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September 3, 2010

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Judith

I really enjoyed reading your post Laura and understand exactly what you mean about the flavours of food.
I have been a vegetarian for 15 years now and cannot imagine a diet based on and around meat any more, although I still cook meat for my other half. We eat less of most things, but higher quality ingredients now. The meat I buy for him is usually organic or animal welfare standard. I think I took on board the advice of "eat food, not too much, mostly plants," a while ago and now define food as unadulterated and wholesome and close to original form. Sounds like the kind of things sold by your local shop! I'm not a food puritan-I love ice cream, biscuits,cakes, that kind of thing-but I think I appreciate tastes and origins much more these days.
Good luck with your continued quest-at least in France good food is still easily obtained.

Laura

Hi Judith,
Thanks for your comment! I've just finished reading "In Defense of Food" actually :) (having already read The Botany of Desire and The Omnivore's Dilemma - Food Rules is next), and found that it really pretty much sums everything up. I've read or watched various exposés on the modern food industry (from processed foods to factory farming) over the past few years and been extremely affected by them, but somewhat shockingly, not enough to fully change my behavior until now. And I'm not exactly sure why that suddenly changed, perhaps I just finally reached a tipping point... What prompted you to officially become a vegetarian? (kudos on 15 years!)
And I could never completely forswear ice cream or biscuits either :) but I guess the trick is to find them in as unadulterated a form as possible!
Laura

Judith

My daughter decided she would be vegetarian when she was 13 and I wanted to cook properly for her, so I cooked two main dishes in the evening-for me and her and for my husband and son. It was partly to keep her company I began and it became a choice later on. She is now a vegan but I remain a dairy food fan! Probably eat too much dairy but I do love cheese.

Laura

Wow, you are a good mom! Even though I love cooking, it is enough of a struggle to get one meal on the table every evening, let alone two with one vegetarian. I think I would find it more difficult to give up dairy than meat :)

Max

I think your meat eating resolution is spot on.

I think animals raised on things that humans can't eat and free from the burdens of the factory farm system are probably a necessary part of an agricultural system.

I beleve the only ethical alternative is veganism.

Laura

Hi Max,
Thanks for the support :)
I think you are right - the domestication of animals seems to go hand-in-hand with the domestication of plants in the development of agriculture, forming a virtuous cycle of taking and replenishing the nutrients in the soil while providing other means of converting solar energy into human-edible calories.
As returning to a hunter-gatherer state is not really an option, animal husbandry would appear to be a necessary concomitant to crop cultivation, although I am sure one could find examples of success in vegan self-sufficiency (one that I know of for sure is Helen and Scott Nearing [The Good Life]). And indeed if one follows the purely ethical reasoning through to its logical end, veganism is really the only possibility.
-Laura

Max

Hi Laura,

I don't think we're the sort of animal which does the purely ethical and vegans are vegans for other reasons.

The Nearings achieved some wonderful things. I don't count his sanctimonious dietary diatribes among them.

Laura

Yeah, they definitely got a bit preach-y... I admit to some extensive skip-reading on that one!

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