Today I came across tofurky for the first time whilst in one my favourite stores on ‘the drive’ in the east end of Vancouver (just in case the Feds didn’t know I had left the country). I have also had some conversations recently with people who, like me, do not partake of such food items preferring using fruit/vegetables and other non-processed items. This ties well with my comments and perspective on vat-grown meat that was the subject of a podcast (and follow-up) by Erik Marcus and also received a mention on subsequent VeganFreak podcasts.
To me, it seems that those on this continent are more open to such products than back home. And I think this ties in with the views on technology as progress here. I am not saying that such perspectives on technology are absent in Australia, rather they exist at a different and more intense and/or subliminal level here. And, given that the USA is apparently at the centre of the universe, I am sure I will receive some critical attention!
Before I go further, I would like to say heads-up to Dino for his non-fake stance in cooking alongside his ability to make tasty food with whatever is available and making things from scratch (i.e. without a recipe). To me, which is similar to Dino’s perspective, why would you want to eat something that is similar in look (at the least) to something oozing with exploitation, cruelty and anthropocentrism?
I have heard perspectives from people who were brought up veg*n and to them such products are seen as marinated soy (or similar). I can accept that, yet it is still a processed food and I prefer to avoid these as much as I am able. Then there is the notion of transitional foods. This is where I see the place for such products. My concern, however, is that people get used to these and do not really change towards a more holistic and grounded diet rather than maintaining a processed product existence.
I had no idea how to cook when I went vegetarian (I am sure there are loads of people who tried rice and tomato sauce – I was pretty poor too), nor really when I went vegan. And I did – when they were available – eat some of these products (which did draw criticism from the carni’s I temporarily lived with at the time). However, the process of learning to cook, and the subsequent tasty and amazing foods I began to prepare and eat was a (still continuing) journey I will always look back on.
As my previous post indicates, I was raised in what can be described as a meat n two veg household so had not taste, and a general dislike, for most fruit vegetables – which can be more accurately considered as resulting from not being willing to try anything different after the bias of such childhood/youth experience (indoctrination). So learning to cook, and also learning to embrace things I had never really tried – alongside overcoming a bias to these foods and the racism that had and still surrounds ‘ethnic’ foods – was a very challenging yet as mentioned an ongoing and rewarding experience.
The crux of all this is, I guess that I cannot see why people would buy such products, let alone eat them. Perhaps the only reason I would buy them would be if I was having people over that will not even try foods different to their carni ways. This is something I almost exclusively do not do, yet can see this as a possibility. What it comes down to more – and specifically labelled at people who live a veg*n lifestyle – is the notion of processed foods and technologically mediated society. We need to remove ourselves from such a ridiculous, destructive and false paradigm.
I hope the arrogance embodied in American culture can deal with this criticism!