vineri, 26 septembrie 2014

trials of a vegetarian....

         As everybody visiting this site might have understood by now; I love being vegan. I feel better, physically and psychically; it helped me see which of my friends understand me and are ready to accept me with all my oddities, it widened my horizons, made me reach out and virtually meet extraordinary people, etc...
          If I'd start to write on all the pluses, I'd never end; then again every vegan had his or her own experiences; encouragements and disappointments, then who am I to insist on something everybody knows already? I'm writing this blog for me as well as for those who have not yet decided. I'd say to them that, if you're reading this, you're already on the right path. If you've acknowledged the fact that you could try to be vegan for the good of everybody, you've already made the decisive step; that of caring! That of refusing to look the other way, completely ignoring what's actually happening around you.
          What is it about autumn that makes me want to write more?I have so many creative activities during this season that I'm starting to think it must be the richness of it that inspires me. That and nature. I'm so lucky to have been born in October!
Lake Buttermere, photo by Chris Warren on Bing
            Thankfully, Autumn is the richest season; you have so many fruits and veggies, so it's the height of the year for vegans. Maybe not for all; since there are countries where you have these all year round; but here, in my darling Romania, since the beginning of time, people had to gather during autumn in order to have food during the cold season. Even before agriculture became industrialized, this was the law of nature, and it hasn't changed much. Except for imported food.
            As I've already said; becoming vegan has opened my horizon; I now no longer feel that being vegan is enough, as there is so much more to do on this planet! I love nature and that is the main reason I've done it; but let's be frank, it takes more than not eating meat to trully call yourself a nature lover!
            First of all, I'm thinking about my living space. I need to make it nature-respectful, so recycling is a must. As well as using as little plastic as possible. Here's a video on what the ordinary plastic does to our nature; if this doesn't convince you, I don't know right now what else will:
Need I say that lights out while you're out of your home is not only saving you money, but the planet also?
              Then there's the matter of food. Because we're always returning to this; this is a food blog, right?
               Just like everybody else around me, I used to buy all my food from the supermarket. Let's be realistic, it's much easier to have it all there and just grab it and put it in your basket; all products from A to Z. Gradually, I became unsatisfied with the vegetables and fruits I found there; so I started buying less and less; except when I was really in a hurry and craved an apple, or an orange, or a banana.

                It's not just the fact that supermarket veggies are usually green-house produced; it's also the aspect of them being shipped for thousands of kilometers until they reach our stores; burning fuel along the way; so no matter how "eco" or "organic" they pretend to be, they are actually not, as long as they came from another country.
If you look it up; or I will do it for you one day; the core of the "organic"/ "bio"/ "eco"concept is that it must respect nature in all aspects. And it applies to all foods, not just veggies and fruits..

               Then there's the problem of buying from corporations, rather than helping your local producers- what we call kilometer 0 products. Even if the product is made locally, wouldn't you help the producer more if you bought it directly from him rather than paying the supermarket for it? If possible, buy from source, and you'll have insured that next year you will still have km 0 products from that farmer you've helped directly...
               Even better-grow your own basic food if possible, like tomatoes, leafy greens, salad, kale, etc... and buy the rest from the farmer's market.

my balcony-grown kale, tomatoes & others
              Like I said, we don't have fruits and veggies all year round, except in supermarkets, and they come from God knows where. But we've learned to store them over a long period of time. It's not fully vegan, in the literally sense of the word; but even though fruits and veggies are boiled or fried and then frozen, I dare to say it is still better than buying them fresh from the supermarket. Ok, moderate heat destroys part of the vitamins and nutrients; but it's way better than veggies and fruits pumped-up with fertilizers and picked-up while they are still green, sprayed with conservatives and shipped over thousands of km.
              I'm not saying I have the best idea; but it's still better than nothing, right? You could can almost anything, and other foods, like roots and squashes keep anyway; so why not buy them and store them while it's their season? I love nothing better than to have my kitchen well-stocked with as many ingredients as possible; in fact I was just telling my boyfriend the other day that if all markets closed for a month, we wouldn't starve... and I haven't even finished canning for this winter....
             I'm an advocate for cooking your own food as much as possible, and growing it also is my ideal of a plentiful life. 
             If I'm not able to grow it, I buy it from people I know have grown it just as I would, no pesticides, chemicals of any sort, just sun, water and good earth.
Now let's talk about fruits that don't grow here. I find this topic extremely interesting, and I wanted to attack it for some time now. I love bananas, oranges and lemons, avocado and ginger root. None of these grow in Romania, and many of others that can be found only for a short while. My favorite snack is a banana, whenever I'm hungry and need a quick bite. As easy to imagine, I'm not quite happy with the situation. If oranges and lemons can grow closer to us, the other fruits and root respectively don't. I still buy them, but in smaller quantities, and try to buy them by the bulk, so less plastic is wasted.
             I've been snooping the internet for a life with less waste, and Zero waste home has become my muse. I'm learning so much from this site, that at times I can't believe I didn't think of it sooner. I'll apply the "bring your own container" strategy when buying these tricky items, so at least some of the harm is reduced. But I will cut down my family's consumption of these items anyway.
Even though it might not be generally agreed upon, it's really not that hard to be a vegetarian in Romania. We have the means, the prejudices make it harder though. Restaurants make it worse. But with the right determination, it is possible. It also depends on what lengths you are willing to go; and it also depends on what you understand by the concept. I am not just a vegan or vegetarian, or whatever you call it. (and yes, I know the difference between the two terms).
                I'm a person who cares; and that is why I'm doing everything. I care about the Earth and its inhabitants, I believe Nature is a Goddess and I worship Her, I believe that by not hurting others I can become a lighter soul, and I'm working on it.
Mother Earth Gaia- Google Images
                I strongly believe that, besides the earth itself, there is none greater, none more majestic or more complex organism that the majestic Tree....and I bow to It.
Yggdrasil - Wikipedia
                Does that make me a pantheist? partially, maybe, I have such a complex set of believes that I really have no idea what I am right now. But one thing I do know, and that is the fact that I was put on this earth with a purpose, and it could be that of compassion and love, and I'm spreading the word by my humble means...

If trees could speak, what would they whisper to us?

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