I woke this morning to a message from an old friend, looking for a little help and motivation toward veganism. I thought this seemed like the perfect opportunity to do a post so here Is the advice I gave to her and an expansion on my experiences. Let me start by blowing your mind a little… vegan is only the shortest most efficient title for the way that I choose to consume food. If I’m going to the grocery store my haul will typically consist of various fruit, vegetables, a grain or bread sometimes, maybe beans, or sauce. This is how I maintain a very vegan diet. But I’m also something of a freegan and if somehow I’m receiving it for free that overrides strict veganism. I have no desire to ever bite into flesh again but I usually won’t turn down a piece of cake, I would never have a glass of milk but I might have a regular cookie if you’ve got them. I make killer vegan cookies by the way and this is what I’m getting at. I love cookies so I went out of my way to learn to make a just as delicious better for me version of them. We all have our things and mine happens to be the sugary ones, but I digress. I was extremely curious like many kids so slabs of meat were identified as dead animals early, its no doubt also a factor that I come from a place where I saw cows and chickens. It always felt cannibal to me because I do not recognize that big of a distinction between me and the animal. I continued to eat outside my ethics out of habit and familiarity until I was buying all my own food. I came to eat this way over time as is the way with anything in life. Not that I advocate this way over just picking a date and stopping everything because that works for some people. But for those whom it doesn’t it just makes you feel like a total failure when you make a slip up, sometimes not even your fault (examine canned soups and beans). My motives are of the do least harm flavor. I avoid participation in cruelty or murder and I simply do not consume flesh. The bottom line is do things at your own pace if you expect any change to take in your life. You are not a bird, you where coddled and gradually taught how to walk not pushed to the ground from the front porch. There is no reason that you or anyone else should treat you this way under any circumstances. Don’t freak out and wander off into paranoid delusions of having to choke down not seasoned uncooked veggies. Most sauces and seasonings are free of animal products and they taste just as yummy on vegetables. Many of the things people eat involving meat are covered in sauce or seasoning anyway thats really what you love tasting, so you can have those same things with veggies. If you are a stickler for the meaty texture of your food there are so many meat fill-ins such as seitan and tofu. Even if its flavor, a little knowledge of the human taste sensory pathway will help you feel like your missing nothing. The chemical glutamate is what produces the sensation of the meaty or umami flavor and the same chemical is present in many other things such as soy sauce. Cooked mushrooms with soy sauce produce a great meaty flavor that even the most staunch meat eater will appreciate. Try cooked mushrooms seasoned with soy sauce burger style and prepare to have your socks rocked. Finally there are no rules and our unhealthy obsession with the illusion of them has created this rigid all or nothing thinking that breeds a defeatist attitude for sure. Just go for it, whatever that change is that you want to make. Get over the fact that you will not start out perfect no matter how much you research. I believe the consequences of things we do in life will always be correlated to how we feel about them so it is vital that we appreciate ourselves for all progress and eagerly move toward more. Love and nurture yourself and everything will be better for you. The best thing to do with things like this is to just get started, a step in the right direction is a step in the right direction no matter how wobbly it is.
Please reach out to me with questions, advice, or just to say hey. Inspiration is what this is all about and I appreciate yours.