The Next Step

For the last few months I've been shifting from vegetarian to vegan. (I know that many of you are omnivores, and you're rolling your eyes and getting ready to click "next" on your blogroll, but hear me out, ok?) I have tried to go vegan before, but it was always just too expensive, required too much label reading, and took too much organization to be a realistic diet for me. I have waffled back and forth numerous times, and lately I have taken to calling myself a "public vegetarian, private vegan." By that I meant that I would eat vegan at home but allow myself dairy and eggs when eating out with friends. It was a rationalization that made me feel somewhat better, and it made going out much easier.

But rationalizations can only hold up if you don't examine them closely. Over the last few years, the universe has seen fit to surround me with numerous enlightened souls whose presence has forced me to examine everything I put in my mouth more closely. These folks have helped me in numerous ways - some have been inspirational, some are cautionary tales, and some have helped open my eyes to the next step on my path. A great example of this kind of person is G-Fresh - just about the only Christian I know who seems to actually adhere to the compassionate teachings of Christ... but that's a rant for another post.

She's an ovo-lacto vegetarian, and recently she's been doing some searching on the internet for more information on veganism. Since she's allergic to milk she has more reason than most to give it up, but she was exploring the topic fully before making a decision - 'cuz she's cautious and responsible like that.

A few days ago she discovered a series of podcasts on the issue. I am highly skeptical of podcasts as a source of serious information - I mean, if they let me and Flynn have a podcast, then they're all suspect, right? - but I gave it a listen.

Vegetarian food for Thought is a podcast by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau. She presents the vegan lifestyle in a reasoned, logical, and well-cited way without sounding preachy. She debunks myths, exposes folly, explores nutritional options, and generally makes sense in a way that many vegans wish they could.

When talking to omnis, I am famous for saying humourous but unhelpful things like, "It's the tears that make it taste good," or "a ham and cheese sandwich is a few hours work for the cow, but a lifetime committment for the pig." About a year ago, my favorite was, "You're ok eating that only because you're dead inside." These statements almost NEVER help, and usually make a dedicated meat eater want to have a cheeseburger on the spot. Colleen manages to get the message across so much better than I can, and she does it with statistics and facts from a plethora of sources.

She does it so well, in fact, that I no longer have any choice. The public vegetarian is dead - long live the vegan! I challenge all of you to listen to one of her podcasts and see if you don't begin to see the light. Try these...

What's Wrong with Eggs?
Milk is a Natural Food...
How humane are "humane" meat, dairy, and eggs?

I know that many people view vegans as angry, judgmental, and spiteful. I will admit to being all of those things, but it's not because I'm a vegan - I'm just made of pure sin. In truth, there are many vegans in the world who are peaceful and joyful, filled with compassion, and much closer to enlightenment than I. You can learn more about this concept below:

Being a "Joyful Vegan."


Desolate Anxiety said...

I know what you mean. I haven't gotten a chance to listen to the podcasts yet, as soon as exams are over I am going to.

I think what you are figuring out is good. Definitely a step in the right direction.

I am here for support if you need it - One vegan to another. Just let me know how I can help. :)

Flynn said...

The podcasts are indeed worth listening to.

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