When winter throws its blustery, cold, cloud-grey-darkened, frost-bitten tendrils around my summer-born soul, what possible reason could I be jumping up and down on tippy-toe about?
Say it with me: VEE-GAN-U-ARY.
Yes! It’s here! In all its glory. That time of year when all of the stores lay out vegan spreads and offerings like vegan adherents are regal frickin’ sunflower golden gods/goddesses to appease us.
Started in 2014 by Matthew Glover and Jane Land, it’s a UK non-profit charity event annual challenge in January during which anyone and everyone can explore the wonders of a vegan lifestyle with LOADS of
support. No meat, eggs, dairy, or animal byproducts may not send crowds running UNTIL they know what they’re gaining. This…is where you peek at the travel itinerary so to speak and your tastebuds get titillated.
Who are you without tastebuds titillation? Tell me?
I’ve been vegetarian since the last time I tried on two occasions to eat a hamburger in my late teens and got sicker than a hurl vixen.
Since there were hardly any offerings in the local grocery stores for anything without meat in them that satiated.
Since the time people gave vacant stares wondering what kind of disease/crime/mental depravity you had fallen victim to.
And yeah, since all the annoying times at socials when delivering your dietary status and the response would often be,” Oh, we’ve got lots of salad,” or “You can just pick the meat out of the pasta/rice/stew/etc.”
It was by no means a rapid transformation. Commonly used nutritional items gradually disappeared and then…for me, there was no turning back.
A morsel of chicken found in a dish that I had been assured was vegetarian made me gag.
And the pork this or that…a death sentence. Feels. Like. Umm. Dying.
I leveled up to vegetarian supersleuth.
But a vegetarian supersleuth who still consumed occasional egg and dairy products in some vegetarian products off the shelf (like Quorn.)
I also held an addiction to Häagen Dazs flavors of coffee and strawberry ice-cream that couldn’t let me go, a humongous appetite with exponentially high metabolism plus workout routine to boot, and a sensitive stomach and wallet when it came to trying new foods (Non-meat foods were pricier. Go figure.) I’ve teetered on the borders of veganism ever since, knowing once I disappeared into that wondrous realm, my gastronomy flora would be forever changed and settle for nothing else, so no backsies.
A lot has changed since those dark ages.
Non-dairy ice creams existing in dense, decadent lusciousness that are 'to-live-for' yummy and easily purchased or made.
Not only does Quorn now have a vegan range, but alternative brands effervesced to overflow the shelves with plant-based options, lowering the retail prices of hitherto expensive foods.
And life post-internet (yes, there was life before it) has recipes and substitutions at your fingertips that don’t leave an entirely plant-based wannabe hungry and deprived.
By happenstance, I found that my body functioned better, became less prone to the pathogenic mayhem that reduced those around me to cough-filled hacks every cold and flu season, slimmed down, and saved loads on grocery bills as those meats, eggs, and dairy packed a wallop I did not need in any economy.
Last year, I felt the biggest of let-downs when Veganuary ended. All the stuff in one of my favorite stores dwindled to dust nothingness and I bordered on undiluted morosity.
Such a joy today that there are a ton of Whole Foods stores I can saunter about in like a DIVA!
Next time, I’ll take pictures.
A caterer that I met recently, told me that vegetarian and vegan options are now part of a statutory requirement in the industry that she must fulfill.
*My eyes heart-shaped 'gtfo' saucers*
But as an about-face, I decided to start hoopin’ and hollerin’ from Veganuary day one and invite you to come along, whether it's for a day, a week, or the whole month. Whatever is manageable. Veganuary is a no-pressure event. Not that creepy person at the party staring at you with a deprived look so you feel all kinds of awkward. It really is a supported free-for-all and it’s yours for the titillation—I mean taking.
Last one there won’t find any vegan raspberry hot chocolate left though.
I truly appreciate that you took the time to read my story! Thank you!
If you enjoyed this or any of my other stories, feel free to do the heart-clicky thing, comment, subscribe at no cost, tip, kofi-me, pledge, and/or share with friends and social media sites. If you wish to promote in other forums, you can secure permission @thedaniwriter