Thursday, July 1, 2010

A Teetering Vegan

I grew up eating meat.  I have no issue with eating meat in general.  I became vegetarian over 20 years ago when I heard about the injustices and cruelty of the mainstream meat industry know as factory farming that replaced the many preceding generations whose communities raised and dressed their own animals.  I now continue my way of eating for moral and spiritual reasons.  But, I'm teetering between veganism and vegetarianism.

About 7 years ago I became vegan because I wanted to take my vegetarian principles to what was my logical conclusion and became vegan.  I am beginning to rethink my veganism but on a small scale.  I am currently building a chicken coop as I see no harm in eating eggs from chickens I tend to and know can roam and are well treated.  I can also feed them organic feed and a variety of scraps knowing the eggs will exceed the store bought ones in nutrition as well.  Actually, I don't even like eggs, but my neighbors and dogs will and the chickens will lay them regardless!  But, I'll bake with them - that's new for me.  I haven't eaten an egg or anything made with an egg in over 7 years. 

I'm also rethinking some dairy products.  Lately, it is easier to buy local, grass fed TRUE free range raw milk and raw cheese if you know where to look and live in the right area.  I'm a big believer in raw milk and cheese because the nutrition hasn't been heated out of them.  Raw goat cheese from grass fed, free range goats is also getting a bit easier.  Free range often means little more than having ACCESS to some open space, but often equates to little more than a bit of wing or elbow room.  Hardly free range.  But, there are some dairies close by that can be visited and again I'm beginning to think that I can relax my standards a bit.  My goal is to live in a rural community where I have neighbors who have these animals and I can get my own raw milk from them and not have to rely on a business per se.  But, for now I do think there are some good ones out there who humanely treat their animals in the manner in which I feel they were intended. 

So, I'm teetering on the fence of veganism.  I don't know if I'll ever change from a vegetarian.  I don't think I could ever, ever raise an animal and then end its life.  I just become too attached.  I name everything I own, including my cars!  And, my belief is that if I can't go through the process myself, then I have no business having someone else do it for me.  That's just me - my point is not to tell anyone else what they should be doing.  I respect others who raise their own animals for food. 

The way I have chosen to eat is largely due to ethical and spiritual reasons.  I think when we were given "dominion over the earth and animals" that this implied a responsibility, and responsibility means stewardship and care.  I think it's a sin the way we as a country mass produce animals and regard them as a mere commodity denying them respect as a life form.  I feel a moral and spiritual obligation not to participate in any factory farming methods that dominate our society.  I hope for a return to simpler, earlier days where communities raised and shared food and animals with one another, and relied on one another instead of big agribusiness.  Local equates to self sufficiency, better care for animals, healthier food and healthier and stronger community.  So, here I am teetering, still not sure.  But, I do know I'm gonna make butter tomorrow.  Yep, it's been 7 years since I've had butter - will I even like it?  Hmmm...


  1. Very interesting. I have been wrestling wtih alot of the same issues

  2. anonymous - feel free to share any changes you make or don't make and reasons why. just the fact you are thinking about the issues is awesome. good luck!


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