As a vegan, I get asked a lot questions. The most common of these, after “are you insane,” “do you worship the devil,” and “do you live on a commune weaving baskets of your own hair?” (the answer is yes to all three) is “why did you decide to go vegan?”
My story is pretty simple.
Before I was vegan I was omnivorous. I grew up eating a fair amount of meat, liked me ma cheese and ice cream, and thought vegetarians were all hippies. (WAS I WRONG?). In theory I got why people decided not to eat meat, but it wasn’t something something I cared enough about to make changes to the way I ate.
At the very beginning of 2010 my sister gave me a copy of Eating Animals and I read the whole thing on a bus ride between Michigan and my home at the time in Madison, Wisconsin. I stopped eating animal products cold turkey the same day (I guess you could say I went… cold tofurkey).
Eating Animals explores what it means to nurture yourself (and your family) with food and the relationship humans have with animals. There are tons of books worth reading about veganism for ethical, environmental, health, and other reasons (like Beyonce did it once). I liked the approach of Eating Animals in particular because it gives a holistic view of the industry behind meat, dairy, and egg production in the United States. The book discusses factory farms, the so-called “emotional ingredients” of meals from the author’s childhood, farmers, PETA activists, and human instincts about right and wrong. Maybe this book resonated with me so strongly because I was living in the Midwest surrounded by farms for the first time in my life. Maybe it was because I was finally living out of my parents’ home and needed to make informed decisions about what I was eating. Maybe I was finally mature enough to realize that Pop Tarts and Chex Mix are not food groups. The jury is still out on that last one.
I have been vegan for about six years and have written this blog for five (am I old?). In this time, veganism, cooking, writing, photography, talking about food, thinking about food, eating new kinds of food, finding ways to have better quality food reach more people, and sharing meals with others have become my very favorite things.
My goal with Veganizzm is not to make you vegan. I’m not even going to try. I’m not here to preach anything except maybe that you should try my chili (Seriously. Do it.). I believe that everyone could be just a little more thoughtful about what and how they eat. My main objective here is to help you move in that direction and maybe give you a laugh or two.