vegan baker

why i link to the nytimes
January 19, 2008, 2:34 pm
Filed under: rant | Tags: , ,

I read the dining section of the New York Times religiously.

Am I a hypocrite because their sensual discussion of restaurants I won’t visit and food I would never consider eating give me visceral pleasure? I don’t know. Maybe. Maybe vegans shouldn’t be able to read descriptions of veal cheeks and fish fillet without feeling ill. Maybe I am betraying the spirit of what I do all day.

But I don’t think it is really about the food in any specific way. It is about the treatment of food, the way that dinner-as-ceremony can make you feel and the way that cooking with passion turns a meal into a creative expression. I respect cooks, especially those like Jamie Oliver who increasingly respect the animals whose lives they use. I respect foodies, for recognizing that an act necessary for life can be the doorway to the examined life. I respect the perfect pasta sauce, lentil soup, cupcake, and, yes, pork chop, because it is a perfection, but a perfection fraught with conflict.

I recognize that it is a skill to cook with animal products because I believe in cooking as an art. I am also a vegan who cannot imagine there being another way. So I do prefer it when Mark Bittman publishes a tomato risotto, because then there is no conflict in my enjoyment of beautiful cooking and beautiful writing.


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