VeganMoFo Wrap-Up – Day 30

Well, I made it through the month posting about veganism or vegan recipes almost every day.  I think I missed 1 day while on a plane 🙂  It was an interesting experience for me.  I’m not sure that what I cook most days is interesting enough to be blogged about, so this project compelled me to think of things to make that were a little more adventurous, which is good.  I’ve also found a number of great blogs to follow myself.  I’ll mention several here in this final VeganMoFo post, along with some of the highlights of their recent efforts (for me).  I’ve limited myself to seven (selected for the number of days in a week!), but there really were MANY more.  I hope that the posts that I have provided this month, as well as some of those I discuss here, prove useful in your journey.

Vegan Good Things – Mess O’Beans and Greens

Vegan Hope – Healthy Tofu Benadict

JL Goes Vegan – Yummy Vegan MoFo Weekend

That Feisty Vegan – We Have Kolaches

The Happy Herbivore – Fat Free Pumpkin Pie

The Quantum Vegan – Pinwheel Cookies

An Opera Singer in the Kitchen – Pan Amasado

Happy vegan eating!

L

Bruschetta and White Beans – VeganMoFo 29

I have a day full of appointments, so no time to come up with an excellent MoFo post, but here is an easy dinner idea. 🙂

Bruschetta

12 slices of Italian or French style bread
2 cloves garlic halved
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 very ripe tomato cut in half
OR 1 large tomato diced
Salt and pepper

Rub bread slices thoroughly with halved garlic cloves and brush with olive oil. Place in the oven at 350* for about 5 minutes. When bread is thoroughly heated, remove the bread from the oven. Immediately rub the bread with the inside flesh of the tomato in order to make the toasted bread moist with the fresh ripe tomato juices OR spread with diced tomato. Salt and pepper to taste.

White Beans With Vinaigrette Sauce

1 lb dried white beans
2 red or green peppers diced
1 medium size onion diced
2/3 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 olive oil
salt and pepper

Soak the beans in cold water overnight. Drain and bring to a boil in enough water to keep beans covered.  Cook at medium heat until tender. While beans are cooking add the chopped onion and pepper to the olive oil and vinegar and whisk.  Drain beans well and mix with the vinaigrette sauce which is prepared separately. Good warm or cold.

Judgment and Acceptance in the Vegan Community – VeganMoFo 28

We can never judge the lives of others, because each person knows only their own pain and renunciation. It’s one thing to feel that you are on the right path, but it’s another to think that yours is the only path.
~ Paulo Coelho

To judge others is, to a large degree, inevitable.  As humans, we make decisions about how to respond to those around us by evaluating their behavior and even their motives, and then responding accordingly.  However, there is, I believe, a qualitative difference in the types of judgments we make.  Sometimes we are making judgments of others based on how their actions specifically and directly impact us, or based on what they have told us of their motives.  Other times, we are making judgments of others based on our standards of right/wrong and good/bad behavior.  Again, this is probably just our humanness in action.  But, I think most of us would agree that there are some things we need to not judge others about – things that involve personal choices and personal moralities.  And, there are other instances where we may have a good reason to feel a particular judgment, but that does not mean that we must say it, because in the saying we accomplish little but diminishing the person who we have judged and there isn’t much value in that.

Lately, I have noticed a significant amount of judging going on in the vegan community.  This has been interesting for me, because before I was much engaged in social media, I had never encountered a vegan who was harsh in his/her outward critique of omnivores or vegetarians, and I was flummoxed when the omnis around me would mention such behavior.  I only knew vegans who were committed to their own choice and willing to help others work toward it if they so desired.  But, now I’m starting to get what they were talking about.

I became vegan because it was the right choice for me, and because others (in books, in life, online) had offered me persuasive, but not accusatory, information about non-meat animal products.  I’m happy that I made this choice.  But, I’m not as sure that I would have done it in response to someone berating me for not being vegetarian enough or telling me that I might as well eat meat if I wasn’t going to be all vegan. I suspect I would have closed up (out of anger, and probably some guilt) and not even considered veganism as an option.

It seems to me that there is little value in browbeating other vegans or vegetarians in public settings for not embodying the principles or philosophies of veganism in exactly the way that we hope/think that they should.  Even if one believes that the ultimate goal should be no utilization of animals for anything ever, isn’t it better if an individual is moving in that direction than if he/she gets shut down in the path by public humiliation?

My opinion, and it is only mine but it does and will inform the choices I make online, is that the best thing we can do, as vegans, is to keep the information flowing and support one another in the process, regardless of where we might be in it.  So, while I’m not going to eat an egg now and then as a treat, I’m not going to reject or scold someone who does, and I’m not going to dissociate myself from someone just because he/she has “imperfections.”   If I selected my friends and associates based on their degree of perfect adherence to my moral compass, I think I would be rather lonely.

There are certainly plenty of things that we can do to be active in promoting a vegan cause that don’t involve belittling others in a way that ultimately may work against our ends.  For me, the primary effort is in providing information, whether that be online or in face-to-face encounters, and giving support.  For someone else, that may be working for a vegan community group or starting a vegan restaurant.   It could be working for animal rescue or against corporate farming.   But, whatever we do, there have to be compatible ways that we can also offer acceptance and support to those working in the same direction that we are, even if they aren’t moving as fast or in the same way.