Veganism…..It swept the millennium generation like a tornado. One day, you knew one person and now you probably know about 10-15 vegetarian/vegans.
With the popularity picking up between the mid-to-late 2000’s, VEGANISM is now a full blown million dollar industry. With new products being launched daily about alternative ways to make cheese, ice cream, and meats. If you can think of it, I can bet there is a vegan version of it.
So, I won’t waste your precious time explaining what are the differences, but if you’re dying to know ( http://scrubbing.in/confused-about-vegetarian-diets-we-got-you-covered/) .
Whichever category you consider yourself, I have to say. I”M PROUD OF YOU FOR TAKING CONTROL OF YOUR HEALTH.
Deciding to give up anything is a hard struggle. Whether you were like me and started cutting out meat by meat, or if you are like my husband. That just one day, said “No more” and went “cold-tofurkey”… 🙂 I’m an proud that you decided to make a change in a better direction.
My experience started with my grandmother. An advent meat eater all her life, in her older age died of congested heart failure. While I was young, my mother experienced this. She went to the doctor with her mom every time. My mother would hear the doctor instruct my grandmother to eat less meat and to eat more fruits and vegetables. Stubborn and set in her ways, she ignored the warning. My mother on the other hand, heard loud and clear.
My mother became a vegetarian in 1990, a few years after my grandmothers passing. I remember my first time seeing her plate with no meat. We ordered pizza. She got us a pepperoni pizza and she got herself a cheese pizza with bell peppers, onions, and olives. I asked her, where is your meat?? That’s when she broke the news to us that she was going vegetarian. Like most, I laughed and thought she was bat-shit crazy…(making note not to say it out loud 🙂 ). I told her, she was going to get thin, where is she going to get her protein? What is food without meat? Is she crazy, NO MEAT??? The same way I ridiculed her, I received the same treatment when I transition.
The one day in 1996, I was at work at Alin Party Supply in Lakewood, CA. I went to Rally’s burgers and got a bacon cheeseburger with fries. I came back to work and ate it, and like most of my folks….The #ITIS set in. I remember my coworker looking at me, and saying. “You’re always so tired after lunch, what did you eat”. I told her, my cheeseburger. She said that’s why. She told me then, how heavy red-meat is to the body, etc. She encouraged me to get a chicken sandwich or fish sandwich the next day. Hearing this same story from my mom, now being told to me by a coworker. Got me to thinking…. Is there something to this???
So the next day, I got a fish sandwich and I couldn’t believe that I wasn’t exhausted after lunch. That’s when my spidey senses starting tingling. I said maybe my Mom is on to something here. And for a two months, I cut out red-meat. I felt good. So I has to test the waters again. This time, I went to Taco Bell and got two beef taco. I can just remember taking one bite into the taco, and no lie y’all. It tasted like rotten death!!!!! It had never tasted like this before. I threw both of them out and at that moment. I gave up beef and pork.
For two years, I ate only chicken and fish. ON EVERYTHING…for breakfast lunch and dinner. FISH that..CHICKEN this… probably more so chicken, because fish is an acquired taste.
Until March of 1998. I got sick…now this may be TMI…but it’s apart of my journey. I got a bowel infection. I had constant diarrhea for days. Of course I went to the Dr, and the first thing she asked me was, “Do you eat a lot of chicken” ? I was like yes that’s all i’m eating now. She quickly diagnosed me as getting bacteria from under-cooked or containment chicken. I WAS LIKE WHAAAATTTTTTT…. I couldn’t think that the food I was eating was going to make me sick. This is when I associated diet to health. I immediately cut, out all meat. I looked at meat as death on a plate.
Personally, I believe a lot of Americans don’t associated diet with disease and overall health. They either believe they are independent of each other, and not directly related. Diet is the cause, and disease is the effect., but i digress.
This is the time, I went full vegetarian. In 1998 there were no Whole Foods in Los Angeles, and if there was, It was out of driving distance to me. I can remember going to Yoshinoya almost every day for lunch. Getting a bowl with white rice and veggies and teriyaki sauce. After a year I was burnt out. All I wanted was to eat the same comfort foods I was use to, but without the animals. I didn’t know how long I was going to last. My mom, turned me onto potato tacos, I was remember thinking…ok were getting somewhere.
I began to research, and research. I looked at videos of slaughter houses, and knew I wanted no part in that cruelty. I knew there had to be better ways. I began to eat a lot of Chinese food. As these were the first restaurants I encounter that served vegetables and things like tofu. I didn’t know what it was then, but I when they told me it was plant based. I ate it without hesitation.
My transition to vegetarian/vegan has been long and filled with mixed feelings. At first, it was tough. VERY TOUGH. No pork, no beef, no turkey, no chicken, no fish. I would fill up on cheese this…and cheese that. I went in for a physical and I the Dr. told me… My cholesterol was high. I was making progress but still failing short. I began to research the effects of diary on the body and how cheese is made and I became sick.
I started to add more complexity to the situation. It was like the more I learned, the more things I had to give up. Although at this point in my transition, It was about my health and the well-being of animals.
Fast forward a few years…I became so obsessed with Vegetarian/Vegan. I became a straight VEGGIE BITCH. (excuse my french..lol). I was hell-bent on spreading the new knowledge I had discovered. I was no longer afraid of people to know I was a vegetarian. Anytime someone brought up food. I took the opportunity to tell them, I was vegetarian. I would wait for a meat eater to say something about rabbit food, so I could attack them. I couldn’t wait to ask people, if they knew how that meat go to their plate? If they knew the drugs the animals were taking before and at the time of death?
I was VEGETARIAN AND PROUD!!!
I would go to restaurants with my friends, and grill the waiter. In retrospect, it was embarrassing to say the least. I’d ask the staff, do you cook the veggies on the same grill and use the same utensils as meat? Can you use separate utensils for my food? If I was lucky then,to get a restaurants that served a veggie burger. I’d asked them to clean the grill before placing my veggie burger on the same grill as the meat burgers. so sad..smh Of course, they lied 90% of the time. I recall getting a veggie burger that had crumbles of a beef burger on it. I sent it back. I WAS A NIGHTMARE. To the point, I stopped eating out.
My social life, started to take a hit. I would have to eat at home before I went out with friends. Or show up to a party with my own food. I was so focused on this one area of my life, that I started to take away from other areas. Needless to say, I stopped getting some invites to go out to eat.
THEN….ONE DAY….BOOM….. I DISCOVERED………
That I could be a vegetarian without offending anyone. I didn’t need to shout it from the mountain top…VEGETARIAN HERE ME ROAR..If i ate a veggie burger, that was cooked on the same grill as a meat burger. I wasn’t going to die. I could still have a social life and not eat meat.
I became a vegan in 2010 and to be honest, I bounce between Vegan and Vegetarian. At home, i’m vegan. While dining out, I choose vegan first, and vegetarian second. (Eggs and cheese wont kill me) ….While some people make a transition for different reasons, (animal cruelty, health concerns, etc) I hope you all understand that progression is still movement. Vegan or non-vegans alike can benefit from eating more fresh fruits and veggies.
There are some great restaurants worldwide that offer vegan selections and a plethora of great vegan recipes on pintrest.
What are some of your favorites?