That seems to be a common place question nowadays. So I asked myself the very same question. And answered well, why not?
I’ve been pondering on the matter lately. I grew up on a farm. I saw animals live and die up close and personal, and I claim to know a thing or two about what makes a happy cow, and what does not.
I am having difficulties in believing, that a living, thinking and feeling animal can be happy in a factory farm. And since most of the dairy, meat and egg products on the shop shelves comes from those factories, I can’t be too happy about eating them. I am not saying that there are not good farmers and farms who actually look after their animals, so that they live a happy life, but those will most probably be in the minority. Plus it is environmentally a very bad thing to eat meat. The famine that is still going wild in the third world countries, meat eating is definitely not helping that. By the way, what a lovely word to distance our nice and clean and healthy society from those guys. The third world… Fish are being over fished too, the list goes on. You have to be rather blind and ignorant to justify excessive meat eating in today’s world.
I have been avoiding meat already for years, but haven’t given it up completely. I really have no acceptable excuses for that. I just always thought, that finding good foods would be first of all difficult, and second of all expensive. Never mind all the family parties you go to, and need to explain, why you are not attacking the ham. I don’t think I am completely alone with these prejudices.
Well, anyways. I have now decided to take on the vegan challenge, brought to you by a Finnish animal rights organization, Oikeutta Eläimille. That was a very easy step towards changing the interior of the fridge and now my mailbox is bursting with all new and exciting recipes for all sorts of all veggie foods. Nomm. Turns out, you can do just about everything delicious without meat, milk, eggs or magic. I still have Waffle, who is slightly murmuring in the corner something about loosing his rights for omelettes and some such. But I think his views are brightening too.
The thing is now starting. We are slowly eating out all the animal origin stuff that still occupies in our fridge, since it would be stupid to just throw them out, and buying new veggie things to replace them.
Last weekend there happened to be also a vegan potluck in Brussels.Potluck is an event where everybody brings a little something everybody can eat, judge and ask recipes for. We went there with my Finnish ex-colleague Terhi, salsa and potato salad tucked into our tupperwares. That was a wonderful way to get this whole thing going. Waffle got also a little bit more of a taste what our food life might become in the near future. He did not run out screaming, though his face was worth seeing. Unfortunately he had the camera so no pictures.
We were a little bit disappointed though, since an event like that, I guess, is supposed to be a little bit social. People sharing the same ideology should be happy to meet each other, share ideas over food and make friends. Well, true to the shy nature of good and decent Belgians, none of that happened. Good thing that there is a Facebook group for less intimate communication where people actually started chatting and sharing pictures and stuff. And all in all, the food didn’t let anybody down. It was, for the most part, very tasty!
Have you by the way noticed how important taking photos has become in every food related activity? The camera is more important than the fork…
Well, today I want shopping for all vegan foods. I have now stuff for Chili con vege (the link in Finnish, sorry), burgers with cauliflower mash and a nice carrot soup plus of course a bit of yogurt, soy milk etc. for only just 15 euros and that will feed the two of us. There goes the thing of vegan food being expensive. Plus you can collect quite some of the dry stuff, quinoa, beans, lentils in big quantities when ever they happen to be the cheapest, since they don’t go bad! It does still take a lot of searching and getting used to things, but I have a good feeling about this.
I would love to hear your experiences, thoughts and hints in this matter. Are you one of those vegan people, or are you planning to become one? Please give a yell!