At Burning Man, I spent a short period of time at Veg Camp where I picked up some literature on veganism. It’s shameful how easily I can plead ignorance to the conditions of farm factory animals and – once I learn about them – again how easy it is to let myself forget. Both for the moral reasons involved and the experience of immersing myself in new food types and environments, I decided that my “challenge of the month” would be to go vegan for 30 days. To my surprise and delight, Yair jumped onboard.
It’s only been a few days, but I’ve had a range of emotions and reactions:
1- I learned about tons of new fruits, vegetables, food products, resources (like Vegweb) and an entire language that surrounds food in the vegan world.
2- I became incredibly aware and conscious of what I put in my mouth.
3- I recognized a similarity between veganism and keeping strictly kosher, as there are vegan certifications and I am constantly checking even the most mundane items for an ingredients listing.
4- I felt deprived that suddenly the majority of supermarket aisles and restaurants were off-limits to us.
5- I was freaked out by our increased grocery costs but subsequently felt indulged, as Yair and I decided that we will treat ourselves to vegan restaurants in Portland once or twice each week and this month will just be a splurge.
6- I was impressed with how the vegan literature didn’t demonize others. The materials were realistic and pragmatic, stating that it’s better to adopt a long-term diet that somewhat minimizes meat and dairy intake than to be a zealous vegan for two weeks before reverting back to prior habits. Essentially, the pamphlet recommends shooting for overall long-term benefits and sustainability.
My goal is not to become a vegan. For me, I don’t know that it would be sustainable. But I’m nervous and excited to be taking on this baby challenge and I hope that – at minimum – this experience will heighten my awareness of what food I choose to purchase and support.
posted by ayo