What is considered vegan?
Anything that contains any sort of animal or animal byproduct is not vegan. Let me break it down a little. When people think of vegetarians they are thinking of a lacto-ovo vegetarians which means do not consume animal meat i.e. pork, beef, chicken, turkey, etc. (some do eat fish but this isn’t really vegetarian) however, they will eat dairy and eggs. Some are lacto-vegetarian which means they do consume dairy products but no eggs or meat, while some are ovo-vegetarians meaning they do not eat meat or dairy but will eat eggs. Vegans do not consume any animal, animal byproducts (eggs, cheese, butter, milk, even honey – but this is debatable to some) or any processed foods containing animal byproducts (baked goods, pastas, etc.).
When did you become a vegan?
I started as a vegetarian 3 years ago and recently have transitioned into veganism in October of 2010 because I could not find the logic of being a vegetarian and believing in animal rights, while still consuming their byproducts that causes animals to be treated just as poorly. I felt as if I were a hypocrite of such telling people horror stories of the meat industry while I scrambled my eggs or dipped into my greek yogurt. At the time I justified it by ensuring all my eggs, yogurt, cheese, etc were locally made or organic, but there was still a sense of hypocrisy that I could not shake. After much research on the topic, I jumped feet first into veganism and I have not looked back since.
Why are you the Soul Searching Vegan?
I call myself the Soul Searching Vegan because I am on a quest for physical and emotional well-being. I had struggled for many years with a battle between me, food, and physical appearances, but I have finally released myself of this personal destruction and am in search of the real me, true happiness, and health.
Isn’t eating organic and vegan more expensive?
It may seem when the last item crosses the scanner and the person rings up you final bill that the total is more expensive than if you were to buy inorganic and processed items, but in reality it’s far less expensive. Look at the whole picture, it may seem the upfront cost on organic are more expensive but in the long run, think of all the medical expenses – medications, doctors check ups, diseases and cancers – you are avoiding by ensuring your body is the healthiest it can be. So much research shows that it is what we put into our bodies that are causing our demise. Highly processed substances and genetically modified organisms are first of all, not real food and second of all, are the equivalent to eating plastic. If it’s not real, why would you put it in your body?
Purchasing in season organic food is no more expensive than buying conventional fruits or vegetables. Some stores jack up their prices on organic because of being organic, but a good quality store will not – although there are few and far between of them. Not to mention, locally grown foods are even less expensive and typically less pesticides and other harmful products are being used because the foods are purchased for smaller farms that don’t use much if any of them.
My point is, no if you shop smart – in season and locally grown – there is place for organic food in any budget.