Welcome to Nature Maven's Healthy Eating Healthy Planet Blog

Welcome! If you're a vegan, you'll find support and suggestions you may be able to use here. If you're a vegetarian as I was when I started this blog in June 2008, reading my archived posts may be of interest to you. If you haven't gotten here already, I hope you'll consider trying the vegan way of life, too.

As I try new recipes, learn to eat in restaurants, entertain non-veg friends and make the changes necessary to bring my life into greater harmony with the planet, I share what I learn. And little joys and other thoughts get thrown into the mix here, too.

In March 2009 after starting to read The Engine 2 Diet by vegan firefighter Rip Esselstyn, I became fully vegan, to the best of my knowledge and ability, and I post entries here as I live and learn in this lifestyle. It's definitely a process of experience and discovery.

Please check out the Vegan News Headlines supplied by Google News Reader down on the right, and see my Blogroll for just a few of the choice blogs and websites I've found useful.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

You're a vegan, right? I have a question.

People ask us vegans all the time why we eat the way we do and was it difficult, but the biggest question we seem to hear is, "Where do you get your nutritional needs met?" and most specifically, "Where do you get your protein?"

PETA offers an amazing infographic colorfully illustrating the many tasty answers to these questions and others would-be vegans and vegan skeptics ask. Follow the link to see this marvel in eye-popping detail, and please share this with those folks who ask you those pesky vegan questions.
All of them, okay?

How do I find these gems? By following the coolest vegans on Twitter and clicking on the links they post. I email the links to myself for later use, and this way I stay on top of the vegan curve.

PETA does some amazing service toward animal welfare, animal rights and providing good solid information to the public. They also get feisty at times and draw fire. Sometimes I have to steel myself to open the site for fear of being bludgeoned with a horrible photo. But horrible photos exist largely because horrible acts towards animals occur with frightening regularity. The good PETA does far outweighs any distracting controversy or traumatic triggering, to my mind, and I urge you to support PETA. My favorite way to do so is by buying stuff I like at their online store. I've got the coolest t-shirts, fun catnippy cat stuff, and best vegan chocolates through their store. Yeah, the prices are up there, but that's my way of making a donation.


Namskers said...

Hey there Nature Maven,
Glad to see you tooting the benefits of vegan livin'!
Not all of us can do ‘vegan’ well but more of us CAN, and more of us should try, for all kind of reasons.
Other option is to lead a SUPER CONSCIOUS life of a non-vegan. To be extra aware of where those foodstuffs are getting to you from... To go the extra mile and pay the extra buck to use dairy and eggs only from small-scale, compassionately cared for and fed cows, goats, sheep, and chickens. Or if you need even more animal protein, there is the added responsibility--and yes, the responsibility is on US, the consumers--to know where your meat is coming from, what kind of a life it had before it was made dinner, and how it ended life for you.
Plenty great with being vegan—great option for those who can do it. People did, however, consume animals for millennia. That said, they also were close to nature, respected the animals, let them live a healthy, natural life before using them as sustenance and killed them as compassionately and quickly as possible; with respect and awareness.
There are those who still raise animals caringly and with reverence to life. You’d need to ask questions and check them out, but wouldn't do so for other important things in your life? Clearly the way most commercial meat and poultry and products comes to us is absolutely unquestionably horrible. It should not be allowed. It doesn't have to be this way. There are those who support change. We each can.
Farmers who are raising animals in pasture, free and ABLE to move around and graze and socialize naturally, they keep newborns with their moms and let them nurse (before milking) till they wean. They do not cripple or medicate the animals to dull their instincts. They let them live a good life, and when they do end the animal's life, they do so humanely and quickly.
Oh, for sure, you'd pay more for this quality protein--and well you should--REAL food, from compassionately raised animals costs more than artificially controlled cheap pricing that leads to the horribly mass-produced animal protein in most commercial settings. Paying more is fine with me. I’d raise my own animals if I could, but many of us live in cities and places that do not allow for that. At least we need to vote with purchases. To NOT support the way things are commercially done.
And not only for non-vegan foodstuffs, either.
We should not support practices that use child & slave labor, overworked and underpaid labor, monopoly and market control. To me, no matter the food type--milk, eggs, lentils, corn, tomatoes—what matters is HOW it was produced. HOW people and animals were treated. Most fresh produce costs are kept low by employing poor people who have no other choice and paying them less than is humane because they cannot afford to protest. By paying farmers below costs and maintaining a cycle of poverty and need and monopoly. It may be a tomato, beans, strawberry, coffee or cocoa; but it sure can be just as inhumanely provided as a mass-produced egg or awfully-slaughtered cow.
To me, it is less about the food group and more about how it was produced and who is supports. What comes first is respect for people, nature, the world, and the planet. I buy from local farmers, family owned and operated bakeries and factories, choose fair-market coffee and cocoa beans.
I salute you for being vegan and celebrating life in all its forms. We’re not all that different; vegan or not; if we keep our hearts in line with our minds and our purchases in line with our morals and beliefs.
To health for all, Namskers

Nature Maven said...

Thanks so much, Namskers. I appreciate that you took the time and effort to write such a thoughtful response. Like you, I wish it were possible for most people to eat conscientiously but many have no access to animal products that aren't raised in cruelty and either don't know about or don't believe they can afford to eat a plant-based diet. It's also a problem for certain individuals to get protein from non-animal sources. My aunt, for example, can't digest beans nor can she eat most fruits and vegetables. Anything with fiber is totally taboo. This stems from abdominal surgery and radiation for cancer and has left her with a body different from most of us. Then there are those people that see a cute photo of a baby lamb and say they salivate and start thinking about lambchops. I have no patience for that sort of person.

I wish everyone without a health prohibition from a vegan lifestyle would at least try it for a month and see if their health challenges improve. Mine have!

Theresa Varela said...

Hi there Nature Maven,
This was very informative. While I am not vegan, I am always on the lookout for sources of protein and calcium that my diet may be missing. I find myself moving increasingly toward more of a vegan diet and these types of posts help to make that a healthy reality. Thank you!

Nature Maven said...

Thanks for your comment, Theresa. It's definitely a process. It surely was for me. I went from Atkins to vegetarian to vegan over several years. Progress, not perfection, as certain wise one once wrote.et me know when I can help you with the process!

kennewick massage therapy said...

I will say yes to Vegan eating lifestyle. It's high time to end the habit of eating meat and cause suffering to animals raised and slaughtered for food. Thumbs up to vegan and to your informative blog.

Nature Maven said...

Thanks so much for stopping by! Congrats on your decision to go vegan. Please feel free to ask questions if you have any along the way.
Best, Nature Maven