When my kids were little and still living at home, I would always try to make meals that I thought were nutritious and above all, easy to make and easy to serve as leftunders (this is what my daughter used to call leftovers-not sure why, but we use it to this day). One pot meals were always a favourite. Chili, Shepherd’s Pie ( my son loves mashed potatoes), Cowboy Hot Pot, soups and stews.
I still like to make one pot meals. Of course, back in the day, I used nonhuman animal flesh and secretions in many of these meals- something I am not all that proud of, knowing what I know today.
But, that is the beauty of learning. When we are willing to be open to newer, better, kinder philosophies, we can choose a different path. We can recognize that what we did was a result of knowledge and tradition passed down to us. We don’t have to adopt it or claim it as our own.
So, while I regret my past food choices, I do not blame myself for them. I choose instead to embrace and celebrate my kinder footprint in this world.
Edamame (Soybeans) More chopped walnuts
Sunflower Seeds Stir Fried Tofu
To this end, I have altered a lot of my children’s childhood meals, so that they reflect the compassion I feel in my heart. Gone is the chicken, pig, cow, chicken’s eggs, cow’s milk, fish and seafood and so on…..
To replace these products, in my kitchen you will find, nut milk, coconut milk, organic tofu, organic nuts and seeds, all manner and type of legume (organic dried and nonorganic canned, except for mung beans, of course LOL), and nutritional yeast (high in Vitamin B 12 and tastes a bit cheesy), to name a few.
Before I started on my path of veganism, I was motivated by some persistent, serious enough health issues that had been plaguing me for some time. I wanted to feel better, I wanted to be better. So, I started looking for a solution.
I like to think that I am a compassionate human animal who tries not to cause harm to other beings, either individually or globally. When my daughter continued to talk to me about veganism and the plight of nonhuman animals in this all too human animal oriented world, I stopped to think about what I was doing daily with my fork, knife and spoon.
So you can say that my health and compassion led me to stop eating nonhuman animal products. I started calling myself vegan-even though I wasn’t. Truthfully, I did not really understand the true meaning of being a vegan. I guess that I should have called myself a plant food eater.
I had a couple of slips in this journey-not because I missed nonhuman animal flesh and secretions, but because I had some health care professionals telling me that I needed these products of cruelty in my diet in order to get well. These slips were short lived, because my feelings about not doing unnecessary harm were stronger than my need to get well on somebody else’s terms.
A vegan, in the truest sense of the word eschews, wherever possible, the personal use of nonhuman animal products. In a nutshell, we do not use these beings for our food, our entertainment, our clothing and accessories, our furniture and for medical research.
Now, this is the sticky part. I call myself a vegan, but I drive a car with leather (nonhuman animal skins) seats. I would love to get rid of my car with the leather seats, but cars are very expensive, so it is just not in the cards for me right now. I try to accept that this was a purchase made before I understood what using leather means to the beings who once wore their own skin.
There are other items in my house that I can change and that is what I am in the process of doing. The latest to be replaced are two leather dining room chairs. I just did not feel right having them in my house.
Presently, I am looking to replace a leather chair and love seat that we have in our family room.
I think I mentioned to you in one of my first posts that I love dishes and cutlery. Some remind me so much of the important people in my life to whom they belonged. Others are gifts from loved ones and some I have purchased. But, I have recently learned that the stamp on the underside of some of my beloved dishes does not simply mean good quality as I have always thought.
Bone china is 50% ground up cow bones-Bone Ash, as it is called. I don’t know the process involved in turning Bone Ash into fine china and I guess I don’t need to know right now.
You might have laughed if you had seen me running around the house checking the underside of every dish looking for that now forbidding looking stamp. I was always saddened when I discovered yet another one-sad for myself and the nonhuman animals.
I mulled this info over for a few weeks and talked to a good friend, who is vegan and to my daughter as well. I explained to them my reluctance to give up some of these dishes because they were gifts from or once belonged to, my mother who is my forever hero.
But I also am very unsettled about keeping things that were made using nonhuman animals.
My daughter suggested that I could choose to keep those items that are cruelty free. That this could be enough to honour the memory of my mom and everything that she means to me. My friend said that, in the final analysis, things are just things.
So, I decided that the kitchen dishes that had belonged to Mom and had been a gift to her from her children, could go. So, family, if any of you are reading this and would like to have and can pick up said dishes, let me know.
The kitchen dishes that I bought using some birthday money my mom gave me have also been put aside.
The antique bone handled carving set that my parents gave to me and for which I definitely have no more use, has been given away, along with some bone handled forks and knives that were a wedding gift.
My wedding dishes are Bone China. I remember the day Mom and I shopped for them at Hemsley’s in downtown Montreal-nearly forty years ago. I haven’t used them since I made my discovery, but I have not replaced them either. It is something that I am sure I will do, but can’t just yet.
And then there is the Bone China Bowl, a wedding gift we received from my Aunt Simone and Uncle Maurice. It has occupied a place of honour in my home for many years.
What would you do if you were in my non leather, funny feet shoes? Thoughts and comments welcome.
GRAMMIE ANNIE’S VEGAN VIEW
What really defines us as compassionate beings? Is it the things that are easily given up or is it the things to which we have emotional attachment that are not so easily given up? What meaning do these cherished items have if there is any sort of cruelty attached to them?
Until next time,
May all beings be happy and free!