| TOKYO, June 5
TOKYO, June 5 When Victoria Moran was growing up
in Kansas City, then home of the second largest stockyards in
the United States, the concept of eating anything but meat was
so unheard of that even the first salad bars were revolutionary.
"People confused yoga and yogurt, and both were just odd,"
said Moran, a long-term vegan. "It was a different time ... more
difficult in that there simply weren't accommodations for people
who didn't eat very traditionally."
Moran, who was a vegetarian before swearing off animal
products such as milk and eggs, found that her new lifestyle
brought her numerous health benefits, such as dropping nearly 30
kg (60 pounds).
But getting there took many years and detours, an evolution
she has tried to make easier for others with "Main Street
Vegan," a book written with her daughter, who has been a vegan
from birth, that aims to help people make a change that she
admits can still be a challenge.
"A main street vegan is a regular person who has a sense
that for the sake of their own health, or for the animals that
are giving their lives for this food, or for this very deserving
planet, maybe he or she needs to do something a little bit
strange and change their diet," she said in a telephone
"It's ... not usually the way things are done here."
Moran mixes anecdotes, information and recipes to break down
what may seem like the daunting process of giving up animal
products into baby steps that allow the aspiring vegan to move
Along the way she answers questions about vegetarianism,
including the best sources of calcium and protein.
"Protein is in everything that grows out of the ground, it's
a very ubiquitous nutrient," she explained. "You would have to
really try to be protein deficient unless you were in a state of
starvation, or were anorexic, or alcoholic and drinking all your
meals, or eating only junk food."
The social aspects can also be tricky, she warns, from
dealing with well-meaning people who urge you to "just eat some
meat" to soothing the family who feel you're turning your back
on long-term cultural traditions.
But in the end, for those who want to, making the change can
be surprisingly easy.
"You learned how to drive a car, program the DVR, and use
your iGadgets," she writes. "Compared to those accomplishments,
going vegan is a piece of (cake)."
(Reporting by Elaine Lies, editing by Patricia Reaney)