I’ve said it myself, many times, possibly with a worried look on my face as though some crazed dreadlocked Vegan was poised to rip that whole crispy duck right from my desperate greasy clutches.
‘I’d never go Vegan. I couldn’t.’
The adage ‘I couldn’t’ seems to remove the element of choice for most omnivores, myself included. Saying you ‘couldn’t’ or ‘can’t’ do something without trying, or even thinking about trying, allows you a degree of plausible deniability. For one thing, nobody can prove that you CAN, but nor can you prove that you can’t. This deniability allows many of us to displace the responsibility that comes with choosing to eat animal produce. As a result you place yourself into a skewed reality where an omnivorous diet is normalised to the point of being nigh on compulsory and non-meat diets are somehow weird. It should be ‘I wouldn’t go Vegan’ which emphasises that there IS a choice element at play.
Just so you get the measure of just how much of a voracious carnivore I really am, take a look at this picture of me on my 21st birthday last year.
Am I holding a 5kg piece of premium welsh beef you ask? Why, yes I am. Was I deliriously happy in this situation? Undoubtedly. I literally
asked for received half a cow for my birthday. I’m that weirdo who actually likes the smell of a butcher’s shop. I carry chicken around with me the way normal people would eat an apple on-the-go. I’ll stop before my admissions get really creepy but I’m just illustrating how much of a ridiculous change the switch to Veganism would be for somebody like me. It’s almost laughable.
So why am I considering Veganism? This all started after a friend of mine recommended I watch the 2011 documentary ‘Vegucated’ on Netflix. In the doc, three omnivores adopt a Vegan diet over a trial period of 6 weeks and (obviously) experience a range of health improvements including lower blood pressure and weight loss. Alongside this experiment, Vegucated explores the secrets of food production exposing; animal cruelty, corporate negligence of worker and animal conditions and the resultant effects on the human population as well as the environment.
(Image copyright to getvegucated.com)
What struck me – as somebody who enjoys Cat Gifs but is not majorly an animal lover – was not so much the cruelty of it all but the extremes of greed and laziness involved. I’ve been under no illusion for my first 20 years on Earth as a meat-eater – I know you gotta kill a cow if you wanna eat a burger. But cutting serious corners to save cash and valuing money over morals, completely, didn’t sit well with me. It made me reflect…Ugh.
As a writer I am always trying to consciously switch to other points of view. So I started thinking…double-Ugh. I could practically feel my mind rejecting all of the beautifully bloody rare and tender meats that my body had long-craved as sustenance and comfort and replacing it with stupid moral fibre (no, actual moral fibre – like beans ‘n’ legumes ‘n’ shit). What if – rather than the hippified alternate-PEEEAAACE MAAANNN-lifestyle-choice that it is pariah’d as in contemporary culture – what if Veganism was the centre and meat-eating, the choice?
In other words – could I try to be Vegan, see if it was doable, and thus be left with the choice of whether to continue with this morally conscious lifestyle OR cave in and gluttonously eat animal protein to my gut’s content (this time round with complete moral disregard and new-found self-enforced ignorance actively in play…).
In order to succeed I needed to give Veganism a proper shot so that at the end of my 4-6 weeks trial it would actually be a difficult choice, instead of a cut and shut case of ‘Veganism may be good for the environment/the three little pigs but I ate Oreos and gelatin-free Haribo for a month so now I’m fat and pasty’. So I planned for a few weeks before I fully flipped the V’s to animal produce.
And oh yeah, Oreos are famously and mysteriously Vegan friendly
So here goes. I got so wrapped up in the festive period that I’ve only just gotten around to editing this post, although I did write it at the time. I went fully Vegan on 27th December, after two weeks as a vegetarian to ease myself in (yes – except Christmas day…I’m not a complete masochist).
So I’m currently two weeks in and feeling amazing although I’m having crazy skin break outs which are apparently a detoxing effect. I’ve also noticed some, erm, intestinal changes shall we say… in a great way though and I never feel bloated or tired after meals. I’ll update a little more this week including a blog post about my recent spontaneous trip to Bruges and how I navigated Belgium – AKA THE COUNTRY OF CHOCOLATE – as a newly transitioning Vegan.
So for now it’s so far, so good. I guess you could say the WURST is yet to come… Ok I’ll leave, I guess I’ve got sausage on the brain. NO not that sausage! Oh, you guys crack me up…er K bye.
Do yourself a favour and watch the documentaries ‘Vegucated’ and ‘Food, inc’. They’re brilliant and not at all omnivore-shaming but rather they expose the greed and corruption of massive food production companies worldwide.