Why I Went Vegan.

The Disclaimer

Let me start by saying that I’m not truly 100% vegan. I think of myself as vegan, but every once in a while I remember that the real hard-core purist vegans might not consider me one.

First, I eat eggs once in a long while, which I buy from my friend because I’ve seen her chickens and how free they are to roam on her property. I don’t bake with them. But sometimes we fry them.

Second, I snag some of my kids’ Cheez-It’s here and there, and sometimes I have some dessert while we’re out that has an egg or milk in it. But all of my own cooking and baking is vegan, and most of what I eat when dining out or with friends is vegan, as well. I figure it’s better that I allow myself a few exceptions than that I go back to meat-eating because I miss just a couple things.

The (Many) Reasons

Jason asked me this question when I mentioned that I am now a vegan…

Were the reasons you went vegan for philosophical reasons or health reasons? Just curious as I know many who have arrived at vegetarianism and veganism on many separate paths…

My reasons for becoming a vegan are all of the above, plus some. Veganism is better for the environment. Think of all that land going to feed cows, just so that we can eat them and drink their milk. Think of all that methane.

Veganism is compassionate. Not only do the animals lose their right to life, but many of them suffer a low-quality of life, and often a brutal one.

It’s healthy. That one was a surprise for me. Because I have a problem with hypo-glycemia and was always very concerned about getting enough protein, I never thought I could forgo meat. It turns out that plant-based protein is more stable, and my blood-sugar has never been as regular as it is now. Of course, you have to eat a whole-foods diet in order for it to be healthy. That requires a major lifestyle change for most Americans. I recommend taking gradual steps in a vegan direction.

It’s moral. I’ve always thought it was a better moral decision to choose not to eat meat or animal by-products. But because I didn’t realize I could do that and be healthy, it didn’t seem like a moral imperative. Now that I have learned that it’s possible to let the animals live–while improving my health at the same time–I do believe it is the right thing to do.

The Family Meals

What about my family? They’re not true vegetarians, although they eat a vegetarian diet at home. When we go out they often choose animal products (my husband, not so much). But they’re all fine with the vegan diet we eat at home because they like my food. There are so many amazing vegan recipes to explore that in the nine months I’ve been cooking this way, I’ve only repeated a few recipes. My husband prefers my food to all of our favorite restaurants.

My Recommendations

If you’re looking to eat fewer animals, I have a couple favorite sources, which are the keys to my being able to do this, while keeping everyone happy…

Moosewood Restaraunt New Classics and Moosewood Simple Suppers recipe books–These are not totally vegan. They have vegetarian recipes, fish and seafood recipes, and vegan recipes. They’re delicious. They make me turn my nose up at other restaurant food. They’re easy to follow (although, many of the New Classics recipes, which are amazing, will keep you in the kitchen longer).

Vegetarian Food For Thought Podcast by Colleen Patrick Goudreau–This is such an informative podcast on everything having to do with vegetarian cooking and animal cruelty. I also have her cookbook, The Joy Of Vegan Baking, and we LOVE the stuff we make from this.

14 thoughts on “Why I Went Vegan.”

  1. Great post, Noell.
    I think that what you are doing is great. I too call myself a vegan, if I have to label myself, but I eat organic eggs and occasionally will have something that contains cheese. I agree with you that it is better to allow yourself these exceptions. No one is and should be expected to be perfect. Life isn’t.
    It is harder to be vegan and gluten-free. Most of the time I don’t have problems, but if it must come down to being gluten-free or completely vegan, I always choose GF.
    Sorry to steal the mic. Handing it back now.

  2. Laura–o ahead and keep the mic for a while if you want it…so far nobody else has bitten, lol!

    I can imagine how hard it would be to be both
    Gluten-free AND have any other further restrictions of top of that! We just do our best. Giving up dairy, with those small exceptions, was the best thing I’ve ever done. I stopped craving food so much (I think cheese does that to you) and I lost ten pounds after years of trying to lose it.

  3. Congrats on losing weight. I too have noticed a decline in cravings, especially after dumping the cheese and sweets. Only once in while do I miss meat, but not enough to eat it.

  4. Yeah, me too–exactly. Mostly I don’t have the slightest desire for meat, but once in a while I smell a smokey-type flavor somewhere or see some BBQ wings and have to think about something else. =)

  5. Hi, just found your blog. I found this post interesting. I have some friends that have gone vegan, and seem happy. I am not, but I have been “veging” dinner a few times a week. I have found the wonder of beans and soup, and I am even coming around to tofu!

    One question-how do you bake without eggs?

  6. It is good to see you back on the air at least a little bit. I hope you really know what you are doing when it comes to living vegetarian or close to one. My wife, a nurse for many years, did not have good experiences with vegetarians. They tended to have longer hospital stays because of slower recovery and healing. We evolved to eat both meat and vegetables and as the old saying goes, “It is not nice to fool (with) Mother Nature!” I knew two brothers that both had Phd’s in Nutrition and were both vegetarians. They were world class bicycle racing champions but their kitchen looked like a chem lab. I don’t know if that is what it takes to do things “right” but as a minimum I recommend that you have some form of qualified expertise on your side.

  7. I just found your blog. I think it’s great. While I am extremely liberal… I have to disagree with your first reason for going vegan. Although you are totally entitled to be vegan, and for any reason, I just have to ask myself “Has she EVER driven cross country?” I recently drove from Michigan to Oregon and there is nothing BUT land between the two. Just a thought I had.

  8. Congrats on going vegan. I’ve recently done the same and I couldn’t be happier with my decision. I love how it encourages me to eat healthier in general, and forces me to be more creative when choosing what foods to buy. Again, congrats!

  9. Just stumbled upon your blog. I’m not a mom, but my fiance and I are agnostic vegans (who often wonder just what it will be like raising kids if we ever have ‘em), and I just wanted to tell you we think you’re awesome. Keep it up!

    -Rose M.

  10. Want to know how ridiculous you sound?

    “Let me start by saying that I’m not truly 100% virgin. I think of myself as vegan, but every once in a while I remember that the real hard-core purist virgins might not consider me one.

    First, I have sex once in a long while, which I do with my friend because I’ve seen her chickens and how free they are to roam on her property. I don’t have sex with them. But sometimes we fry them.”

    You apparently don’t know what vegan means. Wannabe!

  11. Hello,

    Having just found your blog, I’ve been sitting here reading it for the past hour or so, and I find it awesome. Thanks for standing up for agnostics and giving such fresh and innovative ways to work out the small details that don’t seem important, but ultimately can make a big difference.

    Regarding this article, I’ve been vegetarian for a few years, and I am thinking about going vegan soon. I’ve convinced my close family to eat vegetarian at home, but they (unlike me) eat meat sometimes when they’re dining out, and my sister has lately only been eating at organic and free-range animal restaurants.

    Your articles really are great. Please keep it up!

  12. Hey, I became vegetarian (ovo-veg, so not far from what you’re doing) about two years ago now, and I’ve put on weight. I did it for moral reasons, but I find I’ve gotten lazy when it comes to cooking.
    I hate cooking for one. It wastes so much food and all that effort for me. Do you have any ideas for a lazy student?

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