|Hi <<First Name>>!
WELCOME TO DAY TWENTY-FOUR!
Clare's advice for day twenty-four:
TYPICAL COMMENT: In an attempt to challenge the strength of your convictions, you may be asked ‘What would you do if you found yourself on a desert island? Would you eat meat or starve to death?’
ISSUE: This sort of question presumably is asked to test the strength of your vegan beliefs rather than a practical consideration of whether you would eat meat if your survival relied on it. It’s a good idea to point this out to the person and clarify with them what they are really asking you about.
RESPONSE: ‘Hopefully I won’t find myself on a dessert island with nothing else to eat because my choice to be vegan (try to 30 Day Vegan Challenge) is based on my new found knowledge about how animals are treated in our society and the enormously positive benefits a vegan diet will have on my life’. (Note: Use every opportunity to inform the other person of the positive benefits of veganism rather than merely reacting to their attempt to challenge your beliefs). Continue: ‘Because I haven’t found myself in such a life and death situation, I can’t say exactly how I would act. However, I do know that our desire to live is very strong and so if I were in a life and death situation, I most probably would do whatever I had to survive. It goes without saying that this is no doubt what animals would do too because they have a natural desire to live too’. Because we are unlikely to find ourselves in such a life and death situation, we have choice. I choose to be a vegan because of XYZ (health, ethics, sustainability etc). Would you like to know more about veganism and the enormously positive effect on health as well allowing animals to live their lives for their own sakes?’
TIP: Clarify what the person is really asking you. It is most likely about challenging the strength of your convictions. Point out that we have choice in what we consume and that like us, animals have a desire to live their own lives for their own sakes, rather than being incarcerated in cruel ways that cause much suffering. Offer them the opportunity find out more so they can make more informed choices.
Robyn's advice for day twenty-four:
Chew your food thoroughly
OK, so at this point you may be rolling your eyes. Who am I, your mother? But it turns out your mother was right all along – chewing your food thoroughly is critical for good digestion and absorption of nutrients from a vegan diet.
Vegan doctor Michael Klaper, lead researcher of the Vegan Health Study which tracked the health of over 900 vegans, found that those who weren’t thriving on vegan diets tended to be under-consuming and under-absorbing essential minerals such as zinc, copper and magnesium.
In addition to choosing good food sources of minerals (see previous Health Tips in this series), Dr Klaper stresses the importance of chewing food thoroughly – at least 30 chews per mouthful, or as he puts it, “until your food is reduced to a cream”.
Dr Klaper points out that minerals in plant foods are tightly bound to plant fibre, and a couple of quick chews is simply not sufficient to wrest those minerals away from that fibre so they can be absorbed. Our primate relatives, the chimpanzees and gorillas, spend 6 hours per day chewing leafy foliage and forest fruits, while the average human chews for less than an hour per day.
There are other advantages of thorough chewing: the more we chew our food, the more flavour molecules we extract from it, increasing the pleasure of eating; and the more quickly we feel satisfied, which helps to curb overeating.
So don’t just take your mother’s advice, take Dr Klaper’s and chew your food thoroughly!
Cassies' recipe idea for day twenty-four:
Red Lentil and Sweet Potato Soup with Burnt Mint Oil
Makes 6 serves
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp nuttelex
1 brown onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2cm piece ginger, minced
1 tsp dried oregano
500g sweet potato, peeled, diced
1 cup red lentils, washed
1.5 litre vegetable stock
400g can diced tomatoes
1 dried chilli, roughly chopped
rind and juice of 2 limes
Burnt Mint Oil
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp dried mint
- In a 4 litre pot, heat the oil and nuttelex, and saute the onion, garlic, ginger and oregano until golden brown.
- Add the sweet potato, lentils, stock, tomatoes and chilli and stir to combine. Simmer over a low heat for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally so that the lentils do not catch on the base of the pot.
- Add the lime and blend using a stick blender until the soup is consistent and smooth.
- To make the mint oil, heat the olive oil in a frypan over a low heat and then saute the mint until it begins to bubble. Set aside for 2 minutes to infuse and then drizzle over a bowl of soup.
Kym's advice for day twenty-four:
Is veganism a religion?
Omnivores sometimes imagine that veganism is a belief system and sometimes even use this in a negative way to criticise vegans and resist examining their own lifestyle and choices. The fact is that veganism is NOT a religion. It is a LIFESTYLE CHOICE that follows the philosophy of reducing harm to animals. The philosophy of veganism is based on SCIENCE. The science of sentience - the fact that animals can experience pain, and have wants, needs and desires. The database of research on animal sentience is strong and rapidly growing. Scientists know that individuals from a wide variety of species experience emotions ranging from joy and happiness to deep sadness, grief, and post-traumatic stress disorder, along with empathy, jealousy and resentment, for example,mice, rats, and chickens display empathy and countless other "surprises" are rapidly emerging.
You can experience some of this data on an interactive website called the "Sentience Mosaic" launched by the World Society for the Protection of Animals which is dedicated to animal sentience.
An essay written by Helen Proctor and her colleagues at WSPA provides a systematic review of the scientific literature on sentience. The effort used a list of 174 keywords and the team reviewed more than 2,500 articles on animal sentience. They concluded: "Evidence of animal sentience is everywhere."
So veganism is based on science and also the conviction that its not ok to cause unnecessary suffering to other sentient beings. Religion on the other hand is based on a belief system, narratives, symbols and sacred histories that are intended to explain the meaning and origin of life or the universe.
A person who believes in christianity, judaism, buddhism or any other religion can also be vegan. Its all about our relationship with the natural world, and our ability to actualise the science and want to make a difference for animals.
TODAYS ASSIGNMENT: Check out WSPA's 'Sentience Mosiac' and be amazed at the latest research on animals behaviour, emotions, cognition and more!
WANT MORE INFO ABOUT THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF GOING VEGAN?
Go to this page and check out some short videos about the benefits of eating more greens!
CAN'T BE BOTHERED COOKING TONIGHT?
Check out our directory of over 100 eateries in Sydney with vegan options! --> click here
QUOTE FOR THE DAY:
Congratulations making it through DAY TWENTY-FOUR of your 30 Day Go Vegan Challenge!