The Right Words and Delicious Food

I made AJ’s Disappearing Lasagna for my in-laws last week and my mother-in-law (who I adore) pulled my husband aside and said she didn’t know if that was good for “Daddy’s diet, so they might not eat it.” My husband (also adore) said “Ma, its just meatless lasagna.” “Oh, she replied, well that is all right.”

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I felt the same way as my mother-in-law about three months ago, I was ignorant –didn’t even know plants had protein (really) and I am an educated professional. Sometimes I think we just have to choose our words so others can understand. I really like these words some friends sent my 13 year old son who struggles with being tolerant of meat eaters. No matter if you are trying to live a whole-food, plant-based diet for health reasons or compassion or both, these words from Vegan Outreach are good ones to live by:

“When you share your new discoveries and ideas, some friends and family members may not only show resistance, but might even react with mockery or anger. In order to prevent suffering, however, we must let the compassion we feel for animals shine through the pain and anger we feel about what happens to them in factory farms and industrial slaughterhouses. Unless others can respect us – as opposed to finding us cold and judgmental – they will have little interest in taking steps to end cruelty to animals.

Instead of expecting others to change immediately, we need to be understanding, giving everyone time to consider the realities of factory farms on their own time and within their unique situations. Burning bridges with anger only serves to create enemies and feed the stereotype that vegans are self-righteous.

Although it may be tempting to get into arguments about our prehistoric ancestors’ diet, the simplest statement can be the most powerful: “I know that I don’t want to suffer. Therefore, I don’t want to cause others to suffer.”

As long as we remain respectful, our positive example and the information we provide will ultimately be the best voice for the animals.” (from http://www.veganoutreach.org/guide/beingvegan.html)

It also helps to offer delicious food that is not just vegan delicious but just plain delicious. Sticky Fingers is a great place to start. My  cookbook came yesterday

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I made the Cowvin cookies and they are delicious, but not quite the same as the one’s I bought. I will keep trying.

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My Skinny Bitch Vegan Swap book also came

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it has some great suggestions for vegan subs, for example Swap sour cream for:

Mildest swap: Tofutti Sour Supreme

Healthiest Swap: “Wayfare Foods We Can’t Say its Sour Cream”

It also provides some description about the suggested products, vegan restaurant suggestions and lots of yummy recipes like Mint Chocolate Whoopee Pie and Not Pork Stew.

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21 thoughts on “The Right Words and Delicious Food

  1. Thank you for this post- I struggle constantly with keeping my cool and staying compassionate when I am basically attacked by my family for my food choices. It is quite a struggle to find the right words to combat the words of anger and jest of someone who is eating a dead body right in front of me, especially when that someone is family. It is so true about spreading the compassion to all living beings. I love this: “I know that I don’t want to suffer. Therefore, I don’t want to cause others to suffer.” So simple and so true. How can anyone argue? Thank you so much. 🙂

    • These words were a blessing to me. My family has attacked, teased, bribed and tricked Andrew about his vegetarianism and eventual veganisim since the beginning (he went vegetarian at 5, I was not). His dad even told him he was going to die early because of it. Despite the challenge it posed for me I have tried from the beginning to be compassionate and supportive of my son and now, he has been a huge influence in converting me.

  2. Isn’t the compassionate approach the one we should take in everything? As my husband commented the other day that we often get the same outcome regardless of how we do things, so we might as well do them nicely because sometimes the niceness brings an even better outcome.

  3. I could pretty much copy Kristy’s comment word for word – I couldn’t agree more. What I never understood is why “meateaters” get so defensive or angry at those who choose a different way of path. i have always thought eating and your own diet is a very personal thing – believe me I am not a self righteous vegan so I never understood why people feel the need to attack my beliefs..maybe its is their own lack of understading and knowledge that makes them feel uncomfortable.

    I am keeping this quote in my back pocket for sure: “I know that I don’t want to suffer. Therefore, I don’t want to cause others to suffer.”

    • It always baffled me too–why people care that Andrew wouldn’t eat meat. I think part of it is food is such a social thing. It is also how my mother shows her love and if we don’t eat it, in a way, it makes her feel rejected.

  4. Carolyn, I love those words! Thanks for sharing and lifting us up and helping us know how to behave better in negative situations. XOXO

    p.s. your husband’s parents are ADORABLE

  5. Love this post! And what is that cookie sandwich confection you have going on there? I’ll be making a raw ice cream sandwich tomorrow with friends..hope it comes out as pretty as yours!!

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