Megan's Head

A place where Megan gets off her head.

Month: April 2018

Vegan Musings

Yesterday my boet was in town and we went out for lunch. I chose Massimo’s in Hout Bay because I have never been and I know that they have an omni and special vegan menu. I had a most delicious vegan pizza (my only mistake was adding vegan cheese to it; horrible, unmelty coconut oil flavoured lumps) and everyone’s food was good. They even had a selection of vegan wines to choose from. I like that. It was all expensive. Eating out is expensive which is why I don’t do it that often.

It is so important for me that being a vegan isn’t about having to spend more money on food. Eating out is an absolute treat. Buying ingredients is not about buying expensive meat or dairy substitutes. In fact the only thing I don’t resent spending money on is cashew nuts, after discovering how they grow when I was in India.

Although I adore the brilliant sharing of information, recipes and advice on social media, the curse of belonging to Facebum vegan groups is that they can be both judgemental and snobby. This is a problem when vegans are trying to convince the average Joe that being a vegan is both accessible and affordable.

So when I am Facebum invited to a pop-up dining experience at R450 a head, or I read about a vegan high tea that costs the same as my weekly veggie purchase, I get a little antsy. When I read that soy milk is out and almond milk, at double the price is in, I do have a bit of a knee jerk response that omnis who might want to transition would find that off putting.

Big Friendly and I popped into De Waal Park on Saturday. I dragged him because I saw on Facebum that there was a vegan bake sale on and I wanted to support it. I want to support as many vegan initiatives as I can so that they continue to happen. I didn’t tell him that the teeniest crunchie and minute lemon poppyseed square cost R40. The poppyseed cake was ok. Big Friendly didn’t even remember to eat the crunchie I bought for him. It was too small to notice on the kitchen table.

And I am left feeling a little grumbly. This is what I think. Animal based protein is expensive. If a restaurant needs to ‘veganise’ a recipe they are leaving out the most expensive part of it. Vegan dishes cost less to make than omni ones. Soy milk costs only a teeny bit more than cow’s milk. Anything with cheese in should be more expensive, not less expensive than the non cheese version.

We vegans should be able to convince people that veganism is not a pastime for the well-heeled. But we need to demand that it is more affordable.

 

Taking Sides


I woke up nauseous this morning. At first I thought I was physically ill, but the minute I turned on my computer and went to both Facebum and twitter in two different tabs but simultaneously, I felt the bile and my temperature rise.

 

Of course I see what I follow. This morning it was, in no particular order, the Israeli defence force’s slaughter of unarmed marchers, the bombing of Syria, a racist conflict on an aeroplane, a few incomprehensible decisions by Donald Trump, the glorification and vilifying of Winnie Madikizela Mandela, the mountains of plastic polluting our oceans, the online abuse of women, nasty jokes about vegans, vegans abusing dairy farmers, and pleas to donate to gay rights, animal abuse, the Palestinian cause, making theatre, and a sick child.

No wonder it feels like end of days. The thing I hate about social media is that it is devoid of nuance. Everybody is shouting and everything is so extreme. It is like living with the volume button stuck on rage. Everything is about taking sides. And if you are on the other side of anything you are open to abuse, from the side it looks like you are against.

I started feeling a bit frantic. The feeling carried on while we walked the dogs; Linus seemed to be a bit under the weather.

And then I came home and I saw that the seeds I had sown, literally, in the tiny patch of soil in our weenie front yard, had started to spring up. Poppy seeds make the tiniest green sprouts, smaller than an ant’s head, and there are the tiniest tomato shoots growing from where tomatoes fell off the miracle tomato vine that grew by itself and yielded the most delicious and unusual pear shaped cherry tomatoes, and I think I saw some sweet pea shoots (maybe).

I am not going back to social media today. I am going to buy special dog food for Linus. I am going to water my shoots with grey water, and I am going to a live discussion and meet up about whether there should be a creative policy around BDS in support of Palestine.

I will just post this link on FB and twitter so you can read about it and take sides.

OY! Theatre and DNA

Things have been happening at the Theatre Arts Admin Collective, in Observatory. Twice a week young people from all over Cape Town have gathered, under the inspiration of Caroline Calburn, and the direction of Jaqueline Dommisse, and they have been rehearsing a play.

Last night I went to the opening performance of DNA written by Dennis Kelly and performed by the company of (almost totally) school goers, and I was absolutely blown away.

Every single aspect of this extraordinary production was completely professional, and mindbogglingly good. So good, in fact, that they deserve a proper review.

The plot. A group of teenagers do something bad, really bad, then panic and cover the whole thing up. But when they find that the cover-up unites them and brings harmony to their otherwise fractious lives, where’s the incentive to put things right? A modern Lord of the Flies, with more swearing, introspection and added horror. It is really, really scary.

Jaqueline Dommisse has worked magic with these young performers who have fully developed characters, stage presence and a deep understanding of the material. What they lack in stage experience and technique they totally make up for in commitment and presence, and they work gloriously as a team to create powerful, emotional, meaningful work.

Jaqueline’s set is inspirational. A jungle gym is skeleton, structure, status and school ground. The use of the space is amazing, allowing the children to pound across the distance. Music and superb lighting (Frans) add to the charged atmosphere, and even details like prosthetic make-up are perfect.

There are things that make me happy and proud to live in this city (not often, but sometimes) and a youth theatre company down the road from where I live, is my newest happy making thing.

I am so excited that I am going to be working with this extraordinary company next. They are going to be exploring improv with me, and we will aim to perform some traditional TheatreSports shows at the end of the term. Watch this space.

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