November 25, 2009, - 7:38 pm

Thanksgiving is NOT for Vegetarians (or Vegans); Soy Milk Causes “Moobs”?

By Debbie Schlussel

One of the great things about Thanksgiving (other than a day to give thanks for the great country and our freedoms) is that it’s not a holiday for vegetarians.  And certainly not vegans.  Yes, there’s the pumpkin pie (or sweet potato pie–they taste very similar to me).  And the cranberry sauce.  But it doesn’t taste too good on a tofurkey.  CNN has a whole thing on vegetarian Thanksgivings, which sounds like an oxymoron to me.  None of it sounds too delish.  Soya chunks?  Yuck-a-not-licious.  Add brown food coloring, and it sounds like artificial feces for a movie set.

No, tomorrow is for carnivores, meat eaters.  I love turkey.  Yes, mine’ll be kosher.  But, hey, as I’ve noted in Thanksgivings past, we Jews invented brine.  Kosher is the original brine, as we salt all of our meat and poultry.  Thus, the name, “Kosher Salt.”  Kosher turkey comes brined already.  So, we’re already one step ahead on the Thanksgivin’ fixins.  Plus no le jambon for us, either.  (But, unlike a certain other religion, it’s just fine with us if those non-Jews around us eat ham to their hearts’ content.)

But those of us who are not vegan slobs have one other thing to be thankful for . . . or, rather, thankful for NOT having, those of the male persuasion, anyway:  man-boobs a/k/a “moobs.”  So, is Jeremy Piven the male Dolly Parton b/c of soy milk, or is this yet another lame excuse for not working out?  I post, you decide.  And don’t forget that, as I’ve noted in the past, there are, indeed, certain frequently occurring substances and essences in products that make boys and men unwittingly like chicks.  From the November 23 issue of US Magazine:


Hey, maybe they should rename his show, “Entourage Plus Twins.”

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28 Responses

I don’t think that vegans or vegetarians should tell anyone else how to eat, or pass judgment on how they eat. But having said that, a good vegan chef can make a vegetarian Thanksgiving feast taste delicious. Stuffing, sweet potatoes, greens, string beans, and tofuturkey and other soy products are being made today so they taste better and better. Macaroni with soy cheese, if made properly, can taste delicious. There are all kinds of other appetizers that taste surprisingly good.

Little Al on November 25, 2009 at 7:45 pm

    And are you saying that vegetarians can’t celebrate Thanksgiving, or give thanks to God on Thanksgiving? That’s a terribly intolerant thing to say, even though I know you’re just trying to be funny. But you should not assume that vegetarians or environmentalists automatically don’t share most other conservative values, such as being pro-life, pro traditional marriage, pro waterboarding, pro less government, pro fiscal responsibility, etc. Cuz that assumption would be wrong.

    Jim Titcomb on November 26, 2009 at 4:34 am

    HA! YOU are telling people what to do everyday by telling people TO eat meat and that they SHOULD eat Turkey on Thanksgiving. I am fine with vegetarians finally having a voice. Our family eats less meat now and have eliminated milk (we are not baby cows). The woman who wrote this article is an unfortunate representation of our self-important, gluttonous, speciesist, carnist country. Shameful that a woman would say such things.

    Did you know that turkeys are so genetically modified that they can’t reproduce naturally? Yup. Your Thanksgiving Turkey was raped by a human with a syringe full of sperm! My family wont eat Turkey for the cruelty issues alone. We celebrate a compassionate Thanksgiving and will continue to do so. The kids LOVE it!

    Alice on October 4, 2010 at 12:39 pm

      Actually only the broad-breasted turkeys can’t breed naturally. They rest can do the deed to their heart desire. Besides no all turkey come from a CAFO, you can get pastured and wild turkeys too.

      Additionally, would you like to volunteer to go to the Arctic regions and inner Mongolia to tell people who live in areas where fruits and vegetables can’t be grown or imported that they are disgusting and must give up their only food sources immediately.

      Jenn on November 1, 2010 at 3:54 am

May I Please just eat whatever I want and not be ostricised by some Bugs Bunny want-a-be, it is my right as an American.

seahawker on November 25, 2009 at 8:06 pm

The original Jewish ideal was a vegan diet. Its after all, parve and there is no problem with eating forbidden foods. But human nature is hard to suppress, so it later allowed the consumption of meat, within certain limits. And it has worked out quite well ever since.

As for eating soy, its hard to avoid since almost all processed foods are made with soy as an ingredient. Still, one isn’t advised to consume the real stuff, unless one wants to end up looking like Jeremy Piven.

Not good!

With that said, happy turkey feast and a Happy Thanksgiving to every one!

NormanF on November 25, 2009 at 8:13 pm

Deb, not a fan of Pumpkin pie. BUTTTTTTTTTT, Edy’s Ice Cream has seasonal flavors of their ice cream including their slow churned 1/2 fat products. One of them–PUMPKIN! It has a hint of nutmeg and pumpkin pie spice in it to meet up with the ice cream base. For Christmas, you guessed it…EGGNOG! And I saw in the grocery store whilst shopping with mother…HOT COCOA ice cream sort of like something called a frozen hot choclate you get at NYC’s Serendipity. Well, you can only go so far with something.

And in terms of the Vegans who shill for PETA…PETA KILLS ANIMALS!

Bob Porrazzo on November 25, 2009 at 8:18 pm

Tell this too 100M Japanese, 1B Chinese and 1M Hawaii residents all of whom eat consume soy products daily.

P: Like I said, it could be his excuse for not working out and eating too much. On the other hand, perhaps the Asians who consume soy have something in their immune systems or genetic makeup that make them immune to the effects. You never know. DS

pat on November 25, 2009 at 9:00 pm

We overdo it. They don’t. That’s the difference.

cirrus1701 on November 25, 2009 at 10:10 pm

Jeez, would you conservatives please quit bashing us (conservative) vegetarians? Just cuz I won’t eat meat doesn’t make me a liberal, dammit. Many vegetarians, myself included, don’t insist that everyone become a vegetarian. Whatever happened to freedom of choice, freedom of religion, or freedom of expression? I feel like those conservative women like Sarah Palin who are abandoned by the feminist movement simply because they are conservatives. I’m a conservative vegetarian reviled by conservatives because I’m a vegetarian. Knock it off, will you?

Jim Titcomb on November 26, 2009 at 3:43 am

Norm F,
That’s a bubbemeise. After the Flood, Hashem gave Noah the animals to eat. Also, why was Cain sacrificing a sheep in Gan Eden? There were always clean and unclean animals. When Noah was going into the Ark, Hashem told him to take 7 pairs of clean animals but only one pair of unclean.
Now as for literalism, hmmm, interesting problem. I believe that every word of Torah is true and G-d given however, I believe there is symbolism and allegory. In the true kabbalah, not the Madonna, version, there are some pretty far out explanations for a lot of it but if you are of a spiritual persuasion and open minded it gives you something to think about. e.g. is Gan Eden (Garden of Eden) a real place. Sure. Is it to be found geographically on Earth? Maybe. Quantum physics offers other possibilities. The Sages knew that. Perhaps they didn’t express it in modern scientific jargon but they knew things that we’ve lost.

mK750 on November 26, 2009 at 4:08 am

Debbie, I think the moob issue is lack of physical activity. Jeremy Piven is FAT period. Sure, some of us are mesomorphic a but he’s way too thick around the mid-section for his age. And look at that neck. That’s endomorphy and it’s not healthy. He’s in NY? Then he needs to get out of the subway and cabs and hoof it. If he can carry something like a briefcase to increase resistance, even better.

And anyone who is “hyperactive” needs to let that work for them. Don’t veg at the computer all day. Get up and clean the house in between tasks or do SOMETHING. I won’t say “exercise” because an hour at the gym 3 times a week isn’t physical activity. Until you move to a city where a car is a liability and you start doing a lot more on foot, you just don’t realize how sedentary America, even NY, has become. Our bodies are complex organisms. It’s not just the mechanics of keeping the joints mobile and the muscles taut. It’s keeping your metabolism chugging along at a nice trot and letting you eat anything you want without making fat. The biochemistry has not been figured out yet. I do know that as soon as I moved to Jerusalem and started walking everywhere, I mean purposeful walking not a stroll around a mall, carrying packages, I dropped weight. I had gained fat mass for the first time in my life after menopause. At age 42 I had a BMI of 19! So within 6 mos, I had lost 15 lbs and was eating anything I wanted. Quantities self-moderated. As I got more active I wanted less at a sitting and didn’t crave snacks. My LOW blood sugar stabilized. I have now at age 63, after just over a year lost probably twice that. The weight really slowed me down. It put a strain on my back and I didn’t maintain my level of muscle fitness. Even at my age however it is coming back slowly. I am so lean, I worry about it because I can literally feel every rib. I do feel a lot better and have way more energy.
I realize a lot of Americans can’t get out of their cars because of the way cities are laid out. I’ve been there done that but it is really hurting the general health of the country. So, folks, don’t drive if you don’t have to, and MOVE those bodies. If you can’t move the legs, move the arms. Get things moving. Richard Simmons is right about that. JUST MOVE IT!

mK750 on November 26, 2009 at 4:31 am

Wrong mk750. Most over-the-counter estrogen replacement product are made from soy or yam. BTW: do not feed your male child too much of these. Best to give him hormone-free meat, eggs, and milk if you want him to develop properly. I’m a pharmacist, and whenever I see these vegen or vegetarian-type (typically lefty) parents imposing that type of diet on their male children, I cringe. I think this is partly responsible for the “feminization” of our male children.

adam on November 26, 2009 at 10:56 am

    adam, not sure what you are saying is wrong. I agree that the phyto-estrogens in excess will cause a problem but how much soy milk woud this guy have to drink to affect him as an adult? I NEVER used them. When we eliminated meat we still ate dairy and eggs as well as kosher fish.
    I am not a vegetarian by any means. Well I try not to be. Food prices being what they are in Israel meat is hard to come by. I definitely avoid legumes and when you say yams do you mean yams or sweet potatoes. They are two different things botanically. Sweet potatoes supposedly lessen insulin resistance and it’s the only thing I eat more of here than I did in the US. When I’m feeling my blood sugar getting unbalanced (over a period of days i mean) I make sure to include a portion in my next meal.

    Thanks for thinking I might have children in my care. I’m a grandma. My daughter started out vegger but after her first (of4) sons started not really developing as he should, she started eating meat and making sure the boys all get plenty of it. This 16 year old is now as tall as his Dad and strong enough to do construction with him.

    mK750 on November 26, 2009 at 5:47 pm

Why are so many people threatened by vegetarians? I’m not one, incidentally, and indeed am having my Thanksgiving dinner in London at St. John’s Bar and Restaurant, possibly the least vegetarian place in the UK, outside of a chop house or a churrascaria. But…I don’t have to eat meat every single meal (or even every day), and am perfectly happy to fix a vegetarian dinner when we have guests who don’t eat meat. And the mere existence of vegetarians doesn’t threaten my manhood.

There appear to be valid reasons to avoid too much of certain kinds of soy (although the fermented varieties like miso appear to present no problems), but there are equally valid reasons to avoid too much meat and/or dairy products. It’s a matter of balance. We would all be well advised to follow Michael Pollan’s maxim: “Eat food, not too much, mostly plants.”

I’m not at all conservative, but I’m glad to see that there are conservative vegetarians and vegans, and that they are getting on Ms. Schlussel’s case about this.

MTS on November 26, 2009 at 12:14 pm

You think Thanksgiving isn’t for vegetarians, I think citizenship isn’t for idiots but this isn’t a day where we should focus on our differences or have you deported for being an ignorant bint.

Captain Insoluble on November 26, 2009 at 12:58 pm

Hi Debbie, what it seems like you’re doing here is getting your medical advice from US Magazine and/or Jeremy Piven. I know you’re an intelligent person who wouldn’t do that, though, so it could be that your blog is not giving a clear impression of what you want to write.

Although it obviously doesn’t affect you, I just wanted to let you know that our Thanksgiving dinner today is at a Taiwanese Buddhist restaurant where everything’s vegetarian, mainly soy, wheat and mushroom. I’ve got no worries about “moobs”, because any kind of feminization would only happen in a man who was severely lacking in testosterone (actually, moobs do tend grow in men receiving androgen deprivation therapy for prostate cancer, but giving them high doses of soy isoflavones doesn’t have any effect).

Plus, the medically demonstrated links between animal fat and heart disease/cancer are a lot stronger than those between soy and any problems.

WP: Where did I say I believe this as fact? It sounds like you are a medical professional and know better. I merely posted it saying I don’t know. I’m no doctor and not in any position to say. BTW, for the record, I consider US Magazine, in most cases, to be just slightly more reliable than Weekly World News, but not by much. DS

Walter Plinge on November 26, 2009 at 5:21 pm

“But, unlike a certain other religion, it’s just fine with us if those non-Jews around us eat ham to their hearts’ content.”

However, it’s not fine with you if other people choose not to eat meat.

Ironic that you would write about your own special food choices while simultaneously demeaning others’.

Megan on November 27, 2009 at 3:46 am

Wow, Debbie. You don’t strike me as one of God’s “chosen ones”. How sad I feel for your nasty and judgemental perspective.

Sandy on November 27, 2009 at 4:12 am

So are you saying that Hindu families who have been here for generations, had people in the US forces, and can be as American as can be cannot celebrate thanksgiving? Shouldnt the USA be a secular country/ Hindus may not go around converting people to their religion and having Jihadist movements, so why the hit on them?

Dj Hams on November 27, 2009 at 12:03 pm

Um, doesn’t excessive red meat consumption — a feature, not a bug of the stereotypically uber-masculine diet in the U.S. (in particular, anyway… other countries have different no-go lists for men… apparently cake is feminine in Japan) — also result in man-boobs? This is one fight that carnivores can’t win…

Omnivorous Observer on November 27, 2009 at 4:50 pm

Debbie, when even your own commenters think you’re an idiot, it may be time to rethink this whole blogging thing.

commie atheist on November 28, 2009 at 3:25 am

Are this year’s nominations for “stupidest argument that actually made it to print” closed, because this bit of idiocy is a sure-fire finalist. I love the term “vegan slobs.” Yeah, most of the vegans I know are really, really overweight, while Debbie’s pals that go to McDonald’s on a daily basis and eat 3,000 calories of turkey and dressing at Thanksgiving are all svelte = perhaps even anorexic. Christ on a crutch, how do people become as ignorant and clueless as Debbie Schlussel? And please stop bragging about your Jewishness, Debbie – the one positive stereotype most people have about Jews is that they are more educated and intelligent than average – you’re really shredding that image…

jjcomet on November 29, 2009 at 10:58 am

My wife is a Jewish, gun-totin’ conservative. She’s also a vegetarian. Cooks the best brisket and turkey in our family.

I drink soy milk, and can do more push ups than 99% of American men…pecs, not moobs. I have less concern about hormones in soy milk than I would from industrial cow’s milk…

Jewish Marksman on November 29, 2009 at 12:50 pm

Seriously Deb, way to piss off Republican vegetarians. Stick up your ass much?

fagigglypants on November 29, 2009 at 4:18 pm

Regardless of how Mr. Piven got his “moobs,” the fact is that soy milk isn’t even milk – it’s soy juice, which they call “soy milk” because, as Lewis Black on one of his HBO specials put it (whatever one thinks of him or his schtick), people “start to gag” when anyone says “soy juice”; that, plus there being no soy cows.

ConcernedPatriot on October 9, 2010 at 1:20 am

“Vegan slobs”…might be one of the biggest oxymorons I’ve seen. Pretty intelligent of you to take one example (Jeremy Piven) and generalize it to all. Crazy as it may seem, most of the vegetarians and vegans I’ve seen are pretty fit and conscious about their health. Much more so than your average meat-eater. Personally, I eat meat but am trying to cut back. With a bit more self-control I could definitely see myself as a vegetarian slob in a few more years. I’ve become increasingly disechanted with this blog lately and this entry is most likely the deal-breaker.

Slob on October 16, 2010 at 2:15 pm

“vegan slobs” while I’m not vegan I find that extremely disrespectful and insulting, how are. you going to belittle a person who’s only cime is not murdering animals and using them like disposable goods invented soley for their own selfish enjoyment? but your not in the habit of thinking of others agree you, you jew slob…. not so nice is it??

gilgamesh on October 9, 2013 at 2:53 pm

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