Change for a Year

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Just How Vegan Are You?

Nothing, it seems, is black and white.  The goal is to be a 100% pure, healthy vegan for a year.  I spent many nights binge-eating my way through McDonalds and packages of Oreos, getting the scale as close to 400 pounds as I dared.  Veganism was the light to help jump start a healthy future, to lead me out of the darkness.  But now I’m learning there is quite a bit of grey.

First I learned by reading this, that if you don’t want to just be a “half-assed vegetarian,” you cannot eat honey.  I cursed the bees and threw out my honey.

Then I learned that real vegans don’t eat sugar.  Something about it being processed with animal bones.  Well, just cane sugar, actually.  Beet sugar isn’t processed that way, so it is okay.  But it’s hard to tell which is cane and which is beet as sugar often isn’t labeled beyond, well, sugar.  And brown sugar?  Well, that is just cane or beet sugar tossed with a little molasses.  Powdered sugar, could be both cane or beet as well.  Time to clean out the pantry, yet again.

Okay, so I can’t eat sugar, then.  No problem.  I can live with that.  After all, there are plenty of alternatives.  I’m ready to be 100% vegan now, even if that means ditching my brown sugar on the morning oatmeal and using maple syrup.  I’m committed.  I’m snacking healthy.  Damn, these Emerald Cocoa Roast Almonds are delicious.

Wait!  It says these are processed in a plant that also processes milk.  Oh, the humanity!  Am I violating the sacred vegan oath?  After scouring the internet, it appears no crime was committed.  Mum is the word.  Let us continue this delicious snack, and I won’t tell anyone if you won’t.

Hell, I’m so damn committed, even though I’m starting with just being vegan for a year, I bought a book called, Vegan for Life.  Talk about commitment!

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Before I even hit page 1, just reading the introduction, I learn, “the word ‘vegan’ is a term coined to describe a lifestyle that avoids all animal products for food, clothing, and personal care.”

Clothing?  Personal care?  I didn’t realize this was part of the deal.  Apparently I need to check my shampoo?  Throw out my leather coat?  I mean, c’mon guys, can’t we be reasonable?  The cow’s already dead, right?  Throwing out my jacket is only going to make me cold.

I started this vegan for a year project to get healthy, so I’ll do what I can to be 100% vegan when it comes to food.  The rest will have to wait.  Maybe I will come around.

A quick Google search brings up a list of other foods I should avoid.  So the next time you’re grocery shopping, if you see a fat man wearing leather staring intently at some ingredient list and mumbling things like “damn, it’s got albumin, cochineal, and carminic acid,” that is me.

I’m still not sure about the immorality of eating cochineal or cane sugar, but at least I’ll be able to finish this year knowing I did my best to be 100% vegan and, hopefully, 100% healthier.

4 Comments

  1. Good luck!!!! i’m ovo-lacto vegetarian. or as Donald watson calls it “a halfway house between flesh-eating and a truly human, civilized diet”. I want to go Vegan, just don’t have the balls yet. the fact that you are doing it cold turkey is impressive and Mad I tell ya! 😉

  2. I’m surprised that it hasn’t been hard. I just bring snacks with my everywhere I go and munch on them. Going out to eat is the only difficult part so far.

  3. I think it’s all a matter of your personality. My sister is hardcore and she has no problem completely cutting stuff out of her life. For me, I took about two months to ease in to a vegan diet.

    I figure that vegan items that were made in a factory that uses animal products are fine once in a while. To me, avoiding those foods would be like saying that if I went to a friend’s house and they made me a vegan meal, but I said, “No, I can’t eat that because you have eggs in your fridge.” However, in the interest of animal rights, protesting with your dollar and buying alternative products might be the ethical thing to do.

    Basically, I draw the line at anything that makes it too hard for me to stick to a vegan diet. Some vegans would never make the choices that I do, but had I never gone vegan, I wouldn’t be doing half the good that I am now. Every little change is a good one!

  4. Alicia Silverstone’s “The Kind Diet” book is so awesome! It’s one of the first books I tried vegan recipes out of! Everything I made in there was so amazing! I’m serious! They have this rice pilaf that is made with pecans and parsnips and carmelized onions, that’s to die for! And a mock tuna salad! You should check it out!

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