One Month At A Time

Going Vegan: Pre-game

The trouble with going vegan was that I wasn’t the only person living in my home.
I broke the news to my boys that I was going Vegan just before Christmas. I told them, starting January 1, I wouldn’t be buying or consuming any meat, cheese or eggs, and would instead be cooking up lots and lots of vegetables.
My eldest said, “Good luck with that, Dad. I’ll just buy my own.”
And he could. He works at a grocery store.
The youngest just stared at me, wide-eyed and alarmed. He had no idea what that meant exactly, but it didn’t sound good.
“What will we eat?” He asked.
The 10-year-old is a notorious picky eater and not fond of my cooking unless it involves a lot of sugar.
I told him he’d be eating what he usually eats here –a lot of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and fresh fruit.
The kid likes apples and will eat them by the bushel sometimes.
I also promised that if he wanted cheese I’d get it for him.
People at work asked me what I was going to do in the meantime –as if somehow doing this was a lifelong commitment and not one that lasted around 30 days. They wanted to know, what was going to be my last meal? What was going to be the last piece of meat?
Well, with about a week to get it done, I ate all the animals. I ate their eggs. I drank their milk.
I cooked a pork loin, served it with rice and then and made sandwich after sandwich after sandwich. I fried omelets for breakfast, filled them with cheese and pork. I bought exotic cheeses –one of them was some kind of soft cheese cured with wood ash and aged in a remote cave somewhere in Eastern Europe, probably Transylvania.
I sliced it thin, ate it on toasted bread with an artichoke spread.
That’s what I ate on Christmas Eve while watching Albert Finny and Obi Wan Kenobi in the 1970 musical “Scrooge.”
On Christmas day, the boys and I made our usual pilgrimage to my favorite Chinese buffet. I ate chicken, beef, pork, and whatever they use in their sushi. I had crab Rangoon stuffed with cream cheese and would have eaten the greasy, little sausage dumplings (my personal favorite), but they didn’t have them.
Just after Christmas, I visited my sister and her family in Tennessee. On the way down, we grabbed cheeseburger at a hamburger joint. On the way back, we got drive-thru burritos at Taco Bell.
In between, my sister fed us bacon for breakfast, took us to lunch at fusion food place that served shrimp and gyro tacos with feta and then a German place for dinner, where I ate chicken schnitzel and potatoes fried in butter and ham.
Somehow, I also managed to wedge in several bowls of chocolate and peanut butter ice cream, and a steak grilled medium rare.
I’m not proud of any of this, but this is what I did in the days leading up to quitting meat. I made a complete pig of myself.
And I was going to pay for it.