PAWS Magazine

Issue 41, Spring 1999

Readers respond

Here are some reader responses to our Go Veggie issue. If you have any comments of your own, please send them to pawsnews@paws.org.

Saturday, May 29, 1999 4:58 PM -

I admire anyone who is vegetarian. My husband and I are not. We have tried having meatless dinners more often, working toward that end. I am just not imaginative enough to come up with something that is tasty often enough to have a variety. We are animal lovers and feel guilty because of our diet, even though our diet is less meaty than most. We honestly believe a diet void of animal fat is more healthy. Our ape relatives are big and strong and vegetarian. Keep up the good work........

Don and Shirley Dilger

Sunday, May 30, 1999 3:20 PM -

Richard Huffman:

Go vegan!

I trust one day you will realize how easy it was to be a vegetarian compared with establishing a vegan diet. And I trust that one day you will look back and realize how easy it is to be a vegan. It is just a matter of establishing the habit—knowing what to buy and cook—and avoiding situations that might cause backsliding (like attending funcitons that do not provide adequate vegan food).

It is not being a vegan or a vegetarian that is difficulty, it is being a vegan or a vegetarian in a world of egg, dairy, and flesh-eaters.

Keep up the good work!

lisa

Sunday, May 30, 1999 3:45 PM -

Greetings!

I enjoyed your discussion of food policies. I am a vegan (about 5 years), once a flesh-eater (until '86). I live with flesh-eaters and vegetarians, and spend time with vegan friends. I know this dietary balancing act rather well. So, I have some thoughts:

1. It is not acceptable for a vegan to have to share kitchen wares with flesh/dairy/egg eaters. They only way I have found to describe this is to ask a question: How would you like eating out a pan or a plate that had just been used to prepare a road-killed cat?

2. Ethical consistency requires the vegan lifestyle. Those who are dedicated will come to this over time. It is a big commitment in a world of flesh/dariy-eaters, and no one should push others. Information is all that is needed. Educate, educate, educate!!!! But make no comment on what others OUGHT to do, only what you do, and why.

3. In light of one and two, I believe PAWS should be a fullyl vegan fascility. Inspections are out of the question! Those who are not ready to enact their values in their lives ought to be accepted gracefully, but they should not share kitchen utinsels!! (BYO!!) The fridge and all common areas should only have vegan foods out of respect for those who have made the comittment simply because PAWS acknowledges this as a PREFERRED diet.

It is hard to be a vegan in our flesh-eating, cow-exploiting world. Why not have PAWS be a safe-zone for those committed to the ideas PAWS represents? It makes no sense to do otherwise.

lisa kemmerer

Tuesday, June 01, 1999 11:24 AM -

To Whom it May Concern:

I do not have anything against being vegetarian as I consume them myself but let's not be hypocritical to meat consumers. Being vegetarian is not without it's consequences. Trying to justify eating vegetables as a way of saving an animal is simply not true. Think of the millions of animals and billions of insects killed and/or displaced by human planted crops. Think of the millions of acres of habitat forever lost. Being a vegetarian is not so "Holier than Thou" as you would like to believe. Whether you harvest cattle or harvest a turnip it ultimately leads to the same consequence.

I just wanted to say my piece. Thank you.

Sincerely,

Michael MacDonald

Thursday, June 03, 1999 3:31 PM -

Hello:

Regarding your article on the KISW vegan-challenge, you wrote that Tofurkey is a "love-it or hate-it substitute for turkey." Please remember that vegan foods are not substitutes for meat! Meat is entirely unnecessary, and therefore requires no substitutes. Rather, flesh is a substitute for healthier, more humane dietary options.

Tuesday, June 01, 1999 11:17 PM -

Dear Richard Huffman,

Your veggie issue hit home with me just at the right time. I have had personal struggles going and staying veggie. It was definitely nice to know that everyone at PAWS isn't a strict vegan or even vegetarian. My story goes like this: In 1992 I became vegetarian, and stayed that way for two years, until I got pregnant with my son. Being busy with a move and getting ready for the baby and working full time left me little time to research what I needed to do to make sure I got everything I needed nutritionally, so I decided I'd eat meat just for the pregnancy. Then just while I breastfed. But becoming a busy mom depleted lots of the time I had previously been able to spend seeking out places I knew I could get veggie food, and cooking veggie. And while I still much prefer to eat veggie, both physically and ethically, the same struggles with time and lack of resources continue to plague me today. My biggest struggles are: feeding my kids lunch every day, quick foods that fill the tummy, and packing my husband a brown bag lunch that isn't a meat and cheese sandwich. Also, I work part-time three evenings a week, and if I don't have food in the oven, my husband will cook, and 99% of the time it will be a meat and potatoes dinner. I am lucky enough that he is very open-minded about eating vegetarian, but he would never actually seek out new recipes or ideas, however willing he may be to try what I make. I also seem to have the type of metabolism that I need a lot of protein at times, I get shaky and low blood sugar feeling easily sometimes, and when I need to eat, and eat NOW, if I'm out somewhere, it can be hard to find a truly satisfying meat-free meal, depending on where I am. Honestly, I found being vegetarian rather easy when I was only feeding myself, but I have had a hard time of it with a family. I would welcome any advice, ideas, recipes, etc. you or anyone who works there or e-mails you may have. We still eat veggie lots of the time but I would like to eradicate meat almost entirely. My favorite recipe to offer is below:

Veggie Burritos:

brown rice diced veggies (my favorite mix is broccoli, zucchini and red pepper)
canned refried or black refried beans
onions
cheese
whole wheat tortillas
sour cream or substitute
avocados
salsa

Cook the brown rice. Meanwhile, chop the veggies and onions. Grate the cheese and slice the avocado. When the rice is done, add the beans and onions and heat up this mixture. Then spread some on the tortilla, then the cheese (make sure the beans are pretty warm to melt the cheese), then the veggie mix. Fold the tortilla up. Add avocado slices, sour cream and salsa. YUM!

A few notes: I've tried this with white rice and/or white tortillas and it just doesn't compare. It's worth it to make sure you have brown rice and whole wheat tortillas. Also, there are lots of bean options at co-ops, like black refried beans with different flavors, spices, hot if that's the way you like it, etc. Experiment, mix and have fun with this. This recipe is also quite easily made vegan with cheese and sour cream vegan substitutes. The best part is it can be made in half an hour.

I look forward to seeing reader responses on the news page, and thanks for addressing this issue in the newsletter.

Colleen Mcconaghy



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