This is a response to some comments on my initial blog:
and I apologize the title is purely sensationalism…but now that I have your attention.
lack of sunshine inColorado???? The sun shines more days on average inColoradothan it does in the “SunshineState” ofFlorida. Lack of fresh local produce??? There are farms everywhere inColorado. What lame excuses.
Steph Says: ( I love that she says dude 🙂 ) and I appreciate her reasonable response…but it did send me in a new direction…
Dude I think your story is very different to “voracious eats”… who went from a vegan to a meat eater and claimed veganism was bad for her health. I don’t think many vegans would begrudge someone eating eggs or cheese from free-range, ethically raised animals. I, for one, do not begrudge such a choice. Your post seems a bit sensationalist actually, like you are wanting people to attack you.
No lie these comments were one right after another…so I thought I would respond.
Steph: wanting? People to attack me? NO — expecting…yes sadly “expecting” it…maybe that’s not a good thing either but that’s how I felt. Perhaps it’s because I have been so hard on myself. Perhaps because it took me nearly 10 years to go from carnivorous heathen that didn’t even think about health and environment very much to a super strict vegan – you know checking everything and no honey etc…. I spent a year and half being vigilant and I really enjoyed being vegan it made me feel good on a variety of levels (except when I was raw that was not a good idea for me) and I wanted to stay vegan, and after such a long journey and truthfully beating myself up I’m a bit sensitive and perhaps attacked myself first and foremost.
So yeah “coming out” wasn’t easy, neither was choosing to add some animal products back into my life…Honey being the first and best thing I added back in and for awhile that was it…a tablespoon of honey in my tea each morning. This was a big deal. I remember eating fish one night when I was particularly feeling bad and crying….
Sensationalist? Maybe a bit to get my point across – what floored me the most about reading voracious eats post was people threatening death…not just harm but death…and that’s what clicked it for me. Here are people claiming to be morally superior for a food choice and then being completely hypocritical… and well that cinched it for me. I wasn’t being “better” by not eating any animal products ever what made me a good person is that I am a good person that tries to do my best every day. Just like a million other good people that do their best every day.
Do I understand why people argue and talk about it? Absolutely, factory farming is heinous and dare I say evil and if more people would be aware of choices and attitudes we could make the world better for all. So I get the anger I do. I would still stand on a street corner and protest factory farms and fur coats. That being aside I don’t’ think vegans have a corner on morality and in some cases do more harm than good (even out of good intentions) and having been on “both sides” (if you could call it sides) I think there is a manner of flexibility that both sides have not embraced. Meat eaters could possibly concede that how we produce meat is bad and that too much is bad. While vegans could possibly concede that some animal products and sustainable practices are not only healthy but wise.
So do I want to be attacked? Hmmm well now that I think about…maybe I do – maybe I want people to take a long hard look at their moralizing and judging ways, maybe I want people to show their true colors.
Maybe like I said in my other post — to me vegans that threaten omnivores for their ways are very much like pro-lifers that bomb clinics or as George Carlin would say:
War for peace is like screwing for virginity.
But that all leads to Prashanti’s reply…see what did I tell you – that’s exactly the response I expected…so to answer.
Have you ever lived in the mountains ofColorado? For the record it’s a big state and every area has it’s different climates and available food resources. But it is not all fresh veggies and sunshine let me tell you. And perhaps after adjusting it will be better but here is my experience.
I moved here fromArizona, in March of last year. I left warm skies, days by the pool and a local store produce department that would make me cry in joy to see it now. I shopped at the local farmer’s market all winter long and during the summer I had trader joe’s and sunflower (oh sunflower how I miss you and your silly prices) The food was fresh and “not local” meant 5 hours to California or a little bit longer to Mexico, the prices were awesome and there was never a day or week that I couldn’t get almost everything I wanted or desired at a reasonable price.
I did not move toDenveror evenBoulder(their prices are still high but the options better) I moved to a quaint town called Glenwood Springs…somewhere between Vail andAspen. It’s adorable, the people are awesome – the food options are lame and when I got here in March it was snowing and raining and snowing.
I don’t have a sunflower, or even a Whole Paycheck, the farmer’s market (god love them) was cute but not really all that impressive — it’s a small town in a valley they do the best they can. We have Vitamin Cottage which does a great job being local, but their entire produce department is the size of the orange display down in good ‘ol AZ. And don’t even get me started on the restaurants…in a town of 8564 there are no less than 5 steak houses. This is rancher land. Plain and simple I moved to meat central. These cowboys like their meat. And I’m not going to argue, but the plain and simple truth I moved from a vegan mecca to carnivores wet dream and that makes it difficult. My kula is different, my first yoga gathering hear, meat and cheese and wine was served…OK it’s a bit different here. I was still trying my level best. Perhaps the altitude also affected me, I add the honey and then I added kefir.
And then fall hit…some time in august…UGH. Did I mention I live in a valley? The sun may rise each day but not for long. The average time of the sunrise in town is 7:30 am in the winter and sunset is 4:30pm but sadly this is in town. Some days we literally only get the sun for two hours in glenwood canyon. So don’t talk to me about the number of sunny days.
OH and have you seen a lot of fresh produce grown when the temperatures are below freezing and there is a layer of snow and ice on the ground? Nope.
As the days grew shorter and my depression deeper and my energy lessened I suppose I gave up. I added eggs occasionally, goat cheese and greek yogurt. And lo and behold…I felt better. And those first few months of adding things back in? a nightmare…tears, doubt, self loathing, doubt….I read everything I could on both sides of the issue. Additionally I spent some more time with Ayurvedic practitioners and delved deeper into my dosha and prescriptive health measures that were designed for me personally not a cookie mold that is supposed to work for everyone.
They are not lame excuses they are reasonably considered adaptations to climate and dosha. In the summer vegan was easy, as the fall and the winter set in it got harder and harder and in the long run unhealthy.
Until we all wake up and make those considered choices and not judge people for their considered choices we will continually be stuck arguing inanely. (see my post about that here)
If you live somewhere where produce is easily attained using sustainable practices and with a low carbon footprint, by all means vegan away, but when someone in the dead of winter in a snowy region eats meat or another animal by product I dare say it’s not only OK it’s necessary and reasonable. And if that product is purchased from the dairy farmer down the street all the better.
There is no right answer for every living being at all times, the answers are not black and white there is a rainbow of answers and needs flowing in between.
I would also caution about being to agro about your veganism, take it from someone who wholeheartedly believed they were vegan for life, humble pie is the hardest food to swallow.
OK I said I wasn’t going to go into my personal story but I feel even better now…thanks!!