I’ve been slowly trying to transition myself to a vegan diet. The problem is, it isn’t as easy as vegans like to make it out to be. For one, I’m a huge lover of cheese and ice cream. I haven’t found replacements that aren’t prohibitively expensive1 or aren’t gross2.
I’m also missing a good replacement for eggs. Where I live, I can purchase either Bob’s Red Mill egg replacer or Ener-G egg replacer. Bob’s Red Mill is expensive3, but I’ve never heard of the cheaper4 Ener-G and I’m almost afraid it will be gross. We don’t have Follow Your Heart’s VeganEgg here, so I’d have to order it on the internet and I’m not a fan of doing that when I don’t know if I’ll like it.
Another issue is my love of ranch dressing. Yes, I know there are vegan ranch dressings. But they’re not sold here. I’d have to order it online. I’ve already ordered vegan Casear dressing and loved it, so I’m sure I’d like the ranch but again, it’s expensive.
The final issue lies in the problems of going out to eat. We have a few restaurants here that have nothing for vegans. One of our favorites would literally have me eating plain lettuce salad from the salad bar and fruit because there isn’t anything vegan on their menu. There’s barely anything vegetarian on their menu, for that matter. Other restaurants in town are just as bad or worse. I know many people have said not to bother going to Perkins, but that you can eat vegan at IHOP and Chili’s. Which is great, except I’m not a fan of IHOP and Chili’s gets boring.
I know I can make items at Taco Bell5 vegan and there are a few items at Burger King I’d be able to eat, but unfortunately, my favorite veggie burger meal there would be no longer allowed as Morningstar Farms’ items aren’t vegan. I know I can go through PETA’s list of restaurants and look for vegan options, as well as checking some of the restaurants’ websites for vegan menus6, but when you have to tell your roommate that we can’t eat at Buffalo Wild Wings anymore because the only vegan thing on the menu is the veggie boat, that’s not going to go over too well.
So the transition has been slow. So far, I’ve stopped drinking cow’s milk and eating dairy yogurt. Now I just have to stop eating diary ice cream, cheese, and sour cream. I’ve stopped eating gelatin and avoid products that contain it7. I also need to stop eating honey, which might be a bit tricky because I do like PB & Honey sandwiches on occasion. And I need to stop eating eggs.
I’m also trying to transition to non-leather shoes, non-leather purses, etc. A great piece of advice I got from a vegan friend was to simply wait until current items I have run out/wear out, then replace them with vegan versions. This eliminates waste of items and money being spent on new shoes/purse/wallet when those items aren’t in need of replacing8.
Going vegan doesn’t have to be an immediate process, like some people would have you believe. You can do it in stages/gradually.
- NadaMoo Vegan Ice Cream is $7.49 per pint. Daiya and Follow Your Heart cheeses are $5.00-$8.00 per package. ↩
- I’m not a fan of Follow Your Heart’s shredded cheese flavor, So Delicious Almond Milk Ice Cream wasn’t thrilling, and Daiya’s shreds didn’t melt like they claim they do. ↩
- Around $12.50 per bag. ↩
- $7.99 per box. ↩
- Ironically, I work at Taco Bell. ↩
- Chili’s and Olive Garden both tell you what you can and can’t eat… Chili’s even goes so far as to warn vegetarians and vegans of possible cross-contamination with animal products. ↩
- Medications in gelatin capsules are the exception because I’m not usually given a choice in this matter. ↩
- While I could donate purses/wallets to Goodwill or other charities, I have bone structure issues in my feet that mean my shoes would not work for other people at all. ↩