When I graduated from college with a degree in theater arts, I moved to New York City to pursue an acting career. I decided to do the typical actor thing, waiting tables and going on auditions.
But I knew I would not be able to serve meat. I was a vegetarian at the time, and the thought of serving meat made me way too uncomfortable, as it still does. I was lucky to find a job at a vegan restaurant, Peacefood Cafe—problem solved!
But Peacefood turned out to be more than I bargained for, in the best way, though it was pretty uncomfortable for me for a while. Vegans at the restaurant slowly tried to educate me about reasons to give up dairy products, and I spent a stressful transitional period feeling guilty about the things I was learning but unable to change my behavior.
Eventually, I broke through, I quit cheese, I quit yogurt, and I felt so much better for it. (Of course, now I can enjoy non-dairy versions of both of those things! Yippee!) Since then, I’ve continued to learn more and more about the dairy industry and about dairy’s effects on human health, and I’ve felt more and more assured of the path I set out on way back then.
Last month I experienced a big step in this continual learning process when I attended the NYC launch of Dr. Neal Barnard’s new book, The Cheese Trap.