“Humane” Meat, Local Free-Range Eggs, and Backyard Chickens

I recently had the opportunity to visit a backyard egg producer. This person allowed me to take a tour of their small-scale, local, free-range, “humane” enclosure for their chickens. Had I not already known that this was a backyard egg-producer, I would have thought it resembled some of the nicest animal sanctuaries I have visited. … Continue reading “Humane” Meat, Local Free-Range Eggs, and Backyard Chickens

I’m Quitting Veganism To Be a Level 5 Paleo

vegetarian indian word for lousy hunter, philosoraptor Everyone, I have a confession to make… I decided that I don’t want to be vegan anymore.  It’s boring to me now.  It was fun for a while, but ultimately just a phase.  I had a realization the other day while watching my meat-eating co-workers eat lunch.  They all got McDonalds and it looked and smelled so good.  They were all laughing and having a good time without me.  I started wondering, “why do they get to have all the fun?”.  It just didn’t seem fair.  So I finally made the decision to quit being vegan.

I’m going to start my paleo diet today with a big steak, not even cooked, and I’m going to eat it like the cavemen did, with my bare hands.  And I’m not even going to wash my hands before I eat.  Or brush my teeth after.  And what are you gonna do about it?  Then probably about a week or so later, I’m going to crap that steak out in the woods like my caveman ancestors did.  I won’t even wipe with a leaf.  I’m an animal — RAWR!  I’ll just rub my butt on a tree trunk ’cause that’s how tough I am.

The grocery store aisles have never seen anything like me before: PALEO HUNTER EXTRAORDINAIRE!  I will pounce on my prey and sink my canine teeth into it’s shrink-wrap packaging and all my fellow grocery store patrons will exclaim in unison: “There goes Paleo Rabbit, Queen of aisle 11!”

And for all you who are going to write your hateful blog posts about me, I’ll have you know that our bodies are different.  Maybe yours doesn’t need meat but mine does, okay?  I have these canines for a reason, you know.  And these sweet hunting skills I learned from playing Call of Duty, knifing n00bs and stuff.  And lions eat cows so why can’t I?  It’s not like it’s illegal or anything.  Come on. Continue reading “I’m Quitting Veganism To Be a Level 5 Paleo”

Getting The Very Best From Your Vegan Diet

— This is a guest post by Lily Drayton —

Many people assume that unless you are consuming animal protein on a daily basis that you are not getting a nutritionally complete diet, that has all the necessary vitamins and minerals needed for good health and wellness. This is a notion that really needs to be addressed and challenged. It’s completely possible to get all the nutrients you need from non-animal sources and is much easier than you might first imagine.

A varied and abundant diet of fresh food

assorted vegetables chartThe best way to make sure that you get all the vitamins and minerals you require is to make sure that your diet is plentiful in fresh fruit, vegetables, legumes, pulses, grains and nuts. The fresher and less processed your food is, the better chance your body has of being able to digest the nutrients they contain.

However, many people still worry that nutrients commonly more associated with animal protein sources will be missing from their diet.

Protein

quinoa, cooked, vegan, vegetarian
Quinoa [image credit: t-dubisme via flickr]
Protein is easy to find in many food sources and need not come from meat at all. In fact, it’s fair to say that over consumption of protein is one of the biggest problems, both with weight and overall health in the western world. Plant based protein is easily digestible and very good for you and can be found in such foods as lentils, beans and grains like quinoa. These foods also have the added bonus of being high in fiber, keeping you full and sustained for longer and also will help to keep blood sugars stable.

Examples: lentils, beans, quinoa, tofu, seitan, tempeh

Omega 3 Fatty Acids

flax seeds
Flax seeds [image credit: Sean Dreilinger via Flickr]
More commonly found in oily fish such as sardines, mackerel and salmon, the best way to include this essential nutrient into a vegan diet is to incorporate Flax Seeds or Flax Seed Oil into your eating regime. Omega 3s are vitally important for the function of the brain, the cardiovascular system and our sight. The seeds themselves can be incorporated into salads or sprinkled into breakfast cereals for added crunch and texture. However, it is worth noting that they need to be crushed a little before consumption, otherwise the valuable Omega 3 they contain can’t be as easily digested. Using Flax Seed Oil in salad dressings is another good way forward too. If none of that appeals, there are Flax Seed supplements that come in vegan approved capsules which can be taken.

Examples: flax (seeds, oil, or vegan gel-caps) Continue reading “Getting The Very Best From Your Vegan Diet”

The 1 Reason Your Vegan Diet Will Fail Every Time

vegan, text, word, repeated
Veganism is growing in popularity but are you sure you have what it takes to go the distance?

Veganism is everywhere.  It’s all over the news, grocery store aisles — even your friends and family are talking about it.  Whether people choose a plant-based diet to save animals, manage cholesterol, get in shape, save the environment, or just to know what they’re putting in their body, the word “vegan” is making the shift from marginal to mainstream.  But the one thing no one talks about is the #1 reason many vegan diets ultimately fail.  To find out whether you’re heading for a cliff, you’ll need to ask yourself a simple question, the answer to which can spell victory or defeat in your quest to go vegan.

First, you need to understand that veganism isn’t a diet — it is a lifestyle.  A diet is something you can go on and off for any given amount of time to achieve a short term result.  A lifestyle incorporates diet with other aspects of your life into an ongoing, long-term solution. Continue reading “The 1 Reason Your Vegan Diet Will Fail Every Time”

My Take on New York Times ‘Ethical Meat’ Contest

eat like you give a damn vegan vegetarian veganism vegetarianism green eco sustainable sustainabilityA contest called Put Your Ethics Where Your Mouth Is by The New York Times, has recently tried to figure out who can write the best argument supporting the idea that meat is ethical.  Panelled by Mark Bittman, Jonathan Safran Foer, Andrew Light, Michael Pollan, and Peter Singer, I was eager to read what their picks would be.

Overall I must admit that the finalists are better than I had expected, but nonetheless they have yet to make a truly good argument.  I was surprised that the majority of the essays were written by ‘ex-vegans’ and ‘ex-vegetarians’.  It’s easy to see why, as they obviously are familiar with both perspectives and are able to give a more rounded opinion on the subject.  Though many of the points made were refreshing compared to the usual “where do you get your protein” arguments I am so used to hearing every day, I found so much wrong with the essays that I felt the urge to write a response to give a vegan’s point of view on the subject.  In the six finalist essays I noticed a few recurring themes:

Theme #1: Meat is ethical as long as it is “humane”

“There is an ethical option — a responsibility, even — for eating animals that are raised within a sustainable farm system and slaughtered with the compassion necessitated by our relationship.  That, in essence, is the deal.” ~ This Is the Deal We’ve Made

“Many animals, however, while they can be well off or poorly off in certain ways at particular times (e.g., by experiencing pleasure and pain), seem unlikely to be capable of becoming better off in their lives considered as a whole — or at least not once they have had certain basic needs met. While they may be capable of relationships of a kind, it is doubtful that these can grow and develop in the ways ours can. Indeed, it is uncertain whether most animals even have identities that span weeks, let alone years.  If all this is right, then once such an animal has had her basic needs met, a painless death cannot harm her, at least not in the sense in which harm is necessary for an event to be bad. Since it is not bad to kill such animals, it cannot be morally wrong.” ~ Meat Is Ethical. Meat Is Bad.

To understand why “humane meat” is unethical we must understand what pain is and why it exists.  Pain didn’t just become a part of our biology for no reason — it serves a very valuable purpose: pain exists to help us learn from mistakes.  As children, many of us have put our hand in a flame and felt the incredible heat of the flame set off pain nerves in our hand which travelled up to our brain.  This taught us the valuable lesson that putting our hand in a flame is a bad idea, and we are sure to be more wary of repeating the behavior in the future.

The part of the brain that is activated when a sentient being encounters painful stimuli is located very near to the center of the brain.  The further into the brain you go, generally, the more primitive the function.  All sentient beings have had this amazing function for millenia because it is very effective at teaching us what to avoid, enabling us to live long enough to procreate and pass our D.N.A. on to the next generation.  This isn’t something exclusive to humans; this is one of the most basic functions of almost all animal life on our planet. Continue reading “My Take on New York Times ‘Ethical Meat’ Contest”

“Real” Milk Comes From Cows

real milk comes from cows

This is the newest advertising strategy from the dairy industry: let’s brainwash consumers to think that unless they are buying OUR product, they are only buying a cheap, sub-par imposter.

Hey dairy industry, your cheap tricks won’t work on me.  Why?  Because I’m smart enough to know that the ‘fake’ milk I drink (ie: almond milk, soy milk, coconut milk, etc.) doesn’t have to be ‘real’ milk to be worth my hard-earned money.  You see, the ‘fake’ milk in my refrigerator is a far better product than that ‘real’ milk you guys are slinging.  Unlike your ‘real’ milk, my ‘fake’ milk doesn’t harm animals, is better for the environment, provides more per serving of calcium and fiber (something your ‘real’ milk lacks) as well as a formidable amount of protein, at the same time as providing less saturated fat and zero cholesterol, contains much healthier phyto-estrogens (plant-based estrogens) rather than animal estrogens as well as more manganese (necessary for bone formation), thiamin, niacin, and magnesium, and it simply tastes better (got phlegm? not from the milk I drink!). Continue reading ““Real” Milk Comes From Cows”

Are YOU a Cheese-etarian?


Cheese-etarians.  We’ve all met at least one: lacto-vegetarians that say “I’m pretty much vegan, but I just can’t live without my CHEEEESE!”.  I get it.  Cheese is delicious.  There is a cheese for literally any kind of flavor food you are preparing and it has a way of making an otherwise unappetizing dish suddenly seem strangely appealing.  There’s no doubt that cheese is tasty, but when the enjoyment of cheese becomes more of a compulsion, especially when you know about factory farming and animal exploitation and yet still eat it anyway, it is no longer a simple ingredient in a dish — it is a full-blown addiction.

How to know if you are a cheese-etarian:

  • You don’t eat meat, eggs or any dairy — except cheese.  You might call yourself an “almost vegan”.
  • You’ve tried giving up cheese, but have always eventually succumbed to the temptation of the beckoning calls of your beloved friends Gruyère, Gouda, Brie, Parmesan, Langres and Cheddar.
  • You tell your vegan friends that you don’t eat much cheese, but your actions prove otherwise.  It’s possible that you don’t even know how much cheese you actually consume.
  • You think that meat is disgusting, and even try to teach meat-eaters and non-vegetarians about the horrors animals face in the meat industry, but you don’t give a second thought to your cheese consumption.
  • You know why dairy is bad and yet still choose to eat cheese despite knowing that it is against everything you claim to stand for.  You may genuinely feel guilty for eating cheese, but can’t seem to find a way to stop.

If at least one of the above statements sounds like you, you are most likely a cheese-etarian.

If more than one of the above statements sounds like you, you are definitely a cheese-etarian.

If all of the above statements sound like you, you need an intervention! Continue reading “Are YOU a Cheese-etarian?”