Food: Crossing Over From Vegetarian Diet to Vegan, The Thought is Scary

2 Mar
2010

(If you don’t have telescopic vision, the text balloon below says: “I am a Vegan, I only drink organic fruit and vegetable juice. I haven’t had blood since I saw that Cave Crisis show back in 2000. People try to give me a hard time about it, but look at these fangs… Obviously, we evolved to have these fangs so we could use them to punch holes in the dirt to plant carrots”.)

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via nataliedee.com

I’ve had thoughts for a while now on becoming a full-fledged vegan. I mean…I’m already half way there. So what stopping me? Well, I don’t want to give up half of half the foods I eat now. I am what you call a lacto-ovo vegetarian. My diet includes both eggs and dairy products. But I push that boundary by including some fish. Heck, I need to get my protein from somewhere. Don’t call me a semi because I do not eat poultry. Yuck. After seeing a video on chicken farming five years ago, I gave up poulette cold turkey the second the video was over. In fact that is what started my whole vegetarian turn to begin with. I haven’t had a desire for chicken since, however every once in a while a fat juicy medium rare steak reaches out its aroma hand to try and pull me in, but have paid it no mind.

On the note of veal. I’ve always said no. I haven’t had a bite of veal in, well, since I was in my teens. If anyone orders veal at a restaurant with me, I always turn up my nose and say “Your ordering that??” I make them feel awful to the point of changing their order. They should be ashamed of themselves!

Once when making lamb stew (I know what a hypocrite) as a treat for other eaters, I did sneak a tiny itty bitty bite of a smidget of poor Baa Baa, only to be disgusted by the fleshy, iron-like gristly taste and smell. (Lamb used to be my favorite meat dish, now I was repulsed.) I knew without a doubt my meat days were long over.

So being halfway over to the other side, I already battle my limitations on protein intake. I absolutely despise tofu. Unless it is seasoned into oblivion, it taste like nothing. Why eat something that taste like nothing? Tempeh is the same for me. I cannot incorporate nuts as a protein factor for I’m allergic, so there goes that. So I eat fish. Mostly salmon, char, shrimp and once in a blue moon tilapia. I say once in a blue moon because tilapia isn’t the greatest fish in the world. Here’s an article about it at Science Daily. I try and stick to wild fish, because I know the damage fisheries cause, but have you ever seen the prices of wild fish?? And sometimes it’s not even available. But I try.

I have three other major obstacles blocking my going to the vegan side. Sushi, mayonnaise and butter.

Sushi is my favorite dish in the world. I know, I know. There are vegetarian sushi dishes. But I love to bite into that buttery morsel of salmon sashimi topped with masago (fish eggs) that just melts in your mouth. Don’t get me started on spicy tuna. I just don’t know how would I do without it. It’s the only way my mouth has a party a few times a month. I don’t want a boring mouth. The spicy mayo they serve with it is amazing too.

Speaking of which, a lot of people don’t like mayonnaise. I am not one of them. I think my desire for mayo is hereditary, for my mother loves it too. A little bit too much. I’ve tried to put my foot down with her, but it hasn’t helped. I’ve tried vegan mayo; it’s as bland as tofu. Tuna fish (another source of my protein) needs mayo. I’ve slowly started tried mixing mustard into my tuna with a little lemon juice, it’s not bad, but I always counteract it by spurting a teeny tiny dollop of mayo on it to make it a tad more creamy in texture. However, it’s a start in the right direction I think.

Last but not least, butter. Butter on veggies, butter in a pan to sauté fish, butter for bread, butter sauces. Butter, butter, butter. My butter usage is endless. Butter makes things rich and creamy. There I go again with the creamy. I have a weakness for creamy condiments. A shpritz of lemon as a substitute doesn’t cut it sometimes. All those butter substitutes aren’t the same. I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter? Um…yes I can. Ew, remember when everyone used Margarine? Double blech!

I have not even mentioned the fact that I love to cook. I’m the type that makes the dish look pretty.  So not only would I giving up food to eat, I would be giving up all those tasty dishes that afford me some relaxing cooking time in the kitchen. I think cooking is an art form, like painting. Veganism would take away all my prized colors. It would be like cooking without Cadmium Yellow, Ultramarine Blue or heaven forbid Alzarin Crimson. How can an artist not use Alzarin Crimson?

Alas, maybe I’m just making excuses. Maybe I’m afraid to inconvenience my hosts when I come to dinner. They already have to make extra dishes just for me and I really appreciate that. But imagine my list of stipulations if I turn vegan and I’m invited over for dinner. Did you use butter in that sauce and that soup too? Is that egg I see? Nope, no egg salad, tuna salad, egg noodles, grilled fish, quiche, paella, bread or desserts for me. Does that salad have dressing? Oh, ok I’ll pass. Don’t mind me I’ll just sit here uncomfortably and eat my napkin. I’ll no doubt be crossed off the guest list of any future gathering.

After trying to convince myself I can’t do it, I think I’ll try it for a month and see how hard it really might not be. Of course I’ll have to stay home and not venture to friends or restaurants for dinner, but it wouldn’t be so bad. In fact I already took a step in the right direction and only ate raw sweet peppers and some steamed broccoli for lunch today. It was tasty. Probably because I added a half a teaspoon of butter to the broccoli, but hey, it’s a start right?

4 Responses to Food: Crossing Over From Vegetarian Diet to Vegan, The Thought is Scary

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Felicity

March 2nd, 2010 at 7:54 pm

Yay for being vegan! I think it’s fantastic that you’re giving it a go. I’ve been vegan for 3 years now and couldn’t imagine living my life any other way. I found it pretty challenging at first, but as introduced more and more vegan foods into my diet, I realised I no longer felt a need for all those non-vegan things I’d previously thought I could not live without!

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gilbertmusings

March 2nd, 2010 at 8:11 pm

That’s how I felt about becoming meat free. So I’m sure (well I hope) it will be the same for this. Thanks for commenting.

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CaraB

March 3rd, 2010 at 5:59 pm

I was a vegetarian for YEARS…..and then I got pregnant and had cravings. Hamburgers and steak YUMMMM…(chicken and anything on the bone still disgusts me) I too wrestled with the idea of being Vegan but you are sooo right!! Milk…butter…sour cream I can’t live without it!! I commend you for wanting to try it! Best of luck to a healthy future! CHEERS

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TGMcCoy

March 31st, 2010 at 5:29 pm

Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now. Keep it up!
And according to this article, I totally agree with your opinion, but only this time! :)

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