11/1/07

How it all vegan again.

So I decided to go vegan...again.

Let me back up. I grew up eating whatever my parents put in front of me. Generally, meatloaf, mac & cheese and a full glass of milk. I was so busy running from field hockey to musical rehearsal to student government meetings, I really didn't care what I ate (as long as it included daily chicken nuggets and a sugary dessert!) When I arrived in college, I started to be scared away from the food-court meat offerings, but I found I could get along pretty well on chocolate milk, pizza, french fries, and whatever the restaurant I worked for would provide me with. But as I eased into campus politics, I started to become aware of the issues surrounding the foods I ate. Did the bananas come from farms that employed children? Were the cafeteria workers earning a living wage? Then, came my big moment: like so many young, impressionable girls, I read the Sexual Politics of Meat and concluded that in going vegan, I could help fight the patriarchy. (Doesn't everyone do that in college?) Also, I had a cute vegan boyfriend who introduced me to all the vegetables of the rainbow and showed me that I didn't have to live on pizza during college. Instead I could live on vegan pancakes, huge salads, mock chicken and broccoli, and chocolate soymilk.

But soon, like my relationship, college was over. I got a job at a posh restaurant and on the first day, they asked me to take out my nose ring and grow out my hair. Bummer. I started working doubles 4 days a week and not having the time to cook myself the delicacies I had become accustomed to. In fact, I barely had time to eat at all unless it was something I snatched from the kitchen. And sadly, after about 10 mixed greens salads, hold the cheese, I gave in to the ample temptations of that coy mistress, goat cheese. I was off the wagon.

Speed up to now. My first year of law school was an emotional roller coaster in which Ben & Jerry's and Prosser and Wade were my constant companions. If anything, now was the time to go back to eating healthy and feeling good about my small constribution to the food chain. But it actually took my meat-eating roomate to jar me out of complacency. After getting a dog, she happened upon the book Skinny Bitch, which she thought was about dieting. Funnily enough, the book is sort of a tricky guide to getting women to go vegan (under the guise of being a bitchy dieting guide.) Seeing her get so excited about animal rights and veganism made me remember why I first got into it. And snapped me out of the assumption that growing up meant you had to let go of every radical quirk you cultivated in your youth.

So now, I'm back. In a big way. And thats what this blog is all about.

2 comments:

Melissa said...

being vegan is sweeping the nation. its so illay!!!!

Roxee said...

It is very difficult to be vegan, it takes willpower and strength. I am learning that now!