Inaugural Speech

The beginning is always the hardest place to start, don’t you think?  The middle of anything is much more comfortable, squishy, familiar.  So, although this is my first post to this blog, I’d like to say welcome to the middle of my journey.  As you might have guessed from the title, I am writing this blog to chronicle my attempt at vegan living.  And as you probably gathered from my “middle speech”, I did not begin this today or yesterday, but months or even years ago.  I guess I’d like to think that it started five years ago in college when a friend of mine first introduced me to what a vegan was.  Back then I never imagined I’d ever consider becoming one, but the idea was planted and I think it has finally sprouted.

If you have stumbled upon this and you know me or my other blog, you are probably confused at how I came to this place.  It’s to be expected, especially since it was less than two years ago that I wrote a blog entry entitled Hello, Dolly where I voiced my concerns about the FDA’s decision not to disclose the sale of cloned meat (final verdict: ick!).  However, in the article I also made this statement:

I have never tried to be a vegetarian before. I know those little piggies and moo moos are cute, and I have heard the many horror stories about how they are raised, but I have decided that 1) I am not selfish about much in my life, so I can have a clear conscious about being selfish about my place on the food chain (and anyone with a problem with it can choke on a big fat carrot stick); and 2) those animals are mighty tasty! Mmmm boy!

I would like to formally retract this statement as I no longer feel this way and in fact feel ashamed to have written such a selfish and ignorant paragraph. Yes, I still believe that animals are “mighty tasty” and I am still eating them on occasion. However, I am slowly trying to adapt to a vegetarian and eventually vegan diet. I have come to realize that the price being paid for me to enjoy “tasty” animals is just too high and that health-wise I’m better off without them anyway.

Why such an attitude adjustment? Well, basically I got myself educated on the topic. Selfishly, I began to cut out animal products solely for health reasons. I read the book Skinny Bitch in Fall 2007, wherein they promote veganism as a way to lose and then maintain a healthy weight. I’ve encountered many readers who are turned off by this (especially since the topic gets sneaked in through the back door), but instead of being indignant about the fact that the book jacket never uses the word “vegan” once, I became interested in what they were saying about the benefits of this lifestyle. Although I didn’t immediately become a vegan or even a vegetarian, I began to actually think about the foods I was eating and their impact on my body as well as the world.

Since then, I have adopted more vegetarian foods into my diet and am having more and more days where I eat totally vegan. The hardest thing for me to cut out is cheese, but the rest is surprisingly easy. In general, I don’t crave meat and I’ve found that going without dairy makes me feel so much better. When I have days where I slip and eat an ice cream cone, I usually pay the price later. It serves as a great reminder that my body doesn’t need the trouble. Plus the soy or rice milk alternatives to ice cream taste amazingly good (I suggest Soy Delicious, Toffutti and Sweet Nothings Fudge Bars).

I don’t want to try to guilt or sway anyone into a vegetarian/vegan lifestyle through this blog.  Instead, I hope to share with you the journey of changing my lifestyle for what I believe to be the better.  And I think that type of story is universal.  We can all relate to bettering a part of our life, ourselves, our surroundings.  It is scary and unknown and the middle isn’t as cushy as it looks from the outside, but it’s all part of what we’re doing here.  And maybe along the way I will plant the idea in someone’s head that being vegan isn’t as extreme as once believed (admittedly, by myself) or make you a dirty-hippie-tree-hugger (which I am not).

Things I hope to post about:

Scary vegan food!
Encounters with disbelievers. (“What the hell do you eat?!”)
Restaurant experiences. (Hint: Applebees – not even vegetarian friendly)
Things even I can cook. (Besides peanut butter and jelly)
Cute animals. (Not for consumption)
Veg news.
Book reviews.

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~ by Allison on June 20, 2008.

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