This month, starting on Monday, I’ll be trying out veganism. Since the main character in my book is vegan, I’ve been meaning to try out the vegan lifestyle to really get into her head. Plus, I’m an animal lover; I understand that animals are intelligent and feel pain, and I’m interested in sustainability (meat production is a source of greenhouse gas, dontcha know), so being forced to really examine my diet and where it comes from won’t be in vain. I’ll learn some new techniques to have a more sustainable, earth-friendly, animal friendly-diet, I hope. Sure, we could argue over whether animals raised for consumption have rights, or whether or not being vegan or vegetarian makes sense (especially considering that recent research suggests that plants feel pain too), but I’m trying out the vegan thing regardless, purely as an experiment.
All that said, I love bacon, and saying goodbye is going to suck. Sunday mornings might kill me when I drive past a breakfast joint and smell that salty, meaty goodness. I’ll have to be strong. In this battle against being seduced by bacon, eggs, meat, and cheese, being prepared will be everything. Worse, I’m intolerant of soy and wheat, the staple proteins of some vegan diets. If I don’t plan ahead, I’ll be miserable and starving. Seriously, you don’t want me to cross over into Cranky Bitch territory. It’s so not pretty.
I asked friends to help me and recommend some information, lest I be clueless. It’s a good thing I did. I learned that vegans can develop some serious deficiencies affecting general health and tooth health, so it’s extra important to be prepared. I bought a long list of vegan supplements to make sure I wasn’t injuring myself during this experiment. I was also worried about getting enough protein. But it turns out you can absolutely get sufficient plant-based protein without eating soy or seitan (wheat gluten). Greens like kale or spinach, nuts, lentils, beans, peas, hemp seeds, and quinoa are all excellent sources. The thing with beans, though, is they have to be soaked in order to properly access the nutrients. I’ll have to stay one step ahead of myself and constantly plan ahead so I’m not eating bags of chips or bagged salad out of desperation, but I think I can do this.
Meanwhile, I’ll be blogging about my experience, the triumphs and the fumbles, the moments where my husband might wave a crispy bacon strip in my face to test my resolve. I might occasionally create some fun recipes of my own, vegan recipes using solely shelf-stable food. I’ll call them “Vegan for the Zombie Apocalypse.” The main character in my book would want to stick to her principles during the unthinkable, so, I’m going to pretend I’m doing the same.
Well, guys, wish me luck. One more thing: please, please, please don’t eat bacon in front of me this month. Because bacon is the gateway meat, the first stumble down a slippery slope.