WHY I AM VEGAN
Welcome to my new blog. I will be writing about my experiences as a vegan, recipes, information, inspiration and advice that I hope will help you a happy, healthy, compassionate, earth-friendly life style.
What is a vegan? A vegan is a person who, as much as is possible, does not eat, wear, or use any animal products-no eggs, dairy products, leather, fur, etc. More than a way of eating, it's a total life style. Many, maybe most, vegans adopt this life style out of compassion.
Although I always considered myself an animal lover and a compassionate person, I did not adopt a vegan lifestyle until I was old enough to be a grandmother. I grew up with a house full of animals-cats,dogs, guinea pigs, rabbits. They were all part of our family, and we loved them dearly, but it was years before I made that connection between the animals I loved and the meat I was eating. I saw a pamphlet about modern factory farming, and I was absolutely horrified! I stopped eating all meat and fish. Shortly after adopting a vegetarian diet, I went to Summerfest in Johnstown, and there I learned about the horrors of dairy and egg farming, and became vegan..
I soon found that the most compassionate diet is also the most healthy diet. I lost weight with little effort, my cholesterol is great, and I have more energy than I ever did. I have been having fun discovering new foods, and researching vegan nutrition, and I have met wonderful, compassionate people.
Since I live in a small, conservative Pennsylvania city in the United States, in a big dairy farming area, I thought I was the only vegetarian in town. I wanted to get the word out. so I starting holding tabling events at a local shopping center to give out information about factory farming and vegetarianism. I had to give an organization name to be allowed to do this, so I made up the name of a veg club. I was, of course, the only member of the club.
Eventually, I decided to try to form a real vegetarian club. I signed up for the use of a community room at a local library to hold a tofu cooking demonstration, and advertised this by posting fliers at the local health food store. Public speaking scares me, but I fooled my self by advertising the event long before the day of the presentation so that I wasn’t yet nervous about it. As the time approached, I was very scared, but the event had been advertised, and it was too late to back out.
The day of the cooking demo, as I loaded the car with my supplies, I kept thinking that I was out of my mind to do this. I figured, though, that maybe three people would show up. Well, twenty people came to the presentation, and it actually went well. Most of those original twenty are still club members, eight years later.
We now have about 110 members, which I think is great for a small, conservative Pennsylvania city, in a big dairy farming area. Some of our club activities include restaurant outings (we have no veg restaurants nearby, but we get restaurants to make special vegan meals for us), pot lucks, movie nights (just for fun), speakers, bus trips to larger cities for veg friendly shopping, and book discussions. I edit our monthly newsletter for the club, and I really enjoy doing that. We have been interviewed for newspapers and a local TV station (although, I not sure anyone actually watched the program). We still hold tabling events at the local shopping center, now with a real club behind us.
I often get asked if I feel deprived as a vegan. Most definitely not, I feel blessed.