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.
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!
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.