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People notice, even when your approach to influence is of the “quiet” form. There’s a stereotype that vegans are skinny and weak.
And it’s a deserved one, because so many vegans have always been exactly that.
So instead of making two or three different dishes for dinner, I shifted to one-dish meals: pastas, stir-fries, gigantic salads, smoothies, and a grain, a green, and a bean all in one pot. I didn’t expect friends and family to change as a result of my decision. But — completely aside from this blog — I’ve had at least a half dozen friends excitedly tell me about how they eat less meat now.
It was a matter of practicality and simplicity, which, although less “gourmet,” fit perfectly well with other shifts in my lifestyle precipitated by my change in diet. Some have become pescetarian, vegetarian, and even vegan. Be prepared for a feeling of responsibility, and the compulsion to hold yourself to a higher standard than before.
Even after I became vegetarian, I turned this question over and over in my mind.
I knew that I wanted to quit eating animal products but just couldn’t imagine making it work.
But when the time was finally right, there was no question about it. Giving up the cheese isn’t nearly as hard as it seems. Life without cheese takes some adjustment, especially if you rely on it as an essential part of the few vegetarian dishes you can order in “normal” restaurants.My dad’s favorite line, when he tries some of our food: “This would be great with some meatballs! ” An uncle once presented me with a single piece of iceberg lettuce on a plate and announced, for everyone to hear, “Hey Matt, look. Now, vegan pizza is just pizza in my mind, and I haven’t lost a thing.” It’s a joke, of course, and the fact that he says it so often has itself become a joke. As it turned out the key to giving up that last bit of cheese — which I clung to for months — was simply deciding to do so. Being vegan doesn’t have to be more expensive, but it will be.I shop at farmers markets and co-ops and Whole Foods more than I ever did before I was vegan, and I pay extra for organic.Going vegan led me to learn more about food, to the point that I’m scared to be hyper-selective and skeptical about what I buy. Believe it or not, this has been the toughest part for me — I lost a lot of my interest in cooking when I cut meat and then dairy out of my diet.