Granola-crunching, veggie-munching vegan month
Itâ€™s much easier for me to make life-altering decisions or write something very profound when Iâ€™m 30,000 feet in the air. Wedged in a seat, elbow to elbow with a stranger for 5-6 hours non-stop, what else am I going to do but get lost in my head and think that becoming vegan is a good idea?
Yes, I would become a vegan for a month. Give up meat cold turkey the first Monday in June. Iâ€™d done crazier things before. Ran a marathon. Rode a bike in China. Became delusional on the Lemonade Diet. Contracted Salmonella and Giardia in Equador. Messed up my stomach again in Mexico.
You may have drawn the conclusion that I donâ€™t have the best digestion history. Maybe this vegan thing will help.
When I proudly shared my epiphany with friends, here are the responses I received:
â€œDuh. Itâ€™s about time!â€ I did go to Cal Berkeley and have been called a granola-head (despite wearing a suit) by my ex-corporate colleagues.
â€œYeah, Iâ€™ve been a vegan for 10 years.â€ Very matter-of-factly as if everyone is vegan.
â€œWhy?â€ Stare of utter disbelief.
â€œAre you crazy? Youâ€™ll look like an Ethiopian!â€
â€œHow can you do that? No meat? No eggs? No dairy? Impossible!â€
â€œGood for you. I wish I could do that.â€
â€œDonâ€™t do it. Wonâ€™t you miss meat? And didnâ€™t you lose a lot of weight on that Lemonade Diet?â€ By the way, I donâ€™t have much weight to lose.
â€œAre you trying to get into modeling?â€
Curious, nosy, freaked out, proud or shocked, you probably also want to know why. In order to explain, I will go back about six months, when I started school at Integrative Nutrition. I signed up as a meat-loving, I-need-my-animal-protein, Iâ€™m-in-great-shape-and-eat-healthy stubborn person.
In December, I questioned my digestion after interviewing all of my friends and family about their health histories.
In January, I raised my right hand and solemnly swore I was a sugar addict. It took over ten cavities with two between my front teeth to finally hit rock bottom and ask for help. My friend purged my kitchen of sugar leaving me with white, empty shelves (â€œYou call this peanut butter?â€ she said holding up a jar of processed white chocolate peanut butter. What can I say? Even Whole Foods cheats).
In March, I found out that, yet again, I had a parasite in my stomach.
In April, I cried for the first time at the inhumane way animals are treated in factory farms. I continued to cry over my ignorance.
In May, I did the Lemonade Diet (and lost my â€œethnic-Italianâ€ butt as it has been so delicately called by more than one person). In the midst of starvation and spiritual awakening, I quit my corporate job.
It now may make sense that trying the Vegan Diet for a month isnâ€™t such an off-the-rocker, absurd thing to do in June. I must mention at this juncture the source of my inspiration: Thomas Campbellâ€™s book, The China Study. If Socrates and Plato, the founding fathers of democracy, did it, and it will help prevent disease and cancer, I might as well try it.