Monday, January 07, 2008

Vegan Style?

Hi Darlings:

A few years ago I worked with this young lady … ok I forgot her name but I will always remember her for being vegan because it was so much a part of who she was. She only ate veggies. If we had cake it was vegan. She shopped at Payless (hey, don’t knock it) because they sold affordable “vegan” or non-leather product shoes. Now before I met her I didn't even think you could have vegan cake or that there was such a thing as “vegan” shoes. Admittedly my ignorance stems from being a meat lover and really lumping veganism into the political category. .. you know PETA don’t kill the animals, rather than seeing it as a lifestyle choice which has its own sense of fashion.

Well over the years I have grown to know other people who are vegan and I even eat –without physical persuasion – at a local vegan café. I love their sticky buns.

As you are aware this is after all January AKA “diet month”, “I am going to make this New Years resolution and keep it this year”, “I ate too much in December…damn it, damn me” month. Yuppers! Shucks, I have to go to the gym next week…ummm yeah.

But despite the January dilemma, I now contemplate the life of a vegan because it came to mind after I read the NY Times article “Still Skinny, but Now They Can Cook” by Julia Moskin in the Style section of the Times. The article detailed the recent cook book from the authors of the bestseller “Skinny Bitch” – and they don't seem angry. Veganism and style, fashion, a vegan fashionista? Hadn’t thought of it before. So, I set out on my quest to find out about the vegan side of fashion by talking to two friends who were or currently are practicing vegans.

My friend Natasha has been an 80% raw vegan for about the past 6 months. She says she is a mixture of both social and political vegan - two categories I made up. For example, when given a choice like buying shoes if she has a vegan option that will be her choice like it was when she recently bought a pair of Earth brand shoes. The shoes on the website actually don’t look that bad. She also buys vegan t-shirts from Whole Foods supermarket and accepted a sweater from a PETA friend … she was not sure what the material was but I guess it is safe to say there was no wool involved. She became a vegan for health reasons.

Natasha says that when she became a raw vegan she lost tons of weight really fast so now she balances her meals with the occasional salmon and daily vitamins. She laments that it can be a tough way to go because you can never find food to eat at restaurant but you become more conscientious of your carbon footprint.

I have to admit the fish part threw me off but when I spoke to my friend Burns (yes his real name) he gave me more of a perspective into the mind of a vegan. (insert music)
According to Burns who is now an unclassified vegetarian (he eats what he wants except meat or fish), the vegan lifestyle gives people something to identify with. It’s a group or subculture and tells people who you are… interesting. Same rationale goes for fashionistas in general, don’t you think? Some, only wear couture, some are traditional while others are faddists!

Burns says being a true vegan means “you don’t eat anything that came from an animal or wear anything that came from an animal or use anything with animal by products like glue”. He even mentioned that eating honey was out...bees are animals too! Wow! I would most definitely fail before I even began. However, he also noted that thankfully he was not a political vegan so he only kept the lifestyle on the level of food but still wore leather belts etc. He says even as a vegan he would have failed the “test” too. I am not alone.

I don’t think I will be eating 100% vegan anytime soon even though Burns was trying to encourage me by arguing just going vegan for a short time can have many health benefits - cleaning the system and eliminating toxins from the body. Not sure about that but, I might try the fashion options!

Hugs and besos!

No comments:

Site Meter