In Which I Am Vegan

Of all the List items I’ve checked off thus far, this one has been the most enlightening, Gentle Reader. I haven’t been able to keep up on this – poverty has a way of dictating what one can eat – but I definitely plan on incorporating some of what I’ve learned into my daily life.

The Task: Go Vegan for 1 Week

A beautiful shirtless woman bites into raw broccoli that's encrusted with glitter and rhinestones.

The Execution: When I mentioned that I’d be trying this to my Auntie Trin, she told me that a week was far too short – if I wanted to experience the effects of veganism, or truly see any of the changes and benefits it brings, I’d have to give it at least a month. So that was my plan – but I left my list requirements the same, just in case. I’d have to be strict for that first week, and everything after that was gravy.

A silver tureen of delightful brown gravy. Chockful of drippings, don't you know.

Just *one* of the delicious things I’d be giving up.

With a bit of research and some advice from Ms. Spectacular (Former Vegan and secretly my Primary Medical Advisor) I was on my way to a strange adventure indeed.

The very first thing I learned was how concerned other people are with what you put into your body. Before I even started this experiment, I was being heckled. Sure, it was all in fun – but it got tiresome very, very, quickly; the same “jokes” from twenty people, fifty times a day – it gets old. Unbelievably old. People weren’t being malicious – I need to stress this, because by the time I actually changed my diet, I was losing my certainty – it Just. Never. Stops. What struck me as strange was that I wasn’t bringing up the changes to my diet – not unless I had to, in a “No, thanks – I can’t have that” sort of situation – it was always other people bringing up my choices. What’s worse, I’ve been that guy – I’ve done that to friends in the past. I’m really sorry, guys.

A shirtless hunk who's giving the sexy eye to a bundle of raw carrots.

Fun Story: When I was 18, Capere and I were invited to a Vegan picnic and we didn’t know what to bring, so we just brought a sack of raw carrots.

My beloved Ms. Capere shared an essay she’d written, Anxiety Came to Tea, exploring the ethics of eating, among other things. It illuminated a lot of issues that hadn’t even crossed my mind – cruelty, sustainability, food’s effects on the body – consuming the suffering of others. There are still many ideas that I’m still digesting, and in my current financial situation, unless I want to live strictly on lentils and rice – which are awful on their own after just two days, by the way* – it’s nearly impossible to eat without cruelty being involved.

A plate of grey and brown Lentils and Rice without flavor or delight.

All Day, *Every* Day

Physical changes happened very quickly. I fit into a size 10 for the first time in years. I was constantly running to the restroom, and I found that if I didn’t eat every four hours I would get both extremely angry and extremely light-headed. That, actually, is why I ended up giving in – after three days on the road, I had neglected to bring enough snacks; I was on foot, walking to the bus for the next leg of my trip, and nearly fainted. The only available, affordable, option (apart from passing out in the street) was fast food. And that was that.

A frat boy, passed out in a pool of mysterious fluid that may or may not be vomit.

*He* had more integrity than *I* did, Gentle Reader.

The Verdict: I absolutely want to use what I’ve learned in my daily habits. It’s important, for myriad health reasons alone, to be mindful of what we put into our bodies – and not enough people even consider what they’re eating. I didn’t miss meat at all – and I hardly missed dairy; Chèvre and caviar were the only things I missed at all, and I don’t have those that often, anyway.

I’ve definitely got a lot to chew over, but this was an excellent experience  that I heartily recommend.

The face of an elderly man, artistically made using only raw vegetables

*********

* Lentils and Rice: When I was practicing being a hobo in preparation for the cancelled Europe Trip, I had it on good authority that Lentils and Rice contain all the nutrients you need to survive, and are so cheap as to be basically free, so I lived exclusively on them for at least a month. It was horrible.

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About Ty DeLyte

Madame DeLyte has suffered a grave disappointment - YET AGAIN - and still believes that freedom, beauty, and truth are what's valuable, rather than vulgar cash. He'd add love to that list - but, well, what can he say about love?
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5 Responses to In Which I Am Vegan

  1. Emily says:

    If you pursue this further: as I seem to date vegans these days, I’ve learned that there are vegan-friendly options at a lot of fast food places. Chipotle’s sofritas is pretty rad and I get it whenever I go there (which is a lot…it’s on the next pier over…don’t judge me.) But Taco Time and Taco Bell are also really easy to make vegan by getting beans instead of meat and guac or salsa instead of cheese :-).

    • Thanks for the tip! There wasn’t anything like that where I was – my options were Arby’s or Popeye’s Chicken – but I’m sure, if I’d researched beforehand, I’d have been able to figure something out.

      While I don’t think I’d necessarily adopt a strictly vegan diet, I’m still mulling things over.

  2. linnetmoss says:

    Bravo! A gradual approach often works. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing. I recommend that everyone do *something* about mindful eating. Even cutting out factory-farmed products, as opposed to all animal products, is a significant step. It’s true that some fast food places have options now, but I’ve not been inside one in years–much to the benefit of my health.

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