Well. I've been a vegan since last Monday. Today is the FINAL day. I wish I could continue, but it just can't happen right now. I'm not sure if it has anything to do with the elimination of dairy products, but I have not felt so hot this week. Fatigued and also straight up sickly from the allergies. My stuffy nose has woken me up the past three nights. Even if it didn't play a part in the downturn of my health, this diet hasn't made me feel any better, and so I'm not going to continue. For now.
That said, I would like to commit to going vegan one day a week. I really believe it makes a huge impact environmentally, on the part of the animals, and on our health, as well. When I live in my TH next spring, I'll have a kitchen and will be able to do a lot of vegetarian/vegan experimenting. On the meal plan, times are rough. Being a vegan pretty much means eating the same thing repeatedly. And even if these things are healthy, it's important to have a varied diet. I just don't feel I can do that in the cafeteria. But next spring, watch out, because I will be cooking up a storm.
I think one day I'll try going vegan permanently. But I would do a slow phase out of dairy products so it wouldn't be a shock to my system. I mean, if you've eaten something all your life, it makes sense that the body would freak out if you immediately said 'No more!'
And it hasn't been terrible this week. I mean, yes, I'm pretty fucking astounded that I've gone a whole week without cheese. (Last week without bread and this week without cheese? I've lost my identity). But I've still been able to make healthy and relatively delicious dining choices. And I've done my best to not eat peanut butter at every meal.
Also... I don't know. I feel like breaking my veganism or vegetarianism every once in a while—and I'm talking pretty rarely—wouldn't be the worst thing. I sort of feel like a bad person for saying that, but I don't think it has to be a strict, forever thing. With every day that I refrain from eating meat (or dairy) I feel like I'm doing a good thing for the earth, the animals, and myself. And so I think if there are a handful of days out of 365 that I break it, it's not the absolute worst thing. I don't crave meat, though. I think the only time I would eat meat is if I was in another country and it was a delicacy, something the country was known for. Even then, though, I'm not sure. I haven't encountered that situation yet.
But my beloved cheese! If I had to forever swear off baked brie or bagels with cream cheese or quesadillas... I don't know what I would do. It's selfish. It is. And maybe one day my opinions will change. But at least I'm aware. I'm aware of the realities and so I make better choices with more frequency.
Here's my dream (and it's one that I never thought would be my dream and probably still isn't because I'm totally idealizing it and neglecting to think about all the nasty stuff): Live on a farm. A big, open farm of my own with cows for milk and chickens for eggs and someone that can make cheese for me (is that possible? just like, one person to make me cheese?). Perhaps in my retirement years. It's going on the bucket list.
I don't know. It's hard. It's hard to do the right thing, especially when you can't see the immediate results of your decisions. It's faith, though. It's believing in something even when you can't always see it. It's knowing what is right despite what anyone says. And no, I can't be totally sure that vegetarian/vegan is the way to be. But I know there's evidence out there, and I take comfort in the fact that there are no living things on my plate.