Don't You Dare Close Your EyesWhat was your favorite childhood Disney movie? Mine was Cinderella. My sister's was Aladdin. She basically had the whole movie memorized and would quote the entire thing from beginning to end while we watched it. During "A Whole New World" my two older sisters sang the duet, one being Aladdin and the other Jasmine.
Anyway, you might be wondering why I am going on about Disney movies. The answer is, this blog is going through a major change, a whole new world, if you will. From here on out, recipes will not only be Gluten Free but Vegan as well. (Please note that all recipes posted previous to December 2013 are may not be Vegan).
Let me explain.
It started when I became even more interested in finding out the sources of where my food comes from. In light of the recent laws being voted on in terms of GMO foods, it hit me how much secrecy is behind the foods that we pop into our mouths on a daily basis. I have always been wary of GMOs in food and first blogged about them in this post.
Corn, for example, is one of the main offenders when it comes to GMOs. And this ingredient finds its way into many packaged foods in the form of flavorings, preservatives, fillers, etc. It also finds its way into the troughs of the beef and dairy cows. The only thing is, cows don't eat corn in nature, and they actually can't even digest it. Even if this corn wasn't GMO, even if it was organic corn, a cow with a corn based diet would still not be healthy.
How can the products, be they meat or milk, that come from cows that are not healthy to begin with, be healthy? The simple answer is that they cannot be.
In a past post titled, "Changing the Way We View Meat," I talked more about the meat and dairy system in America. However, I was missing a major point.
Let's suppose, for example, that the dairy cows are healthy because they are fed a diet of grass and allowed to pasture in open air. The only reason the milk cow is on the farm is so that she can provide milk to sell, but if she is not pregnant or nursing, she will not produce milk. So dairy cows are continually kept impregnated, and are usually separated from their calves minutes after giving birth, so that the milk meant for the calf can be sold to humans to pour on top of cereal. Now, I cannot come to make myself believe that a cow who is kept in a continuous state of pregnancy, who does not even get to mother her calf when it is born, is a happy cow.
In short, my point is that, as soon as a living animal becomes a money making commodity, we lose respect for it as a living creature and treat it as if its suffering has no effect on the world around it.
Even if you were not concerned about animal welfare, you can at least know that the meat and dairy being produced by these mistreated animals is not healthy for you. To learn more about the health reasons to become a vegan, I highly recommend the documentary, "Forks Over Knives."
To top it off, raising livestock to fit the habits of the average American citizen causes huge damage to the environment. Deforestation, the release of CO2, and polluting the ground water are all results of modern day farming. Just search the internet for "pig farms North Carolina pollution" and see what results pop up.
So even if you were not interested in animal welfare, personal health and environmental health are both equally important when it comes to switching over to a plant-based diet.
I slowly became more aware of the reasons to go vegan. I first switched over to being a vegetarian, but as I learned more about the dairy and egg protocol, I couldn't deny the facts. So I made a pact with myself in November that I would become vegan at Christmas. A week later, that date changed to that week.
I am lucky to have an open, loving, supportive family who does not judge my decisions. Without them, Thanksgiving would not have been the painless, delicious Holiday that it was.
My sister, who hosted this year, made no qualms about baking a tofu pumpkin pie, using earth balance in the mashed potatoes and making sure there was an abundance of vegetables.
Here is my Thanksgiving plate in all it yummy splendor. Yay for making it past perhaps one of the most difficult Holidays as a vegan.
And this pumpkin pie with tofu to replace the milk and eggs was the perfect dessert to finish the meal.
On a side note, did I mention how awesome my family is? Here is my amazing mom and me.
Peace and Love.