I have been a life long vegetarian. Literally from the day I was born, my parents raised me to be a lacto-ovo vegetarian. I knew a lot of kids who were raised the same way, who looked longingly at the meaty treats the other kids were eating, but I was a rarity. I loved being a vegetarian. I was totally fine with my veggie burgers, while everyone else had the real deal. My food had never taken a poo, and I was cool with that. I even liked the word vegetarian! I loved milk, cheese, eggs etc, but that was as far as I wanted to roam into the whole animal product world. I was deeply, firmly entrenched in my comfort zone, and I liked it there. It never even occured to me that eating the discarded egg from a chicken or milk from a cow was a little weird, or (dare I say it?) gross. I would have been quite angry with anyone who suggested that farming these items is harmful to animals, after all, I'm not killing them, right? I not only disagreed with vegans, but I used to pity them. Those pale, thin fools and their alfalfa sprouts didn't know the joys of a hot fudge sundae, a cold glass of milk with a hot-from-the-oven chocolate chip cookie, or a feta cheese and spinach diner omelette on a Sunday morning. Most vegans I knew looked as though a stiff breeze would carry them away, or they might pass out at any moment. I always thought that if it weren't for the giant horse-pill sized vitamins they were always taking, the vegans would probably die. I always told people, "The day I meet a healthy looking vegan is the day I will become one!". Ah, how words can come to haunt us..... Turns out I just knew the wrong vegans. Bad cooks, who knew nothing about nutrition. Man cannot live by kale alone, and these vegans were simply not doing it right.
In 2000 my father was diagnosed with diabetes. This is basically the cause of death for most of my family's dearly departed, so this came as no surprise. It's a long standing curse that Butler's over 40 are diabetic, plain and simple. Unfortunately, my dad had a worse case than most of our relatives, and quickly discovered he was on the fast track for all sorts of lovely things, like amputation, blindness, kidney failure, death, etc. He went through all sorts of medications and treatments to no avail. He kept on a strict Atkins-like regimen that was gross and ineffective. (Turns out you need carbs to think and function, Dr. Atkins, who knew??) Despite dad's efforts, soon he was wheelchair bound, blind in one eye and having serious heart trouble. So after about an 8 year decline (with an unfortunate end close in sight), he tried my long dreaded enemy; veganism. And.......it.......worked. I was flabbergasted. Floored. Happy for him! But also eating my words. You mean, veganism.... is healthy?? At first I wanted no part of it for myself. After all, I'm not diabetic. Yet. But then I took a good long look at my life and realized I had to give it a shot. I am overweight, I have hypothyroidism, high cholesterol and severe allergies. I took a look at that list and realized that if I was being honest with myself, I had to admit that veganism would probably help with all of those things.This of course is easier said than done. I love milk more than anyone I have ever known. I used to drink two gallons a week almost by myself. Ice cream was my constant companion, and don't even get me started on cheese.... sigh. But despite my hesitations, I am determined to make a go of it. I call myself very-nearly-vegan for now, because I can't pretend I will never fall off the wagon. If you see me at Friendly's devouring a huge 5 scoop Sundae, don't judge me, I am weak! This blog will chronicle my triumphs and failures at veganism, and all the fun stuff I cook along the way. Thanks for reading!! :)