The McManual

Blogging my little heart out in poetry and prose.

Tag: vegan holiday; vegan meal; vegan christmas

5/30 – NaBloPoMo09 – On being Vegan

Hi. I have noticed that a few of my readers have gotten to my page by searching for vegan information. I don’t remember how much I have talked about being vegan, but it’s been a long road to get here.

Both my husband and I are practicing vegans. I say practicing, because we are not perfect at it. 🙂 He’s better at it than I am. I don’t try to cheat on being vegan, but sometimes it happens. In September we will have been vegan for two years. We were lacto-ovo vegetarians for about 5 years before that. During the first few months of being vegetarian, we were vegan for a couple of months, but it was too hard at the time – we didn’t know anything about vegetarian cooking, muchless vegan cooking, and so often we felt like we just didn’t know what to eat, and that led us to eating whatever we could find and feeling guilty, so we gave it up until we were called to it again.

Usually when people ask us about being vegan, the first question we get is why. I don’t really like to answer this question if I’m talking to someone who still eats meat. Most of my reasons involve words like ‘gross’ and ‘disgusting,’ ‘unsanitary’ and ‘murder,’ and I don’t think people like to hear that about things they eating…

What pushed me over the edge into complete veganism was reading about what happens to the little male ‘layer’ chicks that are born with no usefulness – they are destroyed. Some places destroy them by tossing them into a wood chipper. Alive.

I also don’t like the thought that cheese is coagulated by an enzyme that is only found in the 4th stomach of a calf. I mean really. I don’t even want to know how they know it’s only in the 4th stomach.

I could go on and on, yet I do sometimes crave cheese or meat. I also have a hard time saying ‘no thank you’ if someone has been nice enough to make me food.

Well, I am running out of time, so I guess that’s all I’ll be talking about veganism today. If you want to get a discussion going or have questions, please feel free to leave a comment!


Vegan Holiday

If you are the only vegan in your family, you will relate to this. My husband and I are vegan and we are the only vegans or vegetarians in either side of the family (at least the part that we see regularly).  Of course, you meet up a lot over the holidays for Christmas and New Years, and there is usually food involved.  What do you do to handle the differences that are so very apparent when it is time to eat together?

I have a hard time with telling people ‘no’ or with bringing up problems.  While we were lacto-ovo vegetarians, it was a lot easier for people to feed us.  Rather, it was easier to just avoid meat without having to ask awkward questions.  Is there butter in this… are there eggs?  Ergh.  I’d almost rather eat things that I don’t want in my body than have to ask my host these questions. 

It’s been about five months since we became vegan, though, and I for one have noticed that when I accidently ingest dairy I get mild, but uncomfortable, heartburn.  This is also accomplanied by, um, gastro-intestinal discomfort a few hours later.  I don’t like feeling crappy, so I have to ask the awkward questions.  It’s easier to ask them once you have done it a couple of times, but it still feels bad to me.  I don’t want anyone else to feel that they have done something wrong by not knowing my very picky needs.

What I’m saying is that if you feel the same as me, you may be discouraged from being vegan because of the social aspects.  Please still be vegan – if it really is ‘who you are’ you will find graceful ways to communicate your needs.  You may also find yourself doing what we did – we brought an entree to heat up and eat while everyone else had turkey.  It’s a bit awkward, but it saves your host a lot of work and then you’re certain that you are still maintaining your vegan diet.

And your friends and family will get it, eventually, that this is a lifestyle that you are choosing, not a commentary on the lifestyle that they are choosing.  Have a very vegan day!  Sheila

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