Friday, October 30, 2009

Dinosaurs in my backyard

Sharp beaks and flat, red eyes greet me in the morning. Their gaze is so fierce and unrelenting. So far, they have not felt generous enough to produce beautiful blue and green eggs for Mr. Mendez and I to enjoy for big breakfast. Soon enough.
This idea of sustainability and self-sufficiency is quite appealing to me. It's such a bitch that the "green" movement has been taken over by profiteering morons. I get a lot of stupid responses from people when they learn that I am mostly vegetarian and have chickens. Sounds contradicting, I know. I think the number one stupid response I received to the vegetarian bit was at class the other night. I'm eating a veggie cheese steak sandwich (sans cheese) and K. asks me what kind of sandwich I'm eating. So, I say a cheese steak sandwich because I know better than to throw in the other adjective "veggie" unless I want to explain myself in detail. She probes, "What kind of meat is that? It looks like chicken." I say, "It's tofu." She curled her lip up, rolled her eyes, and scoffed. She turned to the person next to her, thinking I wasn't listening, and pointed to her canine teeth while saying, "See these? I have pointy teeth for tearing meat. I am a carnivore. I don't have flat, round teeth for vegetables." I responded with, "Just because one eats tofu does not mean they don't eat meat." when I wanted to say, "Uh, actually, we have both kinds of teeth because humans are omnivores, dumb ass. And, why interrupt my food to criticize it and give me ugly faces? Insert Shiloh's comment to Jeff in Grandma's Boy.
To clarify "mostly vegetarian", I should preface that I went totally vegan over a year and a half ago. Reading books started it and discovering new delicious foods propelled it. I understand that dietary choices are very personal and linked to the wonderful things that make us human, like family, tradition, and culture. This vegan "phase" was mostly an experiment to answer the "What do I eat?" question. My dad sees food as calories, my mom sees it as a source of pleasure in life, and my sister sees food as a power struggle. So, growing up, my experience with food was conflicting enough that the "What do I eat?" question remained unanswered. I know that this question will always beg to be re-examined (as all good questions do), but right now I feel confident in my approach that food should be a few things:
1. Real - meaning that it came from the Earth and required little scientific intervention. I am no nutritionist/botanist, but I am an eater, and from my experience as an eater I see a nasty connection between made up food and our malicious modern medical maladies, the most malicious of all, cancer.
2. Fresh - so fresh that I can see where it came from while I'm eating it.
The closer to Earth that my food is, the closer to Earth I am.