elaby: (Cheburashka - Juggling)
[personal profile] elaby
I’m going to talk about food and my dietary choices :D I’ve learned that food is something that touches people on an extremely personal level, so please know that my decisions, my likes and dislikes, are what’s best for me and only me – I would never want anyone to feel belittled or as if I think they should change their own choices because of what I do. Just sayin’ <3

Major changes in food choices tend to happen over long periods of time for me. I had always been picky with meat, and then I would only eat meat we cooked ourselves, and finally I would only eat it on special occasions like Thanksgiving. This developed from a feeling I’ve always had: meat grosses me out. When I examined that, I realized it was the idea of eating the flesh of an animal that disturbed me. When I decided to become completely vegetarian, I was incredibly happy with my decision. Sure, it’s been inconvenient at times, but never as inconvenient as a myriad of other dietary restrictions can be. I’ve never regretted it.

When I had to give up a bunch of different foods last spring in an effort to solve my (ultimately anxiety-related) digestive problems, I stopped eating wheat, soy, nuts, and eggs all at once, cold turkey (so to speak). I was utterly miserable. Giving up food for health reasons feels very different from giving it up for ethical reasons.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve had a love-hate relationship with eggs. They’re such a good non-meat breakfast protein that I’d eat them whenever we went out for breakfast, and then I’d just get to feeling terribly sick of them and avoid them for months. I used to bring an egg to work every morning and microwave it in a ramekin to make an Egg McMuffin. Then all of a sudden the egg just grossed me the hell out (even though it was cooked the same every time). No more Egg McMuffins after that. Since I made the decision to be full-time vegetarian, I’ve thought more and more about why I’m doing it. I tell people it’s because I don’t like meat, and that’s true – sort of. I loved the taste of corned beef hash and I loved roast turkey. What I don’t like is the idea of meat. And I’ve come to understand that I don’t like the idea of eggs, either.

I find eggs to be too close to the concept of “animal flesh” that made me not want to eat meat. Most commercially available eggs aren’t fertilized, which comforted me for a while, but that was splitting hairs. Coupled with this are the horrifying practices of factory farming. I can find organic, cage-free eggs that remove the concern that the chickens are treated cruelly (and I did buy those for a while) but why continue when the idea of eating eggs at all is unpleasant to me?

Yesterday I talked about it with Rachel, and I stopped eating eggs or anything with egg in it. We’re going to experiment with baking and see what egg substitutes we can find for things like pancakes and cookies. This may seem like a small change, but it makes me feel really good. I’m in control of what I put in my body and I want my choices to be conscious.

I don’t have any feelings of revulsion towards milk or milk products. I do want to choose my sources carefully, though, because I know that the large-scale dairy industry raises just as many concerns about animal cruelty. There’s a local dairy cooperative called Cabot that operates in New England and New York, and we visit their factory whenever we go to Vermont. The cooperative is made up of 1,200 farming families and 100% of the profits go to the families. They also have a stringent ethical code that supports the comfort and health of their cows. None of their cheese is made with animal rennet, much to my happiness, and they have the appropriate religious authorities certify most of their cheeses as Kosher and Halal. They seem to be really responsible and I’m comfortable buying my milk products from them.
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elaby: (Default)

March 2016


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