The past month has been – interesting and difficult, but not difficult like I imagined it would be.
While I have a rough plan to go completely vegan over the next 18 months, I’m starting to wonder if I’ll need that long.
Before starting this process, I thought the hard part would be emotionally letting go of eggs and dairy. That it would be hard to phase these foods out; I would need to give myself time.
Instead, I have found that I just don’t want to eat it. It is no longer enjoyable. It no longer brings me pleasure. I look at the plate of eggs benedict at our local café. Six weeks ago I would have loved this. Now, I can’t bring myself to eat it. I regret ordering it. I look at all the shiny yellow sauce and the bright green of the cress. If I cut in, the brilliant orange yolk will bleed against the stark white of the egg. I look at all this egg. I look at all this misery. I used to think the food on my plate was about me. I was wrong.
Eggs are cruel, regardless of how they are produced. It is all so unnecessarily cruel. I no longer want to participate.
The same goes for dairy. I may live in the heart of the Waikato, but nothing justifies separating day old calves from their mothers, just so we can consume their milk. Calves, the male by-products of the dairy industry, fed to make them anaemic for white meat and slaughtered a few months later. Even if the steers are given a couple of good years in the high country, they still end up at the slaughter house. What happens to the milking cows when they are no longer producing?
Cream, yoghurt, butter – none of it looks the same any more. I no longer want to participate.
The thing I thought would be difficult isn’t. I can no longer separate my food from how it is produced. When I think about what I eat, I am ready to be vegan. I have already let go. Now, I have to work on fully changing my food habits and educating myself on what I need to do to make this work. I am relearning how to eat, cook, shop and eat out. Learning new ways of doing things is challenging, but also interesting and kind of fun.
What is difficult is trying to navigate social situations and dealing emotionally with what it feels like to know what I have been participating in for over 40 years. I will write more about these two things later.
When I say it is “difficult”, I have to ask myself – Who is this difficult for? I have to inconvenience myself a little to change habits and lifestyle. What about those whose lives my food habits have directly inflicted harm upon?