Saturday, 3 October 2015

7 Things Vegans Won't Tell You

1. Trick! Vegans will probably tell you all these things because y'no how vegans like to tell you aaaaaaaallllllll about veganism lol lol lol.

Although I think part of the reason vegans get a bad rep for this is actually on meat eating folk. I have noticed that I am not able to decline a single food article without encountering a four hour intrusive Q & A sesh on the moral journey and complex ethics that lead me to not want a bite of your hamburger.

Maybe it's ironic that I'm writing a post about veganism after saying that but hey, you don't have to read it.

2. Daiya is vegan cheese and it is no coincidence that they named it Daiya.

BECAUSE IT IS DIRE. I may be pronouncing it wrong however.

If you know me, you know I love love love sparkle heart throbbing heart double heart rainbow emoji cheese.

I avoid it now so how is that going? Is my life ruined?

No, it's oooooook. It's not so tough because I don't eat as many things that require cheese to make them taste good. For example; where cheese and ketchup tastes great on a meaty burger, hummus and garlic veganaise is a black bean burgers best friend. And vegan pizza slices are usually so packed with the weirdest toppings the sprinkling of cheese is more for texture (plus HOT SPICE and you're good) - take a look at this behemoth from Apiecolypse now.

The Pig Destroyer 
Creamy garlic sauce, House hot sauce, Hickory BBQ soy curls, Seitanrizo crumbles, Secret spiced not chicken, Vegan bacon bits, Vegan pepperoni slices, Garlic artichokes, Vegan smoked gouda, Vegan mozzarella.

Also, there actually are some great less processed cheese alternatives such as cashew nut cheeses which taste delicious, they're just a bit harder to find (but it is a noble and worthy quest)! If you're lucky like me you have lots of great local stores like this vegetarian butchers to explore.

3. "Look! We managed to make something that looks a bit like what meat eater's eat (but it doesn't look/taste as good and is actually a bit weird)!" - Vegan Food

If you follow the Instagram accounts of your cities top vegan food places, you will see what I mean.

Through Being Cool Vegan
Mac N Cheese

However, nothing tastes better than the moral entitlement of not harming animals and the environment using industrialized intensive farming practices am I right??!!!

IMHO vegan food is delicious - there are millions of recipes from all different cultures that just don't include or require meat and dairy at all. When vegan food tries to imitate processed meat and cheese dishes the results can vary, but it's great to have these as options when you get all nostalgic (lol to like 3 months ago in my case).

Side note: vegans have the best puns. What you may lose in flavour, you sure will make up for in light humour, I'm looking at you Hail Seitan sammich!

4. It's cheap.

Vegan pizza slice ~ $4.50

Regular pizza slice ~ $4.50

And we all know that is the only metric we need to worry about right?

No seriously, a pack of tofu is $1.29 from my local convenience store and that one pack will make scrambled 'egg' and substitute for meat in a couple of meals. Also, I find that most recipes re-use the same ingredients way more, so one weekly shop will cover you for a week's worth of recipes without any wasted ingredients. 

I was surprised to find the same is true if you want to extend that to cruelty free toiletries; for example, animal product free shampoo from Whole Foods is $3.99 (the same price, if not cheaper, than shampoo in Shoppers). Whole Foods is expensive for meat and dairy by the way, because it's all free range, organic stuff which obviously costs more. If you're just buying veggie stuff it's super reasonable.

Finally, the best part I have found about buying vegan products is that my reliance on big supermarkets has completely been replaced with small, local grocery stores and health food shops. I have found that they tend to have way better alternative selections and fresher produce - plus I can just grab stuff on the way home from work!

5. In Toronto, most regular restaurants, pizza places and take-outs have great vegan options

You don't have to be super antisocial and drag your friends to vegan brunch spots every weekend.

I learned that lesson quick. I had never really looked for vegan stuff so I hadn't noticed, but check your menu next time and have a look. Restaurants like Sneaky Dees and Grapefruit Moon, chain pizza places like Pizziola, and burrito places like Burrito Boyz all have awesome vegan stuff!

6. "Vegan", "vegetarian", "pescatarian" are just handy labels

You don't get audited every year for claiming to be a vegan. You can totally cheat. Ok, so people might get annoyed if you call yourself vegan and start eating bacon wrapped tofu.

For example, when I first started this I decided I was OK with eating some sea fish like shrimp (what the hell do they know stupid little sea insects) and maybe goats cheese (I have no idea why, I just thought when have you ever seen an unhappy goat).

Now I have learnt a bit more about sea fishing and how it's just a big giant net that catches everything in the ocean (duh) I try not to eat sea fish either.

But the point is, it doesn't have to be all or nothing! Just because you can't commit 100% to something doesn't mean you should just give up and not bother.

I probably eat about 95-97% vegan. So sue me. If I'm in a restaurant and they don't have vegan options, I'll order whatever I think is the most ethically friendly thing on the menu.

By doing some research, finding out how meat, dairy and fish is farmed and produced (and having super knowledgeable friends in the farming and animal welfare industries) has allowed me to form opinions on this stuff and make conscious choices about what I am OK with consuming. And it feels awesome.

7. "There is no way of living in the modern world without doing morally reprehensible things on a daily basis."

I stole this from a great article I read a year ago which had a big impact on me. We all know the world is fucked up and it feels like we are pretty helpless when it comes to making any real change, and while that isn't necessarily true, simple decisions not to consume products that you are aware cause direct suffering just feels like an easy win.