Tigerlilly Quinn: a month of vegan

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

a month of vegan


I decided on the 30th of December to try and eat a vegan diet for the month on January. I'm not even sure what made me decide too other than it has been something that has played on my mind for a few years now and the new year seemed a good place to start. 

I've written before about my discomfort with the diary industry, a feeling which began when I was a new mother and suffering with mastitusMastitis was the worst pain I had ever felt in my entire life and I say that with no exaggeration, mastitis is also something that effects around 50% of dairy cows. It was empathy for dairy cows that led me to think more about the industry.

Today's cows produce ten times as much milk as they would do naturally for their calves, their male calves are taken away for veal (or raised for beef) immediately so that they don't become attached, so that their babies will never drink the milk from their mother that was designed for them. Even in organic dairy farms cows are kept constantly pregnant so they don't run out of milk. Dairy cows organic or otherwise live very short lives as they are sent to slaughter as soon as their milk supply runs out. There is a lot I don't agree with about the dairy industry and the more I think about it the more simply not eating cows isn't enough. 

I decided on the 30th to start a vegan diet on the 1st, and then realised we had six different types of cheese in the fridge… so it was that new years eve involved a scrambled egg breakfast, a cheesy pizza lunch and macaroni cheese for dinner!

My initial thoughts about transitioning from vegetarian to vegan was that it would just involve not eating cheese. We have drank soya milk for the past three years or so as we prefer the taste and I'm not a huge egg eater so it mainly felt like cheese would be the only hurdle to cross. 

Actually I realised that qourn and various meat substitutes would also be off the menu as they contain animal products such as egg, something that is really making we think about the meals we make. I'm used to whipping up something quick and easy with some veggie sausages or grabbing a cheese sandwich in a hurry. I'm now having to really think about the meals we are going to eat before hand and really plan them out. In a way this is actually quite refreshing as it's making us make things from scratch and see what's going in them! 

So far we have eaten a lot of thai and indian foods which are largely diary free anyway. My neighbour is lacto intolerant so has given me some good Chinese recipes to try including the soup pictured above (which is delicious btw!) 

If you are interested about how to make this soup it's really simple:

Fill a pot a quarter full of water and bring to boil
add one tin of coconut milk
two garlic cloves, minced
one bag of stir fry veg that you can get from your local supermarket or any veg you have to hand i.e mushrooms, onion, cabbage etc
add a spoon of tom yum paste (or a similar chilli paste)
one small tin of water chestnuts
one packet of rice noodles 

Really it's pretty much just water, coconut milk, thai chilli paste and veg!

I'm actually really looking forward to the challenge of making my cooking more interesting over the next few weeks. I also think it will do wonders for my energy as cheese does really sit heavy with me (even though I love it so!). I'm lucky in that Bristol is such a great place to live for vegetarians and vegans with plenty of cafe's and restaurants being meat free or having tons of vegan options. I'm hoping to find that at the end of the month I will want to continue this into the future but I'm going to see how we go! 

60 comments:

Natasha said...

I've been vegan for about a year now. It does get easier when you figure out some easy recipes you can make when you don't have time or inspiration. I also get less cravings than I used to. Cheese is definitely the thing I miss most. That soup looks delicious.

Erin S said...

That's really emotional to read about the cows - good for you going vegan - I'm only pescatarian but do feel like I should be doing more...

Claire said...

Brilliant idea. Laura from SideStreetStyle is doing it too and I am loving all these vegan recipes.


I have been vegetarian for 22 years now and have the same views as you about the Dairy industry. Where I find it difficult to give up is like you in cheese, but also cups of teas at friends houses and chocolate etc.


I don't feel ready to go the whole way this month, but I'm starting to eat vegan main meals etc and will see if it becomes second nature if I then begin to think of it outside the house. I hope that makes sense.


Good luck!


love


Claire
xxx

Emma Cantrell said...

This is an awesome idea Fritha - please post lots of recipes ... I have no imagination when it comes to lovely healthy food!

Rachel Adnyana said...

Wow, I'd never thought about dairy cows and milk like that before. hmm.... do you read ohdeardrea blog? she has some good toddler-friendly vegan recipes

Mrs Chasing the Donkey said...

I had not given cows a second thought in this way before - hmmm, poor little darlings. As for this recipe, how easy??? I am pinning this and hope I can buy the paste here in Croatia to try.

Alexandra Mercer said...

I agree with you that the dairy industry is totally gross. Good luck with your vegan month, I hope you enjoy it. This month I'm replacing my usual lunch with a green smoothie, just felt like I needed to after such a gluttonous Christmas! x

Suzanne Whitton said...

I take my hat off to you, I always get the impression that vegans live a very strict diet, it will be really interesting to follow your journey and see what kind of meals you recommend :) Good luck!

Jesse Audubey said...

Amazing initiative I think! I'll be following the recipes you post attentively and I look forward to getting some healthy inspiration :) Jesse x

Life With The Crew said...

Good for you for going vegan. We are vegetarians for the animal rights reason, but do eat dairy products (organic and/or local raw milk) and eggs from our own flock or a local free range flock. I was vegan for several years in college. I actually just wrote about my relationship with dairy products in a post I wrote this weekend. http://lifewiththecrew.typepad.com/my-blog/2014/01/cheese-made-by-me-january-cottage-cheese.html

cass said...

That looks delicious and so simple that even I could make it :-).

I look forward to seeing your vegan recipes x

Sheila Reeves said...

Scentastic delight - love freesias

Healthier Mummy said...

That soup looks amazing. I'm really into Asian broths at the moment and vegetarian food, and am putting this on my list of things to make this month. Thank you!

Louise Fairweather said...

fairytale love (louise perry)

Jenny Kearney said...

That sounds like an amazing challenge, I look forward to reading how you get on.

melwiggins said...

Ok now I have cow-guilt.

Michelle Ashmore said...

I don't think I could try a vegan diet. I could possibly try a vegetarian one but it would be a big challenge for me. I wish you well with your challenge :) xx

oranges_and_apples said...

I think being vegan is definitely the right thing to do! I did do it for a month once, but I just can't sustain it forever. I love milk and cheese and cakes with eggs too much, and I'm too selfish!

Laura Pritchard said...

Ocean Whisper

mummyoftwo said...

http://www.serenataflowers.com/product.asp?prod=86309&refpage=Category:83&position=pos7

pinkoddy said...

Oh good luck with this. I heard about it from Aly and simply couldn't give up the milk I don't think. My husband is allergic to coconut but otherwise this sounds very nice..

bloggingastrid said...

This is a really interesting read. I neve rknew that dairy cows suffer mastities a lot of the time. My husband ate vegan for a while ad it was interesting to learn about those recipes.

Swazi said...

Have everything to make this recipe at home !!

Good luck with vegan January :)

Kiran Parry said...

Ocean whisper

melanie stirling said...

The strawberry Sundae

Jess said...

rose

fritha strickland said...

that's amazing Natasha! I think you are right, once I've gotten into the swing of it I will stop automatically thinking of cheese as a quick snack! x

fritha strickland said...

isn't it Erin, it makes me so sad to think of them. I don't think you should feel you are 'only' a pescatarian you are doing an amazing job not eating meat. I've felt like I should be doing more for a long time so it feels like a weight of my shoulders finally tbh! x

fritha strickland said...

ooh I didn't realise Laura was doing it too! It totally makes sense I think that's a great idea, I think cheese and chocolate are the big things tbh, being at a friends house and saying no to a cup of tea will be hard too! I've not had that happen yet, fortunately all the cafe's in Bristol offer soya tea/coffee so I've been good there so far and our local does an amazing vegan chocolate cake so that definitely helps! xx

fritha strickland said...

will do! xx

fritha strickland said...

oh yes I do! I love her 'things on toast' in fact you've reminded me to visit again for inspiration, thank you! x

fritha strickland said...

The dairy industry really is awful, worse than meat cows for sure :( hope you like the recipe! :) x

fritha strickland said...

thanks Alexandra, so glad you agree, good luck with your smoothie January, hope it makes you feel fantastic :) x

fritha strickland said...

I think once you get your head around not adding cheese to everything (my weakness) it will a lot easier! xx

fritha strickland said...

I think I will, cheese sits so heavy with me! the hard part is it's just me going vegan and Tom and Wilf are still eating dairy although Tom has been really supportive x

fritha strickland said...

Thanks so much Jesse! x

fritha strickland said...

wow that's amazing! love that post!! I'd love to have chickens but our garden is too small (plus our cats!) thanks so much for your lovely comment, you have a wonderful blog xx

fritha strickland said...

it's really sad to hear about diary cows, they have a much worse life than meat cows infact :( xx

fritha strickland said...

I know exactly what you mean, for me I think I will miss baking BUT I know there are lots of amazing vegan cake recipes to discover out there too. xx

fritha strickland said...

that sounds like a great step, well done! I agree, it moves you away from processed foods which can only be a good thing xx

Laura Close said...

Oh that soup just looks gorgeous.. and you know how I feel about soup!

TracyJo said...

The Vintage Flora, gorgeous x

Susan Joyce Rogers said...

I would get 2 Twilight bouquets,one for myself and one for my mums grave,,she always loved freesia

Hazel Christopher said...

Mrs Tracy Klein flowers - I love the colours, such a beautiful bouquet x

Sarah Gilbert-Jones said...

amazonia, gorgeous!

Natasha said...

You should really look into nutritional yeast. You can make great cheesy sauces with it. I haven't found vegan cheese that's very cheese-like yet, but you can make really good sauces and that helps a lot.

Ruth Grover said...

Luxury Pink Orchid Planter ...BECAUSE I WOULD WANT IT TO LAST AND LAST

Equilibrium1 said...

Twilight, i imagine they would smell as lovely as they look :-)

Emma Lewis said...

The Blue Dendrobium bouquet is beautiful. I'd get that one.

Dawn Adams said...

http://www.serenataflowers.com/product.asp?prod=908&refpage=Home_Page&position=pos13

peter campbell said...

Amazonia

Becky B said...

I would love Miss Elizabeth Bennett! Beautiful!

Stephanie Whitehouse, said...

I 's go for the Luxury white roses - you can lose yourself in the depths of a white rose

Mickie Bull said...

Golden Meadow

Hayley said...

The Blue Dendrobium bouquet :)

Michaela YorkshireMum Britton said...

I would choose the Oriental Breeze bouquet

Cat Culmer said...

I think the http://www.serenataflowers.com/product.asp?prod=105893&refpage=Bestseller_Page&position=pos9 is gorgeous

k walsh said...

I really like the Madonna bouquet

michelle bennett said...

oh dreamlands gorgeous! http://www.serenataflowers.com/product.asp?prod=92958&refpage=Home_Page&position=pos2

Honora Livesey said...

I love this one, even the name Beautiful smile :) http://www.serenataflowers.com/product.asp?prod=1210&refpage=Home_Page&position=spotlight

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