Today, I took a study break and went to Mutfak with my friend Natasha for lunch.

This little gem is the cutest place ever. It’s right by campus and consists of a teeny kitchen (by the way, Mutfak is Turkish for kitchen) and just a handful of small tables. They have dishes of the day lined up and ready to go while a precious little Turkish mama cooks everything up. For roughly $3.39 US dollars (yes, I just converted liras to dollars to put it exactly into perspective), I can get a perfectly sized plate of 6 daily dishes I choose plus bread and çay.

Veggies, beans and grains. My kind of place. And with getting a little spoonful of everything, it feels like I ate way more than I actually did.

Whoever said eating vegan and healthy was expensive, think again.

I also read this article on Chipotle today as I gave my brain a break from economic blabber.

(I swear my day hasn’t been all breaks.)

I must say, that I love Chipotle. They’re pretty vegan-friendly and are proving that you can get even die-hard fast food junkies to love sustainable, real food.

Yes, I am aware that they serve meat and cheese and other omnivore-friendly dishes, but sustainable animal products are better than factory-produced ones. Vegetarianism is definitely better and veganism takes the cake when it comes to finding the most eco-friendly and health-conscious way to eat for sure, but baby steps are what is going to get us there. For me, veganism is about compassion. And not just for the animals that aren’t being harmed for the sake of my plate or for my own health but for people too. For people who, like me, have grown up in a world were the omnivore lifestyle is the norm we buy into without stopping to think to question it. It’s just the way things are. Once we do start to ask the big questions, it does seem pretty freaky that we’re the only animal that drinks the milk (aka baby food) of another, that we think dogs are cute but have no problem slicing up an equally cute and intelligent little piggy for our morning bacon or that we eat a fast food burger without even thinking to the nasty situation it came from and all the environmental and social damage it has done on its way into the lovely printed paper wrapper sitting on our plastic tray. I get that it’s uncomfortable to think of these issues. That it’s much easier to cover our eyes and inhale that fried chicken. That thinking this way is often seen as weird or hippie or freakish.

And that’s awkward. No one wants to be a freak.

Luckily, I’m comfortable with being an awkward hippie freak.

(Sorry, Mom.)

For those who aren’t, I feel ya. Take your baby steps, do what you can, challenge yourself a bit more every day.

You deserve it. The planet deserves it. Adorable little animals deserve it.

There’s absolutely nothing weird about doing something good.

And one of these days, we can hit up Chiptole together and dive into my delicious standard vegan order of rice, black beans and loads of veggies. 🙂

With that, I’m off for a week in Cyprus so excuse my absence for the 7 days!

I feel that I am unfortunately going to be carting some schoolwork with me though. Trying to finish a weeks worth of work that I just got the questions assigned for yesterday within a day is not looking like its going to happen.

Not that I won’t keep trying until I pass out at my computer.


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