Monday, 8 February 2010
The following article was kindly written for Full Stomach by a friend of mine, Jhon Cosgrove. Jhon plays guitar for Mike TV and is pretty open about his veganism. I asked him to write about why he is vegan and what it's like touring abroad and eating vegan. As usual with Jhon, there's a bit of swearing so if you're not into that, then feel free to skip. I thought Jhon would bring a bit of lightheartedness to the month and true to form, he did! Enjoy! (And thanks Jhon!)
A blog on why I'm vegan with some unnecessary swear words and a mention of Uri Geller.
By Jhon Cosgrove aged 28 years and a few months.
I'm not sure where to start with this blog. This is the first time I've ever really written about my ethical dietary choice and it's difficult. There's a fine line between preaching and personal opinion. Let's hope I stick with the latter and you don't treat this as a biased, vegan eulogy. I'm kind of aiming this mainly at meaty men and women who maybe haven't ever considered what any of this vegan stuff means. Sorry if you already know this or if I sound condescending but I get asked vegan questions all the time (even more than I get asked 'Why don't you dye your other eyebrow blonde' or 'has anyone ever told you that you look like Sideshow Bob?').
Firstly, I have been vegetarian for ten years and vegan for nearly three. I made the step from the longer 'V' word to the smaller 'V' word after deciding my principals against animal cruelty were basically compromised by the fact that the dairy industry goes hand in hand with the meat industry. It seems to me that many people view the word 'vegan' as a bunch of hippies who don't eat 'real' food, are in some sort of faddy cult or are just doing it to be cool. The general public seem to think that the diet must be really boring and plain. 'How can you survive without cheese!’ people cry at me with disdain. Then follow it up with the second most popular question 'What do you eat then...just vegetables and fruit?' This is usually followed by a disparaging grin. A vegan picnic by anyone’s reckoning must be a sea of undernourished, skeletal freaks dipping carrots in humus and snorting lentils.
I'm vegan for one main reason. I personally believe that cruelty to animals is wrong. That is the bottom line. There are other factors to consider like health and environment but I'm not gonna go into it excessively, as it will be boring for you carnivorous types and you will think I'm just trying to convert you. If you're interested, read up about it! It's as easy as searching the word VEGAN on Google or Wikipedia. I hate flying but I spent a whole night last week researching plane crashes. Knowledge is power! Except in my case, as I'm now even more terrified of flying. As I said before, I don't want to preach and it's your choice. Some people like hot air balloons, some people like watching Holby City and some people like sleeping with members of their own family. I like being vegan and cruelty free. You may say, well I only eat ethical meat and free range eggs. I'm sure when your pissed and on your way home, you stop at that Kebab van, start to salivate, then you reach into your pocket, buy a burger and start to masticate. It's still your choice but maybe have a little look online and see where your food actually comes from, how it's made and sold to you the consumer. I also advise researching 'mechanically separated meat'. You might never eat a hot dog ever again.
Anyway, this is all getting a bit serious isn't it? Let's pull it back in with what the fuck we eat. I like to eat healthy but I also like eating junk. Again I don't want to sound condescending and most of you food fanatics will know all this anyway. You can pretty much 'veganise' most things both savoury and sweet. Instead of me making a list and sounding like (more of) a moron, check out the websites below for some awesome recipes and cooking advice. If anyone is thinking of trying it out even for a day, a week or a month then check out the vegan forums (link below) as they have lots of information and help. I'm not trying to make it sound like a sexual health clinic but it's always good to be clued up and maybe even consult a vegan friend to see what they eat. Don't be put off by the fact that spoon-bending, pseudo-psychic fuckwit Uri Geller is a vegan. There are some famous vegans you can really relate to like Heather Mills or Bryan Adams (apparently). Okay, maybe that's not an argument then...
Enough silliness, back to the task in hand... Travelling and being vegan can be a pain in the arse if you aren't a bit organised about it all. When I go on tour with my terrible band, I usually bring a box full of tasty tricks to keep me going. It's pretty easy once you get used to it and you get to know places you can eat out and the places you can't. Again there is lots of good reading about travelling and being vegan, I'll list some below.
I haven't really got much else to say, other than I hope I have opened up a few eyes (and mouths)* with my dumbed down approach to internet communication. Cheers to Linds for having a vegan month on this blog and sending me cupcakes. Just have a quick read up on this vegan malarkey (just for me, no pressure), check out the websites and books below and maybe even try out a few meals. If you make anything nice, send me some, I'm fucking starving after all this typing.
*This is really unfunny but I'm keeping it in.
Some Useful Websites