Thursday, January 13, 2011

Protège moi de mes désirs

The Quest stands upon the edge of a knife. Stray but a little, and it will fail, to the ruin of all. Yet hope remains while the Company is true. 

For one reason or another, when I think about eating something non-vegan, I hear Galadrial in the back of my head talking to me. Seriously.

This is a bit dramatic, but there is a lot of truth to this. I used to smoke, I mentioned this in post I put out in late summer last year. I commented on how much I enjoyed smoking. I quote: "I used to smoke, and I was good at it. No, I was great at it. I was the best smoker you ever saw, and I loved it..." This is precisely why I could never entertain lighting up another cigarette. Oh I have had a few in the last 5 years, but I swear on "someones" grave, I did not inhale. I knew better. Once that smoke hit my lungs, I'd be hooked again. At least I recognize my addictive nature, and avoid getting sucked back in. I even toyed with giving myself rules to allow myself to smoke. Like, "Only smoke when you travel", but then I travel too much for that, so I said "Only smoke when travelling Internationally". That sounded better, but almost immediately I started eyeballing Canada (which isnt all that far away). I could see myself making an excuse to go to our Detroit office, then slipping into Windsor for some debaucherous behavior. No, not that,.. just pull over, have a few smokes, then drive back. I can imagine what they would say at immigration. "Purpose for visit? Oh, I'm just coming over to have a smoke". Clearly I couldn't trust myself with rules. It was all or nothing,.. well,.. it was nothing.

You see my point. Just one slip, and I come crashing down. This is how I feel about my now nine months of veganism. I watched TV last night, as I am oddly addicted to Glee (not related to the point I'm trying to make, but it may be relevant at some point), and there was a slew of commercials on for the crappiest of foods out there. Pizza, Fast Food, Fried Chicken, etc. And it all looked soooooo good. I could smell the Pizza, feel the crunch of the Fried Chicken as I sunk my teeth into it,.. and Subway has a new "big hot pastrami" commercial. Come on are you serious? A Subway commercial of all things? Yeah, I'm not always haunted by classy stuff, its not Ruth's Chris and Morton's that are haunting me, its the Jersey Mikes, Jimmy John's, Quizno's genre that is causing me the greatest stress. But lately, its that damn pastrami commercial. That commercial feels like it was made to taunt me specifically.

Maybe its the new year, the holidays are over, work has slammed me once again. My happy festive spirit is long since gone, my gallettes were a train wreck (still pondering though). My travel schedule is getting brutal, and my general mood is declining. Its probably just that post holiday slump. I feel like this veganism is narrow path along the face of a cliff, and there is an easy way off. (No, not the Mines of Moria) Just eat the cheeseburger, and put all this madness behind you. What good am I doing? One vote never counts, despite whatpeople tell you.

I dont really have anything tempting in the house anymore, but I've been thinking about how I could cheat, and not tell anyone, keep it from my wife, my family, keep it off twitter. I have daydreamed about going to Jimmy Johns and just sitting in my car, disposing of all of the evidence, then going on my way. Man, I could NEVER pull that off. I'd have guilt written all over my face,.. and then I'd just want to do it again and again. My wife would see right through me. I could never keep a secret from her.

Its a struggle, and I'm just surprised at myself a little. I've read a number blogs of people converting, and then within a couple of months, they have all but sworn off any desire for meat or dairy. I wonder if that desire will ever go away. I have changed, there are things that now give me pause, where i never used to give them a second thought (ribs for example. now the thought of sucking on bones is a bit disturbing). Thats good, right? It is much more gradual than I had thought though. This is going to take years or longer to get this behind me. Or is it like smoking, where it never quite goes away, and I have to give myself an out. When I turn 80, I'm going to take it up smoking again. At that point, what harm could it do? Too late to kill me then. So maybe I'll have a steak as well. My luck, I would cease up and die on that very spot. I would forever be remembered as the long time vegan that died face down in a hunk of meat with a marlboro burning in an ashtray. Ok, maybe I wont have that steak, but I am having that smoke.

It's the disease of the age
It's the disease that we crave
Alone at the end of the rave
We catch the last bus home

Corporate America wakes
Coffee republic and cakes
We open the latch on the gate
Of the hole that we call our home

Protect me from what I want...
Protect me protect me


  1. This is eye opening for me. This may sound naive, but I assumed all vegans didn't want to eat meat. I'm learning this is not true. People give up meat for different reasons.
    You gave it up for ethical reasons. I gave it up because the taste and sight revolted me. I think I have it easier because I don't want to eat it. It takes a lot to stop eating something you still want to eat. I believe it will get better for you. You are stronger than your desires. P.S. love that the title is in French. Go on with your bad French self.

  2. yeah, i wish i could say exactly why i gave it up, but then that is the purpose of this blog to figure it out. why i turned vegan is the question i'm still answering. giving up something you love has been daunting for me, and at this point, i was hoping to be on easy street. i'm far from there. thanks for the comment neven :)

  3. I recognize that I have it easy, too, because I never liked meat or cheese or dairy or creamy things (cheese especially, ugh). But outside of just veganism, I know how hard-to-impossible it is to give up things you love. There are foods I KNOW I'd be better off never eating, but I've let myself slip several times over the years. Food addiction to ANY degree is the toughest of any addiction, I think, because we need food to live. When you gave up smoking, you knew you never HAD to smoke a cigarette to begin with. It was a one-time choice. But you can't swear off food forever. Instead, we have to make the choice 3-5 times a day NOT to eat crap. It's tough.

    PS - nice call on the Placebo lyrics :) They're a favorite band of mine.

  4. PPS - If you're looking to stop for a vegan meal in KC on your way back through, check out FuD, Eden Alley, or Cafe Seed :)

  5. thanks amber. it is a food addiction no doubt. hopefully the cravings will subside, lately they seem as strong as ever. i'll survive, we made awesome vegan chili dogs tonight :) thanks for the kc tip, i'll probably be back, to snowy the other night to explore anyway. nice catch on the lyrics, they are a favorite of mine as well

  6. LOVE the lyrics - thought they were a poem you wrote ;)

  7. I used to be a RAVENOUS carnivore before I went vegan. But after a while, and a lot of research into the meat and dairy industry, I have lost all desire to eat meat. I spent a solid year craving chicken wings, that was my major temptation. I used to love chicken wings. Now, after 3 or so years of veganism, the only thing I crave from time to time is eggs. That was a big surprise to me, since I never ate eggs that much before.

    Stick with it, it ought to go away eventually. If not, watch documentaries (try "Food Inc" or "Food Matters") when you're feeling weak and it ought to help :)

  8. thanks for the email, and the comment hannah :)

    ashley, i would categorize myself as pretty ravenous as well, and i was just tonight with a colleague having wings, and i oddly didnt crave them. that was a suprise. i thought the cravings would subside sooner,.. in it for the long haul :)

  9. Hey Brian,

    Sorry to see you're suffering. I too had (have?) cravings for non-vegan things. When I first turned veggie I craved bacon, despite never having liked it when omnivorous! Weird. I still have cheese cravings but try to concentrate on the knowledge that these things are cruelty-products. Maybe this is why vegans are so often such food-obsessed people, always cooking up a storm because we're actually a bit addicted to food! Often I think it's a texture thing too, whenever I get egg cravings I have avocado on toast and it really hits to the spot. Cheese-cravigngs? Thinly sliced and roasted polenta on crackers with cucumber and houmous does the trick. mm mmm.

    You could make yourself feel a bit better by chowing down on some tryptophan-rich foods like tahini, spirulina, oatbran, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, parsley etc. Maybe it'll help get you out of your funk.

    Good luck!

  10. Watch Earthlings and then reconsider why you made the jump to veganism. I was vegetarian for 35 years before I took the vegan plunge so the cravings were never for meat but I still miss the tang of greek yogurt and a little crumble of bleu cheese on a salad. Somehow the vegan substitutes just aren't the same. So I gave up trying to find replacements and gave in to all that is out there that's vegan and delicious!

  11. thanks leigh, i will try your suggestions. clearly i've been having lustful food thoughts, and am trying to keep them in check.

    dawn, i confess i have never seen earthlings, and i've actually put off watching it. my wife gets mad at me because i dont like to watch those movies. i just have a hard time watching the cruelty. i know it exists. there was a case in ohio last year with a dairy in columbus, and the showed the videos on the news. i saw just a little and cried. the images stayed with me, and still do.... i'm trying to make the connection. i can logically do it, but i'm working on the emotional connection. still a ways to go. thanks for the comment