WP_20151013_15_12_29_Pro So there has been some changes going on around this little neck of the woods. Lew’s gone vegan! Yep, for the past 8 weeks Lew has made a  radical change to his diet. One day he was a meat eating, animal products scoffing {especially cheese!}omnivore and the next, literally, he was a strict vegan. I guess the word strict doesn’t need to be there – a vegan is a vegan right? But I know a few vegetarians who eat chicken and fish and some vegans who scoff ham. Anyway, I’m just trying to say that he’s a proper one as in NO animal products whatsoever. I have embraced his decision as much as I can. He does some of the cooking these days but I still do the majority so I make as many vegan recipes as possible and I alter old recipes to suit his vegan needs. I still eat animal products and so does Pete so it can take a bit of juggling sometimes to meet everyone’s meal needs but so far it seems to be working OK. Yep, it’s working OK and yep, I’ve embraced his decision but I have to say it has been a bit of a  challenge for me. At first it was  hard to get out of the habit of putting animal products in every meal. It seemed limiting to say the least. As time’s gone on it has become much easier – Lew finds recipes, I find some, Pete finds some. We all chip in to accommodate Lew’s needs but for someone like me who loves to bake cakes with lots of eggs and cook hearty meals with lashings of cream and butter it has definitely taken some getting used to. We’ve never been huge meat eaters so the skipping meat thing didn’t phase me at all. We rarely have red meat and we’d only have chicken a few times a week but the animal products thing…yikes, that’s been tricky. At first I kind of begged him to at last eat our eggs. Our chooks have a wonderful life and so I thought he’d accept that but so far he’s against the eating of any animal products full stop. So no Sweet Pea eggs will pass Lew’s lips…for now at least. WP_20150922_13_42_08_Pro   I shouldn’t be surprised. I can be a bit of an extremist myself so really it goes with Lew’s nature, and my own, to go the whole hog on certain things …but food? Hmmmm….nah, never thought he’d be extreme with that.   So how did the vegan thing come about? Funnily enough he stumbled across it while surfing his usual you tubers. Mainly he you tubes movie and game reviewers and recently-ish he’s been getting into psychology. Vegan Gains was one of the first vegan you tubers that he accidently fell over. Vegan Gains is also a gamer and game reviewer but Lew didn’t actually enjoy his gaming stuff. Somehow the vegan diet caught his interest and he began researching it more thoroughly over a few months. He started talking about it with me and mentioning how he thought it would be  a good thing to at least try for lots of reasons but he thought his will power wouldn’t hold up. To be honest, I didn’t think it would either. But held up it has. The main reasons for him going vegan are weight loss, healthy lifestyle and the biggest one, ethical responsibility. That also doesn’t surprise me. Lew’s always been a huge advocate of animal rights and has been extremely passionate about wanting to stop the harming of animals. The ethical thing is a tricky one for me though. On the one hand I totally agree with him about animal cruelty and just like him, I would like to see a lot of barbaric farming practices stopped and replaced with gentler, kinder, more ethical ones. I made a decision a long time ago to only buy free range and organic chicken, non-feedlot meat, free range bacon and free range eggs. I didn’t want to support the unethical practices of battery hens and stall raised pigs and feedlot meat. I’ve wanted to grow as much of our own food as possible and Lew has grown up with that sort of talk around food production. But I do eat meat. I do eat eggs. I love butter. I absolutely love cheese and I don’t plan on giving any of that up. The more of it I can produce from our own place the better I’d feel but it’s all extremely time consuming and so I do what I can with the time that I’ve got which pretty much consists of having a reasonably sized veggie garden, having our own chooks and therefore eggs,growing fruits trees, baking sourdough bread and cooking most of our meals from scratch.  InstagramCapture_3867bf9d-18f4-47ee-af68-430a4652b323   This next bit is going to sound a little bit strange, probably, and somewhat superficial, but I’m going to voice it anyway… I have to say that I’ve felt some feelings of grief over his vegan decision. Not the same grief of course as someone dying or divorce but a bit more like the grief that can come with drastic change in lifestyle and maybe it’s just me but food seems to have a pretty big hold over our lifestyle. It’s always been such a big part of our lives and has played a huge role in the creating of many of the lovely memories we have made so far in his 15 years of life. All of Lew’s favourite meals have been animal products based: pizza, lasagne, spaghetti bolognaise, creamy bacon pasta, mince based tacos, chicken pie. I miss cooking these things. As much as I was starting to loathe some of those dishes because they’d become a weekly thing for us over a really long time, I miss the cosiness that familiar meals create. I even miss the funny banter that went on when Lew would reach for his 8th piece of pizza. But now, I guess, it’s time to create some new food memories and find some cosiness in the vegan food choices and that banter that will go reaching for his 8th slice of non-cheesy pizza. Hmmm… and soy based cheese is so not the same as normal cheese, just saying.   WP_20150909_11_48_11_Pro__highres   Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love plant based foods and we’ve always eaten a stack of them but the thought of Lew never having butter and cream and cheese and bacon again feels a little strange. His choice, I know. Anyway, I’m sure I’ll post more about the whole vegan thing and share a few recipes that we’ve found a long this little foodie adventure. There are some delicious recipes out there and the more I get creative the more ways I can see of modifying recipes that we’ve used as animal based ones. Nothing like a bit of kerfuffle in the kitchen to get my brain functioning a bit more creatively and push myself out of the box a bit more. Nothing like a 15 year old passionate vegan in the house. So tell me, have your kids chosen food choices that are really different from your own? If so, how have you dealt with it? Have there been struggles?