How the Impossible Burger Brought My Family Back Together
I have been vegetarian for about a year and a half, because Colin, my love, has been vegetarian his since birth. Switching to a plant-based diet was not hard at all. I'll be the first one to tell you that when you become vegetarian, your friends and family will start to tell you about how they could easily become vegetarian, because they don't eat a lot of meat in the first place. This didn't bother me the first time I heard it. Now it's a different story. The plant-based diet just suits me better, but I'm not on a soap box.
My brother was experimenting with a 90 day vegan diet when we saw him this past Tuesday. He flew up from California, where he moved shortly after graduating high school. Down in the San Diego area he sells solar panels, and is quite successful. He also loves working out and getting his "gains" and was doing this 90 day vegan challenge with some friends.
My mother is a life-long meat eater. She was raised on the Upper East Coast in the '70s when meat was an essential part of the dinner plate. She says that she could become vegetarian, because she doesn't eat that much meat in the first place, but she hasn't committed and I'm not there to "convert" her.
My brother and I have always had a strained relationship. He grew up playing travel sports and I mostly stayed at home, meaning we didn't spend much time together after he was four years old. I was always hoping that we would grow closer as we grew older, and I think that we may be approaching the sweet spot of relational bliss.
So this Tuesday night, we gathered around my mom's dinner table and opened up the white Carl's Jr. bags that were filled with five Impossible Burgers, one without cheese or mayo. As we unwrapped each burger, I heard my mom's nervousness to try something that was pretending to be meat. We all simultaneously took bites and got the, "Wow, this is actually good!" feedback from the meat-eaters at the table. We polished off the meal with french fries and homemade iced tea.
After we properly disposed of our trash, we sat and shared stories for hours. My brother talked about the characters he met going door to door and I told the stories of coworkers who had erratic behavior. In those hours I saw that my younger brother had grown up. It was evident when he hugged me at the beginning of the evening and made it a point to show the inches that he had on me, but I saw from his voice how he had grown. He overcame our family troubles and became a strong young man who was capable and had so many opportunities on the road ahead.
As we sat and chatted about all of the famous and powerful people he had met at networking events throughout California my view of him changed. He was no longer this fifteen year old kid who was taking life day by day, he had plans.
And over dinner with the Impossible Burger, we became one step closer in our bond.
Catherine Langmack lives in Seattle, WA with her love. She's passionate about tending to her backyard crops, writing, and researching.