Vegan For A While

Sanjana Saksena Chandra

 I pushed a trolley 
through aisles of symmetrically stacked groceries 
inviting me to pick them 
to partake in the consumerism 
and so I did

Into the cart 
went canned and peached goodies 
succulent fruits
for desserts and puddings 
I'd probably never make 

I added some cans of alternate milk 
soy and almond  and coconut from a pretty shelf 
for 'vegans' their label read 
'I'm not one yet 'I thought to myself
but why not try now, it's the cool new thing

This new resolve from minutes ago
meant I needed provisions 
like almond flour and tofu 
so I put some in and hurried along 
to buy vegetables for my new dietary needs

I weighed in the potatoes
the onions, pickles and peppers 
lemon and chilli, basil and thyme 
all the while cooking up 
a vegan storm in my head 

Satisfied, I pushed the now heavy cart
to the aisle where shiny bottles called to me
with their promise of making me prettier
shampoos for longer hair and lotions for brighter skin
I put them all in 

I moved slowly to the checkout queue 
pleased with myself
after all I'd bought all I needed 
for my new vegan experiment
and some more to look and feel good 

The bags, laden with new choices sat on my kitchen table 
while I stared at a fully stacked fridge 
of chocolates and cheese and greek yogurt
of sauces for roasts and chicken mince for pie 
signs of my decadence and gluttony 

And just like that 
I packed them all
in bags to be given away or thrown out
so I could indulge in a cool new fad 
that I honestly new nothing about 

The privilege of it didn't strike me at all 
that I could indulge a whim brought on by a shiny shelf 
Until I went right back to the store
and got me some meat
because I couldn't do vegan anymore 

This work has been published in Beetle Magazine's July 2020 Issue

Illustration by Dhanashree Pimputkar


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