Thursday, October 25, 2012
Vegan Interrogated: Geoff
Name: Geoff (a.k.a. the husband)
Location: Los Angeles
A little about yourself:
Geoff is a semiconductor sales guy by day and an aspiring photographer by night. It's kind of like a super power. He enjoys short walks on the beach and talking in the voice from movie previews. Follow him on Twitter @gsouder or his photographer fan page https://www.facebook.com/ZombieEyePhotography
What made you decide to go vegan?
There were a few things that happened all at the same time that led me to the vegan bug.
First, I would try to control the quality of my food by limiting trips to Burger King and In n Out but it would never last very long. I weighed too much and I felt generally bad all the time.
Second, my wife went vegan and showed me that I wouldn't have to live off of grass clippings and mud. The places we ate and the food she cooked was really good! Her strength was a huge inspiration to me.
Third, I watched a movie called Forks Over Knives. There was a lot of compelling information in that movie and I took it all in. The thing that stuck with me was an off the cuff remark in the movie. They said that we could feed every mouth in the world with the food that we give to livestock. It stuck with me.
Finally, I love my dogs. How can I continue to let an animal so similar to my dogs get slaughtered so I could eat it? All of these things combined in my head and made the decision easy. I went cold turkey and I've never intentionally slipped (there was a butter-in-bread situation before I had the the guts to speak up at restaurants with work people).
Favorite meal to make:
My favorite meal to make is when I make my way to my car and drive to Mohawk Bend.
Favorite restaurant & why
Um.. Mohawk Bend. It's a cool place, with great vegan food with great service and the occasional celebrity to spice up the night.
Who/what inspires you?
I know this might come off as cheesy, but my wife really inspires me. She has been a great influence and supporter of my veganism without being pushy or aggressive. Also, Jay Z. He's not vegan, but he does inspire me to be better at life.
Dumbest question someone asked you about being vegan:
More of a statement, at a restaurant: "Oh, you're VEGAN? I think the only thing we have on the menu that you can eat is the Sashimi". I also think it's really interesting that everyone becomes a protein expert once you tell them you are vegan.
Favorite organization/cause & why:
I love the Gentle Barn. I want to say it's for altruistic reasons but really I just love hugging cows.
What was the reaction from your friends/family?
Some were cool, others quiet. I'm sure there was some discussion with me not around. One person told me it was gross that I don't eat eggs or cheese. I think that's very strange... NOT eating unfertilized chicken babies is gross? I don't get it.
Do you find going out/social situations difficult?
I did at first, but then I decided that I don't care what people think. Work is a little tougher because I end up in places like steak houses and sushi bars - I have to, it's part of my job. In situations like this a salad and a cliff bar get me through to when I can get something better for me.
What changes have you noticed in yourself since going vegan?
I lost about 15 pounds over the first 3 months or so and I have a lot more consistent energy. Also, I had long term- erm- stomach issues that have been significantly reduced. Also also, I'm a little more awesome.
What is the biggest misconception people have about you being vegan?
That I don't eat "real food" or that I am unhealthy because I'm not getting my protein.
Do you have any advice for people toying with the idea of becoming a vegan?
Try it for a month. What's to lose? Just have a plan put together so you don't end up chewing on lettuce and celery while starving for a month. Know where you are going to go and what you are going to cook. Also, keep in mind that your body is used to dense foods like meat and you might find that you are unsatisfied with with how full you feel after a meal. You might get hungry between meals. Just eat dense food snacks: nuts, clif bar, etc - and this should go away in a week or so. Avoid smelling meat for a while.
Do you think a vegan diet could be universally adopted?
Yeah, it could, but it won't. People seem really determined to keep their diets the way they are. The only way things will change is if something major happens - mad cow spreads, extinction of farm animals or deep social changes for example. I don't know why this is such a polarizing issue but a lot of people believe they can't survive without meat. The truth is that they can't really survive all that well WITH meat. Ironic, huh?
Do you think your veganism has an impact on something greater than yourself?
No, I'm just a guy that doesn't eat meat or dairy. I don't expect that to change anything other than myself.