Vegan Chubosaurus

what this fat vegan eats

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my ultimate comfort food dinner – veganmofo 3

3930562108_f07c8dec17Though I have no intention of turning this into a personal blog – that’s what my LJ’s for, hey? – I have to say that this week has been painful and difficult on many levels. Hence the still-spotty blogging frequency.

Because this week’s been a whole lot of terrible with a generous helping of sad, I’ve been thinking about comfort food. There are a number of foods that I reach for when my battered soul needs soothing; depending on the situation, it could be anything from steel-cut oats to chocolate cream pie, grilled cheese and tomato sandwiches to nachos, mock tuna salad to potato chips soaked in pickle juice (seriously, TRY IT), chocolate almond milk to a cheap white zinfandel.  But when life is extra kick-you-when-you’re-down, and the world is harsh, and everything is hurty, there’s only one dinner I want.

I spent 9 of my most formative years – ages 6 to 15 –  in Texas. I hate cliches but live the whole “you can take the girl out of Texas…” chestnut. I still say “y’all”, and maintain that it’s one of the most useful words ever. I still secretly want the Cowboys to win, even though I loathe football and avoid it at all costs. I still unconsciously slip into my drawl when prompted by external stimuli – an episode of “Designing Women”, country music, “Steel Magnolias”, talking with someone else with an accent. I still drop the “g”s from my -ing words; I have to make a concerted effort to correctly pronounce “royal” and “oil”. I still adore cowboy hats and want a couple of pairs of cowboy boots. I still refuse to leave the house in sweatpants or similar garb.

And food? Y’all, please. I still love Frito pie, salted tomato slices, Dr. Pepper, ranch-style beans, food slathered in BBQ sauce and cooked over charcoal, chili, hushpuppies, chicken-fried [insert vegan chicken analog here], Tex-Mex, Big Red Soda, pecan pie…I’ll stop now. So, see, it’s no wonder that I want what I want when I most need comfort eats: comfort food

Meat analog, smothered in gravy. Mashed potatoes, also smothered in gravy. Sauteed greens. Homemade biscuits (not pictured).

Sometimes I can’t bear to dirty another bowl for biscuits, so we’ll have locally-produced whole wheat sourdough instead. dinner 9-14 2

My love for Cedar Lake chops knows no bounds. F’real. I love those things so much I buy them by the case. I season ’em and pan-fry ’em until they’re brown and beautiful and a little bit crispy. I mash my (skin on!) potatoes up with lots of Earth Balance, soy milk creamer, salt, and fresh black pepper. I saute my greens with heaps of fresh garlic and red pepper flakes. I ladle the chops and potatoes with Road’s End Golden Gravyclose up comfort

It ain’t good for me. It’s probably bad for me, actually. It uses a couple different packaged foods, a category of noms I generally try to avoid. The greens are the only nutritiously redeeming part of the meal. It’s definitely a “sometimes” dinner (thanks, Cookie Monster). But man alive, it warms my heart and soothes my soul in a way that no other foods do. With this in front of me (especially with my kid next to me and an episode of Buffy cued up on the DVD player), all is right with the world – at least for a little while.

the what and the why

I’m fat. And I’m a vegan. Many, many people consider these things mutually exclusive; they aren’t. Many people believe that you can’t be a vegan who’s “doing it right” and still be fat; they’re wrong, and who gets to say what “doing it right” is, anyway? We all know people (the Skinny Bitch authors, Jennifer McCann’s misguided blog “This Is Why You’re Thin”) and groups (the always-appalling PETA) who insist that veg*nism leads to thinness/weight loss for everyone; they’re wrong. Veg*nism does not necessarily = thinness or weight loss. Fat vegans exist. Fat veg*ns who eat all the “right” things (an arbitrary and hurtful idea if ever there was one) exist. Fat vegans who eat all the “right” things and get plenty of exercise?  I think you know what I’m saying  here – they exist. Some people are fat, just like some people are tall/brunette/willowy/freckled/whatever. Bodies come in every size, shape, color, ability level, et cetera; not one type is right, and not one type is wrong.

Promoting veg*nism as a diet is unfair to veg*nism (weight loss and veg*nism don’t necessarily go hand-in-hand; there are many excellent reasons to be veg*n, but offering weight loss as the reason puts veg*nism forth as a weight loss tool and not the compassionate, enlightened lifestyle choice that it is, which will only encourage people to try it and then discard it if it, like every other diet, doesn’t lead to rapid and/or permanent weight loss). It’s also wildly unfair to any veg*n out there that isn’t thin or doesn’t lose weight after switching; it casts doubt on our honesty, our sincerity, our lifestyles, our choices, and our very validity as members of a veg*n movement. It shames us and makes us aberrations amongst our veg*n peers while simultaneously making us invisible in our own community. Sometimes, like in PETA’s horrible billboards this summer, it makes us the target and the enemy, despite being exactly what PETA wants everyone else to be (except, of course, thin).

So. I’m a fat vegan. I exist. This is my voice. This blog is my way of fighting the stigma of fatness – the stigma of fatness in American culture, and the stigma & invisibility of fatness in veganism – while also advocating for veganism as a beautiful, compassionate choice that brings joy, abundance, and really tasty food. I’m also aiming for some myth-debunking: Talking about what I eat, and showing pictures of what I eat, will not only show that fat people do not sit around shoving Cheezy Poofs (or, for vegans, Tings) and Mallomars (or, for vegans, Newman-Os) in their mouths nonstop, it will also show how veganism does not mean deprivation or tastelessness. Veganism is delicious, and everyone should know it. Also, I firmly believe that you can never have too many blogs that serve to answer those omnipresent questions about what we vegans eat “besides salad”.

And that’s the what and the why of my blog. Thanks for reading.