March 9, 2008

Eating okra at the carnivore's table

I'm in Tallahassee this evening, giving up a day and a half to convince legislators that a proposal for a diminished university Board of Governors would be a bad idea. This evening, I asked the hotel clerk for a restaurant. The one she directed me to had one car in the parking lot: not a sign of confidence for me in the restaurant's popularity in town. Instead, I went to a good ol' Southern restaurant, full of ham and other meats. A buffet, so I figured I could get something, though I'm a vegetarian. This is the South, so even vegetables like green beans have ham in them. One has to be careful.

Fried okra. That was the solution. When we moved to Nashville in 1993, I discovered that I loved okra. I figured out how to make baked and breaded okra (with cayenne pepper!), and while most of my okra in Florida is now in soups, I still like the crispy kind. I didn't ask what else went into the fry bin, but I figure that's not my ethical problem. Everyone around me was eating meat, while I was eating okra. We got along. We each got what we needed. I suspect my fellow diners were as sated as I was when each of us left.

So I'm going to try to eat some okra tomorrow, of the conversational sort. Legislators have their interests, and I'm fine with that as long as my interests are met. We talk, we see where our common interests lie, and we try to eat at the same table.

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Posted in Higher education on March 9, 2008 9:42 PM |