I find it's generally only acceptable these days to make a case for vegetarianism/veganism by playing up the health benefits of animal-free dining, or the environmental toll of animal agriculture. These arguments appeal to logic and people tend to (kind of) listen, or at least not shut you down completely. (You mean there's something in it for ME? Do go on...) I'm usually happy to play that card, but today I'm feeling surly.
If you try to make a case for vegetarianism/veganism by bringing up the fact that we're dealing with living, breathing beings that are smarter than your dog, or your two year old kid, and that they're (unfortunately) just as sentient, people roll their eyes, tune out, and/or start talking over you. Oh she's a bleeding heart, she's divorced from reality. It's a dog eat dog world out there and life depends on death. It's natural. I only eat organic meat (Um, no you don't). Animals don't feel pain and besides, they don't understand what's happening...blah blah blah (I love that last one - if animals didn't feel and react similarly to humans, why would so many "scientists" be doing so many heinous psychological studies on animals?) Am I a big whiny bleeding heart, or are people calloused and disconnected to a troubling degree?
|Look, a cute sleepy kitty!|
When it comes to Eggs/Chickens/Turkeys, it's okay to say, "Hey man, your cholesterol is off the hook! (in a bad way) You know that eggs are cholesterol bombs, right? If you want to avoid the diarrhea, upset stomach, joint pain, tiredness, memory loss, confusion, yellow eyes, brown urine, nausea, vomiting, tendon problems and skin reactions that can be side effects from taking Lipitor, you should really cut down on the cholesterol you're unnecessarily consuming." It's not okay, however, to say all the bleeding-heart crap you'll find here, or that these animals are deprived of light, space, and the luxurious, species-specific behaviours of pecking, scratching, and walking around. Nor is it ok to say that they endure a great amount of stress, suffering, and fear while they're pumped full of hormones and antibiotics so that they can grow at such a rate that their legs can't support their bodies and their hearts and lungs give out. (Which, by the way, kind of beats the shit out of the "it's natural" argument, now doesn't it?)
And then there's Tuna. It's okay to say, "You should really think about eating less tuna because we've polluted the crap out of our oceans and tuna fish (poor bastards) now contain dangerously high levels of mercury and that could really harm your health." It's not okay, however, to point out that tuna are hunted and killed in brutal ways that are hard to watch, or to mention that they're being fished to extinction along with just about everything else in the ocean (not counting plastic bags, they're doing really well).
So, with all of that in mind, along with the fact that it can be hard to get a cheap meal that won't kill you in the good ol' U.S. of A., make yourself this cheap-ass sandwich in under 10 minutes and feel damn good about it!
INGREDIENTS - Serves 2 to 4
1 19oz can of chickpeas (or , home-cooked equivalent)
1/2 small yellow onion, diced
1/2 bell pepper, diced
1 celery stick, diced - I used broccoli stems because that's what I had on hand!
1 tbsp Vegenaise
1 to 2 tsp whole grain mustard
1 tbsp lemon juice (optional)
S&P to taste
dried or fresh thyme to taste
- Drain and rinse chickpeas and mash with a potato masher or fork.
- Add remaining ingredients (or whatever you want) and mix well. Taste and adjust for seasoning.