Anke goes Vegan
First things first, I’m really good at this blogging thing. Such consistent content and so eloquently written. You can really tell that I'm studying linguistics.
Anyway, this might be interesting for some of you, and after posting two political blog posts I feel like I should write about a topic that's a little lighter, like animal slaughter for example.
Yes, I’m a vegan now. And yes, I have an abundance of tote bags. Don't ask me why, but whenever I hear the word „vegan“ I think of tote bags.
And no, this is not going to be a blog post where I shame y'all for eating meat.
The word „vegan“ has a whole lot of negative connotations. People immediately assume that I’ll lecture them about animal abuse and such. I don't mind people eating a steak in front of me, and yet they feel bad for eating meat when I’m around. And not because I have to witness it, but because they feel bad for the animal. It’s like I’m the personified bad conscience that you usually lock away, but with me around you can’t.
I’ve been asked what is left for vegans to eat more times than I can remember, and everyone is really concerned about where I get my protein from. I must admit that when I first changed my diet, I did a lot of reading as I had the same questions. But as long as you don’t just eat fries and oreos (which for some magical reason are vegan) you're not gonna die from malnutrition. Vegans actually tend to be healthier, simply because they educate themselves about what goes into their body.
And so many meals are vegan already or can be made vegan easily. Just make sure you stay away from things that are supposed to taste like meat, they don’t. And for someone who really loves cheese, these past three months without it have been unexpectedly easy. But, to be totally honest with you, I’ve had dairy milk in my coffee for two or three times (shame on me). I can tell you it’s way easier being vegan in a big city than in a small town. Where I live, I don't have any problems getting my coffee with soy milk or finding at least three vegan options at nearly every restaurant. When I visit my dad it’s a different story, making things a little more complicated.
Which brings me to the point of this blog post. When I thought about going vegan I was overwhelmed, thinking I had to make too many changes to my diet and questioning that I can stay away from cheese (did I already mention that I love cheese?). But now that I've done this for three months, I’ve got to admit that most of the time it’s not as challenging as you might think, especially when you don’t eat out often and when you cook most of your meals yourself.
And I believe that if you go vegan but still eat an egg once in a while or have a piece of cheese when you really feel like, it’s not the end of the world, nobody is perfect. And if this helps you to eat less meat and consume less dairy products, go for it. You don’t have to be 100% vegan, it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. I feel like this attitude is what keeps most people away from at least trying it. You do you, and when this means you still want to eat cheese but drink soy milk, go for it. And when you want to eat meat daily, go for it, it’s your choice after all. We all could do with being a little less judgmental. But please educate yourself about where your food comes from.
And yes, of course I am restricting myself, but it’s a choice I made for myself that these restrictions are worth it. I grew up with three cats and two dogs, when moving out I survived six months without a pet before getting a cat. I was never able to eat meat when I could tell that it was an animal, e.g. fish with their eyes looking at me or a whole chicken etc. I knew that male chicks get shredded right after being born, and I kept eating chicken nuggets. And I know that most people have the same issues, we’re really good at not thinking about what we’re eating.
But over time it got more obvious to me that I can't call myself an animal lover and keep eating meat, so I slowly became a vegetarian before going vegan. We as a western society get angry at Chinese people for eating dogs, while Indians get angry at us for eating a holy cow. Why is it acceptable to eat some animals and not others? It’s the culture we grew up in telling us what is okay to eat and what isn't, and culture is a man made concept. But culture changes, 20 years ago being a vegetarian was like being a vegan now. It slowly gets more acceptable to be different, in any aspect of society.
And yes, I know that one person alone can’t change the world, but I can make it a tiny bit better.
One raindrop at a time, or whatever the saying is.
“The animals of the world exist for their own reasons. They were not made for humans any more than black people were made for white, or women created for men.” ~ Alice Walker
Let me know if you want me to share some of my favorite recipes, and let me know if you want me to continue this as a series, I’d be happy to share my experiences with you all! :)