Making A Decision - vegan?
We have been vegetarian for 11 years -- our girls have been vegetarian their entire lives. I was raised on a farm eating what we grew or raised. I remember finding out that meat was a dead animal -- I guess pretty much the same way everybody else finds out. I can still picture us all sitting around the table and I was eating what we always ate -- I remember my parents hesitant to answer my persistent question as to what it was exactly that we were eating. Well, as it turns out, it was my favorite cow, which I had been playing with since it was born....or my sheep or pig playmate. I was devistated, but I guess I got over it because I vigerously continued to eat meat well into my adult life.
Well, I moved away from the farm and went to college in the big city. I was exposed to many different lifestyles that I'd never considered. Some years later, my husband decided to get his ear pierced at the local tattoo shop and I went with him. While I waited for him I browsed some of their reading material and took some home for further evaluation. Well, it prompted me to read Diet For A New America by John Robbins. I was curious, and so I got the book and began reading. After finishing the Holy Cow chapter....I cut red meat. That was easy because red meat had begun to really disgust me and lots of people had cut red meat. I thought I could live comfortably in my chicken and turkey world...until I read the Brave New Chicken chapter -- ok, those chicken bones were starting to get gross anyhow....bye by beloved Thanksgiving dinner. Well, at least I had bacon -- it must be ok to eat pig. But I read on to The Most Unjustly Maligned Of All Animals -- it rang true! I remembered loving pigs on the farm, and what about Babe and Wilber. Well, it had been a gradual shedding of all meat categories -- leaving each behind after reading the chapter. My life changed. I could no longer ignore what I had refused to think about for so long. I was vegetarian -- and I felt liberated, enlightened, and like I was doing my part for the world. That came from the America Poisoned and All Things Are Connected chapters. That was 11 years ago.
I've lived my vegetarian life as blindfolded as I did my meat eating life. I've continued to eat dairy -- not educating myself about it, in my fog thinking it's probably ok. Aren't cows happy to give their milk? Nobody dies when chickens lay eggs. What's the big deal?, I'd think -- not giving veganism a chance by reading about it. And we've come to depend on dairy....especially in our vegetarian world. We can go to In-And-Out burger and order a grilled cheese sandwich with fries and a shake. Being vegetarian can be quite convenient and non-infringing -- especially compared to 11 years ago. Until now I've been able to comfortably ignore veganism and feel good about myself. But my bubble was burst when I decided to keep a vegetarian family blog spot. I stumbled upon some vegan blog spots....and began reading. Whatever, it's just another lifestyle choice...right? Then I stumbled upon goveg.com and did a little "too much" reading and I don't think I can ignore what I now know. I'm realistic, though and realize how much my family depends upon dairy. I spoke to my husband about it and just like vegetarianism, he's willing to give it a go. We're not going cold-turkey. My plan is to transition slowly just like we did before. I'll commit to trying one vegan recipe at a time....searching for substitutes for the foods and drinks we love. We will incorporate new ways of eating as we slowly say good-bye to our dairy days, educating ourselves along the way about why we are doing what we are doing. I've set this blog up to journal our journey. This will be a challenge for us. Do you have any tips for us on how to make the transition??