Lusting after the Benz G-class, practicing yoga to rap music, and rejecting much about Webster (the dictionary, not the funny guy from the 80s), places me into the for-sure category of loving “Benz on a Budget, Angling for Youngsters” in Sunday’s New York Times.

Why? Because it’s helped to Un-Define my diet.

Describing the new CLA250 compact sedan, comparing it to a hypothetical painting by Leonardo Da Vinci of dogs playing poker on black velvet, the article sneers, “It would be a genuine Da Vinci, but not every Da Vinci is the Mona Lisa.”

Who cares?

Don’t get me wrong, I realise that people like cars for the make. Paintings for the artist. And clothing for the designer. People even maintain particular diets because the dictionary spells out strict systems. Vegans can’t eat this. Vegetarians can eat that. But what happens if one desires slight deviation? What is that person?

Classification affords individuals with systematic language to make sense of their dispositions, but I think that humans are too complex to be boxed 24-7. I’m the girl who drives with her windows open, regardless if the heat is blasting in arctic temperatures or if the AC is blasting in the tropics. I’m the girl who is socially liberal and fiscally conservative and would rather have no health care than something enforced by the government. I’m the girl who switches the radio from BackSpin Hip Hop to Willie’s Roadhouse to something by Rachmaninov within a five-minute period.

I don’t like to be contained.

So when readers criticised my want for the G-Class, labelling me as a snob for craving something ‘luxury,’ I thought, “Hm, it never even crossed my mind to want this car because of its ‘luxury’ status. It’s just really pretty. Straight lines. Powerful. Big. And Sexy. It’s a really nice car. TO ME.”

And when the Times questioned on the CLA250, “But is it a ‘real’ Mercedes when it’s engineered like pretty much any other car?”, I felt a sense of cheapness. Not due to cheaper engineering. Not due to the cheaper price. But due to society and its labelling. Sure, I might be drawn to nice things, but I also recognise my love for honest passion. Of pure capitalism. Of happiness for my sake, not for the dictionary’s.

So that’s when I formally decided to stop labelling my diet. I’m often questioned about “What is Vegan with Benefits?” To me, it’s not eating animal flesh or its secretions except for raw fish and honey (the bees are happy, don’t try to convince me otherwise!). And that ‘except’ seems to anger so many people! Even close friends and family. And really, it makes me angry that I’ve felt the need to conform to the word ‘vegan’ for so long.

Have you ever faced the following dilemma?

  • “I can’t eat cheese because I’m vegan; but I want a Greek dairy yoghurt, so what happens if I deviate? Will I become a lactarian?”
  • “I can’t drink milk, but I can eat eggs because I’m ovo-vegetarian; but I want fish, so what happens if I deviate? Will I become pescetarian?”
  • “I’m not bulimic with DSM-V enforcement because I vomit bi-weekly instead of weekly. But last year, when I vomited twice weekly under DSM-IV enforcement, I was bulimic. Must I increase purging to weekly so that insurance covers my therapy?”
  • “I’m 100% raw, but I cooked my food at 119-degrees yesterday, one more than allowed by Webster. Did that one-degree of deviation cause me to become high-raw and for how long must I be classified as this? And does that make me any closer to Kevin Bacon?”

Holy bananas, Batman! In the big scheme of things, who cares about this mumbo jumbo? Not me. From this point forward, I hereby classify myself as, drum roll please!

Independent Eater. I eat what I want, when I want, and how I want. And that’s a really cool thing to announce.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I still LOVE the G-Class. I still LOVE practicing yoga to rap music. And I still LOVE Webster (the funny guy from the 80s). But most importantly, I’d pick the painting of dogs playing poker on black velvet over the Mona Lisa any day. ;)

What do you eat?