Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Why I can't seem to go vegan

I haven't blogged much about being vegetarian, because it isn't really the focus of my blog, or even the focus of my life. However, it is something I feel strongly about- not that I try to convince others to go meat-free- but I do feel that I made a good decision on New Year's Day 1992. At the time, my biggest reason for giving up meat was for ethical reasons. If I can live without something having to die for my meals, why shouldn't I? Factory farming is completely disgusting on so many levels (watch this, if you haven't seen it- if you eat meat, I encourage to eat organic/free-range whenever possible), so I'd prefer not to support it. So, for over 14 years, I haven't eaten meat. My daughter (who will be 7 in a few months) has also been vegetarian since birth (it hasn't stunted her growth or anything- she has consistently been 90th or 95th percentile for height and weight).

OK, so the point of this post is not to make you carnivores out there feel bad, but to discuss my own issues- one of which is several failed attempts to go completely vegan- this means no dairy or eggs. I think I have two major problems here: chocolate & Indian food. I love them both- I can get dairy free chocolate, but milk chocolate is SOOO delicious. Indian food is another problem- many of the dishes are made with cream or ghee (clarified butter) or milk or yogurt. I find it difficult to avoid dishes with dairy there. I have given up eggs and dairy in most of my diet, but I can't seem to eliminate it completely. I eat A LOT healthier than I did when I made the veg switch back in college- lots of veggies and fruit and less starchy unhealthy foods. I have several vegan cookbooks (like this one and this one), which are great. The first time I tried to go vegan, I found out I was pregnant and decided it wasn't a good time to experiment with a new diet. A couple years ago, I tried again, but found it too hard to make my own version of dinners (when the family had cheese). This is less of a problem now, since I make lots of vegan dinners that everyone likes. So, now I am just trying to avoid dairy and eggs as much as possible- I can't call myself a vegan, but at least I can make the effort!

Any vegans out there, I hope you don't think I am making excuses- sometimes putting things into words helps clarify your own thoughts.


Seeking Solace said...

I was a vegetarian during my 20s, but had to change my diet becuase of the RA. I do try to eat as healthy as possible, i.e. organic. My husband is a total meat freak. But we do respect each others views.

Indian would be SO hard for me to give up!

I think Inaqui is a vegan. Check out her site. http://ianqui.blogspot.com/

Tabitha Grimalkin said...

I hear you! I've been vegetarian for over a decade, and I love the idea of being vegan in theory. However, there are certain things I find difficult to give up. For me one of the biggies is cheese. Soy cheese just can't compete. I wish it could, but until that happens I'm afraid this vegan-wannabe will continue to lapse. I've also heard that most vegans don't drink wine or beer, but I'm not sure if this is a process/ingredient issue or just a health issue. At any rate, I love my wine and beer, so this is another toughie.

Addy N. said...

ss: Thanks for the tip- I'll check out that blog. You had mentioned your diet change before, so I'm curious (since I know nothing about RA) what dietary restrictions or sensitivities you have?

Tabitha: Hooray- another vegan flunkie! I also LOVE beer, though I'm trying to drink more red wine, because I know it's healthier. Mmmm... beer (cue Homer Simpson's voice there). I think I'll go crack open a Sam Adams or a Blue Moon. I bought beer for World Cup guests that never showed and H is a tea-totaler, so I guess I'll have to drink it!

USJogger said...

So, when I come to visit next week, you aren't going to take me out to eat at some crummy veggie joint, are you? I'm from Wisconsin. I eat beef!

So where are we going to go, anyway? Hopefully places that I can look up on the web.


Addy N. said...

Hey Jogger! I will take you to eat tofu and sprouts and nothing else! ha ha If you get here on a Thursday, you can see our Summer Music Festival! There are plenty of carnivore eats, like High Street Grill. We also have a covered bridge and some historic campus buildings, too! We're definitely a "cute little college town"! The city's website is pretty comprehensive. You might also like to know that the American Discovery Trail goes right through Oxford, too!