It’s autumn…

And there are some amazing colors around.

Advertisements

On my plate

I have wanted to post some pictures of different foods we have made or eaten recently, just to give an idea of what I eat, maybe give someone a little inspiration, and show how changing vegan food can be, if you let it. So here it comes:

 

 

Breaking news: You can get all the nutrients you need from a plant-based diet

Almost every time I tell a new person that I’m vegan, the same type of questions pop up; Where do you get your protein from? Are you sure you get enough calcium? What about all the important amino acids that only exist in meat? Don’t you have to take a bunch of supplements? The variation of questions goes on forever, but my conclusion is: Most people believe that a plant-based diet is not sufficient, that it will not give you all the nutrients you need, but that is simply not true.

I’m not going to write much more about this issue right now, because Colleen from The Compassionate Cook has already done a great podcast on this, and I just want to direct you to it. She talks about where these important nutrients originally come from and why we believe they are only (or mainly) found in animal products, and no it’s not boring just because it is about nutrition. The podcast is only 13 minutes long and you can listen to it here.

Prejudice and disrespect

The name of this blog – “Veganjävel” – is a Swedish word used to degrade someone who is vegan. It consists of two parts; “vegan”, which means just the same in English; and “jävel” which means something like bastard or, literary, devil.

As an animal rights activist mainly working with giving people information about animal rights issues and veganism, I’ve received a lot of negative comments and insults. Most of the time they have not been directed to me alone, but to our group as a whole. Partly these comments have made me a stronger person, I have learned to not take them personally, and sometimes I can even laugh at them. But most of all they have reminded me of how rude people can be, and how much prejudice there is out there, so many fallible believes about things people know very little about, so much fear for the unknown that is turned into hatred.

Something I want this blog to do is to show people that very few of those prejudices against vegans are true, that there is a very different side to veganism and animal activism than what is shown to the general public. Yes, there are probably vegans that live up to the general stereotype, but I believe that they are very few, because I have actually never met one.

One of my goals as a person is to never meet anyone who I don’t agree with the same way I have been met,  just because you don’t agree, doesn’t mean you have to be rude and disrespectful.

A hope for an end to animal testing of cosmetics

“Over 80% of the world allows animals to be used in cruel and unnecessary cosmetics tests and these animal tested cosmetics can be purchased in every country across the globe.” – Cruelty Free International

There are alternatives to animal testing, and no living being should have to go through so much pain and suffering for our beauty’s sake.

Cruelty Free International is a global campaign started by the British organisation BUAV that strives to implement a worldwide ban on animal testing of cosmetics. On their website there is information about animal testing, the available alternatives, links to where you can find non-animal tested products in your country, etc. Included in the campaign is also a pledge, asking governments all over the world to ban animal testing of cosmetics and their ingredients.

The European Union was supposed to be free of all animal tested cosmetics by 2013, but now this ban might be postponed. There is a separate petition for this, asking the EU to keep their promise.

It takes only a minute of your time to sign these petitions, but it is a big help to the animals that suffer in laboratories all over the world!

How I became a vegan

My road to becoming a vegan started in 2004. I was 14 years old and had started to learn about how the animals we eat end up on our plates. I felt disgusted by the fact that what was on my plate once had been a living being, and I decided never to eat animals again. I did not take it up for discussion with my parents at that point, I was just too scared to tell them, straight to their face: “I’m going to become a vegetarian”, so I just stopped eating meat until they got the point and we started buying vegetarian alternatives for me instead. It was never a problem with them, they never told me I couldn’t become a vegetarian, they just accepted that it was my decision and supported me in that, helping me find and cook new types of food. I love them for that.

I didn’t go completely vegetarian at first though, for a while I still ate fish. It took me some time to realize that fish are able to feel the pain inflicted to them just as any other living being, that the only difference is that we can not hear them scream. Eating them would be just as wrong as eating pigs or chickens. It took maybe a year before I also took out the fish out of my diet.

I stopped using animal products also in my clothing at the same time I stopped eating meat, it just felt like a natural thing to do. Why should I continue wearing someone elses skin if I was opposed to eating their flesh? I also started to look for non-animal tested cosmetics at this time.

I remember that at some point told my brother that I will never go vegan, that I don’t understand why you would do that because “you don’t need to kill anyone to get milk or eggs”. I didn’t realize then that it was about more than just the actual killing, that animals in any production suffer a great deal. I didn’t realize, like so many others, that cows need to give birth to calves to be able to give milk, and things similar to that.

With time I also learned more about the living conditions of all type of farmed animals; I watched documentaries, read books and magazines, read discussions in different forums, and I became more and more convinced that veganism was the right way to go. In fact, it was the only way to go. After this realization it still took me some time before I actually stopped eating eggs and dairy products completely. I changed my diet in school into a completely vegan one, and at home I ate more vegan food than before, but I planned to not become completely vegan before I moved away from home.

I couldn’t wait that long though. It didn’t feel right to keep on eating something I knew was wrong and unethical. So I became a vegan in october 2008, and around the same time I discovered the local animal rights group, and joined them. I haven’t even once felt regret, taking that step, going on this journey, is probably the best thing I have ever done. It has given me so much, I have explored to many new flavors, met so many amazing people, become more compassionate in other parts of my life and developed a much stronger personality, and I would not have achieved those things if I wouldn’t have taken that step eight years ago.