Saturday, December 8, 2007

Rethinking My Diet

For quite a number of years, I've been a vegan. This means I've eschewed all animal products, including dairy, eggs and seafood. I became vegan mostly for ethical reasons, although environmental and health reasons were also considerations.

During the last few weeks, however, I've been seriously rethinking my position. Here's why:
  • Fish: It's almost impossible to refute the evidence that certain seafoods are extremely healthy for humans. (And, from an ethical standpoint, Jesus ate fish.)
  • Eggs: My biggest problem with eggs was always the treatment of chickens in large egg-laying plants. But obtaining eggs from a genuine free-range farm (local, so I can actually see the farm and chickens) eliminates that issue.
  • Dairy: Again, the treatment of the cows (and the hormones) were always the sticking point for me when it came to dairy. Organic and local dairy products can help ease my mind.
The primary reason I've been reconsidering this, however, is because Hubby and I are thinking about having children (some day). And, in the event that happens, I won't be raising them as vegans. For one thing, raising a vegan child is a great way to have social services knocking on your door. For another, I don't think it's healthy to give children inordinate amounts of soy, which often happens in a vegan diet. And finally, I believe veganism is a personal choice of ethics, one that my child is free to make on his/her own when he/she is capable of intellectual reason.

And if I'm not going to raise my child as vegan, what's the point of eating vegan myself? I'm certainly not going to prepare three different meals--a vegan one for me, a vegetarian one for the kids, and a meat one for Hubby--at dinner!

I think I could be comfortable feeding both me and any future children a lacto-ovo-pescetarian diet. And Hubby would be willing to go along with that diet, too, I think.


Tracy said...

I think it's sad that you may stop being vegan. Yes, Jesus ate fish. But at that time fish were plentiful. Now many species face extinction. Also, back then they didn't have large nets for dolphins and other animals to get caught in. And they didn't contain mercury.

Regarding cow's milk, humans are the only species who drink the milk of another species. We are also the only species who continues to drink milk after being weaned. We don't need it. And it's not good for us.

There are many women who raise their kids vegan and they do great. Check out, as well as these links:

If your children wish to become meat-eaters when they are older, then they can. But why not raise them as vegans until then?

You've done so much good for your health and for the animals. Why not continue that?


~~Midnight Raider~~ said...

Thanks for your comments! Believe me, I'm quite informed about veganism... I've been vegan for years, I've read all the literature and I don't need any lectures.

That aside, what I WOULD be interested in reading--and can't seem to find--is scientific research about child development in vegans versus vegetarians... and I mean research that is NOT biased (e.g. not published by the PCRM.

Fatinah said...

Well, you new way of eating sounds like a yummy mouthfull! If you're feeling like you need to add something to your diet - then I think you should - I feel confident that the world will not be a worse place to live if you eat an organic egg. As for feeding the kids - moms know best - and if that is what you would like your kids to eat - then you sound like you're going to be a very caring parent - given that you're putting so much thought into it. And you're right - it won't mean that they won't choose to be vegan also. I personally support anyone who is making conscious decisions about their food - regardless of wether they are eating meat or not. We all know how much work it is to watch what you eat. You've clearly put a lot of thought into this. Adding meat, taking meat out, the environment - hot topic for sure! Oh, if your husband will eat that diet also - I think it would make meals more fun cause the family will all be eating the same thing. Looking forward to seeing how it all works out for you.

chefsassy said...

I've been Vegan since '94 and wouldn't change a thing.

But while I feel it's very important to stand up for what you believe in -- whether in diet or politics or religion -- just because a decision was right for you at one point in your life, doesn't mean it will still hold true years down the road.

I think we all get into trouble, whether vegan or not, when we stick to a decision simply because we'd feel silly if we changed our minds. To boldly stand by a decision even when you no longer feel it's right for you is not healthy physically, mentally or emotionally.

I'd really hate to see a self-proclaimed non-vegan stick to eating meat, dairy and eggs for the rest of his/her life simply because they've learned some new info that might be pointing them to "go veg" yet feel embarrassed about changing their mind. Sheesh, if this were the case there wouldn't be many vegetarians out there! ;O) Anyway, I feel it's important for us to allow this space for vegetarians/vegans to change their minds too.

You have to do what's right for you.

There are a lot of people out there, vegan or non-vegan, who simply don't know how to put together a healthy meal. Yes, it can be done, but you have to be pro-active, you have to be smart, you have to have the courage to not blindly follow the advice of others without thinking things through. Of course, everyone is so busy with jobs and kids and life (!) that it can be difficult.

You said: "That aside, what I WOULD be interested in reading--and can't seem to find--is scientific research about child development in vegans versus vegetarians... and I mean research that is NOT biased".

I highly recommend you do your research before making your decision.

Best wishes. I know it can't be easy. ;O)


the veggie paparazzo said...

It's certainly good to rethink and reconsider beliefs as you go through your life so that you are making solid, informed decisions when you make them. No matter what you decide to put in your mouth, it sounds like you will be raising children who get good nutritional/ecological/ideological info from their mom, and that's wonderful.