I used to be a quite sad and angry person, disappointed in how we treat each other, how we treat non-human animals and the earth. There is also a general notion out there about vegans always being angry, and I understand it, because a lot of the vegans I know, or even some that I have only met briefly, are angry. How can you not be angry when there is so much that is wrong in the world and you feel so small, so hopeless, when it comes to changing all of that?
But I realized somewhere along the way (partly because I was finally fighting, and winning over, my severe depression, but also because of other circumstances) that being angry was not getting me anywhere, neither was it doing much for the animals. I was so desperate in making people see what I see, making them understand the world the same way that I do, that I would have done anything just to change them. But you cannot just change people, change comes from inside, from realizing something yourself. And me being angry, sad and desperate did not help anybody to realize anything, because who wants to listen to someone who is constantly angry?
I’m an overall happier person today, I smile so much more now than a few years ago. Of course I have my days when everything feels wrong, or when the truth of the world just washes over me and makes me feel totally out of hope that it will ever change. But most of the time I’m hopeful, and I try to stay happy. Because I am happy that I’m a vegan, that I changed. I can’t make anyone else change, but I change myself constantly to become a better person, to evolve. I know that I inspire others to change too, and that is not because I’m angry and constantly tell people about things that are wrong in the world or things I think they should change in their lives, but because I’m happy and sure about the decisions I’ve made and because I answer honest questions from people without demanding anything from them.
Nothing makes me happier than when someone is genuinely interested in veganism or animal rights, or something else that is close to my heart. Every time I can help someone with a concern they have it pretty much makes my day. That’s why I like having this blog so much too, every time someone comments I get to smile. So thank you!
“To laugh often and much;
To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children;
To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends;
To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others;
To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition;
To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived.
This is to have succeeded.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803 – 1882)
Believe it or not, it is possible to make lasagna without minced meat and tons of cheese.
I made my first ever lasagna last Sunday, and even though it took some time it is actually quite easy. And even if it’s not the prettiest food I’ve seen it tasted good!
The recipe I used is taken from the book “Vegaanin uusi keittokirja” (in Finnish), which was edited by the Finnish animal rights organisation Fauna. I’ve translated it for you below. I also have some other lasagna-recipes I want to try out, one that is soy-free. But if I know myself correctly, it will take a few months before I manage to get that done… So for now you’ll have to do with this one:
Vegan lasagna with two fillings
whole grain lasagna
oil for frying
1 big onion, chopped
2 garlic gloves, crushed
1 cube of vegetable stock
500 g crushed tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato purée
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp pizza seasoning
1 big carrot, grated
2 dl crushed soy
1½ dl water
Sauté onion and garlic in oil in a pot. Add the rest of the ingredients and let it boil on medium heat for about 15 minutes. Add water if needed.
4 tbsp vegan margarine
4 tbsp wheat flour
7 ½ dl oat milk
1 dl nutritional yeast flakes
½ tsp powdered white pepper
1 tsp nutmeg
Melt the margarine and mix in the wheat flour. Pour in the oat milk little by little and stir firmly, so that there will be no clumps. Use a whisk if needed. Add the rest of the ingredients, heat up and stir until the sauce is smooth.
Pour a thin layer of the white sauce into the oven dish and put a layer of lasagna on top. Spread one-third of the tomato sauce on the lasagna and then one-fourth of the white sauce. Repeat this twice. Pour the rest of the white sauce on top of the last layer. Bake at 200 degrees celsius for about half an hour, turn of the heat and leave the lasagna in for 15 minutes more.
– Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo