My month of veganism starts today! I mentioned it in passing to a couple of people recently, and after a beat or two of silence came the question: “why?”
The same environmental, ethical, and health issues that launched our year of vegetarianism in 2010 still apply. I worry that consuming animal products does more harm than good to my own body and the bodies of others. I don’t think we need food derived from animals to be vibrant, productive, and happy. But if we’re really getting down to brass tacks, I’m trying out veganism for the same reasons I travel: because it allows me to see, learn about, and experience other ways of being.
It doesn’t feel restrictive. It feels like opening a door to a new environment that will scratch my creativity and curiosity itches. In 2010, I learned so much about vegetarian cuisines and cultures (Indian! Thai! Ethiopian! Shojin ryori!) and I had a spectacular time getting to know new spices and vegetables and methods of cooking. Let’s be honest: I love to cook and eat as much as I love a challenge. Experimenting with food + improved personal and environmental well-being? That’s a win-win.
I know I’ll miss eggs. Plain Greek yogurt. Honey. Sashimi. Oysters. Medium rare ribeyes and BBQed chicken. But really, I don’t eat any of those things in any large quantity anyway. Maybe I’ll encounter something that blows them all right out of the water. Who knows? That’s the beauty of going into a new experience.