Lets start from the beginning.
I have been vegetarian for just over 12 years. I am an ovo- lacto veg which means I will eat eggs and dairy, but no other animal products or by-products. This lifestyle change was a direct result of an incredibly traumatizing Biology experience with a dissected fetal pig. I was forever changed. I gave up pork on the spot. The rest came gradually. I stopped eating beef, then chicken, then turkey and fish. My vegetarian commitment has always meant a great deal to me. I have never been pushy, but I have always been proud. The catalyst to this lifestyle change was moral/ethical, but I have also enjoyed the health benefits of being a vegetarian. Bonus, I never have to worry when the stories of the latest e-coli find or “Mad Cow” findings are blaring from every news station.
So, vegetarian and proud of it…lead by example, not expectation.
April 18th, Sandy (my mate) and I went to VegFest for the first time. It is your standard vegetarian/vegan fair with cool vendors, speakers and tons of free samples. Say no more!
We met one of the speakers at the fest. She asked me if I was veg or vegan. With a glint of pride in my eye, I told her I was vegetarian. She boldly asked,” Don’t you think it’s time to kick it up a notch?” I was shocked! Isn’t a decade of strict vegetarianism enough to protect me from scrutiny at the VegFest? As I stood there mulling this over, she continued. She challenged me to a 30 day vegan challenge. She asked me if I thought I could adopt a vegan lifestyle for thirty days. I heard a voice that sounded eerily like my own saying, “Sure, I could try anything for thirty days. I’ll do it!” What??? Who said that? I panic when Baskin Robbins shortens their operating hours for the season.
So, it was done. A promise had been made. I made a pact with a complete stranger that I would adopt a vegan lifestyle for thirty days. Was it pride, fear, madness from too many free samples of hummus? We’ll never know.
What I do know, is that something came over me. As Sandy drove us home from VegFest, I got more and more excited. I was planning and strategizing. Thinking about what I would have to leave behind and dreaming about how many cashews I would now be able to eat.
The next day I found myself at the library looking desperately for vegan books and cookbooks. If I was going to do this, I wanted to do it right. We found the most beautiful book/cookbook called Vegan Fusion World Cuisine. It is a compilation of quotes, sayings and recipes depicting the most ethereal looking food I has ever seen. I guarded the book under my arm like I had just found the Holy Grail in our public library. But there it was once again…this sense of excitement and that….I wonder whats coming next type of feeling. As we walked out of the library, treasure in hand, I proclaimed to Sandy, “I am going to start a blog and write about this experience. I am going to share every strange, enlightening and funny detail of this journey in a blog.”
So, here we are. Exploits of a Vegan Wannabe was created out of a sense of wonder and awe. It was also created form my desire to honor those gut feelings or insights that we so often shun out of fear or confusion. When I have allowed myself to honor a gut feeling or follow through on what seemed like a crazy idea, I have never been disappointed. On the contrary, I have changed my life in magical ways.
I want to learn more. I want to honor the earth and my tiny place in it. I want to lead by example and do beautiful things with the time I have here.
Please join me on this journey. We can try new foods, have a bunch of belly laughs and share some great conversations while we are honoring our home and the animals that we are lucky enough to share it with.
Hope to hear from you soon,