Monday, August 01, 2011

Could you live without animal products for a month.... or longer?

Over the last several months, I've often wondered this for myself.  Could I cut out all animal products from my diet and be vegan?  I've already ditched the pork, beef, chicken and other meats, with the exception of seafood (which honestly might be on it's way out the door too).  We've switch to soy milk (but still use regular half-half) and I'm buying more and more organic produce (while not animals, it makes me feel better).

But what about everything else?  Eggs, cheese, fish (omg.. including sushi!), butter, canned beans (see below), baked goods and more non-apparent animal proteins and by-products such as gelatin (please tell me that you do know what gelatin is made from, right?  if not, learn.) and honey.  Further?  Some vitamins, medicines, soaps and tons of other everyday items contain animal by-products.

Stephanie over at the Coexist Cafe just completed her own vegan  month long journey.  She was on a full out animal-free diet for 31 days.  She challenged herself and did amazing.  Check out her series of posts on her blog.  I'm not only super proud of her and her willpower but I am very inspired!

I'm leaning more and more towards this path.  Why?  I'm not sure yet.  I'm still working out my feelings on the topic and know that I would have a lot of work ahead of me if I was to make the vegan switch. Shit, I haven't even been able to be fully pescetarian, let alone vegetarian, so I have no idea what has gotten into me!

One thing that I learned this weekend and that I have mentioned previously is that besides research and knowledge and understanding, I've overlooked the basics a handful of times.  READ THE LABELS.  I ran into another failure on this front over this past weekend. 

Chicken and Pig and Fat... OH MY!!!
This one really got to me.  I know in the last 7 months I have had a bit here and there of meat but this was like a big, fat slap-in-the-face fail on my part.  It's not like the ingredients are in another language or that they are hidden by-products.  Nope... straight up animals.  I would expect that in all that I have learned this year that the last thing I would do is assume that a can of beans was vegetarian.  Stupid.  If I plan on moving toward full vegetarianism or especially veganism, I need to be seriously conscious all the time.  The icing on the cake... I still ate some of the dish that included these beans; yes, after I read the label.  I feel guilty.  Again, not sure why and still working that out, but unprepared for veg*n is an understatement.

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