September: The season for vegans

Dana Fulton Courier staff

Editor’s note: This column will be part of a three part series following this staffer’s journey. I stared at my bacon cheeseburger with lustful eyes,

the grease gleaming under my kitchen lights. I immediately began to rethink the project I was beginning the next day — the reason why I chose this meal. I looked around the table at my family, a group of carnivores,

and told them for the month of September, I would be a vegan.

Not a single person I have told has understood my choice. It is simple. “Attempting to be a vegan for a month” is on my bucket list — and I must accomplish everything on that list. A few people have asked “why now?” to which I reply the clichéd “why not?”

I should make a few things clear so that no one is confused by the course of my journey. There are three different types of vegans— dietary, ethical and environmental. Dietary vegans avoid consuming animal products,

while ethical and environmental avoid using animal products entirely.

I will be following the dietary vegan plan for the month because, while I do not own any leather, I do not have ethical environmental reasons to

preach about.

Although I use the term “dietary vegan,” this month should not be viewed as a diet. The objective is to view other’s perspectives on veganism and

go through the perils of selecting non-animal based food. It is also to help myself and others become aware of how much of our food does involve animals in some way. It is not, and I repeat not, a means to cleanse mybody or lose weight.

I promote both these practices,but they are not the purposeof this month.

While many people ease their way into the vegan lifestyle, I dove in headfirst. Yes, I stopped my milk-drinking, cheese-nibbling, meat-devouring habits at 12:01 a.m. Sept. 1. And, yes, I was eating a chicken lip at 11:45 p.m. I am only human.

My first day was far from easy. Saturday morning had me craving donuts.

Alas, I ate a handful of carrots and an apple. Around 10 a.m., when my stomach started growling, I realized I needed better, more filling options.

Like I said, this is not a diet; it is a lifestyle switch. So I skipped off to the local grocery stores in search for options.

My shopping experience excited me for the upcoming month. I explored the fresh fruit and vegetable items. Many of them I had never tasted, let

alone heard of. I decided to settle on a few safe choices — nectarines, plums and snap peas. Plus, a venture down the milk isle had me purchasing Silk coconut milk.

My hopes are high; maybe I am overly ambitious, but I prefer it that way. I plan to gain as much as I can from this experience.