Saturday, February 2, 2013

Vegucated

I like documentaries, and I especially enjoy watching the ones about food. Today, I watched Vegucated.  It follows 3 omnivores as they take on the challenge of living a vegan lifestyle for 6 weeks. I particularly liked this film, as it doesn't bash omnivores at all (which I think is important!) Instead, it simply teaches about the vegan lifestyle, and its benefits.  Yes, it does cover the atrocities in factory farming and the negative effects that has on our planet - but the purpose is to educate. We really do need to understand where our food comes from, and how animals are treated.

I'm a vegetarian, not a vegan. I don't eat anything you have to kill an animal to get - so I eat no meat at all, including no beef, pork, chicken, fish - no animals. The difference is that I will eat the things an animal naturally makes, and derivatives of those products - so milk, cheese, butter, honey, eggs - these things are part of my diet, but a vegan would not eat them.

Eggs - I restrict these to those from my chickens, or my friends' chickens. (My silly hens have stopped laying eggs for the winter, so I had to buy 2 dozen from a friend this month.)  I will only use eggs from hens raised in a truly humane way.  To me, there is no problem eating these eggs.  I know the hens have to lay them.  Mine aren't laying right now, because the days are short. And that's so interesting to me - that during the winter - when the days are shorter, a hen may naturally stop producing eggs. Many people provide artificial lighting to lengthen the day and keep hens producing. Some hens keep going regardless of the light.

After seeing Vegucated, I'm rethinking my consumption of dairy.  I may seek out a local source that will ensure a humane product, or I may significantly reduce or give it up altogether.  I haven't decided what I will do, but I'm definitely thinking about it.  I struggle with a few things.  Besides my complete love of all cheese, cream, butter, and more cheese....

  1. I don't want to replace natural foods with highly processed, oil-based options. I don't believe that is healthier, and it certainly doesn't taste as good. 
  2. I want to eat a humane diet, in which no living thing is intentionally, or unintentionally harmed. I just can't feel good about it.
  3. I don't want to take on a diet that becomes difficult to follow in my normal life. Eating vegetarian is fairly easing to do.Vegan is quite a bit more restrictive, and presents more challenges. That doesn't mean it isn't worthwhile - just more difficult. 
Thinking about our food is good. No matter what decision any person makes, I think it is important to know where food comes from, the process used to get it from farm to table - the good, the bad, and the ugly - without blaming or finger wagging.