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Vengeance is mine!!!

I finally found a used copy of Vegan with a Vengeance by Isa Chandra Moskowitz, co-host of The Post Punk Kitchen. Some of you recommended it to me, and my research supported your opinions, so I began to lust after it in my heart and to stalk it.

Now it is mine...ALL MINE and I am anticipating making tempeh bacon BLT's this weekend (likely much to the horror of my partner who thinks bacon is a sacred food). Don't tell him, but I am dabbling with veganism to see if it would be a sustainable "next step" for me....shhhhh! Even if I decide that veganism is not for me as a total lifestyle choice, I would like to eat vegan more often so that my support of industrialized farming and meat/dairy production is reduced as much as is possible.

I'll let you know how it goes.

Does anyone here have an opinion on the Veganomicon? If I like Moskowitz's recipes...I may have to give that one a try too.


( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 12th, 2008 07:17 am (UTC)
Hi Jen. Just added you to my LJ friends list, hope that is ok. :)

I saw Veganomicon at Borders tonight and the title made me laugh. Had I more time I would have stopped to flip through it.

I'm finding your posts on food activism really interesting and I look forward to reading more.

Jan. 12th, 2008 05:52 pm (UTC)
Hey there Amy! I am thrilled to hear from you and glad you found me. I've friended you back so we can keep up with each other. I look forward to hearing what's been going on in your life.

I'm so glad the food activism stuff is not boring and preachy as hell! It's just something I've really been into and have totally geeked out on the topic.

Are you doing Mystery School this year?

Much love - Jen
Jan. 12th, 2008 06:10 pm (UTC)
Not only am I doing Mystery School, I'm on the Rites Team this year. *gulp* :D

I'm really excited about it. It's going to be a great year.

I think the food activism is great. I have aspirations in that direction...and then I drive past BK after a long day at work and all good intentions go out the window in the face of my craving for a whopper and fries. *sigh* Good for you for sticking with it! I'd love to hear more about how you got past the urge for meat. Was it hard for you?
Jan. 14th, 2008 11:33 pm (UTC)
Wow - Rites. That's awesome! You have my total support. I am excited for you.

I wanted to answer your question about giving up meat. Warning: This is long, and may come off a preachy and I SO don't want it to be that way...okay? These are just my experiences and your mileage may vary :>)

Giving up meat wasn't as hard for me as I thought it would be, though I think I had an advantage. My mother's family owned meat packing plants when I was younger (pork only) so I grew up seeing part of the industrialized meat system. I don't think my family's plants were particularly dirty or cruel (though I did not spend time on the kill floor, so I really don't know), and they did not raise/house the animals. The pigs came in and were slaughtered within a couple of days, so I didn't see the living conditions they had come from - nor how they were separated from their families, nor do I know what they were being fed or injected with (if they were). Still, it was enough so that I was never much of a pork eater. In fact, as an omnivore I could only eat flesh that didn't look like the animal it had come from. No ribs or buffalo wings for me...but I could lay into a cheeseburger, boneless chicken, lunch meat - or even the occasional bacon or pepperoni, with glee.

As I began to get into food activism, and to try to learn where my food came from, I began to read a lot about America's meat industry. I found it to be pretty shocking stuff, with far reaching environmental and social impact that I had not fully understood (and likely still don't). My reaction was to give up pork and beef, but to continue to eat poultry and fish. This seemed like a good compromise to me - (and not much of a stretch given my food preferences) and I reasoned that nixing pork and beef would cut me out of the majority of what was wrong with the meat industry.

As time passed, I continued to struggle with being able to really reduce my footprint in Chicago (nothing is local when it's not summer, our recycling program sucks, my landlord runs a building that is impossibly energy inefficient and my partner is not really grounded in environmentalism so our home's "green" efforts are inconsistent at best). When I learned that vegetarianism would reduce my footprint by 75%, I realized that I could never have that much impact by using CFL's and turning the water off while I brush my teeth, and it felt like a direct solution that would fit my (lazy person's) needs!

At that point I was eating tons of chicken - so I did some reading about the chicken industry, which turned my head, heart and stomach. Of course that again was my way of taking the easy route...if I had been a pioneer, I would have had to survive off of roots I could did up. I am both soft hearted to animals and easily grossed out - so I knew that stuff would get to me.

I feel like our choices around eating are so personal and diverse. I love this choice for me, and I understand that not everyone would. I also know that I was offended when folks close to me challenged my choice to eat meat or not. A part of me secretly wishes the world wanted to become vegetarian, but I recognize and honor people's choices around food and want us all to be comfortable with them. I think there are so many ways that folks can practice food activism without becoming vegetarian - and I think it all has impact. I really admire anyone who does some reading and who makes their eating choices in an informed way. I feel like food activism is only sustainable (at least in urban environments in this culture) if we predetermine our exceptions, and our exceptions will be different.

I see it as such a balancing act. I just try to do the best I can day by day and to not judge myself by other people's standards. I'd love to be a meditation and yoga-crazed vegan who only ate things prepared in a sacred way from my own permaculture garden. I wish I was not a total whore for coffee, chocolate, spices and sugar...none of which will ever be local to me...but I don't know that I'll ever get there...or that I'll even want to - and that's okay to me.

Sorry to babble so long on this! Thanks for listening. Love, Jen
Jan. 17th, 2008 09:01 pm (UTC)
Derek just got the Veganomicon for belated Giftmas. I just got the Art of Simple Food, so I'm going to check that out first, but I'll let you know, or you can ask him, how the other is. It looks pretty comprehensive and there were a ton of recipes that I just glanced at and insisted we make.
Jan. 22nd, 2008 04:33 pm (UTC)
I'd love to hear what Derek thought of the "Con" - and what you thought of "Simple Food"...you know I'm on this food activism kick - so I'm ceaselessly interested in this sort of thing. Kisses - Jen
Mar. 27th, 2008 03:11 pm (UTC)
Perhaps when the Farmers' Markets are booming we could form a summer "meal club" of a few folks who are interested in trying out vegan/vegetarian, raw and/or whole food recipes. Perhaps we could rotate so that one (or two) of us prepare a meal for the others once per month. If we had a group of 6-8, we could likely stretch it over the summer with no individual or team having to cook more than once.

Just an idea to combine fun time and learning new recipes!
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )

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