Vegan Reflection: Jack Braunstein (’13)

By Jack Braunstein ('13)/ Eastside Underground Editor

Three weeks into the vegan experience, my body has adjusted to the lack of dairy. By this I mean that I forget what cheese tastes like. I have realized that for me physically, the jump from vegetarianism to veganism was not such a big one: my main dietary staples were unchanged and I didn’t feel any more fatigued than I usually do. I like food too much to watch the PETA videos depicting the wretched inhumanity of the dairy process which some of my fellow editors sent around, so I remained unchanged morally.

My mom was extremely understanding during this experiment: she cooked a multitude of mouthwatering dishes every day of the experiment. The meals she made were so good that they made me want to stay vegan forever. The most difficult part of the experiment was dessert. After a few days of the experiment, I noticed that most breads were vegan, but that cakes, cookies and other airy sweets were cooked with eggs. I spent about thirty percent of the experiment drooling with longing for cookies and ice cream.

Before the experiment, I thought vegans always held an air of pretentiousness over vegetarians. As if meat is not enough! But after three weeks of living lactose free, I see that it’s just another lifestyle choice, and does take serious commitment. I think I now have a glimpse into what it is like to me as a vegetarian from an omnivore’s perspective. It is impossible to fully understand a different lifestyle until one has lived it themselves, so come on, vegans: let’s share war stories! Remember that vegan cupcake? So dry! I stopped the experiment five days early because I was leaving for a trip to Israel and didn’t want to worry about anything more a “sim chonim” meal in the Middle East. But I’ll admit it: on Thursday, December 16, I stuck my finger into the icing of a chocolate cake.