The Journey Begins!!

3 Nov

On October 24, 2010 I decided to become a vegetarian (with strong vegan leanings – more on that later)!  I have been leaning in this direction ever since I first watched Food, Inc and after finishing Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows as well as viewing various online footage of what goes on on factory farms,  slaughterhouses and science labs, I finally decided that my love of animals and the horror and anger I feel from this new knowledge and still being a consumer of products that advocate animal abuse and exploitation are too conflicting and hypocritical. I can no longer remain a blind consumer of these products who buries my knowledge of the horrific truth while tucking into a steak or purchasing a pair of all leather Calvin Klein boots.

In the last year I have been exploring more and more vegetarian foods and recipes and have found that one can actually eat quite heartily and tastily (is that a word?) without having animal flesh in their diet. Vegan desserts are the bomb, btw!!  I have yet to make a full decision on becoming vegan but there was a time when I never would have thought I’d embrace vegetarianism so it is by no means out of the question especially as I continue to learn more and more about the animal industry and the appalling cruelties that we inflict on other living beings.  A life without meat is easy enough…a life without cheese is something I am not yet quite reconciled to. Though I just learned what rennet is last week and now even my love of cheese is on its way to being spoiled.

Another step will be finding decent leather goods replacements as the more I learn about the leather industry and the animal abuse that happens there the less I want to be a part of supporting that industry as well.  There seem to be more and more stylish options out there and as the leather goods I have wear out I will replace things with vegan goods (though I am concerned that as hard as it is to find a size 5 shoe it will be nearly impossible to find vegan size 5’s). I am also researching cleaning products and cosmetics that don’t test on animals or contain animal by-products and am very pleased by the amount of information that is out there!

I do admit that over the past week I have felt as though I were a bit in mourning…not so much for animal products as I KNOW BEYOND A DOUBT that this is ONLY option for me now that I know what I know…but is hard to change 31 years of habit and routine.  Knowing that I will never place  milk and eggs and a chicken thigh into my shopping basket ever again feels weird and there is a little bit of panic around my heart when I think of the changes that I am facing.  But I have accepted that it is OK to be a work in progress, that change doesn’t have to happen overnight and that I can succeed at this by using my intuition and making the best decisions that I can one day at a time.  Eventually, NOT buying eggs, milk and chicken will be what feels normal to me.

This blog will my record of this journey and will be a place for me to share all that I learning with whomever is interested.

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13 Responses to “The Journey Begins!!”

  1. Tine November 4, 2010 at 3:35 pm #

    I think it is very brave of you to try something new! I wish you lots of luck! 🙂 PS. I think its about time we tried to meet up for a glass of wine!

  2. Christy November 4, 2010 at 3:37 pm #

    I am looking forward to this blog as much as Euro Chic! You always have interesting posts and I learn a lot from them. I am beginning my own journey on frugality, simplicity and finding my own sense of style. I am not a vegetarian, but I am a huge fan of healthy eating!

  3. Marie November 4, 2010 at 3:54 pm #

    I love reading your blog no matter what you’re cooking or eating…its interesting. Keep it up!

  4. Christine November 4, 2010 at 4:41 pm #

    Hi! I just wanted to tell you how much I applaud your decision. I was a vegetarian with vegan leanings (even dabbled in raw foodism for a time) for fifteen years. I felt I was doing something good for the animals, the environment, and of course myself. I am excited to see you embark on this journey. I also wanted to take this opportunity to tell you how much I enjoy your EUROCHIC blog. Your sense of style is beautiful, and I have been inspired time and time again by the creative, chic and classic outfits you put together. Now that you have begun Vegetarian Chic, I am excited to see where you go with your choices in clothing, shoes and handbags. Do you think you will stop wearing leather? I did for a time but went back to wearing it for various reasons. I wish you every success on your journey and look forward to reading your posts on both EUROCHIC and Vegetarian Chic!!!!

  5. Deborah November 4, 2010 at 4:52 pm #

    Eurochic:
    I’ve been a big fan of your style blog and now I applaud your decision to go meatless. I’ve been a vegetarian for 22 years for exactly the same reason as you–my love of animals. Best of luck with your new decision and I look forward to reading about your experiences and new recipes.
    Deborah

  6. ellen November 4, 2010 at 6:37 pm #

    Fantastic new blog–so glad that you’re willing to share the journey!!

  7. Jacqueline November 4, 2010 at 10:58 pm #

    I am really looking forward to reading your new blog and so glad to hear of your ethical choice in eating.
    Are the vegan pancakes homemade?

  8. LAURA November 5, 2010 at 5:40 am #

    I am so pleased that you decided to go vegetarian – I would recommend
    The New Moosewood Cookbook if you need a starter vegetarian cookbook. It is often noted as one of the best books on the subject (according to the NY Times) also
    go to the Peta website – they have a lot of resources on vegan/vegetarian items that are available.

    As far as shoes…. hmm that is a hard one – most of the vegan shoes I have run across are um… UGLY – no offense – if you can afford Stella McCartney she has some lovely shoes…just a though

    Blessings on your journey

    Comment by LAURA — November 5, 2010 @ 5:39 am

  9. Julianne November 5, 2010 at 11:52 am #

    I am looking forward to this blog. Although not a total vegetarian, I could live without meat and be happy. It’s kind of difficult when you have kids and husband to please. I have seen Food Inc. Had to cover my eyes at the bad parts. I tried a vegan diet once and it was just too difficult for me. So, I am looking forward to your menu ideas. Good luck! Oh I also love Eurochic. Haven’t commented but I read it every day.

  10. Cherie November 5, 2010 at 2:13 pm #

    Looking forward to following you on your journey. I’ve been a full-time vegetarian for about 8 years, also for ethical reasons. There are a lot of health benefits as well, many of which I learned when I took a series of cooking classes through the Cancer Project, part of Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, headed up by Dr. Neal Barnard.

    • eurochic November 5, 2010 at 2:53 pm #

      HI, Thanks for all of your support…I had no idea that so many Eurochic readers were vegetarian or vegan. Thanks for the cookbook suggestions which I have added to my library hold list (keep them coming). Laura, I agree that PETA has a great website and I have printed endless materials from it on products that are animal friendly. I agree that most shoes seem to be ugly but am actually seeing some that are really nice!

  11. Kathy Davenport November 5, 2010 at 5:04 pm #

    You’ve begun a wonderful, interesting journey, and it’s great you’re sharing it. I’ve been a vegetarian since meeting my veggie husband over 20 yrs. ago. Moving to a large metro area has made life easier since more stores and restaurants offer meatless options and fewer people give us strange looks when we ask for salad without bacon. Since we both really like dairy and honey, we don’t plan to be vegans. I tried to limit leather, but there are so few affordable, decent options (also, in cold weather my fingers can go completely numb. I tried every other kind of gloves and mittens but only leather ones prevent this.)

  12. Jamie November 6, 2010 at 12:54 am #

    Good for you! As others have said, this is a challenging, rewarding journey, and I wish you all the best. I stopped eating meat 17 years ago, as a teenager, and then went vegan in my early 20s. It is not always easy, and I know I am not always perfect (one example: I am a dancer and find it nearly impossible to get non-leather dance shoes!) – but, do what you can and feel good about the fact that everything you do is making a difference. I noticed your shepherd’s pie recipe was from Sarah Kramer & Tanya Barnard’s cookbook – Sarah’s other books are fantastic too. I also love Isa’s books (Vegan With A Vengeance, Veganomicon), and there is a book called The Joy of Vegan Baking, by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau, that is completely decadent and wonderful. 🙂 There are so many more books, blogs, shops, websites, etc. on vegetarianism/veganism now than a few years ago – I’m sure you will find lots of great resources to help you on your way. I look forward to reading your updates here!

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