Why Vegan?

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!



6 thoughts on “Why Vegan?

  1. Looks delicious! I was vegan for two years before transitioning to my new, pegan (paleo + vegan) diet. Basically, it involves only organic, grass fed meats and wild caught fish in small quantities (imagine, meat on the side instead of as the main course). Good luck with your vegan endeavor!

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  2. This was a great post! I was a carnivore until a few years ago when I gradually started reducing the amount of meat I had in my diet. Nowadays I’m primarily vegetarian with some fully vegan days – but I may also have a fish dish a few times a year. I stopped eating meat for animal welfare reasons: locally sourced organic free range meat would have been so expensive it was easier to leave meat out completely. Later on I started to think about sustainability and health issues too. As I love world cuisine and trying out different dishes, meat-free life has been surprisingly easy. I tried a vegan month last year too but although I did it, I found eating out really challenging. Maybe one day…

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    1. Thank you for sharing your experiences Minna! I am a strong believer of not being too harsh or too strict on the choices you make in life. At least in the beginning everybody deserves a bit of breathing space and side steps. In general it seems to be easy to find vegan alternatives in stores, but I too have been wondering about the reality in restaurants. I bet it is rather easy to get butter or egg or milk on your plate if you are not sharp. Especially when traveling to a different culture and not speaking the language 😀

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  3. I tried being a vegan some years ago, but eating out became the biggest challenge for that, especially since the vegan food in the university cafeterias was not so delicious if existent at all. The biggest reason for trying was environmental, but also animal welfare and health are important reasons for remaining a vegetarian after giving up veganism. Later I have come to realize that I just don’t believe in the vegan philosophy. I want to eat even more totally vegan foods, but just the “-ism” is not my thing and not a good enough reason for me to give up cheese all together 😀 Back at home I have switched to soy milk and soy yogurts though. Mostly my lack of commitment to vegan philosophy is because some day I wish to be more self-sufficient what comes to food, and I am not that kind of an eater who can go on with beans or lentils every day (they are just not so tasty to me). Besides growing beans and peas for protein I would like to have some hens and perhaps goats, since I don’t see anything wrong with using products that come from animals, as long as the animals live a happy life and are respected. Of course this is not happening in factory farms, and so as long as I keep living in the city and don’t have my own farm, I want to eat more vegan stuff. But I am a cheese lover and those vegan cheeses really are expensive for a student. Maybe this is just an excuse, but I have also been pondering this issue quite a lot lately! Btw, have you seen the Cowspiracy documentary? There is some more great inspiration for your vegan journey. Good luck with that! 🙂

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    1. I understand what you are talking about. There indeed is a strong “ism” related to veganism as well, which is not necessarily a good thing. Makes people blind for different views and so forth. For me the participation in this challenge is mainly about seeing if it is possible to live vegan and how easy it is. Probably I will also milden the thing down to being vegetarian, with organic milk and egg products. But being vegan for a month or so is a good start I guess.

      I have a similar ambition, to be one day able to have a farm and produce most of my food there, by myself, so animal welfare is guaranteed. 🙂

      I was going to watch the Cowspiracy, but happily forgot it at some point. Thank you for the reminder! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

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