I am currently on a wonderful holiday with two of the greatest friends and women alive. My lovely ladies: Christy and Kate. Neither Christy nor Kate are Vegans or Vegetarians but they are wonderfully supportive and understand that I'm not crazy or a wanker. I think the greatest part of this holiday was when Kate said to me: "Hannah, I always imagined that being Vegan would be hard, but seeing you this week, it just ISN'T."
Such a great complement! And such a good point. We go out to restaurants three times a day on our wonderful holiday (with the exceptions of just stopping for hot chips now and then...DON'T TELL ANYONE) and each time, there is perhaps an unspoken thought: "what's Hannah going to order?" and guaranteed, 100% of the time, there is at least one thing on the menu I can have. And it's always delicious. Very occasionally it is tempting to ease up on the Dairy issue; especially when at an Italian restaurant (for example: the gnocchi I ordered last night already had cheese INSIDE the gnocchi.... I mean, come on, I'm not crazy!) but most of the time, it's just not a problem at all.
I see the biggest challenge for Veganism being this misconception that it's difficult. How do you choose food? Don't you wish there was meat in that? How do you know it's not cooked with butter? Worries, worries, worries!
It may be hard to understand when it is so far from your lifestyle: but when you are doing it, day by day, meal by meal, it is just not even a challenge. Because you do just that: take it meal by meal.
Ultimately: it isn't hard as long as you have a firm, solid reason for never wanting meat or dairy. If you are giving up dairy because it's fattening, so you've become an "accidental vegan" you are more likely (in my opinion) to have dairy occasionally, maybe as a "treat" or "because I'm being bad today" and that's just not a good enough reason if you want to be Vegan for life.
Veganism is something to take very seriously and know wholly why it is a life choice for you. Your objection to Dairy should be nothing short of the disgust you feel knowing what animals are put through daily to provide that glass of milk. And obviously: the horrendous impact on your body is good motivation as well; but it shouldn't be the sole motivation.
I've been very flattered by Kate's interest in particular. She is very open to reading articles representing a Vegan perspective, wants to look at this blog and is happy to hear my rants about things! Very lovely of her! For most people, I think they will just decide that Veganism is just not an important enough cause for them to be interested in and want to change their life so dramatically. Animals: eh, not a big deal....don't love 'em. The planet, well we are killing that anyway, right? Obviously these are perspectives I do NOT understand on any level and I see Veganism as being a very small, easy but IMPORTANT way of making a huge difference, but I can happily accept that some people just don't choose this battle. Kate's battle involves wanting to volunteer in third-world countries and help educate the women there. I can't begrudge anyone THAT.
If someone is willing to do some reading and educate themselves about the truth behind meat and dairy and accept that this is a very relevant issue in our world today: I'm happy. My biggest issue is ignorance. Having no idea that meat is actually NOT that good for you, having no idea that it actually ISN'T natural for cows to produce that much milk etc. Because a lot of people just don't think about these things.
Having said that: I accept these things are accidental ignorance. We have been told our entire lives to eat meat and dairy. Told from childhood that milk gives us strong bones. Therefore: I call it accidental ignorance. There needs to be more information out there about meat and dairy, that isn't being funded by the meat and dairy industries! Both Peta and the goveg.com campaigns are doing some really interesting things like television ads which say "meat is murder". I don't know how affective these ads will be, but if it gets people thinking and wanting to go hit up Google and see for themselves: once again; I'm happy.
Just get informed. Please. Information is a valuable and brilliant thing. If you think Global Warming is a crock of shit, go and READ why people believe in Global Warming, I beg you. If I am dramatically apposed to something (like meat) I'll go and do my damn research and make sure I never look like a fool! Don't be a fool!
So, research, don't be ignorant and please do not make the mistake of thinking this is hard. It isn't.
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