Considering animals, vegetables, minerals

Lately, I’ve been toying with the idea of becoming vegan.

In the last 6 months, I have gained 2 close friends, both of which are vegan.  As a result, I hear their side of things when it comes to animal cruelty and the like.  I’ve learned some great new recipes from them, and find myself to be enjoying the taste of meat less and less.  And while neither of them have been pushing their beliefs on me, it comes up in conversation, and I find myself finding a lot of sense in what they have to say.

Part of me thought of just becoming vegetarian, and that may be a start…but truthfully, I wouldn’t want to be doing this for any other reasons than socio-economic reasons, not for dieting and health (though those would be healthy side effects).  And if those are the reasons, you really kind of HAVE to go vegan, because just because you are not eating meat, doesn’t mean you aren’t consuming sorts of animal by-products.  And since I want to make sure that if I DID do this, I did it for reals, and not half assed (this isn’t like a diet, this is something serious), I thought I would address my concerns about it:

* I’m a foodie.  I love to cook, and experience new cuisine.  Anytime I go to Chris’s parents house, there is an amazing meal, usually something that I’ve never eaten before, and always involving meat (they’re Italian, hardcore.).  I would be extremely sad if I missed out on those rare but amazing experiences.

*Leather.  I love my leather boots, leather purse, leather works in general.  Faux leather just isnt the same.  And my car has leather interior.

*Sushi.  Another rare treat for me, but I would miss it so much if I never got to have it again.  I also take fish oil supplements every day.  And, truthfully… I dont view fish as animals.  I know, I know… it’s horrible.  I’m a horrible person.  But the idea of being able to look a cow in the eye and know that I don’t eat it’s brethren is a lot more appealing than looking a fish in the eye.  Fish are like plants to me.  Man, I’m going to hell…

*Being a guest in other people’s homes… knowing that I will never be able to experience certain foods ever again… etc.  These are all weak excuses, I know… Again, I just want to make sure this is something I can do.

I’ve been thinking of maybe eating a primarily vegan diet, but not actually BEING vegan.  This seemed to put a measure of distaste in some of my vegan friend’s mouths (well, one specifically), who said “well, you can’t call yourself a vegan.”, which is fine by me.  The title is not what’s important to me.  What I really care about is having a mostly clear conscience about animal rights, and minimizing my carbon footprint ( I read somewhere that going vegan is better for the environment than driving a hybrid car).

Stuff to think about.  More research needs to be done.  I can’t do anything TOO drastic while staying with my mother, since she IS the one paying for the majority of my food.  But, today, for example, I haven’t eaten any meat or dairy at all.  I made vegan stir fry for lunch, and had a soy protein drink for breakfast.  I snacked on some fruit leather and chips and salsa.  I will probably have chicken for dinner, because thats what has been prepared by mom.  It may be a weak stance, but I think it’s fairly progressive who would have considered the idea of going simply vegetarian a ludicrous idea only a few months ago.

Every little bit matters, right?  And MAN, am I having a love affair with tofu right now.  Yumms.

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~ by Alli on Sunday, November 16, 2008.

16 Responses to “Considering animals, vegetables, minerals”

  1. Do you know why this all sounds crazy to me?

    1.) I dated a vegetarian/almost vegan remember? And I too also thought about it, but trust me–it’s not gonna stick.

    2.) I can’t have you over for dinner. There’s no way in hell I’ll be cooking two separate meals thank you very much.

    3.) No matter how much you think it might taste the same-a tofu burger will never ever taste as good as an actual burger.

    4.) Sushi, sushi, sushi!

    5.) If you’re gonna treat this for reals, you’re gonna have to get a new car.

    6.) Your leather boots are fabulous. Don’t give them up.

    7.) How can you live life fully with restrictions?

    I know Veganism sounds really appealing right now when you’re around it all the time, but I have a feeling you’re gonna go back. I’m not trying to be pessimistic, you can do whatever you want. I just know for a fact you will. And I’m willing to bet $10 on it!

  2. Oh yeah, one more thing…

    8.) You may think it’ll be cheaper because you’re mostly eating veggies, etc…but it’s not. It’s hella expensive becoming vegan. I’ve heard the transition was unbearably hard on the wallets.

    Anyway, just stuff to think about…but like I said, it’s your decision.

  3. As a vegan, I have to disagree with your friend Lainey there.

    I also have to add that vegetarianism/veganism is primarily an ethical decision. For example, does hedonism excuse oppression and torture? Sure, that burger tastes good, but is it worth killing the environment, torturing sentient beings, and consuming large amounts of untested hormones and shit. Seriously. They feed cows chicken poop. And you are what your food eats as well.

    When you make a transition to a compassionate diet, it doesn’t mean you have to throw away everything. It’s making a decision right then and there to no longer support systematic oppression. I still have a leather belt. I don’t believe in wasting things so I will continue to wear it until I have to throw it away. Will I ever buy a leather belt again? Probably not. Fashion is not worth pain and suffering.

    As for living life fully with restrictions…that’s just absurd. At no point do I feel like my life is restricted.

    It is cheaper. I have the grocery bills to prove it. Although having dinner with friends is difficult…I acknowledge that it is my own personal decision and thus I never ask people to go out of their way for me. If I am having dinner at someone’s house and the only vegan thing is broccoli…I eat it without complaining. At no point should someone else feel retrained due to my own dietary restrictions. Also, in taking the dinner thing…I am there to spend time with my friends more than eat food.

    No, a veggie burger will never taste as good as a real burger, but at least I have the satisfaction in knowing that I didn’t contribute to a systematic form of oppression or sociopathic big businesses.

    Vegetarianism sounds appealing because it is compassionate. It is making a decision to not live life anthropocentric.

    Sorry – I know it’s a long rant..it’s just …when people make the assumption that I’m missing out on life…it’s like “What?!”

    But, all in all, you have to figure out what is important to you. You shouldn’t do it just because. For example, when I transitioned…I ate fish for a whole year. When you first met me – I wasn’t vegan. But with awareness comes responsibility and if you can have the facts and still reject them. More power to you.

    Just remember to do everything for the right reasons. ♥

  4. And, on a side note…you shouldn’t let either side influence you. Get the facts. Read some books. The important thing is just being aware. I fought being a vegetarian for a long time (seriously…using all of the things that people give me: biology, man’s dominion over beasts, etc.) but I realized that I couldn’t separate my political and ethical beliefs with the food on my plate. And, it took a few years, but eventually that became more important to me than being hedonistic or doing things because “it tastes good.” Cocaine feels good, but it doesn’t mean you should do it right? 😛 Some people become vegetarian just for health reasons. You just have to make sure you have your reasons. And, when you get them…the answer is always very simple.

    I give you MAD props just for considering it. Seriously! The fact that you’re open different lifestyles should assure yourself that you’re not restricting anything. 😀

  5. Not to sound like a total bitch, but I think I know Alli a little more than you do to know what might happen. I’m not saying it’s going to happen, I’m just saying it might. If she wants to become Vegan/vegetarian, then that’s great! Good for her, I give her props too, because it is super hard to do. But to do it because of other people influencing her decision is the wrong way to go about it. And I know she says that she’s considering it all on her own, but from my conversations with her-it seems as though there have been a lot of talk involved between her and her vegan friends, that suggest otherwise. If you weren’t trying to make her vegan, why talk about how absolutely amazing it is or how much better it is for you?

    I don’t know why it seems that every Vegan person I meet has to go out of their way to make everyone feel as though they’re the devil when it comes to eating meat. If we’re so evil, why befriend us? It’s pretentious and a little condescending.

  6. Wow. Such spirited discussion.

    Lainey, in answer to your (very good) points, things I have thought about myself:

    1)Youre right, my biggest concern is that it’s not going to stick. And I don’t want to do this thing unless I KNOW that it’s something I can commit to 110%. That’s why I’m thinking long and hard (thats what she said!) about it.

    2) Haley made a good point: I, too, would never expect someone else to adapt to MY dietary needs. And it’s such a treat when someone cooks for you… again why I’m considering just a vegan diet, but not BEING VEGAN.

    3) Tofu is not the same, youre right.. but I find that lately, I’ve been enjoying the taste of meat less and less. just today there was a yummy chicken breast waiting for me on the counter… but I was more interested in eating some tofu. I’m willing to accept that this might be a phase, though.

    4)Fish are like plants to me, as far as I’m concerned. Fuck them.

    5 & 6) Most new vegans I know (Haley for instance), don’t just throw away expensive leather things they already have. You spent the money on leather interior or a nice pair of boots, no sense in throwing them away. Just dont buy new ones.

    7) As far as living life with restrictions, that’s just it: Most vegans I know (who are actually good about it), don’t view it as depriving themselves. In fact, some of the more militant vegans (not really friends with any of those personally), get offended if you say they “can’t” eat something, because it’s a “choice”, and so on and so forth. I only bring this up because thats the mindset that makes it work for them. If you look at like you are depriving yourself, then it’s no different than a fad diet, and you’ll eventually stop sticking with it in the same fashion.

    I am not yet at the place where the desire is not there. That’s why I havent committed to anything yet.

    8)Since cutting back on the amount of meat I eat, I actually have been spending less money. The trick is knowing WHERE to buy produce, and not spending a ton of money on the fancy pre-packaged vegan meals. THATS where most people end up blowing money. Or they are an organic vegan, and THAT shit DOES get expensive.

    I know you think I’m crazy for thinking this way, and I know you have some friends that are vegans, and try and force their views on you. I would never, will never do that. Something as big as this is obviously not for everyone, and if you ever had any questions, I would answer them happily, but I would not let it define who I am as a person, nor would I EVER try to force my views on any of my friends.

    It’s because of all of these factors that I am leaning more towards eating a mostly vegan diet without actually BEING vegan (because I feel that I will always want to make exceptions here and there once every blue moon). But whatever I do end up choosing, don’t worry, I’ll still be the same old Alli 🙂

  7. P.S. I have talked to numerous vegans who told me that they spend way more money now than they did back when they ate a regular diet. Just saying.

  8. Being vegan is just as expensive as eating normal healthy food, it’s only a huge step up in price if you’re used to eating really shitty-cheap-heavily-processed stuff.

  9. aggreed. And i also know vegans that eat badly as well. there is a TON of junk food out there that a vegan can eat… and plenty do.

  10. That is why I said that Allison should make sure she is doing it for the right reasons. I think it’s great if you choose a primarily vegan diet without being “vegan.” You’re helping yourself, the environment, and all the bunnies of the world. 😀

  11. Oh, and in my reply up there…I said that she shouldn’t let either side influence her, but she should seek out the information herself.

  12. So, I realize I sounded somewhat militant and bitchy in my reply and that I may have been attacking your friend. Eeeep! Sorry! To Lainey – I meant nothing by it. I swearz. People who force their views on others are very uncool. I was just trying to give a different perspective.

  13. I’ll admit right off the bat that I’m not very knowledgeable in the vegan vs. non-vegan realm of things, but I feel the need to throw in my two cents and support for Miss Allison: Regardless of whether you go all in or nothing, I hear your points, and choosing to eat primarily (but not JUST) vegan sounds like a decent compromise. Yeah I get that it’s gonna come off as half-assed to other vegans, but that’s not the point. it’s your life and you should do what works best for you. Who says it has to be all or nothing? You like eating tofu? So eat tofu! Seriously, who needs labels??

    I will also second the notion of getting as much info and facts possible. I know a fabulous librarian who can hook you up. 😉

  14. p.s. (Notice a trend here?) I forgot to mention that I have to agree w/Elaine in that I know you, and I too would bet money that you will go back. Again, I hate this idea of extremes. All the more reason why your notion of a compromise sounds like the best bet.

  15. […] am still doing the “vegan thang”, (though do not call myself a vegan). I have not given up fish or honey yet, but I have given up all […]

  16. And now Tera is vegan! lolllz

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