Sunday, May 27, 2018

Vegan Most of My Life

It's not a birthday. Not an anniversary. But Saturday was a special day for me. It marked the point when I had been vegan more than half my life. I've now been "vegan most of my life." So I want to reflect on the journey.

Cake I made, 2008
Yesterday, I celebrated with a savory crepe and a roasted banana macadamia ice cream cone at the PT Farmers' Market. When I was a teenage vegan in Florida, I never could've imagined I could get vegan food like that (without making it myself).

Me in 2004 - homemade cheeseless pizza and pudding parfaits

It's why I got so into cooking and baking--there were no restaurant/grocery options for me at the time. I wanted to be vegan, but I never wanted to feel like I was depriving myself.

Me in 2007 at Maggie Mudd's in San Francisco

 I went vegan when I was 17 years + 143 days old (or 2,703 days old). I had been transitioning for years already, since my nausea over a 9th grade fetal pig dissection made me consider for the first time what I was really doing when I ate meat.

It was a slow transition, because I had never met a vegan or even a vegetarian. The one 9th grade friend who called herself vegetarian had actually just quit eating cows/pigs, and so I started that way too.

Eventually, I stopped eating all animals, but I still hadn't met a vegan in real life (though by high school we had the internet, and I had a big internet crush on a vegan who lived far, far away) when, with my dial-up internet, I saw PETA's "Meet Your Meat." I only had to watch it once, and I realized I needed to go vegan.

My Famous Cowboy Cookies
I set NYE 2000 as my moment and went to work learning to bake (my first chocolate chip cookie experiment--just using water instead of eggs--was a big failure) and learning what I could get at various fast food restaurants (because that was still my family's norm). I learned how to read grocery packages, memorizing which long words were vegan and which weren't (I was still eating so much junk with such long ingredient lists). This was before packages put allergen warnings in bold, before stores specifically catered to vegans.

Charles at The Cookie Counter
Me and Baby Tzivia at our old pizzeria

Because I have this experience, of having to do it all myself, and of initially putting off veganism (and even vegetarianism) because I really just didn't know anything about it, didn't know anyone to guide me or model it for me, I want everyone to know that my family is always here to guide you, to talk about it, to explain or to listen, if you're thinking about veganism, or even just eating more plants and less animal products.

Harvest Feast (Thanksgiving) in Florida, 2016

I've read that every 7-10 years, the cells of our body have been completely replaced, even our bones, that we become brand new.

For 2,703 days, I ate animal products, probably every single day (even on Yom Kippur, as the fasting goes from sundown to sundown). I built my body out of other bodies, out of cows' breastmilk, out of chickens' periods. Out of carcasses.

For 2,704 days, I've been vegan.

reading my article in the new issue of Raise Vegan

My body is made out of plants, and it's a strong, healthy body.

It's never too late to go vegan!

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