At the risk of rushing to conclusions, here are a few things I have learned.
1. There is no simple principle behind veganism. It is not, or not only, about not killing animals; it is not just about domination; it is not about exploitation except perhaps where eating is concerned; and it is not about the "natural" inclination of humans. I have come to think that veganism is a lifestyle that works for people who wish to think about their relationship with animals and the planet at all times. Thoughtful veganism is hard work; consistent thoughtful veganism is yet harder.
2. Veganism is not quite like an orthodox religion. Each practitioner comes to his or her own balance. Still a curious and intellectual vegan must think about actions so often that it is a bit like a religion which requires many prayer sessions a day.
3. The eating is easy. Breakfast with friends and family was the hardest thing, but otherwise there always seemed to be things to eat. If I liked fruit more, even the breakfasts would have been easier.
4. I saved the lives of a few animals this month (not counting the extra few that might have died while the farmer harvested his field for my quinoa). Right now that feels good but I am not sure that feeling will stay with me.
5. What I enjoyed most about my vegan experience:
* Discovering new foods
* Seeing the deep differences between vegetarianism and veganism
* Discussing veganism and vegetarianism with others
* Becoming better informed (for example, a real highlight for me was reading and thinking about Kleiber's Law, discussed in my post on evolution)
* Best of all was running into people who had read my blog and reading comments from people who have thought about these things much more than I have.