Why Vegan (for 30 days)?

28 Feb

A vegan diet consists of no animal products, whether that is meat, fish, dairy, eggs, or anything that comes from a living creature (like honey, for example).  For the last, oh, 6 years or so I have eaten a mostly vegetarian diet (no meat – beef, poultry, or pork, and very little fish).  There are some ethical, environmental, political, and other reasons for why I stopped eating meat, but that’s a dialogue I might open some other time.  Regardless of how I’ve labeled my eating habits, I’ve always found myself wrapped up in culinary adventures of many sorts.

As a kid, there was the chocolate chip cookies experiment (No, adding salt as a substitute for flour is NOT a good idea); the scientific discoveries (KD will be ready sooner if I add a little salt to the water); and the first time successes (Yes, french toast does taste amazing when sandwiched with jam on the inside!).  As I entered my twenties, a vegetarian diet just started making more sense to me for various reasons and I was faced with the challenge of turning my long-time favourites (mmm, chicken strips and cucumber) into vegetarian versions!  Well, sometimes the meat and potatoes meal just isn’t the same with tofu in place of meat and it becomes time to find some creativity.

I have heard many friends and family members declare, “I could never live without meat/cheese/other animal product!”, and while I can see what makes living without these foods seem undesirable and scary, I can also attest to the whole realm of flavour and texture possibilities that comes about with the creativity that vegan cooking requires!  To me, cooking and eating vegan is all about just that – creativity and possibilities.  As a vegetarian, I’ve often preferred a unique vegan meal to one that features a mock-meat substitute in the place of the meaty main dish.

So, why vegan?  The answer is: Why not?  Vegan cooking can be some of the most imaginative, incorporating flavours and ingredients from a diversity of cultures and continents.  It’s time to step outside the box by stepping into the world of a plant-based prerogative.

Join me this month (starting tomorrow!), as I tackle the challenges of giving up some of my most crave-worthy foods (cheese!) and enjoy the ‘fruits’ of my kitchen adventures (mangos!).

Let the good eats ve-gan!

(Is it too soon for a ‘vegan’ pun?)

Photo 17

Festive Squash!


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