[Seattle Vegetarian Examiner]
People choose to be vegetarians for various reasons, among the top being health and moral issues. In this economy today we begin to realize that every decision we make has a consequence and outcome that somewhere down the line probably doesn't correlate to our initial good intention.
In saying such, with the intention of being a vegetarian for moral reasons, i.e. refraining from the death of animals due to our consumption needs, where do our decisions stop being just about us and our dinner options, but about every aspect our lives touch and the catalysts thereafter.
People, especially vegetarians, stand all over the fence on making your pets vegetarian. In staying on terms with how nature wanted things, dogs and cats technically are omnivores. But in today's age of science and nutrition, we now know more about what our furry friends need as far as daily consumption values. Not only do we have more information about what makes our pets healthy, but we have also found ways to get what our pets need from vegetarian sources. Scientific America published a good article on why certain cats can in fact lead a very healthy vegetarian life, which you can read here. Before you begin your four legged family members on a completely vegetarian diet, you should always check with your veterinarian. Vegetarian Dogs also gives some useful information, although you have to buy their book to obtain it.
[Seattle Vegetarian Examiner]
Speaking about our four legged family members and whether we should subject them to our decisions with vegetarianism in the previous article Vegetarian pets, what about the rest of our family?
When you are living with just one other person, whom we'll title here as your significant other, it's much easier to make your own decisions on what you'll eat without a huge impact on them, especially if they decide to be vegetarian with you. Although, in certain cases it can still take it's toll. Here's some issues you may want to familiarize yourself with.
Say for instance, they choose not take part in your vegetarianism. Just like in the previous article with buying dog food, would you still be okay with the notion that your household is in fact still supporting the meat industry, whether you specifically eat it or not?
You also have to keep in mind that you'll be sharing your fridge and cabinets with meat products. A vegetarian friend told me her story of when she came home to her boyfriends traditional Irish dinner preparations of a seasoned sheep's heart in her fridge. She was fine with it, and many people are, just don't be alarmed with surprises in your fridge.
Do you have a fast way to tell people why you are vegan?
My colleague Sara Jelley, who is the Denver Vegan Examiner asked a group of vegans how they make a case for their vegan diet when they have just a minute or so to explain it. She has a great column this week in which she shares a variety of short, pithy answers; check out her Confessions article.
But once you’ve explained to someone why you are vegan, they are likely to have a few questions about the how of it all. And let’s face it—you’ve heard most of those questions so many times that it can be a trial to describe once again where you get your protein or how you know plants don’t feel pain.
A little preparation can make it easier. Memorize the quick answers below to the questions that non-vegans frequently ask so that you’ll always be on your activist toes. (You’ll want to tweak some of the answers, of course, to reflect your own vegan philosophy and lifestyle.)
Where do you get your protein?
No, that’s an outdated idea. Just eating different foods throughout the day is enough.
Do you worry about iron?
Do you have to take calcium supplements?
Don’t you have to spend a lot of time cooking?
I couldn’t eat a vegan diet; I like fat too much.
Don’t you miss eating cheese?
How do you know plants don’t feel pain?
I understand not wanting to kill animals for meat, but why aren’t milk and eggs okay?
Isn’t it okay to eat cage-free eggs?
Nope. There are so many great recipes for baking without eggs. And some good egg substitutes, too.
I can’t afford to shop at Whole Foods. Vegan diets seem expensive.
I wouldn’t know what to eat! What do you eat?