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The adventurous road to veganism

This post was inspired by a blog I read called My Effortless Vegan Weight Loss over at www.vegansoapbox.com:

It got me thinking about my motivations as far as veganism goes. I will say I am not a fan of PETA so with all of their outrageous efforts to convert people, I most likely would have converted sooner if not for them.

Seeing this ad did not make me want to 'go veg', it pretty much just made me feel like shit and if I had seen it a few years ago I most likely would have gone and eaten a full order of wings to drown my big fat sorrows.

Annoying PETA ad: 

When I watched Food, Inc sometime last year, I started to get really aware of just how horrific modern agriculture (aka, big food) really is. The changes I made to my diet happened slowly over the course of 2009-2010. After I went vegan  I started buying as much local organic stuff as possible.

Food, Inc trailer:


So anyhow, I did originally go vegetarian in July 2009 for health reasons. I will be honest here, I didn't lose weight just by being vegetarian or vegan. There are lots of fat veg*ns. I did start to lose weight when I began making healthier food choices (as opposed to deep fried onion rings -- Hey! It's a vegetable, come on!), counting calories and exercising.

Along the way I attempted to watch the trailer for Earthlings (A documentary about animal cruelty) but got maybe 10 seconds in or less before I started sobbing violently.

Not long after that a couple of friends blogged about eggs, 'free range chickens' and what that really means along with the connection that the dairy industry has to veal. I decided to go vegan in November 2010 and it's probably been one of the best decisions I've made for my health,  animals, and the planet:

Michael Pollan discussing the impact of "big food" on the environment:


I have found that cooking is an absolute joy. Tonight I'm making this sweet potato and curried chickpea gravy mash that is so multi-ethnic in it's uses of foods and seasonings that it's truly 'american.' Maybe I'll call it the "Melting Pot" ;) be sure to 'follow' this blog, I will be posting that recipe soon!

Ahhh, cooking, I'm not sure I like anything better, except maybe eating, obviously! ;)

So my friend over at Valerie Goes Vegan! and I have decided to collaborate on a cookbook. We're both fat, have been slowly making healthy changes over the last year or so and love to cook. The book will also include our personal 'road to wellness' stories.

Valerie's leftover chili, vegan Burrito:  Also, I can't wait to get some LIGHT and a camera that works. :( I must say that pic is CRISP. ha.  


Are you veggie/vegan? What were your reasons for 'going veg'? Did your reasons change over time? Any recipes you'd like to see veganized?

Comments

  1. I just posted about this on Sparkpeople, so I am gonna re-post here ~ funny, I am collaborating on a vegan cookbook too! It's like we all feel so much better, we want to help the world! :)


    I started with two long stints as a lacto-ovo vegetarian. That was because of my deep love for animals, and because of a childhood experience. My father had purchased two male cows. My sister and I got attached to them and each "adopted" one. Every day after school we'd rush over and kiss and love and feed the cows.

    One day, Blackie, my cow, was gone. Then a freezer got delivered, then the white butcher paper packages came. I was beyond devastated. Though I ate meat for a while that I hadn't met yet, I did end up becoming vegetarian.

    I had been wanting to transition to veganism but thought I'd have a hard time giving up my cheese. Then one day I read an article on Care2 about the dairy industry. It included a sentence that said that ethical vegetarians (those of us who did it for the animals) should be aware that supporting the dairy industry was also supporting the slaughter of baby male calves. They are considered worthless to the dairies so they become veal.

    I immediately felt the heartache of the mother cows being separated from their babies, and the terror of the newborns being pulled away. I'd already cried numerous times seeing the veal calves heading to the slaughterhouse on the highway (I live in Alberta, Canada, known for its beef). Such soulful loves. My husband has even pulled the car over to hug me while I cry.

    That did it. From that moment on, through my tears, I told my husband. I am vegan now. You don't have to be, but I am. I've not regretted it for a moment, and looking at cheese *that* way, I haven't craved it once.

    I love animals ~ and I feel SO much better as a vegan! I started in November 2010 and every day feels better.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I became a vegan for health reasons in 1997. I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease that reeked havoc with my body and paralyzing me on my right side for over a two month period. I lost my hair, my life and ,my own will. I had no control over anything anymore. I was watching pbs late one night, and they were showcasing families that were different from what was deemed as a "normal" American household. The mother of one household had been ill off and on her entire life, until she became vegan. She had fought cancer, had her breast removed, fought lupus, arthritis and fibromyalgia. She was a mess, but there stood a radiant woman, with a happy healthy family. I was flabbergasted. I asked my mother to go get me a book on veganism. MY first book was the idiots guide to becoming a vegan. It changed my life. I regained my strength, my hair and my spirit. I was initially a junk food vegan. If it made it through my screning process I at it. Pathetic as it sounds I started healing myself by eating more veggies but I gained about 40 lbs. eating junk.
    Eventually, I went on ETL and that is when the real healing took place. I feel better, I am slim and healthy. I have always loved animals and for awhile I was a loyal PETA member, until I found out they abused animals to make an effect on peoples opinions of the meat industry. I was shocked. Now they have a smear campaign against obese women. It is enough to make a grown person cry. PETA changed my mind about the way wnimals are treated, but I taught myself the importance of doing what is right for me. Animals are important to me. So is my health. I walk a fine line between the two of them. Viv~

    ReplyDelete
  3. I have been thinking about becoming Vegan. It would be hard because my husband is a meat and potato person. And it would be hard to prepare 2 different meals. But I can hardly eat meat anymore. Chicken especially.

    I also love animals. And have seen some documentarys that changed my mind about eating meat.

    Betty

    ReplyDelete
  4. Bettina, I have never understood this situation. My bf and I have talked about it a lot since I see it online a lot and it absolutely boggles my mind.

    If you're the cook, why doesn't he just eat what you make? He doesn't have to be vegan, but if you're going to cook ( I assume generally dinner ) One healthy vegan meal a day would not kill him. If he wants meat and potatoes tell him to cook it himself.

    My bf used to tease when I first attempted being veggie years ago. But, he would eat whatever I cooked.

    Then when I went back in 2009, he stopped teasing and when I went vegan and started getting adventurous and creative in the kitchen and making delicious vegan meals, he had NO complaints. He would eat meat when we ate at a restaurant or when he was at work.

    Later he started reading articles I guess about food and veg diets and people kept referencing Earthings, he watched it and has pretty much cut out all meat. We have a few frozen things he used to eat (like hot pockets) from before that he'll have occasionally, but I think once it's gone he will be staying away from it.

    I'm not saying try and convert anyone, but he might figure out on his own or he might do like my bf did at first and just eat meat when you're not the one cooking it.

    I think it's less than stellar for someone to expect you to compromise your values and health so he can have something he considers 'tasty' when there are plenty of fabulous tasty vegan meals you can make for the two of you and he can get meat out or cook it himself. A meal doesn't require meat to be complete.

    Either way, good luck!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hi! I love your blog. Your story is amazing. I am wondering if you might be interested in sharing your journey with my readers on my blog. I am a physician who advocates a plant-based diet (vegan diet). I think your story could help and inspire a lot of people. Please lmk if that is something you might be interested in. Jenna Taylor, M.D.

    You can find my blog at: http://www.theplantrx.com

    ReplyDelete
  6. Bettina ~ my husband is not vegan. We cook our own meals and it works out fine. We generally take turns doing dishes, but if he makes meat, he cleans those pans and dishes. Our grocery bill isn't any worse off.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I'm veganish. Most of the time I eat a clean vegan diet but I may eat fish when we go out and I rarely have egg. I'm finally at the point that I think I can do without both. The choice was purely about my health.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Ann-marie, I can't wait to get my blood test results in a few months. ha. I'm sure this way of eating will have changed quite a few things. :)

    ReplyDelete

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