Here’s a funny thing about Texas: since moving here, I have become way more political and outspoken than I have ever been. Yesterday, for example, I got into a very exciting, perhaps even heated, debate about human evolution, sexual monogamy, and vegetarianism. I think we tread in dangerous territory when we justify our behavior by saying, “Evolution made me do it!” At the same time, I study how genetics influence behavior, so of course I think behavior is constrained by genetics and thus by evolution.
For me, a common thread that runs through my thoughts about humanity is compassion. We have the ability to make compassionate choices, whether the choice is what we put on the dinner table or how we conduct our romantic lives. I feel really inspired these days, being able to voice loudly and clearly the fact that I value compassion, and it’s not just lip service or some sort of social pressure to look like a “nice girl.” (Oh Lordy, how I hate that phrase. I am not a nice girl. A kind person? Maybe. But nice is such an insipid way to describe a female because it has such a tangled cultural history. But I digress…)
I’m feeling ready to start my month of vegan eating. I even told some friends about the project as we were waiting to eat dinner at Genghis Grill, and someone said, “We could probably come here if you’re eating vegan next month.” And indeed, I bet we could! Genghis Grill is one of those build-your-own-stir-fry restaurants, much like Mongolian Barbecue. I had a really delicious bowl of noodles with tofu and tons of vegetables, topped with a DIY sauce combination of red curry peanut and teriyaki. Yum. I can’t be certain that it was vegan, but I hope it was.
I have a short to-do list for my month of vegan eating, which I thought I’d share with you. Who doesn’t love a good list?!
* Buy The Vegan Table by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau.
* Buy a new jar of coconut oil (swoon!).
* Swap out dairy milk in coffee for Silk soymilk, almond milk, or coconut milk. I may try all three (separately) and report back on the results.
* Take the plunge and try a container of nondairy yogurt. Wish me luck…
* Buy a jar of Bubbie’s sauerkraut and/or pickles. A girl needs her probiotics, and fermented vegetables are a vegan win.
* Buy or make some applesauce for vegan baking (and eating—I love applesauce! And yes, I think I am five years old. I did get carded at the grocery store last night when I bought a bottle of hard cider.).