Being a vegan can be tiresome. It is like being a misfit, outsider or loner. Often I ask myself what crusade I am on, considering I do not bump into many others with the same views as me.
The banting revolution took off. Why can’t veganism? Is it because the former includes heaps of animal products and people are able to adjust their diets, forgoing carbs, far easier than being a vegan?
True, it easier to get a snack as person who eats animal products. If I want a snack, I have to eat dry bread, fruit, nuts or Woolies beetroot crisps. It is not so easy to always find something to eat or nibble on as a vegan. I cannot imagine sitting in a board meeting eating a carrot or apologising for the crunching when I eat beetroot crisps. My standard order for board meetings, is that as a snack, I am served toast with just Marmite. That seems to be acceptable but I do end-up with Marmite on my fingers which gets onto my laptop keyboard as I type minutes! I can hardly sit there licking my fingers.
I have learnt not to judge those who eat meat. I still do a quiet audit of what is in the shopping trolley of the person in front of me at the queue in Woolies. I do notice the sausages, chops, eggs and biltong. I just look away in the end wondering if they notice the irony of the word “butcher” which is used with praise when referring to meat but with horror when used to describe a gruesome murder.
When I became a vegan years ago, I swung to the extremes. I did not want any animal products in the home. My poor husband and stepson were left eating chips, white rolls and pretzels. With time, I realised that my lifestyle ethical choice is personal to me. I did not want to force my views on those I hold dear. My stepson chose to continue to eat meat at boarding school but respected my choices at home. My husband became a vegetarian and I mellowed to allow eggs, fish and diary products in the home for them.
I could hardly deny them that when I was ready to accept that the cats (four of them at that stage) could not survive on a diet of vegan food. I admit my double standards when it comes to how lenient I am with the cats as opposed to my husband. For example, within a week, my little red cat has killed two mice and brought them to the lounge, playing with them, resulting in the one being decapitated (he was already dead if that is some solace). Now if my husband brought a dead mouse into the home I would reprimand him and ask him if he needed mental help.
Reading magazines is my favourite pastime. In the weekly magazine I subscribe to from the UK, I read an article on how to assemble the perfect charcuterie board. It reminded me that I am again against the mainstream. Eating meat is the norm. The article advised that putting together the perfect charcuterie board is about balance with a diversity of flavours and textures. It says: “try to represent a range of animals too: pork, beef, duck – even rabbit and goose….and don’t skimp on quality”. The words “balance” and “quality” do not spring to mind when I think of eating meat. Why “cow” and “pig” have to be labeled as “beef” and “pork” makes my suspicious mind think it is a marketing ploy to soften the butcher’s blow.
Happily though, the article includes a recommendation (although based again on “balance”) to counter the acid from the meat fat and salt: it says one should serve pickles, caper berries, tomato confit and other things I have never heard of, and also crisp breads and crusty sliced breads. This means that as a vegan, I would be able to forage on something and it will not just be the usual curly leaf parsley garnish.
You see, many vegans are all too delighted to accept nothing lavish; just something. Even a pickle will do and save you from being in a … pickle. 🕉