Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Honey and Eggs

My friend Devon just sent me this blog. It’s a very good read and very hard hitting. My thoughts go out to her and I can't imagine the struggle she went through to come to her decision, but commend her for doing what was best for her body. It hurts my heart that vegans would threaten a vegan whose gone non-vegan. Doesn't that seem like a non-vegan thing to do? Devon went through something similar a few years ago. I don’t know what I would do or how I would react if health reasons meant I had to eat meat. I'm thankful being vegan for 8 years hasn't thrown me out of whack. My blood work is always very healthy and the most my doc has ever suggested is I take vitamin D supplements and even then he says it's because of where I live, not what I eat.

I've been reflecting a lot on what my "vegan" ways even mean. I think it's less meaningful and more cosmetic than most vegans would ever want to admit. The blogger goes much more into depth to illustrate this than I will here. For me, it really is as simple as not wanting to eat an animal that was once walking around, breathing and possibly had thoughts and emotions. That's really all. It’s nice to believe I've saved lives and made some huge environmental impact, but really? I'm one little person who only consumes so much. How much of a difference can I really make?

It's too bad people feel the need to judge others by what they eat. I have maybe one vegan friend and a few vegetarians, but everyone else eats meat. I've always made it a point to let people know my beliefs are my beliefs and to not impose them on anyone. I feel rare in the vegan community though because I don't and won't vegangelize and I’m open-minded to other food philosophies. I thought The China Study was a crappy book and think paleo might be a better way to go. I was there when Devon took her first bite of cheese after being vegan for a while. She looked at me with a face that said, “Please don’t hate me for doing this” and I didn’t. It felt like what she needed to do and I understood that. I'm also afraid to admit to my one vegan friend that I loves me some honey and I don't tell people (until now!) about my day of not being vegan in San Francisco because vegans and even non-vegans will judge me. I grew up Catholic. I’ve lived with enough guilt without people making me feel bad because I want a pb & honey sammich so I refuse to do it to anyone else.

Much like the blogger was saying, it's more important to be local and organic than it is to be plant-based. People should simply be thoughtful about their food. I once overheard a friend at the meat counter ask what the animals were fed and it made me happy. Another friend does this whole sort of penance thing and will kill chickens and turkeys at an organic farm because he believes he should be willing to do something like that if he wants to consume it. It keeps him connected to his food source and I find it admirable. I think that's all I really hope for--that people are mindful of what they consume and choose local, organic, sustainable foods when they can, but also remember to consider their own health.

Meat of any kind will probably never be on my menu. Probably not dairy either. That day in San Francisco (tres leches cake at Tartine! Yum!) and the resulting stomach cramps that woke me in the middle of the night reminded me of that. I do think about eggs. As I train more and harder, I find my energy level waning and wonder if the added and different protein would be beneficial. I might do and I might not. But I will make a thoughtful choice and I would kindly ask not to be judged as anything but someone who cares about animals, the planet and herself.

Me, Mandi and Mom in Athens, Greece