So the big news to people in the foodie/blog world is that Oprah is going vegan for some length of time.
With a personal chef to whip up grilled tofu on watercress with chestnut/pomegrante foam or whatever, it shouldn't be that big of a deal to her. Let's face it, a lot of us would make different choices if we didn't have to work to put them in action. So for now, color me unimpressed.
Here's what I don't get about Oprah - not that we can truly know what her life is like, but she appears to be beautiful, successful, confident, and wealthy beyond measure from her own talents and acumen. Why is she always looking for something life-changing? If I had a life like that I would fight and claw to the bloody death to keep anyone from changing one single thing about it.
And here's what I don't get about veganism - the point. Life is high-maintenance enough, isn't it? Vegetarianism and I are long-time friends who meet regularly for dinner with little likelihood of a commitment. I understand that some people have ethical issues with eating animals and, while I don't share that concern, I understand it. And I understand that some folks just plain feel better and healthier with a meatless diet.
But veganism? Why no animal products? A cow that needs to be milked is an unhappy cow. Chickens lay eggs - they just do, and they have since the Dawn of Chicken. Or the Dawn of Egg. I'm not taking sides.
Veganism seems like an unnecessary lifelong Iron Chef challenge of trying to turn a dried apricot and six kernels of corn into a cookie - despite having a supermarket within 3 blocks. My one experience with an actual vegan was the co-worker who faked horror that the Italian restaurant we all went to for lunch used cheese and butter, and he sulked in the corner with his pile of carrot sticks. Programmer. Pretty feisty for someone with no B-12 in his diet.
Oh, and that reminds me - vegetarian dog food. The hell? If a dog comes upon a rabbit eating a carrot, it's going to charge after the rabbit. Every. Single. Time. And not because Mr. Bunny wasn't sharing the goods. That's just as true of the feral dingo as it is of the Volvo-riding, NPR-listening pooch. I have one of the latter and she would like a pork chop, hold the green beans.
Disclosure - I don't eat red meat or shellfish. I lived in West Africa for a while and there was not a single cow roaming the tropical rain forest, so I declined all offers of "hamburger." Every Peace Corps volunteer told me that, after not eating red meat for so long, it makes one ill to start eating it again. Since I didn't miss it I didn't bother - and that was in 1989. As for the shellfish, I seem to be the world's only Italian with a shellfish allergy...