jusummerhayes (jusummerhayes) wrote,

Being vegan

“We are not just a skin-encapsulated ego, a soul encased in flesh. We are each other and we are the world.” -- Charles Eisenstein

I rarely talk about being vegan, unless, as is often the case, I have to explain myself when eating out (which is always tricky).

My rationale for becoming vegan wasn’t, at the time, based on any moral crusade, and certainly not because it seemed trendy. Instead, it was a natural transition from a diet that was devoid of most dairy and animal products, and I thought “why not!”

From a health perspective, I don’t take any supplements, but one thing I do insist on is eating several brazil nuts every day only because when I skip them, my skin feels like cardboard and my joints start to creak.

From a family perspective, there are no issues save that my wife is probably fed up cooking multiple meals for me, Hetty (she’s a vegetarian and is gluten intolerant) and my other two children who eat quite normally, i.e. they eat meat and pretty much everything else that’s put on their plate. In fact, the only area where I still find there’s an issue is when I meet a potential client or attend a networking event: I always have to check the menu very carefully because it’s rare that restaurants don’t mix some animal product with their food. I also go with my pre-prepared script which pretty much mirrors this post -- I’m not yet fed up reciting said lines, but I wonder how my hosts or guests or clients would feel if I asked them for a detailed explanation for eating meat, poultry and dairy products?

Would I ever go back to eating meat? I very much doubt it. Apart from anything else, it would be a betrayal of my belief that we are all interconnected and all life is sacred. (I recognise this may seem a stupid argument to promulgate -- I’d end up eating nothing -- but I don’t believe that animals or fish should be bred solely for food or taken from the sea as of right.)

I do need to develop my vegan cookery skills. Before becoming vegan, I routinely cooked once a week, and would always challenge myself to cook something new. Don’t ask me why, but I haven’t felt the need to deliver new vegan dishes in the same way and have been content to default to standard fare like nut roast, soups, salads and roast vegetables. (One of the things I’ve noticed when trying to pull a recipe together is, apart from the obvious, well-known ingredients, it’s not that easy to find some of the foodstuffs that are required to mirror the recipes. Also, all my vegan cookery books are from America and the terminology takes a bit of getting used.)

I’m not sure if you’ve even been tempted by a meat-free diet, but even if you don’t want to take such a radical step as me, I would highly recommend a week’s fast from meat. If nothing else, it will give your stomach a rest.

PS. I do wish the Vegan Society would sort out the logo for vegan products. It would make my/our shopping experience that much easier. The problem is that quite a few products are vegan but don't display the logo.

Vegan logo

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