From the Vegan website:

what is a VEGAN? A vegan (pronounced VEE-gun) is someone who, for various reasons, chooses to avoid using or consuming animal products. While vegetarians choose not to use flesh foods, vegans also avoid dairy and eggs, as well as fur, leather, wool, down, and cosmetics or chemical products tested on animals.

why VEGAN? Veganism, the natural extension of vegetarianism, is an integral component of a cruelty-free lifestyle. Living vegan provides numerous benefits to animals’ lives, to the environment, and to our own health–through a healthy diet and lifestyle.

Okay, a worthy attempt and no mistake. So the old man and I are killing some time watching Anthony Bourdain’s wonderful No Reservations.  In this San Francisco episode, he visits Pirate Cat Radio, a studio space combined with a vegan café. Now, our Anthony is a maniac for pork.

Main Entry: pork
Pronunciation: \ˈprk\
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French porc pig, from Latin porcus — more at farrow
Date: 14th century

1 : the fresh or salted flesh of swine when dressed for food

This from Merriam-Webster online.

So what is our intrepid lad doing in a vegan café for crying out loud? Well, there’s a latte they serve: The Maple Bacon Latte. Bacon. Huh? Oh! Well says DJ Monkey, this is refined bacon. So it’s okay.

Now, I haven’t been able to locate anything regarding refined bacon – other than various blogs about this particular episode and some scientific gobbledy-gook that I honestly can’t fathom – but based on the episode I just watched, your host at the café, DJ Monkey, says it takes approximately 10 pounds of bacon to produce 4 ounces of refind bacon. So okay. He says it’s okay because it isn’t flesh that they’re eating.

But it came from a pig! It’s not okay to eat a strip of bacon but it’s okay to refine 10 pounds of the stuff and call it vegan?! I can’t be the only person who doesn’t buy this crap. Bourdain himself asks quite plainly how they justify this. He really didn’t get any kind of answer, other than that it wasn’t actually flesh.

The look on Bourdain’s face was a study in disbelief, but he left it lie there and that’s okay too. For all I know, he’s blogged it and I missed it.  No doubt I’ll wander along now and see what, if anything, I can find. In the meantime though, I ask for your opinions on this. Is this use of all this pork to flavor a coffee drink against the precepts of Veganism, or am I being too specific in my definition.

Oh, wait! It’s their definition. Whaddayathink?

I love what DJ Monkey is doing with the whole studio/café idea, but I really dislike the iffy use of the term Vegan.

Myself, I’m a meat-eater and apply myself to my cuts of beef, pork, chicken, etc with gusto. I’ve nothing against the Vegans and like of this world and wish them well. I’m all for their desire to protect those who can’t protect themselves through no fault of their own. I do, however, take exception to trading on something noble like that to make a buck.


Yes, I think so.

13 thoughts on “Hypocrisy?

  1. Lynda

    This writer wants to know why killing a pig to make a leather belt is wrong, but killing a pig to use a few ounces of its non-flesh to flavor coffee is okay.

  2. Ted Newsom

    I was born with incisors and will die with them. My dentist tells me they’re designed to tear and rend meat. Who am I to run counter to genetic programming and the word o’Gawd?

    And besides, it’s a dog-eat-dog world. Woof.

  3. Dennis Fischer

    No, Cameron, “unreasonable and uncontrolled” is the definition for Dennis Miller. To rant is to scold vehemently or in a declamatory manner. Vegan is by definition no animal products allowed (e.g. Paul McCartney discovered he needed to give up Ivory Soap), so if refined bacon uses real bacon, then by definition it would be tref, a forbidden food. The vegans I know don’t even want the slightest morsel of their food cooked in animal fat and tend to be extremely strict about such things.

  4. Jessie

    And a lovely one it was, I might add. But then, I think you’re both very complimentary and I thank you for them. In the mean time though, these characters in San Francisco are still claiming to be vegans, so I’m trying to get this word out. Please do pass the link to this blog around so more and more folks will find out about it. Actual Vegans may not want to trade there, you know?

  5. serena

    Seriously there is a place that makes bacon flavoured vegan coffee using several kilos of pork?? Unbelievable. What are they doing with messing around with coffee like that in the first place let along the whole vegan gig?

  6. Geoff Nelder

    Aaarrggh. I’ve been vegan for 30 years give or take an accidental custard cream biscuit, no way could I or any vegan I know imbibe a drink which had ingredients from an animal. I draw the line at yeast.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *