If you’ve been following me on Facebook for the past 15 years or so, you would see that I write hundreds of posts per year like this one.
The reason why I share my food publicly online is so that the greatest number of people possible can get some inspiration from it. I fully understand that just one person refusing to consume any animal products doesn’t accomplish anything more for the animals compared to if that person had died.
It’s not enough for less than 3% of the population to carefully monitor their own food, clothing, shoes, medicines, and every other purchase, to make sure that no minor or major component / ingredient ever came from an animal.
That’s what a lot of people think they are signing up for when they go vegan, and it’s a real shame. Why? Because … although that is a nice symbolic gesture for those who want to do it, it doesn’t do diddly squat for helping animals.
The reality is that billions of chickens and trillions of fish and other aquatic creatures are killed every year, for food for people in the USA, which is where I live. This doesn’t count the billions and trillions of animals that are harmed for people living in other parts of the Americas as well as in other parts of the world..
The scale at which animals are harmed is so massive that indeed, the personal consumer choices of just one person are not enough to show up on the radar of anyone who is in the food industry, making decisions about how many animals will be harmed in future cycles.
Veganism has been around for more than 70 years, and unfortunately, it has not taken off. To be quite honest, I think that the emphasis of being so strict about participating in a total boycott of anything related to animal products, once you so-called “see the light,” with regards to how animals are harmed, has actually backfired.
I totally understand why people end up going that way, (being super strict) because …
– People are afraid of being called hypocrites if they aren’t so-called “consistent.” They could be accused of not truly caring about the animals.
– People find it easier to just do the same thing all the time and stick to a routine of never ever consuming any animal products or never ever buying a car with leather seats etc.
– People find that they are grossed out by the thought of touching leather or silk or eating something that may have been contaminated by animal products. With food, it can be similar to an eating disorder, and it’s very common.
– Aside from the psychological aspects, some digestive distress could occur (doesn’t always occur) when one eats foods that they are not used to eating.
– On top of that, people’s taste buds change, and sometimes they truly prefer to eat their vegan or vegetarian, meatless food over anything else.
All of this is perfectly understandable. Nonetheless, I think that the strict approach has not been helpful for animals.
There are many reasons, but one of the important ones, I believe, is this: people quite understandably do not want to be required to pass up on perfectly good, nutritious, healthy food, when it’s available.
Meanwhile, vegan and vegetarians sometimes DO FEEL obligated to pass up on whatever food that’s available because it doesn’t meet their standards. That wouldn’t be a problem except that when other people see this (that the vegan or vegetarian is going hungry and saying “well, I’ll find something else to eat later”), they sometimes see it as lamentable or even a little bit stupid. As a result, they don’t want any part of it.
In addition, people don’t want to acquire what essentially amounts to a voluntary, self-imposed food allergy, if a person can no longer eat good, nutritious food that contains animal products simply because it is no longer appetizing to them.
With my posts here on this blog, It have 4 main goals:
1. To show people that delicious, satisfying/decadent and/or nutritious and/or accessible and affordable, more animal friendly options may very well be possible for them
2. To highlight the fact that more animal friendly options as noted above are indeed not available everywhere and at all times so people who claim that it’s easy to be totally vegan are living in a bubble. In other words, the people who claim that there’s no excuse not to be Vegan are actually being jerks … that is, they are being inconsiderate of other people and their real-life situation.
3. To highlight the advantages and pitfalls, nutritionally, of more animal-friendly and/or vegan options, as compared to other more commonly available animal-based options, so that people can choose more animal-friendly options without compromising their health.
4. To show people that you do not actually need to strictly follow a vegan diet or a meatless, vegetarian diet … Or to do any one particular thing strictly at all … if you want to help animals.
Actually, this applies to most things that we want to accomplish with our collective action, including reducing our impact on the environment. It’s not necessary to very strictly avoid taking showers for example, to reduce water usage. Instead one could reduce the shower time from 20 minutes to 8 minutes, or one could decide to take a shower just once a week instead of daily or twice a day, as some examples.
“Spit baths” in between for daily touch up are great and use barely any water at all! Not even 16 ounces of water for a “spit bath,” that’s a huge reduction from the typical 30 gallons for a shower. If you don’t know what a spit bath is, look it up, it has nothing to do with using your own spit! Ha ha!
Very rarely would it have to be “all or nothing,” which it comes to making personal choices to show support for a cause you care about.
If you want the food industry to stop killing billions of chickens in the USA every year and trillions of aquatic creatures, as an example, you don’t need to go strictly vegan or vegetarian. If the majority of the population were to find meatless, vegan or more animal-friendly alternatives for some of their favorite meals and reduce the their consumption of animal products by 50%, that would make a huge positive difference.
I believe this type of positive, incremental change is already happening with the growth of the reducetarian movement and even the concept of going veganish. Indeed, it doesn’t have to be all or nothing.
Thankfully, the animals are not relying only on the 2% of the population who are willing to go vegan, the other 98% can be a powerful force, too! In fact, the 98% of people who are not vegan can be a much more powerful force than the 2%, based on the numbers!
Now back to the original topic of this post … my food today! My husband is not feeling well today so he has been in bed all day, and on top of that, it has been a very rainy day. It has been a long time since we had a day where it rained all day long in San Francisco.
Our furnace broke down a couple of weeks ago and we have not yet figured out how to fix it. It was rather cold today so I heated up some water in this little plastic tub and spent a few hours sitting in 100° temperature out on the deck!
By the way, I have a garden hose attached to the tub, so when I’m done, I use the water for the garden … no water wasted. For any of the judgey people out there, and I know you’re out there. Ha! I hate to disappoint you, but I’m wholesome as heck! LOL!
My husband brought me some white bean and sweet potato, white potato, spinach soup to eat while I was sitting in my little “hot tub.” (Poor man’s hot tub, I guess you could say!)
(That’s just a common phrase for a cheap solution… I’m not poor at the moment, to be clear … the reality is that I don’t want tú mess with an actual hot tub so this little tub with hot water in it works for me!)
After the hot soak, I came inside to our chilly house (probably 50 degrees Fahrenheit inside, nothing disastrous) and heated up this beyond Italian sausage in a nonstick skillet. I sliced it up and enjoyed it over Indian chickpea rice with broccoli and this accidentally vegan (J believe it’s vegan … Readers, you can check the ingredient label to verify) creamy roasted garlic sauce by HELLMAN’s. Hellmann’s is a brand in the USA that is known for its mayonnaise, but they do make a vegan mayonnaise now.
Delicious, nutritious, TOTALLY VEGAN (I believe) meal, and guess what … I eat this way, as my normal thing, even though I am absolutely willing to eat meat or cheese or eggs or any other animal product, when suitable vegan options are not available. This is something that I hope everyone in the world can understand and see.
You can indeed choose vegan or more animal friendly options when they work for you and not worry about it for the times when it doesn’t work out.