Monday, September 7, 2009

My last meal

So my last meat-and-animal-filled meal tonight (for at least 21 days) was a great dinner cooked by my mom-mom. She coooked a pork tenderloin, sauerkraut, mashed potatoes and gravy, corn, and broccoli. My parents, my friend - C-MAN, and the singed one were there. It was great. I ate my fill. However, I've noticed a trend that I've experienced the past few weeks or so. I can do without meat. I'm not sure how easily I will be able to cope with maintaining a vegan lifestyle, but I could do without meat while experiencing little difficulty. It's been weird to realize I can do without these things that I thought I coveted (buffalo wings, burgers, etc.).

For me, food has been associated with other things - family, hanging out, holidays, stress. Other folks my use illegal drugs, alcohol, or cigarettes to deal with stress or when hanging out with certain friends. I have always turned to food. So the idea of the challege, giving my or at least cutting certain things from my diet is like giving up my drug. Vegetables are the methodone to my buffalo wing heroin. Perhaps preparing for the challenge has been an analog for the first step of AA or something. I'm not admitting I have a problem, but more like admitting that I don't have to have certain things to be happy or continue to live the way I always have.

Another thing that has seems daunting about the challenge is the effort that I'll need to put in it. I'll have to pay attention to when I eat and what is in what I eat. I'll have to read a label. I think that removing the ease with which someone who maintains an omnivorous diet can eat is really scary. Vegetarianism/Veganism has been something I've needed to consider since the burnout and I started dating. If we went on a trip, we'd have to do a lot of planning to accommodate her diet. I'm not complaining it's just an added element or variable that has to be considered and planned for. After 27 years of being able to eat anywhere, any time, and any thing; it's scary to not have that freedom.

In talking with burnout about the challenge and food and principles, she made an interesting point. When someone adopts a vegetarian/vegan diet the initial reason for the change may be for health reasons, but soon political ideas take over. Perhaps I will continue to learn about the environment and ecology and food. I'm hoping that my readership will grow (thus far only my wife has commented and my mother-in-law is one of four readers - THANKS BETSY!!!!!!!!) and I'll learn new things. If you read this post, please visit FAKE PLASTIC FISH.


Lisa The Vegan said...

Hi there, good luck with it! I hope you enjoy it!

Vegan Burnout said...

"Vegetables are the methodone to my buffalo wing heroin."

Ahhh babe, too funny. That's why I love you. ;)

Jenn said...

Very exciting that you're going vegan for vegan month. I would encourage you to look a bit into a vegan lifestyle while you're omitting animals from your diet. That's what my husband and I did and it really helps you view and understand what you put into your body in a whole new way.

Interestingly enough, the 'last meal' you ate sounds like a vegan meal except for the pork part. Of course you can cream up some potatoes and bacon up some greens- but you can also have that type of meal veganized and still incredibly flavorful and satisfying.

It's interesting what you said, about food being like a drug. So many people do not realize this. Even as a vegan, I don't like to be addicted to any food even if it's a healthful one. I hear SO many people tell me (multiple times a week) that they could NEVER live w/o cheese or meat... And it's really sad, because they do mean it. And I've been in the same place before. We want everything now, w/the uttermost convenience and romanticism, and don't want to have to consider the things we want/crave in life. I just don't want to be the type of person who won't consider 'going without' certain things or foods.

I'll be keeping up w/your blog and I've recommended it to my followers on Twitter, too. =)

Peace and Veggies,
Jenn, Hello Veggie

Cristy said...

I know it seems daunting, but it's actually really easy. Yeah, there's a little more planning, but it just becomes second nature. It doesn't hurt to always have a snack with you (crackers and peanut butter, breakfast bar, etc) for those times there isn't anything for you to eat. As for the veggies (I'm not sure if you said you liked veggies or not), I didn't really like them before going veg, and I would still say it's not my favorite thing, but there are soooo many dishes to put them in where it's not just a salad or plain food. (My mom used to say I'd be a vegetarian if only I liked veggies... and now I do!)

You're gonna rock the 21 day challenge! Piece of (vegan) cake!

CityKitty said...

I finally made it! It's wonderful that you have your wife for support. I'm sure she's absolutely thrilled as well. =) My brother and I tried vegan before (lasted about 2 weeks). I felt great, he gained 5 lbs. and gave up. The hardest part for me was giving up cheese! Ahhhh! We must keep a positive attitude...not by looking at what we're giving up, but by the health benefits and energy we will be GAINING. Side note: taco bell has become my new favorite fast-food restaurant. haha. the 7-layer burrito (without sour cream and cheese, of course) is a great on-the-go meal. all the best! Lee

in love with everyone said...

Hi there!@

One more follower here! Good job on taking on this challenge. I've been vegan for over ten years now so its pretty automatic at this point but it the beginning its definitely hard. You do have to read labels and be more careful at choosing restaurants (or end up salad, even though now a lot of unexpected places have vegan options) and ask questions.

As you said, I bet you'll start learning a lot more about the reasons to be vegan more than your own health. Once you do that, I bet it'll become a lot easier for you.

I tried to give up salt a while back for purely health reasons and because of that I found it very difficult. If I could have only found a bigger ethical or moral issue with salt! (I'm sure there is one but its seemingly less obvious that eating animals.)

Anyway, once you do learn more the ethical and moral reasons for not eating animals (eggs and dairy included), you may begin to stop thinking of it as a food so much. (Especially when you have the option of eating so many other things.)

I would say just hang in there! The first couple weeks are the most difficult. I hope you actually stick it out longer than 21 days because I feel like it takes longer for your taste buds to adjust and kind of overcome all the comfort food habits that you've been establishing all your life. You're lucky to have a vegan by your side though for support and encouragement!

Stay strong and I think if you stick with it, you'll never look back!