To me it's really difficult to think of this whole matter as an outsider, because to me it's so obvious. Like if I were seeing a painting, it would be right in front of me and I'd have to explain it to someone who wasn't able to see it, but would be interested in knowing more. And also my envolvement makes this more difficult. I put way too much pressure on this. (Maybe because I'm lazy?) So I will use several online sites to help me to explain veganism to you. With my own words, going vegan will take some effort, but after a while you'll notice it's getting so much easier and soon you'll realize it's giving you so much more than what it takes away. The feeling of not doing any harm to other living creatures is just so amazing. No more quilt, no more shame. But instead, a very happy feeling about yourself. You are doing something! Yay for being active!
I will not share any horrible stories, that's not what my pink and happy blog is about. But just be aware that the meat and dairy industry is filled with them. Here's a link to Vegan Outreach's site Why Vegan? My reason for being vegan is purely about animal rights. Even though environmental issues worry me a lot, too. (A vegetarian diet is a lot better for the environment.) I started out as a "pescetarian," someone who doesn't eat red meat or chicken, but eats dairy, fish and eggs, and I kept that diet for nearly a decade. I was around 11 or 12 when I started, and it was about not eating animals that were kept in captivity. As I grew older I dropped the fish off the list of things I'd put in my mouth. I started to become more and more interested in a vegan diet, but found that very difficult and expensive and everything. But then I ran into a vegan cookbook from Sarah Kramer and Sandra Barnard called The Garden of Vegan, and from there it took me about four months until I was vegan. The dairy and egg industry just isn't any better than the meat industry. I didn't want to support any of them with my money.
|"Cheese"-pesto sandwiches. Nom nom. Fast and simple.|
We eat everything except for animal-based things! And most of my vegan friends are almost obsessed with food! There are so many blogs and websites about vegan foods. And very often when I meet my friends, we end up talking about some new flavored soymilk or new vegan products in "mainstream" product lines or just whatever is new and food-related. We love food and we want it to taste good. This is something that quite few (Finnish) restaurants know/understand. (Eating out is pretty much the only difficult thing for a vegan when it comes to food, but I know this is not the case in the States, where you have so many restaurants to choose from - lucky bastards!)
But to the actual things we eat. We eat pretty much the same foods everyone else does, too. We just use other ingredients. Some of them might require little practise, some not. Here's how Vegan Outreach puts it:
Many people believe that eliminating all animal products will greatly narrow their menus. But according to most vegans, quite the opposite happens. Once you start frequenting your local health/natural food stores and co-ops, perusing a few vegan cookbooks, or just following some of the suggestions in this guide, you’ll soon become familiar with the wide variety of options that weren’t a part of your previous diet. Over time, you’ll also discover you can follow almost any recipe – old or new – by substituting ingredients.
For those who prefer not to cook, vegan meals are usually offered at Chinese, Italian, Indian,
and other ethnic restaurants, as well as at many chains, such as Taco Bell and Johnny Rockets. Plus, there are lots of cruelty-free convenience foods to choose from: frozen dinners; canned and dehydrated soups, stews, and chilies; items of all sorts for quick and easy sandwiches like vegan dogs and burgers, deli slices, bacons, sausages, untuna and unchicken salads, and soy and rice cheeses; and delicious desserts including soy yogurts and ice creams. You may even find that your local health food store has its own deli counter, stocked with prepared foods.
The variety of vegan products is growing each year; and supermarkets are carrying more and more products that used to be found only in specialty stores. If meat and dairy substitutes aren’t plentiful locally, you can also order them through online catalogs, such as Pangea or the Mail Order Catalog.
Simple Meal IdeasHere are just a few examples.
Toast, bagel, or English muffin with fruit spread and peanut butter or vegan cream cheese
Tofu scramble with hash browns and veggie sausage
Fruit smoothie made with nondairy milk or soy yogurt
Pancakes or waffles (many brands of prepared mixes and a variety of Van’s frozen waffles are vegan)
Fruit-filled toaster pastry
Veggie burger or dog with fries
Faux lunchmeat sandwich with chips
Falafel pita sandwich with hummus
Peanut butter and jelly
Pasta with faux meat sauce, faux meatballs, or faux sausage
Faux meat tacos, burritos, or enchiladas (click here for cooking tips on vegan tacos and chili)
Stir-fry with tofu, tempeh, or faux meat (see tips)
Faux meat with gravy and mashed potatoes
Vegetable tofu lasagna (see tofu ricotta recipe)
Nondairy ice cream or frozen soy yogurt
Vegan cookies, pie, cake, or pudding (see recipes)
Fresh or dried fruit
Nuts or seeds
Pretzels or popcorn
Chips and salsa
Energy bar (vegan Clif Bar)
|Cinnamon buns baked for Vegan Bake Sale|
|Vegan Rocky Road Bars for sale|