Miriam: Going vegan – 2nd attempt!

Circular Cambridge is a season of events that celebrates progressive ways to design, manufacture, access, repair and reuse the things that we want and need in our lives. 

This is my second real life attempt at “Going vegan”. My first attempt was in 1987 as a seventeen year old who wasn’t in control of buying food, living in a small Welsh village with an extremely close friend whose family ran a milk dairy! I lasted a year – it was hard!

In 2013 my second attempt at Going Vegan was totally inspired by the weeklong CCF vegan challenge and by a few friends who have made the shift to plant based diets. I’d contemplated becoming vegan since the new year but the CCF challenge came at exactly the right time to enable me to shift from my “I’m a vegetarian who buys free range eggs and organic milk” to “I’m eating and buying a plant based diet for the sake of reduced suffering to animals and the planet”.

The importance of non-processed foods

I completed the challenge with ease and have naturally continued to eat a plant based diet.  I’m now in week 5!  I’ve always eaten non-processed foods, am in control of the household cooking and enjoy reading, planning and thinking about food.  Going vegan has opened my eyes to a whole new world of vegan recipe blogging which has been inspiring and amazing!

I love taste, flavour and nurturing self and others with good food.  I’ve successfully cooked dinner parties where nobody had a clue until the end of the night that they had just consumed a vegan three course meal.  However it hasn’t all been plain sailing and I’ve been mildly surprised at the difficulties I’ve encountered:

Be prepared for when hunger strikes!

Becoming hungry …   plan for when hunger hits because this is a vulnerable time especially when the non-vegan biscuits and cake are lying in abundance … I’m now carrying more fruit with me and a wee bag of seeds and nuts.

Eating out

Eating out – I’ve stuck to eating out in Indian restaurants and pizza restaurants who were v happy to make a cheese free roasted vegetable pizza – but I can see interesting times ahead … making phone calls and feeling like I’m creating a nuisance – ahhh well it’s all in the planning.

Desserts: a work in progress!

Sweet somethings – I haven’t yet cracked the perfect vegan dessert …  I don’t particularly want to buy shop bought applesauce and am not into egg replacers.  I have created tasty orange florentines and love cooking with coconut oil – so work in progress methinks!

Other people’s judgements

Judgements – Some people have taken my “Going vegan” as a green light to attack what I’m doing in a really aggressive manner. As if I’m a crank who just needs to be told so (loudly). It’s been quite strange and something I hadn’t planned for …  I’ve made a conscious decision that I don’t want to try and convert the world  – I’m just a human trying to live my life in as harmless way as is possible in hope that it has an impact however small.  Watch this space!

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