When Arian Foster announced that he was switching to a Vegan diet this summer, the doubters appeared. "If this doesn't work, I'm going to kick your ass," teammate Brian Cushing told him. Is it even possible to consume the however many thousands of calories a day hardworking NFL players burn through? Well, 770 yards and 10 TDs later, and he's allowed to have as many seitan substitutes as he wants. But it comes out today that Foster's vegan diet contains a unique source of protein: meat.
"I've been dabbling back and forth," Foster told the Houston Chronicle.
"I just like to eat healthy. The whole vegan thing, a lot of people are really interested in my food. … I've had meat since I said I don't eat meat anymore, but I like to stay with the plant-based foods, but every now and then, I'll eat something."
This sounds similar to what experts with expensive degrees in nutrition would call "omnivorous," eating a combination of plants and animals, or what the human species is evolved to do. But it's not. If you're on a diet, and you give in one night at 2 a.m. and eat two whole fun size bags of Pirate's Booty, and that half of a red velvet cake that Ramona insisted you take home and you told yourself you'd have a tiny slice here or there, and offer it to company, but now you can't help yourself and you just shovel the whole thing into your mouth with your hands and now you're crying and maybe they're tears of shame but really it's happiness because it's so so good, are you not still on a diet? Of course you are! You just went off it for a hot second. If you're not in it for the ethics, then veganism's not an identity; it's a cuisine. And Foster is able to put it in perspective:
"I'm not in a cult," Foster said. "Nothing's going to happen to me. I just wanted a piece of chicken. It wasn't like temptation. I felt like I could use one."
I just wanted a piece of chicken. The philosopher-tailback has spoken.