I’ve been trying to decide how to run this blog. Sometimes deciding what to write about can seem overwhelming and paralyzing, which leads to inactivity. That is the opposite of what I want here. I want to keep blogging so I have a record to look back on and remember. So for now, this blog will coincide with what I’m sharing about on my social media page. My husband and I have decided to do several live Facebook videos to answer questions and share our stories about many topics that are close to our hearts. Our first video was about our veganism and how we arrived at choosing this lifestyle. Soon it will be foster care and adoption, homeschooling, raising godly kids and more.
So, why vegan? I’m so glad you asked! It started out innocently enough. Forty pounds gained after getting two newborns back to back led to searching for motivation to lose weight. I sat down on May 1, 2017 after the littles were in bed and chose a documentary that sounded educational-possibly even motivational…Food Choices. Earl and the kids trickled in to watch shortly after it started, and what happened next, none of us could have predicted.
You see, we were not healthy people. I had lost weight in the past using diet and exercise, but my diet consisted of Weight Watcher’s frozen meals and counting every single calorie, limiting myself to no more than 1,200 calories a day. Other times I lost weight using a prescribed pill from a physician or an over the counter drug. Our idea of eating vegetables was opening a can of green beans or corn to have on the side of a plate full of animal flesh and animal reproductive products, like dairy and eggs. So if you’re picturing a super healthy family who was moving toward eating all plants anyway, get that out of your head now, lol.
The truth is, we were ready for change and the facts given in the documentary were not offensive to us, they were eye-opening. I think we all know meat and cheese aren’t really healthy for us, but they’ve become synonymous with protein and tradition and everyone else eats animals so it’s fine…it’s something we never even considered not doing. When we learned the true long-term effects of animal products on our bodies and how well we could thrive without them, we were intrigued. Then we learned the high environmental costs of so many people consuming animals at every meal, every single day. We were startled. Finally, we saw the pain and suffering caused in the raising of animals to be eaten or used for their reproductive products like milk and eggs, and we were distraught. To come face to face with these living creatures and realizing they are the same as the little dog laying on your lap as you watch them suffer is something none of us want to do. Most of us avoid thinking about it and definitely don’t seek out the footage of it. Once you see it though, you can never say you didn’t know. You can’t pretend it’s far away and doesn’t affect you. You know that you must make that choice: to continue to support it, or to stand up against it.
And so we chose to stand. At the time, I was so preoccupied with learning what our new normal was, I didn’t think at all of what others would say or think of us. All I knew was, I was giving our freezer full of meat away and needed to figure out what I was going to feed my family. I remember Googling, “What do vegans eat if they don’t like vegetables?” LOL! The article I found recommended baked potatoes with black beans, salsa and sour cream(vegan, of course). We had this meal a lot that first month! It actually took us about 2 months to get dairy out of our fridge and off our plates. I couldn’t find a coffee creamer I liked, and not eating cheese as a topping seemed so horrible. What finally led to the total commitment was learning more and more about the dairy industry, learning more and more about how we aren’t supposed to be breastfeeding from anyone into adulthood, let alone another species, and finally finding a creamer I loved(Trader Joe’s Soy creamer, if you’re curious)!
The past 19 months has been quite a journey! When you discover a new truth you didn’t know before and it changes your life, you are so excited to tell others about it! It takes a long time before you realize most people are not where you’re at. They look at us as though we’re radical or extreme. I don’t see it that way at all. I just see it as a natural extension of the compassion and empathy that fills our hearts for people. God’s mercy and love is seen in all creation, and going vegan has made me love Him so much more as the Creator. I can appreciate His original design in the garden now- when He gave us all the plants as our food. I appreciate the animals as being created to bring Him glory, just in a different way than people. I really appreciate the energy and vitality eating plants gives us…keeping up with the toddlers is so much easier with good nutrition than it was the first go round with processed foods and animal products.
Vegans care deeply about animals and how they’re treated, this is true. However, if you listen with an open heart, you’ll find out they care about so much more. They care about creation, nature and the future of our planet. They care about people and how sick we’ve all become because of a broken food industry. They may come on a bit strong, but when you’ve been radically changed, that passion is hard to quench. Have some patience with us…we’d love to have a civil and intellectual discussion, I promise. You may learn some things that send you on a search for truth that ends with you saying words you KNEW you’d never say to someone…”Hello, I’m vegan.”