I got a Tofurky!

tofurky.jpgTomorrow is Thanksgiving, so I’m going to do my once-a-year bit about being a vegetarian, which is something I hope all you meat-eaters will try out someday for yourselves.

First off, I’ve been a vegetarian since 1997, and I don’t plan on going back to eating meat. Although I probably pay more attention to animal welfare than most, I can honestly say that it was economic reasons that attracted me to vegetarianism first.

Simply put, meat production is an inefficient use of plant and water resources, which are used for livestock before the livestock can be fed to humans. I’m sure there are varying statistics for those of you interested in the exact numbers, but the main idea is that as long as there are starving human beings, it makes very little sense to use food resources inefficiently.

For all of you who urge your children to clean up their plate, or are upset to see the amount of food wasted by restaurants and groceries, please consider this as a good reason to give vegetarianism a shot.

Next up– the questions nearly everyone asks me… Yes, I feel healthy. Within a month or so of kicking meat out of my diet, I could feel a real improvement in my general health. I’ve never been sickly, so I’m not talking about a miracle cure here– just an overall betterment that I could notice. Having not considered vegetarianism for health reasons, I found this a surprising bonus. For the record, I’m also still shopping at the big and tall store.

Yes, my kids have been raised vegetarian. Aside from a couple mistakes involving eggs and sausage, my children have never eaten meat. As my long, sleepless nights will attest, they have energy to burn, and suffer no negative effects from the lack of meat in their diet. I have made it perfectly clear to my daughter that her diet is her business, should she eventually choose to be a meat-eater. However, I have also made it perfectly clear that my pots, pans, utensils, stove, microwave, and fridge are not available for any meat products she cares to purchase on her own should that day arrive.

Yes, I do occasionally miss eating meat. I always loved having a big country-style breakfast with sausage, eggs, bacon, etc… and although I didn’t often have it, I always enjoyed seafood. Oddly enough, I miss braunschweiger/tomato/mayo sandwiches the most. On the other hand, I have no good argument why the desire of my gut should dictate the death of any creature, and I’m disappointed that this is often the final argument of those resistant to a vegetarian lifestyle.

“I love me a good steak,” carries about as much weight with me as “I have faith that god is real.” If you have any convincing argument why these both aren’t useless arguments, feel free to leave them in the comments section.

Lastly, (and finally getting to this entry’s title) I got a Tofurky. For one of my first vegetarian Thanksgivings, my wife and I had a picture of a turkey at our otherwise-bountiful table. Every year, we joke about tofurky, but I wasn’t sure where to get one in my area… or even had money to purchase much food at all. This year is no different in the money category, but we still managed to scrape up enough for a lovely feast on the big day– a genuine Tofurky roast, apple-dumplings, stuffing, mashed potatoes, corn-on-the-cob, green beans, chocolate pie, and cokes.

I can’t wait!

Oh and hey, let’s hear a big cheer for running your own Thanksgiving. Growing up, Thanksgiving was always marred by a few things: brussels sprouts, jello salad, green bean casserole, and yams/sweet potatoes. YUCK!

Anyways, have a happy Thanksgiving! –DaveX

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4 Responses to “I got a Tofurky!”

  1. Ms. S Says:

    What do you have against Jello salad?! I have an awesome recipe – orange Jello, mandarin oranges, and then use orange sherbet instead of cold water. Turns out like a Creamsicle – kids love it. However, I second your opinions on the sprouts, casserole, and yams. Blech.

    Anyway, I’m clueless about the tofurky business. The tofu I’ve had has been kind of white, wiggly, and bland – I will admit it was probably just poorly executed. Mostly it was in stir-fries back in college. So I’m wondering – do you shape it like a turkey, or is that way too cheesy? Color it somehow? What spices do you add to it? Because I know it must be way better than my college experience. Post some pictures for those of us who are out of it, but curious! :)

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours, by the way – take care!

  2. Zeno Izen Says:

    Say it ain’t so, Dave! You know, I don’t bother debate the vegetarian issue much, despite the fact that it seems that half of the people I associate with don’t eat meat. The thing is, I haven’t ever really managed to get a clear understanding of what the vegetarian premises are.

    Best I can tell they have something to do with environmental issues, health issues, and human and animal rights issues. Still, I haven’t seen any evidence that eating a reasonable amount of meat or animal products really affects any of these things at all.

    Consider a calorie-to-calorie comparison of the transportation, storage and refrigeration of ground beef to beans. Replace an ounce of meat, per day for the stretch of one man’s lifetime, with the caloric equivalent of beans, and I don’t think the total use of resources change all that much. The nutritional effects do change dramatically, however.

    The human brain needs the full spectrum of proteins to function properly. It’s far easier to get these proteins from eggs and fish than from beans and rice. And if meat is eaten in moderate portions, coupled with good fiber intake, there really aren’t any serious health risks.

    On top of that, soy products are heavily laden with plant estrogens, which aren’t necessarily very good for us.

    With regards to human rights issues, problems of production inefficiencies are better addressed by getting our foods from more local sources. It’s the transportation and overscaling that cause the real problems in our food economies, resulting in inequitable distribution. Eating less meat helps nothing if you get all your vegetables from South America.

    Now, if the issue comes down to whether we ought to be killing animals for our sustenance, I would say that this is the order of nature. This is not a logically valid argument _against_ vegetarianism, of course. It is, though, a fair place to draw the line in support of the choice to continue eating meat. We have evolved with meat as part of our diets. Meat fortifies the human body. I would not ask any human being to discontinue the consumption of meat any more than I would ask the same of a cat or a coyote.

    But, you know, to each their own. And if you ain’t goin eat ’em sweepataters, scrape ’em off onna my plate.

    Happy belated txgvnday.

  3. Christie Says:

    How did the tofurky turn out??
    I’m looking forward to my Holiday tofurky… mmmm!!!

  4. I’m back! (A Quick-Start Guide to DaveX) | Startling Moniker Says:

    […] tapes, reading, and circuit-bending. I make noisy things (and sometimes, I sell them!) I’m a vegetarian. I like comic books, photobooths, and kung-fu movies. Dee Snider saved my life, and I will happily […]

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