Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Almost a Vegan..

I struggle everyday because I know that being a Vegan is the only way I can reconcile what is happening in this world. I am so against animal suffering and have been a lifelong vegetarian, but that's not enough. Unfortunately I seem to cave when it comes to cheese. All types, cottage cheese, hard cheese, soft cheese.

I seem to do great, then fall off the wagon.

I'm back on as of 3 days ago. I know that my cravings for cheese pale in comparison to how I feel about the suffering of animals. I hope I can be strong.

My family eats dairy and my husband eats meat. He claims not to "eat red meat" but will eat pig. I don't get that. I know our government has tried to convince us that Pork is the next White Meat.. bullshit I say to that. How can you eat a pig, but not a cow?

Then I have to take a step back because I know that my eating dairy is as bad as eating beef or pig or any other meat.


Yesterday I made two Uncheeses.. a Horseradish "cheddar" and a Yeast based cheese for mac and cheese or whatever. I'll probably use it mixed with tofu and spinach as a stuffing for lasagna.

I'm fairly good at switching Vegan options in our food. My kids don't have a clue that cashews made up their cream sauce or tofu was the base of this or that recipe. My husband tolerates it pretty well for a man raised on the red meat made by a Jewish Mom.

I went grocery shopping this morning as was thrilled to find that only 2 items were non-vegan.. One block of dairy cheese and one gallon of dairy milk... I spent $156 and here is what I bought:

-3 lbs yellow peppers
-potted chives (to plant)
-potted spearmint (to plant)
-potted lavender (to plant)
-4 organic avocados
-3 lbs red peppers
-5 lbs vidalia onions
-8 oz tempeh
-3 lbs green peppers
-3 romaine hearts
-2 buches cilantro
-small red cabbage
-5 lbs frozen brussel sprouts
-1 gallon soymilk
-24 oz cheddar cheese (dairy)
-2 pints soy creamer
-1 gallon organic milk (dairy)
-1/2 gallon pure cranberry juice (I feel a bladder thing coming on.. this was 12 bucks that I would not normally spend)
-36 oz extra virgin olive oil
-2 boxes celestial seasoning chai tea
-72 oz organic, fair trade coffee (I'll freeze some of it)
-Cumin Seed (I usually buy this at the health food store, but needed it tonight and did not feel like making an extra trip.. it was 4.99 which is a lot more than I usually pay for it)
-24 pack of bottled water for my kids lunches
-2 loaves of 100% whole wheat bread
-2 packs baby wipes (that I soak in tea tree oil for cleaning wipes)
-Pam Spay
-12 pack of large trans fat free whole wheat tortillas
-2 loaves light whole wheat bread
-29 oz can of chickpeas
-29 oz can black beans
-15 oz can black beans
-4 pack of veggie cubes
-yellow mustard
-2 packages extra gum
-1 lb organic lentils
-1 lb organic split peas
-2 14 oz extra firm organic tofu

Some of the food I've mentioned here is organic even if I didn't list it ... but I know that I need to buy more organic foods. It's so hard to actually KNOW what you need to do, then not do it.. I have been buying a lot in bulk so I can build up an organic supply.. but it's still hard. Our groceries run us at least 600/month... going all organic would cost so much more...and frankly, I don't trust the new Government Standards on Oranics.. Big Business bought them out.. I think buying as much local as possible is the best way to remedy this... and I can't wait until the Farmer's Market is in full swing. I live in New Hampshire, so it's just beginning here.

Tonight for dinner we are having black bean and tvp burritos with homemade habanero sauce, fresh salsa, smoked tofu and quacamole along with a salad with red, yellow and green peppers with a cilantro lime vinaigrette..... then a blended drink made from lime seltzer, frozen strawberries and stevia.


  1. "Then I have to take a step back because I know that my eating dairy is as bad as eating beef or pig or any other meat."

    I'm not convinced of this. My uncles were dairy farmers and they treated their animals pretty well.

    Finding the middle path is wise. Dairy animals may be treated poorly in some instances but it certainly is not as bad as slaughtering the poor beasts.

    Pork is the worst. Pigs are slaughtered in front of other pigs which go into a paniced frenzy at the sight.

    Choose your dairy products wisely and you can loose some of the guilt. Free-range farms offer good products while giving their producers a good life. Just need to do a little research.

  2. Mark said, "Free-range farms offer good products while giving their producers a good life. Just need to do a little research."

    I wonder if everyone in the world would do the research, if there is going to be enough "ethical" eggs and cheese...

    Melody, you have a good and compassionate heart. This is my first visit here and yet I feel like I know you already because you are so transparent in this post.

    I gave up dairy before "flesh," so mine was a different struggle.

  3. About cheese. Bryanna Grogan makes some of the most magnificient vegan cheeses. Here's a link if you'd like to try one (I also find the cost of making my own a blessing!). My personal favorite is the feta which uses soy.

    Scroll down to see NEW VEGAN CHEESES.