Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Vegan : Desperation and Inspiration

I knew this was going to happen eventually. Trying to keep vegan suddenly became bumpy and I became cranky. I am hungry and I miss cheese. I feel unprepared, even though I thought I shopped for the right stuff. Suddenly, rice, vegetables and noodles don't seem to "hit the spot" and my eyes keep wandering to the cheese from my Farm Share. And there is something else happening, a weird sort of mourning process that is hard to explain. The idea of baking differently for the rest of my life leaves me feeling so sad. I like my whipped cream and our traditional birthday cakes, and around Christmas my oven really cranks. up. I don't know if I am ready to give all of that up. And yes there are substitutes, but so far I haven't tasted any vegan baking that I thought came close. Sort of like diet cake.  By late yesterday afternoon I was really cranky and feeling defeated. It was time to re-evaluate. To remember what made me start this and how I plan to continue. And to remember that it is always my decision. Each and every minute and each and every bite.
And so there it is: the choice. The choice that I have that so many don't. The choice that I don't have to participate in a system that systematically abuses animals, and the consumers of their product. A system that is destroying our land and our water. A system that continually uses its' power to drive small farms out of business. The accumulated knowledge of documentaries, books and conversations, holds my one hand and my own mirror holds the other. Because once you know, you can't really pretend you don't. But my hands aren't tied. I am free to choose, to the best of my knowledge and ability.
So there I am yesterday, sad and tired and hungry. And wanting to quit. I posted to Facebook and soon after went to bed. But not before reading more of the book Eating Animals. It helped me remember why I am doing what I am doing. And then when I woke up this morning, a bunch of friends posting back messages of support and suggestions. Not all of them vegan or vegetarian, but all helping to hold me up. And another friend, lending me cookbooks and some sound advice. That this is a new and different way of eating and I have to let go of the other. It is a change. But it can be a good change. It is probably going to get hard again. But there really are plenty of foods for me to eat. And I know that tastes do change. I use to drink my coffee with cream and sugar and now I drink it black. It just doesn't taste right the other way anymore.
So this is my transition phase and it is hard. But it is also inspiring. Because not only do I have choice, but I am also surrounded by so much love and support.


  1. I wonder if it might work better for you to become a vegan gradually rather than cold turkey (you should pardon the expression!) if this is something that you really feel you need to do. Just a thought.

    1. It comes down to not being able to forget once you know. And the more I read the more firm I become in my position. And I really am more gradual than you think since I keep making mistakes and learning. It is amazing what I didn't know about the food I eat.