As with anything, food is driven by demand. With every bite of food we take, we are making a choice. We are choosing whether to fund local, national, or global companies. With our food choices, we decide if a national box store can come in and “squish” out the little guys. Additionally, our health is a direct result of the food we put in our body. But this post isn’t about that. It is about compassion. It is about how to Eat with Compassion.
Eat with Compassion
Merriam-Webster defines compassion as “sympathetic consciousness of others’ distress together with a desire to alleviate it.” Therefore, to Eat with Compassion one would not only need to acknowledge the plight of others, but one would need to want to decrease that stress when making your dietary and food choices. It’s rather simple, products derived from animals put the animals under a tremendous amount of stress and ultimately death for you to eat. To Eat with Compassion would be to refrain from eating animals and animal products. I know what you are thinking, so I will share this link to a great list on One Green Planet called “Excuses for not Eating Vegan.” You are not the only one who thinks these thoughts. I thought all of them too. However, compassion won.
So, What do I eat?
I eat a lot of delicious and healthy meals. I eat burgers, fajitas, breakfast sandwiches, cookies, hummus, chilis, and much more (click here for our recipe list). By adding just a bit more compassion into your meals, you can feel healthier, experience new foods and flavors, and reduce the suffering of living animals.
Where do I start?
This is an interesting question. After all of my research, I would honestly ask you to start by reducing your consumption of dairy and eggs. Some vegans and vegetarians may disagree with me, but the “life” of dairy cows is so heart wrenching. From the terrible living conditions to the gut-wrenching separation of the calves and moms… it makes me sick!
Hens raised for eggs also have filthy and uncomfortable living conditions; it would have to be a close second on my list. The mindless killing of male chicks because they are unnecessary, paired with the horrifying conditions of egg-laying hens is repulsive. I see the heartache and suffering when I see the products from these two industries.
From there, I would say reduce your fish and meat intake. With our current rate of fishing, fishless oceans are likely to be a result. Can you imagine the impact on our earth with no fish in the oceans? The conditions for animals farmed for meat aren’t any better than those for the dairy and egg industries. So ultimately, the choice is yours on where to start.
I gave up dairy – so what should I eat instead?
There are so many fantastic plant-based alternatives to dairy. They really deserve their own post, be sure to subscribe to our email list so you can see that post when it launches.
Some of our top favorites would be:
- *homemade – Basic Cashew Cheeze, Tofu Ricotta
- Califia Farms – Almond Milk
- Miyokos – Cheeses and Butters
- Chao Slices from Field Roast
- Daiya Cheddar Slices and Cheezecake
- Tofutti Sour Cream
- Treeline Spreadable Cheese
- Tofutti Cream Cheese
- So Delicious Coconut Yogurt, CocoWhipped topping, and Cashew Cream Ice Cream
- Earth Balance spreadable and stick butter
That is certainly not an all-inclusive list, and just like anything, it is about trying and tasting to determine your preference.
I gave up eggs – how do I bake and what do I scramble?
Egg replacements are actually what is “incredible!” 😉 From ground flax and water to retail versions like VeganEgg and Neat Egg, the alternatives are pretty impressive!
When baking I typically use ground flax and water (1T:3T ratio respectively) for each egg, up to 3 eggs. I haven’t tried to make anything that called for more than 3 eggs with flax and water, yet. There are many articles and posts that show other ways; this just works best for me.
As for scrambling? We scramble tofu, a lot! It might be the best breakfast ever. I never ate scrambled eggs, but I could eat my weight in scrambled tofu. Check out our scramble recipes below.
The Rest is Up to You
As for the next steps toward a more compassionate way of eating, the rest is up to you. We started slow, by adding more plants and reducing our consumption of animal products. Check out our Meatless March Series from 2015 (Links are at the bottom of the recipe page) for some quick and easy weeknight meatless meals. Review our recipes and plan some plant-based items into your menu planning. Our goal with VegInspired is to inspire others to Live with Compassion. The first step is always the hardest, but if you begin to Eat with Compassion in mind, your habits will change, your palate will change, and you will be open to new flavors and an overall healthy way of eating.
Be sure to comment below and share pics of your Compassionate meals on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter! @veginspired #veginspired This post was inpsired by our good friends over at Goods and Evil and there cool Eat with Compassion tee.
Let’s start a compassion revolution.