I am the author of three vegan cookbooks, mother to three children, guardian to three cats, and wife to one husband. Over the past year I have been contemplating, and even reducing and refusing, plastic in my life, and over the course of this time it has dawned on me how difficult it is to be vegan and plastic-free.
Take for instance our protein choices - tofu, seitan and beans. We can certainly purchase dry beans from the bulk section of our grocery store, but how many grocery stores sell gmo-free tofu that isn't packaged in plastic containers? Seitan we can purchase prepared - packaged in plastic - or make our own - using vital wheat gluten that comes packaged in plastic bags. I don't know about you, but I don't relish making my own gluten flour from bulk-purchased whole wheat flour.
Then there is nondairy milk, all packaged in cartons that are coated with plastic. Bread comes sliced and ready to eat out of plastic bags and nondairy cheese is more often than not packaged in plastic as well. Cans come lined with plastic, pasta is in plastic and even leafy greens are contained in plastic boxes, wrapped in plastic bags or bound with ties made of plastic.
Of course the list goes on and on, with relatively no relief in sight, but that's not what this blog is about, and admittedly the title is a bit misleading; I am not and have not gone plastic-free...yet. But that doesn't mean I won't try. And just like the journey to veganism, it can be an all at once, instant deal or a trek through many obstacles on the way to accomplishing as much as we possibly can. The goal isn't perfection, but to do the best we possibly can do; to aim and reach the limit of that possibility and then look beyond the horizon and do even more.