Over the last week, a lot of people have asked me to clarify what it is I mean by vegan.
By definition, a vegan is someone who abstains from the use of animal projects. So, here’s what I’m not eating.
1- Meat, which includes, but is not limited to meat. Meat is defined as tissue or material taken from any animal (alive or dead) whether it crawls, walks, runs, scurries, trots, saunters, hops, rolls, slithers, or lies perfectly still.
In addition, this also includes creatures that fly, swim, burrow in the earth or cling to rocks, trees, or the bumpers of minivans. Specifically, this means beef, chicken, pork, fish or anything even vaguely similar like deer, ducks, hamster or snake –plus bugs, but I didn’t eat insects to begin with.
2-Eggs. Any egg from any creature, regardless of it’s place of origin is considered forbidden.
Hypothetically, I could try to eat a dinosaur egg, which over millennia has been petrified and turned to stone. I think 100 million years is a reasonable statute of limitations on organic matter, but I’m not going to eat a rock because that’s silly.
3-Milk and products made using milk. Milk can be defined as a nutritive liquid manufactured by (mostly) female mammals to feed their young. If milk can be derived from lizards, it’s also off-limits. I do not know if lizards can give milk. I suspect not, but honestly haven’t checked.
Milk products include cheese, cheese sauce, sour cream, yogurt, more cheese, and the types of ice cream most people consider worth the trouble of eating to obliterate any diet.
4-Animal by-products. This is harder to pin-point because, generally speaking, they all sound horrifying to the average person. For instance, isinglass, is made from the dried swim bladders of fish. It’s used in the clarification of some beers. Isinglass sounds pretty benign. On a can of beer, “Made with isinglass” sounds OK, maybe even cool. “Made with dried fish bladders” probably only appeals to people who rely on fish for a large portion of their diet and aren’t so squeamish –like 8th century viking warriors.
5-Brussels Sprouts. I just hate ’em.