When I decided to do this, I knew that some of my friends and acquaintances would be against it. "Why would you want to do that to yourself?" one of my friends asked me not too long ago when I discussed being vegan. Yesterday, Scott told me that his vegan cousin looked unhealthy, Joe told me that I'd probably be tired, since I wouldn't be getting any protein, and that everyone he ever knew who was vegan was sickly looking. Erica started questioning me about why I was doing it, "Is it because of animal cruelty or for health reasons?" she asked. "I don't really want to know, I just want to be in your blog." (Hi, Erica! Your wedding was pretty!)
I expected all this, because people tend to have very strong feelings about food. I remember this from the time in my life when I was a vegetarian. In Texas. Cattle country. I got lots of comments about how my body needed meat or I would get sick, that I wasn't getting enough protein, that I wouldn't be healthy. I didn't believe it then, and I don't believe it now. I won't spew a lot of vegan propaganda at you, but I do believe you can get all the nutrients you need from nuts, beans, grains, fruits and vegetables.
Now, while some of my friends wouldn't be caught dead at a vegan restaurant, there are a few who will go along for the ride. I had vegan dinner with Clay tonight. Whoops! I promised I wouldn't mention his name. Let's call him Blay instead, to keep his identity secret. (He says he doesn't want the paparazzi following him around again.) So anyway, we met at a cheese restaurant (?) because the vegan restaurant we were going to go to was booked solid. Clay - I mean Blay - was having a glass of wine, which looked delicious. I sat down on the squeaky swivel stool and the waitress came up to me. "What can I get for you," she asked. "Do you have any vegan wines?" She stared. "All wines are vegan," she announced. "I'm sorry," I said, "but that's not really the case." "Hold on," she replied. "I'll check." She brought over the manager, who is vegan, and we discussed vegan wines and beers. It took me about 15 minutes or so of discussions with the manager and my iPhone apps (Veg-Out and iVegan) and barnivore.com to decide to drink a Brooklyn Lager while Blay and I swiveled on our squeaky stools like 5 year olds.
I hope that was the right choice. I might have already made two mistakes today. I went to the doctor for a physical and she gave me a tetanus booster. I know that sometimes they use eggs in vaccines, so I wonder if my shot wasn't vegan. Then I got a salad for lunch. I ate all the good stuff off the top - hummus, couscous salad, butternut squash - and then put my regular balsamic vinaigrette dressing on the greens and took a bite. Then I looked at the ingredients in the dressing. Honey. Honey, which is a no-no for strict vegans. "Oh, crap," I said, out loud, and I threw the salad away. My lunch ended up being lentil soup and a bunch of fruit.
Dinner was good, though, and I got a piece of vegan chocolate cake at Cocoa V, a vegan dessert place, afterwards. It was delicious. And satisfied my butter/frosting craving from last night's dream.
a note: Blay said that I need to post the pictures I've taken of the vegan meals I've been eating. Tomorrow. I promise.