Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Some background on Vegan Me

So, how did I become Vegan?  It really wasn't for the reasons you might suspect.  About six months ago, I was really interested in self-sufficiency -- and still am.  I was reading John Seymour's book (for the 30th time) on the subject, "The Self-Sufficient Life and How to Live It" when a phrase in the book stood out on the page.  Now I'm not certain about copyright laws, so I'll paraphrase; basically he found that eating meat while being unable to kill the animal you mean to consume to be hypocritical.  I found myself agreeing.

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).

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for doing this blog. Can't wait to hear more. C.

Georgia said...

Hey congratulations on becoming vegan. I look forward to reading how you go. Sometimes when you are a vegan for a while you forget what its like when you start. Starting is the hardest part - now the fun begins!!!

Lenora said...

Welcome to Vegan... I'm "mostly vegan" for the past 4 months, and enjoy reading lots of Vegan blogs, including Vegan Dad's. I'm fortunate to have a very supporting husband who is willing to eat what I cook and not insist on eating meat at home. Hubby and kiddos eat meat at restaurants and other peoples homes, although even they are starting to order Vegan or Vegetarian options at restaurants, etc.
Hugs -

Veg-a-Nut said...

Welcome aboard! We all are here to help each other with ideas, recipes, and life. :o) Vegan dads site is the bomb! Look forward to your new found lifestyle. :o)

Anonymous said...

So good to hear your journey! Those are two major principles that should make anyone pause before they eat meat, ethics and health. You might have to swim against the admittedly majority omnivore current, but pleaseplease stick to your guns! There is a whole community behind you!

carrie said...

Welcome to the vegan community. I'm a pretty new vegan myself, but after knowing what I know, and feeling the difference within me, I could never go back. I've found a lot of support on the vegan blogs, and hope I can share some of that support with you.

Can't wait to start seeing your recipes.

aimee said...

Yay! Good for you Reni! I'm looking forward to hearing about your new vegan adventures (vegentures?)

Toni said...

Yay for you!!! Our family is on the road to vegetarianism (we're about 90% there) and eventually, I plan to go vegan. It's been a slow journey, as dh was not thrilled at first (but he WAS willing) and we have young children (who "hated" all the vegetables; can't believe all the things they'll eat now that they wouldn't touch before). My motivation was also health related.
Blessings,
~Toni~

Eesh said...

Congratulations and welcome to the vegan world! I look forward to reading about this wonderful journey you've embarked on :)

PS. I bawled thru Earthlings, that video was the turning point for my omni bf turning to veganism.

Kati said...

Wow, that's such an amazing story! Peta may get a lot of flack, but their videos are powerful and are definitely one of the things that pushed me to veganism. I wish you lots of luck! Being vegan is amazing, I hope you'll agree! :-)

Vegyogini said...

Congratulations on making a decision that will improve your life in countless ways!

Kati said...

Parts of your story sound remarkably similar to mine! I came to veganism through the self-sufficiency route and I thought veganism would really get in the way of my love of cooking. I really found, though, that I'm experimenting more and having more fun with cooking than ever. Can't wait to read more about your vegan journey!

Fresh from the Source said...

Congratulations on your choice to become vegan. When I first became vegan, we were considered real freaks; now it is becoming very popular. Vegan Dad, written by a fellow Canadian, is a great blog and I check it out every day. The decision that you've made will improve your health and the health of the animals you save.

Jennifer said...

Hello, Reni! Congrats on your decision to become Vegan. I hope you have fun with your food and enjoy all the new tastes and flavors you'll find.

Hiya, I'm Kristie. said...

Big HUGE congrats on the switcharoo! I also am a new vegan and have a teenager and a toddler at home and it's been, um, interesting! There's a wealth of information out there and I hope that you find your new venture fun and interesting.

lae21 said...

Congrats on deciding to become vegan. I think you'll find that you really enjoy it, and that cooking becomes even more fun because you're not just following the same old recipes anymore. It may be hard at first to get your family to get on board, but just keep serving yummy vegan food and they'll come around.

Ashley said...

Congrats, on the new transition. You might want to also listen to Vegan Freak. Its an awesome program that you can catch on iTunes or you can also visit the website.

kmouse said...

congratulations! you'll find that it gets easier as you are able to enjoy so many delicious foods, even those that were your favorites from before. i've been vegan for over a year and i am never going back. good luck on your journey and keep checking out the many vegan blogs out there for inspiration!