Monday, October 12, 2009

Vegan no more! or, How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love the Cheese!

Sigh. Well, it actually lasted longer than my mother thought it would.

On June 8, 2009, I proudly announced on this blog that I was now a vegan.

But a few weeks ago, I encountered some of this stuff.

Plus I just couldn't give up sneaking some of these whenever my husband brought them in the house. (In case you didn't know, honey isn't vegan.)

I hung on valiantly, resolving to only indulge in these items very, very occasionally.

But then, last Friday, I realized something. I'd been eating vegan since June, and not only had I not lost any weight (as the veganistas insist you almost HAVE to, if you're a True Vegan (tm) ); but I was hungry ALL THE TIME.

I just kept wanting to eat, snack, munch, nibble - even after what should have been a filling meal.

And I was spending a lot of $$ at work for between-meal snacks - but being vegan I was limited to fresh fruits (apples and bananas), vegetables (edamame, salad) breakfast cereal, soy milk or oatmeal.

I ate them all. AND I WAS STILL HUNGRY.

So last Friday, I bit the bullet. Or, to be more specific, I bit the Ultimate Grilled Cheese Sandwich at my local Organics to Go (the most humane local source I could find for my animal cravings).

That's right. I ate the whole, mouth-wateringly delicious thing.

And guess what I ate the rest of the afternoon, before going home and having supper?

NOTHING. Nada, nil.

My hunger had been satisfied. And I felt GOOOOOOD.

Sigh. Does this mean I don't care any more about the poor animals who suffer horrible abuses on the factory farms?

NO! Absolutely not! I care just as much as I did before!

However, I'm realizing that it's possible to make their lives more pleasant and their deaths more humane - without making MY life more miserable.

It's possible to make good food choices. To insist that those who supply the animal products I eat meet high standards for humane treatment of those animals. To only shop at stores that hold their suppliers to those standards.

In other words - to LITERALLY put my money where my mouth is!

So I guess from this point (at least till the next fasting period - Advent, I think), I'll be what my beautiful niece, Rachel, described herself as when we went out to dinner together on my birthday: a Flexitarian. Most of my meals will be vegetarian, but from time to time, I will indulge in some sort of critter and/or critter byproduct, as long as I can be sure he/she/it has been dealt with as kindly and humanely as possible. (Not goat milk, though. I love the goat CHEESE, but the goat milk ... well, let's just say it's OK except for the GOAT part!)

Or a Frisbeetarian. That looks pretty cool too!


Anonymous said...

Hi Curvy -

No one's path to attain their personal goal is ever straight. Once one has chosen to open their eyes, as you have, to the brutal truths related to the ethical issues of veganism (, you will eventually let go of weak rationalizations (like flexitarian) in order to "have what I want".

Also, as you have found out, eating a vegan diet does not mean you are going to lose weight. That is not what a vegan diet is about in any way. It is fat and sugar that make us fat. A vegan eating too much oil and sugar is going to get just as fat as a meat eater eating too much cheese, butter and meat. Most Americans are meat eaters. The ones you see who maintain their weight do so only because their fat and caloric intake is equal to the energy that their body burns through exercise. However, it is because their diet is high in animal cholesterol that they face the same health issues (heart disease, cancer...) that overweight people do.

One of the scariest things about eating meat and dairy is that many researchers and scientists have established a link between the use of animal cholesterol and casein in our American diet and our ranking as number one for breast cancer in the world. The book that scientifically and factually lays the argument for us to rethink our Western diet was The China Study, written by Dr. T. Colin Campbell.

From "Early in his career as a researcher with MIT and Virginia Tech, Dr. Campbell worked to promote better health by eating more meat, milk and eggs -- “high-quality animal protein … It was an obvious sequel to my own life on the farm and I was happy to believe that the American diet was the best in the world.”

He later was a researcher on a project in the Philippines working with malnourished children. The project became an investigation for Dr. Campbell, as to why so many Filipino children were being diagnosed with liver cancer, predominately an adult disease. The primary goal of the project was to ensure that the children were getting as much protein as possible.

“In this project, however, I uncovered a dark secret. Children who ate the highest protein diets were the ones most likely to get liver cancer...” He began to review other reports from around the world that reflected the findings of his research in the Philippines.

Although it was “heretical to say that protein wasn’t healthy,” he started an in-depth study into the role of nutrition, especially protein, in the cause of cancer.

The research project culminated in a 20-year partnership of Cornell University, Oxford University, and the Chinese Academy of Preventive Medicine, a survey of diseases and lifestyle factors in rural China and Taiwan. More commonly known as the China Study, “this project eventually produced more than 8000 statistically significant associations between various dietary factors and disease.”

The findings? “People who ate the most animal-based foods got the most chronic disease … People who ate the most plant-based foods were the healthiest and tended to avoid chronic disease. These results could not be ignored,” said Dr. Campbell.

In The China Study, Dr. Campbell details the connection between nutrition and heart disease, diabetes, and cancer, and also its ability to reduce or reverse the risk or effects of these deadly illnesses. The China Study also examines the source of nutritional confusion produced by powerful lobbies, government entities, and irresponsible scientists."

Dr. Campbell is a vegan, as is the head of the breast cancer clinic at the number one ranked cancer treatment hospital located in NYC (I know this because my dd worked their as a chemo nurse).

All that said, curvy, I admire your honesty and respect your right to your personal choices. I shall keep you in my prayers.

God Bless!


Keif said...

The key is watching calories and portion control.

Check out stuff like this:

Good luck, it is doable.