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Why Did You Go Vegan?
JenniAs for diet, well, we were ovolacto vegetarian from October 1993, up till July 2001, now we are vegan.
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Also, for me(and I think David too), raising the kids vegetarian, is hugely important and core to our parenting. Personally, I love that they will never see a cute cow in the pasture, and then make the connection that it is the hamburger on their plate.. and have to "get over it." We stopped drinking milk last October, based on this theory. I was reading something on about.com, a discussion in which a woman was asking advice from other vegans/ vegetarians, regarding eggs, which led to milk... so after reading it, I was talking to Jacob, and asked what he thought... he said "mommy if you were a cow, I would tell those farmers to leave you alone" so then I felt so bad, that I hadn't made that connection and started earlier with soy milk on our kids. Jacob at that time LOVED skim milk, but he decided he didn't want it anymore. We all switched to soy. As for eggs... same discussion..but I hadn't figured out how to substitute for baking. Now I use flax meal (which gives us the omega fatty acids we need)
As for cheese and ice cream, well those were harder to give up. That was where our vegfriends group came in. When David and I went veg back in 93, we gave up leather, as an obvious (to us) link to our choice not to eat meat. Eggs and milk, however, we felt were not in the same line. Now, I realize that the milk comes from the cows, and in order to get that, the cows are raped (sorry, I cant think of another word at this moment) but they are impregnated, and then the calves are taken. They let them nurse for one day (and they think that is a good thing) and then they are taken away.. the boys... well they are veal .. the girls, are raised to be dairy cows like their mothers. Co me, it seems like china, only the opposite.
As for ice cream.. we were eating it up till July.. cheese too.. but then we decided, as a family, that we do not want to continue.. so I gave away my ice cream and cheese coupons , and we haven't bought it since.. there are some really GREAT soy ice-cream!
the thing is .. our veg diet came about originally, after a Paul mc cartney concert... and early on.. Linda's frozen foods, and so many other Fake meats made me disgusted.. I couldn't imagine why I'd want to eat them , when I didn't want to eat the real thing, but now I love the idea of fake meats, as an incentive for people to try a meal with out cruelty.. for health reasons, or for compassion.. either way, the planet benefits.
Now, after eating this way for a few months, I know it is the right choice for us. it is what we have evolved to, and I am surprised, because I was happy ovolacto! but now I feel like I know something I cant pretend not to.. and so we can't go back.. ( I LOVED cheese too) the great thing, I think, about veg diets, is how my tastes have also evolved.. I think I can enjoy so much more out of eating now than I would have 10 years ago. and in addition to that.. David's family has a HUGE heart disease risk .. and the health benefits of a vegan diet are numerous!
I hope this doesn't sound preachy. It really is not meant to be. When we first thought of "going vegan" I didn't want to, simply because I know there are soooo many things out there that are made using animal products, and how could I possibly know all of them, and could I commit to not using them, with out knowing? Now, I don't worry about it. We have to live in this world, and with our choices, and we do the best we can.
For us, as a family, and individually, that means eating a plant based diet. It really is not difficult at all!
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