It was a Sunday evening when Elaine Johnson had what she thought was a healthy meal. Elaine, a vegan, admits she can be particular about her meals. This specific meal consisted of rice, peppers, avocado and tomato all sauteed together for a somewhat flavorful concoction. A little over an hour later, she started to feel queasy and sick. A few hours later, she was throwing back up the meal in the middle of the night.
Johnson, who admits to having a couple bad spouts of food poisoning before turning vegan, claims to now feel betrayed by vegetables. She explains, “The few times I’ve gotten food poisoning before, it had been from eggs or a bad piece of meat. And now, here I am nervous about eating vegetables? It’s nerve-wracking.”
Though Johnson understands that the rice could have been the source of her stomach problems, she is still upset with the vegetables for not warning her or fixing the rice in her stomach so it wouldn’t make her sick.
“I had a lot invested in my vegetables,” she explains. “I love them. I defend them when people say they’re not tasty or that they’re boring or that you can’t survive on eating just them or whatever. I trusted them. And now…well, I don’t know who or what to trust.”
The incident was a rare and isolated one for the vegetable community, who declined to comment when asked about the food poisoning. They just sat in their refrigerator door looking shiny, delectable and dangerous.
Slowly but surely, Johnson has been reintroducing certain vegetables into her diet in order to survive.
“I can only hope that maybe someday we can learn to trust each other again and I can start eating food again,” Johnson adds. “I’m a vegan, for God’s sake. Vegetables are all I have.”