(US/nc) The creative vegan
- There's almost no end to the list of skills Dilip Barman possesses.
He is a teacher, a computer scientist, a photographer, a competitive
organic rose gardener and a cooking instructor. Barman, 46, also is
president of the Triangle Vegetarian Society and responsible for what
has become the nation's largest vegetarian and vegan Thanksgiving
feast, which will be held for the 10th year at Parizade in Durham.
For those who may not know, vegetarians and vegans do not eat animal
products and vegans also exclude dairy.
Since the fall of 2005, Barman, who is a vegan, has undertaken an
interesting challenge: to never cook the same dinner for his wife,
Sangeeta. As Barman wrote on his Web site: "We weren't together every
night, but since fall 2005, we've shared most dinners. I think I can
keep up the unique creations through spring 2006 -- maybe beyond!"
Well, it's September 2008 and Barman hasn't run out of vegan
When did you become a vegan?
"I moved here like in 1992, I think, and joined the Triangle
Vegetarian Society, which I've now been leading for most of the time
since I've been here. I learned even more about veganism. So I took
over the group. I wasn't a vegan. I was a lacto-vegetarian. Most
people of Indian background who are vegetarian are lacto-vegetarian
and they eat plenty of dairy products. I understood the arguments.
When I'd give talks, I'd promote veganism. But I'd always be honest
and say, but I'm not there yet. Many people were saying, 'You will be
vegan.' I'd say, 'I don't think I will. I like my cheese and all.' But
I was cutting back. The arguments made good sense. I researched them:
whether for your health or the environment or the animals. So I was
giving it up. I wasn't eating so many dairy products. In the end, I
was eating almost none. I just gave them up. I've been vegan probably
six, seven years. Everything people said about veganism turned out to
be quite true."
What was that?
"Anecdotally, everybody I know who has become vegan tells me they
don't get sick anymore. I used to routinely get two bouts of flu a
year, every single year. At least one would be bad; I'd be out of work
for like a week. Ever since I gave up dairy products, I haven't been
To read Barman's blog, go to http://dilipdinner.blogspot.com/
To learn more about the Triangle Vegetarian Society, go to
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