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12 May 2011, 4:00 pm 3 Comments

Food: The Intolerance of Omnivores

Submission by Emma, TNG contributor. Emma is a student in school and a student of Life. Observer, but no activist; fire-starter, but no flame. She wonders when that kid who used to skip rocks on the water grew out of innocence into the queer-folk she is today.

c. Marie Carianna, originally posted to Flickr as "Brocato's Reopens 2006"

[Knock Knock Knock]

Every time there is a knock at my door I can’t help but start hearing Men At Work’s Who Can It Be Now in my head and immediately bust out into that 80′s swish-gliding dance. Upon unlocking the double-bolt and opening the door, a neighbor I occasionally talk to blessed me with her presence. [“Go 'way, don't come 'round here no more.”].

She reminds me of a female version of Kramer, except shorter and more bitter with the world… okay she’s nothing like Kramer except for being that neighbor. After a few moments of pointless small talk she explained that she is baking her “famous” coffee cake. At least twice a year she knocks on the door asking to borrow ingredients she doesn’t have. I use borrow loosely because I give her the ingredients but she never returns them, nor does she offer a plate of what she had made.

Finally the question I’ve been waiting for. “Do you have some milk I can borrow?”

I nod and excuse myself to get a half gallon from the fridge. As I round the corner and walk to the door, she makes a disgusting snarl and huffs as if she’s going to bellow a scorching flame- “What is that?”

Without thinking, I grabbed a halfer of Silk. Actually that’s all I had. I apologize and offer it still.

“I forgot. You’re one of those vegan-vegetarians. [HUFF!]” [And the flame ignites the cool Spring air.]

I was absolutely taken back by her rudeness. Somewhere between me almost dropping the halfer on the floor in awe and my response, Neighbor 5B began criticizing my dietary choices and how “real” baked goods cannot be vegan because they are made with non-dairy substitutes.

I bit my tongue and refrained from responding with a quaint smirk of surprise. If I chose so, I could have grabbed my laptop, did me some quick googling, and chased her rump-roast back to 5B with many positive reviews of vegan baked goods.

I’m hesitant to use the can’t we all just get along or the if you don’t have anything nice to say don’t say it at all clichés, but I feel there is an implied courtesy that when you’re requesting help or assistance not to insult the person your asking. Call me a crazy drunken sex monkey, but am I wrong?

I recall — well actually I am reminded by photographs — being completely content sitting in diapers with my foot in my mouth drooling and smiling. [Them toes taste 'der good]. I would think many experienced similar innocent moments cramming our feet or hands into our kisser.

Whether by choice, custom, health restrictions, or allergies, our diets evolved and changed [plus there are only so many toes and fingers].

Thankfully I was introduced to a variety of dietary choices, beyond my toes, once I escaped the clutches of my narrow-minded parent-folk: fruitarian, vegan, vegetarian (and many of its subcategories), pescetarianism, raw life, macrobiotic, and a few others. They have all contributed to broadening my pallet of life.

Thankfully crazy Kramer lady didn’t ask me for a ride up the grocery store like she normally does because I would have told her I no longer allow dairy products in my vehicle.

[Omn nom nom TOES!]


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  • Alison said:


  • Meghan said:

    While I completely understand your frustration with your neighbor and she seriously sounds like a piece of work, I find the title of your article to be misleading and short-sighted.
    Not all omnivores are intolerant just like all vegans are not preachy. We live in a world where millions of people go hungry everyday and we (you and I and everyone I know) are very lucky to have the luxury of picking and choosing what we eat.

    Oh, that reminds me! Tomorrow (Saturday, May 14th) USPS letter carriers will be picking up food donations left by mailboxes! Lets help fill those food pantries, people!

  • Please Vegan/Vegetarians help me!!!!!? | Green Living Tips | Information and Free Resources | said:

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