In November 2011, I made the decision to progress towards a plant-based diet and lifestyle. Since then, I have learnt so much about where our food comes from, and what it does to our bodies and the environment. Along the way, I have encountered many obstacles and challenges. I have also been asked lots of questions, most of them valid and a few off them more than a little odd. One of the aims of my blog is to chronicle my experiences as a plant-based traveller. So, hopefully these Plant-Based Pauses will provide a little more explanation and maybe answer some questions that my readers may still have.
‘150 years ago, they would have thought you were absurd if you advocated for the end of slavery. 100 years ago, they would have laughed at you for suggesting that women should have the right to vote. 50 years ago, they would object to the idea of African Americans receiving equal rights under the law. 25 years ago they would have called you a pervert if you advocated for gay rights. They laugh at us now for suggesting that animal slavery be ended. Some day they won’t be laughing.’ – Gary Smith
I love this quote. It’s what I’ve been thinking for many years, but I’m not quite as eloquent when I try to put it into words. I truly believe that, one day, living plant-based will be the norm. I do, however, understand why a lot of people around me think I’m crazy for even suggesting that. As Gary Smith said, that would be as crazy as ending the human slave trade, giving women the vote, allowing gay people to marry…oh, wait a minute…
As much as my family and friends think I’m a nutter for following this strange and unnatural lifestyle (their words, not mine), they do their best to support me in their own way. They don’t, however, always get it right. And that means that sometimes I have to compromise.
There have been a few occasions when people have proudly presented me with a gluten free, dairy free cake that they’ve baked ‘just for me’. But what have you used to bind the ingredients? I ask. ‘An egg’. Great.
I’ve also settled for eating cauliflower cheese, gluten free pizza bases made with cows’ milk and grated cheese on my tortillas. That last one was actually my own fault, I was so tired one night in my favourite restaurant in Cardiff that I forgot to ask for the vegan version of the dish.
I do my best to stick to a completely plant-based, whole food diet and I certainly don’t like eating dairy. But, sometimes I feel that I have to compromise just a little. Whether you agree to the plant-based lifestyle or not, we all have to share this Earth and by tolerating and understanding each other that healthy, cruelty-free future that we dream of might just come that much sooner.