This (unfortunately) brought to mind this picture:
… and (again; more importantly; anything to get that image out of my mind) the concept of freeganism: i.e. “avoiding buying anything to the greatest degree we are able” in an effort to topple the capitalist system as a whole. While this is the most widely accepted definition of freegan, some of the dumpster divers I interviewed for my college manuscript labeled themselves freegan in a slightly different way. They refused to buy any meat or dairy products personally, but were inclined to accept them if and when the products were offered to them by others for free.
Like both Bourdain and those flip-flopping freegans I interviewed, a part of myself can understand how it might be more open-minded, more polite and even more efficient to accept free animal products but not to buy them on your own. The other, larger and more logical part of me thinks it’s, well, ridiculous.
A great deal of individuals in this day and age are so stubborn and closed-minded (read: “traditional,” “picky,” “shy,” “self-conscious,” “macho,”) that they wouldn’t even consider researching the benefits of a plant-based diet, let alone eliminating meat from theirs–heck, even eliminating it from a single meal! If vegetarians and vegans are wary of sharing their opinions of or choices around plant-based foods in fear of coming off as “rude,” how do we plan to change the world? When is a better time to share your lifestyle choices with family, friends, colleagues and hosts than the moment you inform them that you are veg? Embrace their questions! Share what you know! Look out for one another! Spread health and happiness! Most likely, the person you are sharing with is simply mis- or uninformed.
A side note: B.R. Myers offers a worthwhile opinion on the topic of foodies like Bourdain in this March 2011 article in The Atlantic, “The Moral Crusade Against Foodies.” Check it out and let me know what you think.
Well… what do you think?