Food Extremists

Food extremists have been on my mind lately. After watching a friend's restaurant get annihilated on Facebook for possibly using buns that weren't vegan, I started to lament on the reality of food extremism in today's culture.

Last week I noticed a very thoughtful status update about our restaurants' vegan and vegetarian offerings on a local vegetarian Facebook page. I belong to said page because I tend to eat veggie or vegan. The Chef also tries to eat mainly veggie however he's not as strict as I am due to the fact that he cooks food for a living and must taste everything. The status update was kind and boastful about the many delicious veg offerings at The Greenhouse Tavern. Breaking my own rule, I scrolled down to read the comments. There were a few thoughtful comments and then there were not. The extremists had come out to play. Each comment worse than the one before, I read the hatred and disgust for something I love so dear.

Being quite used to nasty motherfuckers on the internet, their words didn't faze me. I read their words and moved on. But their extremism did sit with me and I haven't been able to stop thinking about it.

With some many issues surrounding food I can see why food extremism has become so relevant in today's society. From Foie Gras bans (sorry LA) to gluten free dieting, the food world is fucked up. Vegans hate meat eaters, carnivores hate vegans. It's like watching the last election on steroids when it comes to these issues.

I just don't get it.

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 Why can't we all just get along? Why can't vegans understand that alienating the majority of this country's population is the WORST POSSIBLE way to get their message across? Why can't carnivores understand that the majority of meat produced in this country is FUCKED UP and most likely a part of the horrible factory farm system? Why does everything related to food have to be some gdamn extreme?

 Things are not going to change overnight. People are not going to stop eating meat. Passions are not going to disappear and the anger people feel about these issues is not going to die. But maybe, just maybe, if the approach was less shocking and more focused on educating the public about HOW our food system actually works, then maybe small movements of change could begin. 

Any ideas?

Food to a large extent is what holds a society together and eating is closely linked to deep spiritual experiences.
— Peter Farb and George Armelagos