Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Why Vegan? (for Jenn)

In response to a request from Jenn Hernandez (@cookinvegan) I'm going to try to give a short concise account of how and why I got to where I am today.  Unlike a lot of Vegans, I did not build up to this, I was not a long term vegetarian, I don't have an ethical axe to grind, I was, and am a relatively typical guy, who ate a diet predominately meat and potato based.  I was never a lover of vegetables, and my few friends in the past who were vegetarians, I had been known to question or debate with. In short, I was never someone you would think would give up anything, let alone "everything", and that is precisely what I did.

It wasn't without some provocation. My wife in the three months prior, had given up most meat. It started from her local yoga certification program. Her yoga colleagues were all Vegan, and much of what she was learning was lifestyle changes, not just yoga poses. I had no idea, I assumed yoga was just low impact stretching. How little I knew.  So she did introduce me to a lot of ethical concepts that I had never really considered, and although I was not completely convinced by them, I told her that I was willing to go all in, learn what I could, give up all animal based foods, without question, for 6 months.  I figure I needed some sort of escape clause, not knowing what I was getting into.  So when I returned from a trip to Denver, where I proudly told a colleague (as I was eating carnitas taco's), that I was giving it all up when I went home, I did just that.  In the span of a few days, my wife and I cleared the fridge and freezer, and for a few days I ate a lot of pasta and PB&J.  A lot has happened since then.  I have an 8 and a 10 yr old from a prior marriage that I have to contend with, I have an 11 month old baby at home as well.  Suffice it to say that when I hit 6 months I had only scratched the surface of what going Vegan meant, but I was not about to give it up.

I created the blog for a number of reasons, but mostly it was to record my process through this adventure, and help me understand what this conversion meant, and why I should want to continue it.  My adventure continues, as I struggle daily with the concepts that I never dreamed of.  When I gave it up, I knew very little of the Dairy and Beef industry.  I assumed you need milk for calcium, and meat for protein.  All of these myths are still weighing in on me, but I choose to maintain a Vegan lifestyle, while I try to understand it.  I see the blog continuing until such time I have "figured it all out".  I don't see that happening anytime soon, but I no longer look an escape clause, or a time when I would consider reverting back to my former self.


  1. I love hearing your story. It shows how much love you have in your relationship to listen to each other and really commit together like that.

    Ah the myths, they run deep. It takes lots of reeducation and continuing education.

  2. It's always great to hear the different paths that lead people to veganism. It's awesome that you supported your wife's lifestyle changes by going through them with her--Thanks for sharing your story! :)

  3. We all come from different stages and I love hearing yours. When someone goes "cold turkey" on something noone said it was going to be easy. I mean I did it and it was SUPER hard but I knew I had to do it. You ar a fighter, I know it. :D

  4. So you did it all for love :)
    That's what happens once you give up eating meat it's impossible to go back. It's good that you are at that point, you are over a huge hurdle.

  5. thanks for the comments. yes this was a big hurdle to overcome, now its hard to imagine throwing that all away and going back. think i'll stay this way for a while :)