Posts Tagged ‘vegan’

“Veganism for the rest of us”

Sunday, July 3rd, 2011

I stumbled across a blog post entitled Veganism For The Rest Of Us and I have to say it rubbed me wrong. Comments are turned off, or I would have posted my thoughts there. They seem to be addressing non-vegans who are considering taking the leap, assuring them that it’s easy to be vegan and there are plenty of delicious foods. I was with it till the following paragraph:

We don’t like vegetables, either. And we don’t live without cheese…When we go to see a baseball game, we gobble up hot dogs, fries, and sodas. After a movie, we stop and have a pizza with extra cheese…In fact, our diet resembles the menu you find at most diners, with one crucial difference: the ingredients we use to make these foods do not come from animals. They look the same, and, in most cases, taste just the same.

Emphasis added because that is a glaring non-truth right there. I will be celebrating 12 years vegan in November, and I am very happy. I have never regretted going vegan, but it was a lifestyle change, one that sometimes it required a little planning. When a person sells veganism as easy and unobtrusive, they’re lying. When I went vegan, knowing it was going to be difficult helped me be prepared for those moments that were going to be exceptionally hard. I believe that if I had expected it to be a breeze, I never would have made it through the first month. Once I was through the initial difficult transition, I’ve pretty much coasted. And I continue to planned ahead.

So, to a potential/new vegan who may be reading this, I would like to issue you the following corrections of the quoted paragraph:

You do live without cheese. There are some excellent vegan cheese substitutes. At first the substitution will be glaring, but eventually most of us can’t tell the difference anymore. In the mean time, try to appreciate it as its own food, not a sad substitute.

Maybe you will eat hot dogs at a ballgame, but not because you had a hankering and waved down the seller, it’ll be because you thought ahead and brought your own, which you took the time to prepare at home before the game.

Sure you can have a nice extra cheese pizza after a movie, provided there’s a place that sells vegan pizza locally. Most places that offer vegan pizza make it vegan by removing cheese, so if you want “cheese”, you’re going to have to call around before you go to the movie. Hopefully it’s still open when your movie gets out.

You will arrive at events to find the “vegan” entree contains eggs, the garden salad has cheese, and the tea has honey. Take it in stride, new vegan. It’s a hassle, but your life will go on, and thanks to your relatively minor sacrifice, so will the life of that cow, pig or sheep you’re not eating.


Saturday, November 21st, 2009

I’ve found myself spending increasing amounts of time standing in a supermarket with one can of beans in each hand wondering if I could save 55 cents by purchasing the one that contains sdaeajasdfdea, or if sdaeajasdfdea is an animal product. While being able to search the Internet from my phone is enormously helpful (seriously, how did I ever function without the Internet in my pocket?), some of these queries aren’t answered on the first page of results. In an effort to not continually be tracking down the same n ingredients every time I go shopping, I decided to start a wiki to record my findings named, for lack of a more clever moniker, VeganWiki.

I spent some time deliberating about this, because there’s already so much reference material on the Internet, I seriously questioned the need for adding more. But I didn’t find any one good resource on the matter, and some sites that seemed promising at a glance often contained errors or had a different ideas about what foods they consider vegan, making it worse than useless to me. While I hope others can benefit from this resource, the problem I was trying to solve was uniquely mine: I didn’t trust the other resources, and I don’t expect random strangers who come across this one will trust it much more.

I hope that, in spite of that, the collaborative nature of a wiki, in conjunction with judicious citations, will make it a resource useful to someone other than just me. It’s kind of a ghost town right now, but I hope you will consider adding your distinctiveness knowledge to its own.

At long last: vegan white chocolate

Thursday, September 17th, 2009

I’m in Prague. I’ve been trolling all the local health food stores for fancy vegan things I take for granted in the United States. One exciting find was vegan white chocolate. This was huge: I have been looking for vegan white chocolate for years and I have never found it. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the cash to purchase it on that occasion. It was Saturday, so the store closed early and stayed closed until Monday.

After two days of anticipation, I returned to purchase the chocolate bar. As I walked away, I ate a piece. I was not pleased. I thought maybe I was just off my rocker, so I made plans to ask my friend and host, Lindsey, her opinion.

When she arrived home several hours later, she confessed that she’s not so into white chocolate. I replied that this particular bar wasn’t my favorite either, but I wanted to hear her assessment. She agreed to humor me.

As she slowly chewed it, she was very diplomatic about expressing her distaste, but none of her comments were hit the nail on the head. Finally I asked her directly if there was any specific taste it reminded her of. She paused for a moment, “Vomit?”

Apparently the whole time she was chewing it, she was like, “Don’t say vomit, don’t say vomit,” whereas I was mentally screaming, “It tastes like puke! Say it tastes like puke!”

Lindsey described her mental image of a chocolate factory, where they make a bar of chocolate, then everybody stands around and tastes it, and they all decide whether or not it’s good enough to be sold. Apparently somebody ate this puke-flavored chocolate, and was like, “Yes, this is good. Let’s market this.”

Update! Sept 18 2009 – Bonvita Rice Milk White Bar FTW! I’m not sure if I’d be so enthusiastic had its predecessor not set the bar so low (“Please taste better than vomit”), but right now I think it’s about the best white chocolate I’ve ever had.