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We are young, we are impatient, we want it now!


Sometimes it's just too difficult to wait it out....

We had planned to start the experiment on September 1st, but after all of our reading, discussions, creating shopping lists, we are ready NOW!

Saturday, August 1, 2009 the Vegan Experiment begins!

We have the groceries, willpower, knowledge, support, and after work tonight we will each have a pair of work appropriate vegan friendly shoes.


What's a Vegan?

Essentially, a vegan is a person who abstains from eating or using all animal products. This includes, but definitely isn't limited to:

- Meat (Beef, Pork, Chicken, Fish, Antelope, Squirrel, you get the idea)
- Dairy (Cheese, Milk, Ice Cream, Sour Cream, Heavy Cream, Whipping Cream...)
- Eggs (They were almost chickens, and definitely an animal product)
- Leather (Here's a hint, they don't remove it surgically...)
- Honey (Kind of a stretch, but bees are animals. So it's an animal product)
- Wool (The sheep aren't killed to get it, but the practice of raising them is not very nice)

Of course, there aren't always easy choices. Honey can be debated since it doesn't use many resources to grow bees, they help pollinate, and usually aren't killed to harvest the honey. A couple other things to be aware of are:

- Beer (If isinglass or a similar animal-based clearing agent is used, it ain't vegan)
- Restaurant food (Just because you know what a vegan eats doesn't mean the cook at Applebee's does)
- Gelatin (Usually made from animal hooves. Seriously)
- Vegetarian foods (Vegetarian does NOT necessarily mean vegan)
- Kosher foods (Again, not the same thing)
- Organic foods (Better than not-organic, but not vegan)
- Veggie Cheese (Rennet binds cheese together and comes from cow stomachs. Make sure the rennet is veggie-based before partaking)

If you still are curious what exactly a vegan is, there are TONS of sites out there with information for the curious and interested.

Here's a couple sites to start you off.


In the Beginning...

The whole vegan idea is actually a result of Katie reading the dieting book Skinny Bitch. Like a paperback boot camp, the book grabbed her and practically yelled the why's and how's of veganism in her face. Although it wasn't the gentlest introduction to the lifestyle, it sure worked. (This book was initially picked up as a joke, please do not suggest it to your grandmother, or anyone for that matter.)

About halfway through the book, her decision was made. She wanted to be a vegan. This was brought to my attention in the following conversation:

Katie: "I am going to be vegan now."

Brendan: "Um, ok."

After some further explanation and a little research on my part, I came up with three main reasons why people go vegan: animal welfare, health, and environmental sustainability. There are, of course, plenty of other reasons people choose a vegan lifestyle, but those three ideas are what we will focus on for our experiment.

In this blog, we will be looking at living vegan in the Portland area. Luckily, Portland is a city that is extremely friendly to the vegan community and will make our lives just a little bit easier. We will cover buying and eating vegan food, buying and wearing vegan clothing and shoes, and some of the facts and figures that we find along the way. Since we are not familiar with the vegan community, it will be a learning experience for us as well as those reading the blog.

Hopefully we all learn something and are better healthier people for it.