Way back in the day when I first decided to take on this vegan thing (about a week ago) one of my reasons for picking this time period was that I could be sure for a whole week that I was neither going to have nor be a dinner guest. This ended up not being strictly true over the weekend due to an impromptu visit from a thankfully vegan friendly individual on Sunday but oh, crap. I forgot about that training course (lunch provided) I was doing this week. Bugger.
I’ve been with these lovely sellers of learning before and knew that lunch would be a catered affair of doorstep sandwiches, deep fried cheese balls, pastry samosas and some evil creamy cheesecakes. Yum! Dammit! Quite clearly, I was only going to be able to eat the frisso leave garnish. Not a lunch conducive to expanding my knowledge.
The solution is simple right? My employers have paid for a course that includes lunch. I should be fed. There is a clear note in the joining literature asking me to email Pam if I have any special dietary requirements. So email Pam I did. And told her in no uncertain terms that I would be bringing my own lunch this time, so don’t make too many sandwiches, ok thanks lovely bye. Gah. I blame a good deal of this on my being British and not wanting a fuss, especially when my own demands are in themselves ‘ a fuss’. A tiny proportion of people are vegans, maybe 4% I think, and if you’re not in the 4% you’re 99.9% likely to find that catering for one is a pain in the arse.
I know, I’ve been a pain in my own arse all week.
A vegan diet is restricted and somewhat demanding but it’s rarity makes it so mysterious. How many of the 96% actually know what’s ok for a vegan and what’s not? Less that you might imagine I think. It’s like the classic Gran comment of Vegetarian? I’ll do you some chicken…..people just don’t know. And as I have alluded to previously, animal products are everywhere and challenging to avoid when you know what you are looking for, and actively do so. What if you only have a vague idea about it that doesn’t really bother you?
Much as I didn’t want to appear rude and send over a long list of exactly what they could and could not provide for my refreshment, I doubly didn’t want to sit there and question the origin of bread in the hummus sandwich or request to see the ingredients label from a cereal bar. No. I’m not going to be that pain in someone else’s arse. I’m British, I wont have a fuss and I own a lunch box. The really ridiculous thing is that I didn’t just say hey, I’m vegan this week, I’ll bring a salad. Nor did I even just say I’ll bring a salad for fear of being seen as another fat girl on a fad diet. Which I sort of am, but not in the usual way. Instead I half fabricated something about having allergies and being on a restricted diet which was a pain the previously mentioned arse to cater for so, this time, I would bring my own lunch. Thank you very much. I do have allergies you know. Ridiculous!!!!!
Maybe this is a true sign that I’m not a proper vegan and I know that I will be back on the animal products by the weekend without regret or hesitation. It seems that Real Vegans will tell anyone who wants to listen, and a good deal who don’t, all about why they are Vegans and why said listener should also be. Us Lipstick Vegans, if you will, know it’s all a bit much really and will be a happily left alone in the corner with a bowl of legumes and no questions asked .
Potential lunchtime minefields aside, it was a good day and I’m feeling a bazillion times better than yesterday. I’ve been headache free other than for about twenty minutes but I think that was more to do with walking home in the cool evening with very sweaty hair than any nutritional issues. Sitting here now, I feel good. I’m looking forwards to a dinner of pittas, my own hummus and roasted tomatoes. I could keep this up you know. Until I flash back once more to that moment at lunchtime when I was chowing down on my chickpea and avocado salad and a big tray of fresh sandwiches was put down next to me- fluffy white fragrant bread oozing chopped eggs and mayo.
I really, REALLY want an egg sandwich.
Two more sleeps, as the cool kids say.