Oprah goes vegan.”

I had to do a double take when I read the headline this morning. Oprah, the curvaceous billionaire foodie, is not just going vegetarian, she’s going vegan. She’s giving up all meat and dairy products for 21 days. That’s not just three weeks without hamburgers, hot dogs and fish sticks–that’s three weeks without Brie, huevos rancheros and (God help her) milkshakes. That would be hard even for me. But for Oprah? Impossible!

I try to go vegan one or two days a week. No small task given that I live in Japan. This is a country where when young children are taken to the aquarium, they point at the fish tanks and shout, “Oishi!” (Japanese for delicious). The whole concept of an aquarium is lost on them. Instead of being a zoo for marine life, it’s an enormous seafood restaurant, where after whetting your appetite staring into the displays, you can trot on over to the snack bar and order fried squid balls. Oishi indeed.

By default, I tend to consume a lot of dairy products. What’s easy to whip up for breakfast? Why, scrambled egg tacitos of course–I’m Mexican. What’s a good idea for lunch? Margherita pizza, the only pizza on the menu I can eat. Dinner? I like to cook dinner during the week so that would be arroz con tofu (not chicken), guacamole tacitos, veggie fajitas, tofu sandwiches (don’t knock ’em till you’ve tried ’em), and green pepper stir fry with cashews and tofu. See that? Dinners are often vegan. It’s not hard if you know what you’re doing.

Does Oprah know what she’s doing? Probably not. But that’s when being the Baroness of Chicago comes in handy. I’m sure she’s going to hire some well-respected vegan chef (maybe even Morgan Spurlock‘s wife!) to show her and her television audience how to cook vegan. Look Ma, no meat!

Will Oprah go vegan forever? Nah! It’s called cheese grits. Hell, I couldn’t go vegan because of cheese grits either. Wishbone restaurant, near Oprah’s Harpo Studio, has the best cheese grits I’ve ever tasted. My God. I just ate an egg salad sandwich for breakfast and I’m still salivating at the thought of those gooey, grainy, artery-closing puddles from heaven. God bless Wishbone.

You see, smart people go vegetarian. Very smart people go vegan (for a few days or a couple of weeks). But only a fool goes vegan for life. You can live without the bloody, seared piece of cow flesh at Gibson’s Bar and Steakhouse, but you can’t live without Ben and Jerry. If you can, then you aren’t really living, are you?

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