It really hasn’t been that hard though. I still eat way too much sugar, but now I just cut out dairy and eggs. Sometimes it’s sad when I have to stare at a pizza, or ice-cream, or some other delectable thing, and realize I will never eat it again (at least not in the same form).
My Vegan Failures:
First, I ate this miso soup, which I bought thinking it was vegan. I got home and was making the soup while reading the package, and realized that it contained fish… Since it was already being cooked, and my only other option was dumping it out, I decided to eat it over wasting it’s life, and since it had only been a day since I was officially “vegan” (I also cheated a lot when I was vegetarian. I love shin noodles… the sadness). So I ate my fishy soup, and I got really grossed out by the fish + seaweed taste and dump it out anyway. It was not very good miso. I was really disappointed in myself, but I moved on with my life.
I’ve eaten lucky charms twice ( Marshmallows. So good, so bad).
I ate a chocolate covered strawberry (chocolate mmmm).
I ate a chewy jolly rancher (gelatin).
The big one though, was cheese. We went to Applebee’s (as usual, since my down syndrome, autistic brother refuses to eat anywhere else) for my mother’s birthday, and there was NOTHING vegan. No salad, no pasta, nothing. I had decided on onion rings (iffy) when I spotted some rice! So I asked the waitress about it, and asked her if I could substitute everything in the chicken wrap for rice, beans, lettuce, and salsa. She was like yeah that would be fine, and was super helpful about it. I was really happy that I had done the impossible and found something Vegan to eat. However, when they delivered the food, my wrap contained cheese. Impossible to remove cheese, which was probably nuclear bomb resistant and waterproof, as well as a potential armor for astronauts. I really wanted to have them take it back and fix it, but then I would not only waste the wrap, but the cheese inside of it. I concluded that since I was a new vegan, it was better for me to eat it than to be wasteful, and I feel bad making people fix things for me… So I ate it, and I was absolutely disgusted by the cheese. Which was kinda weird, because it had only been 4 days since I became vegan. Four days ago I would have been wallowing in the cheesy goodness of my wrap. Not anymore though. I don’t know if it’s a mental thing, or maybe I have always been sensitive to milk, but never knew until I cut dairy out (even though it probably hasn’t been long enough for that to be the case). So after I ate it, I felt super sick, and had to endure a few more hours of feeling grossed out before my stomach calmed itself. On the positive, that experience has given me an aversion to cheese. Now when I look at cheese, instead of seeing deliciousness, I see the most disgusting food ever (aside from meat and bananas of course). So I guess the over all result of that experience was for the best.
Becoming Vegan: take two.
Since that mishap with the cheese, today is essential my new start at becoming vegan! (shit, I ate lucky charms again. Curse my mom for buying those!)
Becoming Vegan: take three!
This afternoon is my new start at becoming Vegan!
Things I’ve begun to notice.
Before becoming vegan, I was a vegetarian for two years. (There was also a two month period back in seventh grade, but that doesn’t really count). During this time, I essentially lived off of dairy products. Can’t eat a meat sandwich? No prob, just replace with cheese! Meat pizza? Use more cheese instead! Slices of meat? Just eat slices of cheese! It’s not even funny how much cheese I ate. I absolutely loved cheese. And I always thought of it as cruelty free. Cows are supposed to be milked, right? Wrong. What I discovered six nights ago (and what caused me to become vegan the next day) is that the dairy industry is just a cruel gateway to the meat industry.
What should have been obvious, and I was too naïve to realize, is that cows have to birth a calf to produce milk. How obvious is that? I knew that other animals had to, but I always assumed dairy cows just magically produced milk because they were called dairy cows.
So what really happens is that dairy cows are artificially inseminated (Aka raped by humans. Even though it is given a nice, clinical sounding name, I think the process is pretty gross and sketchy). Then, when they birth their calf, it is taken from them anywhere from two days later, to a few hours later. And why? So that the calves don’t cut into the profits by drinking their mother’s milk, the substance they are naturally entitled to. How twisted is that? The fact that profit is more important than the bond of mother and child says a lot about our society.
The true injustice though is the fate of both dairy cow and calf. If the calf is a girl, she is raised to become a dairy cow like her mom. However, if it is a boy calf, it is useless to the dairy farmers, so they sell him for veal meat. Veal meat is supposed to be white and fatty, and I have no idea why anyone would want this in the first place. To obtain this quality, the newborn calf is chained to the floor to prevent him from moving and developing muscles. He is fed a liquid diet to fatten him up and also to prevent muscle growth. This goes on for FOUR MONTHS. How could anyone torture a baby animal to obtain a meat that no one even likes??!!!? That’s by far the worst part of the dairy industry.
A close second is that the dairy cows collapse from exhaustion after three to four years, while their natural life span can be 20 years. (The part that’s even more messed up, is that these young cows are having calves the whole time… that’s like making a teenage human be a birthing/milk machine and then killing her in her twenties…) When these exhausted dairy cows cannot produce enough milk, they are sent to the slaughterhouse, to become cheap, ground up hamburger meat because their bodies are not healthy enough to make “yummy” meat. This comes not only from the fact that they are over milked and have the stress of the birth/theft cycle forced on them, but because the dairy cows do not usually go outside, but stay inside, chained to their milking stall. They are also feed tons of antibiotics and such to make them “healthy”, and all sorts of other things.
Sigh. So this is what my cheese/ice-cream/anything containing milk addiction had been supporting, while I thought dairy cows lived some ideal life of pleasant milking…
The true point of this was what I began to notice, and that is the amount of dairy and eggs we consume. It’s ridiculous when I go somewhere only to find that EVERYTHING has either dairy or egg… how can we use so many animal products?! Think of how many restaurants, grocery stores, etc. carry animal products, multiplied by the number of these vast chains that exist. I can’t even imagine how many animals it would take to produce that much dairy.. It makes me realize how selfish and wasteful we are, that we don’t even think twice about using these products that are so taxing on the creatures they come from… even the expression “don’t cry over spilled milk” annoys me now. Milk shouldn’t be wasted! You SHOULD cry over spilt milk, because it means you just wasted the result of a dairy cow’s miserable life.