Question: Deborah, I have heard you are a Vegan or have been one for nearly 10 years. When did you start or is that a difficult question?
Answer: Yes – a little difficult as with many decisions there can be conflict. There was. There is more to the story. First up in 1977 as a teen I decided to become a vegetarian. Becoming a vegan was later. “Flexitarian” comes to mind with other issues that came up and which I had to deal with. People sometimes have different stances on eating animal products or animal cruelty – all for some varying reasons. I do respect other people’s point of view and have learned from them.
Question: Why did you become a Vegetarian then in 1977?
Answer: I picked up an old book from a bookshelf. I remember the cover distinctly because the cover was rather uninviting. It was old and worn, red and plain. I guess I was surprised that such a book would give me insight so different to all the society I mixed in. I flicked through the pages to one chapter that talked about the cruelty to cattle and gave some examples. This was 1977. I made a decision. This was my main motivating factor for not eating meat anymore.
Question: So what was your first meal?
Answer: I was living at home – so it was difficult. I said “No” – outright to Mince stew. (It was my least-liked meal) I was happy with that at least. My mother was not with my non-meat eating stance. I first made what was called Mock Fish. Made of potatoes, onions, eggs, and flour. I still make them now although I will often use egg substitutes and combine with sweet potato and home-grown parsley. We have taken in some hens which weren’t wanted and I have learned a lot after looking after them. It has made it easier to give eggs away rather than eat them.
Question: Did you have other people around who gave you input about being a Vegan?
Answer: Yes a much older person who is now in her late 80s and still a Vegan. So is her husband. Both of their families beforehand had suffered from severe physical illness early in life. I received my first Vegan cookbook in the late 1970’s when I had left home. I made some atrocious meals. I had to re-learn to cook.
Question: Did any other person have an influence on you in your teens?
Answer: Yes but it was something I never really connected till much later. In the early ’70’s a Social Studies teacher in High School talked about Hamburgers being made from Soybeans. The thought was so alien – it stuck in my mind as something I had never even thought about. It was so “Strange”.
Hamburgers being made from Soybeans? The thought was so alien. It stuck in
my mind as something I had never even thought about. It was so STRANGE. Click To Tweet
Question: Has becoming a Vegan had an impact on your Health?
Answer: Yes & No. At one stage in my 20’s, I was heavily influenced by reading extreme views in different areas and it caused me to teeter towards a heavy “rule-oriented” view. This affected both my health and eating habits. I have found with maturity and experience that having an extreme view on Veganism outweighs any health benefits for me. If I have a relaxed view there are a lot more health-oriented habits experienced. I am happy and at peace with that.
Question: What is your view on animals and the products being used for humans?
Answer: It can put me in hot water with both camps. But here goes. I say that each has their own responsibility with the view they take and the attitude with how they approach it. Education means a lot and each person can do some good in the corner where they find themselves. Each person has influence. Whichever view you do take remember this. Animals can be hurt by synthetic products too. An example is how polluting the textile industry is said to be. (Think twice before choosing Fast Fashion!) Our trouble as humans is we don’t have a lot of foresight and look mostly short-term. It is only wisdom that can help with that and I pray for it continually.
If you have got to here – I thank you for reading some of my views which I have preferred to put in Question and Answer format. Warmly, Deborah