A guest blog by Steven Lantz

A lot of people ask, “Why do vegans and vegetarians try to make their food taste like the dishes they remember with meat in them. I mean why not just eat the real thing?” We all enjoy memorable flavors and traditions, we just think about it more than others. We weigh the morality of what it entails against any desire to have a “flavor” After 5 years I have learned a trick or two about eating, matching flavors and keeping it “real” and whole. Whether you agree with the idea that animals should not be killed or not, evidence is stacking up that eating meat and dairy is bad, not just because it is factory farmed but because it is not good food for us to eat in any large amount, and certainly not in the amounts in the American diet. Here are a couple of points to think about on this Meatless Monday.

1. What you think of as those memorable flavors are most often provided by the plants that season your meat. An example is the two things you probably love most about bacon are the smoke and the salt, neither is provided by the pig flesh itself.
2. “Why not eat the real thing?” well that should be obvious, “the real thing” involves a tortured and abused animal that wanted to live. “The real thing” has dietary cholesterol and large amounts of saturated fat. “The real thing”, hasn’t been the real thing in 100 years of compromised factory farming practices. and “The Real Thing” doesn’t exist, all dishes you eat have changed countless times over the years to adapt to ingredients and cultural shifts in eating. What you think is tradition I think of as “culinary laziness”