Friday, 24 June 2011

Weekday veganism.

On the recent retreat I went on, the food provided to the guests was vegetarian/vegan, gluten-free, and without refined sugars.  I felt great while I was on the retreat and have definitely tried to incorporate some of what I learned while there into my day-to-day life. Having developed such a strong rapport and understanding of the foods I eat lately, I was reading about becoming a weekday vegetarian (I am already a vegetarian), and thought I would hijack the concept and instead become a "weekday vegan"- a.k.a. a "wegan".  I have many issues - health-related, environmental, and moral - with eating dairy and eggs, but I also love dairy and eggs so much that the weekday vegan diet is as good a compromise as I can draw.

I was a vegan for almost exactly a year when I was in university.  It was horrible.  All I thought about was food.  "What am I going to eat next?  What is in this?  Can I eat it?  I wish I could eat ___________."  By the time I broke my vegan "fast", I had so much repressed desire for eggs and dairy that I think I may have gone over the top!  And stayed there!  I now eat quite a bit of dairy, and usually ingest a fair amount of eggs in my baking and even sometimes in a frittata or other egg dish.

Despite my love of dairy, I have my questions about eating the milk of another species.  And then there are issues with pus in milk.  I have a feeling that I will never stop eating (or drinking) either of them again, but my concerns are sufficient to make me think that I don't need to eat or drink them as consistently as I have been.

As for the environmental concerns, just because we don't eat the animals doesn't mean that they don't produce waste, require feeding to sustain, and produce more greenhouse gases than transportation.  Really, for the environmentally conscious, it is a important to consider cutting down on the animal products we consume.

My first week of being a weekday vegan is now coming to a close (it's Friday night, so Saturday and Sunday I will be able to eat dairy and eggs).  I really enjoyed it.  I enjoyed it so much, in fact, that for a celebratory dinner that we are going to tomorrow that I got to choose the venue of, I chose Organic Lives, a raw, organic, vegan restaurant in Vancouver.  I am also considering starting to make my own almond milk so that I can use that in place of the skim milk I normally drink so much of, which is by far the largest source of dairy in my diet.  Again, I have no intention whatsoever of stopping eating cheese and milk permanently, I just want to eat less of both.  I must admit, I feel really terrific, so I would chalk my first week of being a weekday vegan a complete success!

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