Plantastic: Vegan. Ish.

Updated: Jul 10, 2019

By Anne Trominski:

A vegan, a crossfitter, and a bitcoin miner walk into a bar. Who starts talking first?

Hi, I’m Anne! Have you ever thought about being a vegan?!

No, no, don’t leave! I’m not one of those vegans. In fact, if you talked to one of those vegans, they would explain to you that I am not, in fact, a vegan.

For one thing, vegans are hardcore. Veganism really is a moral state of being more than a way of eating. Those vegans became one of those vegans because they truly believe it’s wrong to harm animals so that we can have tasty bacon cheeseburgers. Mmmmm, tasty bacon cheeseburgers. (Helpful hint: if someone drools a little when they type the words “bacon cheeseburger,” they’re probably not one of those vegans.)

A lot of people arrive at veganism when they start to learn about where our food is sourced. (If you want to know what I mean, and possibly become one of those vegans, check out “Food, Inc.” on Netflix.) It’s not pleasant to say the least. Most of us don’t want to be confronted with the cold hard facts of where our chicken tenders are coming from, and when we do start to think about it too much, we might opt for salad for one or two meals, but eventually it gets shrugged off to the pile of “how much time of my life is wasted in traffic,” “I contribute to how expensive movies have become by continuing to attend them,” and other uncomfortable facts that we as adults can choose to conveniently forget while driving through KFC. That’s the difference between possibly you, definitely me, and those vegans. They don’t forget that the “C” in KFC once stood for living, clucking chickens.

One of those vegans does not eat any animal products because they think how we get those animal products is morally wrong. This includes the obvious ground beef, but also encompasses eggs and dairy products. You might not think it’s that cruel to milk a cow, but one of those vegans has some good points why it is. (Like I said, I’m not one of those, so I’m not going to belabor the point, but I have to admit there’s some legit cause and effect here.) The truest of vegans will also not eat honey, because those bees weren’t busily buzzing around for your benefit. And that’s where I go, “Really? Not even honey? Man, those vegans are hardcore!”

So, what am I? I’m a very (very) young-looking 39-year-old who’s now aware that some of the choices that you make at one point in your life can really affect a later point in your life. (Bend with your knees, kids.) Because of that awareness, I’m trying to make some choices now that will pay off later. I’d like to have fewer specialists on my list of doctors. I’d like to never get cancer. I’d like to have more energy. And sure, I wouldn’t mind losing a few pounds. But mostly, I don’t want this food thing to be so hard. Doesn’t it seem like food got really hard at some point?

We live in a world (*movie preview sound*) where every other newscast has a contradicting food “science” announcement. This world also has a lot of bloggers (ahem) that really like coconut oil and avocado toast. When it’s hard to tell if drinking coffee is good or bad for you, and people are selling books that advocate pizza for breakfast, do you feel like you have a good handle on what’s healthy?

It’s here that I should point out that, along with not being one of those vegans, I’m also not a nutritional expert. I’m not a scientist or a doctor or an employee at Whole Foods. I’m watching those newscasts, reading those blogs, drooling over the words bacon cheeseburger when I’m supposed to be writing about nutritious eating, and just trying to make sense of it all too. I’m just another human being who owns a leather coat and wants to be healthy. And maybe that’s where you and I are alike.