If you’ve ever asked a vegetarian why they don’t eat meat, I suggest you read Elizabeth Kolbert’s review of Jonathan Safran Foer’s Eating Animals in The New Yorker. Actually, just read it anyway. Eating or not eating, consuming or not consuming is a personal choice but also a moral one; whatever choice you make, at least make an informed one. Food for thought is only a click away.
I’ve been a vegetarian for twelve years or so. I’ve been curious about veganism all that time but thought I could never do it – I’ve always loved milk and cheese too much. This year, however, not only veganism but also raw foodism came up in my blog reading more and more until I thought I really ought to do something about it – if for no other reason than an earnest attempt at improving my poor digestion. Reducing gluten in my diet was a part of the same enterprise: for the month of August I gave up dairy, wheat & rye & barley, sugar and yeast, just to see how I’d feel – and I felt fine, better than before. I’d still been eating eggs, but I gave them up soon after when I just couldn’t bring myself to eat that last egg lurking in the fridge. And although I tried eating some cottage cheese about two months ago and although sugar has crept back onto the menu (and is hopefully creeping back out again), I haven’t felt like going back. I haven’t felt like eating eggs. I rarely get a desire for milk, and amazingly have not been overcome by cheese cravings. Grains (& the sweet stuff, obv) are the hard part, actually, and even that’s not so very hard.
Summa summarum, so far so good. I haven’t gone completely vegan and I certainly haven’t gone all raw, and I don’t think it makes sense to impose on myself any strict rules about doing so. Rather, I’m trying to learn to cook/uncook & eat a variety of foods I’ve never tried before. I’m fighting a tendency to eat the same thing every day and learning how to use some unfamiliar vegetables. Also, as long as I cook them myself, I know that there aren’t surprise ingredients lurking in my meals. Adieu, additives. Health reasons are good reasons.
Ultimately, though, it’s about not having an alternative. I entered the labyrinth and now, to find out what things are like on the other side, I must keep going.