I am thinking that this topic is going to generate a few posts, as it is very much at the forefront of my thinking recently. As I mentioned in previous posts, I was working on becoming a weekday vegan a while ago, as I read a lot about the environmental impacts of the dairy and egg industries and generally thought that if I could further reduce the animal products I consumed (even if I wasn't planning on becoming a vegan), then this would be an admirable goal.
Part of what I do whenever I make a lifestyle change is I learn as much as I can about the topic, and so I started learning everything I could about the dairy and egg industry, as well as regulations surrounding the organic dairy industry, etc. And what I learned did not make me happy. I thought that by eating and drinking organic dairy products and buying free range and organic eggs that I was doing everything I could. Unfortunately, the more I learned, the more I came face to face with my own excuses and justifications for my continued support of the meat industry - surprising but true. I will not cover this topic in this post, but even for a long-term vegetarian, it is humbling to learn how wrong about these things I have been.
The amount of dairy in my diet has been fairly negligible for the past couple months, so I thought that perhaps I was mentally ready to cut the last few things out of my diet. This weekend at the Living Naturally Fair we tested Daiya Vegan Cheese and I loved it, so that eliminated one of my concerns. I also bought my first carton of Ryza, which is a fortified beverage made from whole grain brown rice. I had about half a litre of skim milk left in the fridge, and decided that I was ready. So I've now finished my skim milk, as of this morning, and had my proverbial "last supper" (whole wheat pasta with browned butter and sage and some asiago cheese on top), and I think I'm ready to fully embrace veganism, for the second time in my life.
In other vegan news, I tried tempeh for the second time in my life this weekend and it was really good. I forgot to note the brand, but I will definitely be mentioning it again. The guilt of knowing everything I know about animal cruelty, the environmental impact of the dairy industry, and the health benefits of a vegan diet have all contributed to my decision to become a vegan now. I am truly looking forward to it!