Veganuary – Cheat Days

So here are a couple of pictures to show what vegan things I have managed to find in the canteen, this was my lunch on day 5: garlic pumpkin, simple cabbage/tofu/leaves and broccoli/carrots. The second picture is just to show you how much rice I can and do eat. Yes this is a meal for one, haha.

It cost me 4.4 yuan (44p)

I’m treating Veganuary as a type of Lent (the 40 days before Easter where I usually give up eating chocolate). And as with Lent, I am finding there are cheat days. During Lent, some people say that Sundays and Saints Days don’t count, so you can do/eat the things you pledged to give up on those days.

The Veganuary cheats I’ve had have happened during the last three days, where I ate in different situations:

  • a KitKat chunky
  • Boiled pork
  • Spaghetti carbonara

Day 3: The boiled pork was something more difficult for me. I went to a restaurant with a friend for a catch up after not seeing each other for a few weeks, and when we ordered, I told him I wasn’t eating meat during January. When we’ve eaten out before, we’ve shared 2 meat and one veg dish. We chose 2 veg dishes, but he kept looking at the meat and I knew that was what he wanted to order. He chose this boiled pork in a spicy sauce as it was lighter and not fried. I felt like I couldn’t persuade him not to order it and I was obliged to share it with him.

Did I know it wasn’t vegan? Yes.
Did I enjoy it? No.

I wasn’t really in the mood to eat meat, but ate a bit to be polite, I mainly picked out the cabbage from underneath the meat.

Day 4: The KitKat chunky was not an accident, I came back to Jinhua after a few weeks away and found some Christmas presents that I didn’t take away with me to India as I knew what they were. I opened the KitKat chunkys [which are my favourite chocolate bar] and knew I was going to eat one. I had one earlier last year, but didn’t enjoy it, as it had been contaminated by the mint Aero (the only downfall of a variety pack of chocolates).

Did I know it wasn’t vegan? Yes.
Did I enjoy it? Yes.

I think the difference between the pork and the chocolate was that the pork was definitely and clearly meat – the texture, taste, smell, name. Nothing mislead me and I felt a bit bad. But with the Kitkat, it’s not like I could taste the milk in it.

Day 6: The carbonara was a translation miscommunication. I went to a Halal/Arabic restaurant and noticed there was a lot of meat on the menu, so asked the waitress what dishes she could make without meat, she said ‘noodles with mushrooms’, which sounded great. Then when it came out, it was carbonara, which was made from cream. I’m not the type of person to turn food away or send it back to the kitchen to be thrown in a bin, so I ate it.

Did I know it wasn’t vegan? No.
Did I enjoy it? Yes.

It was nice to have a good vegetarian pasta dish, ok it wasn’t vegan, but it was a nice meal that wasn’t Chinese – sometimes Chinese food can get a bit samey.

As predicted, it is hard to eat vegan in a country where it’s not understood or accepted by society. Today I also went to a cafe and asked the waitress to recommend something without dairy in it, she suggested a ‘milk tea’.



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