Thursday, March 10, 2011

VeggieDag Thursday: A new logo and a 20th anniversary

VeggieDag Thursday

VeggieDag is an occasional Thursday post on an animal-free diet and its issues.

Today, I'm proud to unveil the new logo for VeggieDag Thursday, a series of occasional Thursday posts on an animal-free diet. This beautiful graphic was created by my friend Thomas Lee. I call the column VeggieDag in solidarity with Meatless Thursday, first declared in 2009 by the city of Ghent, Belgium. ('Dag' is Flemish for 'day.')
[Mayor] Tom Balthazar has officially declared Thursday meatless in his city of nearly a quarter million people. In an effort to make the connection between meat consumption and greenhouse gases (18 percent of which come from livestock production), Balthazar has asked his fellow civil servants to abstain from meat every Thursday.
Kim O'Donnel
Mighty Appetite
14 May 2009
This also marks a milestone for me. It's been twenty years now, and counting —17 January 1991— since I last consumed animal flesh.

My 'last meal' was a New York Strip, with lotsa butter, —served 16 February 1991, at Ruth's Chris Steakhouse, off Dupont Circle in Washington D.C.— preceded by a Caesar Salad made table-side, with pulverized anchovies and whipped raw egg yolks.

In the ensuing two decades, I've learned to avoid the terms vegan and vegetarian. I do NOT define myself as "Thomas, the vegetarian" just as I wouldn't as "Thomas, the blazer-wearing beer salesman." Labels can confound rather than clarify.

'Vegetarian' and 'vegan' imply things that I'm not, as opposed to things that I am. The term vegetarian is so often modified by exceptions that it has become rendered meaningless. After all, what's vegetable-ian about eating fish, as in pesco-vegetarian, or eating chicken eggs as in ovo-vegetarian?

Is my decision a moral marker? No.

Do I miss animal flesh? No.

Simply put, not eating animals is my dietary choice ... but there are other considerations.

What’s gone wrong with food in the last hundred years has been a mixed bag of progress and self-destruction. There is no need for anyone in the world to go hungry; yet people do. There’s no reason for food to make us ill, either from chronic disease or communicable ones; yet it does. There’s no need for agriculture to poison the land, air, and water. All of these ills can be remedied, and yet it appears the situation worsens year-by-year.
Mark Bittman
13 years, the columnist of The Minimalist
New York Times
2 February 2011
If eliminating animal from your diet is too daunting, reduce the amount and frequency. (Maybe avoid consuming animal on Thursdays, or Meatless Mondays, another US trend.) That's one beauty of avoiding the term vegetarian. You avoid any confusing preconceptions.

Now, beer: ahh! That is, indeed, a wonderful vegetarian foodstuff. (We'll avoid mention of cask-conditioned beer ... at least for today.)

Follow #VeggieDag Thursday on Twitter.
  • Suggestions and submissions from chefs and homecooks welcomed!.
  • See prior VeggieDag posts.

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