My idea for a movie script involves a rogue army of vegans attacking carnivores, ripping drumsticks and T-bones from their greasy hands, just to get them to eat “my way or the highway.” Before there were vegans there were just plain ol’ vegetarians, who, back in what is fondly called “the sixties,” took stage center, pushing out runners for being the most obnoxious guests at dinner parties.

For a cheap laugh, all you had to do was say ‘broccoli’ and the vegetarian guests would erupt in laughter, spilling Boone’s Farm wine on their Earth Shoes. And their bedrock recipe, the dish you could roll out with so much pride you needed a gravy cup to hold it all, was eggplant parmesan.

Don’t get me wrong, eggplant parmesan is a respectable vegetarian version of veal parmesan, which involved eating the flesh of innocent baby cows that had been slaughtered and quartered and hammered into tenderness.

Back in the 1970s, I had come to Maine from a faraway place with a strange-sounding name far, far away. We — my wife at the time — had been overseas and out of touch with what was going on in the States. This was before CNN and Fox News and the 24-hour news cycle. You might say we lived in a cocoon of ignorance when it came to events back in the U.S.

The Aerogramme was the means of communication with friends overseas, but it took at least five days to arrive. An Aerogramme was one thin piece of paper on which you wrote your message, then folded that piece of paper, licked the adhesive and that was it. No stamp. No envelope. Write, fold and send.

While overseas, we decided that when we came back, we would live closer to the land, grow our own food and live simply. We thought our move to Maine and our dream of finding an old farm house to fix up was original. We hadn’t heard the term ‘back to the land’ before arriving on these shores. But once we got to Maine, we realized we were part of a trend. A trend of expanding consciousness, and a time of experimentation.

What we drove, what we played and what we ate were suddenly under scrutiny. Political correctness was a term we heard often. Downhill skiing was bad for the environment, but cross country skiing was good for the environment. Eating meat meant killing helpless animals, and eating carrots meant a cow would live for another week.

Women walked the streets dressed in cloth they wove themselves on looms that stood in the center of their owner-built homes. One segment of the back to the land horde were escaped hippies from the big cities looking to start life over. They cooked on wood-fired stoves and made batch after batch of tomato sauce, enough sauce to make a lasagna stretch from Whitefield to Belfast.

Soon word got out that there were dishes you could make with eggplant other than eggplant parmesan. Dishes like Baba Ganoush, made by smooshing peeled eggplant and mixing it with enough garlic to keep Bela Lugosi away from you forever.

The back to the land movement, along with eggplant parmesan, gradually faded from our consciousness as more and more big city dropouts discovered the pleasure of the real estate market.