I recently became a (mostly) vegan. As a lifelong cook, doing so has required a complete reimagination of the way that meals are composed. In this blog, I’ll be sharing some of my lessons learned along the way, as well as my favorite, delicious, (mostly) vegan recipes. Before we get there though, I should mention the journey that brought me to this point.
Excuses & rationalizations
For the first 27 years of my life, whenever I met someone who told me they were vegetarian or vegan, I would immediately think to myself, “There’s no way I could ever do that.” I would come up with every excuse and self-rationalization not to stop eating meat, including:
Meat tastes awesome — there’s very little that can beat a good roast chicken or BBQ. And don’t even get me started on the deliciousness of fish fry, a staple of my Wisconsin heritage!
- Most restaurants serve really sad vegetarian/vegan options, and it sucks to order a side of steamed broccoli as your entree when everyone else’s meals look more appetizing
- The only time I’ve had a food cry (crying because the food tasted so good) was for a fish dish with caviar
- Who wants to eat salad all the time?
- Meat has protein, and protein is supposed to be good, right?
- Chicken soup is good for the soul and for helping to fight colds
- It’s hard to travel to other countries when you can’t eat 90% of what’s being served, or when people simply don’t understand the concept of vegetarianism. Here’s an example of an actual conversation I’ve had abroad:
Waiter: “Chicken is not meat, right?”
Me: “Yes, it is.”
Waiter: “Oh ok, but fish is ok, right?
- It’s cultural — most Taiwanese food includes meat, and it’s part of the flavor profile of my childhood favorite dishes
- It’s inconvenient for other people to accommodate your meal preferences — better to be able to eat anything
- I don’t actually eat that much meat*
* Lie. This is self-rationalization, obviously.
So what changed?