Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Tree Mugger

I checked a vegan cookbook out from the library, because I'm nutritionally advanced like that, you know.

Look at this fatty--definitely not a vegan. Or is he? Is breastmilk an animal product?

It's called "Vegan Brunch," and I should have realized before selecting it that my favorite part of brunch-like foods is that they are fatty and full of cholesterol and made of animal. Whoops.

So I come across this recipe called "Red Flannel Hash." About the recipe the author writes, "I love the title'flannel hash'--it makes me think of forest men coming home to a hearty breakfast after a full day out in the woods logging the trees and destroying the planet." And the author can say that guilt-free because her cook book is printed on tree-free clay tablets. Oh wait, no it isn't. It's printed on baby trees. I guess it was that or vellum ... which would have made it a non-vegan vegan cookbook.

Yes, she was making a little joke, I know, but it irks me when people categorically condemn industries that they patronize. Those poor judged lumberjacks are destroying ecosystems and encroaching on owl habitats, yes. But what else are they doing? Providing lumber for homes, material for paper, and land for the new children's hospital.

With Nathan working for ExxonMobil this summer, we've gotten our share of remarks about how evil big oil companies are. And I'll admit, before Nathan accepted the internship offer we thought a lot about whether we should connect ourselves to such a controversial industry.

My thoughts are these: Yes, there are some problems with fossil fuels. But all energy sources come with costs. Fossil fuels bring pollution, hydroelectricity is extremely limited and displaces humans and fish, wind energy kills birds and is sporadic, biofuel takes land away from food production, and algae oil is icky and expensive. What's left? Slavery. Or telekinesis. I'm more in favor of the latter, but until I become an X-Men, I will just have to rely on gas and oil for most of my energy needs.

I'm not saying we should blindly accept all the practices of large corporations. Yes, they should be held accountable for their screw-ups. But they should also be given credit for their contributions. We all drive cars, use paper, take medication, and own plastic products. Industries exist because there is a demand and use for their products.

With the electricity I'm using as I type this post, the plastic in my laptop, the gasoline it took to ship my laptop, and the corn and animal products I'm digesting to give me energy to type, I estimate my environmental impact to be about one baby seal. To that baby seal I say, "You are super cute, but I am an American and a capitalist. I like my economies free trade and my burgers medium rare. If you don't want me to kill you, you better swim fast."

Almost thou persuadest me to be a vegan.


  1. Bahaha... your picture captions are my favorite. Always a treat. :)

  2. Don't worry, Louis and I won't shun you just because you work for some evil corporation! We will however shun you if Graham and the rest of your children are twits. :) Can't wait till you guys get back in August!

  3. I better not have ANY twit grandchildren!
    And you forgot nuclear energy...
    And who's idea was it to have all of us fat people peddle on a bike for our electricity?

  4. I aspire to be as awesome as you someday. I really hope you continue to be able to post every day.


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