Is going vegan a “challenge”? Totally, says the New York Times!  »

Tara Parker-Pope took to the Well blog to have a brief chat about adopting a vegan diet. Is it easy? (NO.) Is is awesome? (NO.) Is it full of surprising pitfalls including “tastebud-shocking” and “expensive” substitutions, and “condescending” friends and relations? (YES, DEFINITELY.)

Here’s the thing, TP-P: The benefits of being vegan far outweigh the surprise tastes of non-dairy milks and the continued weirdness of vegan cheeses. That’s the kicker, right? That’s the thing that keeps us forever soaking cashews and spending hundreds of dollars on blenders and making wheat-meat: We know our dietary choices have positive effects on ourselves, our society, our environment, our fellow creatures. Plus, Earth Balance tastes just like butter, and now we have marshmallows and the Vegg? We basically run this show. I would politely request a vegan alternative to cashmere, if anyone’s on the wool-substitute tip.

I would like to know, though, since we have a fairly diverse* readership, what keeps you vegan? What are your biggest challenges, and how do you overcome them?

True confession: I miss eggs, and plain yogurt, and I would spend a lot more money on shoes if the idea of wearing dead cow skin on my feet didn’t make me feel like a horrible person. Because what kind of jerk are you, that you can know about the horrors of the egg and dairy and leather industries and still enjoy their products? Being vegan is a way I can stop perpetuating such violence and cruelty. It’s not much, but it’s something I can do every day that I know has a direct effect. So what about you?

*”Diverse” meaning, not everyone’s here primarily for the animals. I know you’re all white upper-middle-class ladies ages 18-45 (vegans of color and alternative genders don’t exist, duh!) (And “men” are too manly for veganism!).

[photo by Night-thing via Flickr]

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