In Praise of Progress!

In Praise of Progress!

My daughter has a friend visiting from another province so we've been doing a lot of day trips from Calgary out and about to surrounding areas. As a vegan, this is always exceedingly difficult. I have to plan ahead (I'm not a planner), I have to decide how long I think I'll be gone, and try to figure out what food I can bring with me that's easy, won't spoil etc. What actually happens is I throw a couple protein bars and maybe some almonds into my purse and then spend half the day starving. Story of my life.

But now, wonder of wonders A & W (a Canadian fast food chain) has the Beyond Burger! Yes, folks, that's right – a burger and fries joint has joined the vegan club and my life is forever changed. I can't even tell you how wonderful this is. I'm out on the highway somewhere, I'm starving, and then, in the distance, I see the A & W sign. Take that Golden Arches! Not only does this place have the Beyond Burger, but when they first started selling it the entire country sold out. Their sales FAR exceeded their expectations. That news (even though I couldn't get a burger) made me all warm and fuzzy inside; because vegans are obviously gaining in number at a rapid and wonderful rate.

I've only been at this vegan thing for about two years, and in that short amount of time I've seen so many restaurants offer vegan menus and so many grocery stores increase their vegan products. It really is an amazing thing. And it's not just vegan stuff – my daughter is a celiac and in the last couple of years we have been able to get so much more food for her – fast food included. It's wonderful when the food giants start to listen and respond to what many, many people want. There was a time not too long ago where I had to check the menu of every restaurant before going so I'd know if there was anything I could order. These days almost every time there are at least two or three things available and they are actual meals, not salads or plain pasta with tomato sauce.

There are those who say they won't buy the burger from A & W because they serve meat and so those people don't want to contribute to that business. I say bring it on! Yes. They sell meat - so do the grocery stores – but change is a process and if a business is listening then I will happily give them my money. I haven't been able to have fast food for a long time; yes, I know it's not good for me – I don't and didn't do it very often – but there's something so “normal” about scarfing down a burger and fries that it makes me want to weep with pleasure. I didn't stop eating meat because I didn't like the taste – I stopped because I didn't want to eat animals and the Beyond Burger is an amazing replacement.

So the next time I'm driving around showing someone the sights, or don't feel like cooking, or whatever the reason is, I'll eat that damned burger and enjoy it! And while my mouth is full of “bad” food I'll be happy knowing that things are changing and people are listening and I don't have to make my feeble attempts to plan anymore!

Happy New Year!


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