Confessions of a Part-time Vegan - #1

While this book is mostly about Derric’s journey from laboratory to freedom, it’s also going to include some ideas and tips about how to lead a life that’s more cruelty free. 

There’s one super-easy way to to this. The Beagle Freedom Project has an app available for iPhone or Android devices called Cruelty Cutter. Not only is a very useful tool for figuring out what to buy based on whether or not the company tests on animals, it’s also free! So if you need some sort of cleaning product, or some make-up or shampoo or whatever, check it out on Cruelty Cutter first and then make your decision. 

Another way lead a cruelty-free life is to become a vegan. Vegans do not eat or use animal products of any kind. Now here’s a confession -- we’re not full-time vegans in our house, but we are vegans part time, and a lot of the time we eat vegetarian. 

When you talk to people about being Vegan, they often don’t understand what it means. Or you get a question like, “Well, but what do you eat?” 

So we’ll start with breakfast. Here’s an easy one. Oatmeal, raisins, almond milk, and maple syrup, with cinnamon sprinkled all over if you like! It’s what I eat for breakfast almost every day. Don’t like almond milk? Try Soy. Or Cashew. Sometimes you have to sample a few to find which one you like best. Don’t like oatmeal? Substitute some other cereal. Some words of caution, though -- with cereals make sure to read the ingredients carefully to make sure they didn’t slip some animal product in there. Or honey... 

Wait, you might say, honey? What’s wrong with honey? 

There’s some confusion about honey around Vegan world, and I must confess I was among the confused. I mean, you’re not killing bees to get the honey, right? And honey is just something bees make naturally. However, if you are going full-on Vegan, honey is not allowed because it’s considering exploiting the bees to take their honey. So something to think about. 

But back to what to eat! Don’t like cereal for breakfast? Get some good bread, toast it, spread on peanut better and some good jelly. Done! There’s also a lot you can do with grains like rice or quinoa. Here in Los Angeles, various rice bowls at Sqirl fly out the door for breakfast and brunch. 

If you have any interest in trying to be more cruelty-free at meal time, you might also want to check out Mark Bittman’s Vegan Before Six. This is an especially good book for people who may be dipping toes into the pond, because Bittman gives strategies for how to choose and cook a more plant-based diet -- the idea behind this book is really that you eat vegan for breakfast and lunch and then you can eat whatever you choose for dinner. Also good are any of Yotam Ottolenghi’s books (although they lean mostly toward vegetarian). One more benefit to going to a more plant-based diet? It’s not just better for the animals. It’s better for the planet.