Hello. Welcome to the record of my dietary journey for the next two months. For a project for my Creative Nonfiction class, I am going vegan, using the book The Kind Diet by Alicia Silverstone as my guide. My blog title is a play on the phrase "in the beginning." It works on two levels, because not only am I writing about the beginning of my transition to a vegan lifestyle, but the phrase could serve as an accurate description of the process I'm actually going through as I do this. I'm "in the veganning," so to speak.
I was vegetarian for a while as a teenager, so some of what this diet entails is not new to me. I've already been schooled in how to mix and match different foods in order to make a complete protein. I eat a lot of rice and beans as it is, and am used to needing to survive on them. (I usually put cheese on them too but not so with this diet. Unless it's soy cheese.) I know there are lots of other ways to get protein without meat that I will be exploring along the way, but rice and beans are always a basic (and cheap!) way to go. I acquired quite a taste for foods like black beans, tofu, and sprouts during my time as a teenage vegetarian, so I think I have that in my favor when it comes to going vegan. These are foods that a lot of people have to get used to at the same time as getting used to not having meat and dairy as a large part of their diets, and I'm glad I've already experienced that in life so it's not such a shock to me now.
Going vegan is important to me because of how strongly I care about animals and their welfare. I am also always searching for the perfect way to nourish myself, and my instinct tells me it's not by trying to fuel myself with dead animal flesh. It's never seemed right to me, and my teenage vegetarianism was an attempt to really declare that about myself. I was vegetarian from ages 13-16, when I started eating meat again just because (short answer here) it was easier. I've always kind of felt like I was a vegetarian on hold, though: that even though I had fallen back into eating meat, I would get back to how I really wanted to be--vegetarian--some day. In fact, I have spent much of my life doing this: going along with whatever was around me even if it wasn't good for me, putting my real self on hold until I was sure, somehow, that it was safe to bring it out.
Well, now is the time, and this blog project is the perfect opportunity for me to try something I've always wanted to try: being vegan. I already feel better in the knowledge that for the next two months at least, I will be doing my best to consume no animal by-products or flesh. It takes a load off my mind and makes me feel calmer and more at peace with myself. It also makes me realize how much of my mind this issue normally occupies, and how important it really is to me to do something about it.
I will be sharing recipes and descriptions of fabulous vegan meals along the way. I am already convinced that there are more than enough delicious vegan foods in the world to choose from and that, if I plan well, I shall never feel bored or deprived following a vegan diet.