Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Flexible Vegan

Our potato crop was very disappointing to say the least. The return on our investment of bags, soil and starter potatoes was a deficit! Still we had some very tasty small potatoes for our Sunday evening al fresco dining. The fresh from garden runner beans were extremely delicious and due to the bountiful supply of these, peas, spinach, rocket and lettuce the garden has provided plenty. Everything is late this year due to the long cold winter.

Since growing produce I've been driven more and more to think about what I put in my mouth. When I ran a couple of posts earlier this year comments by fellow bloggers led me to investigate this matter further. The reading material they suggested led me to two books. Both pretty hardcore.
1. The China Study: T. Colin Campbell

2. Can we live 150 years? : Mikhail Tombak

What I don't understand is how I can be completely blown away by nutritional books. I read them because I couldn't read a novel after so many academic books. Even reading Grazia proved a chore. Anything other than pictures made my brain switch off. Yet these two books engrossed me.

The net result is I've turned into a freak. Well what I would consider a freak. I am now a flexible vegan! Feel free to titter! My friends and family are guffawing with abandonment. In fairness I've showed much reluctance to all things 'alternative' and 'sustainable' most of my life. I've been a robust recyler, I buy fairtrade products and cycle a lot but ethical fashion has passed me by. I try to be good on this matter but I'm still not completely convinced although I grew more appreciative of this from my time at LCF. Where all manner of projects concerning textile development, ergonomics and sustainability takes place. I also got to meet some Fashion and the Environment MA graduates so I promise to take more of a real interest in this area from now on.
Evolving Textiles at London College of Fashion

Also, I do fall in to 'the not paying that for Stella McCartney shoes because they're not leather' gang. Opps.

But Stella would be proud of me now as I convert to a predominately vegan diet. The China Study did it for me, all those diagrams and empirical data swung it. The reason I'm flexible is due to the 0- 10% ratio of acceptability on the eating of animal produce. I'm not going to choose to eat animal produce but if I'm in a situation where it is included I'll put up and shut up. I couldn't bare to be one of those people who attend a dinner party and say I'm vegan and then pick at only salad and mushrooms. I have never been a big meat eater but I do like dairy produce so I do miss it a bit but I'm surprised at how little it has bothered me. I think this is due to growing things in the garden - there is a supply of produce to eat and it is only fruit and vegetables. Mind be harder come the winter months.

I'll still cook meat but we've agreed only on weekends and when people come round but I won't eat it at home. Being flexible prevents me being a convert bore and I don't want to impose my choices on everyone else. It does mean I'll have to take Vitamin B12 and Vitamin D in the winter but that is it. Sharpening up my nutritional intake hasn't resulted in any deprivation, it isn't a diet of counting calories. It is really simple. I like simple, shame I can't reduce my fashion fixes with such ease. This always requires enormous will power and focus. How about you, can you give up certain things with ease but not fashion? And how bonkers am I - on a scale of 0 to 10? Okay don't answer that one...


  1. I fall into the same Stella category as you. I just don't understand why her shoes and bags cost the same as other designers using leather.

  2. Good on you! I've been vegetarian for over forty years (after I discovered where meat came from as a toddler). I tried to find great quality vegan faux-leather shoes years ago and discovered the alternatives to be a lot more costly than leather, presumably because the breathable, good looking and hard-wearing alternative is hugely expensive to produce. xxx

  3. "Also, I do fall in to 'the not paying that for Stella McCartney shoes because they're not leather' gang. Opps."
    I have to agree cut the crap Stella they are the same as shoes from New Look, I have ordred and returned a couple of pairs of Stella shoes as they really arent well made IMO. Mellisa are probably the best for vegan shoes, but I have to say it, plastic shoes are so bad for your feet.

  4. Not bonkers at all. Think you've made a considered and thoughtful decision. The rate at which we get through meat is both terrifying and unsustainable so eating less of it could only be a good thing. I think you may have mentioned reading the guardian before. In last week's Sunday (Saturday?) edition the food section was devoted to vegetarian food. Not sure how much of it was vegan though.

  5. Mrs Fab - It is interesting the price point!

    VV- Gosh that is very impressive and a wise decision.

    Pearl - New Look hahahaha - brilliant!

    Liz - thank you. I'm selfishly driven by health reasons but there does need to be a swift change for us all and dairy/meat farming on the current scale is as you rightly say unsustainable. Far more of an issue than clothing manufacturing.

  6. You're totally bonkers! titter, titter..

  7. i agree with looking fab in your forties xxxx

  8. I have a vegan friend, when I first found out that she would not even eat honey because it was an animal byproduct, it kind of surprised me, I never think to include something like that! I don't think I could become vegan or veggy...but I could easily give up chocs/sweets/crisps because I rarely eat the stuff!

  9. Also thanks so much for your answers to my questions Kate!!

  10. I don't think you're bonkers either! I think it's great. I had some fantastic fresh runner beans tonight so I envy your crop.

    I wish I could completely give up meat. I'm very pro animal welfare and you'd think that would be enough to make me give it up, but old habits die hard. I find myself craving fish and seafood much more and I'm obsessed with eating vegetables. The thing I'd have a real problem giving up is cheese. I am hopelessly addicted to it. My current favourite dinner is cauliflower and broccoli cheese. I do feel better for eating less meat.

    As for the vegetarian products, my girlfriend who doesn't wear any leather lent me some vegetarian boots for a festival recently and they were great xx

  11. I so agree with Mrs fab. And hillarious Pearl comment! I turned vegan 3 years ago and have never felt better, although my friends accused me of havin an eating disorder!!!!! It is a much healthier lifestyle choice but I'm with you, I don't bang on about it and am a flexible dinner guest. you are right there is nothing worse than a food bore. I still do leather though, you just can't beat it. e xxx

  12. Hurray!

    From Bessie the Buddha Cow.


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