"I'll never forget the look on Fabian's face when I suggested buying oat cream for our lasagna"
Photo: Cherdchanok Treevanchai / Getty Images
I like to eat, I like to eat. When I go to bed in the evening, I look forward to breakfast the next morning. During boring lectures, I think about what I'll cook later. Food is so important to me that shopping in the new Turkish supermarket around the corner is definitely the highlight of the day, and not just since Corona. Fabian also loves good food. How nice that we are similar there, food connects, that is important for the relationship. Ha! Not with us.
I'll never forget the look on Fabian's face when I suggested buying oat cream for our lasagna. To illustrate this, I recommend everyone to watch a few videos in the wonderful category ›Italians mad at food‹ on YouTube. Bearded cooks or grandmas in colorful household clothes watch recipe videos in which Italian dishes are prepared, preferably by Americans. Of course, this can only go wrong. Pesto in the food processor, carbonara with cream and, God forbid, how many cloves of garlic has she just thrown into the pan?
I don't want to know what the Italian jury would say about my pasta sauce.
I don't even have to.
One look on Fabian's face revealed everything: disbelief - how did you get the idea to ruin something as simple, innocent, as good as lasagna with oat cream from the ground up?
Frustration - can't we just have a nice evening without discussing carbon footprints?
And finally anger - what's the problem with a cup of cream?
You will probably still be able to eat that!
That evening, however, the oat cream appeared to be a red line
Don't get me wrong, this is not about Italian authenticity.
There is no cream in lasagna anyway.
Instead: the bad word with 8 letters.
The danger that I would stifle any kind of fun in our relationship with the eco-argument.
It is not at all true that Fabian oat cream does not taste good.
He just doesn't know.
When I cook for both of us, I often do it with soy milk or oat cream and get compliments for it.
That evening, however, the oat cream appeared to be a red line.
So I finally went to the refrigerated shelf and dropped a cup of cream in the shopping basket.
Demonstratively annoyed how you do it when you're 23, but still argue like you're 16.
Evenings like this make me think.
Wouldn't it be easier to have someone with whom I don't have to discuss vacation, food and the like?
With whom I can go on hut tours in the Alps and who knows which vegan cheese tastes best?
Someone who doesn't constantly question my behavior, who doesn't hold against me that my decisions have no influence anyway?
It still makes a difference to me.
And if it's just that I feel better
After all, I'm the good one, on the right side, there's no doubt about that. Or? Unfortunately, Fabian has a point when he points out to me that every day thousands of business people fly to China or the USA for two-hour meetings, at least before Corona. Or that the share of global air traffic in anthropogenic climate change is only 3.5 percent. So that it makes no difference at all whether I go to Lisbon by train or plane as long as there is no political change.
It still makes a difference to me.
And if it's just that I feel better.
In 30 years, I don't want to have to explain to my children that I just couldn't do without those 10 days of vacation in Israel back then.
There will already be enough to justify myself for.
And credible climate activism is not compatible with weekend trips to London.
Fabian's next argument is a lot more perfidious.
Am I escaping into a kind of surrogate religion that tells me which shoes to buy (those made of vegan leather), whom I can trust my money to (sustainable banks) or whom to vote for in the next general election (of course)?
Maybe. When I grill the inside with my friends, we no longer think about how many vegetarians are coming, but who is not yet vegan. And while corn on the cob and vegetable skewers burn over the sustainable charcoal from Germany, the conversations revolve around clothes swapping parties, unpackaged shops and vegetable boxes. I like that. It gives me a sense of belonging and, to a certain extent, identity (keyword religion). Is it that bad? I do not think so. But it is also good for me when someone challenges my worldview. If I didn't, my life might be easier, but it would also be more boring.
So I think about what it's like to be with a little snob who loves boiled beef as much as hot full baths, long-distance travel and coffee from the capsule machine. It means a lot of discussion, sometimes it's exhausting and annoying, but it's also very enriching and it never gets boring. And when I find oat milk in Fabian's fridge, when he gets vegan cookies out of his backpack on the go or when I get dark chocolate for my birthday, I'm all the more happy because I know that he doesn't take it for granted.