A Vegan New Year

I’ve stopped eating animal products this year. I’ve been mulling over what to say about it for some time, because while I’m excited about the change, I’m also apprehensive.

The China Study at Amazon

The exciting part is that I seem to have a natural affinity for this diet, and I think it’s the single most effective action I can take to preserve my health and the outdoor environment I love. Nutritionally, The China Study by T. Colin Campbell has been my greatest influence. It’s largely the story of a farm boy who, after becoming an influential nutritional scientist, drastically changed his views about the great American diet. It’s packed full of insights about the role of nutrition in our government, industry, health care, and educational systems. If The Omnivore’s Dilemma opened my eyes to my role in our food chain, this book revealed the forces that created that food chain.

My apprehension comes from the fact that even more than the outdoors and my health, I value the people in my life, and this decision will probably present a challenge to many of my relationships. Vegans are impossible for most people to feed or even go out to eat with. By rejecting a nearly universal value of our culture, we project a “holier-than-thou” fundamentalism that alienates us even further. If we try to share our enjoyment of our choice, we just sound like dietary evangelists sitting in judgement over our friends and loved ones.

I don’t know what the social toll will be on my already reclusive lifestyle, but it feels like the right time for me to take this step to remain true to myself. I hope you’ll believe I still love and respect you, and stick with me as I become an ever greater pain in the ass!


8 responses to “A Vegan New Year”

  1. No cows… OK, I can see that. No milk, yeah, that can be done. No butter? How can you SURVIVE!

    As a climbing Vegan you can get lots of hints from Steph Davis’s blog.

    If you find yourself up North, feel free to drop in and challenge my cooking skills… I like a challenge. No butter… that’s gonna be tricky.

  2. Olive oil man! Or many other veggie oils. I keep some in a tub in the fridge.

    Steph is definitely one of my inspirations. In fact, I’m following her example of making one exception for cream in my coffee until I can shed that last crutch.

    Thanks for offering to step up to the challenge, I look forward to tasting what you come up with next time I’m up!

  3. oh god. now you’re one of THOSE people. i don’t know if we can be friends any more. sorry.

    (you can try silk in your coffee instead of cream. it’s not horrible.)

  4. i understand. It’s the last straw.

    The thing for me is that it doesn’t feel like a sacrifice, except for the coffee. So I’m just going let that one slide for now.

  5. Well, I guess I’m a little to blame….I gave Dylan The China Study. I became a vegan because of that book and then I sort of edged out due to the friend issue and because I can’t live without cheese, becoming a mostly vegan. But now I’m inspired by Dylan to give it another try. So what does Ann think of it? (And Silk creamer tastes just fine in coffee). Actually, no one believes this, but once you get going as a vegan, food becomes even more delicious than it was before. I can’t explain it.

  6. you still drink tho, right? i mean you’re not a total lunatic, right? i mean that’d be shear lunacy, right?

    let me know if you start developing boobs from the soy protein / soy milk / soy etc.

    – ted

  7. Or maybe he meant if you turn into a boob? Like the big one in “Everything You Wanted To Know About…But Were Afraid To Ask”.

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