My three week Vegan trial is over - and here is the result:
I'm not Vegan.
I have learned over the last several weeks what it means to be Vegan. It's so much more than a way to eat. Animal rights figure into every single decision. I admire the Vegans I have met - while I do believe in most of what they do, I don't necessarily agree with it all. It's a hard balance for me - growing up in a way that taught me reverence for every living being did not mean to not eat meat, but to raise the animal humanely and use every bit of it for something when killed for the family table. I did not like meat - and most of our dinners had names - it was a pretty easy jump for me to become Vegetarian almost as soon as I left my parent's home. What made me every stray, I really don't know - but I am very happy to be back to full-fledged Vegetarianism.
Here is the real result of my experiment - I have found enough information in the last three weeks to make me realize the health benefits of avoiding dairy and eggs. Honey is a gift from the bees to me and is very healthful. I make many of my herbal preparations with organic, local honey, and will continue to. I will still eat dairy and eggs on occasion, particularly when it appeases family members during holiday meals, etc. When I do, however, I will be sure the animals have been treated well. I am in the process of finding additional sources for small organic humane farm products.
Most of the Vegan options I have found, I will continue to use and like more than the dairy. These include Earth Balance butter replacement - Coconut or Soy milk replacement for half n half - Tofutti sour cream replacer - Tofutti cream cheese replacer - Coconut and Soy ice creams - Daiya cheese replacements. I am still experimenting with cheese replacements and will be posting a comparison soon.
I expect to eat this way at least 98% of the time, but I am not ready to call myself Vegan. Perhaps in the future, maybe even the near future, this will be true.