It is very hard work


Being vegan is really hard work. I think that is what is the hard part, letting go of butter and other fattening delights that fill the plate and the addictive urges.

I have to confess to feeling totally different. I realise that I addicted to dairy fat. I am 12 Stepping myself out of it and doing really well. Who’d have thought that digestive biscuits have animal fat? Or chocolate meusli. I was so surprised. It seems that dairy is all over the place and a conscious effort is needed to avoid it.
We had discussed finishing the dairy stuff in the fridge. There is lots of Halloumi and mascarpone, but given how different I feel, and what a huge change it has been I find I really don’t want to “slip” and go back because I know that I will go right back, all the way, as I am addicted to butter.

I think it runs in the family. I watch my mother with butter. Doorsteps of it on bread, in sandwiches. Blended butter and sugar instead of cream, which I know is no better, it is just to make the point about how much butter we grew up with. And all those awful “we didn’t have butter in the war” stories. I used to fold my ears shut when I heard that one starting. But somehow now I have a lot more compassion for what it must have been like to grow up in the war. Watching Narnia, an awful film, especially the really dippy fawn, I cried at the idea of having to send children away to total strangers. I know it was to save them from being killed, but Oh God it must have been so horrific to let them go.

I am acutely aware at the moment of how much pain you open yourself to, as a mother. The endless, subconscious fear of death, like an alarm bell ringing behind you all the time. Perhaps other parents don’t hear it, but I hear it so often and have to smile and let go even though the bell is ringing. And then wait for their safe return. How women could have stood at the train station and watched their children going off to God only knows what, I cannot imagine.

But then shit happens, doesn’t it? We are never promised an easy life except in the movies. Where sex is always great and love forever juicy.
I have been in contact with a lot of rape stories recently. So hideous and awful, but Shit Happens, and it is part of our route through life to accept, heal, learn and move on to the next experience. I know I would not be who I am if I had not grown up with those awful moments, been through the mill of a rebellious and abandoned adolesence, and then all the attendant joys of alcoholism and drug addiction. We have to have the awful moments to ripen us into ourselves. Hopefully that is where we go, inside rather than out. Many go out, and never come back, I know.

What this has to do with veganism totally escapes me, except as I write, I know that peeling away the layers of addiction allows one to really think and feel from the heart, and that is where I am now. I am emotional and want to cry and cry. But somehow, as a mother, I no longer do. There are so many other things that are so much more important.