Can a family go Vegan? How do you pull it off?

I have a friend whose husband wants the family to start eating vegan. My friend isn’t quite sure how to pull it off.

Vegan is different than vegetarian. Some might say it is an extension.

From Vegan.org:

“why VEGAN? Veganism, the natural extension of vegetarianism, is an integral component of a cruelty-free lifestyle. Living vegan provides numerous benefits to animals’ lives, to the environment, and to our own health–through a healthy diet and lifestyle.”

“what is a VEGAN? A vegan (pronounced VEE-gun) is someone who, for various reasons, chooses to avoid using or consuming animal products. While vegetarians choose not to use flesh foods, vegans also avoid dairy and eggs, as well as fur, leather, wool, down, and cosmetics or chemical products tested on animals.”


On making the transition to Vegan:

“EATING VEGAN In starting the transition to a vegan diet, there are a few different strategies. Some people shift into a vegan diet slowly, starting with vegan ‘analogues’— plant-based foods whose taste resembles animal products. Others simply take out the animal products from their diet and replace them with plant foods with which they’re already familiar. Still others concentrate on experimenting with entirely new vegan foods, often from international cuisines. Thankfully, there is no shortage of vegan foods to help make the transition. In fact, most of the food we eat is vegan, without us knowing it!”

These are my mom friend’s concerns:

  1. She has three young children and she wants them to eat their meals. If she goes too far into left field the kids won’t eat and won’t be getting the nutrition they need.
  2. She is regularly a very health-conscious cook. She is very into natural ingredients with little additives. She is concerned by products that don’t occur in nature.  So the so called “analogues” mentioned above scare her! She doesn’t want to use plant-based foods that resemble animal products.

So she is looking for advice and recipes about how to make this healthy transition for her family without it being too complicated, without it creating holes in her children’s nutrition, and without it being gross – ie products that are fake and man-made as substitutes for animal products.

I think this process is more doable than before thanks to the internet. I think a mother wanting to do this would have to spend a lot of time reading articles, looking at websites and sorting through recipes to find ones that her family would be willing to accept.

I did some more poking around on the Vegan.org site and it has a lot of good information and links out to other sites – such as restaurants that serve vegan.

I found advice for replacing eggs in recipes as well as basic foods a family can start with. Some of the stuff was pretty obvious — a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

I think it gets harder when you try real recipes and not just individual foods.I stopped by yesterday and my friend was making a birthday soup for her husband with peas and zucchini. It’s tough to make a creamy soup without any cream! She was also making his birthday cake vegan — again icing is really tough if you’re not using dairy products. She was still working on it when I left. It wasn’t quite right.

Has your family made the transition to vegan? How did you do it? Do the kids mind? Did it hurt their nutrition – ie were they getting enough protein from other sources? How did you measure? What is your advice for families trying veganism out?
Would you consider veganism for your family?

124 comments Add your comment

DB

September 15th, 2011
12:44 am

No vegans or vegetarians in my house. We’re far too fond of dairy products, steak and seafood. It’s good to be at the top of the food chain. :-)

PS: Happy birthday, MJG!

[...] Can a family go Vegan? How do you pull it off?Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog)Veganism, the natural extension of vegetarianism, is an integral component of a cruelty-free lifestyle. Living vegan provides numerous benefits to animals' lives, to the environment, and to our own health–through a healthy diet and lifestyle. …and more » [...]

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

September 15th, 2011
1:02 am

Happy Birthday MJG!!!

A reporter Nedra Rhone is looking for parents to talk about when kids act up in public (the news peg is the woman who was arrested after her son laughed in a Dekalb County Library – her trial starts this week).

I’m searching for parents willing to talk about the unpredictable nature of kids, how they deal, etc.

Anyone interested can email or call me at 404-526-5465. or email Nedra.Rhone@ajc.com

Megan Watson (@veganwtsn)

September 15th, 2011
1:13 am

Of course a whole house can go vegan! Who does the grocery shopping? Who does the cooking? That’s right! Mom! While I tend to disagree with her choice on not using the grain-meats as a transition food, I do understand that she doesn’t want to eat “fake” meats. Vegans don’t eat anything FAKE, if anything our food is MORE real and natural than other chemical laced animal products. She does need to get her hands on some Earth Balance buttery spread for that cake though! Earth Balance was my gateway to veganism. seriously. Once I had a replacement for butter, I was ok. It is really not that different tasting than any of those other tubs of margarine, but without the dairy!

So here’s the challenge for Mom: making delicious tasting meals that her family would love. Use whole based ingredients, fresh vegetables (especially the ones they already eat and hide the rest), and beans! If they are not eating grain-based meats, beans will be a great source of protein. My husband doesn’t like all vegetables, but I encourage him to try them each time I prepare them differently, but the onions and tomatoes get pureed before he seems them and he’s ok with that. Oh, and Colleen Patrick-Goudreau’s books will provide many recipes that are whole foods based (no “fake” meats) but she does use tofu and tempeh. Tofu can be cooked in sooooo many different ways. I swear, every time I cut up the Wildwood Baked Tofu and want to eat it cold, I say, this could be the tofu to convince someone to like tofu. It is firm and flavorful! I think it can be done! Go Mom for standing up for her values and wanting to feed her family right!

[...] Can a family go Vegan? How do you pull it off?Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog)So she is looking for advice and recipes about how to make this healthy transition for her family without it being too complicated, without it creating holes in her children's nutrition, and without it being gross – ie products that are fake and …and more » [...]

[...] without it being gross – ie products that are fake and … … Read the rest here: Can a family go Vegan? How do you pull it off? | Momania: A Blog … ← Vegan Food Recipes: Effortless Vegan Recipes For Fresh [...]

Jeff

September 15th, 2011
6:23 am

Wow Megan. I’m having a mommy dearest flashback. Control freak implemented with aggression. I bet your a real joy to be around. Ever yelled the phrase “no more wire hangers”?

robert

September 15th, 2011
6:31 am

42 year old father of two girls (8 and 6 yrs old) my wife and i went vegan when our first was 2 years old, so the 4 of us have been vegan for 6 years. with our oldest child only 2 it was easy to go cold-turkey. we were full-on meat eaters, and went vegan over-night. at first we thought we’d just stop eating meat, but a couple quick hours reading about the issues surrounding dairy, and we realized it made absolutely zero sense since it was nearly the same thing ethically, enviromentally, and health-wise.

anyhow, when you’re talking about a family whose kids have all kinds of horrible preferences for non-vegan items, the idea of a slower transition makes a lot of sense. nutrition whould be of barely any concern imo. so long as you stick to the core goal of eating the widest variety of whole foods with a strong emphasis on dark green vegetables you cannot go wrong.

meat eaters love to harp about b-12, but guess what? my entire family has been tested for b-12 this past year and all our levels are hunky dory. b-12 is not a vegan issue since 45% of americans are deficient in it yet only 1% of americans are vegan.

anyhow…replacing one favorite thing with a vegan alternative might be the softest way to transition. if you’re good cooks, you can make it happen in just a few months.

good luck

Aaron

September 15th, 2011
6:49 am

Humans weren’t meant to be Vegans. It was the availability of meat that allowed our brains to become as large as they are along the evolutionary chain. Going vegan is a horrible, horrible decision for a family (especially the kids).

Do yourself a favor and read The Omnivore’s Dilemma or log onto Mark’s Daily Apple.

Humans were absolutely positively designed to eat meat along with tons of vegetables, some fruit and nuts and seeds. We were not designed to eat grains as evolution hasn’t had time to adapt to modern agriculture (about 10K years).

If you’re concerned with the treatment of animals, go completely grassfed (both meat, eggs and dairy). In terms of killing animals for food, we’re at the top of the food chain. Is a lion bad for eating a gazelle? Is a coyote evil because he eats rabbits?

I hope I make an excellent meal for worms and whatever else is interested when I’m dead. Are they bad for eating me? Would you be ethically okay with eating meat if you waited until it died a natural death?

robert

September 15th, 2011
6:53 am

shunning all the mock meat and cheese stuff and other vegan convenience foods is a great goal, but imo it will make the transition a lot harde for all. vegan sausage has saved our breakfasts. before you swear off all that stuff compare the ingredients list to your average ‘whole wheat’ loaf of bread and many other things people think are healthy to eat. the ingredient list is a mile-long and includes about 30 ingredients that sond more like items you’d find in a mad scientist’s labratory rather than a baker’s pantry.

pretty much anything you buy that is not a whole food has been processed to smithereens, but the efforts to recreate everything from scratch can become overwhelming for a family with kids.

when we became vegan i was making nearly every bread product our family ate, but over the 6 years it’s been reduced to about 10% of our breads. same with lots of other things- originally i was making veggie burgers, vegan cheese, sausage, and even our breakfast cereal all from, scratch, but i feel as our kids get older, we have less and less time for all that – gymnastics, horse back riding, swimming, piano, wife’s pta, business trips, and our own fitness regimes leave me little mental energy left over to make everything from scratch.

Dennis

September 15th, 2011
6:53 am

Why would you, outside of the animal rights argument?

Much healthier option in my opinion is Paleo like Aaron mentions. I’ve heavily adopted it for myself and try to find ways to get my kids more in that direction.

I’ve found in the several weeks I’ve adopted it more strictly my energy levels are great and I get all of the micro and macronutrition I need. No blood sugar crashes a couple hours after meals because I don’t get the huge bump at meals. My meals are lean protein, fat and a lot of vegetables.

Here’s a site about how to make your family paleo:
http://everydaypaleo.com/

robert

September 15th, 2011
7:00 am

aaron – yes we ate meat for thousands of years – but we can cange our practices to save the planet – read the united nations report on the global depletion and pollution of resources cause by meat and dairy agriculture. 2500 gallons minimum of water to produce 1 pound of beef? billions of tons of sewage and methane production? etc etc etc. it takes about 20 minutes of reading to locate about 50 other very solid environmental reasons to swear off meat/dairy.

catlady

September 15th, 2011
7:01 am

I eat little meat, but I do use eggs (produced by my own organic, well-cared-for chickens.) I have discovered a dairy that is more in line with my thinking, and get the gallon of milk I use each month from them. I intend to get my butter there, too.

I don’t go in for that “textured vegetable protein” (ie Wham from the whump of a whog) because why mimic what I don’t support?

I think it is very important to stay away from processed foods, which form a large percentage of most people’s diet.

I grow many of my own vegetables organically and rejoice that I can do so (although in the heat of this past summer I was questioning whether it would kill me or not.)

I like the stuff in Animal, Vegetable, or Miracle, in the Flexitarian Diet, and in Diet for a Small Planet and its followups.

shaggy

September 15th, 2011
7:09 am

I didn’t evolve to the top of the food chain, just so I can eat tofurky and sprouts.

Actually, I propose that the Paleo (caveman) diet is really better for you, since humans never were vegan in the first place. It is argued that our big hominid brains got their protein fueled evolutionary break, when we increased our hunting/scavenging of meat.
So, vegans over time, will devolve into something like a cow.

Plus, who is to say the vegans aren’t being “cruel” to those spinach plants, when they whack them for their barbaric feast. If I was a plant, I would be stocking up on poisins to keep those evil, cruel vegans from cutting my vascular throat.

Chesley

September 15th, 2011
7:19 am

Check out vegangal.com. We are nearly vegan and the kids are definitely a challenge We are somewhat lenient with them especially when it comes to school lunches etc. The only animal products we eat at home are the eggs from our 6 chickens (no cruelty involved).. calcium fortified oj, vega whole health optimizer, raw meal substitute are great supplementals.

Victor

September 15th, 2011
7:28 am

I would like to point out that our hunter-gatherer cavemen ancestors didn’t live very long lives. Also, there is no connection between increased protein intake and IQ. Einstein was vegetarian, as well as many, many Nobel lauretes.

The Paleo diet is something from our past. A vegan diet is our future.

shaggy

September 15th, 2011
7:32 am

I would like to point out that hunter-gatherer cavemen ancestors lived long enough and procreated so their decendants could come up with stupid stuff like rap music and cruelty to carrots.

If we forget our past Paleo diet, we are condemned to become antlered deer that like rap music.

shaggy

September 15th, 2011
7:34 am

Oh, Einstein is not smarter than Stephen Hawking, who tosses down a steak that has been run through a blender.

Jeff

September 15th, 2011
7:51 am

When I sit back and watch, I find it pretty funny that vegans, environmentalists, mother-earth types, etc use the same tactics and arguments of persuasion as many religious extremists. The possibliity that I could live my life different from yours always leads to the conversation that I need to be “enlightened” of what you call your facts.

Christine

September 15th, 2011
7:53 am

Our family went vegan when our first son was born – we wanted to raise him in a way that reflected the current state of this planet, which we mostly fail to acknowledge in our everyday lives. It’s been almost 3 years and it wasn’t nearly as hard as I had anticipated.

We do eat mock meats occasionally for convenience, but I like your idea of trying to get away from those.

We have tofu almost every night – it’s amazing how versatile it is! One of my favorite things to do is pan fry it in small pieces, then toss with a little soy sauce. My son gobbles this up like it’s popcorn. He also LOVES fruit, as do most kids, so I always try to have the most nutritious fruits in the house. And nuts are a lifesaver – protein, good fats, lots of variety, and kids love them. Soy milk is whole food and can be modified with cornstarch to make soups creamy. And tofu can be whipped into a cheese-like spread.

Our favorite cookbooks: Veganomicon and Vegan Cupcakes take over the World (and everything else that team writes), Vegan Soul Food, asian cookbooks, and the Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook.

Lastly, I want to say a few words about ice cream. What would childhood be without it? :-) Coconut based ice cream (we like a brand called Vegan Decadence, which many people would see as a contradiction in terms) is amazing. My dad, who is an ice cream fanatic (the cow milk kind) even eats it willingly.

What's up...

September 15th, 2011
7:57 am

…with all the guys commenting today…

TallMom

September 15th, 2011
8:03 am

I have no issues with how people want to feed their families…definitely a personal choice.

I can, however, spot a vegan family from a mile away. They seem to think they’re very healthy for the way they choose to eat but almost every vegan I have ever seen looks sickly…various reasons why they look sickly, but they do.

I’m a firm believer in “moderation” when it comes to all foods. Eliminating one food group completely is not healthy. It just isn’t. There is ZERO (unbiased) medical evidence to suggest veganism is a healthier lifestyle.

Patricia

September 15th, 2011
8:13 am

It’s easy but does require organization and planning,e.g., remembering to soak beans overnight and keeping a full pantry. It may take a little time to read labels at first, but once you figure out which products are vegan, it’s easy! We also have a great cast iron wok. I cook a lot of dishes like chili, lentil stew, vegetable soup in large quantities (stock pot full) and then freeze them in containers large enough for a family meal. Then it’s a simple matter to pull containers out and thaw them for meals. Add salad, bread, and dessert. Pasta is another easy meal. A helpful hint is to strat boiling the pasta and then about 3 minutes before the pasta is cooked thrown several cups of vegetables (broccoli, carrots, peppers, cauliflower,etc) into the boiling water. It will all be done at once…drain, add sauce (there are several good vegan pasta sauces), and toss together. We’ve eaten a vegan diet for ten years. We also have the limiting factor that we don’t do chemicals, MSG, natural flavorings, etc. either. So we eat very little food that comes in a box (processed food). We also grow our vegetables in our own garden. If we can do all that — anyone can eat vegan at home.

DB

September 15th, 2011
8:14 am

@Victor: Cavemen died “young” because they had no doctors/medical science. The diseases that killed children — chix pox, measles, mumps, etc. — were rampant, a scratch or a puncture wound could get infected and mean death within a week, an appendix would rupture, cancer would run its course quickly . . . to assume that a caveman’s diet wasresponsible for his life span is ludicrous. They got a lot more exercise than a sedentary person these days, too — are you going to say THAT killed them, too?

Patricia

September 15th, 2011
8:15 am

I meant to add that we almost never have tofu — yuck. There are tons of other sources of protein. How in the world did vegans get the reputation of living on tofu!?

Glenn

September 15th, 2011
8:18 am

Any evolutionary “digestive tract” -”canine-teeth” argument must fail. In the ancestral environment we ate meat out of necessity, but this says nothing at all about what is good for us to eat today. Because food was in short supply and famines were common in the ancestral environment, humans evolved to crave more salt and sugar than is healthy for us in todays environment, where food and calories are plentiful. But it makes no sense to continue doing something that is unhealthy for us today just because it is part of our evolutionary history — like eating lots of salt and sugar or meat– just because when we lived in the cave, it was healthy for us to eat as much of these things as we could get our hands on. Evolution doesn’t make us eat meat. We choose to eat it or not.

Sylvania

September 15th, 2011
8:23 am

To each his own, I guess. Vegans run the risk of having vitamin B12 deficiency. I’m sure most vegans have done their homework, are aware of this, and compensate accordingly. B12 is found only in animal products, and a lack of B12 can lead to anemia and blindness. B12 deficiency in pregnant and lactating women can lead to neurological disorders in their children.

Toby

September 15th, 2011
8:23 am

I am vegan… my mother is vegetarian… my neighbors are vegetarian. It is not difficult to be vegan: it may be socially challenging for of those of a sort of weak disposition, no disrespect to them, but it is straight forward. If you don’t want to fund murder you can easily avoid it; you should, everyone should… it’s actually cheaper, healthier & greener to be vegan too.
All it takes is some vegan multivitamin (everyone should take multivitamins anyway, they’re online & that cuts off access for some, but they are not expensive compared to other multivitamins), protein like lentils or one of the many great meat-substitutes (I love lentils will Earth Balance & sea salt), veg, fruit, carbohyrdrates, a little oil & you’re living like you should!

paige

September 15th, 2011
8:24 am

If Einstein was a meat eater time travel would be more than just a theory. His brain was only working on 2 cylinders.

Glenn

September 15th, 2011
8:25 am

This cartoon is for Tall Mom. She thinks vegans look sickly! Compared to what? Ha !

http://goo.gl/TFXys

JB from East Point

September 15th, 2011
8:26 am

Robert – there is another way to avoid all the pollution and cruelty factory farms generate that Aaron is trying to point out. Sustainable agriculture for meat and veggies is needed. It’s not just meat production that generates a huge environmental impact, but the commodity crops of corn, grain and soy that are also very bad for our environment. Grass fed meat, dairy, and eggs are very sustainable and don’t generate the same environmental impact, nor do the animals endure the same hardships.

Adam & Eve

September 15th, 2011
8:28 am

`
Animals were not eaten in the Garden of Eden. — (Genesis)
.

Toby

September 15th, 2011
8:29 am

To reply to some common cocerns: murder is unethical, fullstop, coyotes & wolves included… non-human animals also rape… it’s wrong, fullstop, however natural rape, murder & slavery are, they’re bad.
Veganism is important because suffering is bad & well-being is good. We evolved with rape & murder & we should stop raping and/or murdering. Something being natural is not always good: vegans are healthier than omnivores, going vegan is the single greenest thing someone can do, and most importantly it’s the most ethical move because the murder victims deserve far better & avoiding murder is not technically difficult.

robert

September 15th, 2011
8:34 am

Sylvania b-12 deficiency has nothing to do with vegans – approximately 1-2% of the american population is vegan, yet over 40% of the population of the united states is estimated to suffer from b-12 deficiency. if anything, i’d guess that vegans suffer from it a lot less than omnivores do because it’s constantly brought up as proof of the deficiencies of the lifestyle, thus they are more consciously consuming it or taking a supplement that contains it.

jarvis

September 15th, 2011
8:34 am

If God hadn’t intended us to eat animals, he wouldn’t have made them out of meat.

Dennis

September 15th, 2011
8:35 am

To avoid the entire ideological discussion of vegan versus Paleo versus any other system of eating and address this in a more generic format, you can change your family’s diet in any way. It takes the parents to largely agree on what type of food will be in their home and what their family will eat at home.

If there’s food you don’t want your family to eat – whether it’s potato chips, ice cream, bread, meat, etc – don’t have it in your home and eat more meals at home. When kids are hungry, they will eat what’s available.

Obviously, kids have a lot of chances away from home to eat other food – which once they get to a certain age, you don’t have control over. If you have a teenager who wants to eat meat or whatever food is forbidden at home when out with friends – he or she will. But they may come to buy into their parents methodology and agree that it works for them and makes them feel well.

I’m not a fan of “Substitute” foods in any diet – whether you are in a Gluten free, low carb, Low fat, or Vegan diet. If there are foods that you shouldn’t be eating – you need to not eat them! If you switch from cookies to “low fat” cookies you are just switching from fat to probably higher sugar or sugar alcohol content to make the food taste like it should. Gluten free breads are made from a different grain which you could react to as well.

Overall, I’m also in favoring of eating a real food diet. That means eating food that your great grandparents would recognize as food and not spending your life eating out of boxes. When you eat from boxes – you are introducing a whole host of ingredients to your body that you would never cook with at home and probably are not good for you. You are also handing over control of you and your family’s diet to a company that doesn’t have your best interests in mind (their goal is to have you eat more of their products!)

Me

September 15th, 2011
8:36 am

Sorry, but no way we give up the foods we so dearly love!

NikNak

September 15th, 2011
8:38 am

One of my very favorite memories of childhood was cake and ice cream at birthday parties. You don’t want to be the weird kid who’s mom drops off their own “special” cake to a birthday party (aside from allergies).

Didn’t an infant die of malnourishment recently bc the mother refused to even breastfeed her? Fed her soy milk and apple juice or something….

Now excuse me while I finish my chik fil a chicken biscuit. I wouldn’t trade this treat for anything.

  

September 15th, 2011
8:38 am

Normally I’ve found any time a met a person who claimed/purported/etc to be a vegan they typically have personal issues, much like any person going to an extreme in any category.

Don’t do it. It’s not healthy & not natural.

jarvis

September 15th, 2011
8:40 am

@robert, I’m on board. I will try to eliminate methane emissions one cow at a time.

The Carnivore

September 15th, 2011
8:40 am

We are all all meat household. The kids have whole milk, chicken, turkey, and roast beaf, while we rotate between the four food groups: Filet Mignon, London Broil, NY Strip, and Porterhouse. There are three full-sized grills on the back deck plus a barbeque pit in the backyard where we roast the pigs every so often.

The neighbors are vegan, and their kids sneak over at night to eat the scraps we leave behind, because their lives suck.

paige

September 15th, 2011
8:43 am

More proof that vegans brains don’t work properly. Have you ever met one that wasn’t a democrat? They also all believe in global warming. Just a bunch of fools trying to be different.

Gordon Kelley

September 15th, 2011
8:44 am

Being vegan is easy. I’ve done it for nearly 6 years, and am the main cook for my family. In the debate over veganism, most people (as in, many of the commenters here), miss a key point in the debate over vegan vs omnivore: the difference between the principle of eating meat and the reality of how the vast majority of meat is produced. I’m not vegan because I don’t like meat or because I think eating animals is immoral on principle — I’m vegan because nearly every animal raised for food today experiences intense suffering in large factory-farm agribusiness operations. Once I realized this, I knew I could no longer support it. And this is why many people are vegan. I don’t think the debate over whether eating meat is “natural” will ever be conclusively decided, but I do know that billions of animals are suffering greatly their entire lives right now, and that’s why conscious, compassionate people should avoid purchasing those meat and dairy products. To me, buying a piece of meat or a dairy product that is very likely to have been created via substantial suffering is immoral. It’s not the eating of it — it’s the support of cruel behavior involved in producing it — that’s immoral. It is possible to obtain meat and dairy from small farmers who truly treat their animals well, but it is expensive and not widely available, thus not widely consumed, and therefore insignificant in this debate.

I feel so sad, outraged, and helpless when I see people Just Not Care about really awful suffering by the animals that end up on the dinner plate. I’m not an animal rights activist (though I do sympathize with their goals, of course), I can’t stand PETA, and I don’t support violence in the goal of reducing animal suffering. I’m just a guy who will no longer choose to support the abysmal experience of animals on factory farms. And I want you to consider these questions for yourself.

I’ve said it many times and will repeat it here: compassionate people should avoid buying animal products from factory farms.

Visit http://www.veganoutreach.org for a level-headed approach to this issue. I also encourage you to read “Eating Animals” by Jonathan Safran Foer, and “Animals as People” by Gary Francione.

Lady Strange

September 15th, 2011
8:47 am

I have no desire to be vegan. I like meat and dairy and will continue to eat it and so will my family for as long as they choose to. If you want to be vegan or vegetarian or whatever, good for you, that’s your choice.

Bella

September 15th, 2011
8:48 am

Wow, there are alot of pro-vegan posts from men. I love it posters reproduce like rabbits!

PS: I love my all carnivore diet. Veggies are for pansies. ;)

JB from East Point

September 15th, 2011
8:48 am

paige, I’m neither a vegan nor a democrat. I am a republican and an enviornmentalist. I believe the earth is warming, but not from man made causes. Does this mean we should not treat our animals ethically? Should we not grow our food locally and put less chemicals into our air and water? Would we not be better off without the man made waste polluting our envionment. Whether the warming is man made or not is a moot point, as a population, we are stressing the planet and need to live more sustainably.

Bella

September 15th, 2011
8:50 am

Gordon, Robert, Dennis, Toby, Glenn, Aaron, Victor, Chesley ……

What male name will be used next?

Billy Kidman

September 15th, 2011
8:59 am

Everyone on this blog is the biggest idiot I have ever seen.

*beatitnerds*

stephanie*L

September 15th, 2011
8:59 am

While I am not vegan, I do enjoy some amazing recipes you can find at peasandthankyou.com as well as the blog writer’s new book- Peas and thank you. Sarah is a mother who transitioned her family to a vegan diet and all the recipes she has created are delicious and nutritious

shaggy

September 15th, 2011
9:00 am

Wouldn’t it suck to be an arrogant, “preaching” vegan, which conststutes most of them, and suddenly realize that the planet is not going to join hands in a circle and sing kumbayah…unless we are roasting meat on an open, wood fire.
That sizzling juice smell and flavor brings people together, plus world peace seems attainable after some pulled pork or a juicy hamburger.

Patricia

September 15th, 2011
9:03 am

People who believe global warming is harming the planet and is man made are in good company since 98% of the scientists in the National Academy of Sciences say it is true. Republicans reject science…whether it’s evolution or global warming. They are living in the cave…of ignorance.

Pepto-Bismol

September 15th, 2011
9:03 am

Meat stays in your body for about 7 days,
dead weight just hanging around.

Pepto-Bismol

September 15th, 2011
9:04 am

Juicy animal blood?

JoeV

September 15th, 2011
9:05 am

@Pepto-Bismol

Meat turns into poop; just like every other food.

Patricia

September 15th, 2011
9:05 am

Bella says veggies are for pansies. Then how is it that there are hundreds of famous top level athletes -even Olympians- who are vegetarian or vegan. “Olympian of the Century” track star Carl Lewis, tennis champions Martina Navratilova and Billie Jean King, cricket star Anil Kumble, Mr. International bodybuilder Andreas Cahling, Heisman trophy winner Desmond Howard, Debbie lawrence Olympic race-walker, four time Mr. Universe Bill Pearl, 4-time Olympic gold medalist Al Oerter, WBC World Middleweight Champion Keith Holmes, double Olympic Gold medalist in hurdles Edwin Moses, and Dave Scott, six-time Ironman triathlon winner, to name but a few.

Anyone who thinks vegans are pansies is just ignorant of the facts.

Off topic

September 15th, 2011
9:12 am

First of all animals are not people. We do eat meat BUT we do try and eat only organic/free range and now are raising a few chickens in our backyard for eggs. Our chickens are pets and are dearly loved. So loved that we now have four roos that we are not suppose to have that we have to keep quiet in the mornings. I have become the roos’ servant and have to wake early to bring them inside, wait until they get all their crowing out of their systems and then haul them all back indoors again. To be honest, I wouldn’t change a thing and highly recomend it ……. but the spoiled things are still chickens!

NikNak

September 15th, 2011
9:17 am

Desmond Howard is a pansy- and it’s not because he doesn’t eat animals.

Roswell Jeff

September 15th, 2011
9:19 am

We are not vegans and most likely will never be but, I’ve got to give them a high 5 for doing in what they believe. Our family limits the red meat intake and we stick to poultry and fish – when we do have meat. There are many meals that we go meatless.

I do have to point out one glaring, common sense item. The whole organics thing is a sham. It’s a step in the right direction but it’s not as “clean” as one would think. The regulations that farmers are under to proclaim they are organic are easily manipulated and not enforced as well as they need to be. Most of the farmers have gone organic to cash in on the trend and for no other reason. And let’s face it. There is virtually nothing truly organic in this world. Even your backyard garden is not truly organic – yes, it’s many times better for you than mass produced, but common sense tells the real story. The ground is saturated with chemicals, the air is saturated with chemicals and the water is saturated with chemicals.

From time to time we buy chicken from a woman up in South Cackalackey that raises free range. It’s absolutely amazing what real chicken tastes like. Virtually no fat and they were huge! One breast fed our family of three at dinner!

JOD

September 15th, 2011
9:23 am

This topic really took off! I can’t imagine eating tofurkey and the other analogues since they are processed like many non-vegan foods. Congrats to everyone with their own chickens – that is the way to go. We can’t have chickens, but I do buy ethically- and grain-fed meats from local farms. There are even co-ops you can join if enough people are on board. We are definitely meat eaters, but there is no reason to support the factory farming industry.

@Off topic – I guess no on in your house is a late sleeper? :o)

I’m not as self-sufficient on the veggies as catlady, but I’m working on it… Homegrown produce is so much better than store-bought, but finding the space to plant enough is a challenge.

Also, you can easily find cruelty-free products from soap to make-up in any store or online. These products have ingredients you can pronounce :o)

jarvis

September 15th, 2011
9:24 am

Eat what you want…don’t eat what you don’t. Just please do not tell me the benefits of what you do like I give a schlitz.

You annoy me with your preachy non-sense, and believe me, you won’t change me. I like eating animals, and I’ve got the feeling I’m going to continue to like it. You’re wasting your breath (which stinks by the way).

JC

September 15th, 2011
9:45 am

The reasons vary for why people choose vegan. Here are two short videos to help everyone understand why so many are making this life-altering choice: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fKr4HZ7ukSE and http://www.veganvideo.org

Mimi

September 15th, 2011
9:49 am

A healthy, balanced plant-based diet takes a bit more work than any diet comprised of fast & convenient foods but it really is easy! My family has been eating this way for nearly 3 years. I suggest you check out nutritionmd.org for recipes, shopping lists, meal planners, and nutrition advice from Dr. Michael Greger. Also, Dr. Neal Barnard has a 21 day Vegan Kickstrart which is very helpful. We did not use either of these tools and still managed. I have made many low fat tasty foods from a blog called Fat Free Vegan and then there is my own blog, leafy cafe.com. Good Luck to your friend!

Off topic

September 15th, 2011
9:50 am

@ JOD to be honest their not that loud yet as they have only just started crowing. So far our loudest is our bantam Orpington and he only crows, for now, once or twice in the morning. The bantam Cochins sound like a dog’s squeeky toy and they crow the most. I am sure that in time all of them will get louder. :-)

So far (thankfully), all of them have really good personalities. Some roos can become really agressive and can be dangerous to have around.

paige

September 15th, 2011
10:02 am

Global Warming is a farce. The very “scientist” who did the studies, wrote the papers and teamed up with Al Gore have since admitted to false data and manipulation of facts for political and monetary gains. But you sheep still think we have something to do with the natural and periodic changes this planet experiences. Nice try with your “98 percent” of people believe in global warming statement though.

motherjanegoose

September 15th, 2011
10:08 am

I lived on a cattle ranch as a girl…so NO we are not vegan. We also grew most of our vegetables and some fruits.We also had barred rock chickens that would lay brown eggs. I respect those who have a passion about most things and are disciplined enough to follow through but vegan is not for us.

Thanks for the birthday wishes friends! I am having a quiet day alone in Montana and heading to a meeting later today.

lurker

September 15th, 2011
10:40 am

So what do you think will happen to all the cows, pigs, etc. if we all stopped eating meat today? Do you think they would live healthy, long lives? NO. They would resort to killing each other. How do you vegans feel about that?

Laura

September 15th, 2011
10:42 am

“It’s tough to make a creamy soup without any cream! She was also making his birthday cake vegan — again icing is really tough if you’re not using dairy products.”

This statement couldn’t be further from the truth. Replace cream with soy creamer, replace milk with soy milk. How is that “really tough”?

LM

September 15th, 2011
10:49 am

Not sure I could ever completely give up meat, dariy or eggs. However, I know there is no way my husband would ever give up meat.

I am trying to become more self sustaining. I planted fruit trees and they are doing well. Garden this year did not do well and we ended up having to buy our veggies and fruits at the local farmers stands.

I finally found 4 femal goats to breed with our 2 billies, Next spring/summer I should be able to collect milk and make cheese. I am hoping to get a chicken coop set up this next summer. Have been thinking about adding a few cows and a bull. Not sure I am ready for them.

I can see us becoming more fresh foods and getting away from store bought processed foods. I feel if we can produce our own food we are doing better for our family then changing one processed food for another.

LM

September 15th, 2011
10:50 am

O/T Happy Birthday MJG

shaggy

September 15th, 2011
10:51 am

In celebration of this topic, I am going to use my hunting license tomorrow, dust off the archery rig, and see if I can cruelly, with blood running out of the heart-shot I intend to take, harvest a deer.
Yes, that’s right, a deer, hopefully a doe for tenderness, which I will gut and hang in a cooler for about 10 days. Then, I will carefully, skin it, reserving the hide for curing/tanning, with a process borrowed from the first nations, who weren’t vegans either. I will either use or give the skin away for many useful purposes, and put that god awful, evil, but lean, meat into the freezer, except for the tenderloin, which gets cooked and eaten straight away.
Also, I might add, when I do harvest a deer, as part of the field dress, I will partake of the fresh, bloody, liver, and thank the animal that will sustain me and my family.

Bella

September 15th, 2011
10:52 am

@ Patricia

“Anyone who thinks vegans are pansies is just ignorant of the facts.”

Bless your heart, my post “veggies are for pansies” was a joke! You “vegans” are taking this stuff way too seriously. lighten up. You are not going to convince or convert anyone here with the fire and brimstone approach you are taking. In fact, you guys are kind of throwing gas on the flames with your lectures looking down your nose at us “everything in moderation”, “normal” folk!

jarvis

September 15th, 2011
10:54 am

Pigs and cows would resort to killing each other? That’s pretty funny.

HB

September 15th, 2011
11:09 am

Anyone else notice how those complaining about “preachy” vegans seem to have written the preachiest, most condescending posts today? Most of the vegans have simply shared their own family practices and provided tips and resources for those families who want to try to go vegan. Just an observation from a pescetarian… :)

jarvis

September 15th, 2011
11:10 am

No HB. I have not noticed that.

justmy2cents

September 15th, 2011
11:15 am

LOL @ Shaggy

There’s room for all god’s creatures….right next to the mashed potatoes, right?!

Bella

September 15th, 2011
11:28 am

@ HB

So you don’t think that one poster possibily using six different (male) names doesn’t come off as “preachy”?

Tonya C.

September 15th, 2011
11:29 am

Does this mother WANT to do this? Can her budget handle it?

I want no part of veganism or vegetarianism. I LOVE being am omnivore and plan to remain that way until I leave this earth, and if I get to eat in heaven I will be one there too. Those lifestyles require CONSTANT planning of meals and where to eat that I have no interest in putting in. I despise limiting food groups and only eating certain things.

Dan

September 15th, 2011
11:36 am

Vegetable haters! at least my food has a chance to run, vegetables are sitting ducks (pun intended) stuck there in the ground. But seriously regarding families, it is the parents responsibility to provide proper nutrition for their children, I suspect doing so as a vegan is challenging, since it is not a biologically normal human diet, but it can be done. I just hope noone taking that path will expect public entities to start providing vegan options.

Mary

September 15th, 2011
11:44 am

Becoming a vegan is very easy. Please watch http://www.SupremeMasterTV.com
Go to Shows, Click Healthy Living and on page one scrolls down to watch video # 135

Title: Starting Right with a Vegan Diet : Advice for Moms and Babies.

It is a Free Constructive Programming for a Peaceful World. It offer vegan recipe and vegan cooking shows from around the world, also many interesting topics and stories that are very useful to everyday lives. Enjoy.

Patricia

September 15th, 2011
11:49 am

Shaggy said: “Wouldn’t it suck to be an arrogant, “preaching” vegan, which constistutes most of them…”

Arrogance has nothing to do with it. Meat-eating is a moral issue in the same way that cheating, stealing, and polluting the environment are all moral issues. It is not simply a food choice, where you prefer meat and I prefer veggies. Moral issues are usually issues that affect or harm others and meat-eating harms animals and the environment. If you believe that moral issues are just a matter of personal choice, then you’d have to say that putting thieves in jail or ostracizing liars from your circle of friends is being “arrogant.” Of course that is silly. Most people accept that some things are morally wrong and that it is perfectly proper for society (and individuals) to try and change bad behavior in society.

HB

September 15th, 2011
11:55 am

Bella, if the posts are by different people (and I think they are, but who knows), then no, most of the individuals are not preachy. If they are all written by one person, then you are pointing out a single preachy individual who in my opinion is outnumbered.

If a family wants to go vegan, I say go for it. Sure there are specific nutritional needs that will have to be more carefully watched, but it’s not like eating meat doesn’t have it drawbacks, such as typically higher levels of saturated fat, that need to be managed too.

Peachy Vegan

September 15th, 2011
11:56 am

“Eet mor veggies, Atlanta!,” as the cows would say. OF COURSE families can go vegan, more easily and deliciously than ever before. It’s healthier for you (far less disease and obesity), kinder to the animals and doesn’t harm the planet the way meat-eating does. Join the Vegetarian Society of Georgia (www.vegsocietyofga.org) and the Atlanta vegetarian Meet-Up (meat out?) group, and try the great recipes at http://www.vegfamily.com. Even if it’s just a meal or two a week, you’ll try new things and dispel all those silly myths about vegan living.

Oscar Greasemanelli

September 15th, 2011
12:06 pm

It is not simply a food choice, where you prefer meat and I prefer veggies

Yes it is simply a choice. You are not being forced by any means to avoid eating meat.

You are doing so on your own.

Morality has nothing to do with eating meat. I do not condone the cruel treatment of animals by any means.

However, you attempt at claiming “morality” is without merit.

Oscar Greasemanelli

September 15th, 2011
12:08 pm

And another thing, if you eat vegetables, you’re condoning the death of living creatures, right?

Plants are living creatures. Therefore to eat vegetables you condone killing a living organism.

And, whoops! So much for that “morality” argument.

veganf

September 15th, 2011
12:16 pm

Yeah, a family cab be vegan. It’s not difficult. I’ve been vegan for almost 20 years, have 4 vegan kids, and I highly doubt we “look” like vegans “from a mile away”. That’s just whacked. We’re pretty average people…kids go to public school, we’re good examples IMO but we don’t “preach” anything, we just do our best. We eat some faux meats, but eat largely produce from our local CSA. B12? Very easy to get…and being vegan during 4 pregnancies and breastfeeding certainly didn’t cause any “neurological disorders”…the two older kids are gifted students, the third is a model, and they are all friendly, talkative, normal people. I think some people spend too much time looking for something wrong with what they don’t understand. IMO the Paleo diet or WAPF cult are largely made up of people determined to justify their meat addiction.

shaggy

September 15th, 2011
12:18 pm

Maybe, instead of going hunting deer, I will just lie in wait, on a cool morning, for a………………….carrot. They are easier to kill, with one whack, you humanely send it to carrot heaven.

Nah…I’m going hunting, and just cook the carrot with the roast venison. Apples are good with venison roast too and are just as easy to stalk, and a tree stand in an apple tree, puts you close to your quarry.

shaggy

September 15th, 2011
12:22 pm

veganf,

“IMO the Paleo diet or WAPF cult are largely made up of people determined to justify their meat addiction.”

You know, I was OK with your post, until you just had to climb up on your high pedestal to preach that.
THAT is why people like me will continue to torment veg heads like you. Yes, you are a bunch of arrogant chumps.

robert

September 15th, 2011
12:25 pm

@Tallmom – i’d suggest you’re not meeting enough vegans because here’s what i look like when i take my shirt off: the link to the pic of my pale, weak body is awaiting moderation (for bloody ever!) but i’m certain it has more to do with cycling 100 plus miles per week, and lifting weights than it does being vegan. But according to your logic you have to listen to my dietary advice if i look healthier than you right? or maybe you might want to listen to these pasty vegan waifs: i removed the link – also awaiting moderation forever, but you can view the page by searching for ‘vegan bodybuilding; then clicking on the ‘profiles’ page

if professional athletes including the world powerlifting record holder for bench press, and mac danzig (mma fighter) whose nutritional requirements are probably close to 3 times that of a normal fit person can easily fuel their top-level performance on a vegan diet surely your average person can REALY easily meet their measly nutritional requirements.

shaggy

September 15th, 2011
12:26 pm

Patricia,

Don’t give me that crap. I am omnivourous, healthy enough to climb mountains, and eat meat because it tastes AWESOME. I can say the same for tomatoes…they taste AWESOME. That is why I eat them together in foods…to make it taste AWESOME.

Bella

September 15th, 2011
12:27 pm

I think vegan “Patricia” takes the “preachy” award. We meat eaters are immoral, liars and cheaters in her viewpoint. Alrighty, then! :)

All this talk of food has me hungry! Bella is off to Chick fil a for a spicy sandwich and a peach milkshake (before they are gone for the season).

Vegans: Are the pickles on a Chick fil a sandwich considered a vegtable?

Lady Strange

September 15th, 2011
12:31 pm

@shaggy – save some of that venison for me! Yummy!

Stookie

September 15th, 2011
1:05 pm

I am a part time veegan. I still eat eggs once a week and eat chicken or steak maybe once a month, not for nutritional reason, only because i like the taste. It’s a healthier lifestyle, bottom line. Store bought meats, chicken, dairy have so much crap in them, you would eat less of it if you knew what you were actually eating. But to each his own. I hate veegan thumpers who preach as I hate meat eaters who look at me like I am stupid. I am healthy, I run marathons, lift weights and have realized after years of being in shape, your diet is a huge part of your health.

Stookie

September 15th, 2011
1:07 pm

@ Shaggy-that deer you will kill is alot cleaner than the meat you will get at Kroger

jarvis

September 15th, 2011
1:31 pm

I squashed a bug in my kitchen this morning. I could have taken it outside, but it would have taken an extra few seconds, and I had to get back to making coffee.

Tonya C.

September 15th, 2011
1:54 pm

Shaggy and Jarvis tie for the most hilarious comments today.

Tonya C.

September 15th, 2011
1:55 pm

And I truly mean that. I love meat and am stunned by being called immoral for doing what man has done for thousands of years.

JOD

September 15th, 2011
1:56 pm

@Bella – Of course that pickle is a veggie. Just like the peach milkshake is a fruit :o)

@shaggy – Is 10 days all that is needed to cure/age venison? A friend has offered venison in the past, and we’re thinking of taking him up next time. I’ve heard venison needs to be aged, but don’t know anything about it…

JOD

September 15th, 2011
2:00 pm

@jarvis – Was it a house centipede? Even PETA members kill those…

Scott Garnett (16yr.+ vegan)

September 15th, 2011
3:28 pm

It’s refreshing to see an article like this being published and discussed. The real problem is that too any people focus too much time on proving each other wrong than having any real and productive conversation. Being vegan isn’t hard. It’s as simple as viewing and preparing meals outside of what you’ve known. It’s 2011. There are no shortages of cookbooks and online sites such as http://www.vegewb.com that contain endless healthy, easy to make, vegan recipes to suit even the pickiest of eaters and the hardest-core meat eaters. Arguing about which diet or lifestyle is the best is counter-productive. There is simply nothing that your body needs that MUST come from an animal source. The real conversation shouldn’t be, “You have to get this from animals!” but rather “What are my other options to source what my body needs?” If an unbalanced, unhealthy diet is recreated in a vegan way, it can be just as unhealthy and in some cases even more so. We must all approach our diets in a new and exciting light. In addition, vegans do a disservice by imposing this “all or nothing” approach. No one wants to be attacked for how they live their lives. And no good comes from doing so. Cook vegan for your non-vegan friends. Suggest they try a vegan meal once a week, then twice, then so on. Believe me, showing them everything a vegan diet has to offer will be infinitely more effective than arguing why eating meat is “dumb” or why they are “enlightened”. That’s just absurd. Guide more. Argue less.

Gordon Kelley

September 15th, 2011
3:42 pm

Tonya wrote: “I love meat and am stunned by being called immoral for doing what man has done for thousands of years.”

I believe I was the one who made the immoral comment, and wish to clarify. Although I do not speak for all vegans, I was NOT calling meat eating immoral on principle. That is a debate that is unlikely to ever be settled.

My original post and continued primary motivation for veganism is to point out that choices which do not involve funding the continued intense suffering of animals in large agribusiness factory farm operations are morally superior to choices that turn a blind eye to such evil in the name of a tasty meal.

It’s not the eating of meat per se that’s immoral — it’s paying to support the cruelty inherent in corporate animal-raising processes designed to maximize economy of scale and profit that’s immoral. This is a key distinction in this discussion and the major reason I’m a vegan.

I’ve said it many times and will repeat it here: compassionate people should avoid buying animal products from factory farms. If you can, purchase your meat and dairy from small farmers who truly treat their animals well.

Vegan cookbook suggestions: “Vegan with a Vengeance” by Isa Moskowitz, “Vegan Soul Kitchen” by Bryant Terry, and “The Modern Vegetarian Kitchen” by Peter Berley. It’s easy to eat well and be vegan.

jarvis

September 15th, 2011
3:44 pm

@JOD, crazy enough…it was…and I’m not kidding.
You’re zoned in today.

JOD

September 15th, 2011
3:54 pm

@jarvis – Too funny. I just got one with the vacuum cleaner yesterday and your post reminded me of it. Spiders go outside here, but those things gross me out…they are wicked fast and creepy to boot.

Two Vegan Boys

September 15th, 2011
4:21 pm

Our family is vegan. We have two young boys who are very healthy, happy, and vegan. It can be done. http://www.twoveganboys.wordpress.com

shaggy

September 15th, 2011
4:42 pm

JOD,

Yes, 10 days in a 38 degree cooler will set you free. Never eat venison fresh cut, unless you are starving, or just have some vegans that you want to pi$$ off and not time to cure your meat.
It takes the gamey taste down several notches, and naturally tenderizes the meat.

AJ

September 15th, 2011
6:35 pm

OK people – I’m the mom wanting to go vegan. First of all while I am not crazy about the way animals are treated especially in this country, that is not my primary reason. Our family was already only eating organic sustainably produced animal products. I already cook nearly everything from scratch – I could count on one hand the number of times I bought bread in the grocery store this year. I just want to feed my family the healthiest diet possible. I am not preaching and really don’t care what you do in your house. I will let my kids eat cake and pizza at parties and when we go out they eat an occasional chicken nugget. I just want to control what goes into their mouths when I am making it and because we don’t eat out often that is probably 95% of what they eat. While we can argue of the environmental and animal cruelty aspects of veganism, I am more concerned with health. I don’t think there are many who could argue that the Western diet high in animal products and processed foods is making people fat and killing people with cancer and heart disease.

AJ

September 15th, 2011
6:54 pm

By the way, I am not ungreatful – thanks to all who gave my ideas and links – I will check them out!!

OTOH

September 16th, 2011
12:44 am

AJ: Sounds to me like you are already doing a great job feeding your family healthy food and a healthy attitude about food and about other people. You are also a good model for the rest of us for which I thank you.

Aaron

September 16th, 2011
6:55 am

The argument for veganism as an environmental choice is an absolute strawman.

Food production connected to a population of 8 billion people will necessarily be a strain on the environment. The effects of mass agriculture and mass animal operations are very similar. This is an over-population problem, not a meat problem.

If all agriculture were to be non-GMO, organic and sustainable tomorrow, the earth would lose half its population within three months. Mass food production is a condition of mass over-population.

Second, raising meat in a sustainable way is no harder on the environment than sustainably raising vegetables.

It takes 1000’s of gallons of water to raise a CAFO cow because of all the CORN that needs to be grown to feed it a grain-based (unnatural) diet. Methane emissions from cows are a direct result of them not eating grass but instead being fed a “franken-diet” for which nature never intended. (Much like humans consuming a ton of soy to make up for missing parts of their diets).

A paleo diet using organic and grassfed products is far better for the environment than a vegan diet using conventional produce. There’s nothing quite as environmentally backward as the uniculture of commerical ag, with acres and acres of land where only a single species is allowed to exist – no bugs, no other kinds of plants, no animals, a ton of toxic chemicals all over the place and the crop in the field being built in a lab.

Bottom line, it is the meat eating of our evolutionary ancestors which allow modern, cultured urbanites to make the scientifically backward decision to go Vegan. If those up the chain had decided similarly, humans wouldn’t be here and what humanoids were on the planet would have tiny brains. These are facts.

Want to eat as healthy as possible? Me, too. That’s why I live primally. I eat diet where the majority of my calories come from fat and protein but eat a ton of vegetables, some fruit, nuts and seeds.

Please don’t feed your kids (especially your male kids) a ton of unhealthy soy under the guise of health. Allow them to eat the diet humans were designed to eat until they’re 18 and then let them do whatever they want. I believe it’s our obligation as parents.

Clearly, no one in the world is arguing that humans were designed to be vegans.

HB

September 16th, 2011
10:43 am

AJ, if your primary concern is health, then personally, I think going vegan is unnecessary. I agree that the typical western meat-heavy diet is unhealthy, and have been either vegetarian or pescetarian for years (both for health and concerns about threatment of animals, sustainability, etc). But I don’t think for health reasons that it has to be an all or nothing choice, and vegan doesn’t always mean healthier. For example, there are studies that indicate too much processed soy can be harmful, so I’ve made a choice to stick with organic skim milk from pasture-fed cows rather than switch to soymilk, and I only eat tofu occasionally. How often does your family currently eat meat? Maybe you should start by cutting back to having meat with only a few meals each week, find good plant-based protein sources for the other meals (quinoa, whole grains, beans, nuts), and don’t sweat it it if there’s a little cheese on something here and there. I disagree with those who say veganism isn’t healthy, but at the same time, I don’t think it’s always healthier than other choices.

Lucy

September 16th, 2011
11:30 am

Interested in veganism or a vegetarian lifestyle? Visit http://www.chooseveg.com for more info!

MrLiberty

September 16th, 2011
4:42 pm

Its amazing to see (and experience first hand) the reactions of people who eat meat when confronted by the mere presence of a vegetarian/vegan. The reactions are almost always the same – justification/denial/rationalization. They almost always take the form of “well I haven’t eaten red meat in x years”, “I only eat chicken”, “I couldn’t survive without meat”, etc. It is humorous to see similar reactions in this blog. Eat the way you want. Just realize that my tax dollars are going to subsidize the meat, dairy, and conventional agriculture industries in this country and massive amounts of animal waste are polluting underground water systems and contaminating vegetable farm land all over this country and the costs and health hazards are being borne by vegetarians who have never sought to take any money from you or tried to restrict your eating habits (yes, plenty of animal rights groups do, but that is not most vegetarians/vegans). So it is your choice, but your choice places a significant burden on the rest of us both in health costs and financially so it is certainly not neutral nor are YOU being asked to pick up those costs through higher prices, etc. (in fact, just the opposite).

Heather

September 16th, 2011
7:51 pm

Going vegan was easy, there are TOO many faux things out there to help with the process & not shock the meat system. However, if you get beyond that *we have* you will want to eat far more less processed stuff, and more on the whole raw vegan stuff–I’m celiac, sensitive to everything unnatural cept like gluten free sushi rice & a few other things here & there.. so I’m mainly raw vegan now, with regular vegan kids. I eat as nature intended as much as possible & cook items for them. It’s not that hard.. really. I’d suggest reading The China Study. Getting a vegan kids book.. the Idiots Guide people put one out. I’d read up on What B12 issues are & aren’t. Most people with B12 issues are meat eaters, or folks with a digestive issue, such as celiacs or chrohns. We only need 3 micrograms of B12 a day, and I get mine from the source: I assume I absorb some via gardening, spirulina & kombucha.

Jessica

September 17th, 2011
9:52 am

I have been reading the comments that people are leaving to be in very poor taste. The original author asked about ways to make the transition to veganism easier for a family. If that isn’t your thing, then fine…she didn’t ask for YOUR opinion on how to best feed your family. Can we stay on topic here? BTW, as a family of celiacs, I find it insulting to hear people talk about the “weird mom bringing her own cake” or the “fake food.” We are a whole foods family and have found wonderful alternatives to gluten. Please be respectful of things that you aren’t familiar with.

My children eat meat twice a week and the rest of the time we eat plant based foods. My kids who are 6, 4, and 1 love beans, lentils, and tofu.

Ed

September 17th, 2011
2:22 pm

I would recommend reading the book, “The Vegetarian Myth” by Lierre Keith, a reformed vegan of 20 years.

For something to live, something else dies. Monocrop agriculture is an environmental disaster. Growing grains for food displaces animals from their habitat and destroys what is living in the field so it does not compete with the crop. Topsoil is depleted and water resources are wasted. If you want to save the environment, eliminate monocrop agriculture and return to the natural rhythm of farming. Meat, dairy, eggs, and fish from animals raised in a humane and natural way takes much less resources than factory farmed meats that utilize grains for food.

Sheldon

September 17th, 2011
5:42 pm

Veganism is not “cruelty free.” It’s a childish, Disney-esque lifestyle that simply makes people FEEL like they’re helping themselves and the environment. The truth is, millions of animals are displaced from farmland every year as we need to grow more and more fruits and vegetables to feed a nation that is already overpopulated. If these people really wanted to contribute to a “cruelty-free” world, they’d STOP HAVING CHILDREN. But I haven’t met a single “vegan” who was willing to go THAT far. If you want more facts about this lunacy, check out Skeptoid.com

godless heathen

September 17th, 2011
6:55 pm

If too many humans go vegan or vegetarian billions will starve to death. The ungulates have evolved to best transform plants to protein. Yes you can survive on plants, but it is very inefficient.

My former Doctor told me not to eat meat or dairy products. I asked, “What about eggs?”
He said, “I said, no dairy.”
I said, “So you missed school the day they took the field trip to the dairy.”

Bad news for all of you vegans. Just by living, you are killing billions of sweet little critters in your gut every second. Do you have no compassion for these guys that die so that you can live?

I prefer to spend my time here enjoying life and good food. Well the charcoal is almost ready for me to throw some meat on the grill.

godless heathen

September 17th, 2011
6:59 pm

And Aaron, if you would check out the world wouldn’t be so overpopulated.

Folks like Aaron seem to believe that the world had just the right number of people the day they were born and everyone that came after that is just screwing it up.

Glenn

September 17th, 2011
7:35 pm

Quote from Mom’s friend – “If she goes too far into LEFT field the kids won’t eat . . . ”

She got the far LEFT part right.

Fred

September 17th, 2011
8:30 pm

If oit’s not to late to comment and answer your question Theresa:

We did a vegetarian diet years ago to lose weight. We were successful. When buying cook books, I bought a vegan one by a woman named Lorna Sass. It has some really awesome recipes that I use to this day, even though we are not vegan. Vegan is a political statement, not a diet. funny how you posted this blog on the same day (I think) that those weirdo vegan parents had their conviction upheld for starving their new born to death. Somehow they thought that soy milk was going to grow their child. Go figure. Like I said, it’s a political statement, not a dirt. But any way, here is a link to Lorna. (You should get one of her books as well. like I said, some very tasty recipies. Her hopping john salad is one of the best I’ve ever eaten or made…….)

http://www.lornasass.com/

Fred

September 17th, 2011
8:32 pm

Bonannie

September 17th, 2011
8:40 pm

I’m as animal loving and green as they come but realistically, as a homosapien it just doesn’t make sense, so….. H___ to the NO!

Sarah Waller

September 17th, 2011
8:46 pm

Um. No. Way too extreme — we are not huge meat eaters around here but. no. We appreciate protein from meat too much.

www.LittleVoyages.com

September 19th, 2011
2:02 pm

For the families should both have the vegetables and meat.That will be more healthy! The best suggestion is that you can bring your babies to Little Voyages to learn Chinese,French and Spanish.You can visit their website:www.LittleVoyage.com,or call (855)-my-voyage, or (855)-698-6924.It is such an amazing palce to learn different languages.

Brooke

September 21st, 2011
1:17 am

I think every vegan transitions a little bit differently. For a family already using natural products and staying away from processed foods I would recommend looking for recipes online. Especially raw food recipes (I know there is a good vegan raw food icing recipe that involves coconut oil) which sounds intimidating but are often much better then processed vegan alternatives when it comes to raw “cheeses” and also really a great source of vitamins and protein. Raw foods are also more fun for kids because they are colorful and sweet. I can’t get my kid to eat fake meat, but she will always drink a bright pink smoothie made with strawberries even if it isn’t that sweet or a entire container of tomatoes in one sitting. As far as nutrition for kids getting healthy fats is really important (another reason why I like raw foods, recipes incorporate lots of avocado and olive oil) as well as B12 which is in multi-vitamins and usually fortified in foods like nut milks.