I’ve been thinking about becoming a vegan a lot this week; if you haven’t read my story, well, I’m a non-strict vegetarian right now, which in my case means I eat fish occasionally. I found giving up some meat very easy (I have never liked beef much) and some meat very hard; I loved chicken like a sibling, like a sweet juicy salty sibling. I haven’t eaten chicken in about 5 months and I don’t miss is as much now, but sometimes I’ll still let my eyes linger on some barbeque wings for too long.
You can probably tell, but I didn’t give up meat because I think it’s disgusting; I gave it up for health reasons and a growing awareness of the environmental impact of eating meat (yes, I watched Cowspiracy, its a great documentary, I suggest you check it out). But surprisingly, by giving myself a long time to give things up, not putting deadlines on it, and not being hard on myself if I slipped up, I got here.
But where is here and how much further will I go? Why not be a vegan? All the evidence suggests it’s the healthiest diet when done properly, and it’s the kindest to the planet. Here are some reasons why I’m not vegan, not just yet:
- Eggs. I love eggs, in all their multifarious forms; fried scrambled, poached, hard and soft boiled, stir fryed with vegetables or rice, mixed with banana in pancakes, everything. I know they are high in cholesterol and that’s not great, but, no diet is perfect. They taste good to me, and they make me happy.
- Milk. I don’t actually drink any dairy/animal milk, I have almond milk in coffee sometimes, or just drink it black. But I thought this was worth mentioning because EVERYTHING CONTAINS MILK. If you know anyone who is vegan, or lactose intolerant, ask them; crisps contain milk, condiments and pasta sauces contain milk, pretty much all processed snack foods contain milk. It’s not easy to avoid. If you want to give up milk, you by proxy have to give up a lot of other things (mostly unhealthy things, but still) and I’m not ready for that leap, not just yet.
- Protein. I didn’t worry about it so much, but my boyfriend says I’m not eating enough protein. My mum says I’m not eating enough protein, my brother agrees. I stress how many chickpeas and lentils I eat, and they abate, for a while. It gets tedious fielding the same complaints, especially having done a lot of research. I’m going to be ordering a huge bulk order of quinoa and beans and things in a few weeks, so maybe then I’ll be ready to vegan?
Is there anything holding you back from being a vegan? Have you thought about it? How do your friends and family react?