Veganism is truly an amazing lifestyle, in so many ways.
Your relationships with all earthlings, with your body, with your mind and with FOOD are intensified in a very peaceful way, one which causes you to appreciate the wonders of life and recognize the terrible reality and implications of much of humanity’s impact on all earthly life cycles.
For me and for many other vegans; the major flaws in the global food system come to light upon embarking on this lifestyle. It’s one that causes you to think very clearly about where your food is coming from. The corporate web of food delivery to grocery stores is a very long and thin line. It may be one day soon where there will be massive food shortages. This is due to the massive privatization of all conventional agricultural practices that has resulted in the destruction of the environment. Monsanto (watch: “The World According to Monsanto”), Cargill (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cargill) and Archer Daniels Midland (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archer_Daniels_Midland), just to name a few, use and/ or produce petro chemicals like herbicides, fungicides, and insecticides, this, combined with the frequent use of GMO seeds (genetically modified organism), big machinery, and mono- crop techniques, has severely undermined the soil’s ability to support plant varieties and has decimated eco- systems. Pollinators such as bees, other insects and birds are under threat of extinction due to the destruction of the environment
One of the most rewarding aspects of the vegan lifestyle is the carbon emissions and lives saved from not consuming factory- farmed meat. Up to 70% of the world’s corn and grain crops are fed to livestock instead of the billions of hungry people. Factory farming is responsible for more of the world’s carbon output than all of the combustion- engine vehicles on earth! Much of the deforestation that has occurred on the planet is due to the desire for farm land for livestock. The animals are subject to slavery, torture, murder and revolting conditions, as I’m sure is one of your reasons for adopting the lifestyle.
Your food intake, in volume and frequency, should increase, as to get sufficient calories to remain active and maintain a healthy body weight. As you will not be eating any animal fats, you must be sure to consume essential fats daily! The most complete source of essential fatty acids (which include omega 3,6,9, poly- unsaturated and mono- unsaturated fats) is HEMP it can be ordered online for much cheaper than it costs in stores, there is research that suggests that hemp is the only food that can sustain humans alone (pretty amazing stuff). Hemp is available in oil, in seeds, in “hearts” which are shelled seeds, in powder for smoothies, and can be found added into cereals, and as vegan “milk”! Flax is also a complete source of essential fatty acids, and both are packed with other vitamins and minerals as well, such as iron, lignans, protein, calcium, fibre and so on.
It is a common misconception that the vegan lifestyle is costly. This is far from the truth.
There are a few quick and easy ways to save money.
A large portion of your diet will be produce, and should be organic, as to avoid putting chemicals and GMOs into your body, and to support sustainable agriculture! Depending on where you live, it is simple to buy discounted fruits and veggies if you’re planning on eating them that day! Restock with produce every couple of days so you don’t end up composting half of what you bought! Make connections with local farmers who often have much cheaper prices on seasonal crops. Stock up on frozen fruits and veggies when they’re on sale! Remember: gardens are free after initial set up costs. Buy organic, heirloom seeds if you can! A few companies that I have ordered from are: http://www.hopeseed.com/home, www.westcoastseeds.com, www.saltspringseeds.com).
To learn how to increase garden productivity, find out how to build a biodome greenhouse, learn how to save seeds and hear a great explanation of the food crisis, sign up for this very
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Another way to save money is to invest in a good blender for smoothies! They fill you up and make you feel energized without weighing you down! Make sure you go for ‘green’ smoothies as often as you can! Typically, I combine fresh or frozen fruit, some chopped greens, juice or vegan milks (which include soy, rice, oat, hemp, almond, hazelnut, flax, coconut and so on), something with fats such as vegan protein blends, hemp or flax products, I enjoy milled flax seed in my smoothies! The flavour combinations are endless. Many people seem to like a breakfast smoothie I often make, that includes a banana, some natural nut butter (or whole nuts, depending on how powerful your blender is), some vegan milk, flax, and some organic cereal! It’s very filling and perfect for times when you will have to wait several hours before your next meal.
A second way my family and I save tonnes of cash is to make our own bread, pizza crust, bagels, ect. The easiest way to do this is to buy a bread maker, they go for about $50- 60 (in Canada anyways) and you will have this money several times over within a few months!
For a typical loaf of bread in a bread maker, we use 4 cups whole wheat flour (avoid ‘enriched’ wheat products i.e. all-purpose white flour), 3.5 teaspoons of yeast, 2cups water,3 tablespoons of molasses, 3 tablespoons of hemp or flax oil, 2 tablespoons of salt, and then add what you like, we often use whole flax seeds, bulgur, and pumpkin seeds! There are lots of recipes online for pizza crust and bagels and well as sweet breads!
It is easy to get vegan milks very cheap if you buy them in the sealed, non- refrigerated versions. These do not contain preservatives; the packaging is what keeps them fresh!
Often, coupons are offered on the official websites for many brands. Plan your shopping list in advance and print some out!
Beans and lentils can be purchased dried in bags instead of in cans. Not only are these cheaper, they do not sit in metal cans with chemical coatings, making them a healthier choice for your body and for the planet. My family and I make a large pot of soup each week with all the vegetable clippings from throughout the week, slightly browning produce, spices and lentils and beans! This is very cheap and as it is veggie, it keeps for the whole week and is not packed with saturated fats like meat- based soups!
The biggest expense for vegans are faux- meat and faux- dairy products. They are very tasty and are great once in a while to ease any cravings you may have but should NOT be the bulk of your diet and should not be eaten daily. Faux dairy products can be made at home from scratch using nuts!
If you’re buying dried nuts and fruit- go organic as to avoid sulphites, they are used as a drying agent in non- organic died products.
There are thousands of websites dedicated to vegan cooking, as well as many tumblr blogs. If you’re not someone who enjoys cooking, you will learn to love it upon embarking on this lifestyle!
You will notice a huge boost in energy, and will love the positive changes going on in your body. Yoga and regular exercise should be practiced to use all of the energy you will have!
I hope this was helpful. Welcome to the good life