Saturday, November 3, 2012

~Vegan-versary~! and My vegan story.

~ Today is my 5 year vegan-versary ~

Yep, 5 years ago today I decided to go cold-tofurkey vegan.
I have NEVER looked back.

I didn't go on a 'hunt' or anything to find veganism. It found me!
On my quest to be at peace with food and myself I picked up two books in the space of a few weeks of each other. Unbeknownst to me, they both were promoting a plant-based diet and vegan lifestyle! 
This was at the same time as I was taking part in a Health & Nutrition course run by the Seventh-Day Adventists who promote the health of being vegetarian (I didn't know this at the time!).

The books:
 Now I must be honest with you.... I wasn't exactly 'fat' and trying to lose weight!
 But none the less, books with titles like that always tempt to me!

In fact, when I went vegan I gained weight! 
I found the food fun and exciting. 
I have always loved cooking and experimenting in the kitchen & suddenly I had a whole new way of using my kitchen and that meant lots of experiments & lots of new food to try.

I then managed to accumulate quite a large pile of vegan & vegetarian cookbooks as I seeked to work out what I could eat that wasn't just 'veggies' - as is often what people think vegans consume! 

I spent about the next 6 months cooking meals that were always from cookbooks as I learnt my way around serving vegan meals.
Here's my collection of cookbooks and health books!
And the pile in the kitchen as well!

At that time my favourite cookbook was Vegan Cooking for One, by Leah Leneman. I cannot remember a single meal that I cooked from that book but it got me through my early stage of being vegan and provided many easy & basic meals. I loved it! The book now has little notes written all the way through it - though never gets pulled out of the cupboard anymore!!!! lol

Now a days I make my own meals....and blog them!! 
I love to find flavours that work well together, I love knowing that vegan meals aren't boring and don't have to be complicated to make! And I love making treats that are vegan and sharing just how tasty vegan food can be when we have guests over.

 For me, being vegan isn't just about what's on my plate and making sure that I'm consuming healthy food. Its about so much more. I also believe its very spiritual. If you wish to read more about where I stand on this issue you can read my blog post Veganism & Christianity. I love living a life of compassion knowing that I am doing the best I can to not harm animals. I know that as humans its never completely possible to avoid all animals products, but I know that the little bits I do can make a difference!

I have recently ditched all chemical cleaners, not only because of the health benefits it provides me and my family but also because I know that no animals are harmed or tested when I buy 'vinegar' from the shelves instead of some chemical cleaner!
You can read about my switch in detail  here --> chemical-free-cleaning.

I don't consider myself to be a 'pushy' vegan. I don't go around criticising people who consume animal products, nor do I insist that when people come to our home they must eat only vegan food. 
Clearly I'm not against omni's --> My husband is one!!! <3
And just as I respect the fact that people have their choice, I do expect people to respect the fact that I am vegan and have chosen this as my lifestyle and its not just a 'phase' I am going through! I am committed to this FOR LIFE!
I'm not one to bring up the subject of veganism, but if someone asks me about a vegan lifestyle then I'm going to be the one to tell the truth.... unashamedly! 
I believe everyone has the right to know the truth!
The truth about the way animals are treated and the truth about what it really means to consume only plants! (And guess what, that doesn't mean protein deficiency and osteoporosis, in fact quite the opposite - not excess protein and bone-hurting calcium that comes from cows-milk!)
Cheers to plant-based health!
Having said that, I believe that there is a lot of ignorance in the word about a vegan lifestyle.  I sincerely believe that people don't understand that eating a plant-based diet WILL improve your health and is completely nutritious! 
None of the garbage we hear is true such as 'incomplete proteins', 'calcium only comes from cows milk', etc - I could go on but I'm sure you've heard it all before ;-) 
It breaks my heart to think that SOOOO many people don't know what is truly 'healthy food'. People just DON'T KNOW, so of course they believe what they hear! Its quite sad to think that our whole food system is controlled by the meat & dairy industry & people live in fear of giving those products up! The dietary education that is provided to us as children & even to doctors is just useless. Our system is drug orientated and is aimed at curing disease instead of preventing it! And when study after study continues to prove that meat & dairy are actually harmful to humans, people push it aside -- scared of what it might mean to have to give them up.  
Contrary to popular belief - vegan food is not boring or plain! 
Thus the name of my blog ;-)

For many years I have also been very keen on caring for our environment.
In Year 1 at school we watched a documentary about the environment. I can't even remember what it was called but I remember the turtle "Hyronimus" being killed and it was due to the damage that was occuring in our water system.
It DEVASTATED me. I raced home to convert my family into recycling more & not wasting so much water. 
To this day I remind my family about "Hyronimus" each time they are doing things that are not environmentally friendly.
As a mother, I even used cloth nappies til my daughter was toilet trained!!!! 

So when discovering that consuming a plant-based diet was far more environmentally friendly, it was just another reason to add to my growing list of why I needed to be vegan!

Did you know:
1 cup of coffee needs 140 litres of water.
1 kg maize needs 900 litres of water.
1 litre of milk needs 1,000 litres of water.
1 kg of wheat needs 1,350 litres of water.
1 kg of rice needs 3,000 litres of water.
1kg of beef needs 22,000 litres of water.
Its not only water that is affected by the food choices people make. A UN report has estimated that 7.8 billion tons of carbon dioxide *EACH YEAR* is made from raising animals just for food consumption. That is more than all forms of transport combined. 
Yet as a general rule, people continue to be more concerned with their car emissions than the emissions from the meals they consume!

If you wish to read further about the environmental impact of food choices here's some helpful links:
wikipedia --> Environmental_impact_of_meat_production
Eatinguptheworld - The Environmental Consequences of Human Food Choices
Nature is beautiful - that's why I choose to eat like I care about it!

One last note that I'd like to mention:
I find it hard when people make a general rule about 'vegans' being extremist, rude, forward or forceful, self-righteous, hippie people.... 
None of the vegans I personally know are that. But they are just everyday people doing what they can to make a difference in the world.

Here's some food for thought:
 So if you aren't personally vegan - next time you hear the words "soy", "tofu" or "vegan" don't think we are trying to convert you just by saying those words --> remember that nearly everyday we hear the words "meat", "eggs", "cheese" and have to move on!
Yes, there are some 'vegan police' in the world! But they are few and far between. Most vegans are genuine people with real compassion, for people and animals alike!
Where do you stand on the consumption scale? 
What's your vegan story?
Do you remember the exact day you went vegan?
Was it a process for you or did you do it cold-tofurkey??? ;-)

No comments:

Post a Comment