Calling all vegetarians, ethical question! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 17 Old 09-10-2011, 01:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Ok, here's the story, I've always felt guilty when eating meat, thinking of the animal, so 6 yrs. ago I finally quit eating it and feel great about it! Shortly after becoming vegetarian, I tried becoming vegan but somehow I think it was too quickly and being uninformed it didn't work for me!..

Now we're living in Sicily for 3 years already and slowly over the past 2 years I've 'slipped' back into buying more dairy and eggs from the supermarket.., which we all know isn't the best to say the least!..

It's already a bit of a harder road here being vegetarian and some things (like tofu for ex.) are hard to find at all!

 

Over the past few days I've been re-reading more about the whole dairy/egg situation and really feel torn of what to do! On one hand I feel due to my beliefs I should really become 100% vegan and stick to it, no matter how hard! (Again, we're in the land of pasta & pizza!.. There's eggs and dairy involved everywhere!)

On the other hand I really don't know how it's going to work... At home I try to cook vegan 99% of the time, giving my family (omnis) the option to make it vegetarian...

 

Now this is where I'm asking you: If you've become vegetarian due to ethical reasons, how do you 'justify' that it's ok eating dairy & eggs still?

I'd really like to hear your opinions and hope we can all keep it civil! wink1.gif


~*Val*~ Vegan SAHM to DD (2/02) DS (7/05) 6x and wife to my best friend.
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#2 of 17 Old 09-10-2011, 09:40 PM
 
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That's the ordeal consuming all my thoughts these days. I can't justify it; the milk and egg industry is appalling, cruel, disgusting. Yet I still find myself consuming them. greensad.gif


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#3 of 17 Old 09-10-2011, 10:40 PM
 
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We have our own chickens. There's the ethical thing of what they do with the male chicks, but other than that having your own laying hens is great.

 

My kids are young 5 and just turned 3. I didn't know how to feed them without dairy. I hoped that when they got older and I was less overwhelmed I would figure it out. Then we discovered our daughter can't have dairy. She gets diarrhea. So suddenly I was forced to learn how to cook dairy-free. I bought a bunch of cookbooks, did lots of google searches, started buying and using more nuts and rice milk. My husband and son want cow's milk and cheese so I buy them, but I see the cheese getting eaten less and less. There will come a time when I will only purchase it on request.

 

I know a vegetarian who has a "don't ask, don't tell" philosophy when she eats out regarding meat and meat products. I kind of do the same. It would be impossible to eat Mexican food in this town if you didn't accept there's lard in the refried beans. I cannot do this policy on dairy. However, to be honest, we hardly ever eat out any more. I can do gluten-free, dairy-free vegetarian and find lots of food out there. However, cane sugar is in everything so keeps us from eating out.

 

Although I became a vegetarian in 1984 for ethical reasons, it's for my daughter's health that I've moved to dairy-free. It was just easier eating dairy. Now I MUST find alternatives and I MUST stick with it. I wish I could say I don't eat cheese in restaurants because I'm so dedicated to animals. I do it because of my daughter. And I'm glad for this opportunity. BTW, coconut milk is a great alternative to cow's milk in many recipes (like creamy soups.) 


Created an instant family (7/89 and 5/91) in 1997. Made a baby boy 12/05 adopted a baby girl 8/08. Ask me about tandem adoptive nursing. Now living as gluten, dairy, cane sugar, and tomato free vegetarians. Homeschooling and loving it.

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#4 of 17 Old 09-10-2011, 11:01 PM
 
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ok, so....i am jumpin in this discussion. i have been vegetarian, with fleeting bouts of veganism, for about 14 years. my reasons for not eating meat were originally out of concern for the animals, and while that still plays a role in my beliefs (isn't industry disgusting?!?), at this point i am waaaaay more concerned for the earth and the repercussions of eating meat in that realm. and then there is my own personal health.

 

     so, i have been playing this game for the past bit, called..."weigh the effects on the environment."  cows and the cattle industry play a pretty considerable role in soil quality, erosion, and methane (greenhouse gases) being introduced into the atmosphere. so coconut is a delicious alternative to dairy.... but what about the the distance (carbon emissions) and all of the processing that coconut milk had to endure to get to most of us? see what i mean? what does one alternative weigh against the other? i have totally started using local butter over my beloved earth balance that had been a staple for 7 years or so. palm oil (an ingredient in earth balance) is having a huuuuuuuuge effect on the greenhouse gases in the environment right now. it is literally in almost all processed foods. and then, the production and use of that plastic tub......and soy, much as i love it (and i totally eat tofu and drink soymilk, btw), it has a pretty bad rap. if it's not organic, it is a gmo, and either way it is full of estrogen. and fake meats? they can pull it off quite well, sometimes, but they are full of gluten and other HIGHLY questionable things. which is really worse? do i prefer my food choices kill an animal or the earth entirely? what about the health and well being of my own body? see what i mean? some of those fake meats...omg, they are like science experiments gone horribly right. really. if you are a fake meat junkie...look into it.

 

    so, no answers, but a bunch more questions out on the table. pun totally intended.

 

 

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#5 of 17 Old 09-11-2011, 09:32 PM
 
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I've been thinking about this. If I get four female chicks in a year to raise for eggs, that means four male chicks died a terrible death. I don't like that, but in the big picture, four is pretty small. As Elevana True stated so well, other avenues are not necessarily better. 

 

So I guess every year I'll think of those four little baby chicks that gave their lives for my family. If we were in the wild, I'd likely be eating more than 4 chicks a year (and I don't always get near that many chicks.) 

 

Still, I really hate the "eat or be eaten" reality of this world.


Created an instant family (7/89 and 5/91) in 1997. Made a baby boy 12/05 adopted a baby girl 8/08. Ask me about tandem adoptive nursing. Now living as gluten, dairy, cane sugar, and tomato free vegetarians. Homeschooling and loving it.

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#6 of 17 Old 09-13-2011, 04:04 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I appreciate your replies, everyone!

 

From me just a little update, I've made the switch to being vegan! The more I read (again) about the entire ordeal with eggs/chicks & the dairy production, I just couldn't justify it any longer for myself. 

 


~*Val*~ Vegan SAHM to DD (2/02) DS (7/05) 6x and wife to my best friend.
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#7 of 17 Old 09-13-2011, 11:24 AM
 
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One possible alternative to consider for those wanting to raise their own chickens: some animal sanctuaries (Animal Place in this area) sometimes acquire and make available for adoption 'spent' layer hens. They aren't commercially viable, but they're only a year old and still do lay eggs. I'm vegan, with no plans to change that, but I've considered adopting a few of those to keep around, with the intent of feeding some of the eggs to my cats, having a few eggshells to feed my compost worms, someone to eat the snails in the yard, and manure to compost.

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#8 of 17 Old 09-13-2011, 11:41 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elevena true View Post

ok, so....i am jumpin in this discussion. i have been vegetarian, with fleeting bouts of veganism, for about 14 years. my reasons for not eating meat were originally out of concern for the animals, and while that still plays a role in my beliefs (isn't industry disgusting?!?), at this point i am waaaaay more concerned for the earth and the repercussions of eating meat in that realm. and then there is my own personal health.

 

     so, i have been playing this game for the past bit, called..."weigh the effects on the environment."  cows and the cattle industry play a pretty considerable role in soil quality, erosion, and methane (greenhouse gases) being introduced into the atmosphere. so coconut is a delicious alternative to dairy.... but what about the the distance (carbon emissions) and all of the processing that coconut milk had to endure to get to most of us? see what i mean? what does one alternative weigh against the other? i have totally started using local butter over my beloved earth balance that had been a staple for 7 years or so. palm oil (an ingredient in earth balance) is having a huuuuuuuuge effect on the greenhouse gases in the environment right now. it is literally in almost all processed foods. and then, the production and use of that plastic tub......and soy, much as i love it (and i totally eat tofu and drink soymilk, btw), it has a pretty bad rap. if it's not organic, it is a gmo, and either way it is full of estrogen. and fake meats? they can pull it off quite well, sometimes, but they are full of gluten and other HIGHLY questionable things. which is really worse? do i prefer my food choices kill an animal or the earth entirely? what about the health and well being of my own body? see what i mean? some of those fake meats...omg, they are like science experiments gone horribly right. really. if you are a fake meat junkie...look into it.

 

    so, no answers, but a bunch more questions out on the table. pun totally intended.

 

 

        lurk.gif

 

See, I suspect that a diet that includes chicken and eggs but eschews red meat and dairy is probably more sustainable than a lacto-vegetarian one. I think vegan, or mostly vegan, is better than either, but I see dairy as a much worse environmental culprit than poultry.

 

I don't think soy is nearly as bad as it is made out to be - the vast majority of soy production is to feed the highly inefficient animal agriculture model. Soy and corn are both things that are easy to find organic.

 

Earth Balance versus Butter is not a either/or choice. The primary sources of fats in our diet are nuts and locally produced olive oil that I buy at the farmer's market and return the glass bottles for refill. I use EB in tiny amounts - a tub lasts a month or more in our house unless there's a birthday and I choose to make frosting for a cake. I've looked into the production of the organic Earth Balance, and it's something I feel good about supporting. Same with fake vs real meat. I don't eat either - if I want a meaty texture or flavor, I make it from tempeh, lentils, nuts and/or mushrooms.
 

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#9 of 17 Old 09-19-2011, 08:47 PM
 
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I'm struggling with this stuff right now. I just watched Earthlings (yikes!) 

I'm afraid to get too drastic with our diet for fear of making DD miss out on some vital nutrient, but I am pretty sure a whole foods vegan diet is the way to go. I'm not sure about soy either, or using  any processed vegan foods.

 

Right now we have half a pig in our freezer.... My pig lived on a farm that copied everything Joel Salatin (Polyface farms) does. They try to do things sustainably and humanely. Since iI have this option, there is really no reason to ever buy factory farm meat ever again, if we do choose to eat it sometimes.

 

Can you look for local farm like that that does raw goat  / cow milk or cheese and has fresh eggs? That is the only way I'd be able to justify eating the stuff.

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#10 of 17 Old 09-20-2011, 11:31 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Calliope84 View Post

I'm struggling with this stuff right now. I just watched Earthlings (yikes!) 

I'm afraid to get too drastic with our diet for fear of making DD miss out on some vital nutrient, but I am pretty sure a whole foods vegan diet is the way to go. I'm not sure about soy either, or using  any processed vegan foods.

 

Right now we have half a pig in our freezer.... My pig lived on a farm that copied everything Joel Salatin (Polyface farms) does. They try to do things sustainably and humanely. Since iI have this option, there is really no reason to ever buy factory farm meat ever again, if we do choose to eat it sometimes.

 

Can you look for local farm like that that does raw goat  / cow milk or cheese and has fresh eggs? That is the only way I'd be able to justify eating the stuff.


Yeah, I could only watch 2 min max of Earthlings, I couldn't handle anything further!..

As far as I read the vegan diet is really healthy as long as one focuses on whole foods like you said and evenly balanced.

We have no local farms here that offer your suggested items.. and if, I'd have to say I wouldn't trust it as the hygiene standards here are by far below what we're used from the US or Germany (I'm German) !.. I think I'll just do without and feel quite fine actually! I love other plant milks anyway so that's good, I only need to find a good coffee creamer! winky.gif

 

I'm not too sure how to go about honey!.. I honestly love it and its health benefits!.. I know, 'technically' by vegan standards I can't use it anymore..

 


~*Val*~ Vegan SAHM to DD (2/02) DS (7/05) 6x and wife to my best friend.
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#11 of 17 Old 09-20-2011, 10:11 PM
 
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I'm no vegan, or vegetarian for that matter although I'm looking into it just to try it...because as they say "don't knock it till you've tried it"....and who knows it might stick....I'd probably need to take some supplements though for things that might be lacking in a vegan diet.....so it's good that most supplement makers use plant cellulose instead of animal cellulose as the filler in the pills

 

I do bake vegan as it saves on eggs, milk, and butter and you don't need to spend a lot of money to do this....in most baked goods you can replace the milk it calls for with water and still have it come out the right consistency (though the flavor might not be as rich)

 

for butter...and any kind of fat for that matter: you can replace it with applesauce in most baked goods....I do this all the time and they still come out OK....though it will give the baked good in question more of a bread/cake-like texture which might not be what you want for something like brownies.....which I think are best as a denser and fudgier product rather than a cake-like one...applesauce is vegan and takes a lot of fat out of the baked good

 

for eggs: 1 T. cornstarch + 3 T. water = 1 egg is the formula by which you can replace egg in many baked recipes

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#12 of 17 Old 09-20-2011, 10:16 PM
 
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http://happyherbivore.com/2009/05/vegan-blackbean-brownies/ - here's a brownie recipe that looks really fudgy and is very healthy too...not much fat or sugar at all (agave nectar has a low glycemic index)

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#13 of 17 Old 09-21-2011, 08:26 AM
 
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Quote:
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Yeah, I could only watch 2 min max of Earthlings, I couldn't handle anything further!..

As far as I read the vegan diet is really healthy as long as one focuses on whole foods like you said and evenly balanced.

We have no local farms here that offer your suggested items.. and if, I'd have to say I wouldn't trust it as the hygiene standards here are by far below what we're used from the US or Germany (I'm German) !.. I think I'll just do without and feel quite fine actually! I love other plant milks anyway so that's good, I only need to find a good coffee creamer! winky.gif

 

I'm not too sure how to go about honey!.. I honestly love it and its health benefits!.. I know, 'technically' by vegan standards I can't use it anymore..

 



So Delicious Coconut Creamer!!! I've tried several non-dairy options and this one stuck for us. It replaced my coffee mate. I use the vanilla, but I like the hazelnut, too. I had to bug my grocery store for weeks to order it for me so I could get it.

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#14 of 17 Old 09-21-2011, 09:42 AM - Thread Starter
 
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So Delicious Coconut Creamer!!! I've tried several non-dairy options and this one stuck for us. It replaced my coffee mate. I use the vanilla, but I like the hazelnut, too. I had to bug my grocery store for weeks to order it for me so I could get it.

I wish I could get this here, but we're in Italy (US Navy base) and all I can get on base US product wise are the Coffee mate dairy creamers, no soy or any other alternative. The manager actually tried to find out for me if there's a possibility (their stuff often comes from Germany too -it has something to do with what needs to be cooled vs. long shelf life) and apparently they can't get anything.. I'm currently using a home made creamer made with coconut milk but it's not the same.. (Not to mention I need tons of more to make it creamy and sweeten it, so it ends up being at least 4x higher in calories *sigh*)

I'm almost ready to just skip the entire coffee thing..eyesroll.gif
 

 


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#15 of 17 Old 09-21-2011, 09:44 AM - Thread Starter
 
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for eggs: 1 T. cornstarch + 3 T. water = 1 egg is the formula by which you can replace egg in many baked recipes


Huh, I had no clue about using cornstarch in this mix! I always used ground flax seeds instead. Good to know I can use cornstarch too in case I don't have the flax seeds!

 

Thanks also for the link, I have the cook book Happy Herbivore coming in the mail and will try the brownie recipe as well!thumb.gif

 


~*Val*~ Vegan SAHM to DD (2/02) DS (7/05) 6x and wife to my best friend.
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#16 of 17 Old 09-21-2011, 09:45 AM
 
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I wish I could get this here, but we're in Italy (US Navy base) and all I can get on base US product wise are the Coffee mate dairy creamers, no soy or any other alternative. The manager actually tried to find out for me if there's a possibility (their stuff often comes from Germany too -it has something to do with what needs to be cooled vs. long shelf life) and apparently they can't get anything.. I'm currently using a home made creamer made with coconut milk but it's not the same.. (Not to mention I need tons of more to make it creamy and sweeten it, so it ends up being at least 4x higher in calories *sigh*)

I'm almost ready to just skip the entire coffee thing..eyesroll.gif
 

 


that's strange since soy milk can also come in a powdered form and thus the on-base supply store shouldn't have any trouble storing it then since the powder is non-perishable

 

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#17 of 17 Old 09-21-2011, 09:59 AM
 
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Huh, I had no clue about using cornstarch in this mix! I always used ground flax seeds instead. Good to know I can use cornstarch too in case I don't have the flax seeds!

 

Thanks also for the link, I have the cook book Happy Herbivore coming in the mail and will try the brownie recipe as well!thumb.gif

 

 

yeah that formula with the cornstarch is on the back of Bob's Red Mill GF choc. chip cookie mix....didn't seem to work too well when I tried it in that mix but it could be because I didn't mix the cornstarch and water thoroughly enough...that substitution worked well enough in Bob's Red Mill GF brownie mix though
 

 

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