I think the Vegan month of food is the time to give kudos to those Vegans who are out promoting not only a cruelty free lifestyle but also a healthy one. Those many people whom we only have contact with and who are able to spread their healthy word because of the Internet. One of those who has influenced me is Lindsay Nixon of Happy Herbivore fame. Face it, there are a lot of not so healthy vegan choices out there, I’m talking oreos, fritos, and what about a can of Duncan Hines Classic Chocolate Frosting, no animal products there my friends. But good for you, I think not. Enter the Happy Herbivore – – Lindsay promotes a low-fat vegan diet and if you don’t already own one of her two cookbooks you can get her third, Happy Herbivore Abroad, in December. Put it on your Christmas list (is anyone listening?) Not only does Lindsay host her wildly popular blog she provides weekly menus for those of us who may want to lose a couple of pounds. The thing I like about these meal plans is that they come with a shopping list and you can buy the individual plan if you’re just cooking for yourself or you can buy the family plan if you have a few more at your house. There’s no obligation, so you can buy 1 week every month or 1 plan every week. When you’re cooking for 1 it’s sometimes hard to portion control when you make a casserole sized for 6 people, before you know it you’ve eaten half of it and are still pretending that what’s left is servings for 3 (three puppies maybe, right?) With Lindsay’s plan there is no leftovers and the bonus is you get to eat the whole thing yourself. For those of us who have issues with sharing this is what’s it all about!
If food choices aren’t confusing enough an article in the New York Times questions whether eating a plant-based diet is as cruelty free as we like to think. No Face, But Plants Like Life Too explores the feelings that plants have and the various defense mechanisms they employ when attacked. The article veers off that path and meanders down a trail of thought that compares killing plants to slavery and genocide stating,
“Maybe the real problem with the argument that it’s O.K. to kill plants because they don’t feel exactly as we do, though, is that it’s the same argument used to justify what we now view as unforgivable wrongs.”
I just can’t buy into that argument. The author is right, all living species come equipped with ways of defending themselves against their natural predators. Without these no creature would have survived. Yet I still can’t reconcile the cruelty of factory farming with plucking a ripe tomato off the vine in my backyard. In the end it all comes down to personal choice and I’ll continue down the road I’ve traveled for 37 years. I don’t feel I have to justify what I choose to eat but if you do feel the need to make excuses, maybe that’s the indicator that you need to take a second look your diet.