Wednesday, May 18, 2011
I have been a vegetarian for about 10 years. Ish. I have been sort of flirting with becoming a vegan for the past year or so, but just couldn't commit. About a month ago, I decided to just go for it and give it a whirl. Because I'm a nerd and completely obsessive compulsive, I also decided to read everything I could find about the proper way to be a vegan, the many health benefits, and (of course) the effects that eating meat/dairy have on animals and the environment. I have learned a lot of things since my vegan conversion, and since I'm sure your life's purpose hinges delicately on reading my thoughts, I would like to share them with you. Feel free to tell a friend.
1. There are only two ways for people to tell other people that they're a vegan. They are either profoundly apologetic (identifiable by a slight cringe and eye aversion when they say, carefully, "Oh, no thanks...I'm a...vegan" or ridiculously entitled. This one is probably more common, and generally accompanied with a condescending, pitying shrug while the person talking tallies up yet another person to whom they are intellectually and physically superior.
2. I am a terrible cook. Seriously. Now, to be fair, I bake delicious pasties and desserts, but when it comes to cooking meals, I am just not the best. I've tried multiple new dishes, and have found about two that are great. The rest I have managed to mess up. Tofu, really? Who actually cooks with that?
3. It's a good idea, if you're a vegan (who isn't out to convert the world to your way of thinking through instilling shame) to come up with lots of fun reasons that you have made this choice, because literally everyone you know will want to ask you why you've decided to avoid animal products. The truth is, they don't REALLY want to know, because telling them all the yucky truths will make them uncomfortable. Better to give fun reasons, like "I'm allergic...to animals. All of them. When ingested, they would cause my stomach to spontaneously combust" or "Look, there's a war coming, and we all have to choose sides. The plants have built an army, and I'm putting my money on them. They've got strong roots," or "Well, I watched The Land Before Time a lot as a kid, and I really admire Littlefoot's character, especially when you consider what a scallywag that Sharptooth villain turned out to be."
4. Irony of all ironies, after posting that ode to bananas, it turns out I'm allergic to them. This also leads to something else that I have learned, which is that I am the absolute worst at noticing things. It was weeks of pain and sickness before I connected the fact that bananas were the culprit.
5. WholeFoods. Sure, I spent $45 on about six items, but I could have spent all day in there. I like a little bit of pretention with my shopping experience, thank you very much. I also like the fact that unlike at Giant (where I am now forced to do ALL of my grocery shopping) there are aisles upon aisles upon aisles of vegan deliciousness. And things are frequently labeled "vegan," which saves me work. I don't like work.
6. Some surprisingly non-vegan foods that I am currently mourning: candy corn, gummy candy (obviously my priorities are candy-related), Utz Specials pretzels, croutons, all varieties of Special K, my favorite Aurora granola, Jell-o Mousse.
7. They make a vegan food pyramid! It's a whole lot like the regular food pyramid, designed to make you hyperaware that you're doing a terrible job at feeding yourself. But just look at how fun and tropical it looks!