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My Lovely Vegan

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It was the winter of 2007, and it was another cold, damp day in March. I had been separated from my husband for over a year now, and I began to fall into the same pattern. My pattern was one that occurred every Friday evening. Thinking back to the monotony, it actually excited me….a trip to Hollywood Video, a bowl of popcorn (heavily salted, of course), and my Boxer, Bandit, on my lap would perfectly complete my cozy evening.

An old friend dared to try and disrupt my comfort zone. She phoned me to speak of nonsense, which involved me going on a blind date with her attorney friend on this Friday night. I was not interested, but annoyed with all her feeble attempts, so I proposed I would have one drink, if she joined us. I know I sound vain, when I say, I felt as if I was doing her a favor. I sat back down in the recliner, and tried to ease my frazzled nerves. “I am not ready to date anyone,” I whispered to myself, “I am calling her back and telling her I do not feel well.” The conversation did not go well, and I was just glad my rejection call was over.

My precious son and daughter overheard the conversation and asked, “What was that about?” I told them the truth, as every mother should, “It was nothing,” I said. We all know, as parents, it never ends at nothing or never mind, so I quickly diverted their attention to movie night. “What movie should we get tonight?” I asked. My diversion was so quick and smooth, they didn’t know what hit them. Breanna requested Disturbia and Larry agreed, as he always requested red vines to make his evening complete. I put my long, warm, wool coat on and headed for the car. “Be right back,” I said, as I headed for the video store.

I pulled into my usual parking place and headed for the New Release Section, as always. The movies were arranged in alphabetical order. I scanned past movies that started with A, then through D and located Disturbia. As I approached the “H” movies, my eyes fell upon a dashingly handsome man with sparkling hazel eyes. I quickly looked away, when I noticed he was looking at me, too. I was puzzled with my attraction to this man. I did not know him, nor was I interested in dating. I had a pattern in my life, and I liked my boring life. I just turned down a blind date this evening. “What is happening?” I thought to myself. I tested my theory again. I told myself I would walk past him again, and see if he looks my way a second time. “Here goes nothing,” I whispered. I added a swagger to my step this time, and I pretended not to notice him. I felt quite foolish inside, actually.

Just then, “There are so many movies to choose from,” a voice commented out loud. I was embarrassed to look in the stranger’s direction, but I couldn’t help myself. “Yeah , I come here every Friday night. My daughter is hooked on the House TV Series,” I replied.  I hesitated, but then, decided to walk near him. “I didn’t know they rented TV series episodes, too,” he said. I showed him the movie aisle, where all the TV series were located, and we continued our sparkling conversation for another two hours.

He shared with me his news, that was rather exciting to him, but these words were foreign to me. He told me he was a Vegan. “Oh, is that like being vegetarian?” I responded in a curious tone. It was silent for a second, which seemed more like an eternity. My ignorant comment continued to echo in my carnivore brain. “Well, not exactly,” he said, “Vegans do not eat anything dairy, as well.” I should have shut my mouth when I had the chance, but the Leo in me kept spitting out these ignorant words, as quickly as they popped into my head. “You mean, no eggs, or milk or cheese? How do you eat pizza or a cheesy mushroom omelette?” I asked. I should have walked away when I had the chance. He responded, “I don’t, but there are substitutes out there that are much better for you.” Being curious by nature, I asked him, “Where do you buy your substitutes?” By this time, I was probably making him feel like he was from another planet, but my questions kept coming. We exchanged phone numbers and met the following evening at the coffee house.

Our first few dates consisted of my Vegan Love, sharing his video documentaries with me of Salmonella poisoning, while I ate a Chicken Caesar Salad. Needless to say, I poked around the chicken, as he peeked over my shoulder. I had been a carnivore since I was a little girl. My brother used to cut the fat from his roast, give it to me for human consumption, and it actually seemed normal to me at the time. So, we officially became an item, and I pretended I was Vegan for a few years, but my luck soon ran out. I would drive through the local fast food restaurant, eat in my car and leave the evidence inside my car, until late at night, when he was asleep. Of course, sometimes I would forget, he would drive my car, and I felt like a foolish, sneaky little girl, being scolded all over again.

A few years had passed, and it took more than a few Vegan documentaries to change my carnivore ways. He even supplied me with books, filled with the positive effects of a Vegan diet, and I agreed with the multiple positive reasons. My Vegan Love wanted me to convert to Veganism badly, and I knew I needed to make a better effort. It was not as if, I was being dragged to the gates of hell and forced to eat the rubbish from the garbage. Becoming a Vegan, or even a Vegetarian, just made sense.

I would like to share with you some of the key reasons people become Vegan or Vegetarian. These reasons may help another stubborn carnivore convert to a Vegan or Vegetarian diet.

1.  You will ward off disease.

2. You will manage your weight.

3. Your bones will be stronger.

4. You will have more energy.

5. You will spare animals from an early death.

Next week I will follow up on the details of why the above five reasons are proven to work.

I am now a believer and more passionate about my Lettuce Love.