Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Genesis 1:29 - In the Beginning

And God said, "Behold! I have given you the seed-bearing plants throughout the earth and all the fruit trees for your food." ~The Holy Bible, Genesis 1:29

We're not a super "religious" family. We're Christians, and we believe. That's about all the evangelism you'll hear from me on this blog. We're not here to convert anyone. We just want to share our journey and the reasons we're embarking upon it. I named this project after a Bible verse because our faith is the reason we are doing this. We believe that God requires human beings to be stewards of both the earth and the beasts we share it with. We believe that God intended our diet to be plant-based. We believe that the practices of housing, feeding, and slaughtering livestock on American industrial farms are inhumane to the point of sin. Because we know what goes on in these industrial farms, we believe that consuming the products they sell (meat, dairy, and eggs) is also sinful. For these reasons, our family has decided to become vegan.

In the year 2000, I read The Food Revolution by John Robbins, and it forever changed the way I look at the food on my plate. Over the years since reading that book, I have tried and failed many times in converting my diet to the near-vegan style which I now believe is the only morally correct way to eat. There are many reasons that my past attempts have failed. The following is a brief list of the major obstacles I met with:
1.) I am a political conservative living in a military subculture. This being the case, I am surrounded by family and friends who associate vegetarianism and veganism with fringe leftist ideals and destructive shock groups like PETA. The negative social pressure was overwhelming, and I had neither the personal courage nor the knowledge needed to explain my decisions in a way that my loved ones could accept. I was shamed out of my goals pretty quickly.

2.) Until very recently, the ingredients used as staples in a lot of vegetarian cooking were unavailable except in specialty stores, and many of them were quite expensive. Tofu, I could get...but nutritional yeast, vegetarian hamburger crumbles, seitan, tempeh, brown rice syrup, and agave nectar? Yeah, not so much.

3.) The few "good" vegan cookbooks available had foreign-sounding ingredients that were completely alien to me, and the vegetarian cookbooks leaned so heavily on dairy products that I couldn't stomach the fat content. I didn't know how to cook like a vegan...and I was not ready to put in the work necessary to educate myself. Today, there are vegetarian foodie blogs and websites all over the internet, and there are hundreds of cookbooks to choose from. Ten years ago, however, that was not the case.

4.) I cannot stand most of the soy "near-meat" substitutes. I don't like soy dogs or soy lunch meats...and soy bacon? Gag me. Most vegetarians begin with these familiar-looking items, and I was no exception. I despaired of ever having good food again, and I didn't know what else to try. Today, veggie burgers (and even soy dogs) have come a long way. I have every hope that this past reason for failure can be overcome.

5.) My husband is an omnivore, and he really does not like vegetables. He is the sweetest man on the planet, but he hates pretty much anything that grows out of the ground. "That tastes like a plant," is his most common complaint about food. I felt like a selfish shrew forcing tofu and broccoli and Brussels sprouts on a man who would gracefully choke them down like a gentleman to support my efforts. He has come, over time, to attach moral significance to what I've been trying to do. For that reason, he is more willing now than ever to dive into this life change with optimism. No other woman on earth has been more fortunate in her choice of husband than I am.

6.) Finally, what it really boils down to is that I never acknowledged how huge a change this would be in our lives. I tried to do too much too fast, and it was never going to work that way. I now have a much healthier respect for the kind of change this is going to require. I am 34 years old. Becoming a vegan doesn't happen in one least, it doesn't for me. I know, now, that it will take planning and work to get through all of this and make it stick for good.

So the goal of our project is pretty simple. With Genesis 1:29 as our guiding principle, our family is becoming vegan. One day at a time, one meal at a time, one choice at a time, we're going to change everything about our relationship with food. We hope you're out there reading along with us. We need your advice, your encouragement, and the knowledge that you're out there watching to keep us accountable.


  1. This is great! Here I was doing a google search for my blog and low and behold I find another blog with the the same name (a little difference) and similar mindset! I going to look forward in reading your blog and hopefully sharing as well. Hope your journey is going well!

    God's blessings!

  2. What a great idea for a blog! We're also committed Christians and vegetarians (aspirational vegans) who believe that we have a moral imperative to be good stewards for the earth. I look forward to reading more (and stealing recipes)!

  3. Thank you, Madeline! I highly recommend Colleen Patrick-Goudreau's newest book, "The 30-Day Vegan Challenge." It is an amazing tool and she is an inspirational lady. Her podcast is available for free on iTunes, and it helped me SO much in the beginning.