I have to admit to being hesitant to share this post, given what has been going on in the vegan community over the last few days. Check out the summer on The Vegan r.d. Have you heard about the Vegan who fell of the bandwagon? But, I am going to brave it, as school teachers always say, “if you have a question or a thought it is likely others do too.”
I have been a carnivore my entire life. In the last five years, as I have made the journey and commitment to be a green citizen, knowledge has changed the way I choose what meat I do eat. I am committed to free range, grain fed and organic meats. However, I have often been criticized for not embracing vegetarianism or veganism. For the most part I have shrugged off comments, and laughed stating, “why do we have K-9 teeth if we are not supposed to eat meat?”, but in the back of my mind I have often wondered and thought about giving it a shot – could I be a happy vegan?
Ideally I would like to try to be a vegan. But what does being a vegan mean to me? To help me understand the Vegan diet, I turned to Vegan Action a non-profit organization dedicated to educating the public on a vegan lifestyle. Vegan Action defines a vegan as:
“…someone who, for various reasons, chooses to avoid using or consuming animal products. While vegetarians choose not to use flesh foods, vegans also avoid dairy and eggs, as well as fur, leather, wool, down, and cosmetics or chemical products tested on animals.” – Vegan Action.
What is stopping me from making this commitment? Well, if I really think about it, four things:
- I worry that I will miss meat. Becoming a vegetarian feels like I am giving up so much of something I truly enjoy. I feel like it is huge a sacrifice.
- I don’t like tofu. I have this image of vegans eating tofu with everything, and no matter what flavor you disguise it under or what shape you make it into, I just can’t stomach tofu.
- I had this image in my head, that vegan meant nothing was cooked, and I am a big lover of hot food – but now I realize my mis-understanding, vegan and raw are quite different. Vegan does allow for cooked foods.
- I live in a household of meat-lovers. I feel it is only fair, that if I am going to give this a try that I try at least a week of being all vegan all the time. To do a Meatless Monday or Vegan Thursday approach feels a bit like cheating, but I don’t want to through this concept out the door as I may need it if I can’t get through a week.
Why do I want to become a vegan or at least give it a shot
- Health. A girlfriend of mine, has made the switch and she has energy, feels great and is in tune with her body in a way I envy. She just knows what her body needs in terms of nutrients at any given time.
- The environment. I am committed to being an eco-warrior and want to be in tune with Mother Nature in this way.
So my first task is to pick a week where I will give this a try. I have chosen the week of Jan 17th.
The second step is to create my grocery shopping list. I figured this would be something that could help others, so look for a post that compares my current weekly shopping list (the carnivore list) to my new revised shopping list, the vegetarian shopping list.
Wish me luck!