I Have Been Vegan for Almost Two Years and Today I Tried Cheese (15/09/22).

Hello everyone, how are you today? The news is out, two days ago I had feta cheese!

If you are new here, I have been vegan for the past couple of years, so this is a big deal. I decided to go vegan a few years ago after eating meat and dairy my whole life. I made this decision for several reasons:

  1. Plant-based diets are good for our health due to the increase in plant food sources.
  2. Animal welfare.
  3. Meat and dairy are not the same quality as it used to be. Farms are overpopulated and animals are treated poorly = unhealthy meat and dairy.
  4. An experiment, I was reading so much science about vegan and plant-based diets and I felt that I needed to try it.

So, you might be wondering why did I go back?

Before I go on, I won’t be eating meat again (or at least not that I know of). I don’t miss meat, at all. I don’t miss the risk of food poisoning and the fact that it doesn’t actually taste good unless you make gravy or other things with it.

What was the meal of choice that broke my vegan streak? Greek salad.

I LOVE Greek salad. Before I went vegan, I had massive salads, in massive bowls every lunch time with lots of feta and olive oil. Sounds good right? It was.

Most of my time eating a vegan diet I didn’t miss many animal products, until the past couple of months. I missed my big feta cheese salads.

I am going to Italy in a few weeks, and I was thinking “how am I going to get vegan food”. This kind of spiralled into “am I really going to restrict my experience of life, cultures and culinary experiences in other countries, forever?”.

There is something not quite right about that. I watched a tiktok about a girl saying that veganism is a common way for those with an eating disorder to mask their eating disorder. I thought about that for a while and agreed with her. It is the perfect excuse to be restrictive and not get questioned on it. Not that I have an eating disorder, far from it. However, restriction is not synonymous with health. It is quite the opposite really.

I don’t want to restrict myself forever. One of my all-time favourite meals is Greek salad (especially when in Greece, in a Greek restaurant). When I go to Greece am I going to not eat it? Why not?

I think I have come to the conclusion that life is for living and living by a restrictive label is probably not the best way to live it. There is no real reason to avoid feta cheese either.

If someone came to me and said “Mairi, to eat lots of vegetables I need to have a massive slab of feta cheese with it, what do I do?” I would say, eat the Goodman feta cheese.

Also, it has never quite added up that to live healthfully as a vegan you have to supplement Vitamin B12 and other nutrients. Without a doubt, I have been incredibly healthy as a vegan. However, I do feel that we should be getting all our nutrients from the food we eat, not the pills we take.

Supplements are a fantastic thing, but shouldn’t they be just that, a supplement?

So, I think I would say I am now a vegetarian. I think I will remain eating mainly plant based. Vegan living has thought me so many life lessons about myself and about a healthy diet for me.

There are so many aspects to a vegan diet that are incredibly health promoting, and more so than many diets. However, a bit of cheese alongside a LOT of vegetables and beans. That is something I can get behind, and actually enjoy eating!

So, there you have it. My thought process about this whole thing. Of course, I had to update you all.

Just a girl and her feta cheese.

Thank you for reading,

Mairi

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