This headline caught my eye earlier today: "My Transition to Vegan Wasn't Easy". It's an interview with someone called P. K. Mohankumar, featured in this weekend's Business Standard in India. I stifled a slight groan at the hint of "veganism-is-hard" I detected with a slight sense of hope, triggered by the use of the word "transition" with a past-tense verb. The first paragraph belies anything positive as soon as Mohankumar states that he is sharing his favourite fish-based recipe with the Business Standard. Mohankumar goes on to talk about his conversion to "veganism" from having been a "hard core non-vegetarian" and lists off a wide variety of healthy fruits, vegetables, grains, seeds and legumes he regularly consumes. And then:
My transition to being a committed vegan took 90 grueling days. So, every Sunday is a ‘fun’ day for me and I indulge my palate with a typical south Indian breakfast of steaming idlis, home dosas or puttu followed by an appetising fish curry, masala grilled mackerels and sardines, with rice and tomato-garlic rasam.He goes on to mention loving "probiotic ice-creams [and] flavoured yogurt", and of course since I wander in the world of vegan alternatives, I'm used to assuming that when people self-identify as vegan that when they say "ice cream" or "yogurt" they mean the soy- or coconut-based kinds. I can't say that I feel comfortable giving Mohankumar the benefit of the doubt, however, since he goes on to describe some of his favourite non-Indian dishes as follows:
I like Italian cuisine a lot. Penne arrabbiata, herb-crusted John Dory with grainy mustard sauce or tomato vinaigrette with olives and capers, is what I usually order when I eat Italian food. I also like Mediterranean cuisine, especially olive oil-poached salmon and grilled cod with caper sauce.So, rather than say that his transition to veganism "wasn't easy", I think it's safer to say that Mohankumar's transition to veganism just plain old "wasn't".