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First vegan post and vegan crunk night.

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26 blog/_posts/2012-05-02-Vegan-Crunk-Night.md
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+---
+layout: post
+title: Vegan Crunk Night
+tags: [life, food, vegan]
+---
+
+<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/58967572@N03/7135620371/" title="Vegan
+Crunk Night by mm0hai, on Flickr"><img
+src="http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7076/7135620371_13a888b2f4_z.jpg"
+width="640" height="480" alt="Vegan Crunk Night"></a>
+
+<q>I organise a vegan crunk night.</q>
+
+Now that I am eating vegan, I feel like I can somewhat legitimately organise a
+vegan crunk night. I still don't know what one is meant to be, but that didn't
+stop me and on Saturday we had one. There were tasty vegan noms, potluck
+style. Apparently crunk is a kind of southern hip-hop, but none of us were
+keen on that so we decided table top games would be a reasonable
+substitute. :)
+
+If you don't know what I'm talking about you need to watch this excellent
+video.
+
+<iframe width="560" height="315"
+src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/lVmmYMwFj1I" frameborder="0"
+allowfullscreen></iframe>
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92 blog/_posts/2012-05-02-Vegan.md
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+---
+layout: post
+title: Vegan
+tags: [life, food, vegan]
+---
+
+Nearly three weeks ago I adopted a vegan diet. Since the 12th of April I
+have not eaten anything containing animal products, except for a few vitamin
+pills until I got hold of some vegan ones.
+
+I'm not sure why I am doing this. I just had a feeling it was the thing to
+do. Usually I don't pay too much attention to feelings and would make
+decisions based on conscious reasoning but as an experiment I am trying to pay
+more attention to feelings. So this diet could be called a meta-experiment.
+
+If I had to rationalise this notion, I would note that I had a vegetarian diet
+for much, perhaps even most, of the time when I was <a
+href="/blog/2011/11/15/Serendipitous-Blaggagio.html">travelling
+recently</a>. This was simply because of what was available and
+practical. Meat and milk do not survive well if you live outside in a hot
+climate. I felt good when I was away and perhaps associated eating less meat
+with this, even if there is no causal relation.
+
+When I returned to this meat eating household I was very aware of when I ate
+meat. In some cases, such as ready meals, it seemed slightly unappealing.
+
+I had also become more aware of food in general, particularly if it was
+expensive or rare, like fish for example. I did not object completely to
+eating it, but thought that if one is going to eat something of which there is
+a limited supply, and which is not necessary, then it ought to be
+appreciated. If the reason to eat a certain fish is flavour and pleasure,
+making oneself happy, then one should pay attention to the eating and enjoy
+it, not watch TV while doing so, otherwise it is mindless destruction.
+
+Whatever the reason, I decided to eat vegan, with the idea I would probably
+try it for a month and see how I felt. I started because of a feeling so
+I will also use that criterion to decide when to stop, if at all.
+
+I am not calling myself a vegan. Partly this is because I am trying to be
+careful not to over-use labels, but mostly it is because this one does not seem
+to apply. The Vegan Society says, <q
+cite="http://www.vegansociety.com/become-a-vegan/why.aspx">A vegan is someone
+who tries to live without exploiting animals, for the benefit of animals,
+people and the planet.</q>. The definition requires a certain intention, not
+just action. I don't think I am motivated by the given reasons. It is probably
+the simplest way to describe my diet though. I am not a vegan, I just eat like
+one.
+
+I had some problems in the first few days. On days two and three I woke up
+unusually hungry. Someone later told me when he was vegan for a month he was
+hungry all the time and ate lots of sugar to relieve it, but I found this
+resolved itself by the fourth day and it has not recurred. For the first week
+perhaps, I was also producing Type 6 on the <a
+href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bristol_Stool_Scale">Bristol Stool
+Scale</a> and needed to go to the toilet more often. Perhaps I was eating much
+more fibre than I was used to, but that is probably a good thing. It seems to
+have settled down now. Otherwise, I have found it quite easy so far and learnt
+some things about food, cooking and veganism.
+
+I don't seem to crave meat or cheese. If tasty animal food was put in front of
+me, such as good quality meat or some cheese for Mellis's cheesemonger, I would
+like to eat it, but I rarely think about it otherwise. I miss eggs and butter
+on toast.
+
+One thing that requires some effort though is cooking. This is probably not
+because vegan cooking is inherently more difficult than cooking with any
+ingredients, but because the things I know how to cook are not
+vegan. Therefore I need to learn a lot, fast, to avoid becoming bored with a
+few dishes. It's also hard to learn because the way I learnt to cook many
+things I know is by discovering them somewhere, like a restaurant, and then
+cooking it myself. That way I knew what I liked and what it was meant to be
+like. I do not have the experience of vegan food to know what is good and what
+things should come out like when I try recipes.
+
+The positive side is that I am being forced to learn. I have discovered new
+ingredients I would never have tried before and have probably diversified my
+diet. I have become a fan of chickpeas and lentils, and would eat these more
+even if I also ate meat. I've tried various grains, beans, soya flour, soya
+milk, oat milk, agave syrup, and tempeh. I've also started cooking Indian
+food, which I had been meaning to do for some time.
+
+I also eat less processed food. Ready meals and other prepared foods often
+have animal products in them, or in many cases, unspecified "flavourings". Not
+eating these is probably a significant health benefit. Another side effect of
+the diet is reading ingredients carefully. I have learnt what some E numbers
+are, and in some cases they are things I would not want to eat whether vegan
+or not.
+
+It's also a good excuse to <a
+href="/blog/2012/05/02/Vegan-Crunk-Night.html">organise a Vegan Crunk Night</a>!
+
+I've got lots more to say on this subject but will leave it at that for now.
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