vegan tapeworm paradox
Sunday, July 1 2012
This morning as Gretchen prepared a cake for Ray's 45th birthday party (more about that in a bit), I made vegan BLTs for Robert and me. I used a tomato fresh from the garden and it was delicious. Earlier in the year the tomatoes had been a bit mealy, and I'd been nervous that all of the Cosmonaut Volkov tomatoes (I have six or seven plants) would be this way, but evidently that was just an artifact of the tomato having begun its growth in a greenhouse.
Robert and all three dogs came with me when I went on a run to Home Depot for a 14 foot two by eight I needed to finish framing out the greenhouse upstairs' south wall to receive glass. While there, I also bought gutters so I can build a greenhouse roof water collection system to supply, ultimately, an outdoor shower (and perhaps tub). Meanwhile Robert was wondering if maybe he should get a Dremel for use in his small Harlem apartment.
Early this afternoon all three of us (along with the dogs) went to Ray's party, which was at his place. But Robert only stayed for a little while before Gretchen took him to the bus station.
When Ray has a birthday party, the turnout usually includes some of his older friends whom I rarely see. These include Michæl, aka "Chief," the guy with a dry contrarian streak who likes to print subversive teeshirts. Expecting he'd be there, I wore his classic "Support Casino Gambling in Woodstock" shirt (though at this point it is full of holes, one the size of a loaf of bread). Recently Michæl has gotten into golf, and according to Ray he uses an old oxygen cart to wheel his equipment across the greens. Ultimately today I would end up expressing too much interest in golf and then Chief would bore me to tears with tales of renegade golfer Mike Austin, but before that happened Chief amused me with his many needling comments about veganism. Gretchen has no patience for vegan skepticism, but, since I don't take my veganism as seriously as she takes hers (and because I myself have fondness for contrarianism), I found his comments a reliable source of chuckles. The funniest question Chief asked this afternoon was what vegans should do if they find themselves parasitized by a tape worm. Killing it would be wrong, of course, but so too would be "exploiting it in order to lose weight." I'm with Chief on this one: fretting about what animals have been exploited to get you the things you have is a slippery slope into madness.
Ray had prepared a bunch of food for his party and all of it was vegan and, if one could forgive the papaya in one of the Asian noodle dishes, delicious. Most of our time was spent outside, occasionally moving our archipelago of chairs to follow the shade. The sun was so hot that it had destroyed a lovely arrangement of balloons pinned to the clothesline.
We weren't the only people to brings dogs; Mark and Lynne brought Cheddar and Ray's brother Steph brought a non-shelter Labradoodle and two kids Mark benevolently described as "peckerheads." There were actually quite a few kids present, ranging from Adam and Linda's couple-month-old to Vivienne, Mark and Lynne's "one and done." At some point three of the kids got completely naked and ran around shooting one another with squirt guns. Not that I care, but some might think Vivienne is getting a little old for such antics; I found myself thinking that with a few Photoshop tricks, one could use her to restage the famous (and now-undoable) album cover for Houses of the Holy.
I didn't eat any of the cake, but everyone thought it was delicious and were amazed to learn that it too was vegan.
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