Saturday, March 25, 2017

The Attachment to Food

My mother and I are going home in just under a week, which I think is part of the reason why I’ve been feeling homesick. I’ve started to think about things I did in my hometown that I haven’t really thought of since moving to Virginia. Some of the memories involve food, so I can somewhat understand the relationship the human species has to food. 

When my dad moved to Virginia a few months before my mother and I, I remember how my mother and I would go to this frozen yogurt place, get some self-serve frozen yogurt, and then drive to a park that was nearby. Oftentimes, it would be sunset when we would go, and it was always so enjoyable. The park had a path that you could walk on, and my mother and I would often take a walk after we finished our frozen yogurt.

Across from the house I used to live in, there was a sweet Asian man that moved in. Whenever I would go outside he would always wave to me. He had a girlfriend who worked at local donut shop in town. I can’t even count how many times they would bring over boxes of leftover donuts. Blueberry, frosted, cake, fruit filled. You name it, my family and I ate it! There was one specific time when he brought over this HUGE bag filled to the brim with donut holes. He eventually moved before my family and I did, which was disappointing because he was such a good neighbor. 

My family and I would get crazy bread from Little Caesars many, many times to go with dinner. My dad would bring a bag home when he got off work, to go with spaghetti or another entrée. We ate a lot of their pizzas too. I would ride with one of my parents to pick up a pizza, and I remember the doorbell that used to chime when you went into the store. 

Every Saturday morning my dad used to get donuts. When there was a Schnuck’s in our town, he always used to get me a cinnamon twist donut; they were the best.

There was a Chinese buffet in Memphis that my family and I often visited. I remember the glasses for the drinks were huge. My mom and I would have lunch with my Dad who worked nearby, or we would, on occasion, have lunch with some relatives that came over from Arkansas. I used to always get banana and chocolate pudding for dessert. I knew the faces of the waiters that worked there, and there was one man in particular who freaked me out (when I was younger) who I called “Spikey Man.” 

I could share more memories like the donut place my mom, brother, and I used to go to after we went to the dentist. Or the cupcake place that we started going to instead. I could talk about how many times my family and I would go to CiCi’s Pizza Buffet and all the fun times we had, or the Mexican restaurant that my family always ate at, El Mezcal.

Clearly, for me at least, food is a big part of my life, as I’m sure it is for a lot of people. Our culture ties food in with a lot of things, and for me it’s tied in with some of my favorite memories. Today this same food isn't appealing because I know where it comes from, and how it affects my health, the planet, and the animals. But that doesn’t change the fact that at one time I did think the food was great and that I have very fond memories surrounding the food and the memories that go along with it. Trust me, I totally understand your attachment to food. However, if I can change, so can you. I don’t miss the foods I used to enjoy, but I do miss the events that I associate with them -- the places, the people, and the good times.

Yes, I am vegan, but at one time I was an omnivore just like you. Some of my greatest childhood memories involve food, which I think is normal for a lot of us. I just happen to think about food differently now.  For instance, when I was growing up I had no problem eating a Corky's BBQ sandwich. Now, about once a month, I stand on a corner with other activists in Smithfield, VA holding signs to raise awareness about what these pigs go through to become the BBQ sandwich I used to enjoy

At the end of the day I'm really no different than you. But I have learned that I can enjoy social gatherings and celebrations without taking the lives of innocent beings. 


Copyright 2016-2017 by Dee Dee Wike and Joy Wike. All rights reserved.

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