The shortened word Veg*n stands for either Vegetarian or Vegan
THERE’S A VEG*N IN EVERY FAMILY!
Rejoice when a family member or friend shows the courage to come out of the Veg*n closet, that society through its conformance to tradition and prejudice tries to keep them in. Be proud of your family member or friend. Choose not to participate in family and peer pressure that shames or ridicules or makes them feel unloved for expressing their views against prejudice, discrimination, enslavement, torture and slaughter, through their actions of living more compassionately by refusing to exploit non-human animals for food, clothing, experimentation, sport and entertainment.
Tell them you support their decision to follow their conscience, that it’s a sign of strength of character to live the life one believes is right. Ask them questions without allowing the conversation to escalate into an argument.
Since an estimated 150 billion animals are slaughtered every year by the meat, dairy and egg industries, around the world for our plate, not including marine life, and the billions of others enslaved, tortured and slaughtered for other purposes, the most common first step when somebody wakes up to the reality of the holocaust against the animals is changing the food configuration on that plate.
Ever notice how everything we do centers around food? Everything. Family gatherings, going out to eat, going to the movies, to the mall, on vacation, weddings, showers, parties, picnics, every holiday, ball games, sitting around watching T.V., even business meetings. The food is always at the center; it’s what’s on people’s minds. So, of course the first step in helping the animals is looking at how many of them we consume and how often.
A father once yelled at me, “my wife doesn’t know what to feed my daughter!” She had recently become a vegan. The daughter should have had a conversation and told them what she could eat and not eat, which might have prevented this father’s panic, so some of that’s on her.
A vegetarian or vegan can’t expect the mother and father to do the research. Be that as it may, that’s why I’m here. I’ve already engineered the recipes I know people will like. And these days it’s so much easier with soy milk, almond milk, rice milk, soy sour and cream cheeses, veggie cheese singles, soy ice-cream, soy mayo, veggie margarine, veggie meats of every kind that can be found in mainstream markets.
However, let me be clear, one does not need soy, veggie nor grain products specifically designed to mimic meat, dairy and eggs. You can be as just as healthy without them. For years I didn’t eat tofu or any other meat or dairy-mimicking product. But the products these days really do taste good, and since they’re not hurting anyone, then why not on occasion enjoy them? Sure they’re more expensive than their animal counterpart, but that’s because they’re relatively new and the market for them hasn’t soared yet. It will. In the meanwhile, you don’t have to have three glasses of alternative milk every day, or a veggie meat with every meal, as is recommended with actual animal products.
Stop worrying if they’ll get enough protein. There’s protein in all plants. The same goes for calcium. Many foods are fortified with it anyway. You don’t have to combine beans and rice in the same meal either. That’s old school thinking. You don’t have to eat animals to get vitamin B-12. Lots of animal-eaters are vitamin B-12 deficient. If you’re concerned, then take a supplement, just like animal-eaters do.
That same father yelled even louder in exasperation, “my wife doesn’t have time to cook something different for everybody in the family!!”
All the recipes I create are designed for everybody in the family to enjoy, using ingredients that ‘mainstream’ families already know and like. Look at the recipes and you’ll see how familiar they really do sound. Try a few. If you still want the baked chicken or roast, then have it along with an animal-free dish. Even if the whole family eats meat, every meal should have an animal-free component. That doesn’t mean broccoli with butter. If it’s only broccoli, then put animal-free margarine or oil on it, and serve enough so that the vegetarian/vegan can make it a main dish if need be. Spruce it up with fresh tomatoes, sauteed mushrooms and onions. Both broccoli and mushrooms are high in protein.
I actually find it odd that the father yelling about his wife not being able to do this or that, wouldn’t have dared even broach the subject, had his daughter been a diabetic and the Mom had to provide diabetic meals for their daughter. Yeah, they would have done the research and talked to other people to get ideas and share stories about adjustment. So, just as some of the problem lied with the vegan daughter not communicating, it also lied with the parents being resistant, because they didn’t support veganisn – not in their daughter anyway.
Please note, that although I use familiar products, that doesn’t prevent me from trying new food items when they come out on the market. I am continually trying new foods. Just today I went to the grocery store and saw these tiny little round potatoes that looked like big marbles in the produce section. Perfectly formed and all the same size. I just had to have them. The only question was do I buy the red, the Yukon gold or the regular? Now I’m thinking about the recipe I’ll make with them.
Your family member or friend may be veg*n for moral reasons, but they also benefit health-wise by following an animal-free diet, which means the more animal-free meals you consume, the greater health benefit to you too.
Sure, on the nightly news we all hear about certain individuals who smoked, drank and ate a lamb every day of their lives and lived to be a hundred. That’s rare, very rare. I wouldn’t bet on those odds, and neither should you. Besides, the point many vegetarians and vegans are making is that even if they could live to be two hundred years old if they ate a side of beef every day, they wouldn’t, since they’d be depriving another creature of their right to live their life. However, it doesn’t matter why someone becomes veg*n. When they do, it’s up to those around them to accept it. All I know is that it’s the right track to be on no matter what your reason.
Even in the bible, somewhere I read years ago, God told some guy to leave the vegetarians alone. So vegetarianism is by no means new. It’s very, very old. Everybody innately knows what it’s all about; anyone who has ever eaten a fruit or a vegetable or a nut, knows. So just go with it. It’s not hurting you, nor anybody else. It’s harmless. But it’s also helpful – to the health of the individual, the group, the planet, and especially to those procreated for the purpose of enslavement, torture and slaughter.
Tell your vegetarianites, veganites or animal-freers that they’ll have to help with the food preparation in the family. No one expects the entire family to change for one person, but the entire family (or friends) can be respectful. Give him or her one night a week where they make dinner for everybody else, keeping within the family food budget of course. A word of advice: Don’t pick apart the meal, commenting on every little morsel as if you’re dissecting it. You don’t do that when Mom cooks an animal for supper, or when Dad burns the barbecue, so don’t do it when there’s no animal on the table.
Everybody loves sandwiches, so why not start there? Check out Chef’s Animal-Free Sandwich Index. And while you’re there, check out all the other indexes. Each recipe is listed along with a menu description much like you’d see on a restaurant menu, with a link to the actual recipe one of the animal-free food sites.
There’s nothing scary nor difficult about having a veg*an in the family or as a friend. It’s really all quite simple and can be a lot of fun if you want it to be. Just don’t make a big deal over any of it. It’s a perfectly natural way to be. Your family member, your friend, is normal in that regard.
What’s not normal is an animal eating another animal. It’s cannibalism, whether it’s your species or not. An animal is an animal, and humans are all members of the global animal race. It doesn’t matter at this point that humans have always done it, used by many as justification for continuing to do it. All that shows is that humans have been historically and traditionally deviant as displayed by their actions.
That deviancy is not innate. That deviancy was learned. Your non-flesh eating family member or friend woke up to that fact and decided to follow their conscience and their real nature, rather than history and your animal-abusing traditions. Sorry to have to say this Mom and Pop, but you were wrong. If those animals you so willingly advocate killing for your plate, or for medical research to cure the diseases you get from cannibalizing other animals, or for clothing, glue and a myriad of other products you purchase, or for entertainment purposes, walked on two legs, spoke your language and carried guns, you wouldn’t be so quick to deem them inferior enough to exploit. That’s your prejudice. A prejudice that you glowingly hand down to your children.
Yes, you are deviant. And yes, be happy that the deviancy can be cured, as evidenced by your family member or friend who is showing you that eating flesh is not genetically determined.
* Click any sandwich picture to go directly to that recipe on CHEF DAVIES-TIGHT.
HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO ALL!
And, best wishes to you and yours in all your animal-free endeavors!
~ Chef Davies-Tight