Posted by: Kristy | August 21, 2008

The MorningStar is burning out

There is one moral dilemma I probably will never struggle with.

Becoming a vegetarian.

Take down the poster of a piggy and a kitten asking “Which one do you pet and which one do you eat?” Stop showing me cows with their big, beautiful bovine eyes that make people say “awww.” I don’t want to hear about slaughterhouses and eating chickens’ fear that’s released into their muscles right before they die (so. gross.)

I mean, all of that’s terrible. And I agree, there are better ways to do things. And I’m the photographer who took so many shots of the hog show at the county fair two years ago my editor had to say, “Kristin, NO MORE PIGGY SHOTS.” I love the animal kingdom.

But I also love me some meat.

This position was confirmed this morning in the early throes of my deadline scrambling. I arrived at the office, opened my e-mail, said hello to my boss and went back to get my morning coffee (the lifeblood of journalists). I’ve also added a new component — microwaving my two sausage links.

Not just regular sausage links, mind, but MorningStar Farms brand sausage comprised of a vegetable, soy, good-for-you mush spiced and formed to resemble the real deal. It’s this new thing I’ve been trying this week (OK, since yesterday). I needed a microwaveable, healthy breakfast; I love sausage, especially turkey sausage; this veggie-substitute stuff was on sale. I like meat, but I like my waistline more (we all have a slightly narcissistic side). I said to myself, “Self, why not?”

Let me tell you why not. The first few bites aren’t bad. There’s a slight al dente firmness, like real sausage. There’s even a nice lingering spiciness that elicits thoughts of smoky peppery pork. Though the links shrivel a little if left in the microwave a second too long, it’s not an icky raisin-like shrivel. It’s workable.

Until bite three comes along. By that point the bite goes midway into the link and hits … mushiness. Not a horrible, spit-it-out, gag reflex-inducing mushiness. Just a this-is-totally-vegetable-mush-parading-as-meat mushiness. And I? Can’t handle gross textures. (Hence my opposition to Cool Whip, blech.)

And it’s kind of, well, dry. No burst of fragrant juice exploding on the tongue, mixing with the pepper tinge. Which I’ve discovered kind of doesn’t just add to the flavor but is the flavor.

Thinking yesterday was a fluke, I tried again today. Didn’t get much better. The plan is to finish the box, but I suspect I will be making a return to the turkey sausage side of life before too long. The desire to be healthy is still there. So is the idea tucked off to the side of being a responsible citizen of God’s green earth, which includes not making completely selfish decisions. (Because ducks are people too.) (So some say.)

So thank you, MorningStar, for giving me options. And for trying so hard. And for being simultaneously so low in fat and high in protein. Maybe we can find a compromise in a different product. Or maybe I’ll forgo this part of my selfishness.

But my breakfast made me kind of want a hamburger for lunch.



  1. Hide it in something else, it is the only way to eat it. If you want it for breakfast, try microwaving it, then microwaving a scrambled egg, mix them together. Sometimes the egg will hide the ugh of the soy sausage, sometimes. If you don’t like eggs, try a pack of gravy mix over it. LOL…adds calories but kills the taste.

    Chickens are awful, nasty creatures. We do the world a favor when we remove there nasty eye pecking bodies from the world but I digress.

    I do feel sorry for pigs though. They actually are sweet creatures, smart. I try to give up bacon. I am not fond of turkeys so perhaps I can try turkey bacon. Turkey Pepperoni is good.

    I’ve tried and tried. I can’t eat soy. I’m lactose intolerant and I try to eat and drink it but I just can’t.

    Hide it in something else. Its your only hope.


  2. q9IgRI Excellent article, I will take note. Many thanks for the story!

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