Vegan Deli

Vegan Deli  by Jo Stepaniak

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Raising Vegetarian Children
by Jo Stepaniak, M.S.Ed., & Vesanto Melina M.S., R.D.

Raising Vegetarian Children

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Pretending

Ah, yes. As children we were the great pretenders. When I went swimming, I'd keep my feet together and flop around like a mermaid. No, I was a mermaid. It didn't even bother me that I had to come up for air once in a while; after all, when mermaids were sunning themselves on the atolls was when mere mortal men saw them.

As a kid I was always somewhere else. Sometimes even in school, which didn't go over so well. My memories were that of a perfect childhood. It was always warm. I was always barefoot. It never rained. It was the early 70s and the air was clean and sex was dirty.

Thirty years have passed since then and times have changed. My feet are always cold. I never go barefoot because the gravel hurts and the grass is full of duck poop. I live in Washington and it always rains. It is 2001 and enough said.

But I still pretend.

Once I learned the meat lingo, I discovered that "beef" means "cow", "pork" is "pig", "poultry" is "chicken" and foul is what eating duck is. I banned them from my diet. Some things you can't imagine your way out of.

But I still pretend.

After thirty years of meat consumption, I find myself with many of the effects that go along with it and I'm pretending all the way. My cholesterol count is high, but within "normal" limits. I'm 30 lbs overweight, but that's just genetics. I don't look larger than a size 12 as I wear a size 16 because I can no longer squash myself into a size 14. That's why mermaids went skinny-dipping.

Now I have a more realistic imagination. Now I eat a balanced vegan diet. How many peas can be wedged between spinach leaves when I create lone, green mountain on my plate where oil and vinegar pool like tarns? It is a pastoral plate where baby corns rest peacefully on the slopes and nestle next to sunflower seeds. "Balanced" means how can I get this salad back to my table without causing an avalanche. "Diet" means I still have 30 lbs to lose, but I pretend a lifestyle change is one of my true motivators.

I wish I were a mermaid.

Susan S.
Washington

- n e x t   e s s a y -


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Vegan Vittles:
Second Helpings

Vegan Vittles: Second Helpings by Jo Stepaniak

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The Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook

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Review by Dan Balogh

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The Food Allergy
Survival Guide

The Food Allergy Survival Guide

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