I quit my Lenten vegan quest last Sunday with weeks to go until Easter. I'm no longer vegan, but a lacto-ovo-vegetarian once more, and likely for the rest of my days. I definitely learned some things during my vegan experimentation.
I love my not-tested-on-animals, made in the USA, available in eleventy-million delicious flavors, Bonne Bell Lipsmackers, which have beeswax in them. The vegan hemp oil lip balms can't compete on price, flavors or moisturizing. Sorry bees.
I am not at all lactose-intolerant, but I am quite soy-sensitive. I'll spare you the disgusting details of discomfort. Trust me. Tofu and other highly-processed soy products do BAD things to my digestive tract.
Vegan cheese and vegan milk substitutes are so not to my liking.
I ate more highly processed foods as a vegan and gained a few pounds. I felt denied at meal times. Consequently, I overindulged in junky food stuff that parades as healthy.
If I had a million dollars, lived in downtown Austin and could eat every meal from the Whole Foods salad bar or ready-prepped sections, avoiding soy products, I might do okay as a vegan. I still wouldn't ENJOY being vegan.
If you think it's a pain in the patootie trying to dine out with a vegetarian, multiply that by at least ten when it comes to dining out with a vegan, especially in the suburbs or in cities that are less hippie-dippie-tolerant than Austin. A little perspective: Austin recently ranked #8 on the list for the most vegetarian/vegan-friendly cities in the United States of America.
Did I mention the soy-sensitive thing? Yeah? Well, it bears repeating. I am soy-sensitive, and it is pretty dang uncomfortable.
There. My terrible confession. I'm a vegetarian, but I can't make it as a vegan for even forty days.