Sunday, May 11, 2008


I am vegan-ish. What does that mean? Well, it means I don't eat animals, nor do I drink milk or eat eggs. But why the "ish" part? Because I am not so vegan that I'm going to interrogate waiters, or refuse the occasional baked treat because it has one-twelfth of an egg in it, or (today) turn down my mother-in-law's casserole because it's made with cheese, eggs, and milk. I do use whey protein, and whey is a derivative of milk. A touch of Parmesan on a salad is a good thing, I think. I continue to eat honey, and let's not even TALK about my leather shoes, ok?!

What I'm trying to say is that I'm trying to find a sane balance that allows me to eat the way I feel is best for me, and still live in the world in peace. But then the question comes up -- why do I avoid animal products? If I'm asked this, I can give an answer, but my answer will differ depending on if I'm at the dinner table when asked or if it's just in conversation. (I'll soften my answer at the table, to be sure!)

So here's why I don't eat meat (or chicken or fish). There are several reasons, and I've assigned a percentage to each one:
  • 35%: I don't want to eat dead stuff
  • 25%: I think it's healthier
  • 20%: I think it's better for the planet
  • 20%: I want to be kind to animals
Probably the biggest issue is that when I see meat on the plate, I see a carcass, plain and simple. And from everything I've read, it IS healthier to stay away from animal products, it IS better for the planet to eat low on the food chain, and it IS kinder to animals to not kill them. And I should mention here that I've never been a big meat eater to begin with, so it's not like this is tough for me.

But what about milk and eggs? Well, I've never really cared for milk, and the more I've learned, it seems crazy for us to drink what's meant for baby cows. And sadly, drinking milk is directly related to the veal industry (where do you think all those baby cows go once they're born and have gotten their moms to produce milk?). Plus almond milk is WAY yummier than cow's milk! And eating eggs support an industry that really hurts chickens, and I don't want the way I eat to cause harm.

So that's kind of where I'm at, food-wise. I still have lots of unanswered questions, like how can I make this make sense when my family is NOT vegetarian, and what the heck do I cook beyond "something for them, and a salad for me", and where do caffeine and sugar fit into the whole healthy eating equation for me? My hope is that journaling about all this will help me to find some answers that make sense for me and for my family.

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