Vegan Celebs & Oreo Salvation.

Last night I watched one of my favorite celebrity Vegans give one of the greatest political speeches I’ve ever heard. It happened at the Democratic National Convention and I’m talking about Mr. Bill Clinton. Did you know that he’s a Vegan? If you didn’t, now you do. Consider yourself smarter.

Other famous faces who live a Vegan lifestyle that might surprise you:

Mike Tyson:

Olivia Wilde:

Alec Baldwin:

Andre 3000:

Carrie Underwood:

Woody Harrelson:

Alanis Morrisette:

Casey Affleck:

Thom Yorke:

Russel Simmons:

Not surprised that Alanis Morrisette and Thom Yorke are on this list? I wasn’t either. But Mike Tyson and Carrie Underwood? Never would have guessed.

Moving on to more important things…

It’s day 3 of my Vegan Challenge and overall I feel good. Here are some things I have learned and thoughts that I have formulated thus far about this lifestyle:

– It is not easy.

– I feel ‘cleaner’ on the inside. I haven’t felt weighed down or grossly full or jacked on greasy fats and carbs, which is a pleasant feeling.

– I haven’t felt bloated after eating, even when three heaping spoonfuls of peanut butter have been involved. Not sure why this is but it’s become easier to view food as fuel and energy when I am without the option of just shoving a bag of M+M’s in my mouth when my belly rumbles.

– It requires a militant dedication to planning ahead, prepping meals in advance, and having back-up food nearby just in case your planned meal falls through. You cannot expect to just hit up the Taco Bell drive-thru for lunch when you accidentally forgot your brown-bagged tofu at home.

– Snacks are essential and wonderful. I’ve been a lot hungrier since Tuesday when I started this challenge. Yesterday I made the mistake of not packing a ton of snacks and it was awful. I find that in the middle of the day I suddenly become very, very hungry and need a fistful of almonds or a small meal or else I hit a wall, as I just about did yesterday. (The pistachios I forgot I had in my purse saved me, and in the world of nuts and seeds, Pistachios are a most delicious and perfect savior).

– Having fat wads of cash to spare makes it easier to eat Vegan. There’s really no way around it — Vegan food can be costly. This is why Hollywood bombshells like Olivia Wilde can be Vegan and totally enjoy every bite of it. She’s loaded and can hire personal Chefs, drop a G every month at Whole Foods, and request luscious Vegan dishes at swanky restaurants on the weekends just because she’s…Olivia Wilde. The rest of us common, poor, folk do not have it so easy.

– Being a busy person with a demanding job and/ or family who is away from an oven and a refrigerator for 8-10 hours a day makes Veganism exponentially more difficult.

– Solidarity with the poor and the oppressed is something I strive for and value deeply. Most of those living in poverty would not have the option to eat Vegan if they wanted to. Living below the poverty line does not allow for such luxuries as getting to choose whether or not you want to drink cow’s milk. You drink it because you have no other choice if it is all you have. You drink it because your body needs fuel and nourishment and you have no idea where your next cold drink or meal will come from. If there were cheap and easily accessible ways for me to buy and eat Vegan food all of the time I might consider it. But my desire to understand and walk hand-in-hand with those less fortunate as often as I can would make it incredibly conflicting to go Vegan forever if it weren’t necessarily sustainable for my wallet. I’d rather give the $2.49 I’d pay for a raw food nutrition bar to the homeless guy begging for change in the grocery store parking lot. Some of you might argue, “well you are a vegetarian and most poor people couldn’t afford to be vegetarian so how do you justify that?” To which I’d say: being a vegetarian is not expensive. Cheese is cheap. Yogurt is cheap. And I can by 12 eggs for $1.79 which can translate to providing a protein source for about 6-7 meals. (Using two eggs per meal). I could write a 5,000 word essay on this thought alone but I’ll spare you that and sum it up with this: if I was unemployed and broke with no health care or hot water, yet I felt convicted to stand up for animal rights and eat no food that contained any trace of animal product, could I afford to put my dollars behind this ethical cause? No. Could I afford to meet my conviction halfway and eliminate only animal flesh from my diet, relying on cheese, milk, yogurt, beans, and nuts as my main protein source? Probably. I made a vow to myself a long time ago that I would never willingly choose to live a lifestyle that disenfranchised me from understanding, or trying to understand, what it’s like to be poor. Saying no to scrambled eggs because of an ethical conviction is one of those luxuries.*

*These are my thoughts and my opinions. You may not like them or agree with them or think they are intelligent. You are allowed to think that. But this is not your blog, so don’t expect to be cool with everything I write. I encourage comments and e-mails so if you have to speak up or want to participate in healthy dialogue about any issue, please take advantage of those forums of doing so respectfully.

– Oreos are Vegan. This is a wonderful thing.

I realized this today after I googled are Oreos Vegan? in a moment of sugar-deprived weakness and made a mandatory pit-stop on my way home from work to pick up a sleeve from CVS. Because when you can’t eat ice cream or cheese pizza or cream cheese on your bagels, Oreos are a sweet salvation.

I’ll be back soon with more about exactly what I’ve been eating. (Not just peanut butter, pistachios and…Oreos, I promise). So stay tuned, friends, and enjoy your Thursday night.

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September 7, 2012