It was 2am. After spending hours, and ultimately failing, to get re-accustomed with my childhood bed, I resorted to thinking thoughts that only occur at these god-forsaken hours: Will Leo ever get the Oscar? What if our eyes were on our chin and our mouths were on our forehead? But what if Trump actually wins?….
Then, like the guardian angel he has always been, Stuart messages me, informing me that he has been suffering the exact same sleep-lacking problem. Now, Stuart is my best friend. He is also Vegan. But unlike my sweeping generalisation of Vegans, as influenced by the internet, he is nice and non-judgemental about my food choices. But after sharing the rather hilarious ‘Tofucken’ video by PETA on his wall that evening, the Vegan discussion inevitably arose. I had been searching for a new blog idea for a few weeks at this point and the more Stuart spoke about Veganism, and the issues surrounding it, the more I realised that my argument of ‘but…..bacon’ was not really a valid one. And so begun my decision to try Veganism for a month, in hopes that I could make more sense of this movement, and leave my ignorance on such topics back in 2015.
As with most new things, it felt as if all of a sudden, everywhere I looked, Veganism was there. Whilst walking around East Berlin at New Years, I was faced with posters advertising the new Vegan Bistro in town, my newsfeed became full of ‘Veganuary’ declarations, it seemed every channel I turned on the TV was discussing a plant-based diet. So I decided that February would be the month I would officially be on the receiving end of the #spotthevegan joke on Twitter.
In order to really understand as much as possible within this month, I plan to look at three main areas of Veganism:
– Ethics: I’ll be reviewing major documentaries discussing the moral, political and environmental issues surrounding Veganism and what we can learn from them
– Social Stigma: Why has Veganism been associated with snobby, judgemental people, and become the punch-line for many internet jokes? Where did this perception come from, and is it in anyway accurate? Is it possible to be Vegan on a Student Budget/Lifestyle? How problematic could it actually be?
– Taste: Last, but by no means least, is testing taste. Are there good enough substitutes for my staple non-vegan food? Is vegan food tasty? Can you tell the difference? Can you make popular dishes, like Pizza, Spaghetti Bolognese, Curry or Burgers, Vegan AND, most importantly, do they taste good?
And so begins my Vegan journey, as I say goodbye to my beloved cheese and meat, and hello to a different way of thinking and caring for our planet.