Veganism is not a weird religion or cult philosophy. It is just choosing what to eat at the next meal.
The crazy vegan fare listed included “bagels, margarine, oatmeal, Pillsbury Original Crescents, guacamole, ketchup, and Nutter Butters”–basically, a list of typical vegan items you can find most anywhere.
Remember, “vegan” just means “no animal products”. Vegan does not mean “crazy hippie soybean burgers”. My friend’s comment was good-natured but also a legitimate fact. Most of us are 50-75% vegan. That number would be naturally higher if more people understood how many products (food and other) sneak animal waste and by-products into our diet and lifestyles. Either way, though, vegetarian is our default diet, not meat and dairy.
You do not have to take my word for it. Think about this… a good, home-cooked American dinner might be a T-bone steak, steamed carrots with a dollop of butter on them, skillet-fried red potatoes, and a side salad, right? Guess what? Replace the butter with a little olive oil or margarine and everything but the steak is vegan–more than 75% there!
A vegan meal is just a normal meal with an extra helping of vegetables instead of meat, butter, or cheese.
Being vegan really is not radical. It is just healthier (usually) and does not involve killing or torturing anything to fill your belly. That seems like a good deal to me. Now, I am not a bleeding-heart vegan who will guilt you into making a healthier choice. I do not care what you eat or how you die. I am only responsible for my life but for people who are vegan-curious or just want to eat a little healthier, think about what it really means to be vegan (or a little more vegan). No dramatic life-changes are required. Just eat more plants when you have the choice.
One last thing to consider for those who believe or insist on forwarding misinformation about meat and dairy eating being natural… this is not true or even logical. Biologically speaking, we are much closer to vegetarianism or veganism than to being carnivores. If you think about it, catching and killing animals throughout most of human history was extraordinarily difficult. We did not always have guns, crossbows, or even machine-balanced and sharpened spears. Most animals are faster and better at camouflage than we are.
Even with all the tools and technology at our disposal today, most of us could not catch, let alone kill, skin, and properly prepare the meat of any animal. As a society, we are much smarter and better killers than our ancestors who first had to come up with the idea of a spear before actually figuring out how to use one.
Through most of human history, we only caged animals for dairy or killed them for meat out of necessity. Most of the time trees, berries, roots, and nuts were far easier to obtain. We simply are not meat-centric creatures and never have been.
I so loved the comment, “I am about 75% vegan after all!” Yep! Most of us really are close to 75% vegan. Do not buy into the idea that vegan is special or out of the ordinary. Vegans just do not have the marketing machine the big meat and dairy industries have (but we are getting better and you are seeing the word pop up a lot more than you used to… I think that is a good thing).
By the way, 75% is great but it is still just a “C” grade. Can we make the world just a bit better for us and the creatures we share it with by nudging that to a “B”? Maybe consider going for the extra helping of carrots or potatoes tonight instead of the extra helping of steak. It won’t kill you… and I mean that.
Today’s Lesson: Sometimes we are doing the right thing or heading the right direction and don’t even know it.
(A side note: I will never forget the morning my dad explained to me that he could never be vegan, not realizing we just happened to be eating a 100% vegan breakfast at that moment! I could not help but smile inside.)