Alright folks, I’ve got breaking news from the GVE. One of the things I was told might happen after adopting a vegan diet was that my body odor would diminish or disappear. My sister has been vegan since last October and she doesn’t need to wear deodorant anymore. Veteran vegans report the same thing — after a while they stopped stinking, even after working up a sweat. So I decided to test it to a) see if it was true and b) if it was true would two weeks be enough time to tell. I opted to try it over the weekend just in case it wasn’t true (or true yet) so that the maximum number of people I would offend with a funkified failure would be two.
I’ve also heard that after a while a vegan person’s toots stop smelling bad. I can report that this is not true so far, although I will admit they don’t smell as bad as before. Same with vegan doody; there is still an unmistakable poopy aroma but it is less stinky than before the GVE. So if this one is true I’ll need invest more time. Can you imagine the wicked delight in proclaiming to the world that my shit doesn’t stink and have it be true? But back to the B.O.
It’s true. The body odor went away from my armpits. I didn’t wear deodorant all weekend long and I deliberately got plenty sweaty in order to test it thoroughly. No powder, no perfume, nothing. I exercised as usual, I worked in the hell heat as usual, I basically did all my normal stuff. No stink. I sponged off the rest of me post sweat but did not swab my armpits. On Sunday morning I could detect a faint sour skin aroma after remaining unwashed for 24 hours but this required cramming my nose all the way into my armpit. My husband could not detect it at close range or even super-close range. I washed on Sunday morning and went about my day and Monday morning there was still no stink. So you guessed it — I’m not wearing deodorant today. At work. Around people. In July. In Arkansas. Did I mention our temps have hit triple digits?
What a bonus benefit and perk this is. Think about it. Everything we put on our skin ends up inside our bodies. This stuff is in my deodorant but if the vegan stink-immunity holds over time, it will no longer be in my body: Aluminum Zirconium Tetrachlorohydrex Gly, Cyclopentasiloxane, Stearyl Alcohol, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Ppg-14 Butyl Ether, Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Dimethicone, Polyethylene, Fragrance, Steareth-100, Helianthus Annus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Ethylene Dodecanedioate, Bht, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil.
The 30 Day Challenge continues on as before. I get either an audio message or a YouTube video delivered by email each morning. The information provided has now extended beyond the kitchen to strategies for eating away from home, in restaurants, and how to navigate conversations with non-vegans. Of particular interest is the advice that we (participants) are urged not to apologize for being vegan in restaurants or to apologize for requiring an accommodation when we wish to modify a menu item. The social strategy advises us to be confident and non-judgmental but unapologetic. We should be kind, be polite, be specific and clear, leave a big tip, but don’t apologize. I’ve got no problem with any of that.
And then there is the matter of dining out with people who are not vegan. Included in the Challenge info were strategies for dealing with catty remarks, teasing, or confrontation from non-vegans who might feel uncomfortable dining with us. This part surprised me. I guess I imagined that the discomfort would be felt the other way around — that the vegans would be the ones to be uncomfortable. As I understand it, vegans make carnivores very uncomfortable when sharing a meal together, even if the veganism was unknown before ordering food. That discomfort is manifested in behaviors as mentioned above and the vegan can become a target ranging from the butt of casual jokes to being pressed to justify and defend. I haven’t shared a meal with anyone except my spouse since I started the GVE so I don’t have any firsthand experience with this yet.
However, The Chef and I did attend a community meeting for a local non-profit last week. No food was served at the meeting but the organization provided lunch for a group of volunteers working on an outdoor project over the previous weekend. A couple of vegetarian box lunches were included but apparently none of the volunteers were vegetarian. Rather than waste the food two of the committee members took the veggie wraps home and ate them. The jokes about chewing on tree bark and how loveless, joyless, and pleaureless the lives of vegetarians must be flew around the table with gusto and reciprocal laughter. No one at the meeting knew I was vegan. I sat silent, smiling, and took it in stride. Other than this I’ve only gotten affectionate teasing from my family members who mean no real harm.
Of course I will supplement if or when I have relevant experiences on this topic to share. The photos included in this post were culled from my social media offerings over the weekend. Happy Monday, y’all.