Nothing brings the heat through the summer months like a backyard barbeque. It was always my experience that the Fourth of July in Philly really evokes folks' pyromania and taste for all things grilled. For vegetarians and carnivores alike, however, this can be an incendiary, controversial topic that makes for an ultimately fun-filled conversation piece at any event!
For me---especially as a vegan---a good old-fashioned barbeque doesn't have so much to do with the scent or flavor of burnt flesh as it has to with the meaning of family and community interaction, among people in the flesh. We, too, are members of the animal kingdom---and we crave the concept of spending time with others, as much as we crave the crust of blackened edibles upon our tongues. Unfortunately, I don't know of too many people doing this kind of thing this year; Joselle and I definitely aren't. Is it that barbeque traditions are fading fast---or does it have to do with a growing trend toward the privatized, compartmentalized, self-serving tendencies of our human species?
Times are changing fast. With supposed advances in technology, humans certainly aren't getting better at the whole civilization thing---and this includes where food's concerned. Many of us aren't sharing the picnic table like we used to; something of which I'm also guilty. Case in point: Here I am, composing a computerized note, while daydreaming about what I'm going to eat at Kingdom of Vegetarians or New Harmony Vegetarian in a short bit...by myself.
I guess I should rather be skipping about town, picking vegetable kabobs from the sky, throwing them on to the flames, and inviting fellow food consumers to join me in the shade of trees that sprout from our ever-changing planet. Yes, I'll definitely try to get around to doing that right after lunch!