I was a sickly, nerdy kid. You wouldn't know it now, but I was way tall and way skinny, with a big bushy head of hair, sallow complexion, and deep-set brown eyes. I was allergic to almost everything and, as I put it facetiously, all my mom fed me was blue corn cereal, soymilk, and acorn squash.
Tempeh tacos, too, but it's fun to gripe.
Enter elementary school. Now what is a conscientious mom to do about sending her kid to a school full of dog-food-sausage pizza and daily chocolate milk?
Well, buy a huge case of soymilk, drive it to the school, and demand that they give me one every day, whether or not I buy my lunch that day.
Thus started my love/hate childhood relationship with soymilk. "Ah Soy!" brand to be exact.
I loved that it was slightly sweet and that I could have chocolate soymilk whenever I wanted and no one cared the slightest.
I hated that NONE of the other kids had heard of it and, thus, would watch me like hawks when I drank it, just in case I dropped dead halfway through. I also hated that "Ah Soy!" was really gritty, so, when I grew out of my allergy and started eating more animal products on my own, I treasured the smooth, fatty quality of cow's milk, but something always tasted off. And then the lactose intolerance kicked in.
Long story short, they introduced "Silk" brand soymilk, way before I even considered becoming vegan, and my fight with grit ended immediately. In fact, it seems like all soymilks have gotten less gritty since then.
I really can't think about cooking or drinking anything else now...well, besides almond, cashew, rice, or coconut milks ;)...but I could never go back to cow's milk.
It's crazy -- I went from being the weird kid to being the vanguard kid, just because of my silly allergies...score one for the sickly nerds!