We love getting out in nature whenever we can. Since apples are in season we decided to spend the first Sunday of autumn picking apples and pears with the kids. The West Fruit Gardens are amazing here in Amsterdam (Fruittuin van West in Dutch). They grow all kinds of organic fruits and berries which you can pick yourself. With a couple of hundred chickens walking around you may even pick up some eggs while you’re at it. Kids love it. It’s a perfect escape close to home.
On my website I’m sharing strictly vegetarian and vegan recipes. If you are wondering whether I’m a vegetarian or a vegan myself the answer may surprise you. I’m not strictly plant based and once in a blue moon I’ll eat some fish or meat (always organic). In my opinion the world would be a better place if we would consume way less animal products. And I mean waaaay less. As a species we are not meant to eat this much meat. Just imagine how much meat you would take in when you had to catch your own prey like our ancestors had to. Our bodies are not capable of dealing with all this animal protein. Because of the high demand for animal products the industry has developed in such way that the meat, which is available right now, is nothing like our ancestors hunted for. We’re consuming flesh and body fluids (dairy) of sick and tortured animals on a daily basis. Animals who don’t see any daylight. Who are stuffed with antibiotics and are fed soy, corn or grains, which they can’t even digest properly. I can’t imagine how someone would consider this to be healthy in any way. And the sad thing is that many of us don’t even realize how much harm we’re causing to our health, our planet and the animals. Imagine how much of a positive impact it would make on the environment if we all reduced our meat consumption to once or twice a week. Maybe we could offer the animals a more natural habitat, because there would be space for them to walk outside and eat some grass or catch a few worms. The fish in the oceans would have more time to repopulate.
So why not go all the way and embrace a vegan lifestyle? I know the vegan diet may feel like the Holy Grail when you transition from a standard Western diet. Suddenly you lose weight, get tons of energy and get rid of all your diseases and aches. It’s a great cleansing diet. The micronutrient-starved body absorbs all those extra vitamins and minerals from fruits and vegetables and that feels amazing. In a long run though some deficiencies may occur. Certain amino acids, iron, vitamin D and the biggest one: vitamin B12. Many times B12 is the pink elephant when you’re having a conversation with a strictly plant based person. Most vegans prefer to take a supplement and not talk about it too much. At that point some alarm bells go off in my head. If you can’t follow a vegan diet without taking any supplements then I’m sure it’s just not a natural way of eating for human kind.
To me it’s just the same as having vitamin C pills and not eating any fruit. I don’t think anyone would recommend that. (I know that fruit contains more than just vitamin C, but you get the point) Veganism doesn’t exist within indigenous cultures and it hasn’t been tested for more than one or two generations. The long-term effects on our health are just unknown.
Don’t get me wrong. I have great respect for vegans. Especially when they made the choice for the sake of the animals and the environment. Big up to all vegans for that! I watch vegan channels on YouTube all the time for inspiration. I love animals myself and I care about our planet very much. But the thing is…I also love nature. Plants and flowers and trees. All of those things are alive as well. It has been scientifically proven that plants (lettuce for instance) show signs of stress and fear when cut into or eaten by a caterpillar. Many people will laugh at this, but I think that everything that’s alive wants to stay alive. It’s the basic survival mechanism. My point is: It’s impossible to eat anything without hurting and killing a living thing. When I munch on a mouthful of sprouts, I’m basically chewing on hundreds of living plant babies. As an animal lover I don’t like the idea of using animal skin for shoes, bags and couches. But what about a wooden table? At one point that tree was alive and would still be alive for many years if it wouldn’t been chopped into a piece of furniture. What about those fresh flowers on the table? We just pick them and let them suffocate in a vase until we toss them and get new ones. Is that the same thing as having a plant based hunting trophy? Most of you reading this may feel like this is a ridiculous and unethical thing to say. I understand. We just don’t feel emotionally connected to plants like we do to animals. Especially the cute furry ones.
Kill or be killed. That’s how our ecosystem works. The world is a harsh place at times. There’s just no way around it. So why do I have a vegetarian website? Simply because I would like to contribute to a more balanced world. There are a gazillion chefs and cookbooks and blogs and video channels that offer meat based recipes. Many people may want to lessen their meat intake but just don’t know what they’re supposed to eat instead. Even though there’s a rise of the vegans on planet earth, the meat industry is still growing and our population is getting sicker and sicker. We eat tons of food, but are in fact malnourished. The more inspiration we can get to eat real, whole, balanced meals the better. I’m here to contribute my tiny part to the awareness. But most of all. I’m just here to have a good time and share my obsession for delicious food with anyone who’s interested.