Skip to content →

Category: Vegan

POEM: making fried rice


making fried rice

slicing the potatoes
dicing the onions
chopping the garlic
slivering the ginger
heating the wok
adding the sesame oil
pouring the soy sauce
mixing the veggies
stirring the mixture
inhaling the aroma
boiling the rice
filling the wok
drizzling more soy sauce
tasting the fried rice
eating it all

12 January 2013
Auburn, AL

Leave a Comment

Some thoughts on being a vegan

NOTE: I became a vegan seven months ago after being a lifelong omnivore. This post was prompted by a discussion on Facebook and a note I wrote to a relative following that discussion.

I just wanted to say a bit more (off Facebook) about my intentions with today’s posts. Yes, some members of our family lived into their 90s. And had cancer and heart trouble, too. The incidence of cancer is extremely high in our family, and only some of that (according to doctors) is directly traceable to genetics. Much of it is directly linked to diet.

Add to that the fact that my kids’ mother, father and grandfather have all struggled with weight issues, and their other grandfather is dead from heart trouble, and I really started to think about how we’re living and how we could live better.

Plus the plain truth is that eating meat is destroying our planet. According to the UN, the environmental harm caused by factory farming is greater than that caused by all the transportation networks in the world combined.

And — and this is the argument I always had to ignore for myself all those years I ate meat — animals are sentient beings with feelings and families and a desire to not be in pain. We don’t need to eat them. We are harmed physically by eating them and drinking or otherwise using their byproducts. So we have to say, “I think it’s justifiable to kill and eat these creatures or use them in other ways so that I can have pleasure, regardless of the consequences for myself or the world around me.” What pushed me over to being vegan was that I could no longer keep saying that.

I’m definitely preaching like a new convert, but that’s not because I just figured this stuff out. I just finally had the courage to do it. And I really care about the people in my life and want them to be healthier, too. And I think if we as progressives are going to keep talking about the environment and corporate control and health care, this is a simple step we can take to walk that walk.


POEM: Today I played chess with a turkey (November Poem-A-Day 25)

Listen to this poem using the player above.

This is poem #25 for the November Poem-A-Day challenge. Today’s prompt was to write an animal poem. Given that this is also my first Thanksgiving as a vegan, I decided to write a poem about doing something with a turkey other than eating it.

Today I played chess with a turkey

Rather than eating him, I mean.
His name was Ronald.
I was embarrassed, because I thought
all turkeys were named Tom.
“That’s OK,” he said, “everybody thinks that.”
We played in the park on one of those tables
old men use when the afternoons get too long.
Ronald told me he’d always wanted to play
the saxophone, but his limbs weren’t set up right.
I suggested the koto, a Japanese instrument played
by plucking, something I figured he could easily do
with his beak. “It’s just not the same,” he said.
“You can’t play the blues on a koto.”
Ronald mentioned that he once played a one-string,
jug-band bass with Muddy Waters, during Muddy’s
last gig in Chicago. “But Muddy died in 1983
and turkeys only live for 10 years,” I said.
Ronald said that was another myth.
“I’m 47, and my dad lived to be … well …
I know it was more than 80, at least.”
Ronald said many turkeys only live 10 years
because most of them never develop hobbies.
We played three games of chess and Ronald won
all three. He was very gracious about it.
“It keeps me young,” he said.
After the games, we walked back downtown
to my apartment. The whole way there, Ronald
hummed “Mannish Boy.”