Monday, February 7, 2011

Going Vegan!

No more eggs, 
 No more cheese, 
 No more fishy 
To eat for me.

I have been a vegetarian since I was 11.  It started because I didn't want to eat things that had cute faces and has grown exponentially from there. I have never been one to preach.  When asked why I am a vegetarian, I usually just say the thing about not wanting to eat something cute to avoid the lengthy conversation, and to avoid -as my 9 year old niece would say- "yucking anyone's yum".  The topic of food choice can get as heated as a conversation about God or politics, so in the past I have mostly tried to avoid it. I am not writing this blog to try to convert anyone into being a vegan, and I am not sitting in judgement of anyone!  I am mostly writing this blog as a way to support and encourage myself on this journey, and to hold myself accountable for the choices I am making in this life I have been given.  If someone happens to learn something they didn't already know as a result of reading this blog, then that is great!  The more I learn about this stuff, the more confident and excited I am about my choices!  

So, vegan huh?? In the back of my mind, I have always felt that eating meat was wrong.  Still though, I have continued to eat fish (because I love how they taste, and they aren't cute and cuddly) and cheese (insane amounts of cheese) and eggs (I make a killer omelet).   But, I have had an "ah ha!" moment, and I can't continue to eat these things in good conscience, no matter how good they taste.  For a moment on my lips (at the cost of suffering to countless animals, the devastation of our environment and the support of a system that goes against everything I believe in) it just doesn't feel worth it. Yes, fish are tasty, but they are animals too (they also get grossly mistreated in factory farms, and fishing in the wild is destroying our oceans) and I think they deserve the same quality of life that I would wish for any living animal.  So, no more fish for me.  Cheese comes from cows, and eggs from chickens.  Like it or not, most of us get our cheese and eggs from animals who are grossly mistreated.  Our cheese and eggs are filled with the same hormones and antibiotics that the factory farm fills those poor animals with.  And it turns out that even "cage-free" is a hoax, those animals are almost no better off than their caged brothers and sisters.  While I fully encourage, support and respect anyone who seeks out their local farmer and farmers markets and buys legitimately cage free, local, farm raised, cruelty free products, for me that is simply not enough.

So here I am.  This is not a simple or easy choice for me.  While I am already a vegetarian, I have thoroughly enjoyed all things cheese and everything tasty that an egg contributes to making. However, my desire to change is fueled by my beliefs that all animals deserve to live cruelty free, and that our consumption of meat and animal products is ruining our planet.  I am making a change for myself, however small and insignificant to the big picture this change might be.  I can't in good conscience, knowing everything I know about the food industry, continue on this path of eating whatever I want simply because it tastes good, and because it's easier.  I care about where my food comes from, and to the best of my ability, I want to avoid contributing to the torture of animals or the loss of life in the name of "tasty" food!

Wish me luck! As I mentioned above, I am making this blog to encourage myself and to hold myself accountable, and maybe inform and inspire a few people along the way.  I have no doubt that this is going to be tough!  I'll be posting about my daily challenges and victories, facts I find interesting or informative, vegan recipes that don't suck, conversations I have with people about the topic, and book recommendations, etc.  I am taking this one day at a time.  I am going to do my best to stay the vegan course in a very non-vegan society.  Encouragement, comments, and criticisms are welcome!!


1 comment:

  1. Excellent article, Melissa. You have a wonderful talent for combining your personal experiences with facts about what's actually out there. For instance, I didn't know eggs marked "cage free" at the supermarket could be just as inhumane as other chicken eggs. Thank you!!!