Staying Vegan at 30,000 Feet

First, the cookies came out. They were loaded with eggs, milk, and not much positive. Then the drink cart rolled on through the aisle. I had brought a few sleeves of Starbucks Via and I thought asking for hot water, sugar, and soy milk would be okay. They didn’t have the soy milk, and so I had the coffee black but sweetened.

Towards the end of the flight, we were all given a snack pack which consisted of various grain products, two thirds of which contained cheddar cheese of some sort.

Mind you, both the cookie and the grain products were kosher certified. This would have been enough to thrill me six months ago. Even though it feels like an eternity since my wife and I both renounced all forms of meat and I headed down the road towards Veganism, it has only been three months — not much more.

Leafing through the catalog of food available for sale, there were plenty of meals to buy — all of which involved meat, eggs, cheese, and sometimes all three in one serving. If one were to be rating Alaska Airways for Vegan friendliness, I would rather think they would earn themselves a big, fat, greasy, meaty: “F.”

Earlier in the day, before the flight, I stopped on the way to my terminal when I saw a food kiosk that called itself The Grain Station. It was a good pun for what was to be a good food experience. At said Grain Station, I bought a small bowl of Muesli cereal, “Late July” organic peanut butter crackers, a cup of freshly brewed coffee, and a small container of soy milk. Had I known about the coffee conundrum that would ensue a few hours later, I would have saved the soy milk.

To sum up, I learned a few things. One is that in 2010 you cannot assume you wil find a Vegan food option on a major commercial airline. Despite this, the flight attendants will generally not give you a hard time when you express a lack of interest in the Oh Boy! Oberto brand sausage. I did not add the exclamation point. They really do love their flesh products at Oberto.

Finally, The Grain Station is a fantastic place for a Vegan kosher-keeping Jew to find food — or any Vegan, for that matter. Load up before the flight and you won’t feel pangs of hunger during the flight.