Dairy has always had me in its grip. Even when I was vegetarian, I laced most of my food with cheese. Ice cream was of course my favorite dessert: pistachio, coconut, butter brickle and even bubble gum were my preferences through the years, although I would settle for good old vanilla on any old sub-zero winter day. My mother apparently had to buy extra milk just to supply my demand.
That all changed when I finished a book about beating Ankylosing Spondylitis for my partner. The MD author advised a vegan diet as a way of reducing the bodily inflammation, the core source of the disease.
I felt compelled to try it with him, no matter how hard core I was craving a tiny sliver of deliciously-aged goat cheese with honey mustard dill chutney. This guy is suffering, and no amount of pain killers is helping. To the contrary, (I’m convinced) all these drugs are slowly pickling his liver.
So, we began.
“38 years, and I never knew vegan could be so delicious,” he said after I made a curry one night.
“Why haven’t you and I always been vegan,” he asked me tonight following a beans and rice fiesta with corn on the cob, cucumber salad and homemade guacemole with tortilla chips.
Note: We aren’t really “vegan” , as we still have honey in the house, and we still wear leather (and I am 100% sure there are many products tested on animals in the house). I won’t pretend that I will ever attempt to go 100%, but I did finally allow myself to watch a few of the slaughter house videos that I’ve always avoided. It’s terrible stuff, just as I’d imagined after reading Eating Animals by Jonathan Safron Foer. That being said, I acknowledge that plenty of farmers treat their animals like kings – with total love and respect. I also know that in a survival situation that hell yes, I would eat animals. We are a part of the animal kingdom, and they are all eating each other. The difference in my mind is that they are not enslaving each other.
There’s also the envinromental fact that we’re waaaay less impactful on Earth eating vegan (plus, I mostly bike to get around). However…I have to fly across the world just to see my family. So, that’s a vegan fail cake for me.
I can’t say we will be vegan forever. My partner loves meat (although he is surprised at how little he misses it), and I am still not convinced it’s the best diet for him. I want to see the results first. But we will give it some time, and in that time will enjoy this lighter, healthier, more animal and environmentally-friendly way of existing.
Here is my Pinterest collection of yummy recipes if you’re interested.