Monday, March 17, 2008

veganism, food, and framing

Now that I have been vegan for a solid block of time (around 4 months), I have been noticing the frame through which I view food drastically changing.

I was on the metro a few days ago, and an older pair of friends were switching cooking secrets. They began to speak in depth about preparing "legs" versus "breasts." But what was a normal conversation for them, and what would have been very normal for me, was completely jarring. Legs? Casually talking about eating body parts? It was so bizarre. I felt like an anthropologist who had been away and returned home, but home never felt the same. And so the anthropologist began to observing his/her native culture as an outsider--and everything became increasingly subjective, arbitrary and peculiar.

I have "othered" the mainstream culinary culture of my country--and it just feels so strange. I don't understand walking around in the market how people are grabbing and feeling cold chunks of raw, dead flesh in tight, plastic packages. I actually want to vomit when I see rosy-pink hunks of red meat, moist with juices and diluted blood.

Walking home from yoga today, a group of college students were barbecuing hunks of cow, and I wanted to stop and say, "do you know that is a dead animal?" Of course they know. And I always knew that growing up as an omnivore. But now the mental frame through which I previously viewed food has changed so much that I have an entirely new frame, and the old one does not fit, and I the two cannot match up.

Of course, I say this all as a huge hypocrite--but I prefer "work in progress"--because I am still wearing animals products, even if I am not eating them.

I think that most omnivores stomach animals because they do not truly connect food to having once been alive. It was finally internalizing that connection that catapulted me into veganism.

The thing is, my mind is not internalizing this connection with shoes and bags. I am hoping this will progress naturally in time, as my dietary convictions did. To be honest, I think that it will be much more challenging to dress vegan because I have a deep-seated and life-long interlock with materialism, of which I only became aware and began to question/challenge in the past couple years.

I should blog about growing up with strong material- and image-orientations, and absorbing those scripts before ever having the analytical skills to think twice about them or understand the implications--and never having the emotional health and introspection to grapple this matter until the latter part of my life.

Either way, this issue will present interesting and dynamic challenges and understandings to my continual evolution.

Come to think of it, I have not blogged about the dramatic turn-around that completely changed my life and everything I ever thought about my own future. I will have to do this. The Colonic is in need of a discussion on materialism, image-orientation, self-worth, activism, introspection, and the like.

Until next time, my friends.

1 comment:

Sarah Lambeth said...

hey love!

I was perusing your blog during my immense amount of downtime during spring break and read that you became vegan. Congrats! If you haven't ready "The Pornography of Meat" by Carol Adams I HIGHLY rec recommend it. It echoes a lot of your sentiments.

hope all is well the capital!