sunday special – vegan 1 year
One year of pretty well pure veganism has elapsed. I’m not sure of the date but it was somewhere in the 12-15 range of June 2016. I took a class on the anthropology of food. Learned a lot about cultural construction of food choices, food v non-food varying in time and place, etc. Near the end we watched some of Food Inc, which I’d seen before, and it occurred to me, watching the pigs struggle, that we make choice upon choice. Every little decision counts. And if I just started eating vegan, I’d be vegan. The idea of no longer being complicit in flagrant torture of intelligent species, while helping to protect the environment as a whole, appealed to me.
This isn’t totally true, though, or rather, not so pure as I’d like to pretend. The cat’s still a carnivore, and she’s eating the same brand of food (which has recently decreased its bag size, and also its price, but not commensurate with the size reduction) she has since I got her, full of eggs, seafood (daily essential mercury) and a bit of fruit/veg (15%), no grains. Not exactly my diet these days. I figure for the cat one must make an exception, though at times I struggle with the idea of confining her – studies show zoo animals grow bored and stupid; one has to assume that applies to indoor cats as well – but of course she’s a member of the family, aging, beloved; she must continue with the high-brow food she’s almost always known.
Otherwise things have been good. I’m more amenable to improvisation when faced with a challenge; lots of salad w/ balsamic or a heap of fries will do me fine in the worst cases. There’s decent vegan food around the city – incl. near-ubiquitous Harvey’s and Pizza Pizza – and junk food at any corner store.
I’m cooking much more often than I ever did. Pressure cooker beans and pulses, grains of all kinds, KALE. There’s a lot of great food out there and I’m trying to learn it. Turmeric in everything, incl. the bread we bake.
I still have and wear leather goods, but I haven’t acquired any since the decision, and won’t. I have one X% merino wool sweater from Costco that I received as a gift at the holidays and it still has the tag on it, just breathing slowly in the depths of my cock-eyed dresser drawer. I want to return it but don’t want to raise a fuss w/ my folks; nor do I want to go out to Costco. So it seethes.
So being free (mostly) of complicity with torture for the sake of my own fleeting, vacuous pleasure, and the side effect benefits for combating climate change, make this a pleasant choice. I would recommend it to anybody in any measure. You don’t have to go as strongly as I did – meatless Monday is great. Start there.
To all of my friends and family, who have been unanimously supportive, I say thanks. After a year I can say that it’s really not so hard as it (maybe) seems.