Mitzvah “Performance”

I often wonder about the mitzvah system — it seems so all-encompassing and restrictive, like every moment of the day a person has to worry if he is doing something right or wrong. Do you actually think that it’s a good thing never to be free to do as we please, but always to feel like we’re under scrutiny? Are you telling me that G-d wants us to live in a constant state of tension and worry, that this is the way to joy and happiness?

Kosher Bacon?

I have recently begun keeping kosher and had a philosophical debate with a friend who doesn’t. I want to use soybean sausages and bacon, like Morning Star Farms products that have kosher symbols, because as long as they’re kosher, why not? But my friend argues that if I’m going to keep kosher, to eat “kosher treif,” is just a loophole and not in the spirit of what I’m trying to do. Do you feel this contradicts the spirit of the law?