Ask them about what they want to eat, not what they can eat. They can eat anything you can. They choose not to eat certain things. A question like “oh can you eat at this restaurant?” Is eye-roll inducing. They can physically eat.
Don’t ask about their beliefs at the table. I read on another blog once, “Talk of animal cruelty is not table talk.” I agree. If your friend brings it up, ok. Otherwise let them finish eating before you ask about slaughterhouse conditions.
Don’t out them. Let them out themselves. It’s different for everyone, but I know I’d rather tell new people in my life on my own terms. That way I’m not caught off guard giving an explanation or a full-out speech I wasn’t planning on giving.
Listen. Especially if you asked. Even if you didn’t, they’re probably talking to you because they trust you and want someone to process with,especially if they’re new to being vegan. Really listen though, don’t just wait for your turn to talk. Seek to understand their points. Don’t get defensive. Don’t put them down. Just hear it out and think about it.
Don’t assume. Don’t assume they have always been vegan or vegetarian, don’t assume it was easy or hard to become vegan, don’t assume anything else about they’re life just because they are vegan. I happen to think yoga is boring.
Don’t get overly excited about something for them that you wouldn’t be excited about. It’s patronizing. It’s usually coming from a helpful place. I’m talking about the thing that usually happens at restaurants. Where other people go “OOH you could get a salad!” Yes. Thanks. I’ve never thought of eating a salad.
Ask how you can be supportive. This is a nice thing to do for anyone, ever. But especially someone who is living an unpopular lifestyle or transitioning to a new one. If your vegan fiend really cares about you, they will forgive honest mistakes.
I have been vegetarian for six months now, and have been trying to cut down on dairy and eggs. While I believe there is a kind of a sliding scale of ethics here (I know people who own laying hens and clearly treat them much better than large factory farms do), the whole domesticated-animals-in-farms thing makes me a bit uncomfortable, even under the best circumstances.
Furthermore, with the way food is misrepresented when it is marketed, and the high price of more ethically sourced animal products, it is unlikely that my current living situation allows me time to thoroughly investigate all of the animal products I would like to consume, and when I am able to identify the most ethically sourced items out there, it is unlikely that I will be able to afford them financially.
Therefore, I am going to attempt a sort of functional veganism. I currently live semi-communally with my primary romantic partner and four other friends. My housemates and I have set up a dinner co-op where each person cooks for everyone else one night a week. All of my other housemates eat meat but they have all been extremely accommodating to my vegetarianism and hare either cooked entirely vegetarian meals or made separate, meat free portions for myself.
I am very grateful to my housemates for being so accommodating, but I don’t think I could reasonably ask them to accommodate veganism.
Therefore, I am going to attempt only partial veganism, wherein I will only purchase and prepare vegan food (except for my portion of the CSA egg share I have already paid for -about 3 eggs a week), but will consume dairy and egg dishes that my roommates prepare.
Additionally, I believe it is ethical to produce and consume honey, so I will continue to occasionally purchase honey from local sources. But that stuff is expensive!
I have concerns that I can’t actually do this, and concerns that partial veganism might be more difficult and less effective than going all the way. I also worry that weight loss might be one of my secret goals here, and then I worry about the morals of dieting…
First of all I promise this blog isn’t going to turn into the Vegan Bible! But I will be talking about my journey to go Vegan, so get ready for that.
A Little Background
I am a vegetarian…I’ve been one for almost three years and I love it. It’s one of the best life decisions I’ve ever made. I’ve been thinking about making the transition to veganism for a while, but have one issue that holds me back…
I have issues with food.
Let me clarify a little. I don’t have an eating disorder (and never have), but I am overweight and have been so for many years of my life. I’m an emotional eater and a lot of my issues with food stem from that. I’ve struggled to have a healthy relationship with food pretty much my entire life, and my fear is that the vegan thing would make me feel so limited that I would just loose it and not be able to stick with the commitment.
For some reason in my head I associate going vegan with the countless number of diets I’ve been on in my life. I haven’t been able to stick with them, so why should I even try to do this?
I get that my logic is faulty, and the truth is that when I’m at home, I eat 75% vegan anyways, and the things I eat that aren’t vegan are things I could give up or replace.
Seitan, Butternut Squash, and Asparagus
Let me also say that I think there's absolutely nothing wrong with eating “Veganish” if that’s what’s right for you (Veganish meaning a person who eats vegan a certain percentage of the time).
My Reasons for Making the Leap
Have you seen Forks over Knives?! I have, and…Mind Blown!
I’d like to lose weight
I don’t want to support any aspect of factory farming
I want to stop eating processed foods
I want a healthy body!
Have I mentioned Forks over Knives? You can stream it on Netflix. Do it.
So there you have it. My kind of Poppy going Vegan manifesto. I’m officially starting today, and I’m excited.
Something that’s helped me get to the place where I’m ready to take the leap is that I’ve realized that I’m never going to be perfect. Not when it comes to food, or anything! What a relief…
I adapted this super yummy recipe I found online somewhere for lunch today. The quantities listed are for one large serving or two small servings, but it can obviously be scaled to make a larger batch. Alas, I was so excited to try it, I forgot to take a picture. But it was super yummy.
3 small red potatoes
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon minced onion
1 clove garlic, minced or finely chopped
1 tablespoon minced cilantro
Pinch of cayenne pepper, cumin, salt, and pepper to taste
Boil cut and washed potatoes (leave the skin on) until tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain potatoes in a colander and allow to cool. Mix the other ingredients together (I used my food processor). Add avocado sauce to cooled potatoes, mixing gently to combine.