During the course of an academic year, many of us will endure a vast array of painstaking addictions to a particular food, mine was fried chicken, especially living in Stepney Green where almost every second shop is a ‘perfect fried chicken’ or ‘special fried chicken’. Cheese also, who doesn’t love hiding their food with a layer of parmigiano reggiano. Those two foods of perfection were the lifeblood of my second year student existence, dancing on my e-mails from takeaway services every weekend (and weekday) telling me to not go out, and to sit in watching Inception for the 10th time that week, chewing on hot wings, chicken cheese burger and spicy egg rice. But February swings around and something changed. I won’t try and make this propaganda poster for veganism but that was the change. I became vegan. Dropped eating anything that had been taken from an animal that was poorly treated prior, and starting to adopt a perspective that would benefit both my physical health, and animal and agricultural recuperation. It became apparent I would experience a few problems along the way.
So, with veganism, there are many reasons behind people actually becoming vegan, but my focus isn’t on the reasons (not trying to convert anyone…yet), but the living and outcomes of not consuming dairy or meat. To those who have ever considered about veganism or are vegan have had to take into consideration the social sides that sometimes would outweigh the physical sides of not eating animal by-products. There is a large air of inconvenience attached to the diet/lifestyle way, that vegan life equates to a picky life, or being socially limited. The perception that it’s hard to go out for a meal with friends to eat is hard, is not true, unless you went to a steakhouse that only sells steak, which is rare (puns are fun). The amount of times I’ve been to grill places, Burger joints, steak houses etc, and, (other than the occasional meat meal that I was weak for) I have found it surprisingly easy! Who wants one dish, when you can order six sides to fill the table and not let anyone touch because you play the “I’m vegan and have limited options’ card. When in actual fact, the options are endless! Not eating meat and dairy doesn’t mean you can hardly eat anything, it just means that there is more room to expand how much you eat. Potentially a hard part of the social life of the vegan is family. Large family meals that usually contains an abundance of meats and milk containing puds not only test your vegan strength, but also your families tolerance. But like any change in your life, family usually accepts veganism almost the same as vegetarianism (just an excuse to add more food to the table that you can eat).
Over the past 3-4 months, I have slowly become more and more militant with my veganism. Not having my meal/days off (of which I’ve only had four), not wearing leather, suede or wool and paying closer attention the ingredients that aren’t written in bold, like Casein and Tallow. But we all have our downfall, mine is wine, wine is fantastic right? (my appreciation for wine is a whole different article) however, is not entirely vegan, something in the filtering process. So I have an un-vegan kryptonite and don’t see it as a negative infringement on my veganism, but one step closer to being totally vegan (hello Waitrose vegan premium wine!).
Ps. Oreos are vegan so I’m happy