I want to let you in on a little secret: even if you’ve never tried to follow vegan recipes, you already eat vegan food.
I know it seems like vegans are obsessed with food. We will tell you all about the best place to get a vegan cupcake, or our favorite vegan restaurant, or proudly show you our collection of vegan cookbooks. Is this a strictly vegan practice? I don’t think so. After all, Betty Crocker and Julia Child are certainly not vegan figures, and they’re both household names.
An important part of vegan advocacy that gets overlooked is the fact that vegan food is everywhere – and I don’t mean just the stuff in the special section at your local grocer. Why is it so easy for everyone to forget that the “doctor-prescribed” apple a day is vegan? How about the spaghetti marinara that seems to please a majority of palates? Yep – vegan. Peanut butter and jelly on white bread? Well, that bread might not be the healthiest choice for any of us, but it sure is vegan.
The truth is, sometimes I wonder why we spend so much time trying to “sell” veganism with complicated vegan recipes. Don’t get me wrong – I am all for a tasty dish and I love eating new things now more than I did before I gave up eating animals. But let’s not forget the benefits of grabbing a banana for your lunch bag, or cooking up a batch of rice and beans for this week’s meals. None of these foods should be foreign or exotic to most households; in fact they should already be staples. Let’s play up the staples!
So, I have a proposition. Vegans, the next time someone tells you they could never be vegan because they wouldn’t know what to eat, list five things that most people have in their kitchen. And non-vegans, before you write us all off as gourmands, remember that not everything you consume was once part of an animal. Veganism is easy. It’s time we show each other how.
Photo credit: Dan Iggers via Flickr