Vegetarian skeuomorphy — e.g. "Tofurky Roast" — why? Aren't vegetarians at peace with vegetables qua vegetables?

Laurence Glazier observes:

One assumes the aliens observing us still fear the cooking pot should they send missionaries.

James Wisdom writes:

It’s also a question of texture — while the whole vegetable universe certainly offers a wide variety of textures, many vegetarians still posses a yen for a meaty texture to masticate. Tofurky in particular has a certain chewy texture that no vegetable can imitate.

There’s an all-vegan Chinese restaurant in our neighborhood that features a huge variety of faux meat with varying results. We’ve had meat-eaters to the restaurant who have been literally amazed by the Pepper “Steak” and the “Pork” in the Hot & Sour Soup. But I must admit that the “Shrimp” Toast is a far cry from even faux crabmeat.

Furthermore, some flavors aren’t a great match for veggies — the one that comes to mind is “Buffalo” - both Boca and Morningstar have faux-chicken products that feature “Buffalo” flavoring (one nuggets, the other a patty) which are personal favorites. Perhaps I lack creativity but it’s hard to imagine “Buffalo Eggplant” or “Buffalo Corn”.

Mr. Albert replies:

As a long-time vegetarian, I am usually satisfied with non-meat food not looking like meat. But occasionally, especially at BBQs, with hamburgers and hotdogs, I want to eat what everyone else is eating and especially to partake in all the fixings. So at these times, I'll want a veggie burger or tofu dog.
That said, tofurky has always seemed extreme and too ersatz to be good. But who knows, maybe they captured to dryness of turkey perfectly. 

Scott Brooks explains:

TurkeyProper turkey is not dry — it is succulent and moist and the favor explodes with each bite!
It's all in the feeding, gathering, handling, preparation, accoutrements.

By the way, think about this logically for a minute: Turkeys eat vegetables and we eat turkeys — therefore, turkeys are simply a great delivery system for vegetables. Since we've cleared that up, you can go back to eating meat now! You can thank me later.
Feeding: Put out good food plots, with lots of clover and alfalfa for the turkeys as well as milo, soybeans, and corn. That will provide lots of nutrition for the birds and also attract bugs, which turkeys love to eat.

Gathering: I'll make this simple:
Me: Cluck, cluck.
Turkey: Gobble.
Me: Cluck, cluck.
Turkey: Gobble.
Me: Bang!
Handling: Grab the bird, throw him in your knapsack. Go behind my Morton Building, take a sharp knife, cut the breast skin away and peel it back. Carve out the breast meat. Take it inside and wash it in cold water to remove feathers, dirt, etc.
Preparation: Cut it into small very thin pieces and let it marinade in a balsamic garlic mixture for a few hours. Heat up a wok. Put butter in the wok. Add balsamic vinegar, garlic, and onion powder. Throw in the thin strips and quickly remove them just before they are finished. If you've sliced them thin enough, they will continue to cook on the cooling plate.
Accoutrements: Fresh corn on the cob. A tomato, red onion, crumbled bleu cheese salad covered with balsamic vinegar. Add the fresh fish your kids caught that morning from your pond, fried up in corn meal. Make cheesy mash potatoes.
Dig in! That meal will cure anyone afflicted with vegetarianism!


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