A week ago, I started the Vegan for a Week Challenge, vowing to give up meat, eggs, milk, and butter for 7 days. Here’s my thoughts, in summary:
- Everything I ate this week was really tasty-who says vegan has to be boring?
- My body felt good and I had energy. Which is to say, I felt normal. Not awesome, just normal.
- I tried some new foods including agave, Ezekiel bread and seitan. Agave and Ezekiel bread may join the list of regular purchases for our household.
- I gave a lot of thought about what my food contains, which I think is always a good thing.
- My lunches were awesome. I really need to work harder towards making hot meals for myself for lunch.
- Eating out was hard! We couldn’t just stop at Dunkin’ Donuts for a snack or coffee (we don’t do black).
- I really missed my morning tea with milk and sugar. Almond milk and agave just aren’t the same.
- No cheese. ‘Nuf said.
- Label reading can be exhausting. It was hard work to double check everything I wanted to put in my body.
- People looked at me like I was nuts when I told them I was going vegan for the week. Why would someone give up animal products?!
Veganism isn’t right for me. In order to make such a drastic change in my diet, I’d really have to feel strongly that it was the right thing to do. I don’t feel that way. I believe there are serious issues with our industrial food system, I believe homemade is better than store bought and I believe that we don’t need to consume meat or animal products at every meal to be healthy. But I don’t believe that consuming animal products is fundamentally wrong. I don’t think that animals are on the same level as people and I’m okay with eating meat occasionally, especially if I know where it came from. Maintaining a vegan lifestyle with no emotional/moral/intellectual conviction is simply not feasible.
I have a lot more respect for vegans than I did a week ago. I used to think that going vegan would be easy: a simple matter of getting rid of butter, eggs, milk and cheese but there are animal products in so many things. Being vegan is work. This week wasn’t too bad because I only had to plan a week’s worth of meals, we ate a lot of leftovers and I was too busy to think too much about snacking. But if I was going to become a full time vegan, my pantry would need to undergo some serious changes. I think I’d have to spend a lot more time cooking and spend more money on substitutes in order to keep some of the flavors I enjoy in my diet.
All that said, I really appreciate the awareness the past week has provided me. I’m going to try to continue thinking carefully about what I’m eating and including more vegan options in my diet.
Carrie (Moves 'N Munchies) says
it sounds like it went rly well for you! and that you learned from the experience, which is most important!
Jessica @ Black Cat Kitchen says
I totally agree. I’m doing it for the month for health reasons – basically an elimination diet – so I’m focusing more on cutting out dairy & eggs than anything else. Personally, I don’t like replacing something like butter, which I know where it comes from and can buy locally and organic, with a processed substitute. It’s a really hard balance. I will definitely eat more vegetarian/vegan meals though. :)