Tuesday, February 21

Vegan lent challenge

So I have been doing a lot of thinking about veganism, how I want to go vegan, and the barriers to me doing that. The main thing holding me back is dairy. I eat a lot of it, it's in most of the main meals we cook, and I don't like vegan alternatives. Also, Jeff not even being vegetarian makes me going vegan difficult. What will we eat? Will we have to make separate meals? I don't want him to miss out on anything.

When I went vegetarian in 2007, I knew it was something I personally would be able to do. The question was, how would it work within my non-vegetarian household? After talking to my family, I decided I would go vegetarian over lent. At the end of lent we would sit down and review how the past 46 days (there are actually 46 days between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday, weirdly) had gone and whether we thought my being vegetarian would be workable. We decided it was all working fine so I stayed vegetarian. However, my mum said once that if I wanted to be vegan I'd have to wait until I left home. I have left home now but that still doesn't make it any easier because now I live with Jeff.

After a night of barely any sleep, worrying all night about dairy cows, chickens, and queen bees, I was racked with guilt. I looked up the dates for lent 2012 to show myself that I'd already missed the boat but... lent starts this Wednesday! Now I'm faced with a whole new set of problems and worries. Do I trial being vegan over lent to show myself that I can do it? What will I do then? Stay vegan? Aim to do lots of research, collect recipes, etc and then do it again next year with the aim of staying vegan? How will this work living with Jeff? What about parties, dinners, etc that are already organised for the lent period? Where will I go out for dinner? What about on holidays and stuff? It's hard enough to find vegetarian food in some places, let alone vegan. What about family members who cook for me? What about Jeff's poor mum who, bless her, tries so hard to cook vegetarian food. She'll die if I say I'm vegan. How, oh how, can I live without dairy? And mead! I love mead! And crunchy nut cornflakes,and milo, and nutella, and porridge! The honey porridge with the bear on it that I've been eating my whole life! I feel very sad but at the same time I know that I can't keep supporting the cruelty I am supporting.

So I'm thinking I'm going to try it and play it by ear. I'll start on Thursday though because dinner for Wednesday is already planned and has cheese in it. I'm worried I don't know enough recipes off the top of my head to stop me from becoming vitamin and mineral deficient. It's far too easy to eat a crappy diet when you first become vegetarian or vegan. I'm also not a big fan of tofu.

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