Friday, December 16, 2011

*Warning*: Vegan Blog Entry Ahead

I went to yoga and stopped at the store on the way home to pickup some blueberry Lärabars when a young girl complained to her mother in the whiniest voice about never having tasted a Pop-Tart.  Oh how I love frosted blueberry Pop-Tarts!  Nevertheless, I might never eat another Pop-Tart because I've decided to go vegan.  I never thought I would be saying those words, but I am.  And before I move on, you must try Lärabars.  You will be amazed when you look at the label and only see about two to five ingredients that are all easily recognizable as real food.

I've been vegetarian for a really really long time.  Like more than half my life.  I'm not that old, but I'm not so young either.  When I was in college I dated a vegetarian and one of my good girlfriends was also vegetarian.  My girlfriend, who introduced me to Veggie Boy, commented that it must be so great to date another vegetarian.  I commented that it was OK but that I would never want to marry a vegetarian, nor would I want my kids to be a vegetarian.  It's very strange that I would think that way, but I was pretty convinced.

I later had a relationship with a man who probably ate live cows.  I'm exaggerating, but he did eat meat more than anyone I ever knew.  He self-defined as a carnivore.  When the relationship with Mr. Carnivore started to become more serious, I agreed that I would eat meat.  I hate eating meat, but somehow I thought that I could do it for love.

But then I met my personal superhero, Morris, who is the most awesome vegan I know.  Yes, he's the only vegan I personally know, but he is amazing.  When Morris described his process of becoming vegan to me, I told him that I didn't think I could do it.  He told me to just take my time and think about it.  Well, almost seven years later, I'm doing it.  Today begins day three of vegan food for me.  I really don't see myself looking back.

For a long time I've been a mediocre vegetarian, not really eating especially nutritious food.  I lived on foods like nachos, french fries, Pop-Tarts, etc.   When I started a diet three weeks ago, I kept saying that I want to die in a vat of 7-Eleven nachos.  But then again, I know better.  I'm lactose intolerant.  Dairy does icky stuff to me.  It makes my face break out.  It makes my tummy hurt.  The beautiful thing about being vegan is that there is no more counting calories or really worrying about food.  Now every meal is a culinary adventure for me.  In the last two days I've eaten some of the best meals I've ever had in my life, all cooked at home.  But if you can't be bothered to cook so much, there is vegan food at restaurants too.

Why should you go vegan?  Because you will feel great.  After just two days I'm feeling much more energetic and healthy.  I am feeling the joy in life.  Maybe it's the placebo effect, but I wake up feeling more refreshed.  It's amazing how when you change your diet to healthier, more nutritious food you start feeling so much better than you remembered you could.  Is being vegan safe?  Can you get all of the vitamins you need if you're vegan?  I can just hear all the questions from people now.  The answer is that it's probably a lot better for you that what you're eating now, if you're eating what the average American eats.  Take vitamin supplements.  See a nutritionist.

Why did I go vegan?  because ever since I've been 28 years old I've felt not so great.  That is not an age where you should be sickly or tired all the time, but I was.  Now at 31 I am going to live the best life possible, filled with kindness and yummy, nutritious foods.  My inspiration was The Kind Diet by Alicia Silverstone.  It totally makes becoming vegan seem less overwhelming.  I highly recommend this book to anyone who just wants to eat better, even if you're not thinking of becoming vegan.

I think from the perspective of Buddhist beliefs, going vegan is the right thing to do.  Silverstone outlines the problems with the dairy and egg industries.  I won't go into details here, but check out the book if you want to know.  I really don't understand Buddhists because most Buddhists I know believe it's OK to eat meat, and I am not personally acquainted with any vegan Buddhists.  I think it's hard to say that you vow to end the suffering of all beings when you are eating those beings you are vowing to save.  But maybe other Buddhists feel differently.

Any vegans around here?  Anyone know why lay Buddhists eat meat or why there aren't more Buddhist vegans?  Anyone have a favorite vegan treat or vegan website?  Please help this budding vegan!

♥ Lola

Posted as part of Best Posts of the WeekShare the Joy, Weekend Wander.


Meri said...

I enjoyed meandering along with your mind in this amusing post. . . Veggie Boy, the man who eats live cows, the meat-eating lay Buddhists -- quite a cast of characters!

Treehugger_31 said...

Congrats on taking the step! I too went from vegetarian to vegan approx 4 years ago. My favorite vegan cookbook author is Isa Chandra Moskowitz. She's written so many gems such as Vegan with a Vengeance and Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World. She also has a website called Post Punk Kitchen. If you like Indian food I highly recommend a book called 660 Curries. It's not a vegan cookbook but it does have a huge section of veggie and/or lentil dishes that are to die for! Good luck on your journey!

Magical Mystical Teacher said...

I'm not a vegan, and don't really hanker to be one, but I am a lacto- (and sometimes ovo-) vegetarian, and it brings me great joy not to be gnawing at flesh!

Leovi said...

I love those flowers, beautiful colors. I wish you a good weekend. Greetings.

Timoteo said...

Been a bit since i caught up with you. I encourage and support your vegan choice. And we can't really change who we are for "love." Finding that person who respects you for who you are and the choices you've made because of it--and will not require you to change for THEM...that's who we should be looking for.

David Ashton said...

What terrific news - all the best!

Amber Renee / said...

Hello! I'm your partner for Gain Blog Readers and Comments. WOW. I love poptarts. I want to be a healthy vegan so much but I just love meat and nasty food! Was it hard to become?

Anonymous said...

I applaud your decision -- good for you, good for animals, and something I haven't been able to do myself yet.

I did write an article about Buddhism and vegetarianism though, here, which provoked some good discussion, and it'd be great to have your input:

Anonymous said...

Oh, i just noticed that you had me on your blogroll!! Thank you so much :-)

The Purple Treehouse said...

dreamy imagery.

Excellent post.
Happy Holidays….
I know you write stunning Haiku, welcome sharing with us,
1 to 3 or more are welcome.
no theme.
Hope to see you in,

patricias fabric art said...

I dropped in to wish you a happy Christmas now I'm thinking you probably do'nt celebrate it -Oh well have a good time anyway!!

Kevin Routh said...

I am actually a 'carnivore' who has been seriously considering becoming a vegetarian. I've been thinking about it for a couple of years, but my 7 year old daughter is actually leading the way for me - since she found out that meat is actually dead animals, she has decided that she does not want to eat meat any longer...
Thanks for the great post!

The Poet said...

Hello Lola.
I enjoyed reading this article.
Thank you for sharing.

I know it's a bit late in coming, but according to my records, you are my 100th Follower. Congratulations! I have an award for you. Please stop by to claim it here...
Click the Award to open in a new window so you can copy/download/paste.

Thanks for following.
Thoughts Of Beauty In The Stillness Of Dawn

Anonymous said...

Lola - wishing you all the best in your newest endeavor of being completely vegan ... it is easier these days than years ago ... more choices are available to help you with your adventure. Enjoyed reading your post ...

Happy New Year!