Now while I didn't immediately become vegan, I suddenly became aware of the meat products I consumed. Each time I consumed meat, I tried to make myself imagine killing the animal in detail. I soon knew I would be unable to kill any animal unless under extreme duress to do so. Still I waffled on the issue of vegetarianism. The idea of becoming vegetarian (I really didn't even know what Vegan meant) was daunting. Cooking had become a hobby I had invested much time and self-training in. A hobby that mostly revolved around the cooking/preparing of meat. I was quite proud of my skills and enjoyed the complements my cooking received. How could I limit myself cooking to vegetables and still enjoy cooking?
A month or so passed and I went to the doctor for some illness. While there, I had some blood tests done that indicated higher than normal cholesterol levels. This was really no surprise being raised in the southern USA by a mother that served meals revolving around meat and it's byproducts. (lard was a staple in the pantry) After becoming an adult I emulated my mother's cooking and cooked for my family in the same fashion. After the cholesterol test results, I knew my diet had to change. Upon doing research for natural ways to lower cholesterol, I found that reducing/eliminating meat in a diet can help do so. I began searching for meat alternative recipes that would be naturally lower in fat.
In this search I came across many vegetarian/vegan websites. After reading so many blogs/posts on being vegan (got distracted when looking for recipes), I was becoming more convinced that a vegan lifestyle was right for me. Eventually, I stumbled across Vegan Dad's blog. I found so many awesome recipes for meat replacements! One day while looking through his blog archives I found a post called "Meet Your Meat" that contained a PETA video. Normally I would have skipped this, assuming it was propaganda from/for PETA, which I believed only showed the absolute worst animal treatment instances. However something made me view it, the part of me that wanted to know the truth about animal treatment practices in the meat industry. I sat through the whole viewing, crying almost the entire time. (a side note: while viewing the video I was speaking on Skype to the Spouse and he was begging me to turn it off --cause of hearing my sniffles)
So that's it. Now, I'm a vegan -- though still new and currently in transition from vegetarian. Also, I'm re-learning to cook but with the help of so may vegans out there. I have recently bought Veganomicon and The Complete Vegan Kitchen. Both have been very helpful.
Next post will have a recipe, hopefully sharing what I've learned (in a noobie Vegan way).