What is a vegan?
I have written about this before in my post “We are ALL Vegans!” Feel free to stop reading this post and go back and read the previous article–the content is different and it might offer another view that speaks to your heart.
I’m horrible at history. As a homeschool mom–history and geography are my worst subjects personally, but I like teaching them because I learn so much. The downside of history is that everyone has their own viewpoint about it. I have a friend , a history loving guy, that has so much passion about the subject–I learn from him. He often begins by saying “well, that’s a complicated question.” carefully explaining the many layers of war and peace.
The history of veganism is no different. The “father” of veganism is Donald Watson. His story is really interesting. Google him. I’ve read many, many articles about Mr. Watson and this quote from him sums up his philosophy:
“The theory is if we live on pure foods and pure thoughts and all the right ideas, we become more receptive.”
I love the message of Donald Watson. Let’s think about his words–if we live on pure foods. Ok, so that means we make a choice to eat whole foods and not a bunch of stuff that is crap. That would be step 1.
Step 2: Pure thoughts and the right ideas. Sooooo . . . this is “complicated” as my friend says! What makes a pure thought when it comes to food? Or, a right idea? I could be burned at the stake for some of my “right” ideas.
Compassion, intention, love, kindness, harmony, that sounds a lot like the Fruits of the Spirit. Which are love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. I think we could all agree on that? Maybe?
This is Mr. Watson’s definition of veganism. He sort of breaks it into two camps–dietary vegan and ethical vegan.
The word “veganism”denotes a philosophy and way of living which seeks to exclude — as far as is possible and practical — all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose; and by extension, promotes the development and use of animal-free alternatives for the benefit of humans, animals and the environment. In dietary terms it denotes the practice of dispensing with all products derived wholly or partly from animals.
Pick one or don’t
Really? Do we need to pick one? No. We could just say that we eat a plant based diet. Or you could say that you are 98% vegan. I use the term vegan because it immediately lets someone know that I’m serious about the topic. I also do it to ruffle a few feathers . . . no animals were hurt in my attempts to ruffle the figurative feathers. When I say that I’m vegan, I am bombarded with lots and lots of questions–which I love to answer.
Two Kinds of Seekers
I have discovered that there are two kinds of information seekers. People who are actually interested in the answer to their question–about how much protien I’m eating and the opposite. Those people who don’t give a crap about my answer but rather have the agenda of telling me what my answer should be.
Seeker 1: But I NEED to drink milk if I’m going to get enough calcium and protein. Right?
Me: Well, how much calcium do you need? How much protein do you need?
Seeker 1: I don’t know.
Me: Hhhhmmm. Why don’t we figure out what you need and THEN figure out how you can get it. It is like traveling–you need to have an idea of where you are going before you can get there.
Seeker 2: My kids drink 4 gallons of milk a week! They need their calcium and protein from milk. It is cheap and they love it! Are you telling me your kids don’t drink any milk?
Me: Wow, that is a lot of information and questions. Yes, I am telling you my family of 6 uses a 1/2 gallon of organic milk a week. I have two cereal eaters and they drink the milk.
Seeker 2: What do they drink at meals?
Me: Water. sometimes with ice
Seeker 2: My kids would never drink water–they love milk.
Seeker 2: I could never afford 4 gallons of organic milk a week.
Me: Could you afford free water that comes from the faucet and less milk?
Seeker 2: But where will they get their calcium?
Me: How much calcium do they need . . .
More often than not I have the same conversation over and over again . . . except that one conversation takes longer. Or it doesn’t happen at all. Sometimes just the thought of me not giving my kids milk is enough for them to think I’m crazy and just walk away. I’m ok with that. I’m a compassionate, respectful vegan.
I’m a Reneegan!
I eat loads of plants. I love plants. I love the colors in beans, veggies, fruits. In the end you could call me plant based, a vegan, a vegetarian or . . .
you could just call me a Reneegan. I eat what makes my heart sing and my soul dance. I want you to do the same. I want you to be happy in your own choices. I want us both to honor and respect our individual choices.