Thursday, March 27, 2008

A Change of Heart

No, no worries about me having turned back from veganism! Just a decision to turn back to a focus on vegan food, its tastiness, and nutritional benefits within this blog. In a web search to find out the history behind the word, "vegan," (my in-laws wanted to know more), I found some rather crass (and uneducated) anti-vegan posts. (I'm warning you now - don't go there unless you're in a good mood!) It got me to thinking, "Wow! There are still a TON of people out there who think that vegans are undernourished, sickly....freaks!" The comments led me to realize that many people have no idea about the horrible ways that animals are treated, the disastrous effects to our planet, and the multiple health hazards they are posing to their own body.

I have reached the vegan lifestyle by reading articles and books and watching videos (like the ones linked to, above), and cannot ever imagine eating meat or animal products ever again. I often wonder how people can stop being vegetarian or vegan. How do people have their eyes opened to the truth, and then decide to ignore what their conscience has told them is morally wrong? I suppose that many "used to be vegans/vegetarians" initially switched for health reasons, and never saw the animal rights or environmental side of it.
Actually, I just read a great book (Making a Killing, by Bob Torres, author of Vegan Freak) about how our consumerism, capitalism, and social hierarchies are permitting these inequities and horrors to continue. He also points out how people can continue eating meat, even though they "know" where it comes from, because of this hierarchy that causes us to view animals as "lesser" beings. But at any rate, I figured it's time to return to the roots of this blog (teaching people about how healthy, delicious and varied vegan food is!) because there are apparently many people out there who are rather.... confused. :)
My sole post for this week is the Chickpea Cutlet, from Veganomicon. My husband and I have been on a nice spring break vacation in Florida, so I have not been cooking or baking at all! My lovely mother-in-law managed to make several delicious dishes from La Dolce Vegan, including a Mexican Casserole, Oatmeal Cookies, and stuffed sweet potatoes. And I didn't gain a pound! I whipped up these cutlets in about 35 minutes (about 5 minutes of work and about half an hour of oven time). They were chewy, dense, and rather like seitan! The flavor was a bit bland, but when I chopped my cutlet up and threw it in with the tri-color rotini and organic pasta sauce (ok, and I added the peas - why make more work to eat?), it was delish. The protein in the wheat gluten and chickpeas (in the cutlet) was the perfect portion size, with zero cholesterol and the only fat from the heart-healthy olive oil.

So, the rest of my post just consists of a couple of pictures of our trip. We saw so much wildlife there - it really felt like a vegan vacation! We saw these pelicans on the docks of the marina and they were funny creatures - almost like penguins in their walk. We went down one evening to watch the sunset, and ended up watching the pelicans diving for fish! Now that is a natural diet and habit.

Later in the trip, we visited a wonderful bird sanctuary, home to animals as exotic as the bald eagle, and as common as the crow and seagull. Staffed by volunteers and funded by donations, the Peace River Wildlife Center is an extraordinary place. It was clear how passionately the workers cared about these animals. With the way that visitors cried in delight at their beauty and sadness at their losses (many birds there have only one wing, leg or foot), it made me realize just how much I am glad to be vegan. I don't take the leg, foot, or wing of any animal, for any reason.


Anonymous said...

Nice to see you back! How nice of your mother in law to cook you vegan dishes! That is so sweet. I hope you enjoyed your vacation!


VeggieGirl said...

oh my goodness, the comments on that "F**k Vegans" blog entry were REVOLTING - ugh. thank goodness there are PLENTY of compassionate, open-minded individuals out there!! and thank you for displaying a lovely photograph of the VEGAN chickpea cutlets :0D

white wave said...

I just found your blog and I am a fan. I am also obsessed with working out lately and I just ran my first race (slowly!).

white wave said...

I am glad you enjoyed your vacation in FL. Where else did you visit besides Peace River? What do you teach? I am actually certified to teach blind and visually impaired children, but I ended up working with blind veterans. Go figure!

I love tattoos on other people, just not on me!