Friday, July 9, 2010

My two Moms

So Becca and I have gotten our mothers together.  This is their first meeting and they are both here all weekend long (Lord have mercy).  This is two very different bags of crazy, though I must say I love both women that gave us life. It's just that they are both very different personalities.  I would like to say at dinner they high-fived not once but twice.

So I took them to Cliff's Edge in Silverlake. This place looks so incredibly beautiful. The outdoor seating area was lovely with a huge tree in the center of the restaurant. I chose this place because there was a variety of different things on the menu from fish to steak to vegan stew and couscous.  My mother got fish, my brother the steak, Becca got pumpkin ravioli, Becca's mom got french fries with gorgonzola dipping sauce, and you guessed it I got the vegan stew and couscous.

I enjoyed my meal thoroughly. The veggies were stewed just right and although I usually don't love garbonzo beans, this time they were perfect. Maybe it's just that I prefer them warm rather than in salads.

This was the first time I'd gone out to eat with either of them since I committed to veganism. Becca's mom was good about it, although she did try to get me to eat the cheese sauce.  It's funny how difficult the idea of veganism is for many people. For whatever reason, they just don't think of cheese or butter as an animal product. My mother, on the other hand, worried that I don't get enough nutrients.  (I had mentioned that my skin is a little bad right now due to the toxins filtering out of my body.)  Now my mother is an RN.  She's in the medical profession and yet she still asked if I get enough calcium and protein, two things that I guarantee I am in no way deficient. When I told her that kale has more calcium than milk, she responded, "Well if you're eating 16 cups of it maybe." Oy vey.

Then at dinner the politics of food somehow got brought up.  The moms talked about genetically modified foods. See in my family, my sister and I are allergic to corn.  Both my brothers (and actually my sister as well) are allergic to gluten.  So basically the worst family ever to eat with.  However, this prompted the moms to talk about how genetically modified foods are altering the health of young people. The more they talked, the more I realized that neither one of them had a clue what they were actually talking about. Rather they were merely reiterating talking points that they had overheard somewhere.  Becca's mother mentioned that pesticides and genetically modified foods were to blame for the overdevelopment of youngsters (she works in a school) but then said, "I mean, it's just sad for them. It won't do anything to me because I'm old."  I had to bite my tongue super hard to keep from blurting out, "You've been eating this shit for over a decade too. It's equally as harmful no matter the age."  This is a woman that has suffered colon cancer that truly believes that buying Target brand organic milk somehow exempts her from any food-related issues.  Just like my mother truly believes that meat is a necessary part of a balanced diet.

As much as I wanted to fight and speak up, I realize that no one wants to be preached to or made to feel badly about their food choices. I also feel like although I've read a lot of books, I'm not so knowledgeable that I could really educate them. After all, I don't want to spout off factoids that I've read like they did with talking points. Becca has already gotten on my case a bit for sounding self-righteous and I don't want to be one of those bitchy vegans that feel superior to everyone. I want to educate myself further so that when this subject comes up again I can feel more prepared to explain my position.

How do other people deal with this?  Do you have family members who do not understand the basic principals of veganism?  If so, leave a comment and let me know.

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