A Call For An End To Vegan Elitism

A Call For An End To Vegan Elitism

Meat or no meat, you do you and me do me.

Let it go for the record that I do not care what you eat or how you eat it. As someone who simultaneously desires ham salad, the curry chicken salad from Whole Foods, and salmon sashimi at any given moment, I don’t intend to or desire to sway anybody’s preferences. I also would like it to go for the record that I in no way consider myself in some way void of the privilege (however or whatever you see privilege to be). I am whiter than white and in college and getting paid too much to scoop ice cream, and I am grateful to be where I am.

That being said: As someone who spends a good amount of time on the internet, I happen to be under constant exposure to a wide array of Facebook posts about politics and news and the weather—to euphemise—all of which I have, with time, become completely numb to. There, however, is one particular post, or genre of posts, that so often comes up on my timeline of things that always seems to rub me in one wrong way or another. Perhaps it is because I work in a place that attracts a lot of vegans or perhaps because I live in a neighborhood which lives to serve vegans, but I am constantly surrounded and perennially irritated by vegan propaganda.

That is not to say that I am irritated by vegans as a whole; I know and admire many veggie-loving men and women and will do nothing to discredit the energy they put into maintaining an animal-free diet. Veganism, as it stands alone, without its signifiers, is essentially a diet. However, vegan propaganda and vegan rhetoric and the vegan ego (the vego), all drive me to a point of insanity which is soon to be verging on “no return.” What I am calling for is an end not to you eating your plant-based diet, but rather for an end to the pressuring Facebook posts and subtle snubs towards me and my fellow meat-eaters (though admittedly, I do steer clear of red meat under most circumstances— we’ll get there later).

I do not think that meat-industry shame videos are by any means effective in spreading veganism. It is unfortunate what happens to animals in big farms; as a child my mother had me watch "Food Inc." so yes I’ve seen the pigs get pushed over by the giant metal barrier and it was, yes, terrifying. I have not been desensitized to the cruelties of animals; I don’t think most people live their lives happily eating red meat completely unaware of the cruelties that are performed on a grand, industrial level to animals. However, so often the first person to feel the pain of a decrease in meat sales is not Perdue or Alico, Inc. It is instead the small farmers, who live off the land they sew and have done so for their entire lives, and perhaps came from a long line of farmers. These are not the farmers that have giant metal barriers to throw pigs on their sides or force cows into treacherous conditions.

Instead, the promotional work done to bring “awareness” only starts small, and hurts humans who feel perhaps more than the cattle, who live to support their families. Monsanto will continue to live on and thrive, its workers committing suicide at alarming rates, while you protest small farmers and eat soy cheese that a young boy in India worked at a slave wage to help produce. Unless you’re buying small, from a small market where you know that what you’re eating is from point A and only traveled so far to get to point B, you’re feeding into the cruelty; perhaps not of cows or chickens, but of humans.

If you are in the top 1% of vegans who is able to buy local and go completely farm-to-table, you should be able to recognize that you are, yes, above many. Above so many of the hard-working individuals in this world who will circumstantially never be able to provide for themselves with such luxuries. You are among the top percentage of people in this country who, not only had access to such things but who can afford to use them. If you live in a food desert like 23.5 million people in America, a ‘“vegan lifestyle” might include Crisco on bread, paired with store-brand Oreos and a tall glass of juice from concentrate.

It is not easy to be vegan, as incredible as that may sound. For so many, milk and eggs may serve as an affordable form of protein for them or for their families that can’t be replaced with something plant-based and sustainable. If you can afford seitan instead of chicken and are still be able to get that extra protein despite subbing high-protein chicken for high-gluten-and-not-much-else seitan, you are, by comparison, pretty lucky.

Now you may be asking, me, privilege Queen: Well, what’s your GD excuse? It is that I love the people around me. I recently went on vacation with my family and, had I been a vegan, would have had to excuse myself from every single dinner we had that night. I would have had to stare my great grandparents in the eyes and say “I can’t eat this salmon, sorry.” I would have had to assert myself to someone who was old enough to at least felt the depression, and would recognize the salmon before them as something earned, something to be grateful for. The thought of that absolutely terrifies me.

For so many people, they don’t know any different. Regardless of what they can’t afford on a monetary level, you couldn’t even begin to explain a quinoa burger to someone who grew up on beef, or who grew up eating a Sunday roast and who takes pride in being able to put proteins on their table for their family more than once a week. Generationally and regionally, veganism is sometimes just not possible.

My undying love for cheese aside, I could easily live a life of tempeh and chick’n, of quinoa bowls and cauliflower alfredo. I don’t eat red meat because I love cows and I often don’t drink milk because I have, with age, become lactose intolerant. But I love and accept my family and friends who eat meat because they always have and my family and friends who get queasy just thinking about dairy. Also, I have owned many a fish in my life and can say with great confidence that they couldn’t be less sentient—sorry.

Live long, eat well, eat meat or eat meat substitute, and prosper, but don’t be too in-your-face about it, please.

Cover Image Credit: silviarita / Pixabay

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9 Foods That Make Ranch The Ultimate Dressing

Don't knock it till you try it.

It's no secret that ranch is the best of all dipping sauces and salad dressings. From the basics, like carrots, to the odds, like chips, ranch goes with everything. I, personally, am a ranch fanatic, so I decided to put together a list of all things you can eat with ranch.

1. Salad

Of course, first and foremost, we have a salad. Ranch is without a doubt the salad dressing of all salad dressings.

2. Chicken fingers/nuggets

Not as uncommon as it used to be, ranch has become a dipping sauce for chicken fingers and chicken nuggets at almost every restaurant. To me, a certain restaurants' ranch matches their chicken and no where else.

3. Vegetables

Although it was one of ranch's first intended uses, I probably use ranch for vegetables the very least. I mean, come one, who wants to snack on carrots and celery when there are french fries?

4. Hot wings

Whether it's to cool the heat or give it a little more flavor, ranch with a hot wing is a MUST! Beware, it may get a little messy... or a lot.

5. French fries

In my opinion, this is the best way to eat ranch. Nothing beats a beer battered french fry with cheese on top smothered in ranch, or a french fry from McDonald's dipped in ranch; either way, fries and ranch are the perfect pair.

6. Potato chips

I was skeptical about this one, but don't knock it until you try it! Dipping a ruffle potato chip in ranch is to die for! You'll never eat them without it again.

7. CLUB crackers

If you've never had CLUB crackers dipped in ranch, or any salad dressing for that matter, you need to reevaluate the way you're living you're life. You are seriously missing out.

8. Pizza

Another one of those that will change your life if you ever eat them together. Ranch and pizza go together like bacon and eggs.

9. Baked potatoes

Whether you're into ranch powder or ranch dressing, you can't go wrong with adding a little to your baked potato.

Although these are all ways to use ranch as a dip or dressing, there are so many ways to use it; seasoning on meat, crust on pizza, store-bought dip for potato chips. You name it, you can eat it with ranch.

Cover Image Credit: Flickr

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Best Cappuccino: Frothing Milk with Steam Nozzle in Simple Clear Steps

Frothing Milk Coffee!

What is the difference between cappuccino and latte macchiato?

The difference between cappuccino and latte macchiato is very simple. Both coffee preparations are based on espresso with whipped hot milk. Only the proportions and order of preparation are slightly different.


Difference between cappuccino and latte macchiato Cappuccino

• A Cappuccino consists of 1/3 espresso, 1/3 warm milk, and 1/3 milk foam. With a Cappuccino, the milk and then the foam is poured onto a freshly brewed espresso. The milk should be mixed with the espresso so that an attractive and tasty mixture is created, in which the cream combines with the foam into a beautiful mocha-colored paste. Espresso puts you with dark roast coffee beans and an espresso machine. This machine must be equipped with a steam nozzle, with which you can froth the milk. I will explain this at the end of the article: How can you froth milk? 


• A Latte Macchiato is also made with espresso and hot milk. A Latte Macchiato has proportionately more milk than a Cappuccino. The milk is heated with steam and often served in a large glass, where the freshly brewed espresso is slowly poured through the milk foam and floats on the hot milk. This gives you an excellent separation of the warm milk at the bottom, the espresso on top of that, topped with the layer of milk foam.


Both coffee preparations are similar and have the same basis: milk foam, hot milk, and a single espresso. But, if properly prepared, the difference between Cappuccino and Latte Macchiato is the proportions of these ingredients and the different way of serving. Both coffee preparations have one thing in common: pure enjoyment!


How can You Froth Milk? 

If milk frothing with steam succeeds, you will be able to make the best cappuccino and latte macchiato!

Usually, there is a little problem about frothing milk with the steam nozzle in the manual of your espresso coffee makers. Experimenting yourself often leads to overheated milk and a failed foam layer. From now on we will do it differently:


What do you need?

Before you start with milk foaming, you need at least the following:

• Well preheated espresso machine with steam pipe

• ice cold milk

• milk jug made of stainless steel

• clean cloth

• possibly a special milk thermometer

Preparation

• fill your milk jug with ice-cold milk just below the pouring spout

• make your espresso, and place it on the hot plate

• blow your steam pipe through until only steam comes out


Frothing milk with the steam nozzle simple steps

1. keep the milk jug diagonally underneath the steam pipe. Let the milk jug drop slightly so that the milk starts to rotate. The valve must remain below the milk edge!

2. let the steam pipe 'disappear' 1 to 2 cm below the milk edge

3. turn the tap for the steam open

4. Then lower the milk jug slightly so that the milk starts to rotate. The valve must remain below the milk edge! If the milk does not turn, adjust the angle of the steam nozzle.

5. You should now hear a slight hissing sound, if not then adjust the height of the steam pipe, go down with the jug slowly. This is the so-called stretching

6. As soon as the milk jug is getting hot, you go with the valve halfway through the jug

7. just a little further to warm up all the milk

8. as soon as the milk jug becomes too hot to hold (about 70 degrees) shut off the steam tap

9. tap the counter with the milk jug. So, you get the big air bubbles out and compact the milk foam

10. then you 'roll' the frothed milk until it starts to shine.

11. You can easily do the rolling in your hand or on the worktop with the milk jug

12. You can now make a cappuccino or latte macchiato from the frothed milk

13. finally blow the steam pipe through well

14. clean the steam nozzle with a clean cloth and blow through again!

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