Thursday, February 28, 2008

Yummy pasta goodness

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!


carrie said...

I stuck it out to the very end of your post. You are going through a lot of the same things I am at the moment, and it's comforting to know I am not the only new vegan with all of these heavy issues weighing on me.

I know I can't read Slaughterhouse....I can't even watch more than a second of the PETA videos, or listen to the podcasts about mutilation, etc. It just sickens me. As a matter of fact, I was driving to a yoga class today and passed an animal hauler. It was empty, but the mere sight of it sickened my stomach, saddened my heart, and brought a tears to my eyes. I absolutely can't believe how blind I was to all of the suffering.

McMama said...

Still reading. And it's good stuff to read/hear. I am not such a fan of PETA... I dislike extremists. But the point remains. I need to talk to my MIL about getting me eggs... her coworker has a few pet hens and gives eggs away. :) Not that I can eat eggs or dairy right now anyway. As long as Jude can tolerate soy, I'll hopefully be going off the turkey and back to vegetarianism...and it will be a forced strict vegetarianism (I can't quite call it vegan since we don't scour our soaps/shampoos yet) at that.

Keep working things out "on paper"... it helps.

keeta said...

Thanks for the support, mamas! It's nice to know there are other people out there thinking about these exact same things. Makes me a hopeful vegan (wannabe). :)

Jen said...

Add me to the list of going through the exact same thing. I have been on and off with veganism for years and now in particular I am feeling drawn to it from a new (to me) angle, one of ethical responsibility. My problem is that I can be so weak, especially when it comes to baking! I found this blog in your MDC link and I'll be reading for more inspiration! :)

keeta said...

Jen, I know exactly what you mean. Today we were on our way for a walk downtown Ferndale to our favorite bakery...that I can't eat anything that at since going vegan! Ugh! I was so bummed that I bailed on the walk (Silas and Chad continued on to a playground instead). When I got home I decided to find some tasty treat to make myself, and that's where I found the chocolate chip cookie recipe! You have to try it, it is the best I've had in forever!

I'm waiting to get my hands on The Joy of Vegan Baking cookbook by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau at the library, but I'm in a hold line for it. But really, there's a lot of great vegan baking to be done. Do you have/have you tried anything from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World? Awesome stuff in there. And some good stuff in Vegan with a Vengeance, too (especially the Pumpkin Muffins!!!)

Re*create said...

Add me, too.

(I found your blog through motheringdotcom while searching for info to put on one of my blogs about Meatout Day. I'm a lurker, too, and will be bookmarking you!)

I've tried veganism many times and have switched to many vegan alternatives - soy/rice/almond milk, earth balance "butter", etc. -, but the convenience-factor (especially here in southern illinios) has been hard to get over. I cook vegan at home and don't buy dairy sweets for myself, but it's hard to resist the temptation sometimes if co-workers give me gifts of chocolate or bring in lunch offerings that contain cheese. It's hard enough for them to fathom not eating meat, let alone realize why I would be against dairy.

I'm glad to see that SOME restaurants are finally starting to add veg*n options to their menus... now if only bakeries would do the same!! =)

I have a few vegan cookbooks but need to add a few more. I've heard so many good things about V-con, VCTOTW, and the Vegan Sourcebook (for its vegan info) and hope to add them to my collection soon.