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Saturday, October 1, 2011

365 Days Later. A Vegetarian's Reflection.

"Stop worrying about the potholes in the road and celebrate the journey!"
 -  Barbara Hoffman

An overly generous dose of my personal happy wishes to you this fine Saturday morning!  Mmm...  Smell that?  It's the smell of being alive and being able to enjoy another day.  Another day to observe or to do something that you've never really watched or done before.  Get to it!  There are but 24-hours for this day.

Would you buy a vegan taco from this guy?

It's not only Saturday.  It's not only the beginning of another weekend.  It's Chucky & Tiffany's one year anniversary of becoming vegetarian and leaving the carnivorous lifestyle behind!!!

Top Five Positive Observations (not necessarily in order)
  1. Food diversity.  Without having made the change, neither Tiffany nor I would have experienced the broad expanse of delicious foods and treats which we have been able enjoy this past year.
  2. People.  Without a doubt, the people that Tiffany and I have met this past year who proudly label themselves either vegan or vegetarian are the nicest, warmest, friendliest, compassionate, and most eco- conscious people which you can find!
  3. Well being.  Although this past year I have experienced a private medical set-back and have lost relative little weight, I still feel as though I've conquered the world inside of myself.  I don't know how to explain it.  Simply knowing that I am eating better, choosing wiser, educating myself on what goes into my body, and leaving a smaller environmental footprint along the path makes my mind and soul feeling wonderful.
  4. Memory.  Perhaps I am mistaken but I can almost swear that a good portion of my aging and lapsing memory has returned home.  I can remember events from my lifetime, people's names, and prior job skills better each passing day.  I could be mistaken and it might just be psychosomatic but... I'll take this belief!  Now... What was I just saying?  (just kidding)
  5. Love.  Tiffany and I have always been close.  She has always been my yin for her yang and vice verse.  However, the entire migration to a vegetarian lifestyle has brought us even closer (if this is even possible).  We learn, educate each other, and experiment together down this wonderful path which we take.  It's a closeness and bond more pronounced than before.

Top Five Disappointments (not necessarily in order)
  1. Weight loss.  I originally believed vegetarianism to be that magic placebo which leads to instantaneous and miraculous weight loss.  It isn't.  As a matter of fact, you must strive a little bit harder as you are basically giving up lean proteins (meats) for high calorie/carbohydrate starches (bread, pasta, flour, potato).
  2. Carnivorous regret.  It shames me to admit that when I first walked into Polonia Polish Restaurant and viewed their menu, saw the meat dishes being delivered to the surrounding tables, and seeing the expressions of bliss from a room full of carnivores; I felt a little bit of regret that I had not stumbled upon this place before walking the irreversible path of vegetarianism.  My sauerkraut & mushroom pierogi and potato pancake entrees aren't kielbasa or goulash, but they tain't half bad either!  :)
  3. Guilt.  I suppose that this is a natural transition for an individual migrating as carnivore to vegetarian, isn't it?  Unlike a person raised and maintained vegetarian, I can recall countless chicken carcasses, cattle rib bones, and pig gristle pieces upon my plate.  I did not begin my path as a vegetarian for humanitarian reason, but instead for health-related reasons.  However, the more I grow as a vegetarian the more I learn.  The more I learn, the more regret I have.  I cannot help but to keep repeating to myself, "If I had only known!"
  4. Pre-Packaged Food Stuffs.  I regret that convenience still plays a large part of my life.  Even we vegetarians must consider the convenience of buying store-bough vegan sauces, dressings, mock-meats, etc.  In a perfect world, I would love to make everything that I eat at home from scratch.  On the other hand, some of the food vendors tailored to we vegetarians (and vegans) have developed their product over many years and have an extremely delicious product to offer.
  5. Maturing to Become Vegan.  It's my sincerest hope that I become a 100% home vegan by this time next year.  I don't know whether I am willing to severely limit my dining out choices and restrict away-from-home meals to be vegan.  But I do desire to mature to a new level and give up dairy, egg, and honey at every opportunity.
I don't believe that I have made any shocking revelations today.  But, if you are contemplating a lifetime stroll down the vegetarian path of life, I hope that I have something to offer here.  First and foremost, don't do it for anyone other than yourself.  It has to be something which you want to do and not something you feel forced or obliged to do.  Whether for health or animal-right reasons, you know yourself better than anyone else.  And you certainly know right from wrong.

For Tiffany and I?  I wish to unequivocally state that neither of us has a single iota of regret, whatsoever!  'Tis a wonderful vegetarian life we live, indeed!

Hi-dee hi-dee watch-me-grow-another-vegetarian-year-ho my friend.


  1. Congratulations on an amazing journey!!

  2. Thanks Anne. And it was with the help and encouragement of fine folks as yourself that made the path so easy to stroll.

  3. congratulations on your anniversary and most importantly in your exuberance and enthusiasm regarding being vegetarian - it is a joy to see