Saturday, 12 April 2008

The road to vegan is paved with good intentions

Nothing to say for myself, really; just wanted to show off my beast-friendly cupcakes (praise be to the felicitous aminglement of No Egg, Nuttelex, sugar, vanilla, flour, baking soda, cocoa, rice milk, dark choc chips, alfoil patty pans and heat). Also, my two-tiered cake stand, lovingly bequeathed by sister the eldest.

16 comments:

Martin Kingsley said...

Those do look rather scrumptious.

As before, I'll warn the vegan in you that there is quite a bit of sugar on the market that is decolourised by being filtered through bone charcoal.

Unfortunately, I'm otherwise beyond redemption, having been born with a medically recognised lack of a conscience. I'm hoping, however, that the makes of No Egg will soon deploy a powdered salve to supermarket shelves, so that I might apply some ethics, in a paste, to the appropriate areas and disguise my condition.

Martin Kingsley said...

makers, even.

Alexis, Baron von Harlot said...

That truly is a gruesome thought, sugar of the charnel house. But, but, but ... maybe I don't mind so much, so long as the bones really are a by-product that would need disposing of anyway.

Two reservations, though. One, when Australia first started exporting woodchips, the exporters told us all that woodchips were a byproduct of timber-getting, but it didn't take long for them to become the raison de logging. Likewise, perhaps, for these "byproducts" of animal butchery (skins and bones that get turned into shoes and sugars). Two, on the one hand I don't care what happens to a lifeless body, but on the other, given how easily we objectify animals, maybe treating an animal's corpse with regard (as we treat humans' corpses) is part of what it takes to educate us in treating animals' living selves with regard. Although maybe we should stop being all spooky about dead bodies, and use human bones to process sugar too. It'd save on cremation expenses.

Meanwhile, I have too many dalliances with haloumi and milk chocolate to be worrying about sugar processing yet.

eyrie said...

That is a splendid two-tiered cake tray and I envy the fortunate eaters of the treats it bears.

What is in No Egg? I've never investigated these things, being an out-and-out carnivore (I tremble at the thought of not eating seafood anymore!). I do admire vegans though, as it strikes me that it would really take a lot of effort to observe it strictly, given how many animal byproducts there are in the most unexpected things and given the use of animals in medical research. Even bone china is bone china because it has ox bone in it, although certainly it would be a waste product and there wouldn't be any herds kept especially for bone china production.

Maria said...

Well, I'm sure the problem is that when everyone starts wanting the off-cast stuff it becomes a market so people start producing the same thing, as a market, to cope with demand, and of course because it's good business.

I guess, then, by that reasoning. if you want people to use byproducts (not the market stuff), I s'pose you've got to encourage the same people NOT to want the byproducts things so much.

Hmmm

Maria said...

Eyrie, funny how many people I've heard seem to think seafood isn't "real meat". That is, they seem to think that there are two classes of vegetarians - the vegetarians who eat seafood and those who don't, rather than seeing themselves as "a person who doesn't eat meat, other than seafood". Is the name for it pisci-vegetarian?

I've now meat a few vegetarians who will say "I'm a vegetarian" while chomping on seafood (and won't qualify it by saying something like "I'm basically a vegetarian but I will eat seafood"), or people who will say to someone who declares themselves vegetarian "But do you eat fish?"

I've got nothing against people who choose the seafood-as-my-only-meat diet (personally I prefer most white meat to most red), just the classification system used by many seems to cause some ... difficulties!

eyrie said...

As a child I was a vegetarian who made the exception for seafood and chicken. There was no logic in it at all. I was a very skinny child and it was my mother's perpetual fear that I would become anaemic, so she used the old "fish (and now chooks!) don't have any feelings" line. I used to eat tomato sauce sandwiches at family barbeques, much to the older folks' distress.

I'm not too fond of red meat, but that's personal preference more than conscience. I don't like beef much, except for those very particular occasions when one really needs a good steak, but, given the choice, it would be seafood, then chicken and, if I had to, lamb (which I only enjoy if it's cooked really nicely). There are some things I won't eat for reasons of conscience- veal and foie gras, for instance.

Maria said...

Hmmm - well I prefer white meat to red, in general. I prefer beef, to lamb in general, Though I have had a very nice lamb dish and awful beef dishes.

I think personal taste has lots of logic in it! "I eat this because it tastes good" sounds very logical!

Alexis, Baron von Harlot said...

No, nooo, noooooo, noooooooooo! How did this post about innocent wee cupcakes deliquesce into a putrid puddle of which-animal-I-like-to-eat-the-best? Honestly, you people, I turn my back on you for one single day, and before I know it you're chomping your way through an entire zoo.

For the record, No Egg contains tapioca starch, and some other stuff along similar lines. And if you want to talk gleefully about how best to sauté a kangaroo's tongue, please go and do it somewhere else.

Martin Kingsley said...

Now that's just silly.

Everyone knows koala tongues taste better, though you have to go through a whole gum plantation to get enough for a good meal, and I haven't even mentioned that you can fashion a hard-wearing and stylish hat, coat, set of gloves and necklace from the carcasses when you're done deep-fryin'.

eyrie said...

My apologies for getting too swept up in a wicked, carnivore enthusiasm. Certainly, the cupcakes did nothing to provoke it, although I would very much like to make the acquiantance of a deliciously provocative cupcake.

Alexis, Baron von Harlot said...

They were quite provocative, those cupcakes. My pal Nick-the-mathemagician was hiring out Hôtel Harlot's living room for his 32nd birthday festivities on Saturday, and the kitchens excelled themselves on the cupcake front (if I do say so myself). Would've been lovely to have had you there. I think you might have raised the tone (and dimished the oversupply of Russian Caravan).

eyrie said...

Raised the tone? Evidently I have kept a lid on the swearing in your presence! I certainly don't doubt the produce of Chez Harlot, although I only know one mathemagician, who has hired his skills out to investment banks, so I don't know what mathemagicians of the academic variety talk about when they get together at festive occasions. Perhaps they devise mathemagic puzzles about white rabbits?

lucy tartan said...

Bone char is not used in refining Australian sugar. They use a plant-derived carbon of some sort instead. I think this is less out of consideration for vegetarian and vegan sensibilities than something to do with the gargantuan size of the sugar processing industry in Australia, but still, it's good.

Martin Kingsley said...

Hey, things are lookin' up!

Alexis, Baron von Harlot said...

Good news! Perhaps not for my teeth.