Monday, September 10, 2007
Happy vegan-versary to me
Is that a cute cake or what?
It was a year ago that I read a few books (this one and this one) that convinced me, against my will, I should try to go vegan.
When I became a vegetarian, I took about a year to fully transition (between the ages of 16 and 17). After that year had passed, my vegetarianism was pretty entrenched until I started eating fish on rare occasions again when I was about 28.
It has not been as easy to go vegan. First of all, I freely admit I don't want to be 100% vegan. My goal is to limit animal products to 2 meals a week, which is 10% of my meals. I deeply admire people who are 100% vegan in diet and lifestyle. I also know myself well enough to know that if I am too restrictive in my diet, I can rebound by losing control (I'm not talking true binge eating, just something on the order of a large piece of cake or several slices of pizza). If there is a time that I can kiss cheese, tangy, rich, satisfying cheese, good-bye forever, that time has not yet come. My 2 dairy meals a week are a concession to this realization.
The problem has been that I've done a lot of traveling and socializing this summer. (Since late May, Montreal, NYC, San Diego, Guatemala, and Oklahoma City, each for about a week.) Some places have posed a real challenge to eat vegan. But in others, I let myself be lax because I'm away from home and can't prepare my own food, or because the most tempting thing on the menu is vegetarian but not vegan.
I also just cannot stomach soy cheese. Long-time vegans, do you really like soy cheese? It reminds me of eating fish in a restaurant with one of HS's friends who is a meat eater. I remarked that the fish really tasted like chicken. He took a bite and said that I just thought that because I hadn't eaten chicken in so long. I mean, do you really think soy cheese tastes like dairy cheese?
During the second year of my reluctant vegan-hood, I'd like to stick hard and fast to the 2 dairy meals a week rule. I know there are plenty of vegans who travel a lot, or who live in an unfriendly state and stick to it. I'm also going to re-read Eat to Live to boost my motivation.
As a side note, I think we have found a place that will provide vegan food--really good vegan food--for our wedding!