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Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.

An old friend came for dinner tonight. She has always been vegetarian but is now vegan. I had smoked salmon for an hors d’oeuvre and then vegetable lasagna ready, forgetting that she doesn’t eat cheese, no fish, no butter, no milk. I rushed to the fridge, said, “I’ll make a veggie omelette!” Of course, she doesn’t eat eggs. There was some pesto I’d made in the summer in the freezer, so I made pasta, though she hardly ever eats pasta. About to bring out the parmesan to grate on it … no, sigh.


She had two sips of wine, some hummus, a bit of salad. For dessert, I produced some delicious homemade Xmas baking Wayson had given me, but she wouldn’t eat it because there was no list of ingredients. Luckily I had some good chocolate; she checked to be sure it was pure chocolate and had no milk products. She doesn’t eat honey, because bees may be harmed in its production.

She cited The China Study, which is about all the health benefits of a vegan diet, and told me that if I went vegan, my body would thank me. But, I said, my body is always thanking me. My body is happy. I love my body. She and I get along extremely well, just as we are.
My friend looked dubious. I know she just wants the best for everyone and is positive that her way is the best way. That we are all killing ourselves with our diets and will one day wake up and see the light and toss our brie to the winds.
But I’d go mad having to be that particular; it’s a world of NO to me, though to her, she’s saying a big YES to health. Just being sensible is enough for me – except for wine and chocolate and cheese, of course, nothing sensible there. After she left, I did check online about the China Study, which has been made famous by Bill Clinton and his marvellous weight loss. Lots of good points, I’m sure. A refutation of the study points out that the healthiest people on earth are the Scandinavians and people from Iceland, who have a diet heavy in dairy and meat.
Maybe all that cheese is piling up inside me, ready to strike me down at any minute. Let’s hope not. I don’t eat much red meat, but I do occasionally. Occasionally, I eat just about everything, except tripe and Ding Dongs – whatever they are. My friend has a garden and is generous with her produce, and bakes and gives people her baking. She is saving the planet in her way. But I confess that it’s exhausting to have her over for dinner.
After she left, just for laughs, ha ha, I watched a DVD of the film “Gods and Men,” about French monks in Algeria in the 1990’s, who face a terrible choice when terrorists threaten them and the villagers they serve. It’s difficult, it’s exquisitely beautiful and moving and profound, about community, faith, love, courage – unforgettable. In the end, we are still left with the question – Did they make the right choice? And I have to say I think they did not. But then, I don’t really understand why Jesus had to die either.
Too bad I’m not hungry; I’d like a nice big hunk of cheese right now to cheer me up.

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2 Responses to “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”

  1. How lucky to live in such a society as to be able to afford to choose one’s diet so carefully. Millions of people in the world glean their meals from dumpsters; a mistreated bee would not bother them so much I suppose.
    How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world / That has such people in’t.

  2. beth says:

    It's a minefield of political correctness out there, isn't it? Just yesterday, an acquaintance showed off a new top she'd bought from one of the ultra-cheap chains, and I gave her a lecture on slavery in third world countries. Sounding, I'm sure, just like my friend lecturing me about cheese and bees. An article in the paper today on how volun-tourism, western people going to Third world countries to help build stuff, does more harm than good.
    Balance is the answer, I guess, and trying to be aware, and not to forget – enjoyment.

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About Beth

I began keeping a journal at the age of nine. Nearly fifty years later, I started this online journal, sharing reflections, reviews, updates, and the occasional secret.

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Theresa Kishkan is a writer living on the Sechelt Peninsula on the west coast of Canada.

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Wherever you’ve come from, wherever you’re going, consider this space a place for reflection and pause.

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