The "Religion" of Veganism

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The "Religion" of Veganism

Postby Becky » Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:40 am

Dr. McDougall writes:

Being vegan says to me this is a person with outstanding character. Vegans are self-sacrificing and committed to making a difference. When everyone else is certain that it is our God-given right to mistreat and kill cows, pigs, chickens, and fishes in order to be properly nourished; a vegan would rather risk protein and calcium deficiency than to harm these beautiful creatures. Of course, this deep sacrifice ends with the discovery that plants provide all needed proteins, amino acids, essential fats, vitamins, and minerals (including calcium) without the inherent risks of flesh and dairy. Vegans are self-confident. They remain steadfast even when mom, dad, dietitian, and doctor are visibly angered by their religion of “veganism.” Vegans are industrious. To avoid eating animals in a world where beef, chicken, and cheese are mixed in with everything in the market and on the menu is a daily struggle. Reading labels, turning down invitations to dinner, and occasionally, going hungry, require more effort than the average person is willing to muster.

This really resonated with me. Prior to November 3rd of this year (when I found out my cholesterol was steadily rising - to an all time high of 254 - even though I was probably 95% McDougall compliant) I would sacrifice my own good health in order to "fit in". But with those test results, I finally woke up and really "heard" what I had known for 20 plus years, and I've had to take some difficult positions and sometimes unwillingly put the people closest to me in uncomfortable situations.

It is really amazing how threatened people become when you choose what you will or will not put into your own body!!! I don't proselytize, I don't criticize people for the way they eat, I simply want to quietly make my own food choices without causing controversy, but in this culture, that is sometimes impossible.

For a person like me who goes out of her way to avoid controversy and confrontation, this aspect of changing my diet has been an unexpected trial apart from the dietary changes alone. Very character building! But I have the conviction that comes from knowing I am doing the right thing. I'll just have to grow an extra layer of skin!

Becky

Edited to correct a couple of typos!
Last edited by Becky on Wed Dec 31, 2008 10:25 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Melinda » Wed Dec 31, 2008 10:10 am

What a lovely thing to write! I am so thankful to Dr. Mcd, Mary, and Jeff for their hard work and commitment to giving freely of their knowledge and encouragement. May the New Year bring only joy, good health, love, prosperity (and all other good things) to them and their families! :-D
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Postby Letha » Wed Dec 31, 2008 10:16 am

I think it’s even harder for folks with young kids at home (not me). People who wouldn’t tell another adult how to live or what to eat feel compelled to intervene when you are feeding your child a vegan diet. I just wish there was some way to educate the general population so it wouldn’t be an issue. If I was queen of the world for a day I’d pay Dr. McDougall to develop a series of public service commercials to run on every TV channel every hour of the day.
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Amen!

Postby Charlie » Wed Dec 31, 2008 4:26 pm

Becky,

I say AMEN!

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Postby Vanilla Orchid » Thu Jan 01, 2009 2:29 pm

My fantasy is that someone will open a restaurant (near me) with a wonderful fat-free vegan menu. There are many places where I can order a vegetarian, or even vegan meal, but few items without oil. It wouldn't be that hard.
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Postby sigma957 » Thu Jan 01, 2009 9:58 pm

My hope for the new year is a new vegan restaurant. Because, the goddess of vegan cooking, Isa Chandra Moskowitz, moved to Portland about 8 months ago. She's already doing some dinners to raise funds for worthy causes and now she's selling seitan. I'd love it if she would open a vegan restaurant. In this town, it would go over great!
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Re: The "Religion" of Veganism

Postby talkingmountain » Tue Jan 06, 2009 10:26 am

Becky wrote: It is really amazing how threatened people become when you choose what you will or will not put into your own body!!! I don't proselytize, I don't criticize people for the way they eat, I simply want to quietly make my own food choices without causing controversy, but in this culture, that is sometimes impossible.[/i]


Becky, how true! My mom keeps saying "don't call yourself vegan!" like it's some kind of crazy cult or something. In all fairness, by the "cultural" rather than "dictionary" definition, I guess I'm not "vegan" (I wear leather shoes, would wear silk if I could afford it, and though I don't care for it, I would have no qualms about eating honey). But there's no other word that describes a diet that includes no animal products, at least not yet.

My mom & husband, for example, claim to be supportive and are in many ways. But when we go out to eat, they make snide comments about my many special requests to ensure the meal is low-fat & free of dairy (and as a former waitress, I take great pains to be very pleasant about it and to tip VERY well!).

Over Christmas, with my family visiting, they brought up my diet over an over. "Oh, we can't possibly cook anything that you can have, you can't have ANYthing."

I think they are just nervous because they assume I'm judging them somehow. Plus, if I eat like this -- and hopefully get healthy doing so -- they either might have to admit that it's not "just bad genes" that have given them diabetes, heart attacks, & strokes.
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Re: The "Religion" of Veganism

Postby momof4 » Tue Jan 06, 2009 1:56 pm

talkingmountain wrote:Plus, if I eat like this -- and hopefully get healthy doing so -- they either might have to admit that it's not "just bad genes" that have given them diabetes, heart attacks, & strokes.


I think that's a really good point. I don't think people want to believe that what we eat really has anything to do with our health--it's so easy for them to believe that we're going to get diseases and die anyway, so why go through the trouble of caring about your diet? One friend brought this up and I said, yes, we will all die of something, but don't you want a good quality of life where you don't needlessly suffer or become a burden to anyone? She was completely dumbfounded, like she'd never considered that idea. Like you said, if you change your diet, and you get healthier, it's not just from luck.

Becky wrote:It is really amazing how threatened people become when you choose what you will or will not put into your own body!!! I don't proselytize, I don't criticize people for the way they eat, I simply want to quietly make my own food choices without causing controversy, but in this culture, that is sometimes impossible.


So true. Reminds me of college, when people had a hard time with me not drinking or doing the other things most college girls do ;-) . Plus, I was a vegetarian!! Really, why should they have cared that I didn't drink, etc?
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Postby Melinda » Tue Jan 06, 2009 3:19 pm

Interesting comment, mommf4. My Mom raised me to be an independent thinker, and not to follow the crowd. People do find all sorts of things threatening when you don't follow along.
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Postby Becky » Tue Jan 06, 2009 3:37 pm

Peer Pressure is amazing, isn't it?!?! Even as adults, go figure! :?
See how I am McDougallizing the recipes in
Robin Roberston's "1000 Vegan Recipes" -
http://testing-1000vr.blogspot.com
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Congratulations on Making the Right Choices!

Postby rkeinc » Sat Mar 07, 2009 7:17 pm

:) - Becky - hang in there and congratulations on making the right choices!
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Becky - that Dr. McDougall Quote

Postby Riva » Sat Mar 07, 2009 10:23 pm

Becky - In december you quoted Dr. McD about Vegans. Do you recall where that quote came from?
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Re: Congratulations on Making the Right Choices!

Postby Becky » Sun Mar 08, 2009 12:02 pm

rkeinc wrote::) - Becky - hang in there and congratulations on making the right choices!


Thanks Rod! :) It gets easier all the time, and I plan to eat this way the rest of my life!
See how I am McDougallizing the recipes in
Robin Roberston's "1000 Vegan Recipes" -
http://testing-1000vr.blogspot.com
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Re: Becky - that Dr. McDougall Quote

Postby Becky » Sun Mar 08, 2009 12:04 pm

Riva wrote:Becky - In december you quoted Dr. McD about Vegans. Do you recall where that quote came from?
Riva


Hi Riva! Yes, that quote was from the December 2008 Newsletter, in the article entitled "The Fat Vegan".

Becky
See how I am McDougallizing the recipes in
Robin Roberston's "1000 Vegan Recipes" -
http://testing-1000vr.blogspot.com
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The religion of veganism

Postby Rod » Wed Apr 01, 2009 9:25 am

For me it is not religion. It is just smart diet. For me it is a practical matter, nothing more. I have found that avoidance of meat, dairy, eggs, fat, sugar, and processed foods brings glowing health.

So my diet relies on potatoes, grains, rice, beans, vegetables, and fruit.

Yesterday I visited an old friend who had suffered a stroke. He has since gained a lot of weight and is having trouble with his balance due to the stroke. We discussed the vegan diet. He said he could not go off meat no matter what the consequences. This view seems to be common among so many people.
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