I decided to include a page on veganism in my blog due to a personal interest in this lifestyle and the increasing publicity surrounding it. So what does being veganish mean? It refers to someone who is “almost” vegan, who is actively making choices in support of a vegan diet and lifestyle.
Why go vegan or veganish? There are several reasons. Some are health-related. According to a growing population of experts and activists, there is price we pay when we choose to consume animal-based products. For example, consider the fact that many dairy farms inject growth hormones into cows regularly to boost dairy production. This is not pleasant for the cows and that’s putting it lightly, but it’s also not healthy for us. This has contributed to the rise of organic products. But eating organic does not mean that animals were treated humanely, just that they’re not using synthetic growth hormones.
The other reason to go veganish is related to animal welfare. There is an increasing movement of people wanting to take a more compassionate approach to eating, one that does not involve needless abuse, cruelty or slaughter of animals. I’ve always been a foodie. I loved dining out and experimenting with all kinds of foods. I enjoyed my meat, eggs and dairy. Secretly, I struggled with my choice to consume animals given how much I love and respect them. But, it wasn’t until the rise of social media did I become aware of the amount of needless suffering that animals go through as part of America’s factory farm system– cows, pigs, goats, chicken, ducks and not just the adults, babies too.
This led to me to read up on the subject of veganism and vegetarianism and to flirt with a vegan diet. I stopped eating meat in early 2009 (yes, that includes poultry) except for some kinds of fish and significantly reduced my consumption of dairy and egg products (in fact, I only drink almond, rice or soy milk at home and hardly ever eat eggs anymore at home or outside of it). I also made a decision to stop purchasing leather products like handbags and shoes (and were overjoyed to find very chic and fashionable alternatives to satisfy my fashion fix, such as, Susan Nichole vegan handbags).
When I go out, it’s tougher to stay on the vegan course. There are simply a lot less options for you in the mainstream. And unless you spend all of your time eating with other vegans, it’s not going to be an easy transition if you go “cold turkey” so to speak. So, this makes me veganish, not vegan.
I don’t know if I will ever achieve full vegan status. It’s not easy! I admit it! I miss my cheese and my dairy ice cream, for starters. But, I have found lots of great, tasty recipes that even appeal to non-vegans and hard core carnivores. I no longer feel as hypocritical and believe I am doing my part to reduce the nation’s reliance on animals for food products by simply choosing not to buy them.
My intent with this blog is not to guilt anyone into going vegan or even veganish. There are good reasons to make this choice. But, it’s a personal choice. But, I hope it gets people to question more where their food comes from and develop more of a conscience based on facts.