Honestly, with as much variety that is now available to us in American Supermarkets, it's pathetic how we complain about Lent.
When my Grandmother (the daughter of Ukrainian immigrants) was growing up during the Great Depression, she basically lived on cabbage and potatoes for the entire Nativity fast. She recalls literally having pangs of hunger when going to bed at night, because her parents were so strict about the fast, and would feed her so little, the week leading up to Nativity. It's one thing to deal with that as an adult, but as a child, that's cruel.
American Supermarkets today are geared to accommodate just about every lifestyle there is from Vegan, to Kosher, to Halal, to Gluten-free, to "you name it."
Yes, you are going to now actually have to put some thought into your meals instead of eating whatever you happen to be craving at the moment. But you know what, as a result, you will probably eat healthier and spend less on food.
I seriously think our Slavic, Greek, and Arabic Church fathers (and mothers!) would laugh at us if they saw how we read labels, collect Lenten cookbooks, and pity ourselves because we can't have steak every night.
For many of them, their diets were dictated to them out of economic and agricultural necessity.
How do you think the serfs in Russia got by when they were given so little by their Land Masters, and where for most of the year, the soil is frozen tundra?! Do you think it's any coincidence that cabbage is a staple of Slavic cooking?
I think in some ways, the fasting cycles of the Church were driven out of economic drive. (People won't feel so bad about not eating meat if we tell them they're doing it as a sacrifice for God.)
Did you know that prior to the Irish famine, most Irish households only ate meat one day a week because that is all they could afford
I completely understand what augustin717
was saying about us living a "bourgeois lifestyle."
"Oh, poor me, I have to give up meat for forty days."
There are people living in this world who haven't seen a decent meal
in forty days!
Any "suffering" we incur in taking on a vegan diet during Lent is nothing compared to the suffering of others.
Any "inconvenience" we may face in having to eat at Red Lobster AGAIN is nothing compared to the pain of truly being hungry.
If you're not sure what to prepare or how to prepare it, use the internet. You obviously were able to find this site. Use Google to look up Vegan recipes. It's not hard.
It just requires thought.
We have so much compared to so many, yet we still complain.
How pathetic are we?