Try moderation

This doesn’t have to be all or nothing. Try eating LESS meat. If you still eat red meat, only buy the very best grass-fed beef from local farmers. Be picky. If we stop buying the mass-produced meat, maybe practices can shift. The meat worship- putting bacon in ice cream, donuts, etc is just bizarre.

I’ve been doing a LOT of research. I’m looking at studies about how Americans (and other countries) are doubling their meat intakes- with corresponding rising health issues. I’m reading about the environment being decimated to produce enough grain and water for the animals. There is also the issue of the animal welfare- and how the treatment is so horrific and unhealthy- it is inhumane.

If you are not interested in health, environment, or animals. Do it for your kids. Who may have to be vegetarian by 2050 out of necessity not choice. Who will never have a chance to eat wild fish because we’ve destroyed the oceans with our greed to eat as much meat as we can without regard to the rest of the world or the future.

You don’t have to cut everything out if that seems too difficult, but the move is going to happen this way anyway just based on our limited resources. Can we slow down the process rather than speed it up?

Alternate Universe

If you are reading this, then you might be curious about veganism, vegetarianism, or why someone might suddenly switch to a different eating style after 42 years. I’m as surprised as anyone else. If this was a religion, I would be “born again”.

I literally feel like I was living in an alternate universe, and was pretty much oblivious to a lot of issues. My eyes have been opened, and I don’t see how I could ever forget.

All of us over 30 years old or so grew up in a time and place that is VERY different than it is today. We’ve had a population explosion- over 7 billion people live on this earth- it was 3.6 billion when I was born. We have twice as many people to feed. Many countries are much more developed, and they want the same standard of living that we have. The ice caps are melting- global warming is happening faster than predicted.

We can’t live the same way our parents did, or that we did a few decades ago, and have the same quality of life. It is not sustainable. When I was very young, we didn’t put babies in carseats, young children didn’t wear seat belts. Would anyone suggest we continue that practice despite what we have learned, and know how we can save lives?

It is not all about the animals, although they do play into this. I grew up believing that it was okay to eat animals because they were raised for us to use as food. With that reasoning, can you say it is okay to enslave some people because they were raised for that purpose? The process used to convert animals into food is wasteful and cruel, and it is creating an enormous environmental impact.

I think I actually started this journey based on more the health implications of a plant-based diet, and that now is the least important aspect to me.

There is an alternate universe that exists, if you are willing to look at it. It is a hard truth.

I’m passionate about this, but don’t worry, I will not be converting you directly on the playground or elsewhere. I’m not asking anyone to do anything- except to keep an open mind.


Vegetarian or Vegan?

It has been awhile since I posted. While I haven’t been scanning my daily meal drawings, I have continued to research and delve into the whole vegan/vegetarian lifestyle.

The line between vegetarian and vegan seems to be huge, and I feel like I sit on the fence on it, but am ready to jump off. If you are vegetarian, there are plenty of food options, people seem much less intimidated to invite you to dinner, you seem a lot less, I don’t know, judgmental or uptight.

I always viewed veganism as being too extreme for me. It turns people off and is just more difficult. I did eat vegan strictly for one month, and have cut back on all dairy and eggs at home.

As I have learned more about the dairy industry, and egg production, I can’t enjoy these products. There are so many options here in Portland, it is pretty easy to find delicious alternatives.

I’ll admit, it is hardest for me on the social side. I feel rude sometimes, or like a difficult guest to stick to my food choices. Especially since all my life I have had no restrictions or food allergies. I know it has caused us to be off the list of guests at times for dinner because it seems really hard for the menu planner.

I would rather bring a salad, and join friends, than be left out of a gathering for our food preferences. I would guess that most vegans don’t expect the main course to be catered to them, and are happy to have a side dish to eat, or bring something to the dinner to share, that they can eat. I don’t know for sure since we don’t know many other vegans- but that is how I feel. I imagine it is the same for the gluten-free folks as well.

One weekend this summer, we had our good friends visit. We’re mostly vegan, they are on the paleo diet. Sounded like it might be a nightmare for mealtimes, but in fact it was fine. We focused on the foods we could share- fruit, vegetables, nuts… and for shared meals put the grains, breads, legumes on the side for us. Meat, fish and eggs on the side for them. It was surprisingly easy. If it can work with those two extremes, it can work with anyone.

Although I still feel like being flexible in some situations about dairy or eggs (for example, I see nothing wrong with eating a fresh chicken egg from someone’s backyard chickens), I’m going to stick more closely to my plant-based diet. Hopefully I can share some of the new foods and delicious recipes I’ve discovered with others.