. I’m into soy and gluten because they make great, lightweight, meat substitutes when camping.

    • #50
  21. Midget Faded Rattlesnake Contributor
    Midget Faded Rattlesnake
    @Midge

    Misthiocracy:

    For the record: I’m not vegetarian. I’m into soy and gluten because they make great, lightweight, meat substitutes when camping.

    How quickly can you prepare a palatable gluten-powder meal? For us, speed of cooking (including cleanup) is the main concern while camping, both in terms of scheduling and fuel use. (We do fairly strenuous day hikes, but not backpacking.)

    • #51
  22. Kim K. Inactive
    Kim K.
    @KimK

    As to whether pigs are happy – I grew up around lots of pigs (not my family, the critters outside) and they didn’t seem to be particularly happy. They squeal a lot, which if you haven’t heard it you’d think would sound kind of cute, but it actually sounds like screaming. I have also heard that pigs are very intelligent, but from my recollection they were particularly and annoyingly stubborn. There’s a reason obstinate people are called pig-headed. I only saw my very mild-mannered dad lose his temper when working with pigs.

    • #52
  23. C. U. Douglas Thatcher
    C. U. Douglas
    @CUDouglas

    Misthiocracy:

    For the record: I’m not vegetarian. I’m into soy and gluten because they make great, lightweight, meat substitutes when camping.

    We always figured you had some sort of fatal Canadian flaw despite your usual conservative bona fides. We’re on to you now! (By we I mean me and the cat.) 

    • #53
  24. Misthiocracy Member
    Misthiocracy
    @Misthiocracy

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake:

    Misthiocracy:

    For the record: I’m not vegetarian. I’m into soy and gluten because they make great, lightweight, meat substitutes when camping.

    How quickly can you prepare a palatable gluten-powder meal? For us, speed of cooking (including cleanup) is the main concern while camping, both in terms of scheduling and fuel use. (We do fairly strenuous day hikes, but not backpacking.)

    Fast. Premix the dry ingredients. Add water or broth. Cook. Smother in barbecue sauce.

    That last step is especially important.

    • #54
  25. Misthiocracy Member
    Misthiocracy
    @Misthiocracy

    C. U. Douglas:

    Misthiocracy:

    For the record: I’m not vegetarian. I’m into soy and gluten because they make great, lightweight, meat substitutes when camping.

    We always figured you had some sort of fatal Canadian flaw despite your usual conservative bona fides. We’re on to you now! (By we I mean me and the cat.)

    My fatal Canadian flaw is that I don’t like hockey.

    • #55
  26. Misthiocracy Member
    Misthiocracy
    @Misthiocracy

    Kim K.: As to whether pigs are happy – I grew up around lots of pigs (not my family, the critters outside) and they didn’t seem to be particularly happy.

    Until you prove it, I’m gonna keep eating them.

    Probably afterwards as well, to be honest…

    • #56
  27. Midget Faded Rattlesnake Contributor
    Midget Faded Rattlesnake
    @Midge

    Kim K.:

    I have also heard that pigs are very intelligent, but from my recollection they were particularly and annoyingly stubborn.

    In my experience, intelligent people can be particularly and annoyingly stubborn, too. Difference between intelligence and wisdom.

    Smart animals can often make nuisances of themselves, since that extra intelligence helps them be more adept at finding ways to thwart human efforts to control them. It’s apparently not as easy as you’d think, for example, to raven-proof your belongings, as ravens are smart enough to figure out what zippers and velcro are for.

    • #57
  28. Kim K. Inactive
    Kim K.
    @KimK

    Misthiocracy:

    Kim K.: As to whether pigs are happy – I grew up around lots of pigs (not my family, the critters outside) and they didn’t seem to be particularly happy.

    Until you prove it, I’m gonna keep eating them.

    Probably afterwards as well, to be honest…

     What’s to prove? Anything that gives us bacon, ribs, chops, tenderloin should be glad for its contribution to the table.

    • #58
  29. Misthiocracy Member
    Misthiocracy
    @Misthiocracy

    Kim K.:

    Misthiocracy:

    Kim K.: As to whether pigs are happy – I grew up around lots of pigs (not my family, the critters outside) and they didn’t seem to be particularly happy.

    Until you prove it, I’m gonna keep eating them.

    Probably afterwards as well, to be honest…

    What’s to prove? Anything that gives us bacon, ribs, chops, tenderloin should be glad for its contribution to the table.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kcXYYuHOaMM

    • #59
  30. Sabrdance Member
    Sabrdance
    @Sabrdance

    Yes a Conservative can be a vegan.

    As a Kentuckian, though, I reject any implication that you can eat horse.*

    1.) It’s French (cheval)
    2.) Horses are hard working animals -eating one is like eating your mechanic
    3.) They are also friendly and charismatic animals who are partners with their owners in their tasks -like dogs.

    *(I’m actually not that broken up about horse consumption, if we raised horses for food like they do in France I’d probably not eat it, but I wouldn’t throw a fit, either.)

    • #60
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