I love candy corn. There, I said it. This is somewhat difficult for me to admit, as a self-described kale worshipper. I know it’s horrible for you and that many people find it vile, but I love it. For the last several weeks, I’ve been craving it. I’m sure I’m not the only one, as it is the season of candy corn!
I haven’t caved in and bought any though, because commercial, store-bought candy corn contains gelatin (derived from animal skin and bones), egg whites and confectioner’s glaze (derived from bugs). All very un-vegan.
I KNOW that I can make it myself OR order it online, but for some reason neither of these options appeals to me, in part because I am not sure that it would taste the same as the candy corn I love. The truth is, all I want is a handful. It’s not something that I can eat in large quantities and after a handful I’d be done. But, yet, I can’t bring myself to buy even a small bag. So, I’ve been forgoing the candy corn even though it seems to beckon me every day.
This may not sound like a big sacrifice - and of course it isn’t - but it’s a small example of why being vegan is, sometimes, kind of hard. There, I said it (again). I’m coming up on my second “vegan-versary” - I decided to go vegan Thanksgiving weekend 2009 - and for the first year of my vegan adventures, I was determined to show everyone I encountered how easy veganism is.
I realize now that it’s probably more genuine to admit that sometimes it IS hard. My honest opinion after almost two years is that it gets both harder and easier. It gets harder because of little candy corn situations that crop up and sometimes I have to remind myself why I am doing this. And, it also gets easier because of all the amazing, varied food I make and eat, all the new things I discover, and experiences that I have that reaffirm my decision.
One of those experiences was my spontaneous visit to Gentle Barn today. Gentle Barn’s mission is “To rescue, rehabilitate and give sanctuary to abused animals. Through the interaction with our animals people learn reverence for all life.” I met some adorable and sweet animals today, including:
Buttercup. It’s hard to tell from this photo, but Buttercup is a beautiful cow who was resting her head on my knee as I pet her!
This was exactly what I needed today. It was heartwarming to see so many animals in a healing, nurturing environment. And at the same time, sad to remember that droves of similar animals undergo torture and mistreatment so that humans can eat or use them somehow. All I need is to look at this photo of Buttercup and be reminded why I don’t really need the handful of candy corn.