Thursday, 5 May 2011


Yesterday at work, I craved cheeseburger. Just a simple McDonalds cheeseburger.  I could imagine just how it would taste to bite into it, and it seemed like it would be so simple just to get one on my break.  No one would have to know.

Of course, I'd know.  And that's the important thing.  Veganism, generally speaking, isn't something you do because everyone tells you you should.

My first thought was, "you really want to put a bit of dead cow and rotten animal fats in your mouth?". 

This is where I ran into trouble.  For years, as an omnivore, I'd thought that question, and answered 'yes'.  I was proud of not being squeamish.  Now I'm more of the opinion that it's better for me to be squeamish than so blatantly insensitive towards other creatures.

I thought about factory farms, about how animals are treated (on that note, if you are squeamish, I do not advise watching Meet Your Meat).  But, this time, it just seemed quite abstract, and irrelevant to the cheeseburger question at hand.

I reminded myself that all of my coworkers know that I'm a vegan.  This sounds silly, but it would just be downright embarrassing to let them see me eat meat.  So I drank some water, and had an apple, and the next time I thought about it, the craving was long gone.  Meat seemed like a totally abstract concept; it had gone right back to "you want to eat what?".

I should make it clear that I don't feel like this often.  It's not a total battle between my morals and my tastebuds all the time.  It's just, you get hungry, and everything looks more appetising, especially since, when you're out and about, your options are relatively limited.  One thing I learned early on, when I first started changing my diet, was to always carry a snack.  Have some soya nuts or some fruit on you.  It also helps to get an idea of what's vegan where.  For instance; McDonalds fries and apple pies, if you don't object to the risk of cross-contamination due to the pies being cooked in vats connected to the chicken and fish (I don't; it's not like they add special chicken or fish flavours to enhance the pies).

Meat doesn't taste unpleasant (although, to be quite honest, I now find that it smells disgusting when it's cooking).  That's not why I stopped eating it.  But, I eat better as a vegan than I ever have before.  And I feel better about it.

There's another bonus, too.  I was watching a scary film yesterday. As I mentioned, I am a bit squeamish, so I started to feel sick, which made me focus more on how my mouth and stomach felt.  I couldn't get the image of raw and bloody flesh out of my mind; it helped to remind myself that none of that stuff has been anywhere near me in the best part of a year, let alone sliding down my sensitive digestive tract.

Come to think of it, I don't remember the last time I threw up.  I used to get sick very frequently, as in, at least once a month, sometimes more often, for no apparent reason.  Now, the only time I get sick is when I have flu.

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