(Mostly) Vegan

by @edent | , | Read ~105 times.

I've been a vegetarian for 21 years. And, last year, I became (mostly) vegan. Because my bum kept falling off.

I'd been getting frequent stomach cramps and "gastrointestinal distress" which culminated in a nice man from the NHS shoving a camera up me to see if my guts were rotten. They were not (aside from a couple of small polyps).

After various food diaries and testing exclusion diets, my worst fears were confirmed - I was lactose intolerant. No more cheese for me!

(To be clear, I haven't had a formal diagnosis. What with the pandemic, I haven't felt like strolling down to my GP and asking to be formally tested.)

So I've switched to a (mostly) vegan diet and it has been... fine! When I first became a vegetarian - the veggie options in most restaurants was either a salad or a Quorn burger fried in pig grease. Over the last two decade there has been an explosion in good veggie fare. It seems that every food-stall, high-end dining room, and everything in between has a multitude of options.

Of course, over the last year I've not been going out to restaurants - but I'm pleased to discover how many vegan options there are at supermarkets. Yes, I know I can boil a carrot - but sometimes it is nice to chuck together a meat-substitute stir-fry, or faux-hot-dog, or coconut-cheese-toasty.

Although I basically agree with veganism, I always thought it would be too much effort to go vegan full time. I was wrong! It has never been easier to be vegan (if you're in the UK and have enough money to buy from a major supermaket and have the time/energy to deal with a new way of cooking etc.)

I've used the HappyCow app to find vegan restaurants around the world. Everywhere from Beijing to Brisbane has seen a surge in vegan eateries.

I have two weaknesses though...

Eggs

I try to use aquafaba as an egg substitute in cooking. It just doesn't work that well. And a whole bunch of veggie food has egg in it. They're a ubiquitous ingredient in just about everything.

I know that the free-range, organic, well-loved chickens that provide my ova are eventually decapitated and turned unwillingly into food. Sorry chooks.

Honey

The controversial one! Seriously - you should read the history of whether honey is vegan. It's a fascinating look at the way society changes over time. Yay for moral relativism!

Obviously the worker-bees control the means of production. But I'm not sure if they're actually being exploited. Of course, most of the honey I buy is probably sugar syrup anyway.

Again, it's a near ubiquitous ingredient. I wonder if locally sourced honey is better for the environment than sugar brought in from far-off lands.

Should you go vegan?

I really don't care. Over the years, I've had uncountable numbers of meat-lovers advocate their lifestyle to me. But I don't think I've seen a veggie preach the good news about tofu. You can do what you want. But if you want to turn a side-salad into a main meal - now is an excellent time to make that change.

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