Vegan: Day Five

I had to stop watching the video with Gary Yousefsky midway through. It began with a writhing mass of baby pigs who had been beaten on the ground. The descriptive image is nothing compared to what I saw. So, why did I watch it?

I took the Vegan Woman Challenge and this was part of it. I stopped because I was sick to my stomach. I don’t eat pork, but I eat beef and chicken. There were swinging cows being dumped on the ground at a kosher slaughterhouse. I understand very well why people don’t want to see this. If you have any conscience whatsoever, after having watched this video, is it possible to eat meat again without compunction?

I also understand why people don’t want to see it, but to be honest, I’m not sure I can eat meat again. I really didn’t think I’d be convinced to change my ways, but Gary Yousefsky made a good point: if you can’t watch this video because it bothers you, how can you eat meat when it’s slaughtered this way?

I don’t think I can. I’ve made the argument before that I like meat and I’m not giving it up. I just don’t know of I can get those images out off head. My heart was just sick.

 

As for eating, Nothing is much different. I don’t feel like I’m making real sacrifices and I like what I’m eating. Although I decided to try some vegan pad Thai and it was terrible, overall I’ve enjoyed eating everything I ate this week. It’s not a difficult lifestyle change for me. I don’t miss meat, although I do miss animal products like eggs and cheese. I’m truly considering a vegetarian lifestyle. I know it’s a step in a direction and maybe, on a personal note, I need some direction. I do believe that life is constructed in such a manner that we are handed opportunities at very specific points in our lives. Right now, my heart and mind is very malleable and I kind of need something to cling to. I really don’t want that something to be someone. So, with that in mind, I feel like this is the type of commitment I can feel good about and it will make me feel good, without putting a lot of myself at jeopardy.

I have a lot of thinking to do and to be honest, I’m not sure I can finish that video, even though I promised to do the challenge. It’s day five and I feel good.

 

Vegan: Day Three

Well, I’ll admit it. I already messed up. I actually messed up on day one. I had been drinking, a lot, and I ate a piece of pizza. There was no meat on it because no matter how drunk I get, I always remember that I keep kosher. But the vegan eating slipped my mind for a moment because I was starving and it was there. I usually don’t even eat pizza so I’m pretty disappointed in myself.

But, I get ahead of myself. I went into Long Beach before my show, had a few beers and dinner. I used the YELP app on my phone to find a vegan restaurant or a place with vegan options. It was so easy! I ate a fried cauliflower pita sandwich with tahini sauce, hummus, onions and tomatoes. It was absolutely filling and delicious! I didn’t feel limited at all. Later, I got home and opened up the Tofu sausage and grilled it on the stove. It was fantastic. However, I have to eat it sober because after drinking, pretty much everything tastes good. I ate a nectarine with it.

I woke up and made a protein shake as I ran off to an interview. For lunch, I stir fried a green bell pepper, onion, and mushrooms. I stirred the mixture into some quinoa with fresh pepper and salt. It was fantastic. I cut a tomato and put salton it. For dinner, I mixed some raspberries in with the protein shake and I feel really good, very healthy.

Bahahahah!

But, I don’t have a connection yet to this lifestyle. It doesn’t feel like a sacrifice, and maybe it’s not supposed to. But when I started keeping kosher and every time I choose to be kosher instead of eating a Hawaiian pizza or cheeseburger, the intention behind my choice makes me feel connected to Judaism and to God. Making vegan food choices doesn’t make me feel connected to anything. I’m wondering if this is because I need to understand more than just the health benefits of veganism.  I know there are other reasons people choose to live vegan lifestyles and today, I’m going to spend some time reading, watching, learning and reflecting about how food choices we make affect the animals we share the world with.

Vegan for a Week

After interviewing Sivan Pardo from The Vegan Woman, I decided to accept her challenge of “Going Vegan”.

I started Sunday by reviewing the challenge and making a food list. I happened to meet a girl Saturday night who had to become vegan due to health reasons. She suggested going to Whole Foods. So, I had to hunt down the closest Whole Foods to Burbank, and then decide if I should buy vegetables and fruits from somewhere else to save money.

I knew I was already going to fail on the first part of the challenge: Get rid of all animal products in your house. I live with three other people and I can’t afford to get rid of some things in the freezer. But I solemnly swear to not even look at them!

Whole Foods isn’t too far from me, but I discovered that the vegetables are very expensive. I bought some vegan treats and other vegan products like Tofurkey and Vegan cream cheese. I also bought coconut oil(I’ve seen a lot of uses on Pinterest and was intrigued) and tahini sauce. Then, I went to Albertson’s for fruits and vegetables.

Processed Food for Vegans

Stuff I would buy anyway

I woke up a little late today and didn’t feel like drinking my Herbalife protein shake, which is fantastic! It’s 200 calories and Vegan! I get all my nutrients for a meal and lose weight at the same time. But, I wanted to try out some new food. I pulled out some Lavash bread (Middle Eastern style bread, no animal products) and spread Vegan cream cheese on it with some Tofurkey slices.

Looks gross…but it actually tastes really good.

As for the rest of my meals, I’ll have a shake and cut some tomatoes with salt. I don’t anticipate that eating Vegan for a week will be terribly difficult simply because I’ve regulated my diets in very strict ways before: keeping kosher, the 17-day-diet, kosher for Passover. But, I imagine it will be difficult for me to eat out and so I will have to be prepared before I go out. Luckily, I live in Southern California and vegan options are never far away.

Task #1: Watch Forks Over Knives

The website uses this description: The feature film Forks Over Knives examines the profound claim that most, if not all, of the degenerative diseases that afflict us can be controlled, or even reversed, by rejecting animal-based and processed foods.

What struck me most about the synopsis, other than I definitely want to see the film because it’s about turning back life’s clock by changing what we put in our bodies, is that half of the American population could need to have their chests split open and have their heart operated upon if we continue to eat a Western diet.

I don’t eat a Western diet, which is not to say that I eat a completely plant-based diet, but chili dogs, onion rings, pulled pork and fried chicken don’t make it past the face threshold. But, I am curious to see how I will feel come next Sunday.

Day One: So far, so good.

On a side note, I won a coconut yesterday. How do I eat it?

I didn’t get very far