Tuesday, September 28, 2010

I'm-sort-of-a-vegan


A couple years ago I read the book Skinny Bitch . When I bought it I had no idea it was about being a vegan. I quickly finished the book and stuffed it away on my self. Life without fried shrimp? Life without cheese? Life without QUESO?!?!? What a terrible idea. The book was soon forgotten and life continued as usual, with the normal American diet.

Fast forward to summer 2010. For some reason I felt compelled to revisit this weird book. I had found out earlier in the year that Ellen was a vegan. A friend from high school mentioned Skinny Bitch on facebook and said it changed her life. I read that Alicia Silverstone wrote a new book on being vegan. I visited family in Michigan and my aunt's a vegetarian. I'd been drinking original soymilk for almost a year and loved it, not missing regular cow's milk at all. I then reread Skinny Bitch. Seriously read. Absorbed every word. Saw the images in my head. My life was forever changed.


After that I read Alicia Silverstone's The Kind Diet. It did nothing but strengthen my desire to adapt this lifestyle. I love my dogs, I wouldn't eat them, why is a cow or chicken any different? Milk is meant to turn a 50lb calf into a 1500lb cow. I learned that in milk there is an ingredient called casein. It becomes much more concentrated in cheese. Metabolized into casomorphine in the body. Part of that word look familiar? It gives you the slightly happy feeling you get after eating cheese. It's there so the baby cows enjoy drinking their mom's milk and will drink more to get even bigger and fatter. No wonder I like cheese so much!


I watched Food, INC. on Netflix. I was super hard to watch. I know that not all slaughterhouses are quite so cruel, but the fact that even one exists at all is too much for me. I don't want baby male chicks at the egg factories to literally be thrown in the trash. I was so suprised to learn how the genetically modified RoundUp-Ready soybeans have mutilated the farming industry. I try not to buy stuff with GMOs!

Trying to be vegan or even vegetarian while living with my parents was literally impossible, esp for a beginner like me. Luckily I moved to Kansas City soon after for school and once in my own apartment, it was easy to not buy meat or dairy.

I'd never really been a big meat eater. I never really liked steak, but learned to make myself enjoy it because I thought it was I was supposed to like. I mean, a good cut steak is one of the most expensive meals you can buy! I liked chicken, but unless it had a good sauce or is fried, I would usually only eat a couple bites. Fish is great, but it's hard to find good fish in OK, esp fish that doesn't come from a fish farm. I'd never really been a big egg fan either. I did like them hard boiled or deviled or in baked goods, but I never made or ate scrambled eggs or similar for myself unless I was at a restaurant and they came with my meal. I thought cow's milk was gross, unless it came full of chocolate. The only part of the vegan diet I thought would be tough for me to follow was the no cheese. I love cheese. But I like animals more than I like cheese. Not eating cheese isn't as tough as it seems. That being said, I still eat cheese about 40% of my days but I am working on cutting back even more. I don't eat meat. I've only eaten meat 3 times since moving to KC on august 1st. I had a sausage and cheese stuff jalapeno on gameday a couple weeks ago, a frisco melt from steak-n-shake last week (and felt like ass the next day, though probably from all the fries, not the burger) and then I had a chicken finger on an appetizer tray this past weekend while out to eat. They all tasted good. Its not that I dont like the taste of meat. But if I think consciously about how that meat got there, it doesnt taste quite as good.

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