Is This Vegan?

Maybe it is.  Maybe it isn’t.

This blog is about plant-based foods.  This food can be called vegan food.

It also might not be.  If someone is at a steakhouse and eats a simple lettuce salad with oil and vinegar before tucking into a luscious prime rib, do you call it a vegan salad?  Context matters.

Your context will tell you if this blog is vegan, and there are no wrong answers.

By the way … you don’t have to pick a label.

Some may define themselves by the food they eat.  It’s empowering for people to signal their commitments to themselves and to others by saying “I’m a vegetarian.”  Food choices may also be linked to culture, religion, ethics, or other highly meaningful aspects of people’s identities.  In such cases, the label may indicate a way of life.

Yet for people who don’t use the terms “vegetarian” or “vegan” to describe themselves, these labels can be alienating.  Someone who wants buttered toast and Easter Ham might shy away from choosing vegan or vegetarian food because she isn’t vegan or vegetarian.  Applying these labels to food and people can send an unfortunate message to omnivores:  This food is for someone else.  You don’t want this meal that won’t satisfy you.

I could never be vegan, I would be so hungry ...

Animal-free food is not off-limits to anyone.  It’s okay to be a plant fanatic who doesn’t want to be vegan.  (At least this is what I tell myself, since I spend a lot of time explaining that I’m not vegan even though most of the food I eat is vegan.)  If you’d like to try eating less meat, go for it and be proud – don’t let the idea of vegetarians and vegans who never eat meat deter you.  Maybe you call yourself a veggie-vore.  Maybe you, like Mark Bittman, are “vegan until 6 p.m.”

Whatever you do, rock it like the star you are and call it (or don’t!) what you will.  The Dragon Fruit is grateful for all readers, with and without labels.

pinquitos in romesco sauce, sauteed mushrooms and spinach, brown basmati rice --- yes, you can have seconds, but save room for dessert!


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