It was my friend Michael’s doing.
I’ve always been a huge fan of animals – I’m the one who shuttles the spider in my living room onto a slip of paper and releases her outside. But I’m also a huge fan of food.
When I was nine years old, and on a cruise to Alaska with my parents and my younger brother, my Dad let me try his frog legs appetizer. It was delish. So he gestured a waiter over and ordered another. When it came out, the waiter placed it in front of my Dad, who then pointed at little 9-year-old suburban me. “It’s for her,” he said. Needless to say, the waitstaff fawned over me for the rest of the trip.
Since then, you name it, I’ve eaten it. Garlicky escargots, monkfish liver sashimi, oysters on the half-shell, steak tartare. I can pan-sear a mean grass-fed rib-eye (see pic at right for my current thoughts on that). I loved me some farm-fresh scrambled eggs over buttered grits. (Once when I listed my favorite foods as lobster, artichokes and popcorn, it hit me that it was melted butter that really had me.)
When I was in my 20s, I went vegetarian; it lasted a year. Bacon did me in. I just couldn’t. Not. Eat bacon. Which, as everyone knows, is a gateway meat. Soon I was eating cheeseburgers, fried chicken and carnitas tacos again like that pork was born in a corn tortilla. (You can take the girl out of L.A. . .)
In my 30s, I basically had to give up dairy, because it started giving me asthma. So no more thin-crust pizza or mac ‘n cheese. (Sad face.) I later heard that the year I started having asthma attacks was the exact year the U.S. dairy industry started using bovine growth hormones.
Anyhoo. Back to my friend Michael. He made being a vegan sound FUN! I’d follow his Facebook posts showing him happily doing marathons or whatever with his “Vegan Power” teammates; mingling with chickens on a farm sanctuary (and writing music about it); and kvelling over the vegan chocolate-chip pancakes with coconut cream he’d discovered at a new spot. Then he posted this 3 1/2 minute video. It is NOT graphic AT ALL, but something clicked inside me: Read More…