Experimenting with Vegans.

I’m going to do an experiment. I am going to try[1] and be Vegan.

I’ve thought about this for a while, one word kept going round and round in my head. Objecting loundly and effectively.



I have three reasons for doing this, health, support for my wife, and science.

Mainly science.[2]

I have no ethical problems with eating meat. As a species, we have practical issues with eating meat. The whole land air deal. But eating meat isnatural and part of the food chain. This is not to save the planet, or animals or for guilt reasons.

I have relatively unique eating habits. At home my wife is returning to veganism and has been a strict vegetarian all her life. That will make the process easier, BUT we have two small children.
They are not vegan. Or vegetarian. That’s a choice they can make later in life if they want. It’s not healthy for them to cut meat and dairy. So weneed to prepare meals that can be both vegan and normal.
At work I work long shifts. It’s normal for me to eat all three meals in a day at work. Food preparation facilities are a microwave, a kettle, a toaster and a fridge. During the weekday days, there is a canteen. I cannot leave things in the fridge as they will be “borrowed”. I have a small locker in which I can store non perishables.
I will not eat mushrooms.

The pledge
I have signed up for the “Vegan Pledge” Apparently they will give me some advice and I’ll get a mentor. Practical advice will be really useful here!

My hypothesis. I will be unable to eat a Vegan diet given my eratic and complicated earing and food preparation requirements.
Secondairy[3] hypothesis. The effort, cost and lack of variety involved will make veganism long term unacceptable to me.[4]

Day 1.

The experiment started today at midday. It’s almost a snap decision, and I’ve had a few cups of coffee with cows milk this morning. And a biscuit.

On my lunch break I went to Sainsbury’s. I thought for day one I would have toast with soup, one of those new covent garden ones. The fancy nice ones.
All contain milk.
On investigation, their special nutrition page is not helpful. It lists vegetarian. Itlists gluten free, wheat free, dairy free [5] milk free [6] and garlic free [7], but doesn’t list, or even mention vegan.

I ended up buying this.

Innocent veg pot.
Rice milk.
Soya spread
spicy houmous
Soya yoghurt
Cost £11.95 Ouch. Admittedly there are some things in there that should last several days, it seems like a lot for a sandwich, apples and microwave vegetables. This is not sustainable and will hopefully improve over time.

Here is my first[8] vegan meal.

One hour later, I’m hungrier than before. I did however skip breakfast, have been up since 5:30am and it’s now 16:30.

Coffee with rice milk looks like gravy. It tastes strange. As giving up coffee is out, I may have to start drinking it plain black.

Old Stock
In my cupboard I have a stash of food. What out of it will I be able to eat?

Definitely not vegan.
Princes hot pots (one chicken, one beef)
Cheese and bacon pasta.
Powdered milk.
Macaroni cheese (also one year out of date)

The ones I had to check, that were ok and were not labelled as such.
Pepsi Max Apparently vegan, but full of crap. I’ll probably cut these out.
Baked beans. Labelled as vegetarian, the website also included vegans, and gluten free.

The ones I had to check and were ok and am still not sure about. (any help in the comments appreciated)
Oats so simple (original). Contains Quaker Rolled Oats[9], Stabiliser: Lecithin (soya) not labelled as anything, nothing on the website.
Peanut butter, contains peanuts, peanut oil, salt, dextrose. Labelled as vegetarian. not vegan.
Sainsbury’s Fruit and Fibre. I honestly can’t see anything wrong on the label, but labelled as vegetarian not vegan, no mention of anyting on the website, not even that it’s vegetarian.
Asda brown sauce. The website says vegetarian. I can’t see anything non vegan listed. Lets face it though, I only have this to put on bacon sandwiches.

The ones I had to check and were not vegan.
The super noodles[10] contain powdered milk.
The tomato soup, contains milk.

Day 1 thoughts
From the first day I’ve learnt that rice milk in coffee is nasty, and many products don’t label their food as vegan. This one is confusing, although I can see that some meat eaters find it offputting? Assume that vegan food is automatically weird? Either way, it’s going to make this project a lot harder.
I am also hungry, I still don’t know whether or not I can eat my cereal.

Finally, have some vegan comedy courtesy of the hilarious Myq Kaplan. here’s an iTunes link.

[1] Try is an important word here. As is fail.
[2] I’ve been playing Portal 2 all weekend.
[3] It’s a pun, not a spelling mistake.
[4] I don’t really have a secondary hypothesis, but I really wanted to use the secondairy joke.
[5] this includes chicken soup!
[6] apparently different to dairy free
[7] for vampires
[8] deliberately, I’m sure I’ve accidentally eaten vegan before. Almost certainly considering my wife’s diet.
[9] are they counting quakers as animals? is this why it doesn’t get an ok?
[10] not pictured, I can’t do everything here!

EDIT: Phew, just checked, Jack Daniels IS vegan!

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Posted in Blog, Veganism
6 comments on “Experimenting with Vegans.
  1. Most products that are okay for vegans, won’t actually say so. You know how I stand in supermarket aisles reading the labels of everything that I put into the trolley and often put things sadly back on the shelf? That, my love, is your fate. ;)

    • But it makes no sense. It’s not hard to include the information!

      btw, I just had to approve your comment. You have never commented on my blog before. Almost as if this was the first thing I blogged you found interesting :P

      • I’m sure that I have commented before – I sometimes have to re-approve commenters. ;)

        I think you’re right about food manufacturers thinking that they might as well slap a big label saying ‘WEIRD FOOD’ on something as put one saying ‘vegan’.

  2. Ms_Tanith says:

    Good lord, does this mean you’re going to have to delve in to the horrifying world of… cookery?!

    1. Coffee should always be drunk black. Even if you give up on veganism stop being cruel to your caffeinated beverages and filling them with milk – it’s wrong!
    2. Hotel Chocolate do amazing vegan chocolates as do ooja booja. They’re better than the dairy versions and should be indulged in frequently.
    3. Jelly tots are vegan. You probably know this but it’s always worth reiterating as they’re tasty.
    4. http://thegvc.wordpress.com/2009/09/16/top-10-surprising-vegan-junk-foods/
    5. Indian food. Most of India is vegetarian and often, though not intentionally, vegan.
    6. It’s surprising the amount of things you can do with rice flour. Google ‘vegan rice flour recipes’

    I hope at least some of that is new information to you. Good luck!

    • Hey! I can cook a mean steak…. oh.

      1) You always were a coffee purist. Rice milk just tasted like it had gone off, so it looks like I’ll be going that way. Although with sugar.
      2+3) I don’t really eat sweets or chocolate. Good to know though.
      4+5+6) nice, thanks for those :)

      • erikatanith says:

        I’ve taken my coffee black since I was about 16 (I think, it’s a while back now). If it tastes a bit odd to you, you could try the flavoured coffees before moving back to the real stuff?

        I’m glad I could help :)

        I couldn’t be vegan, I’d have too much trouble giving up raw fish (of which I probably eat FAR too much).

        NOTE TO SELF: Don’t lose any more weight or you will become Gollum.

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