Saturday, March 6, 2010

vegan journey pt. 2 & one small change

I know I had said I might write next a bit about our experiences raising vegan children, perhaps I will at another time, but because I also want to write about our one small change for March, I just really need to get on with the story now...

So there we were, vegan forever, of course. (Oh yeah, part one is right here.) Our families were for the most part supportive. It was simple because it was a given that there were no compromises to be made. (We face many more issues trying to explain our reasons for most of our other lifestyle choices.. homebirths, no vaccinations, homeschooling, Waldorf, no television, no plastic toys, no synthetic fabrics, super particular about books... we are surely sometimes considered to be difficult. So us being vegan was really the least of it.)

For so many of the earliest years being vegan was a very big part of our lives. But eventually life became about so many other good things, and we just happened to be vegan, and in many ways we didn't think about it much anymore.

I wrote once here about our decision to start using wool, and how it really it all started with beeswax. The feelings we were left most with were how could we choose these synthetic materials, these petroleum based crayons, fake leather shoes, I don't care if it's recycled fleece, it's still plastic... (personal opinion here, respectfully shared, not at all judging!) ... and so we chose beeswax. And a couple years later we started using wool. You see it takes us quite a long time to come to these decisions...

But we certainly were not at that time thinking that we would ever not be vegan. Obviously something changed though. I am realizing now why it has been a little bit difficult for me to continue this story, there is so much to it and we are still so much in the middle of it. So what you are reading here cannot be all of the story...

I will tell you now though that we are no longer vegan. And I will tell you just a few of the specific things that brought about this change, these things that we have been putting much thought into over the past year or so...

Much of it goes back to the natural versus synthetic thing. We want to eat real food! Now of course we have always eaten plenty of real, good food. We eat a lot more beans, whole grains, and vegetables than we do tofu or other soy products. We almost never ate any of the fake soy meats, only occasionally bought soy cheese, (in recent years only, cause most soy cheese wasn't even vegan a long time ago), and in general our use of processed packaged foods was fairly minimal. But... we used soy milk everyday, not to drink but for cereal, baking, Jason's coffee, that he drank every morning for 10 years, (but he quit last year, hasn't had coffee in almost 6 months!), and sometimes we bought soy yogurt, and then there was the soy margarine, in the plastic container, with the various vegetable oils... And I would say that we don't eat a lot of soy products? That sure seems like a lot to me. Lots of trash too! Only recently has there been recycling options for the #5 plastic tubs in our town. And I am seriously sad and disturbed to think of all the soymilk boxes that we have thrown away over the years.

And not only do we want to only eat real food, we want to produce as much of our own food as we can. Jason and I grew our first garden together 13 years ago, since then we have had gardens of various sizes, but moving around a lot makes it a bit more challenging. We own the house we live in now and this will be our third season gardening here, but still, we have plans to move to a bigger piece of land, we will grow everything we can, and we at least want to have chickens and goats. Now of course this brings up more issues for us, can we really take responsibility for these animals, for bringing new lives into this world, and what will the outcome of that be? What will we do when the chickens are not laying so well, can we even emotionally handle losing an animal to illness or tragedy? We sure do not have the answer to these questions yet. But we are putting a lot of serious thought into it.

And now friends, because this has gotten to be so very long, I think I need to say again to be continued. But much sooner than last time I promise! By next weekend at least I will be back to tell you our March one small change, which is all about new food choices.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read what I am sharing here. It comes out so long, and really sometimes I am actually being brief. I am very happy to read any thoughts you might like to share as well.

12 comments:

sarah said...

I think this is a wonderful ongoing story. The choices you have made inspire me. I'd love to be as disciplined as you.

Naturalearthfarm said...

This is so thoughtful Renee... with regards to chickens, you can be like us and not kill them when they don't produce, nurse even the most sickly back to health, and give them free range. No, we certainly don't make money - we do sell to neighbors - but we have our own eggs from our well cared for chickens.

Thank you for sharing.
Warm wishes,
Tonya

suzanne said...

Hello Renee

I think universally we make changes every day. Changes bring about growth. There is nothing more exciting for me when I know we are being taken out of our comfort zone to try new things. Our Journey here was never meant to take one road..All the best with your choices Renee. Renee we have the most delightful bunch of chickens. They are so loved here. I play Mama hen often. Their are sad times, times when we rescue, joyful times when we gather our eggs. Thankful times for those wholesome eggs...I find having all these animals around us creates a rich environment for our children. The buzz of the orchard farmyard is wonderful.

Renee , I posted your parcel on Friday...look out for it~

Warm regards
Suzanne

leaningapplemama said...

i really like reading about your choices. i am so interested in why people make the choices they do regards to what they eat. your sounds so well thought out. which is really what matters...education and informed decisions, right?! i am at my grandfathers in florida right now and nobody here can understand my choices for organic real food. they couldn't believe the cookies my mom made (which were from scratch-the only way to eat them!!) and they kept talking about how much better they were. they roll their eyes at my organic milk and pnbutter but really...they should open their eyes! well...quite a long rant in your comments but i love to talk about healthy real food! okay...be well and i can't wait to read more about your changes!!! love, pennie

Nicole Spring said...

Wow, I feel like I could have typed a lot of this! Seriously... it was the natural vs. synthetic issue for us,too. We first started using wool then beeswax and then started adding smallamounts of dairy in out diets. Thats where we still currently are but I am just floored by how similar our journeys are <3

Can't wait to read more!!
XOXO

healing hillary said...

really enjoyed reading this. so thoughtful and inspired. really makes me feel like i am not alone in my quest to clean up my eating.

oldrecipe said...

It's so true that the small and large changes we make are all part of the journey--an evolution and growth, hopefully always bringing us right to the place we need to be. Thanks for sharing. Kyce

6512 and growing said...

Renee,
Makes perfect sense to me. Are you in La Plata County? There are some nice raw milk sources here for making your own yogurt and cheese.
Blessings on your continued journey!

earthycrunchy said...

I believe if we all took such care and thought into what we put into our bodies, we would be better off, healthier and happier. I so appreciate and love your thoughts on food. xo Kyndale

kendra said...

renee, i can very much relate to your journey, though i haven't really wanted to post much about my own food challenges. i was a vegetarian, but i added meat back to my diet after my son was reacting (via breastmilk) to dairy, eggs, nuts, gluten, and some others (like beans). it has been such a challenge, but we're eating so differently now, and so much better. i hope you find what works best for you and your bodies.

eringoodman said...

thank you so much for sharing so openly and honestly.

Nicole Benjamin said...

thank you for sharing so much of yourself in this space renee, it is so nice to read of your journey with your family. i look forward to your story as it unfolds. i understand and agree with so much of what you wrote, as a vegetarian family i often say that we could easily become vegan but for the same reasons you listed is why we are not. warmest wishes and rich blessings to you! xo