Sunday, August 02, 2009

Vegan? What's that?

Being vegan is a lifestyle. It means to respect animals and trying not to do anything that needs to kill or torture these wonderful creatures. Vegan people eat no animal products, but they also do not wear them. Also a car can be without leather seats. Leather sofas in living rooms are not beautiful either.
We can live a most luxury life without being so cruel towards our animals on that earth.
My favourite approach to write or more often to talk about a vegan lifestyle is when someone asks me about it. So this happened, nothing can stop me now anymore to write about one of my favourite topics. I'd like it when we become more, I also know that it is almost impossible to convince people to live so. Sometimes it happens that people ask me: You are so slim, how do you do it? Then I answer: I live vegan? This always creates a controversial discussion. But this is the opportunity to talk about it, and then I also don't care if I act like a missionary or not.
My personal story to became vegan: I became first a vegetarian for decades (when I was 20). The prophecies that I'd become ill didn't become true. I discovered yoga and India and simply I didn't like to eat an animal that was killed in one of the slaughter houses or otherwise. I felt disgust towards bloody meat.
Once I was out with a man and I told him that I'm a vegetarian, because I hate the cruelty towards animals. He answered that I was not really consequent with my concern. This was the first time that I learned that it is possible to live vegan. The time was not mature for me. I couldn't imagine a life without these milk desserts. When I discovered vegan groups online, I reflected again if this could be a lifestyle for me. I got more and more information and finally it was a necessary consequence to say good-bye to all animal products. To live without meat is easy, to develop a vegan lifestyle needs a bit more passion, but it is worth it. I am not always consequent. So it is. But the direction is clear for me.
Here an example how cruel it is to buy milk: Let's even have a look at an organic farm. What happens? A cow calves. What to do with the male calf? The male calves are for the slaughter houses. What people eat when they eat veal is male meat. Male calves are of no use for the milk industry. This is not peaceful. If the calf is female, it is taken away from the mother cow. The milk that is produced for the baby is taken for human beings. The cows usually are screaming for days when the little one is taken away from them. Animals do have feelings.
The milk is also not really good for human beings. It is too fat. The milk must nourish a little cow. We get fat when we use these milk products for us.
Milk can be easily substituted by soy milk. It tastes delicious and is healthier.
What is cruel for animals is not good for human beings either. Years ago I had an arthrosis attack. It was most painful, I could scarely move my elbows anymore. It was clear that if this won't disappear, I wouldn't be able to work anymore (and I like to work, wink). During that time I used to drink butter milk every day, butter milk and bananas was my lunch. The pain disappeared, I also knew what caused the pain, stopped it and felt better. The cause was my use of milk (animal) products. A vegan diet helps me to stay slim and healthy. Of course every body is different. We need our body for perhaps 100 years, we have to treat it with care if we want to stay healthy and without pain. Not one single thing in my rooms is 50 years old, but I am. Living healthy for another 50 years means to take care of my bones, skin, stomach, my body.
I don't care anymore if people become vegan for egoistic reasons or because they started loving animals. The result is the same. Let's become more. Every new habit starts with a little step.
To be continued....


Ursula said...

This post is too long......

Anonymous said...

No I enjoyed reading this Ursula. Certainly inspired me to look into this kind of lifestyle more!

Julian said...


Your post isn't too long at all, in fact, I have to thank you because I didn't expect such great explanations, it just shows how passionate your are about the subject, how willing you are to express yourself and share these thoughts. And yes it does fit well in the context of yoga so has its due place in this blog (in my humble opinion).

When learning yoga in India you have to comply with a vegetarian and most of the time vegan diet. All yoga textbooks describe or imply that a vegetarian diet is a prerequisite, although I feel it's not properly explained why, and people get mixed up between religious beliefs, health and ethical/moral issues.
Your overall post is very accurate. The key words I think is "consistency and coherence" (what you call "consequent"). This means being at peace whith one own convictions and "walk your talk", act in accordance with your beliefs.
I think it's worth questioning how we feel about certain issues, read about it, be informed and have the courage to face the outcome and act coherently.
Yoga is a spiritual journey and not just a physical routine, and on that path if we are honnest with ourselves we have to face the question of meat eating sooner or later.
What is also a good subject for debate is the difficulties a vegan faces in our western cultures, ethical, social and most of all practical. It is somehow easier to be a vegan in India as it is in France or Argentina...
Many thanks for you post, so please keep on writing about this.

PS: a great book on the subject is Philip Kapleau "To Cherish All Life: a budhist case for vegetarianism"

Ursula said...

...then it was worth writing it. Thank you.

Ursula said...

I've heard the name Kapleau already and I will check this book on amazon.

France (Argentinia obviously, too)is a meat eating country, but my observances are that they become more open. A few years ago they only offered me " des crudité" (raw stuff) when I wished to order something vegetarian. Last year I got creative meals and was very happy. Something has changed even in France I thought.

One reason why I love India is surely the food. In the restaurant "Green Leave" in Mysore I had such a huge choice of meals. I couldn't eat everything. Here I have usually 3 or 4 alternatives.

India, I come......

Anna said...

Thanks Ursula for this post! I am vegetarian (25 years) and really love the thought of being Vegan and often start this regime only to give up after a week or so and it's usually becasue I am craving cow's milk in tea or milk chocolate. I really wish to stick to a Vegan diet as I believe it is the MOST healthy diet for humans. Cow's milk is for the growth of BABY COWS. We wouldn't drink our mother's milk for decades would we?

And I would love to drop 14 lbs in weight. You've inspired me to give it another go.

Love, Anna.

Ursula said...

Let's start again and again, that's how it is.

I have to start with so many things as well.....again and again.