I’m an herbivore. I eat plants.
Vegan since December 2012; vegetarian since September 1996.
For me, it was simply inevitable that I would be a vegetarian when, as a little animal-loving, tree-hugging, wide-eyed youngster, I learned for the first time that the “chicken” I was eating for dinner was in fact the same cute little “chickens” I’d seen photographs of clucking about on a happy little farm. “Chicken” was not just a clever title. Even then as a little girl, I loved all animals, and couldn’t comprehend how they ended up on our dinner plates, or why we were eating them. I eventually went vegetarian at twelve years old.
Fast forward to today and I’m that same little girl in the body of an adult. My biggest hatred in this world is the factory farming industry: the utterly terrible treatment of living animals, viewed as a product or commodity instead of a beautiful living creature, and the convenient oblivious separation our world allows consumers when they purchase their perfectly packaged plastic-wrapped meat cube from the grocery store.
Quick Note: I strongly feel that the decision to become a vegetarian is a very personal one, and the road to that decision must be unique to each one of us. Therefore, I never feel it’s my place to put my own decision on somebody else’s shoulders, rub my beliefs (or anything else, for that matter) in anybody’s face, or “disapprove” of others who eat meat. I do my best to express my opinions without making others feel uncomfortable or “wrong”. But I really love to help others come to realizations about animal foods, think deeply, research where their food is coming from, and pay the extra expense to ensure their dollars are supporting farms who treat their animals with utmost respect. #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 products weren’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 five years, I’ve been a dairy-conscious consumer. 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, often slack and eat unknown dairy when going out to restaurants, or to friend’s houses.
Now, we’re getting closer to present day.
Why am I writing this blog?
- I’d like to take things to the next step, and cut out all animal products.
- I’d like to incorporate more wholesome nutritious foods into my daily diet.
- I’d like to work towards eating over half of my foods raw.
- I’d like to advance my cooking skills by learning new vegan recipes.
- I’d like to cook most of my own meals, so I know exactly what’s in my food.
- I’d like to save money and time by learning to can and save foods.
- I’d like to take advantage of the great vegan food blogs found on Pinterest ;)
- I’d like to raise awareness of the health, nutrition, and animal welfare benefits of a plant-based diet, and connect with others on the same journey! What’s your story?
This may seem like a small step for a vegetarian of seventeen years, and a dairy-conscious consumer for five 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~