Monday, November 17, 2008

A small, secret wince...

Given my focus on food, plus my previous 30-odd years as an omni, it will not surprise you to learn that I am not exactly the most svelte vegan in the world. A chunky vegan is closer. And downright voluptuous (in places) is probably most accurate. However, I am trying to change this both by being conscious of what goes onto my plate and by working out at my local Curves. Although I am extremely proud of my choice to turn away from animals and ther secretions, I always have a small, secret wince when I tell new people that I'm vegan because I know that I don't physically represent a great advert for the health benefits. And I do so want this to change.

So while I was sweating it out around the circuit tonight, I decided to take the 'Nothing to Lose' pledge, the newest scheme Curves has come out with. During the holidays, members pledge to basically maintain the status quo - you don't have to lose weight, but you shouldn't gain either. OK, I thought, that'll be helpful - it'll encourage me to keep to my thrice-weekly schedule and to not go crazy over the next 5 weeks or so eating everything in sight.

But it was with no small amount of sadness and disappointment that I then noticed the 'Closed for Thanksgiving' sign displayed at the reception desk. It sported a clip art image of a roasted turkey, surrounded by all of the fatty trimmings with banners proclaiming 'Happy Turkey Day' arcing above it.

And I couldn't help but think that a real opportunity had been lost here. Wouldn't it have been less fattening and healthier all around to have promoted a meat-free Thanksgiving celebration? Was this not the perfect way of showing members how a vegetable-based dinner stacks up - calorie-wise - against a cruelty-free alternative and perhaps a mean to turning people on to reducing or eliminating animals from their diets. Apparently, for all the healthy eating hype, Tradition trumps Dietary Good Sense every time.

And on a separate but related theme: yesterday marked the first time this year that we were offered the grocery store discount coupon for the Butterball turkey. I gaped at the clerk in amazement, she might as well have offered to roast my dog for me. My Beloved handled it better than I, simply pressing the coupon back into her hand and saying gently 'We don't need that'. But when confronted by this sort of thing, I feel like I always go to pieces. Having seen some of the undercover investigations in Butterball processing plants, words can't describe the anger and sadness that descends on me when a teenager at a checkout glibly offers me a discount on the bodies of those tormented birds.

It's been a difficult day.

Stay vegan friends.


Jeni Treehugger said...

It's quite ironic how they have encouraged this pledge and then go and close over the holidays!!!

*bang head against a wall*

mmg said...

I don't have it in me to watch the videos, but I'm already vegan and have seen tons of videos before so I'm gonna be ok with that decision.

Anyway, it does frustrate me too when I see health conscious (supposedly) places touting chicken and turkey as good healthy meals...sadly, most people in this country haven't had the awakening we've had...hopefully someday they will.