What on earth could these two things have to do with one another? You’ll see!
“Singing a cappella is doing so without any instruments as musical accompaniment” (per wikipedia.com). I’d never been exposed to a cappella music groups until I went to IU. There was an a cappella music group at IU Bloomington, with some seriously hot guys (sorry Pete) called Straight No Chaser. The original group wound up with a singing engagement on PBS a few years ago because someone posted a video on youtube.com of them singing their version of the 12 Days of Christmas (posted below) and their fame progressed from there. There are so many songs that are redone in an a cappella style. Some songs really complement the a cappella style and some really don’t. That, however, is an individual opinion. Each singer in an a cappella group has their own function: they either are creating an instrumental sound (like a beat or melody) or they are singing the vocals. A cappella songs that are remade from their original music version sound similar to the original version and yet maintain their own distinct, unique sound.
Here’s a youtube video of them performing 12 Days of Christmas with their own special twist on it. I’ve seen this performed live and it’s hilarious and really awesome. They have such a unique sound.
So now that I’ve basically done an infomercial for Straight No Chaser, I’ll go on to what this has to do with veganism and even further into raw food veganism.
As you know, and if you don’t know you can read all about it on my blog, I tried vegan eating for 2 weeks for a project for my blog. I called it a Very Vegan Valentine’s Day. I didn’t last the entire two weeks. I lasted one week and decided to convert because I liked it so much. With veganism, you remove all animals (beef, fish, poultry, etc.) and also animal by-products (eggs, milk, butter, etc.) and you’re left with a plant-based diet. In veganism the food can be cooked or uncooked…your choice. There are a lot of similar dishes that you make as a vegan by replacing or substituting certain ingredients in place of the meat, butter, etc.
There’s a sect of veganism called raw food veganism where you still eat vegan foods (all plant based) but you don’t cook anything over 108 degrees or so (the degrees vary in the different articles I’ve read). I’ve only been eating raw for a week and one-half so I don’t consider myself an expert, but I do have a little experience with it now to blog about it.
The first week I went raw, I ordered a week’s worth of food from Karyn’s Raw restaurant in Chicago. I figured if I was going to go raw for a while, and had no idea how to prepare the food, I’d pay a little extra and see what was out there. So on 4/1/2012 I walked out of Karyn’s Raw restaurant with a huge box of raw food. I discovered a whole new world of food. It was food that tasted similar to the vegan dishes I was used to eating but it was a little different. I was still able to have my vegan pizzas, pastas, and desserts but they were done in a whole new way: raw. Taking the animals, animal by-products and even the cooking process out of food you really are just left with food in its organic, uncooked state. However there are ways of preparing the food that make it taste similar to what you were used to eating before. Vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds really pull together to create fabulous tasting food. Raw food that is prepared (like the “breads” and desserts) taste a lot denser and are a lot more filling than cooked foods. Not everything that I tried from Karyn’s restaurant tasted similar to the dish she was trying to recreate but I’ll admit she hit pretty much dead on for most things. Again, like the a cappella music, it’s meant to be similar to what you’re used to but not exactly the same.
While eating raw vegan foods or cooked vegan foods, the plants do all the work and pull double duty in place of the meat and animal by-products to make the plants shine through and the same is true for a cappella music. The singers pull double duty, each with their own unique part: some of the singers replace the musical instrumentation and some sing. By removing one element out of the equation other factors must be relied upon to produce a similar enough end result that people will still listen to the music or try eating the food.
If music didn’t sound good people wouldn’t listen to it. If food didn’t taste good people wouldn’t eat it. When we pull out instruments or an element like meat or even a process like cooking, it forces the music or food to stand on its own, pull together in a different way and really shine through without the extra additives. You are left with a product that is similar to what you’re used to listening to or eating, something that you can relate to what was replaced and still left with a new experience at the end of the day. And you know the best part of all of it? You can decide if it’s for you or not!
If you relate veganism or raw food veganism to eating a bunch of cold vegetables, would that appeal to you? Probably not. But if I took those foods and incorporated them into a dish and called it Hawaiian pizza, would you give it a try? You might. And even better is that you might like it. With the a cappella music, if you associate it to your sixth grade squeaky Catholic school choir concert then you may never want to listen to it, but if I post a popular song like the 12 Days of Christmas and ask you to listen to it, you might come out with a new perspective on it!
Raw food veganism isn’t for everyone and there’s always cooked veganism to try. If veganism doesn’t appeal to you, then there’s always vegetarianism or back to the diet you were most likely raised on with meat and animal by-products. The same is true with music. If a cappella music just isn’t for you, then you can always chose to add instrumental-style music back into your listening repertoire.
We all have choices. These are unique options I’m offering up to you to explore. Veganism, raw food veganism and a cappella music are on the opposite ends of the spectrum in terms of each other and also in terms of what people are used to eating and listening to for music. But they are similar to each other in that they remove one element and the final result is still similar to what you’re used to but different and unique in its own way. You just gotta give it a try!