Vegan Foozeball

Is this vegan?I mean football. Or American futbol. Or maybe this post should be called “Almost Vegan.” In Roz Cummins’ latest article on Grist entitled “On Vegans and Pigskins,” she attempts to make a “Super Bowl-worthy vegan dish.” She almost does, but “chickens out” when it comes to using non-dairy cheese. While I acknowledge the effort to offer a vegan(izable) recipe, and for Grist to have two vegan articles within a week’s time, I found this post to be disappointing. Ms. Cummins is a food writer, has vegan friends and access to the internet, and is writing for a media source that just featured a vegan cookbook. Talk about sloppy research. Even Will Shortz now knows about Veganomicon.

I know finding good vegan cheese is a contested subject, but there are ones that can do the trick, like Follow Your Heart, Sunergia, and Sheese. There are also plenty of other vegan recipes that don’t require cheese analogs. Maybe I’m just sensitive to articles emphasizing “failed veganism.” I don’t like it being portrayed as too difficult or extreme to have a dish with no animal products whatsoever. I want it to be encouraging.

A recent Wall Street Journal article talks about the Kansas City Chiefs’ player Tony “China Study” Gonzalez and his quest to be a vegan football player.

“Mr. Gonzalez joined a handful of elite athletes who have put the vegan diet to the test, either for their health or because they oppose using animals as food. But he was the first pro-football superstar to try. And the first to fail.”

He was enouraged by the team’s nutritionist (another failed veg attempt) to incorporate some animal products into is diet:

“The Chiefs’ team nutritionist, Mitzi Dulan, a former vegetarian athlete, did not believe that was enough. With the team’s prospects and Mr. Gonzalez’s legacy at stake, she persuaded the tight-end to incorporate small amounts of meat into his plant diet. Just no beef, pork or shellfish, he said; only a few servings of fish and chicken a week. “

I know Mr. China Study wants to be vegan, and I believe he can just like Mac Danzic and Salim Stoudamir, the other vegan athletes featured in the sidebars. I happen to also know a very special vegan runner who has run 5 marathons and a 50-miler. It’s possible.

Maybe on Sunday, Roz will actually come through with a vegan dish. There’s always Foodswings .

After the New York Times piece, “Rethinking the Meat Guzzler,” we all can make an effort to go the extra mile. It’s game time, folks. Go Team?


~ by sangamithra on February 1, 2008.

One Response to “Vegan Foozeball”

  1. Topic of vegan pigskins for another day. But just wanted to post in response to Roz Cummins’s comments section, where she adds
    “There are some vegan ingredients I won’t use: fake eggs seem ridiculous to me. I get eggs at a community organic farm where the chickens can go outdoors and scratch, and they are fed an excellent diet. Why wouldn’t I want to support that?”

    It might be good to ask that community farm, where they get their chicks from (mail order), what happens to the male chicks at birth, how long the egg laying hens are alive, and what happens to them when they aren’t “(re)productive” anymore.

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