I am not a vegansexual. This is a vegan who won’t have sex with nonvegans. I sleep with the enemy. I’m married to a meat-eater. He was such when I married him, I was a vegetarian who has since gone vegan. Call it crazy love.
Occasionally, we have differences of opinion. We work it out. This seems revolutionary for some to grasp. Based on reader response from my Huffington Post piece “Anger Management,” there are some very angry carnivores out there. And some tediously self-righteous vegans.
I know some vegans who take the approach of a former national leader and say we as a plant-based people do not negotiate with terrorists, by which we mean everyone who is not us. But then you run the risk, as he did, of being all alone on your moral high ground and losing the fight. As well as your audience.
Nonvegans may think we’re insane -- and I’ve heard from a vociferous lot of them who say as much. But nonvegans are not fussy. They’ll have sex with vegans, nonvegans, anyone who’s willing.
This shows an openness us plant-based folk should take to heart. Gentle readers, dialogue is good. Even when it seems like there’s a line in the sand between meat-eaters and vegans, Republicans and Democrats. We may not always agree with each other, but frankly, we don’t have anywhere else to go. The fact is, whatever you eat or believe, we’re all on this planet together.
Veganism is all about compassionate choices. It means a commitment to protecting the environment and being kind to our animal friends. That should include all sentient beings, even those that can sometimes be hard to like -- humans. You don’t bash some meat-eating someone over the head because he’s an idiot -- um, because he does not share your world view. Enlightened you may be, but when you take that approach, compassionate you are not.
That’s why I prefer the carrot -- or in this case, brightly spiced Moroccan carrot salad -- to the stick. Food itself can convince where rhetoric cannot. Cooking vegan lets me make and share food aligned with what I believe in -- more compassion, less carbon. It lets me be the change I want to see in the world, to quote Gandhi (a vegetarian). When I feed others, it encourages them to be that way, too. It provides pleasure, besides, both to them and to me.
Vegansexuals may consider me a traitor to the cause, but I’m not going to divorce my husband because we have different ideas of what’s right for dinner. It is nice to have someone who’ll pull your ass out of the fire. Even if he does eat the occasional burger.
Sometimes reaching out, whether it’s across the aisle, across the table or across the bed, can be a revolutionary act. Vegans, locavores, green advocates and activitists, we have an important message and like John Lennon once sang, “We all want to change the world,” but we like to party, too -- I do, anyway. And I want to invite everybody.
Revolutionary Moroccan Carrot Salad
Eleven months of the year, I forget about this recipe entirely, but come the hottest days of the year, I crave the bright colors and bracing yin-yang of this Moroccan carrot salad. It’s refreshing to eat, beautiful to look at and absurdly easy to make.
1 pound of carrots
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon paprika (smoked is particularly nice)
generous pinch cayenne pepper or, if you have it, Aleppo pepper
2 teaspoons agave or honey
4 teaspoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
a good handful fresh flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
Coarsely shred carrots in a food processor or chop into 1/4-inch matchsticks, your call.
Dump into a good-sized bowl and set aside.
Heat oil and spices in a small skillet over low heat, stirring until spices darken and the whole thing turns fragrant, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
Add oil and spice mixture to carrots and toss to coat. Add honey or agave, lemon juice, and sea salt.
May be made a day ahead and chilled in an airtight container.
Before serving, gently mix in parsley and enjoy slightly chilled.
Serves 6 to 8.