Testing… Testing…

Welcome to my first blog post. To make things simple, I’m going to fill this space with the content I just wrote for the “about” page, which does a great job of explaining who I am, where I want to go, and why you might enjoy sticking around:

I’m Dani. I’m an herbivore. I’ve been a vegetarian for seventeen years, since I was a little animal-loving, tree-hugging twelve year old kid. I’ll wait for you to do the math.

The decision to become a vegetarian is very personal, and unique to each one of us. For me, it was simply inevitable after I learned for the first time that the “chicken” I was eating for dinner was related to the cute little “chicken” birds living on farms. Even then as a little girl, I loved all animals, and couldn’t comprehend why we were eating them.

Quick Note: As I’ve grown through my life, and continue to grow through my vegetarianism beliefs, I’ve come to realize that I don’t “disapprove” of others who eat meat, so long as they think deeply, research where their meat is coming from, and pay the extra expense to ensure their meat comes from farms who treat their animals with respect. My biggest hatred in this world is the factory farming industry, the utterly terrible treatment of living animals as a product, and the convenient oblivious separation it causes consumers when they purchase their perfectly packaged plastic-wrapped meat cube from the grocery store. #endrant

Every now and then, I tend to take a look at my life and see how I can better my vegetarian journey. At one point, early on, it was the realization that animal products were often hidden in sauces, and cutting those out of my diet. At another point, it was gelatin. At another point, it was finding my co-passion of living cruelty-free, and seeking to only purchase products not tested on animals. And, at one point, which is the purpose of this discussion, it was the realization that “meat” wasn’t the only cause of animal mistreatment, but also dairy. Again, I was shocked to learn the truth about how many dairy farms treat their animals. The thought that I contributed to that, just by purchasing eggs or cheese from the wrong company, made me sick.

So, for the past four years, I’ve been what I call a “lazy vegan”. This means I cook a lot of vegan foods at home, only support dairy companies that I know and trust are respectful to their animals. My fridge always contains vegan butter, almond milk, and coconut milk, and I often use vegan egg alternatives when cooking and baking. But, I often slack and eat unknown dairy when going out to restaurants, or to friend’s houses.

Now, we’re getting closer to present day. Just over one year ago, I started having gall bladder issues. Naturally, I thought the cause was weight related, because at that time I was near my heaviest, at 199 pounds. Since then, I’ve worked very hard to change my lifestyle and incorporate exercise into my daily life and eat healthier. As of this writing, I have lost 62 pounds! Again, I’ll wait for you to do the math. But, unfortunately, the gall bladder issues remain. Terrible pain for many hours is induced by the simplest thing… anything with a drop of oil, anything cooked in oil, anything with too much fat content, salad dressings, cheese, eggs, nuts :\

So why am I writing this blog?

  • I’d like to control my gall bladder attacks through a vegan diet.
  • I’d like to take things to the next step, and cut out all animal products.
  • I’d like to start incorporating more wholesome and nutritious foods into my daily diet.
  • I’d like to work towards eating over half of my foods raw, for nutritional benefits.
  • I’d like to advance my cooking skills by learning all sorts of new vegan recipes.
  • I’d like to cook most of my own meals, so I know exactly what is in the foods I eat.
  • I’d like to save money and time by learning to can and save foods.
  • I’d like to take full advantage of all the great vegan food blogs I’ve found through Pinterest ;)

This may seem like a small step for a vegetarian of seventeen years and a “lazy vegan” of four years, but trust me, it will still be a good healthy challenge. And yes, pun intended.

Please, I hope you stick around, and take this journey with me~
Take care,
Dani

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