Thursday, July 31, 2008


this blog is about my vegan journey. it might be similar to yours, or not. take what you like and leave the rest. if you've come across this to scrutinize just how vegan i am or am not, please take a hike. i don't need any vegan police douchebaggery. are douchebags even vegan? water=vegan, vinegar-(depending on the kind=vegan), animal testing=not vegan. i don't think they are. i don't hear too many vegans advocating the use of douchebags, so i'm guessing not.

it all started in 1989 when i was reading an article in Sassy magazine about some chick who was a vegetarian. she was quoting Meat is Murder by The Smiths. at that point i had never heard The Smiths, and once i heard them i had determined that i didn't really like them, but i thought that i would try vegetarianism because it sounded cool-(after all it WAS Sassy magazine) and wanted to do something to piss my family off. my teenage years were all about being different as possible. i didn't know much about what being a vegetarian entailed and lacked the ambition and imagination to acquire a cookbook and try to cook for myself. i ate a ton of peanut butter sandwiches, iceberg lettuce salads, and grilled cheese sandwiches. i was one of those vegetarians that didn't really eat many vegetables. i didn't really understand WHY i was doing what i was doing. i was from a farming community, yet knew absolutely zilch about the details of farm life or what happens to animals that are produced for meat, milk, eggs, etc. i was severely disconnected from what i ate, which is a pretty sad existence for anyone--but an even sadder existence for someone pursuing vegetarianism.

i bounced back and forth from omnivoreism to vegetarianism for the next 10 years. in 1999, i was dating someone who was vegan and they told me that part of their lives was super important to them. my only experience with vegans was at an annual women's music festival and they seemed like a boring lot. how could someone live without cheese and ice cream? what about omelettes? i thought about it and i did what any normal co-dependent would do, i mimmicked what they were doing in order to make them happy. in case you're wondering, this is the worst reason for becoming vegan.

in that short time period i spent with this person, i learned more about being connected with food. i learned the nitty gritty details of factory farming, and decided that i just couldn't consume animal products. i had a lot of interaction with some vegangelical people who were pretty shitty to omnivores. juxtapose becoming vegan for the wrong reasons, hanging out with vegan police, not getting enough recipes, and you guessed it--i went back to being a vegetarian. i also had a medical issue that **i thought** might be better addressed if i gave up being vegan. the VP were relentless. i was called a sell out and was made fun of. i crashed faster than i converted. soon i was eating meat again, and became the brooding ex-vegan for a while.

i didn't write off vegetarianism completely. i still found myself choosing vegan and vegetarian cuisine when i'd go out to eat. i'd buy items for my meals, and pass by the meat. i kept touring the revolving door. when i sat down to eat an animal product, i knew what i was doing, but couldn't stop. perhaps i'm a meat addict? could this be true? i had even admitted to my spouse that i wasn't even going to call myself a vegetarian anymore until something very ordinary happened.

i got a new supervisor at work. i had met this fabulous chick before volunteering in a community garden. i didn't know she was a vegetarian. she came in one day with a VegNews magazine and let me read it. i thought long and hard about my journey on the meat wagon and dairy-go-round. and it just made me sad. sad enough to make me feel different from any other time i had decided to go vegetarian. i had a hole in my soul that could only be filled with whole foods and various forms of soy.

look, i love animals. i love myself. i love the environment. living this way only makes sense. i have decided to make the transition back to veganism and i'm going to become what all my omnivore friends fear: that pain in the ass vegan.
and this time it's gonna stick.