I have something to say. And I would like to say it here because I feel like making a public declaration will force me to stick to doing it and also because this kind of concerns you as the readers of Salted Butter because it may affect the content of the blog.
I have decided to become a vegan for the year of 2016! *cheers*
This is actually something I decided to do toward the end of last year but I kept chickening out and coming up with excuses like “I won’t be able to live without sushi” and “But what about the yogurt!?” Plus I was told some very scary stories about people’s teeth falling out and them developing eczema which obviously terrified me and brought me to the conclusion that veganism was a very unhealthy lifestyle.
But then one day… as I was busy with my daily procrastinations and general avoiding of school responsibilities I stumbled across a recipe video of a sugar free vegan cheesecake posted by Jamie Oliver’s FoodTube and created by The Happy Pear. I had seen such recipes floating about the Internet on a few occasions but always dismissed them mistrusting their authenticity but I trust Jamie Oliver, so I watched the video and… My. Mind. Was. BLOWN. It was by far the most interesting recipe video I’d ever seen. It was so amazing. So incredible. It was just a normal recipe video but to me it was the most incredible thing in the universe. I don’t know… Maybe it was the happy playful energy and passion for food from the guys of The Happy Pear that made it extra interesting but it was just so cool. Or maybe I’m just a super crazy food nerd and the video was full of cool techniques I had never seen before but I was completely astounded by it all. After watching the video I clicked on The Happy Pear Channel and watched a bunch of their videos and one that really stood out for me was one about where vegans get their protein and another one that mentioned coconut yogurt. My biggest problem with becoming vegan was what I was going to do without yogurt but when I found out that coconut yogurt was a thing that existed and that I would not need to worry about getting enough protein in my diet I was convinced. I decided to become a vegan for a year.
I will be honest with you, my reasons for becoming a vegan are not moral or ethics related. Yes, most animals raised for food production are treated horribly but in Namibia that is not the hugest problem. Most of our meat is free range and hormone free and most of our animals are treated fairly well. That can be said for most of the meat in Namibia except for perhaps chickens. The biggest reason why I decided to become a vegan is just pure curiosity. For the past few years I’ve seen a lot of things vegan related and over the last few years it has become somewhat of a trend- especially among “hipsters”. I’ve also witnessed what other people think of vegans based on many vegan stereotypes and the fact that vegan stereotypes are a thing and are actually pretty frightening and off putting. You could say that I’ve always been interested in the vegan culture as a whole. I’ve always wanted to know why people decide to be vegans. Is it because it’s a healthier lifestyle or is it purely for moral or environmental reasons? Does being vegan make you feel better or worse? How difficult is it to be vegan- socially? I needed answers and I thought the best possible way to find the answers would be to experience it first hand. I want to know the effects vegansim has on my body and health. I want to know the social implications of being vegan and how other people around me respond to this lifestyle and whether they will support and try to understand me or not. Basically, I want to know what it’s like to be a vegan.
I know that this one year journey will not be easy. I know that I will not receive full support from everybody and I know that it will be especially difficult to be a vegan in Namibia because Namibians pride themselves in their ability to eat meat and the quality of their meat. We’re practically famous for it. There are not a lot of vegan friendly restaurants in town or vegan friendly options at the shops and fresh fruit and vegetables cost more than all of Kim Kardashian’s weddings combined but this is something that I know I have to do.
I’m already a week into it and I have not received full support and understanding from all my friends and obviously it sucks but I’m hoping they’ll come around sooner or later. I also haven’t told all of my family members yet. But my mum supports me, my food options have not been limited, all my meals have been delicious and I am yet to have any cravings of animal products so I’m happy.
I will be popping in from time to time to keep you updated on this journey and will be posting some vegan recipes along the way. Not all the recipes I post on the blog will be vegan as I still have non-vegan friends that I will be baking for but look out for a vegan recipe here and there.
Leave a comment on what you think of this experiment and if you’ve ever contemplated an extreme lifestyle change or if you have experience with being vegan maybe you’ve got some interesting insight and tips to share. I would love to hear it and I sure as hell need as much help as I can get.
Follow me on social media to stay up to date with my journey