It’s the first Friday of Lent and that means two things:
- Everyone you know will be at a fish fry tonight “not eating meat” (….mmmkay)
- I’ve been vegan for exactly one year and two days!
Now, I fully realize that absolutely no one but me cares about that second point, but it brings up an interesting idea.
As I’ve explained, my path to veganism was gradual, but once I got it in my head to make the official transition from vegetarian to vegan, it was quite sudden. When I made the decision, I gave myself a starting point to kick things off. This wasn’t really about trying to put it off as much as hedging my bets against failure. When I went vegetarian, I had a lot of false starts, so I thought if I paired going vegan with Lent, I’d be more likely to stay committed. Ash Wednesday 2010, I flipped the switch and I’ve been going strong since (well usually, of course)!
Interestingly enough, it turns out a lot of people have the same idea. If you think about it, it sort of makes sense: the Lenten season is supposed to be about sacrifice. For a lot of people, giving up all animal products starts out as an act of sacrifice. Obviously, for people who stick with it, it becomes something altogether different (for me, it’s quite the opposite – I extract a lot of joy from veganism). At any rate, it’s become fairly common for people to take the opportunity to test-drive veganism during Lent.
To that end, The New York Times published a series of articles this week featuring several vegan recipes for just such people! Any of these recipes would be a great place to start for Lenten vegans, as would some of the information and links on my Vegan 101 page.
Obviously, going completely vegan is a big step (for some more than others). If it seems like it’s too much too soon, no worries! As usual, you don’t have to go full-throttle vegan for the entire season of Lent to test the waters or benefit animals. Full or part-time vegetarianism, or even just a commitment to eat less animal products in general, are all also excellent ways to honor the season and get a little taste of veggie life.
One more thing: fish is meat. The end. (I couldn’t help myself!)