There's been a lot of discussion around here lately about all things vegan, vegetarian, cruel-free, meat-free and humane. Last week, for example, Sarah, a former vegetarian, went back to eating meat, which, of course, led to a full-tilt party for all the crazies out there in wackadoodle land . (One commenter even explained in detail the link between vegetarians and the "priests of bacteria.") Jason Sheehan recently admitted that he considered going veggie, however briefly, after reading Jonathan Safran Foer's book, Eating Animals.
But the reality remains that meat-eaters have options. There are probably only a few fringe whack jobs that would subscribe to eating only cruelly-raised and inhumanely slaughtered farm beasts. The concept of buying meats and proteins that are "humane" is a fine and noble ideal -- and certainly a movement that's gaining momentum. And while subscribing to that lifestyle can be expensive and time-consuming, it's usually worth the effort. Still, after reading some of the modified holiday recipes from the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA), it's no wonder that some vegetarians go back to the dark side.
There were the typical things to look for, like labeling of foods that are certified humane and organic, which allegedly guarantees a happier, hormone-free life for the soon-to-be-dispatched animal. But when you start substituting things like soy milk in mashed potatoes or water for milk in cream-based soups, it's going a little far. Don't taint the precious tradition of pumpkin pie by using rice milk or tofu, especially if you're going to serve it to unsuspecting guests. That's just cruel. So is trying to make your nuts-and-berries stuffing sound as good as grandma's sausage and onion version. There's no contest.