Vegan Paradox

Photo Jacqulyn Maisonneuve

I am fairly certain that our style of cooking is informed by our eating. Taken as a whole our household's eating should be considered paradoxical. I am vegan. Martin Lane, my ten year old, has been vegan since birth. John is an omnivore some days however, unless we are cooking for others he is mostly vegan. We serve Omnivore dinners however we use no butter and cream And do serve a cheese course. Martin Lane and I will always taste an exceptional raw cheese from France. Fundamentalism is not our guide

I have been Vegetarian since I was twelve and as the years passed slowly moved toward eliminating dairy. While pregnant I read Dr. Spock's fairly mainstream "Baby and Childcare". Spock confirmed a vegan diet as the healthiest for children, John and I decided to raise Martin Lane vegan while allowing her the choice to eat what she wants whenever she wants. This is NOT religion for us. Nor is it a temporary political shift to some sort of enlightened ethics. We have no fidelity to events as such.

The issue for us more than ethics, amounts to health and our barometer for health is how we feel. This is not to say that we do not condemn factory farming or the treatment of animals as machines. It is only to say that if we let our senses guide us in a sort of 'care of the self', then we move towards family farms away from concepts like factory farming and senseless treatment of animals. Simply because the food is of higher quality, more efficient and satisfying; we eat less with a higher return.

To take this one step further: the same would go for the experience of dining with us. We could make statement upon statement about how ethically our chicken we serve at our dinners is treated, but that would make no difference if the chicken did not taste good (like chicken used to). This is only to say that the aesthetic experience does not end and begin with someone sitting down to eat. The event of eating speculates as well as lingers. How we feel the day after we eat is as important as the act of eating as well as the day before.

Aesthetics is our guide, not independent of reason, but informed by rational decision, an encounter with nutrition. To proselytize a vegan diet without the ground work of nutrition is unconscionable. To decide an ethics for others requiring rigid and dogmatic elimination of most sources of protein is inconceivable. There is theory and there is practice. We hope to share our practice with you through our blog–By no means do we mean to propose a theory for a lifestyle to anyone.

Even if we were to attempt to do so, that theory would be absolutely particular to our needs and it would be always moving, growing, aging, conflicting into a theory of parts that could only make up a paradoxical whole.