The Everyday Ayurveda Cookbook peaked my interest because of the word “ayurveda”. It’s a word I’ve heard fashionistas use in Queen Street boutiques. My yoga teacher may have mentioned the concept in conversation. I definitely heard it once on a Rich Roll podcast. But I never explored further. It sounded too complicated.
Winter is coming and I have wool on the mind — among other things. When I transitioned to a vegan diet nutrition and environmental sustainability were the basis for my decision. My wardrobe wasn’t a major concern. Of course, I support animal rights but throwing away my knitwear and leather shoes didn’t align with my whole “waste not, want not” philosophy. I read a blog post by Veganzinga on this; my own post is quite similar to hers. I thought it was worth reiterating some of her points because the vegan community is occasionally dogmatic when it comes to practicing “a vegan lifestyle”. In order for this movement to be inclusive and sustainable we need to push for a more openminded approach.
I don’t want to buy clothing, makeup or other non-food items that are manufactured using animal products. Since going vegan I have stopped purchasing these items altogether and I am slowly replacing them one by one. For example, when I first made the switch I had a lot of old makeup so I replaced it all with a vegan brand called Inika.
But I still own a few wool sweaters, leather boots, a pair of moccasins with fur on them, etc. Yet, if I gave away all my wool sweaters wouldn’t someone else just wear them? Not to mention, I can’t exactly afford a brand new wardrobe. How would I keep warm and dry if got rid of all my winter clothes? Finally, throwing away anything that is still in good condition is wasteful and undermines what I set out to do in the first place, which was to lead a more sustainable lifestyle. I understand some vegans would feel uncomfortable wearing the product. I understand why they might choose to donate their items. For my part, I am comfortable acknowledging the sacrifice that was made and using my products until they’re worn out or until I am able to afford a replacement.
The End of Food by Paul Roberts feels a little like reading Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. Clearly, there are plenty of dissimilarities between a heavily researched, non-fiction account of the food system and a Christmas-themed ghost story set in 19th century London. Yet, the comparison is accurate insofar as the two books share similar themes; their narratives revolve around greed, hunger, death and whether or not a single human being’s desire to change for the greater good will indeed do any good at all.
One of my least favourite things to do is telling people I am vegan. After all, I can usually count on a bowl of hummus or a coincidentally vegan dish, like an heirloom tomato fennel salad, presenting itself at most social events that involve food. Sometimes I bring my own dish if I know the meal will be meat-centered or if the host will feel embarrassed if they have little to offer me.