Tonight I broke out the Veganomicon to try out the Penne Vodka. Great stuff!
I (obviously) didn't have penne, but Barilla Plus Elbows stood in just fine, and so did dry roasted almonds for the regular almonds. This was tasty, easy and quick, and I will definitely make it again. Just have to make sure that I have fresh basil around, because it is absolutely necessary in my opinion. We also had a green salad with a balsamic-maple dressing that I threw together and garlic rubbed toast with Earth Balance. And Chad and I split a Ruination IPA. Oh the awesomeness abounds!
The State of Affairs of Operation Go Vegan
So I've listened to even more Vegetarian Food for Thought Podcasts, which I'm convinced would change anyone's mind. They're so well-reasoned and straightforward.
I also checked out The Vegan Sourcebook by Jo Stepaniak, and I've been enjoying it a great deal.
Every time I think of cheese, I imagine baby calves crying out for their mothers, and the mothers bellowing for their babies.
Every time I think of eggs, I imagine an emaciated hen that had to endure forced moulting, where she was starved for up to 14 days without food or water.
And I've also been really interested/disgusted to really REALLY comprehend that the egg and dairy industry all rely on the enslavement of the female reproductive system. As a feminist and a mother, I just can't participate in that anymore. I imagine how I would feel in their stead, and I don't know how anyone can think it's ok.
I think of science fiction stories and books where these kinds of things are done to humans and how it takes that kind of mirror for us to see the sickness of the situation. I'm thinking of this one Twilight Zone episode where an astronaut lands on an alien world, and is taken in by the aliens (who appear to be just like humans). They build him a house and it looks just like the house he grew up in, and he is so excited about it and meeting the aliens. At the end of the episode it's revealed that the man is confined to that house forever - he's an exhibit in the aliens' zoo.
The last time we tried this vegan experiment we had all kinds of caveats. We would cook vegan at home but not hold ourselves to an "impossible" standard when eating out. The Midwest is not exactly a bastion of vegan living, after all. We were coming at it from a health perspective, not an ethical one. Now I'm really coming at it from an ethical, health AND environmental angle. It's all encompassing. But this is a hard life choice - this is a non-vegan world, after all. And I'm coming to realize that unless ethics is at the forefront of this choice then it is far too easy to slip, to make excuses. To convince yourself that this one ice cream cone, this one pizza, this one eggplant parmesan isn't going to kill you. And really, it won't kill you. But it will/did sign the death warrant of many, many animals. And the bottom line is that they just don't need to suffer terrible hardships and die just for my convenience. Because that's what it is. My convenience.
I know that this is heavy and annoying, and probably nobody is still reading. I just need to work through these issues for myself. Everything has been rolling around in my head for the past few days, and I just needed to "get it down on paper," if you will.
I just picked up Slaughterhouse: The Shocking Story of Greed, Neglect, and Inhumane Treatment Inside the U.S. Meat Industry by Gail A. Eisnitz from the library. And I have to confess: I am scared of reading it. I've seen the PETA videos, I've heard accounts about how the animals "live" in factory farm conditions. I'm still nervous about this book for some reason. But I'm going to read it anyway.
That's all for now!