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 pathsâ€¦
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.
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.