On PF Changs and Vegan Authors
The PF Chang update, in case you haven't seen the response from the restaurant, is thus, once you incorporate the actual experiences of vegans who have gone through something similar with the restaurant: If you don't eat non-vegan sugar, there aren't many options. If you don't consider the sugar a major transgression, you have many choices. Everyone has their line in the sand. Also, ask to speak with the chef (my information, even about most of the tofu not being vegan, came from the chef via the server, by the way).
The slightly-larger question is every other restaurant. I feel bad that I picked on PF Chang's, as the Italian restaurant I frequent most likely uses sugar in its marinara, even if just a bit. And I doubt they use beet sugar, date sugar or agave nectar.
And the much-larger question is the idea of animal ingredients versus non-animal ingredients that were processed using animal ingredients, and that of course expands, ad infinitum, into every area of our lives (e.g., municipal water).
Face it, we'd like to avoid all products with animals in them but we can't even do that realistically, and to expect ourselves to also avoid non-animal products that have been processed with animal products is a bit much. Now, if you happen to know that non-vegan ingredients or processing took place, and you can easily avoid it, great! If not, don't flog yourself over it. Removing the flesh and secretions of sentient nonhumans from your diet, and removing their skin and hair from your clothing, and buying household products that don't have animal ingredients and weren't tested on animals, and refusing to participate in entertainment that involves animals, are the major issues. You are preventing untold exploitation and suffering by tackling them.
As for vegan authors, in response to Deb's query about bloggers, here are a couple of things to think about:
- Book deals get canceled for all kinds of reasons, and sometimes they have nothing to do with the author or the book. Sometimes the person who championed the book goes elsewhere. Sometimes the publisher decides to switch gears. Sometimes it's about money. Sometimes there's word that some celebrity is about to write a similar book, thereby eclipsing any potential audience you ever had. Sometimes the publisher's attorney says the book is too risky for some reason.
- If a publisher is purchasing your words and you are already making the same ones available for free on your blog, why should they buy them? Books based on blogs have to have a significant amount of new information/posts/concepts in them.
- Many book deals are made after an article or two is published, and in fact agents will tell you that writing for magazines is a great way to build your platform and credibility. However, you can't simply say that the content of your book is all of the articles you've written. Again, a book must have a significant amount of original content to be salable.
If enough people care, I can write about self-publishing, which used to be a dirty word but isn't so much anymore. Let me know.