Scary, scary Veganism

I think I’m going to eat vegan for a week, but I don’t know why.I suppose, like a lot of things I do, it would just be out of curiosity mostly; and, I don’t eat that many meat products now so the transition wouldn’t be as hard as it is for a lot of people.The biggest killers would be milk, eggs, and butter, because I cook with them a lot and eat food products that rely on them. Plus, just about every baking recipe calls for at least one of those things –typically butter– so I would have to focus my efforts.

The thing that a lot of vegan websites stress is that you can’t just slip into veganism, you really have to plan ahead and then go. The dietary restrictions change so many parts of your basic eating schedule that, if you’re doing it for a week like me to experiment, you’re going to have to go to the grocery store beforehand to purchase some necessities. For me those necessities would be soy milk, applesauce, tofu, and I think a lot of legumes, which would act as the big source of protein in this diet. The soy milk will be critical for breakfast because I usually put cream in my oatmeal and coffee, and the applesauce is important because it (almost) replaces butter in a lot of dishes. Although I did see a soybean-butter the other day?

I should clarify what it means to be vegan, because I bet there are some people out there who do not know what it is. Veganism is a relatively new offshoot as far as radical diets go, and it draws a lot of its roots from vegetarianism. “A vegan is 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.” As a part of going vegan, I would not be able to wear any leather or animal products, but I don’t anyway, so no biggie there. I guess I’m not really concerned with veganism outside of the cuisine, because that is the biggest part, and that is the part that interests me. If I have to wear shoes with leather in them next week, I’m going to do so. I’m not going to buy any all-leather chaps, but I’m not about to trash any of the clothes I have because I am on a week-long experiment.

“Veganism, the natural extension of vegetarianism, is an integral component of a cruelty-free lifestyle. Living vegan provides numerous benefits to animals’ lives, to the environment, and to our own health–through a healthy diet and lifestyle.” There are several reasons to go vegan, and they are identical to the reasons that vegetarians have for foregoing meat, except that vegans take them further. It’s funny when you think about it, vegetarianism and veganism have the same ideal and motives, but veganism just goes all the way. I don’t know why the first person who ever went vegetarian decided that it was ok to eat or wear some animal products, but veganism is the final step.

Actually, real vegetarianism probably means you don’t eat eggs or milk or butter, but I’m not sure, because then is there a difference between a true vegetarian and a vegan? I also eat fish, which makes me technically a pesca-ova-lactarian (I eat fish, eggs, and dairy products). If you are a real vegetarian, you wouldn’t eat any of those things, and then you’d basically be a vegan. I think the big difference between true vegetarian and vegan is that vegans don’t wear clothes or use products that involve animals products.

You can go vegan for its health benefits, its benefits for the environment, and some people practice veganism for its spiritual-egalitarian ideals. I am doing it for funsies.

It will be hard not eating fish, which for now has been a good every second or third day refill on protein. And milk, of course, is going to be a big one, because milk supplies me with calcium and good protein. Soy milk is a very good replacement though, and and vanilla and chocolate soymilk are really tasty. I will probably bake some vegan bread (no butter, eggs, or milk) so I can eat PB&J or veggie sandwiches. The hardest meal to alter will be lunch. Breakfast is a snap. Dinner I have time to prepare. Lunch is hard because it’s usually things you pull from your fridge and stuff in your mouth, and veganism requires a little more thought than that.

The whole reason I began considering trying out veganism is because I am baking a “Vegan Chocolate Avocado Cake,” both for Hayleigh’s birthday and Father’s Day. Although I think neither one will like it, and I don’t think it will be very good, I will probably give the rest to my friends. If it is good, then I have a go-to dish during Vegan Week. The idea of replacing critical animal ingredients with vegetables made consider how much I will enjoy going vegan, because I really enjoy cooking with fresh vegetables and fruits, though I cannot deny that I love butter.

I will bake the cake today and let you know how it goes.

Also, I know my whole rant may have you ringing with anticipation, but like I said, I’m going to have to do some planning before I start this. Also, it’s going to be hard news to break to my mom who is already mildly concerned about my vegetarianism. She clings to milk and fish as her last vestiges of protein for me, and once I fling them away, she might go catatonic. The point I am trying to make is that I don’t know when I go vegan. I think next week would be good, but I can’t say for sure. I am doing VBS next week, and that’s hardly a time to be playing with my diet because I’m going to need some serious energy. But, as always, I’ll let you know!

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Scary, scary Veganism

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