Settling In

30 May

I’m a couple of weeks away from 21 months vegan and I feel like I’ve hit an equilibrium. I’m used to it. I’m not saying it was hard at first and then I gradually got accustomed to the change. Nope, it was surprisingly, I’d even say shockingly, easy from the beginning. I quickly found enough stuff that I liked to eat and then it became a matter of just filling it in at the edges. In fact, when this former meat lover recently walked into a Mexican restaurant, he was talking about himself in the third person. I mean, he smelled a few dozen strips of steak on the grill and almost gagged. Weird. I guess my body has made some changes, had some pathways re-wired perhaps.

I started this blog because when I stopped eating animal stuff my head was full of thoughts on the matter. I think I’ve now written about most of them. As a result, unintentionally, I see that I’ve been mostly writing about restaurants lately. Maybe this is useful to people in the greater Los Angeles area but is it interesting to those of you in other parts of America or around the world? Should I go back to my pseudo-philosophical essays? Should I keep it a mix of the two?

I also started putting some photos up on Instagram @insufferablevegan — different products I use, meals I cook, lunches I grab here and there that don’t warrant a full “review” or are from places I imagine you already know of and don’t need to read about at length. But I do get a little worried about food-porning it. Yeah this is good for the animals (I think and hope) but to start posting photos of glorious food for worship seems to be rubbing something in the face of people who can’t afford glorious food, whose lives don’t include the possibility of glorious food, who can’t even imagine that there are idiots out there using terms like glorious food, or who have no food at all (and presumably then no Internet).

I’m curious if other people felt a settling in at some point, if you started to feel that this is what you do now, whose friends started to all finally get it that this is what you do now and that it’s not a lark or a diet. And if so, at least for the people who have started this in the last year or two or three, do you think it’s about people getting used to it, or more about the vegan slow train coming? When I started this almost two years ago, when I met a certain supervegan and wasn’t even sure what the word meant, there probably wasn’t too much that could have been more alien to me than changing one of the basic activities of life. When I asked this person who had obviously thought through their connection to the planet way more than I ever had if they were “New Agey” I did it with zero awareness of  how I was the exact idiot who crosses my path every few months and asks me if I’m doing it “for spiritual reasons.”

But what feels most significant is that 21 months ago nobody was using the V word and now everyone seems to be and I think it’s for more than the way that when you learn a new word you suddenly start seeing it everywhere. I think there really is an eruption if not an explosion of vegan awareness, at least in what passes for educated, informed and aware society. There seems to be an interest level in the population that far exceeds the number of people who are actually vegan or vegetarian. People sit across the table from me chewing their chickens and telling me how they admire it or need to try it or are “getting there.”

I think this is a good sign. It’s probably a great sign. I’m old enough to remember when I told people that gays should be allowed to marry and they thought I was institution-worthy nuts. But as the older generations return to the earth and the pushmower of life brings up new ones, the attitudes have changed, and so with this too. (I’m comparing, not equating. Please don’t go ape-shit Mr. Animal Eater when I mention slavery, Nazis, suffrage or gulags. Please don’t ask me why I like animals better than humans. Does it really mean it’s open season on animal torture until the last starving child is fed?)

Thanks to everyone who’s been reading, following, commenting and retweeting.

Hopefully we’ll get to the point where a consensus is reached on the barbarism. And hopefully eating this way will let me live long enough to see it.

8 Responses to “Settling In”

  1. The Beet-Eating Heeb May 30, 2012 at 1:10 pm #

    The Beet-Eating Heeb has experienced a similar evolution. Meat dishes that used to make his mouth water now seem disgusting.

    By the way, what is the Ali G reference?

  2. Midge May 30, 2012 at 1:28 pm #

    Congrats on being a 21-month vegan! If you remember in previous comments, we kinda started at the same time. I’ll be celebrating my second veganniversary (if there’s ever a word) on June 20th :).

    I think I have settled in for the most part, although I have to admit there are still very rare occasions when I forget to ask certain questions when ordering at a non-vegan restaurant (that was not my choice to go to). I have had to unfortunately let some things go in exchange for being a total vegan bitch, which does not help the situation, and reassure myself that I did the best thing I could in the situation. My family has also finally warmed up to the idea that this vegan stuff is not just me having an early mid-life crisis. My sister now always makes sure to get me something I can eat when we have parties (she got me some faux bbq from Long Beach Vegan Eatery one time, which I appreciated, but sadly I will not be checking out that place again on my own), and my Mom recently started setting aside meat-free versions of spaghetti or pancit (Filipino noodle dish) for me when she makes them. There’s a bit work left to do on the ethical aspect but I’m getting there.

    Yes the vegan train is coming in slow, but that’s okay. One thing I have to say though is that Cupcake Wars, a show that’s quite mainstream, has already produced three vegan champions. Nuff said :).

    I really dig your style of writing so please keep at it. Hey, maybe I’ll meet you someday :).

    • insufferablevegan May 31, 2012 at 8:35 am #

      Hi Midge, That might be fun to do sometime. And thanks for your readership and support all these months — it’s much appreciated. Sorry to hear there was no L-O-V-E for L-B-V-E as I have been meaning to try that place. and btw, is Cupcake Wars the next book in the Hunger Games series? ;)

  3. vegansrus May 31, 2012 at 2:55 am #

    I can remember a similar “settling in” feeling. It arose when I realized that there were no physical or cravin down sides to being vegan. My health had maintained itself, and I desired nothing of an animal product.
    I’ve battled often since becoming vegan, but after “settling in”, never with myself.

    • insufferablevegan May 31, 2012 at 8:38 am #

      I have the odd craving once in a blue moon, like if I see people enjoying a good-looking pizza. Then I remember that I can get myself 95 percent of the way there with vegan items, often even 100.

  4. havegonevegan June 1, 2012 at 11:50 am #

    Have to admit I skip your restaurant reviews, but am always drawn to the pseudo-philosophical-psychological posts. Keep ‘em coming!

    And yes, I do believe there’s greater vegan awareness out there — much more so than when I went vegan four years ago. Not sure if there will be a tipping point in the next fifty years of my life, but ya never know. ;)

    • insufferablevegan June 1, 2012 at 4:12 pm #

      HGV: thx for the feedback! I will try to write my pseudo posts more frequently. I appreciate the interest.

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