Since some vegans today consume some animal-based foods as long as they’re organic, non-GMO, gluten-free and raw, I want there to be no confusion as to where I stand.
Although I would prefer that all foods be organic and non-GMO, it’s not a deal breaker for me. Not now. Eventually the world we see the harm in genetically modified organisms. Meanwhile, I continue to engineer recipes using all animal-free products, because I know the GMO manipulation will eventually be banned from them.
When I grocery shop or when I go into a restaurant, my only concern is that my food contain no animals. If a dish or a product happens to be organic and/or non-GMO, I consider it a bonus.
About half of all my recipes are gluten-free, if you use known gluten-free brands, and in other instances, substitute a gluten-free thickener, bread or pasta. I didn’t design them that way in advance. It’s just the way it turned out.
My ‘raw’ comes from eating fresh fruits and salads.
I believe as a movement, vegans are in ways moving away from the plight of the animal in pursuit of more healthy food for the human animal. Many companies, on their websites, have stopped answering the question: Is this product vegan? on their FAQ page. Even companies that make vegan products steer away from the vegan label. And companies that once were all animal-free (vegan), now produce many animal-based products. Once a company makes a product vegan, then the vegans want all the other non-vegan variables factored in, and frankly it discourages them. They give up and go with vegetarian.
Removing gluten, chemicals and pesticides from foods doesn’t make the foods vegan, unless you call yourself a paleo-vegan (a diet that contains lots of fruits, vegetables, certain grains, certain nuts and beans, as well as animals, as long as the plants and animals consumed are gluten, chemical, GMO and pesticide-free).
I’ve been developing recipes since 1972 when I first went vegetarian. I have more experience than anybody on the planet making foods we already know and like, taste great absent the animal.
The animal-free label is something near and dear to me. It stays. Although for years I considered myself a vegan, most vegans didn’t. Still, I don’t eat animals, which makes me a vegan.
The new PaleoVegan diet prompted me to add the vegan part to the animal-free part.
Remember, eating brown rice and bulgur doesn’t make you a vegan. Eating no animals makes you a vegan.
I AM AN ANIMAL-FREE VEGAN
Welcome to my animal-free vegan world!
It is my joy to serve you!
~ Sharon Lee Davies-Tight, the animal-free chef.