The Bat-Cow is pretty new to the Bat Family, but it is real.
As I noted before, there is not much known about Batman’s diet. I assume that it is relatively standard, probably high-protein. I do not remember seeing Batman eat at all in the Nolan films, but some people point out that Christian Bale is vegetarian, so maybe he brought that to the character. (There are conflicting reports about whether Mr. Bale is still vegetarian, but I believe this is due to the different “flavors” of vegetarianism that I will explain shortly.) If Robin goes vegetarian for real after adopting Bat-Cow, that would be cool.
I grew up in a Buddhist household and we were vegetarian for four days each lunar month – on the day of and the day after the new moon, and the day of and day after the full moon. I know other Buddhist families that do it differently, such as some families being vegetarian for one month of the year, but that is the way my family ate. When I went to college, I would often forget the days I was supposed to be vegetarian, so I only did it on weekends when I went home.
Shortly after college, I read Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma, which acted as a catalyst for me to go vegetarian full-time by marrying my long-held Buddhist beliefs about the immorality of eating animals with the scientific and practical information about the harm it is causing to me, the animals, and the environment. I went through different phases, shifting between pescetarian (no red meat, but fish are OK), lacto-ovo vegetarian (no meat of any kind, but milk and eggs are OK), and full vegan (no meat, nothing taken from animals like milk or eggs, nothing using animals to produce like honey). I occasionally added Buddhist vegetarian rules, which also ban certain vegetables that supposedly make me more emotional (and/or lustful). I kept this up for three years, with the large majority of that time in the lacto-ovo vegetarian state.
Starting last summer, I phased myself up through the different proteins, and by Christmas 2011, I was eating all types of meat again. What made me switch back? A combination of religious, scientific, and selfish factors. The religion and science play off each other. First, I read some research about how plants have defensive mechanisms and it could be argued that they feel pain. Not in same way we do, since they do not have a nervous system, and obviously they cannot show their pain in animal/human ways such as screaming, but the sensation is there. I mean, I have known since grade school that plants are living things, but this just reinforced it. Second, my raising awareness of humanely raised animals, and the philosophical utilitarian in me asking if an animal that is well-treated during life and then killed for meat can be a net positive on the world.
As a side note these questions, it bothers me that vegans say that people who eat meat are “speciesist.” Yes, eating animals is “speciesist” because you are saying that human beings are better than animals, and you put forth that all living things should be equal. But if that is truly the case, vegans should not eat plants, either, because they are also living things. I am not sure if it is possible for humans to subsist entirely on non-living food sources, but it would be difficult at best, and probably is physiologically impossible. Therefore, the only way to truly not be “speciesist” is to eat everything – plants, animals, and other humans. I am sure Vampire Batman would agree.
And finally, my selfish reasons: I had just moved to San Francisco and wanted to explore the city, particularly the restaurants. I was also concerned about getting almost all of my protein from soy, considering the research on the phytoestrogen found in soy causing problems for males. And finally, it was just a matter of practicality – I did not mind cooking vegetarian for myself, but it was hard to eat out or have pre-made meals, and I absolutely hated being a burden to my friends and family, who had to consider my dietary restrictions whenever we made plans.