Okay. So here I am…a blogger…Hmmm…well, in reality, writing is not my thing. Well, writing paragraphs, that is. Songs, that’s another story. But, I’m going to give it a go. This will not really be a food blog, since I wouldn’t call myself a chef, but just your ordinary, every day sort of person, learning her way around the kitchen. Full disclosure here, though. I have been vegan for over 7 years, and during that time, I have learned a lot about cooking. Good thing since I am a teacher after all!
I really like a good story, so I am going to try to focus on a good story each week. Plus I might cook something, review a recipe, a book or suggest a new product that I just love. Who knows? I think there will be no rules. I hope that means you will enjoy reading, not be bored, and most importantly, find resources and helpful advice for your plant-based or vegan journey. (Again, no rules!)
Now, before I begin. I will tell you that I HATE long blogs. I usually stop reading after about 3 paragraphs. So, if you are like me, trust me. The rest of them won’t be this long. But, my story is very personal, very emotional and very life-changing for me, so I have to tell it to you in its entirety. Translation: this is going to be a long blog. I promise next weeks’s won’t be!
My story began in the spring of 2010. (Well, actually, it probably began when I was born, but my cognizance began in 2010.) I had gotten divorced in 2008 and moved into a slab ranch house with a huge yard.
I had no intention of having a yard, but this house had a PERFECT kitchen, so…I bought it!
In the winter, my church’s book group was reading a book called, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver. I couldn’t attend the book group, but the book sounded interesting so I decided to read it on my own…actually, I listened to the book on tape read by the author. I loved the book! It was all about eating locally and growing/raising as much of your own food as possible. Parts of the book disturbed me, like when the baby chicks were sent through the U. S. mail and when she had to teach the turkeys how to mate because they can’t naturally any more. (In the industry, people do all the impregnating.)
But, I pushed these thoughts aside and took the basic meaning premise of the book to heart. I made a 12’ x 12’ garden. At first, I didn’t realize that I needed to fence it in, and everything I planted was eaten in one night! So I fenced it in. That year I raised a little of my food. I started buying from the farmers’ markets.
The following year, my garden doubled in size. (Putting up the fence was hard!) I learned that pinwheels keep the groundhog at bay, and I raised more of my own food.
That year, my good friend, Beth, who is on top of every new invention, had gotten an iPod and started listening to these things called Podcasts, which I had never heard of AND I didn’t own an iPod. Beth was also into gardening and cooking her own food. She had bought a cookbook called The Vegan Table by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau, and it came with sampler CD’s of 6 episodes of Colleen’s Food for Thought podcast. She gave me one, with a comment like, “You might like this.” I still don’t know if she knew what was on that CD, but that single act was perhaps the biggest life changing moment I have had.
I was in grad school back then, so I popped the CD in on my commute. The first episode was entitled, “The Truth about Eggs”. I really don’t remember everything she said. But learning that male chicks are ground up alive made me bawl my eyes out all the way to class.
I composed myself for the 2 hours of school, then bawled all the way home. Plus, I listened to the more of the CD sampler and learned equally ugly facts about the dairy industry. So, even though I never had hear the word vegan, nor realized what it was.
That night in that car, I became vegan in my heart.
The actual process took more like a few months. And, in reality, is still going on. I learn new information all the time. Stuff I would never have even thought to ask about, like the plastic bags they give out in the grocery store contain slaughterhouse waste. Sometimes, I wonder when it will ever end. But, then I pick myself up, dust myself off, and try my best to make a difference.
I now lively happily & healthfully, fully vegan, with my partner—transitioning from that “big” slab ranch house (1200+ sqft) into a one bedroom apartment (680sqft) for now, to end up in a tiny house (400-500 sqft). I plan to see how we live this year and design the perfect home for us, with everything we need (including a bay window for the cat!) and nothing we don’t need. Ultimately, I would like to create a tiny house, vegan village, because one thing I have learned over the past 7 years is that community is key!
Thanks for reading!