Monday, October 27, 2008

Vegan doubts, again

Yeah, so lately it has been a bit rough for me to justify being vegan. It's mostly due to our living conditions. I'm still out of work and being told I'm overqualified left and right. How exactly can a secretary be overqualified?! (in desperation I've applied for minimum wage jobs) So our finances are tight, which means no eating out. Probably a good thing due to our dining out issues.

Wookiepants is footing all our bills and I hate to ask him for any money to get groceries primarily for yours truly. The rest of the family is happy to live on meat/starch heavy diet supplemented with a daily vitamin, which is much cheaper than what I usually eat. Today for lunch I had bread with a piece of pretty craptastic vegan cheese on top melted via the microwave. I'm starving right now, but instead of getting some more bread, I crave fresh veggies.

Tonight the in-laws are having big, huge inch thick steak. Ah, but what will I eat? --this is an everyday dilemma for me. I've made suggestions many times before and offered to cook my own meal every night. (this is usually turned down) I try to not be an ungrateful wretch, as our rent payment is such a great deal, including our groceries and utilities.

Ok, so if being vegan is going to place a burden on my family, why do it? This is the question I have been struggling with. I feel tension building each time I make a separate dinner for myself, when I am allowed to. There is so much leftover of their Omni meals that often most of it goes to waste. Isn't it somewhat horrible of me to watch that food waste away? That some animal was butchered for the sole purpose of rotting in some back corner of the fridge?

Still, I cannot bring myself knowingly to eat meat or it's byproducts. Every time I think about it, a movie reel begins to play, repeating what I've seen of the brutal killing of the animals for food purposes. Sometimes, though, I think I should just suck it up and stop being such a thorn in the side of the family's meals. Everyone would be so much happier if I would, I think. I find it ironic that the reason I started eating a vegan diet is because of health issues, but the reason I continue to follow it is because of animal cruelty in the food industry.

Ok, so enough whining. I'm trying to think what I can do that will make things easier to keep eating vegan without dining on bread/toast/cheese. My wonderful Wookiepants will (if I just swallow my pride and ask him) find a place in the budget for about $10-15 a week or so. I know frozen veggies are sometimes cheaper, so maybe I will stock up on those. And I know that Vegan Dad sometimes finds second-chance veggies/fruits at No Frills, which we have around where I live. (I find No Frills to be a scary place due to the lack of manners of its patrons)

I'll will just have to finalize some weekly meal plans that rely primarily on rice/whole grains. And if I can find some time to cook, I can squirrel away some meals. Otherwise it will be convenience vegan foods, which are not very healthy. I'll deal...thanks for reading my vent. It really helps somehow just to put all this frustration out on the net. :)


Agnes said...

If you're familiar with the McDougall program, you can go to his website and find tons of simple healthy vegan recipes in the newsletter archives. There's an article in his March '08 newsletter that addresses the financial aspects of this diet. He says you can eat for $3 a day, with half the cost for starches and half going to veggies/fruit.
If you have ethnic grocery stores around your location, they usually have vegetables a lot cheaper than a regular grocery store. Tofu is usually cheaper, too. Buying bulk can be cheaper as well, if you have stores around with bulk bins. You can get beans 50 cents a pound versus $1+ pound when bought in regular 1-pound bags. Cabbage, onions, celery, and carrots are usually cheap. Look for sales on tomatoes and tomato sauce. Grocery stores typically have loss leader sales on these a few times a year, unless they do things a lot different up there where you are. Makes soups. Chili. Stews. You'll get many meals from one pot.

Good luck. I enjoy your blog.

Reni said...

Agnes, Wow! I really appreciate you taking the time to write such a thought-out comment. I am checking out the McDougall newsletter archives now. I've heard of his site/diet before, but thought it was a fad.

Thanks for the advice, again it is much appreciated. :)

Tara said...

Ok, Agnes wrote pretty much everything I was going to suggest! I've also started making my own tofu and soymilk, which, while time-consuming, is a lot cheaper than buying the packaged stuff. I also buy a lot of frozen fruits and veggies, especially when they go on sale. I've found that Costco has been carrying some nice frozen organic fruits and veggies where I live. My husband is an omni and I spend way less money on groceries than he does, plus I eat a lot healthier, save animals and help the environment!!

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry to hear that you are having a hard time.
I don't really know what to suggest as I thought buying veggies would be way cheaper than meat~ it sounds like you just need more support and understanding from your family.
I hope you can find a solution and feel better soon :o)

Lenora said...

Hang in there dear... there are some wonderful posts ahead of me. I appreciate your venting and real thoughts. I'm not 100% vegan, but do eat primarily herbivore. I eat TONS of beans & Corn Tortillas (Cheep!, Yummy!) ,brown rice, potatoes, frozen F/V's and cheap fresh F/V's (about $1 lb. or less by shopping around). Budget should not be the issue, it might just take "re-learning" vegan for you.
You can make a crockpot full o' beans very easily and freeze it in small portions, etc.
Hugs - Lenora