I’ve taken a vegan pledge this March with the guys from EFFA – Exeter Friends for Animals. I’ve been vegetarian for about 27 years now and I have had a lot of vegan friends over the years, and often wondered what it would be like to live a vegan lifestyle. I was asked to do this month long pledge by Wendy at EFFA and I said yes, I’d give it a try. I’m now a third of a way through my month and it has not been an easy start I must admit. You’d think the transition from veggie to vegan would be fairly painless but I’ve found it…interesting, a learning curve, a new experience – but hey – life would be boring otherwise wouldn’t it !!
Apparently between 1% of UK households contain a vegan whereas 4-12% of households have a vegetarian person living there. Most vegans have lower BMI’s, lower cholesterol and lower blood pressure. Vegans eat less calories, less confectionary, less fat and less cakes – one of my reasons to give veganism a try and I’ll give you the results at the the end of the month (says she who has just made a fabulous vegan chocolate cake – pictured below)
So what am I finding difficult so far – not being able to have a cup of tea or coffee at a friend or relatives house, or at most cafe’s or even at the town council where I spend many an evening! I had some issues with curdling coffee at the start of the month but now I’m only using Alpro soya and microwaving a cup of half water/half soya milk then adding coffee seems to do the trick. I’m drinking other things now – more water and fruit juices which can’t be bad.
I miss cheese – I realised I must usually eat some form of cheese most days even if it is sprinkled on top of pasta bolognaise. I can’t bear the thought of not having a lasagne or cauliflower cheese again, two of my favourite things. Or cottage cheese and a baked potato, a cheese sandwich, cheese on toast or creamy goats cheese and cranberry sauce! Apparently there are vegan cheeses but they look so strange I’ve not tried them yet. I also love Stilton and Brie so these things are hard to contemplate not having ever again…but it is only a month, isn’t it…
So apart from possibly losing weight (due to not being such a cheese monster) I am doing this to think a bit more about how being veggie does still involve the killing of animals in order to produce what I’m eating. I’m not really into eggs much these days but it’s amazing how many things contain eggs – eg Quorn which our family eats a lot of. But I know that for every female chick born – male chicks are being killed at a day old every day….then of course how are those female chickens housed and when are they killed for being too old to lay?
As for milk – I sometimes see poorly cared for herds of cows literally staggering from their fields to the milking parlour, staggering along pot-holed country lanes laden with udders of milk which are there for the calves which were taken from them and…fattened for meat then killed at a young age. Of course not all cows are kept in poor conditions, some live lives of Riley on delightful organic farms but at the end of the day this is farming – and these creatures are killed when the farmer decides their time is up. THE reason I became a vegetarian is because I do not believe that humans have any right whatsoever to kill animals, for any reason*
Both my children are vegetarian and I tell my 10 year old daughter that it is part of evolution. We’ve worked out, like slavery or the death penalty or other brutal acts of violence carried out by humans, that killing animals is quite simply wrong. What gives us the right to murder a living creature and then eat it or wear it or rub it on our skin in a cream or potion? Let’s just hope the rest of the human race realise soon that they have no right to stop a beating heart and no right or need to eat flesh. And as far as religion goes – a god who tells people (in the bible) “Everything that lives and moves will be food for you” is no god I believe in.
* I do believe in euthanasia if an animal (or a person) is in extreme pain however and in my younger days working as a vet nurse, I have helped suffering animals to die a calm, dignified death. I also helped many animals to live too! People should have the right to euthanasia as well – but that’s another blog….
7 Replies to “My Vegan Pledge”
HI Sharon– if you pour in the soya milk at the same time as the boiling water- this prevents curdling. Otherwise heat up the soya milk of course
This is an excellent post. I believe that going vegan and staying vegan is the most peaceful form of protest. Those little chicks break my heart into a million pieces.
Wishing you all the best:)
Try Herbies’ lasagne and pizza – gorgeous “cheesy” topping – you’ll never need dairy cheese again! Marigold’s Nutritional Yeast Flakes are great for toppings (mix them with a bit of vegan mayo if you like), or for cheese sauces. And there are new vegan cheeses coming out all the time – try a few and see if there’s one you like (we all have our preferences!) Tahini makes another good savoury topping. Take courage – there’s a whole world out there! More tips at our Vegan Pledge event on Sat 31 May (see http://www.effa-uk.org) And a great place to go is the Bristol Vegfest (26-27 May) – there you can try all sorts of vegan foods and get lots of special offers!
Look i like your argument right up to the part about God.
If you wish to make sweeping statements about God make sure you fully have evidence to back them. The quote you have used is taken out of context and therefore irrelevant to your argument. If fact if you wish to justify your point using the Bible i suggest you delve a little deeper because you have only just touched the surface. There are actually bits the Bible that support your argument: i.e. The fact that God (capital G by the way) created Adam and Eve is a garden with animals as there friends and vegetables, fruits, nuts and pulses etc as food. I think the bit that you took out of context was about dominion of humans over animals which still might not be something you agree with but doesn’t support your argument in the way you have used it. I really do like what you are staying apart from that and as ‘meat’ eater have given me something to think about.
Thanks for your comments, I’m glad this has given you something to think about. I am coming up to one year vegan on 1st March 2013 & very pleased I made the change. I’ll pen an update blog later…..
Here’s the update blog http://www.sharonpavey.org/one-year-on-as-a-vegan/