Monday, November 8, 2010

Happy Birthday Andres!

Yep, it's birthday season in the Salinas household. This time it was my husband's birthday. He's a tiny bit more middle-aged than I am now! Rather than having a party, my husband opted for a nice meal out with a few dear friends. He chose a steakhouse -- shocker.  This time Ray's Killer Creek -- a very nice restaurant on the banks of Foe Killer Creek -- it's an odd name for a creek, but dates back to the civil war, which makes more sense.

I'm getting very good at manipulating a steakhouse menu. Here's what I had this time: a baked sweet potato, no butter, sauteed mushrooms (excellent!) sauteed spinach (also good). In addition to all this good food, I started with an arugula salad with pickled pears! Very interesting and delicious. It normally comes with goat cheese too, which I opted to omit. When I was ordering my entree choices (side dishes really) the server pointed out that someone had already ordered the mushrooms and the sides are large enough to share, I told him, "I'll order it anyway because I like to eat a lot of food!" He caught on when I didn't order a chunk of cow.

I know it seems odd to some vegans that I hang around with carnivores and omnivores, but it is what it is. I would never choose to eat what they are eating, but I'm not about judgement. Because of this, my crowd of friends and loved ones have minds more open than they would be if I were more socially militant about my choice. I think they see, from how easily I navigate a mainstream menu, that being vegan doesn't mean being freaky. They also see that I LOVE the food I eat and do not feel deprived in the least.

I am learning so much now about nutrition and the food industry, and have found that most people do not want to know the details about the creatures they are eating, but then eventually some of them do. Here and there over the last few months I have gently fielded questions, trying to be sensitive and not "overplay" my hand by giving more information than is wanted. This keeps 'em coming back for more. Nobody is becoming vegan because of me, but some are learning about health consequences of food. and subtle shifts in diet have resulted in some cases. This mostly means fewer meat meals per week, avoiding cheese or opting for organic choices. I'm not creating an army of vegans here in Georgia, but maybe I'm redefining what "moderation" means. Most carnivores defend their choice with an attitude of "everything in moderation". I'd like to plant this seed -- what does "moderation" mean to you? Meat at every meal? Three times per week? Once? How much cheese is too much? Just sayin'.  In my crowd I am an unofficial vegan ambassador to open minds. That suits me just fine, for now . . .

Back to you, Andres -- Happy Birthday!


  1. Great post Cheryl! I agree, it's important not to be judgemental when around omnivores. Then they will feel more comfortable coming to you when they start having questions. I actually did a post on my blog all about the term "everything in moderation" awhile back. That phrase can really be overused at times. Take a peek if your interested.

  2. Thanks Melissa -- I'm going to check your post now . . .