I'm guilty of this type of behavior myself. When introduced to something new, something out of the ordinary, I typically respond with skepticism and perhaps even cynicism.
Before I went veg, my dad (who isn't veg) told me that cow's milk is bad for people. I thought of the pediatricians who tout milk as essential for strong bones and told him he was crazy. Then after I went veg and started researching nutrition, I realized he was right.
I recently met a guy who told me in no uncertain terms that he was not going to go vegan.
This weekend when I opened a package of tofu to crumble into a pasta salad we were making, this U.S. Air Force veteran looked doubtfully at the gelatinous white block but took a piece. And then he took another and said he could see himself snacking on the tofu. I was surprised; I wouldn't even snack on plain tofu.
And instead of fixing himself chicken as he had planned, Jason decided to try two of my veg chicken patties. Since the pasta salad was vegan, he said he might as well go all in.
"Let's see if this vegan meal will fill me," he said.
When he took a bite of the Boca chik'n patty, I could tell he was stunned. It tasted just like chicken. He even put a piece up to his eyes to examine it: "It looks like chicken." He couldn't figure out how it was done, but it doesn't matter. He had discovered that he could enjoy "chicken" without eating the flesh of an animal. At the end of the meal he announced that he was indeed full.
When I left him yesterday evening, he was heating up the pasta salad and another Boca patty.
A writer with the San Francisco Chronicle recently experienced the same surprise over vegan food -- only Amanda Berne's foray lasted a month.
I decided to cut out all animal products and go vegan for a month because I felt I couldn't cover the topic without having the experience. A month seemed like an appropriate amount of time, but I discovered it wasn't, especially if I would continue feeling as good as I did.While Berne concerned herself with ingredients more so than I and some other vegans do, she still saw many benefits to being vegan.
My body felt great and my skin was shining. I cooked all the time, so not only did I really get into the process of living alone and creating lovely meals for myself, but I was also saving money by not going out or buying processed ingredients.(I subscribe to the philosophy of Vegan Outreach when it comes to ingredients: Show others that veganism can be practical by not worrying about trace ingredients or giving restaurant servers the third degree.)
But Berne's to be commended for being open enough to try veganism. Like Jason, when she moved out of her comfort zone, she discovered delicious foods.
(Thanks to Erik at Vegan.com for first writing about Berne.)
(Generic pasta salad photo courtesy of Life As A... .)