Friday, January 6, 2012

Born again Vegan

This is my second day of being a vegan, after about a six month break. Before that, I did it for about ten years. I lost track it was so long.

I do have a rather serious problem: I have a bunch of frozen food in the freezer that might have meat in it. Unlike most of life's problems, I guess the solution is pretty easy. Eat it? Throw it away? Yes... that's what I'll do... throw suspect food away.

And another problem: I am getting closer at making good non-gluten bread and the recipe requires two eggs. So tomorrow I'm going to get some egg substitute... and then hope for the best. My wife is having a some people over on Sunday and I'm going to make bread to go with the soup.
So why did I become a vegan again?

Five reasons I can think of:

1) It is better for the environment. There are lots of facts I could give. This is one about the comparative water use to produce a pound of beef or a pound of corn:
Just a pound of beef! Conservatively taking 2000 gallons (I've read elsewhere that it can be as much as 5000 gallons) as the means for producing a pound of beef, think about how much 2000 gallons of water is. How much water do you drink in a day? A gallon? Half a gallon? How many gallons of water do you think you use when you shower? 30-40 gallons? Every time you flush the toilet in a day, how many gallons? 15-20? Every time you wash your hands? 2-3 gallons? Let’s go for the high end and say that the average human uses 100 gallons of water in a day. After 20 average days of your use of water, you would have created 1 pound of beef. 1 pound. You could conservatively eat for 2-3 days on a pound of beef. Now think about the fact that it is possible to take four times as much water to create a pound of beef—80 days worth of your daily water consumption to make 1 pound of beef. The water that you use over about 3 months time will produce a pound of beef. ONE POUND. 
Now look at the alternative. A pound of corn is grown using 100-250 gallons of water. How long will that last? 2–3 days? Obviously a pound of corn would get boring and it isn’t nutritionally sound, but if all you had was a pound of corn, you could eat it over 2–3 days. Now looking at the high end, if we’ve reasoned that the average American uses 100 gallons of water a day, how many days worth of water would it take to make a pound of corn? 2–3 days. And how long could you live on a pound of corn? 2-3 days. (http://enviroveggie.com/)
2)  It is more healthful:
There is abundant evidence that vegetarian diets are more healthful than the average American diet, especially for preventing, treating or reversing heart disease and reducing the risk of cancer.1 Research has shown a low-fat vegetarian diet is the single most effective way to stop progression of coronary artery disease or prevent it altogether. Several other health conditions, such as diabetes,2 obesity,3 gallstones,4 and kidney stones,5 are much less common in vegetarians. The health benefits of a vegetarian diet may be linked to the fact that vegetarians tend to eat less animal fat, protein and cholesterol and more fiber and antioxidants.6 Simply put, the fewer animal foods and the more varied, whole plant foods consumed, the healthier the individual will be compared to the general population. (http://www.vegsource.com/articles/veg_definition.htm)
3)  Eating non-meats is not connected with violence and animal maltreatment. It surprises me when I hear about someone going to jail for mistreating a dog or cat, but never hear about any penalties for slaughtering a pig or cow. I don't think one can be a peaceful human being and at the same time be an accessory to hurting animals. 

4) Meat is expensive. Better meat (like animals that have been treated well with healthful diets) costs even more. Pounds of potatoes that can be grown on an acre: 40,000. Pounds of beef produced on an acre: 250.

5) It reinforces the idea that Earth (and its animals) are not solely for the benefit of humans. I like to think that we share Earth with our furry friends.

Not convinced? See http://www.consumercide.com/js/index.php/food-supply/39-necessarily-vegetarian/379-how-to-win-an-argument-with-a-meat-eater

Any of these ideas would be sufficient. And I remember that Hitler was a vegetarian and the Dali Lama (on the advice of his doctor) ate meat. That helps me realize that those who make other choices are not evil and I'm sure that can find five good reasons for their indulgences as I found with mine.

5 comments:

Ginger said...

The food in the freezer that is "suspect"? Heat it up, put it in containers, and deliver it to some people on the streets. I remember you went and gave out cold water during the summer. A warm meal (especially that contains suspect meat) would be great on a cold day (if we have one again) for someone who's hungry.

That's my suggestion, if you're taking suggestions.

I want to make a raised bed veg garden here at the 31st St house.

Kim Mosley said...

Interesting idea... would be nice to have a couple of accomplices.

Anonymous said...

I wish you good health on your renewed Vegan venture. I do believe it was a good deal longer than 6 months since you departed from vegan.

Your reasons for following this line of living are sound and worthy. You are a truly good man and I value that as your friend. H.

Anonymous said...

For Mr. Kim - I like your reasons for being Vegan.
# 5 strikes me as the crux of the matter. And #1 puts it all out with facts which are certainly amazing and wasteful in the long run. I have been a vegetarian since I was 16 (47 years), with short periods of going back to some meats. And when I eat meat of any kind I always feel badly about eating an animal and I return to vegetarian. If the animals is killed, I don't eat it. So eggs and cheese etc.are OK. But I have trouble wearing shoes that are not leather. Rigid plastic that makes the feet sweat is the reason. Not a good one, but one. Despite my more healthy vegetarian diet, I had to have my gall bladder out. Also have terrible arthritis in multiple large and small joints, which may be worse because of dairy products. But I can't seem to eliminate them. Maybe I should drink more water.And try to limit dairy products. You ARE a wonderful soul. Miss S.
Also use soap which surely has animal fats.

Anonymous said...

PS This is the first time I ever read a blog, just about. This IS the very first time I ever left a comment.
Miss S.