Thursday, March 21, 2013

veganism/vegetarianism: part 2.

hi lovelies!

last week, i shared "my story" about why i am a lacto-vegetarian {& soon-to-be vegan}. this week, i'm sharing a little more insight into the world of veganism, the meat and dairy industries, giving up animal products & why, and just my overall thoughts and opinions. this is going to be an information packed & long post, just to warn you, but if you're at all interested, i recommend you read through it! otherwise, that's okay--my feelings aren't hurt, just come back tomorrow. :)

first, a little reminder from last week's post:

to start off, since this is a post about veganism, i figured it would be acceptable for me to step on my soapbox for just a little bit and say this: i think it's crazy how meat and animal centric the world has become. i mean, i go to cracker barrel with my family {not my restaurant of choice, but what can you do?} and green beans, a vegetable for goodness sakes, aren't even vegetarian there? did you know that most "pure" cane granulated sugar you buy at the grocery store is processed with animal bone char? so gross. and all just to give it a whiter appearance. are you kidding? it's just so unnecessary! you have to buy organic to ensure your sugar is actually vegetarian. do you like jiffy cornbread mix? it used to be all we ate in my family, until i discovered it has lard in it. lard! disgusting.

even just to be a vegetarian, you have to be extremely careful about reading labels, knowing what to look for, and doing your research to make sure you aren't eating a hidden animal product. i definitely think something needs to change in the world.

i have never been a huge animal rights activist, by any means. however, it kind of comes with the territory that i do care about animals to some degree. the question i always come back to is this: what if animals ate us? it sounds really weird, but think about it; who are we, really, to slaughter animals by the masses and treat them inhumanely just so we can eat something? and not eat something we need, but something that is purely just a want, “because it tastes good”.{because in this day and age, with the exception of maybe third world countries, you don’t need to eat meat {or any animal product} to survive. i understand "survival of the fittest", and that would be why people killed animals back in the day, so that they had food to survive. but it's a whole different world now, and we can not only survive, but thrive without eating meat! it's a proven statistic that most vegetarians/vegans are healthier and have less risk of developing diseases than the common omnivore.} how we would feel if we were in that position, being slaughtered by the masses and treated terribly so another species could eat us, “just because” they felt like it? i know, i know, it sounds morbid, and i kind of hated to write it, but i think it’s an important thought. to me, all of that just makes it very selfish of us to eat meat. okay, stepping off my soapbox and moving on! i know that was hard for many of you to read, but you can’t deny the truth in it, even if you have a different stance.

it's easy to turn a blind eye about things when you don't have to face them head on. i mean, all of you go to the grocery and by your lean chicken in a nice little package. but the reality is that animal was cooped up in a crazy pin with thousands of other chickens, with 3 square feet of space. and then it was killed, as millions of animals are each day, just so you can "enjoy" it for dinner later {when you could have just as awesome of a dinner without any meat at all!}. i highly, highly, highly recommend you check out vegucated. please do it. it's a short documentary, available on netflix. in the middle of the documentary, they take a trip to a farm and you get kind of an inside look at the meat industry. it gets a bit graphic at some points, just to warn you. but honestly, i think if you're going to eat meat, you need to watch it! know what kind of conditions that food you eat is coming from.

i know that i am probably coming off very preachy and judgemental, but i promise don't write this post to condemn anyone for the way they eat. not at all! i'm just a very strongly opinionated person, and i write this to inform all of you! whatever: if you like it, and it's okay by you morally to be eating animals and animal products, then okay. when i see someone post about this a great steak they ate on a date night, or a great meat loaf they made last night, i'm not judging. obviously, my opinion is different, and i think i'll pass up on the recipe, but you do whatever you want to do. i obviously do what i want to! but i do encourage everyone to at least look into where your food is coming from! personally, this is absolutely the lifestyle choice for me, and i couldn't be happier with my plant-based diet. i plan to start sharing a lot more recipes with you all, and i hope you'll be brave enough to try some vegan desserts {most of the time, they're really quite normal--nothing crazy!} & maybe even get wild and make a meatless meal once or twice. stay tuned. :)

mad love to all of you meat lovers and fellow veggie heads alike!
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