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Tag Archives: veganism

Where do you get your protein from?

The eternal question. Sigh.
Truth is, most people actually consume more protein than they need to – We really don’t need much of it. The amounts needed for a healthy nutrition can easily be found in a balanced diet without paying too much attention to proteins.The RDA states that we need 0.8 grams of protein for every kilogram body weight.
These are good sources of protein: tofu, veggie burgers, soy, beans, lentils, chickpeas, nuts and seeds, brown rice and whole grains.

What’s in a vegan fridge?

The typical list, of course, is anything that doesn’t contain animal products. I would give an account of what’s in my fridge at the moment, but unfortunately that’s a rather sad outlook. So instead I’ll say what it’ll contain after my food shop tonight:

    Fresh stuff:
    – Fruit. Apples, Bananas, Pears,…
    – Vegetables. Peppers, Lettuce, Courgette, Potatoes, …
    – Soy / almond / other vegan milk.
    – Bread
    – Vegan margarine
    – Hummus
    – Tofu
    – Mustard

    Shelf stuff:
    – Beans and peas: Kidney beans, pinto beans, chick peas, …
    – Pasta and rice, couscous, polenta, Quinoa
    – Flour, sugar, baking soda, etc.
    – Nutritional yeast
    – Herbs

Basic things really. To be honest, I am probably not the best person to ask on what makes a complete kitchen, I tend to just quickly run to the shops if I figure I need anything. So this is just to give you a basic idea.

Why is drinking milk bad?

  • Cows don’t just ‘give’ milk. They have to be pregnant to produce it. The newly-borns are then quickly separated from their mother, causing distress and pain to both, and then fed on unnatural diet and most often quickly slaughtered.
  • Dairy cows are slaughtered when around 4 or 5 years, only a franction of their natural life span.
  • Often abused, get fed hormones and antibiotics and their utters are infected from the high pressure.
  • It seems unnatural that humans are the only species to drink milk even as adults, and – even more controversially – drink the milk of a different species.

Check out this for more information: IVU info.

Why is eating eggs bad?
Again, I am just going to give a short bullet points of why vegans think eating eggs is inappropriate.

  • Male chicks get gassed or crushed on their first day of life, because they can’t lay eggs.
  • Chickens are breed to lay an unnatural number of eggs – up to 300 a year – when 30 would be normal. This means a very high pressure on their bodies.
  • Chickens are killed once they lay less eggs, which is long before their natural end of life time.
  • The conditions they live in are often not appropriate, giving rise to diseases and infections.

Check the link above as well.

Won’t you be weak, pale, cold, unhealthy permanently?

I would love to be one of these people who claim that the vegan lent made me feel as healthy as never before, but that would be pretty hypocritical since most people around me know I’ve been fighting a nasty cold the last couple of days. So, no, eating vegan is not a guarantee for eternal all-around health. But I can say, if you stick to dietary guidelines as explained above, you should have very healthy diet, free of animal fats and full of fresh fruits and veggies.

How do you live without chocolate, cake and muffins ?

I couldn’t. Truth is: You don’t have to! Just last night, I had a gorgeous hot chocolate actually, without cheating veganism. It is simple: Just use soy milk, add some cocoa powder and brown sugar, possibly some cinnamon powder and some vanilla extract. Yum! Apart from that, there are plenty of vegan recipes for desserts, sweets, baked goods out there in the internet and in various vegan cookbook.

But you use – product X – that’s made of – animal product Y -, therefore it’s impossible to avoid animal products anyway. What’s the point?

This is my answer (Click to see bigger):

Most of you have probably seen this graphic here that’s been floating around the internet for a while. Pretty disturbing, yes, and not nice. But necessary.
The way I see it is that the main goal is to inflict a shift in our diets and lifestyles. It’s about reducing the harm done to animals and our environment, and it’s ok if that means that a complete ‘vegan’ lifestyle is impossible, that’s fine with me. Any effort helps.

These are questions I have been asked by friends and family during the past couple of weeks, or that I was asking myself at first. Please feel free to post any more in the comments!

I completed the Golden vegan pledge from TheVeganSociety.
http://www.vegansociety.com/veganpledge/ a couple of days ago. This is the certificate they sent me:

Yay! I found the link within the first days of being vegan, so I thought I might as well participate. They sent quite a useful package of information at the beginning of the challenge, including recipes. However, what really got me hooked was that they promise to put you in touch with a vegan ‘mentor’ that you can email throughout the 30 days, ask questions about nutrition, social problems, anything really. Unfortunately the mentor I was assigned to never replied to my email(s). I guess maybe she’d given them an old email address or something (or she just didn’t like me 😦

That was a bit of a letdown, and I’d pretty much completely forgotten I entered this until I got the email. I’d like to think that this was just an unlucky exception, and that other people were able to benefit from it. I really like the idea of a personal mentor to answer questions, yet haven’t really missed one either since I found plenty of others to help.

They also promised to sent me another book of ‘vegan stories’. I definitely approve of people sending me free books!
Here is the link: Vegan Pledge

Lastly I figured out today that I have been messing up the days. Yes, I was indeed wondering why I am on Day 37 already when Easter is not for another week, but I guess I just assumed that the 40 days of lent is just a rough estimate. But no. Apparently, one doesn’t count the Sundays. So technically I’m only on Day 32 of lent, but since I stayed vegan on the Sundays, I will just ignore this fact and pretend lent has 47 days. 46? Numbers are confusing…

Today is easily the most unproductive day ever. Lots of thoughts flowing around in my mind. This might be caused by the fact that I’ve been knee deep stuck in work for the last few days, but I will try to sort them out anyway. Here we go..

Our house is going veggie!

Today, my neighbour E. announced he is going vegetarian. He announced it with a sort of proud voice, and it was good to see him explain why. This makes me so optimistic. I saw it coming, in a way, since E. has many veg*n (yes – cool, regular expression kind of saying vegans and vegetarians in one) friends that he hangs out with a lot of the time. I was very happy to see it.

Veganomicon update

I am dying to try out new things from the Veganomicon. Tomorrow I shall go on a massive food shop, and got some plans for a couple of meals that people will be coming over for next week. I am excited! Pictures will be posted of course.

Approaches to Soy

I was never a great fan of milk, and was always the one to watch in awe as my flatmates went through copious amounts in few days. Therefore, I acknowledged the existence of soy milk, but never depended on it or even considered buying some. A couple of days ago, when I was making the Cauliflower potpie , I had to buy some for the sauce and was very impressed with the taste when trying a little bit after. Yes, it is weird and different – but since I am not a great fan of the taste of milk, I am certainly not complaining. It also happens to be a great source of Calcium so I guess that can’t harm…

A couple of days later, I also happen to find soy in my department’s fridge! I was majorly impressed. My era of drinking black tea is therefore finally over, instead comes one in which I shall try to explore the wonders of soy milk.

Vegan Cartoons

Definitely reminds me of quotations I posted in Day 18 post… : “Terrorist” and “unamerican”? Yup, these definitely come into place here.

by T Peyser

And this one found on Mark Stiver’s Homepage is also definitely true.

Vegan Diet

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Very true. It is so, so easy to be vegetarian and unhealthy, and almost as much with veganism. Not that I generally disagree with a heavy coffee-based diet, but personally saw the change in diet as a chance to also eat more healthily in general. Sometimes they say that green stuff is good for you after all..

Today really hasn’t been the most succesful vegan day. In fact, I have failed my veganism on several occasions.

Failure #1: Firstly, I realized that during all this time I’ve been attempting to go vegan, I was happily walking around in my leather boots. Sigh. I love my leather boots, but shouldn’t I make this sacrifice as well? Clearly, to call oneself a vegan – even just for this limited period of time – one shouldn’t be wearing leather. Luckily, the weather is clearing up and becoming warmer, so it should be easy to get some new spring shoes anyway.

Failure #2: I have had bad headaches the last couple of days since I haven’t slept so much and had loads of work to do. So against the headaches, I have been taking an Ibuprofen occasionally. Well, guess what I realized today as I was mindlessly ‘popping the pill’? Yes. Exactly. Not only are they of course tested on animals, they also contain some animal sideproducts.
Edit: Nevermind. Only the gelatine-covered ones contain, obviously, gelatine. So I’m good at least for this one.. (apart from the animal testing).

Failure #3: One of my last guilty pleasures, since I had to give up vending machine chocolate, were potato crisps that I had, after checking a couple of packets, found to be vegan. So, I went my way to a vending machine to get some crisps to cheer me up. Halfway through the pack I look at the ingredients list, just out of routine. And what do I see? Contains: Milk Lactose. Great. Just great. End up chucking the other half of the pack. Meh.

Lastly, I’ll be flying home in a few hours. I used to love to stuff myself with expensive airport fast food to help the frustration I usually get at all the people, all the waiting around, just traveling in general. Now instead, since I didn’t bother packing food, I’ll probably be munching on a salad. Sigh.

Update: I have been vegan for a week –
and I am wellfed, happy and healthy 🙂
So that’s good news I guess.

In other news, I finally got around to ordering a vegan cook book. After looking around on the internet for what could be the best one, I chose Veganomicon: The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook since it’s been reviewed as one of the most complete and comprehensive ones. One review I found was from Ex-Foodie , who seems to really love the book and tried out several of the recipes.

So I am excited for it to arrive soon now.

I had been planning to go vegetarian for a couple of weeks, but hadn’t taken the big step just yet. With the start of Semester Two, the meat completely disappeared from my fridge shelf. I felt good about myself: physically, morally – my conscious was completely guilt-free.  When I went on to do more research to support my new lifestyle, I stumbled upon another even more extreme, more rewarding diet plan: Veganism. Upon hearing more of the facts behind veganism, I was intrigued, inspired and challenged. I began questioning my daily dietary choices. Had I been too hasty in assuming that being a vegetarian was the answer?

I have given up other things for Lent before: three years ago it was chocolate, two years ago, my Facebook account was deactivated for the month. These were – embarrassingly enough – two of the most difficult times I have had to endure, yet very rewarding experiences. I decided that this year to live on a vegan diet for the entire 40 days of Lent. That entails: no meat, no fish, no dairy products, no eggs and no honey.

You may be thinking, what’s wrong with milk and eggs? The cows need to be milked, and the chicken lay their daily eggs anyway, right? Simply said, in order to produce milk, the cow needs to be permanently pregnant. The new-born calves then often get slaughtered right away, since they are not needed. Additionally, hormones fed to the cow to increase milk production cause infections and disease of the cows. Chickens, meanwhile, often live in horrendous conditions, unable to move their wings in cramped spaces. Even ‘free range’ eggs have very loose restrictions on what conditions the farm needs to be provide for the chickens to live in. The male chicks, since they are of no use, are gassed or crunched alive. As horrific as these examples of animal cruelty are, they are admittedly not the main reason I am experimenting with a new diet. Instead, it is based more on a curiosity in recognising my personal dependency on animal products.

The challenge is set. Now, where to start? For the last couple of days I have been mentally and practically preparing for this quest. I have tried my first dairy-free bar of chocolate – surprisingly okay – as well as dairy-free soya milk. One major problem I have already encountered: how on earth do vegans handle the late-night munchies? Free Janetta’s ice cream at the DRA ball is almost impossible to resist. Which makes me think – there’s still a lot to be learnt…