Thursday, May 29, 2008

Vegan for the Future

I am a flip flopper. I have flip flopped between many eating regimes in the past. My longest was when I was vegetarian for 8 years. I, similarly to most humans, like the taste of meat and I drool over a prize cut of steak sizzling on the grill. However I know from my brief year as a vegan, that whilst my taste buds earn for the taste of meat, my body actually prefers not to eat meat or dairy. I was happiest when I had the discipline to eat vegan and practice yoga, both things that I have strayed from - my blasted taste buds get me every time!

I have been reading headlines about the world food shortage and feeling guilty. My Western lifestyle in the hedonistic wasteful land of America has undoubtedly contributed to the rise in fuel costs that have subsequently driven food prices up. Yet my, small fuel efficient car is not the only culprit. I know from my time as a vegan that eating grains, nuts, legumes, vegetables and fruit places significantly less stress on our fragile planet than eating meat everyday. I have followed my errant taste buds to the wasteful place of eating meat often and daily, and I feel guilty.

I am not advocating that everyone become vegan but I am hoping more people become less addicted to the notion of meat everyday. ( I see the irony of such a statement when I am moving to Houston, Texas for the summer .... Texans giving up meat ....?). I feel even more guilty as I really should be vegan because I feel much better physically as well as spiritually, eating that way. Giving up meat, or seriously curtailing the amount you eat, is now more than ever, a political statement. It says that I am unwilling to take an unfair portion of the worlds resources just to satisfy the cravings of my errant taste buds.
I need to do this for my health, for my peace of mind and because whilst I give up meat there will be someone in China adding more meat to their plate. So maybe my effort will at least help balance the status quo.

This time it will be more challenging for me. When I was vegan I didn't know I was allergic to gluten (celiac). I now do ... I'm going to have to be very disciplined but I know it will be worth it.


abritdifferent said...

Did you know that a higher majority of people with gluten allergies come from the UK? I learned that when I went to a gastro doc about 6 years ago.

I applaud you for wanting to do this again. It would take a serious amount of decision making to get to that point, I am sure. I watch You Are What You Eat frequently and see how cutting down on red meat can benefit the body. I've made an effort with my little family to cut down on it a lot. For instance, my 3 year old and 16 m/o eat turkey sausages and love them.

I wish things were different with pricing, it is sooo hard to be 100% healthy and be economical too. The good stuff is always pricey.

Mo said...

Good luck, Kirsty. I gave up dairy a few years ago and don't miss it (except cheese!).

I have similar thoughts when looking round the supermarket. How can we have such an abundance of rubbishy food on sale when so many countries have so little.

I think rising fuel and energy costs are going to make us think again about our consumer habits.

Meryl said...

I think moderation is the way to go. After a year of vegetarianism myself, I now limit my meat intake to just a few dinners a week. And because I eat less meat I can afford to buy nicer meat (local, free-range, etc.) which also helps with the guilt thing!