Saturday, April 03, 2010

"My Transition to Vegan Wasn't Easy"

This headline caught my eye earlier today: "My Transition to Vegan Wasn't Easy". It's an interview with someone called P. K. Mohankumar, featured in this weekend's Business Standard in India. I stifled a slight groan at the hint of "veganism-is-hard" I detected with a slight sense of hope, triggered by the use of the word "transition" with a past-tense verb. The first paragraph belies anything positive as soon as Mohankumar states that he is sharing his favourite fish-based recipe with the Business Standard. Mohankumar goes on to talk about his conversion to "veganism" from having been a "hard core non-vegetarian" and lists off a wide variety of healthy fruits, vegetables, grains, seeds and legumes he regularly consumes. And then:

My transition to being a committed vegan took 90 grueling days. So, every Sunday is a ‘fun’ day for me and I indulge my palate with a typical south Indian breakfast of steaming idlis, home dosas or puttu followed by an appetising fish curry, masala grilled mackerels and sardines, with rice and tomato-garlic rasam.
He goes on to mention loving "probiotic ice-creams [and] flavoured yogurt", and of course since I wander in the world of vegan alternatives, I'm used to assuming that when people self-identify as vegan that when they say "ice cream" or "yogurt" they mean the soy- or coconut-based kinds. I can't say that I feel comfortable giving Mohankumar the benefit of the doubt, however, since he goes on to describe some of his favourite non-Indian dishes as follows:
I like Italian cuisine a lot. Penne arrabbiata, herb-crusted John Dory with grainy mustard sauce or tomato vinaigrette with olives and capers, is what I usually order when I eat Italian food. I also like Mediterranean cuisine, especially olive oil-poached salmon and grilled cod with caper sauce.
So, rather than say that his transition to veganism "wasn't easy", I think it's safer to say that Mohankumar's transition to veganism just plain old "wasn't".


Kerry said...

This kind of thing frustrates me beyond belief. How many people will read that interview and assume from his words that the diet of a "committed vegan" (as he describes himself) includes fish? I have a good mind to email him if I can find his address online.

OhSoooSara said...

What a twit. I get a mental image of him on "fun day", sitting at a table covered with plates of greasy fish skeletons. A vegan favorite......fried Kane fish. HA!

x said...

It's very frustrating that things like this article get published, it sends the completely wrong message.

B said...

Ugh, I agree. Stuff like this should never be published. Since when are fish vegetables?! He probably wears leather shoes and uses honey in his tea.

Krys said...

As an actual vegan whose transition to veganism wasn't easy, but was successful, I'm horrified that some people call themselves vegans when they aren't even vegetarians! Can we sue for defamation when people besmirch the word "vegan"?