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Vegetable Soup for the Soul
Vegan Way of Life -
“When I met my first vegetarian, he told me he had not eaten meat for fourteen years. I looked at him as if he had managed to hold his breath that entire time. Today, I know there is nothing rigorous or strange about eating a diet that excludes meat.
ERIK MARCUS, Vegan: The New Ethics of Eating l998.
Do you listen to your body signals? I do. I like the feeling in my stomach after a good “innocent” meal. Used to be a silly little song which went something like: Yummy, yummy, yummy, I’ve got love in my tummy…. I’m not even sure of the words, but I do feel I have love in my stomach after a meal. Meat eaters, and I was one of them most of my life, feel heavy, distended and sleepy after a big meat meal. Bring on the antacids!
Meat is an unnatural food and our bodies rebel at the insult thrust upon it. Many diseases are caused by eating meat, dairy products and eggs. Medical Scientists can only prove this fact, but not publish it. Why is that, do you suppose? It’s because of the powerful lobbying by the meat, dairy and egg industry and big bucks involved.
Thankfully, there are many brilliant young doctors coming out of medical schools today with lots of questions on this very issue. They are striving to inform the public of the many dangers of a flesh diet. And, in time, they will prevail and tell the ailing population the truth.
There’s an organization called Physicians’ Committee for Responsible Medicine. There are some five thousand doctor members, scientists and others and the number is growing like wildfire. They have a quarterly magazine, GOOD MEDICINE which has lots of informative material and helpful suggestions about our health. Also a web sitewww.pcrm.org. Go on it and see for yourself the great things the “new medical profession” has for you. The stark truth is there for all to see.
But what to eat if not meat? If one wants to be healthy, and who doesn’t, they must eat healthy foods. Some say “vegetarians look unhealthy.“ If they do, it’s because they continue eating unhealthy things like loads of French fries, bread weighed down with butter and milk shakes, ice creams, candies, cakes and pies. Not only are those vegetarians unhealthy, they are usually vastly overweight. And I daresay, they are giving the term vegetarian, a bad name.
Pure vegetarians (vegans) rarely, if ever, eat those foods. They eat foods like beans and peas of every kind, whole grains, fruits, nuts, potatoes, green and yellow veggies and lots of raw vegetables. AND almost zero fats. If you add all the many kinds of food such as the above, you have thousands of good things to eat other than meat, dairy and eggs.
It really amounts to educating oneself to the real foods created by God and given us in the Book of Genesis. The above foods can all be cooked numerous ways with all sorts of seasonings.
Numerous vegetarian and vegan cookbooks and magazines have wonderful recipes for everything from soup to nuts (sans the meat). I’ve always liked colorful foods and vegetables and fruits are definitely in that category. Those books and magazines have beautiful recipes and tempting pictures of the entrees and deserts. Anymore, I don’t refer too often to recipes as I’ve many things I prepare “by ear” which are simple and delicious.
For example, tonight for dinner, I prepared:
Baked sweet potato w/soy margarine
(texture and taste very similar to pork sausage)
Fresh mushrooms sautéed with green peppers and onions
Sliced cucumbers, onions and tomatoes
It was a very colorful and delicious meal.
The vegan diet is definitely a change of life for most. Sometimes new vegans will feel some withdrawal pains since meat is a stimulant and the body may beg for more of it when it’s taken away. But I just told my body, “NO! I can’t feed you that sort of thing anymore, so get used to it. It’s history.” Now, I can’t even imagine putting a forkful of flesh in my mouth -- flesh that was once a body part of a living, breathing creature that wanted to live as I want to live. No, I could never do that again.
Many enjoy eating out and no problem there anymore. Most places are aware that vegans are growing in leaps and bounds and always have something (other than salads) for the would be pure vegetarian. But don’t be timid. Ask what’s in something; if it’s cooked with eggs or milk, do they use lard, or if their meats and veggies are cooked on separate grills. If the waiter doesn’t know, he’ll be glad to ask as he certainly wants to please the customer.
My husband enjoys eating out; I don’t. I prefer to eat my own cooking so I know what I’m eating. But we do go out occasionally and I have no problem finding something to eat. My favorite ethnic restaurant is Chinese. They always have several entrees I can eat, but still I ask what’s in it. They don’t mind at all.
Many have the mistaken notion they won’t get enough protein, calcium and other nutrients. The fact is there is nothing lacking in eating the vegan way. All plant foods contain more than an adequate supply. The Creator didn’t leave out a thing our bodies need. A meat, dairy and egg diet gives our body too much protein.
Medical scientists have proven that too much protein can definitely cause osteoporosis. Know why? “Animal products overload the body with acid, coming in part from the sulfur-containing amino acids found in meat. In an effort to buffer this acid, calcium is pulled from the bones, weakening them significantly. Vegetables fight this effect in two important ways: by adding less acid and neutralizing what’s already there.” This from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2001.
The report also stated that they surveyed 1,035 women’s eating choices and in time discovered that women whose protein came from animal products had three times the amount of bone loss compared to those who consumed the most vegetable protein. So, please DON’T DRINK YOUR MILK! If you do, let it be soy or rice milk. There are all kinds of flavors and interesting tastes and are soooooooo good for you.
Not only do all vegetables have adequate protein, they have necessary things like calcium, fiber, antioxidants and other nutrients. The only exception might be Vitamin B-12 but even that is adequate in things like fortified soymilk, breakfast cereal and multivitamins. But check the label of your multivitamins. Some B-12 is made from dissected liver. Yuk! B-12 can be produced from many other acceptable things.
Switching to the vegan diet is exciting and challenging. You’ll become an expert “label reader” and eventually you cannot be fooled by labels listing such things as whey and casein, (both derived from milk products) and natural flavorings. Some natural flavorings come from the slaughterhouse.
The most rewarding of all is a wonderful feeling that we have made the right choice. A choice which benefits our health, helps alleviate suffering and cruelty of our brothers and sisters, the animals, and for the survival of the planet. Sounds like a winner, doesn’t it?
"I'm a vegetarian and sort of a conscientious objector. "I object to eating my patients, so for this reason I don't like to treat animals that are raised for food."
…….Barbara Clayton, DVM, Pine Plains, NYThe Complexities of Compassion
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