Sunday, March 18, 2012

Get Ready for It

I have an announcement to make: for the month of April, I will be challenging myself to eat a vegan diet.  No dairy, no eggs, and of course, no meat.

Why vegan?  I’m already a vegetarian, a long-time vegetarian in fact, over ten years now!  I am comfortable with my vegetarian habits.  I know what I like.  And I’ve finally become more comfortable asking for what I want in all areas of my life, including foodwise.

I have a few reasons for choosing this challenge now, and I’d like to share them with you.

* Compassion.  I am convinced, after listening to almost all of Colleen Patrick-Goudreau’s podcasts, that a vegan diet is the most compassionate choice.  I consider myself an environmental vegetarian, but there has always been an undercurrent of compassion in my decision, which I will talk about in a future post.  Veganism is a manifestation of compassion, a choice to not subject other sentient beings to suffering so that we may eat their bodies, their milk, and their eggs.  I also feel that right now, compassion is on my mind because of Matt.  It makes sense to me that at a time in my life when compassion is perhaps the key to protecting an important friendship from anger and bitterness, I want to engage in a higher level of compassion in my food choices.

* Financial.  I spend a lot of money on high-quality dairy and eggs.  I do my best to buy local, organic products from free-range, grass-fed animals.  I spend at least $35 a month on dairy alone, just for me!  Don’t get me wrong: the cost is worth it because I love dairy and dairy loves me.  But I am very curious to see if my budget will see the effect of eating vegan for a month.  I look at this as an experiment.  At the end of April, I plan to write a little summary about how April’s grocery bills compared to the average grocery bill for 2012 thus far.

* Ambition.  Spring is the time of blog projects for me.  Last year I did a 40-day yoga challenge on Feels Like Flying, and on this blog, I did a vegetarian challenge, which ended abruptly because I was traumatized by job stuff.  I have learned that blogging every day is too much for me, so for my vegan challenge, I’m going to try to post twice a week (Wednesdays and Sundays, perhaps?) to share my food, cooking, ingredients, struggles, and joys.

I am excited about this project!  Vegetarianism is a topic that is close to my heart, and I have a lot more to say about it in this space.  I am getting ready for the challenge, both mentally and in my kitchen.  I thank you in advance for indulging me with my blog projects.

Happy cooking! 


Laurie said...

Looking forward to reading more!

Unknown said...

Cool! I hope this project will be fun :-)

a said...

How fun! I think so anyway. I imagine it will force you to expand your cooking horizons beyond their already-wide borders!

Unknown said...

definitely a worthy challenge! it can get expensive to buy the good stuff, which i do as well, but do rethink it from time to time :)

Chrissy said...

I have been reading your posts on my phone, and keep forgetting to come over here to comment when I'm back to the laptop. Good luck on this challenge! My vegetarianism actually started as a month long challenge, and also just so happened to be in April. Which means I've been a vegetarian for nearly 12 years! Not saying your veganism has to last quite as long, but either way I'm sure it will be an interesting experiment. You can't go wrong with compassion! <3

Unknown said...

a, I think you're right. I'm really a creature of habit, and this project is going to nudge me out of some of those habits and into some new ones. Hopefully I won't become a soyatarian, replacing all my dairy with soy-based equivalents! ;-)

Shannon, I think we're on the same page. I've been buying Earth Balance sticks lately, in part because I have a dairy-free friend and I wanted to have the ingredients on hand to cook food that she can eat. The bonus is that Earth Balance is half the price of the butter I like to buy!

Chrissy, congratulations on your vegetarian anniversary! That's awesome. And thanks so much for your kind words--I am excited to see where this project takes me. To be honest, I'm amazed by people who go from full-on meat-eating to veganism. In my transition to vegetarianism, I tapered from eating meat regularly to eating only chicken to eating no meat (with a few rare exceptions). I think in my heart, I am a moderator, not an abstainer, which is why I've never once tried to eat a vegan diet.