Diving Into Veganism in a Plant-Based Diet
Those of you following my business and my blog will know that I struggle with mental and physical health issues and diving into veganism is my way of trying to balance both of those issues. If you aren’t interested in veganism then please stop reading now, I’m not trying to convert anybody, only explain my reasons.
Although it’s a massive lifestyle change (I can say that because I’ve tried it before, unsucessfully), I know it’s going to work this time because it feels right in my heart. We’ve done a huge vegan food haul: blog coming soon! It cost £176 which is just under £10 per person per WEEK. Cost isn’t really the reason we’ve gone vegan and plant based though, it’s ethics.
The reason I’ve always wanted to be vegan is because I belive animals feel pain. Ask yourself, is it ethical to hurt an animal? You might say yes, if it’s necessary for us to live, but we all know that you can be a very healthy vegan by eating a good balance of protein and iron. Most people eat meat and animal products because they like them. Is it ethical to cause pain and suffering to an animal for pleasure? Most people will answer “no”. For ages I tried only to buy small amounts of free range corn-fed chicken and eggs and ignored what I knew about the horrors faced by dairy cows. When money was a problem we slipped back into eating cheap chicken and I’m so ashamed of buying the £3 Costco chickens. Having read a lot about the way animals are treated I thought, actually, there is no kind way to use an animal for food, no way for them to consent.
Nursing and Veganism
I’d rather eat human products now than another animal’s. To a lot of people that’s really shocking and strange to think of a person preferring to drink human milk to to a cow’s. The only reason I don’t is that milk is for babies. Cow’s milk is for baby cows and human milk is for little humans. When Ayla and Bastian had donor milk (breastmilk donated by other families) I did it because I preferred them to have human milk over cow milk. One lactivist donor told me she
“would always choose human milk over milk from an animal that runs around in a field covered in its own sh*t all day”
I thought it was a bit strong, after all, we gave Ayla formula when we didn’t have enough donor milk, and we drank cow’s milk ourselves at the time. I believe that sometimes those with a very strong pro-breastfeeding philosophy can cause more of a divide between families over their choices and personally I think compassion is key. But you can perhaps understand why so many nursing parents choose to go vegan when you think of what cows go through. This might be triggering *TW* but cows in dairy farms are repeatedly raped by artificial insemination and their babies are stolen shortly after birth. Male calves are often killed immediately. We then steal their milk, filling the cows with antibiotics as a prophylactic against mastitis, which doesn’t always work, and use the milk ourselves because “it tastes good”. I’ve stopped thinking that’s ok now. People often say the cows like being milked but that’s reverse logic, they don’t like feeling engorged so when they’re milked it releaves the pressure and pain. To the readers here who are nursing, can you imagine all of this being done to you? How mastitis and engorgement feel? Here’s a link to Bec’s mastitis poultice recipe if you suffer from it often like we both did. This is a massive reason for me diving into veganism.
How are you Diving Into Veganism?
There’s no half measures here, we spent a lot of money on a food haul and I’m watching lots of YouTubers who give you advice on simple and easy vegan meals. We have bought a few fake meats and I’m going to try making fake bacon but mostly it’s huge packs of dried pulses, lentils and beans, lots of different flours, nuts and seeds. We’ve stocked up on coconut in all forms and milk alternatives for the kids. We stocked the fridge with veg and literally filled the freezer with frozen bags of spinach. I’ve already done one slow cooker batch of sweet potato and butternut squash curry and am planning a few more next week while The Viking is off work and having the kids some more.
I think this is going to help me be healthy and lose weight (I have a gastric band but you still have to eat nutritious and balanced meals) and lots of vegan friends say it helps with their mood. I want to send a big thank you to my friend Annie over at Hacking Parenthood for the support she’s given me over the past couple of years, including “which documentaries should I watch again?” questions and recipes for coconut milk made from tins of thick coconut milk. Her blog is brilliant and you can subscribe to either or both of us to get updates by email.