My mom to my dad: “You can just stuff it.”

We never ate turkey at my house; we only ate “damn turkey.” The “damn turkey” was the one my mother cooked for various holidays.
Of course, it never occurred to anyone that we actually didn’t have to buy, cook or eat turkey at all. That option was not on our radar.

My mother hated the damn turkey because 1) It was huge; 2) You had to thaw it out in the bathtub; 3) It always needed to cook about two more hours than you thought it did and 4) Probably at a semi-conscious level she realized it was a dead animal.

She was disgusted with the damn turkey’s gizzard and neck and disgusted by the idea of stuffing its body. I think she would have filed for divorce if my father hadn’t agreed to stuff it.

Somehow I remember him sort of wrestling with the damn turkey in the kitchen sink with his arms up to the elbows covered with greasy anonymous gunk. It’s such a truly bizarre idea – putting food into the body cavity of a deceased bird.

I’ve never cooked a damn turkey. Probably my most hated Susie Homemaker experience was making meat loaf: putting the hamburger meat into a bowl, cracking an egg over it, adding some mustard and bread crumbs and squishing up the whole thing with my hands, with the meat mixture oozing out from between my fingers. I’d mold it into a “loaf” or whatever and blanket it with about a half a bottle of ketchup. I couldn’t wait to wash my hands and wash the bowl.

It was appalling but I never allowed myself to fully acknowledge appalling it was. Or to allow myself to think deeply about what I was touching – the ground up flesh of a cow, a cow who was an individual and a cow who had suffered unimaginable pain and fear.

The other meat cooking I despised was chicken. In my pre-vegan days, I would rinse off the chicken breasts with cold water and pull off the skin and the visible fat. But knowing what I know now about how unbelievably filthy chicken meat is, I probably would have wanted to put on a Hazmet suit and use straight bleach to disinfect it.

I don’t know if eggs are as dirty as chicken flesh, but they certainly are nasty. Am I the only one who’s noticed they smell like farts? Even during my meat-eating career, I had little inclination to eat eggs. The only time I liked them was when they were safely disguised in a chocolate mousse or in a crepe.

These days as a vegan, I eat honest chocolate mousse: melted dark chocolate chips, a drip of vanilla and silken tofu blended up in the blender and I’m a happy person for it.

— A Vicious Vegan blog post —


Yep, the male gender must eat meat balls otherwise, well, their testicles suffer egregiously.

Another thing men need to do at least one or two hours a week is barbecue. And I’m not talking s’mores for the kids or freaking vegetable/tofu kebabs. Manly barbecue, as everyone knows, must feature hot dogs – extra large hot dogs or sausages. Also, please note, cooking a generous slab of steak will send your testosterone through the roof. But remember, if an erection lasts for more than two or three days, you should go to the hospital.

At all times, men must wear as much leather as possible. Belts, shoes, boots, jackets, vests, and if you can find some cool ones, hats. No self-respecting man should ever wear rubber sandals or Keds. And men should never ever wear the most pussy substance on earth: Pleather. (Don’t forget, guys, you also need leather seats in the car and leather furniture in the house. And certainly a real man’s best friend doesn’t wear a nylon collar.)

Speaking of pussy, there are some pussy doctors and researchers out there who say that eating meat balls, hot dogs, corn dogs, sausages and the rest of the manly cuisine causes heart disease. Yeah, yeah, yeah. They say it’s loaded with cholesterol and saturated fat. Blah, blah, blah.

They’ve even said that erectile dysfunction is the first sign of heart disease. One doctor called “ED” the “canary in the coal mine.”


— A Vicious Vegan blog post —


Contrary to popular opinion, vegans are not the Arnold Schwarzeneggers of self-discipline. Like everyone on the planet we have our battles with our inner brats and sometimes the brats win.

No, I’m not talking about the food. For a lot of vegans it took but a few days to become completely disgusted by the thought of eating animal flesh and/or animal secretions. Vegan food can be really great (except for Boca-Burgers.) I dare anyone to say that cow’s milk tastes better than almond milk!

I’m talking about the other stuff that can trip up even the most dedicated vegan, namely me: This is my confession.

First off since going vegan nearly six years ago, I bought two, not one but two down vests. Yes, I didn’t know at the time that the ducks raised for down are treated as cruelly as any other factory farmed animals. But like the vast majority of meat eaters I didn’t investigate the issue too deeply. In fact, I didn’t investigate it all.

I also bought was a stupid pair of red leather shoes and a stupid wool sweater. In those instances I KNEW animals had suffered egregiously in the process of making those things. But well, I thought I NEEDED them. You see, I had a wedding to go to and my shoes need to match the dress and the sweater? Well, it was on sale.

Obviously I didn’t really need them! I needed them in that spoiled American diva sort of way, the way that’s wrecking the planet. Whoops! The way that’s already wrecked the planet.

Of course, at this point, the sweater’s already gone to the Good Will and the shoes sit unworn in the bottom of my closet. I’d always had this idea that red shoes are happy shoes. It’s not true! Those shoes cry and moan.

I have three or four more vegan misdemeanors: I take a prescription drug in a gelatin capsule (the drug was probably tested on animals) and I eat organic fruits and vegetables, which according to Will Tuttle in his “World Peace Diet,” says, are fertilized by the manure from factory farms. I have a cat that eats cat food with meat, dairy and eggs in it.

Yes, I’ve done these things; some I hope to never do again like the shoes, the vests and the sweater; others I know I will do again, like eating organic and taking the medication. I’m OK with it.

I practice Vicious Veganism at the level that makes sense to me. And I understand it’s the same for others. Maybe the best for you right now is simply Meatless Monday and meatless leftovers for Tuesday.

Go vegan; go vegetarian; go Meatless Monday and whatever part of Tuesday you can manage!

— A Vicious Vegan blog post —


What are the differences between vegetarians and vegans? Of course, besides the obvious — vegetarians eat eggs and dairy and vegans don’t. Here’s my list:

Vegetarians have friends and vegans have comrades.

Waiters love vegetarians, vegans? Not so much.

Vegetarians have no idea how many animals are slaughtered for food every year. Vegans know it’s 10 billion land animals in the United States.

Vegetarians think you have to properly combine proteins in order to survive, vegans think you can live happily on pomegranates for the rest of your life. (Both wrong. Read “The Starch Solution” by Dr. John McDougall.)

Vegetarians tend toward the “different strokes for different folks” philosophy. Vegans can get, well, vicious, if they see somebody eating a hot dog.

Vegetarians don’t get too upset about chicken broth hiding in the minestrone soup, vegans DO get upset about chicken broth hiding in the minestrone soup.

Vegetarians don’t worry about their feet going to hell if they wear leather shoes. Vegans have learned to, if not love plastic and canvas footwear, at least get along with it.

Vegetarians hold on to the hope that “cage free” means chickens happily running about in a barnyard. Vegans don’t approve even if your companion chicken is a rescue and you feed its eggs to hungry school children.

Vegetarians look at ice cream and see, well, ice cream. Vegans look at ice cream and see a male dairy calf confused and crying for his mother in the corner of a darkened veal stall.

Vegetarians can go to dinner parties where meat is served without making a big deal out of it. Vegans go to dinner parties where meat is served and do make a big deal out of it, while trying really hard not to make a big deal out of it.

OK enough with the differences. What about the similarities between these two factions of the animal liberation movement?

Both vegetarians and vegans care about animals. Both vegetarians and vegans care about personal and public health. Both vegetarians and vegans care about the environment. And when you think about it, meat-eaters also care about animals, personal and public health and the environment.

Vegans and vegetarians forget that we, too, ate hot dogs, bacon and burgers before giving them up.

Vegans forget that most of us consumed Jamoca Almond Fudge ice cream, Cheez-its and egg nog long before giving those up.

And meat-eaters forget that their vegan and/or vegetarian friend is actually a nice person underneath all that damned proselytizing.

Vegetarianism is REALLY important to the movement. Vegetarianism allows people who have concerns about the animal foods industry to still make a BIG contribution. They save animals and lessen global warming. And even your basic meat, cheese, fish and egg eater can even make a BIG contribution just by refraining from meat on Mondays.

Go vegan! Go vegetarian! Go Meatless Monday!

— A Vicious Vegan blog post —