Every time that I do a vegan month (this is the third one and you can add one Vegetarian Awareness Month), I ask myself if I could continue the plant-based diet as a lifestyle. Each time, I end up finishing the month feeling healthy so that lands in the plus column. We always find some great restaurant food (Mharie and I have reviewed over 30 restaurants that are either vegan or vegetarian or at least have offerings) so that is good. Also positive is the effect on my bank account as meat products especially are the most expensive things that we buy, grocery-wise. And finally, I have to say that the effect on my conscience thanks to my month being both cruelty-free and my carbon footprint being considerably reduced is positive. So what could possibly prevent me from giving up meat, dairy and eggs for good?
I would certainly be able to carry on blogging both about the vegan lifestyle and what I was learning as well as the restaurants out there that accommodate a plant-based diet. I don't kid myself that anyone reads this thing and would be adversely affected by my not reviewing the other cool new places that open around Metro Vancouver as there is a full carnivorous food blogging community out there. I have to admit that I would feel a little self-righteous being one of the few promoting something better.
So what's the problem? What's the hold-up? Go ahead and commit already! There is no reason not to! The problem is me. I am weak and my kryptonite is fried chicken from the Frying Pan or J and G or a Birria Taco from Top Rope or Don Oso's or Spam Fries from Shameless Buns....and the list is long My moral compass is weak when it comes to some things. Even though I know that killing animals is wrong and bad for the environment, for me to declare myself vegan would be hypocritical and would not last. I would end up being no different than the "Junk Food Junkie" (you may have to Google that if you are under 50 or even 60).
What about vegetarian instead of full vegan? That is certainly an attractive-sounding option. I have to be honest that the move from vegetarian to vegan is not less difficult than the one where you give up meat. I happen to love cheeses of all shapes and colours and sizes. The point however is that just not killing and eating animals does not alleviate the cruelty. I'm not an expert but factory farming even if it is for dairy and eggs rather than beef and chicken can be pretty horrible. Organic, free-range? These as often as not are just labels that allows for high prices with out anything be very different.
So I'm proposing a compromise. No, I refuse to call myself a flexitarian. Everyone is a flexitarian! It's just a label that allows people to enjoy labels (and feel important) without actually doing anything. On the other hand, while this does not need to be a religion, I feel like there needs to be some commitment for it to mean anything. So I propose to go month by month and hereby declare February 2022 to be my personal Vegruary (doesn't really roll off the tongue, does it?) and see if I can keep this good thing going. Then after that, we'll see! Stay tuned!