I'm not the perfect vegan, I'm so far from being the perfect vegan it could upset me ... but it doesn't !! Why doesn't it you might ask, well because I am doing exactly what the meme above says. 'I'm doing the best I can to cause the least harm', and hopefully I will be able to carry on this way for the rest of my life.
I can't stand suffering, I can't stand it when people say one thing and do another. 'I love animals' is an often repeated phrase, nine times out of ten from someone who will then go on to eat a slice of one for their tea with a side of chips and a coating of gravy. I just woke up one day, did some research and decided I couldn't be one of those people anymore, so I changed. Be the change you want to see!
My journey over the last fifteen years has taken me from cutting out red meat, to full on vegetarianism, then back to pescatarianism ... because I thought I needed the nutrients in fish ... HA .... I have felt so much better since I cut all animal products out of my diet ... and now I have moved finally and completely into veganism ... or a completely plant based diet as some call it.
Indeed maybe I should say I am 'plant based eater' rather than a vegan, because still in my life is one of the by-products of the animal industry - leather.
I have a couple of leather bags and a few pairs of leather shoes and boots, the sofa I sit on to eat my plant based meals is made of leather, the steering wheel cover and seat trims of my car are leather. It seems I am surrounded by the stuff. I can't afford to change everything at once but I can use them for now, respectfully make them last, wear them out and when they need replacing replace them with kinder, more soul satisfying alternatives.
Luckily I have always been allergic to wool so I don't have masses of woolly jumpers siting on my shoulders or my conscience, and to my knowledge there is little wool in the house, maybe a percentage in the carpet, but I really don't know.
Little by little I am moving forward, slowly and gently ... and for me that's the best way to go.
Some days you just want pastry .... yesterday I got a lot of pastry!!
This is one of our large plates, I needed to use because it my pasty was HUGE ;-)
It all started with half a pack of puff pastry that needed using up.
I had bought four blocks of ready made pastry from the 'Reduced to Clear' cabinet in Tesco's the previous week, three had gone straight into the freezer for future use, half was used on the day to make two open Sweet Potato and Roasted Vegetable tarts for tea and the other half wrapped and popped into the fridge ... where it lay forgotten about until I moved the carton of yogurt that was in front of it ... ooops!
It rolled out into a rather weird shape ... I've never been good at rolling circles or oblongs ... but it actually worked in my favour as the smaller side folded neatly over and I could crimp the edges really well. A quick filling of grated Violife cheese with a dollop of Tomato and Onion chutney stirred through and then some more Violife on top and it made for a simple but filling tea after a day spent doing washing ,ironing, hovering etc .... you know all the glamorous jobs.
We have five acres ..... it's a good job I don't eat meat .... lol :-)
And I'm sick of being asked 'Can you eat this?', 'Can you eat that?' .... YES I can ...but I won't, there's just no need to. I'm eating better now than I have ever eaten and feeling better for it too!!
The polytunnel is possibly at it's most desolate at the moment.
It's been a sadly neglected place over the last few months, especially so this last couple of weeks while I have been so off colour with this dreadful cold/flu like bug that I have had.
It needs a good tidy, a sort out of the stacks of plant pots and trays on the work bench which appear to be home to a myriad of spiders and little critters that have over-wintered in some style, and it also needs a wash down of the polythene on the right hand side to get rid of the build up of green stuff that will block the sunshine .... when we finally get some. Once this is done it should feel brighter and fresher again.
But saying all that, there is still some food to be had, although at the moment I think we are sharing it with a little nocturnal visitor. This Kale that I relocated the other week and have been picking some from regularly for my morning Nutriblasts was also picked from by a little creature overnight for the last two nights. I guess it's the 'hungry gap' for everyone not just us, so I'm not overly concerned,
The next bed along has the last of the Leeks, three more that will make another tasty Leek and Potato soup for lunches this weekend when Alan is home. The thing in the bottomless brown plant pot is a Celery plant that sprouted up of it's own accord ... I must have accidently dropped a seed.
The other Celery's were in this bed last year, and these are two that I harvested a couple of months ago that have since started to regrow. Celery is one of the many plants that will regenerate from the root system if you harvest above grown level and leave the roots undisturbed.
To the left of the celery is the Kohl Rabi plants (also nibbled by our little visitor),and to the left of them the Spinach that has over-wintered pretty well.
The centre end bed is the one with the most to eat at the moment. Furthest away and nearest to the far doors, are some Swiss Chard plants, then a few remaining Beetroot, then a line of Mixed Leaves which have done really well considering the frosts we have had over the past few weeks, and then closest to us some Spring Onions.
The blue hoops are there ready to hold a layer of fleece whenever the temperature drops to below freezing.
So although there is lots to do to get growing again for this year, there are things still to eat in the polytunnel and lots of the crops that originally came from the polytunnel are still being eaten from the freezer so I think we are doing quite well, and the 'hungry gap' for the first time is going to be quite a bit shorter ... even if we are sharing the last of the food with our little mice-y friends.
Now I have always like peanut butter, most sorts although smooth has always had the edge over crunchy, but I will eat virtually all peanut butters. I'm not as keen on almond or cashew butters but they have grown on me a little bit recently. When my supply was running low the other day I called into Tesco on my way back from the cinema and took the time to browse the peanut and nut butters a little bit more closely than usual ... and I spotted this one.
Which at the time of writing is my new favourite peanut butter of choice.
Closely followed by it's best friend ... this one ... which is currently on special offer in Tesco at £2.50 for the large jar (the crunchy version is reduced too) , I feel a little bit of stocking up the store cupboard is called for :-)
I got an email with the round up stats for Veganuary 2017 the other day ... so I thought I would put it on here for future reference.
I absolutely loved taking part in this, the daily emails made it so easy to keep on track, be inspired to try new foods and helped me to learn so much. I'll definitely be doing it again next year, but next time I'll be signing up from an already vegan starting point :-)