Challenge accepted

Regular blogging is hard! So is making pancakes, as it turns out, but I’ll get to that in a sec.

More than halfway through a month of no dairy wooooooo

I stopped writing down what fun non-dairy things I’ve been eating, but I wouldn’t even eat a pasta salad thing that had ranch powder in it, so you’ll have to trust me on this one. Mostly “meat unit + veggies” lunches and dinners, the rest of my chili wannabe, another attempt at making coffee almondmilk, and a lot of applesauce and Oreos.

My schedule was super busy this week: Monday I flat-out forgot to write, Tuesday I had back to back derby practices from 5:30-9:30, Wednesday I was on cops and spent most of my shift waiting for a state police press conference that never happened, Thursday I was at a Board of Finance meeting and then started dogsitting, last night I got in my jammies at like 6 p.m. and watched Drag Race and worked on a MOOC and finished a book, and tonight here we are.

I think part of it was also getting tired of writing about how much going dairy-free sucks and I hate it. Also getting tired of complaining about how people keep pushing dairy substitutes despite my continued requests for them to stop. But I had an interesting chat with a leaguemate about the environmental benefits of going without animal products, which brings us to this post.

Polly is the kind of vegetarian that I enjoy talking with as an omnivore. She’s a great person in general, but specifically with this, she isn’t as sensationalistic as others I’ve met, which is why I was glad to engage her in a conversation the other day. She posted a link on FB and a short blurb saying how many people are concerned with current and future policies to protect the environment, yet many are unwilling to make changes in their own life to cut greenhouse gases by going vegan.

I’m familiar with the argument; IC hosts an environmental film festival every spring, and two of my classes senior year were used to screen a variety of docs, one being about this very subject. Being the miserly person I am, when we had the discussion bit at the end, I asked how this could work for low-income people because substitutes are expensive and not everyone has access to the quality vegetables that would make eating vegan a whole lot easier. My experience was that 50 bucks a week wouldn’t get you very far in the northeast. Two girls who weren’t in my class but sat with us to watch the doc got all pissy with me for asking that, as if Daiya and Quorn fell from the sky or something, but I didn’t feel like fighting so I dropped it and went about my day assuming their parents pay for their weekly trips to Wegmans (or GreenStar).

Based on my previous experience with the argument, I was glad Polly posted the article because I knew I could ask her about it and she would treat me like a human being. She and another vegetarian friend presented their rebuttals to my arguments regarding food access and price, and while their points were stronger than mine, they weren’t jerks about it like the two girls senior year. They also acknowledged that everyone going full vegan most likely won’t happen and even some reduction in animal product consumption (flexitarian or vegetarian as opposed to whole-hog vegan) would be beneficial for the environment instead of being all “blarg you need to drop everything and eat only raw vegetables for the rest of your life.”

It also got me thinking: is this something I could do? Not permanently, I don’t think; I’m still a little upset about not being able to have cheese for another two weeks. But on principle, I wanted to see if I could have some semblance of normal meals with minimal animal products while maintaining my $50 a week budget. I had to go out and buy food for the weekend for dogsitting anyway, so it would be a good time to test it out without drawing attention to it.

I’m going to save the rest of the post for tomorrow when I’ve technically completed the last meal of the challenge, that way we don’t end up with a super long post that keeps me up too late.


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