Interview: Jason Flamm

flammThis guy is making me suspicious. He says he’s not vegan, but he knows an awful lot about protein, he’s read In Defense of Food and he has a blog. A blog. Is he lying just to get interviewed on Weird! Why Aren’t You Vegan? Find out here.

Meet Jason Flamm.

What is your name?
Jason Flamm

How long have you been a non-vegan?
31 years. Actually, probably since I was in the womb. My mom likes to say she had a thing for Jumbo Jacks from Jack in the Box when she was pregnant with me. Since it was the early 80s, it’s likely they actually used real meat in their burgers then. So, I guess more like 32 years.

Why have you decided not to be vegan?
Was it a decision? It feels like it was just the right thing to be, non-vegan. I never had a choice. I suppose I do now, but the idea of being subserviant to animals seems ridiculous.

Where do you get your protein?
Beef, pork, chicken, vegetables. Pretty much anything you eat has some form of protein. Plus, we don’t really need THAT much protein throughout the day. Cattle farmers decided years ago to push America into this protein filled craze by calling it the more important of the macro-nutrients. Before that though, there was a push for carbohydrates. Over the next 20 years maybe fat will become the thing that’s considered the healthiest to eat. Balance is really the key.

What vegan food do you fear you’re missing out on as a non-vegan?
Hmmm. I wish I liked kale more. I use it very sparingly. I would like to eat MORE vegetables, but due to my upbringing of very little vegetable eating, I have to train myself on how to prepare everything that doesn’t come from an animal. I have been eating a lot of squash this fall. I love the idea of staying seasonal with foods and eating what nature wants us to eat. Plus, it’s cheaper because the more surplus of a food the less you have to spend on it. So, right now a lot of apples and squash.

Funny story, we had a squirrel or some kind of creature picking apart our tomato garden this summer. So, didn’t get as many VEGAN tomatoes as we would’ve liked. So, maybe nature doesn’t want us to be vegans after all…

Do you eat fish? You eat fish, right?
Not often. I worry about Mercury poison because that’s all the rage to worry about from the media these days. Mostly, I don’t eat a lot of fish though because it’s frozen. There’s not exactly a bunch of places in St. Louis to find fresh seafood – because we don’t have ponds.

Are there any animals in your life, such as pets or funny neighborhood squirrels? Tell us a story about them.
Growing up we had all kinds of pets. Iguanas, lizards, snakes, dogs, cats, guinea pigs, hamsters, goldfish, we had a bird for a short time, rabbits… now we have two cats in the house, Pixel and Mouse. It’s weird that we had so many pets and yet we weren’t raised to have an affinity for animals. My brothers have zero respect for animals and just consider them a nuisance. Oh, I just remembered my dad used to shoot the neighborhood stray cats (we had a ton of them for some reason) with a BB gun. He would sit in the dark living room and look out the window and shoot them across the street. Pretty damn awful. As a kid this was my role model.

What do you do for fun besides eating meat and dairy?
Not much. All that chewing takes up a lot of time. Did you know that back in the olden days it would take hours to chew a piece of meat? When they finally discovered that you could cook your food, it literally opened up their world to do a lot more things with their lives, since cooked food takes less time to chew than non-cooked food. It also released different chemicals in their brain and made them evolve faster. Imagine spending an entire day chewing your food.

I do like to read a lot about food. So, I guess if I’m not eating food, I’m reading about food and nutrition. I have a class this semester on food that has been interesting. Our assignments were to read In Defense of Food, My Year of Meats, and we also watched King Corn and Supersize Me. For anyone who is really interested in where our food comes from and such, you should check out those documentaries. They are truly eye opening.

Do you have any upcoming projects you want to plug?
I write sparingly on my blog. But, I plan on doing it more. We discuss food a little bit. It’s called These Five Things. With those five things being: Behavioral Economics, Star Wars, Improv Comedy, Beer, and Health & Nutrition.

Make up a question of your own and answer it.
How can I convince you that becoming vegan is best?
You can’t. It’s a really hard thing to convince someone to move so far out of their comfort zone. To me, vegan is on the complete opposite side of what most people consider a normal diet. Instead I think it’s a matter of getting people to change small things first.

Even then, however, it’s going to be tough going. For most people it’s fear that keeps them from making those kinds of choices. They don’t want to be ridiculed by their friends, they don’t want to confused about what to eat and what not to eat, and they don’t want to have to do too much work when the way they have it now is so much easier.

I have changed my diet immensely over the last couple of years. But, it’s to be more healthy and to lose weight. I don’t ever see myself having the conviction needed to get rid of all meat eating in my life. I think it takes that conviction and you have to start seeing animals as equal to people and I just don’t see it that way. It doesn’t mean I think it’s right the way animals are treated. For that reason I try to eat less meat or buy meat that wasn’t created in such a way. Still, however, I don’t worry about it too much because it’s not always on my mind. It’s a lot of work to keep that information and those things on top of your mind. It’s easier to ignore it and go back to mindless eating. I’m getting there though and I see that as a positive sign. I could see myself as a part time vegetarian, because that’s what I’ve done before. But, again it would be more for my benefit than for the benefit of animals.

People get really hostile with this subject for some reason, on both sides. It’s almost impossible to totally win over a hostile audience. Instead, you have to simply try to move them into a critical/questioning audience. Then we can all continue to grow from there. I think, as with the documentaries, it’s about getting information out there and allowing people to make their own, hopefully informed, decisions and figure out where their true convictions lie.

Also, vegans have smellier farts. That’s a turnoff.

Song: “Eat It” by Weird Al Yankovic
Recipe” Southern Vegans: Vegan Fried Chicken

One thought on “Interview: Jason Flamm

  1. Pingback: Interview: Jacob McGuire | Weird! Why Aren't You Vegan?

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