Anybody who knows me will tell you that if there is anything more amazing than my modesty, it is my profound sense of personal wellness. In fact, there is nothing I am more committed to than a healthy, wholesome lifestyle. I am, in fact, somewhat of a guru in this area, being the very first amongst my group of friends and acquaintances to embrace the concept of a raw food only diet, albeit it strictly vicariously.
Nevertheless, some of the over-the-top fanaticism to be found in lifestyle magazines these days is going just a bit beyond the pale. I am proud to say that I don’t mind having a carrot once or twice a year, perhaps a sprig of parsley on my fish and chips, or even the occasional leaf of iceberg lettuce alongside my chicken-fried steak. But I happened to be flipping through Vegan Hairshirt and Ashes Quarterly in my holistic dentist’s waiting room the other day, and I came across a particularly creepy article about making healthier eating choices. There were the usual tips about how to liven up a dinner party with pureed nettle leaves, how to reduce guilt by completely eliminating all forms of potential pleasure, and how to stabilize your chakra whilst firebombing fast food franchises. What really made me lose it, though, was a “Healthy Eating Choices Tip Of the Day” sidebar that recommended ways to reduce dietary fat by “making some simple substitutions.”. “For instance,” the article stated, “instead of having that slice of molten chocolate layer cake or a slab of banana double cream pie for dessert, how about trying a healthy carob and soy fig bar instead? You’ll be glad you did!”
I’ll be glad I did? I’ll be glad I turned up banana double-cream pie for something that, beyond any shadow of a doubt, tastes exactly like the dehydrated dung of a rhesus monkey? Sure, okay. But why stop there though? While we’re at this substituting business, why not cut back on calories by chowing down on fair trade bean meal instead of prime rib? Unpasteurized Tibetan yak milk is far healthier than single malt scotch and almost identical in taste. And who in their right mind would want a bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich when, for just a little more money, you can have sun-roasted squash rinds on unbleached rice cakes?
That crazy ass bullshit is likely to send any red-blooded carnivorous man into the sort of frenzy that can only be satisfied by drinking the blood of a factory-raised cow, followed by a mainlined chaser of red dye no. 2. Bon appetit!