Sunday, July 13, 2014

Vegan redux

About four years ago, I decided to stop eating meat. I won't pretend I haven't eaten a scrap of meat since April 2010 or so, especially during that first year or two. My first Thanksgiving with my family was tough. My first St. Paddy's with my family was tough (corned beef and cabbage. seriously.)

I think that's OK. It's important to revisit and reassess essential beliefs, making sure they still fit in the big picture. Each time I did eat meat, it was clear that meat still didn't fit in my big picture. I now haven't eaten meat (knowingly, ugh) in about a year.


For all the reasons I stopped eating meat, I thought I'd try to eat vegan. I wrote a little bit about it. It started as a 60 day challenge, and think it lasted a little longer. Like... maybe 70 days? Guys, not eating cheese is hard, and I am weak. 

Regardless, I became more and more lax. But there's always the tiny little voice...
"This doesn't fit in my big picture." 
"But cheese."

My job is also a lot of lunches and events where the takeaway needs to be my cause -- which has nothing to do with animals or the environment. Even when I'm eating eggs and dairy, my eating habits easily become a distraction from the subject at hand -- a distraction I've learned to manage, but a distraction nonetheless. Awkward conversations at work are part of the package. I get it. I've had those awkward conversations with coworkers, and they've been productive. For me, however, conversations with the external stakeholders (funders, specifically) are far more challenging. Those conversations are different. I have gotten really skilled at managing this and redirecting the awkward, and I am kind of proud of myself for it (pat on the back, self.) Still, it's a glimpse into my personal life I am not comfortable allowing.


Fast forward another few years of tiny voice stubbornly hanging on while big cheese voice does the same. This super lovely person started work at my organization, and she is vegan. We talk about cute animals and the pig sanctuary and favorite delicious vegan and vegan-friendly restaurants. She's long since moved on to another department, but I've thought of her poignant and completely nonjudgmental insight frequently.

"This doesn't fit in my big picture."

So, once again, for all the reasons I stopped eating meat, and on as much of a whim, I'm going to try this vegan thing again. Since last Thursday (one misstep... Kraft Mac and Cheese aka orange crack. It wasn't worth it, and I repent.) Maybe I need a new self-improvement challenge? I won't pretend I'm going to be perfect... but I'm going to try.

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