I know I know…it’s crazy right? Me, the meat and potato enthusiast going vegan….it is an event that I thought wouldn’t happen before the apocalypse.
I did a previous post on my questioning going vegan or not…if you haven’t read that yet, you can check it out here. And then I mentioned my failure at that experiment a few weeks later. I didn’t even last twenty-four hours, and I’m sure it was a combination of lack of motivation, and not really having done tons of research into it yet. (Knowledge= power)
First let me tell you, I live in a house of die hard meat eaters. All throughout my formative years our plates consisted of the “main course” a.k.a MEAT, and “side-dishes” or more commonly known as Veggies. I know how to cook a mean meatloaf, fry chicken, bread up some pork-chops, and even how to cook venison (A.k.a. Bambi). I have been the self-proclaimed cook in our family for years, and it was always the same thing.
Up until a few months ago I had never even tried to cook an entire meal without some sort of animal product component. Eggs, cheese, milk, cream…did I mention cheese? Yogurt, ice cream, creme brules. I did it all, and I have finally gotten to the point where I am ready to give it all up…in favor of something that is still considered kind of crazy, and a little bit weird.
I’m going to attempt going vegan.
For me this means that I will not be consuming any animal products such as meat, eggs, dairy, and things of that nature. (I will however continue to eat honey, because I love it and I buy it from my local orchards who have their own bees. This is the only thing I suppose that wouldn’t necessarily be considered “vegan”)
Why? Why would any person give up something that has been such a staple of their diet for years and years?
Well as most of you know by now I am very conscious about not only what I put on my body, the trash I produce, the chemicals in my home, but I am also concerned about what my choice to put into my body is doing to the environment.
Yes, yes, it is also about saving innocent animals, but for some reason that isn’t the largest motivator for me. For me it is how having a plant based diet can decrease your carbon footprint by a couple tons of methane gas, and how they stuff antibiotics and growth hormones into these animals in production and how those hormones and such are probably in their by-products as well (Milk and cheese, etc.). These are the things that motivate me…
…well…that and the fact that these items are notoriously more expensive to buy than plant products, especially if you are only willing to buy pasture-raised and free-range (all those good terms) products.
What can I say, I’m a realist.
And as a realist I have been tracking my grocery money down to the cent and have realized that I can get a lot more produce for the same price as I would spend on a smaller amount of animal products.
So, onto being a vegan. I have officially been free of animal products for 3 days now…yep 3 days and counting. So it is really new, but I have been contemplating it for a while. I did all my homework, watching documentaries like Planeat, which is a really good short documentary on the cost of producing animal products. I have read books, visited websites, watched youtube videos, the works. (Most people probably don’t do the sheer amount of research that I do, but as my grandfather said the other day “She is a nerd for knowledge!”)
I survived yesterday, Easter, and ate only vegetables while everyone else had ham and fried chicken wings….speaking of which, the leftovers of both are sitting in my fridge, and I have not been tempted to touch either one surprisingly enough. There is also butter, cream, milk, and the like sitting in there as well. But I am determined that I can get all of my nutritional needs from plants, and that my dollar will stretch a lot farther with organic produce than with organic meats.
The biggest challenge will be learning new ways to cook vegetables and such, I have a whole new way of cooking that I have to learn about. (Which just gives me another excuse to frequent the public library 🙂 )
I have been having fun trying out new vegetables, I am now a big fan of spaghetti squash, which I had never even tried or heard of until a few months ago. I also find that I really like avocados, cucumbers, spinach, and even things like flax seeds.
Since becoming a zero-waster I have been making my own salad dressings and condiments, which I also find comes in handy with being vegan since I can control exactly what goes into everything I eat. Another perk of giving up most animal products is that it makes zero-waste grocery shopping a lot easier! Why? Because most meats and eggs and dairy products come in tons of packaging.
Besides the packaging, it is difficult to compost animal by-products like fat trimmings and such. I had to throw them out because they attract critters to compost bins. But all produce is completely compostable and for the most part I haven’t had any problems with critters or the like, there are tons of bugs in there though eating the scraps and turning them back into soil.
I am very new to veganism so if any of you have tips or links to articles or blogs you think I should check out, let me know.
I could also use some inspiration for new recipes, if you have any that are zero-waste friendly, grain-free, and vegan let me know in the comments!