I have been thinking a lot about my blog and my presence in the vegan community a lot lately, and I had a really important moment the other day while I was at work that first discouraged me but has begun to inspire me.
I was at the office the day after we had a huge bbq party for the residents, so of course we had a ton of leftovers sitting around, including these unbelievably good-smelling assorted cookies. I mean, they smelled like heaven. I had been packing some up to residents the whole night before, but I ended up hitting a vegan crisis that I haven’t experienced since the first week of going vegan (That story will come at a later time).
I was standing in the office completing some work when the cookie package caught my attention. I walked over to it and just stared down. I just stood there and stared down. There was a pan full of perfectly round, golden brown, soft little cookies. Some were chocolate chip, some were oatmeal raisin, some were white chocolate macadamia nut. White chocolate macadamias used to be my absolute favorite cookies. I could taste the sweet combination of cookie and white chocolate and my mind started to race. This was a time just before lunch, so I was at my hungriest. And when I looked away and looked back at the plate, I noticed that one of the chocolate chip cookies was broken into 4-5 pieces. If a cookie is broken, we wouldn’t set it out for residents to eat, and if staff is walking through to grab a cookie, they would never end up eating a broken one, right? That cookie would just end up being thrown away! So I could either throw the cookie away or eat it myself. And do you know what my first thought was?
No one would know. No one would know if I ate this cookie. No one would know unless I told them, and I can choose to never tell a soul.
And then I thought very objectively: Why am I vegan? Especially why am I vegan instead of vegetarian? What is the true, true impact of taking me, ONE person, out of the equation? The fears that people try to break vegans down with was finally getting to me. What if I really don’t do a damn thing for animals?
I sat down in the chair right in front of the broken chocolate chip cookie, and I stared. I stared and I let the answer come to me if I would or would not take a bite. I let myself fight with the internal conflict, and finally I realized not only that I would not take a bite, but that I knew the reason that I wouldn’t.
I would not eat the dairy and egg inside those cookies for two big reasons:
- I do not agree with the animal industry on a health, moral, or environmental level. I do not want to participate in the animal culture because I respect my body and my mind enough to make that decision for myself. I choose every day to abstain from animal byproducts because even if I were the only person on earth I would not agree with the act of eating an animal or its byproduct.
- I am not the only person on earth, and I know that many people believe eating animals and their byproducts is wrong for the exact same reasons I do. Some of those people simply do not know the impacts of animal agriculture, and I can use my blog and my social media presence to shine light on this issue. I already know that I have done enough work to make a lot of people consider going vegan or eventually choosing to go vegan because I have been told so. Even in my daily life, I encounter many non-vegans (in fact, the only other vegan person I know is Mitch!) and I believe that bringing some veganism into their life is a good and positive thing. Because to be completely honest, I cannot imagine a logical person being completely unwilling to become vegan. It’s such a simple change, and it makes an unbelievable difference in our world.
In the days following my big realization, I have been thinking more and more about how to increase the quality of my blog so that more people become interested in the vegan culture, as well as how to increase the quality of my social media accounts to increase my online presence as well. I have put it on my mental to-do list to think about physical things I can do in my community to increase animal awareness as well. Let me know if you have any ideas or if you do anything particularly fun to get the vegan message out as well!
After work on the day of the existential/vegan crisis, I went to the store and did what any logical yet impulsive vegan craving cookies should do: I bought a vegan cookie! I have tried quite a few different brands during my time, but I decided to try something new that day. Mitch was looking for a cookie that was chocolate flavored in addition to having chocolate chips, and I was looking for anything chocolate chippy and maybe peanut buttery, and then a light shined down from the ceiling of Fred Meyer right onto two cookies that sat next to each other on the shelf. They were by Alternative Baking Company, and they were the only two flavors that the store carried:
Double Chocolate Decadence
And Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip.
WHAT ARE THE CHANCES.
So, we snagged those babies up and on the way home gobbled them up while I told Mitch all about my chocolate-chip-cookie crisis that day. Obviously, we only tried two of the flavors, but I would go back for more!
Both cookies were very soft and chewy, with the chocolate one almost becoming a chewy fudge in your mouth. They were both melt-in-your-mouth, where they went from a soft solid cookie to a chewy chocolatey swirl in the blink of an eye. They both had chocolate chips, which were also amazingly soft. The chips were not too hard and did not need to be chewed down, they are ready to melt as soon as they touch your tongue. Some vegan cookies have a problem with being a little too dry, but these were very moist.
They were thick cookies, at least 1/2-inch thick, so it was easy to feel full quickly. Neither of us followed the dietary recommendation to eat only half of the cookie, because I don’t think we could have put them even if we wanted to! They were also very dense, both becoming that fudgy chewy yumminess while we ate them.
During our drive, we traded a few bites, and I ended up actually preferring his chocolate cookie over my pb chocolate chip one. The chocolate one had more flavor throughout, whereas I could not really taste the peanut butter in my cookie. The peanut butter seemed to affect the color more than the taste, so the flavor of the actual cookie seemed a bit bland. As soon as I hit a chocolate chip or a peanut, my world was good again though.
We agreed that the best way to consume them was taking a bite of each flavor together, where you get the chunky peanut-chocolate from one and the chocolate fudge flavor and texture from the other. Has anyone else ever had this brand?
I would definitely be interested in getting more from another store or from online to do a review on their whole line of products, because these ones were awesome!
I used some photos thought here so I want to give credit to the Alternative Baking Company site for my cover photo for the post. I also used the site “Lucky Vitamin” for the close-up photos of the cookies. I am thinking about purchasing some more from either Lucky Vitamin or their main site. It looks like they have a lot more flavors to try.
Let me know if you have had any kinds other than those ones that we had.
Thanks love bugs!