Do animal lives matter more than human lives? | Vegan question

I got a rather interesting – and hypothetical – question asked to me which was… if i had to choose between an animal (in this case it was a cow) or a human, which would i save. And this was based on me being a vegan. (It’s a bit like the… if i was stranded on an island with only a chicken/pig would i eat it type of question all vegans seem to get asked).

Of course i hope that i will never be in this situation… and it sounds rather hypothetical. And the answer to that question is that i would save the human…. which someone may think is strange because “I am vegan and for the animals… wouldn’t i save the animals… you don’t want animals to die?” .

And why would i save the human… well, for many reasons but even if a cow has a consciousness and nervous system, meaning they can think and feel, a human being does have that extra consciousness. Of course i wouldn’t want the cow to die, but in this hypothetical situation i would choose the humanbeing to save.

Of course, if it was between my own dog and a human it might be a different answer… but then again if i had to choose between saving (which i never hope happens) a family member or my dog… that would be a completely different answer and situation… i really couldn’t choose.

In our society, the majority of us DON’T need to eat or use animal products to be healthy, to get nutrients or to live. The majority of people can survive without animals having to die for their consumption.

I don’t believe in factory farming. I don’t believe it is correct for thousands and millions of animals to die each year just to be eaten or in worst case… to die, be turned into food and then just thrown away because the food has gone bad. I don’t believe in the animal abuse/torture that happens on a daily basis just for the production of food…. when the majority of people in society don’t need it. It is more sustainable for the planet to actually not consume so many animal products anyway.

So i am against the killing of animals when it is absolutely not necessary.

In the past it might have been necessary to kill animals to get enough nutrients to survive, develop and grow as well as use the fur for warmth… now a days, we don’t need any – or very little in certain cases – animal products to survive. But the killing of animals is on a much higher level than the actual requirement or need.

I am against using animals to test on for different experiments. I am against locking up animals and in some cases beating them just for the sake of entertainment. I am against using horses or dogs for racing or any other animals just to fight each other.

I am against the abuse of animals in all forms.

This however does not mean i think animals are better than humans or that humans should die out so that animals can live in peace, which some vegans believe.

I still believe humans have a higher conscious level and are more developed…. though it also surprises me then that not more people make the choice to go vegan or atleast try to eat as vegetarian as possible.

These types of questions are interesting and can lead to quite a discussion and debate, which i am fine with having – though i would prefer to have it in real life, not online. However they are also unrealistic and hypothetical situations… and i live in a society where i don’t need to choose between saving either a human or a cow…. i can do both. By eating vegan and also doing things such as giving blood, being an organ donar and helping people in other ways.

This is my thoughts on this topic, and as mentioned i don’t mind getting these types of questions…. however it is easier to discuss and bring up different thoughts and nuances in a real life discussion.

If you have any thoughts on this topic, feel free to comment down below… would love to know how others think.

Plastic Free July? | Tips & advice | privilege, practical, realistic?

It’s July, and i have noticed on social media there is a “campaign” talk about plastic free July.

I think it is great that we are bringing awareness about plastic and the need for everyone to decrease their use/consumption/buying of plastic. To use alternatives and to demand that products are packaged in other materials than plastic.

You can read more about plastic pollution crisis, HERE. I.e we all need to do something about this…. and if we as consumers show that we want products with less plastic and make active choices. For the sake of the climate and planet, but also for the animals as many animals and marine life are actually dying due to plastic pollution… but even our health is impacted due to the microplastics and BPA.

*This post contains affiliate links*

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I have written previous posts about plastic which may be interesting to read:
Aware but not obsessed? | Organic, plastic free, locally produced food?

Going plastic free – Realistic? Convenient? Practical?

Earth day 2018 – Plastic pollution & ways to minimize plastic use

Pre packaged and portion sized foods

Tips to minimize waste and plastic use

5 ways to minimize plastic use and help the environment

If i am honest, i am not someone who believes in 100% plastic free or zero waste. Even if i like the idea of it…. I just don’t think it is practical for anyone. Unfortunatly, our society uses plastic in SO MANY items… just like with being vegan, there seems to be animal products in almost everything. However, just because there is so much plastic doesn’t mean that it isn’t possible to make a change/difference and decrease your use of plastic.

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It just means some extra planning. You may also need to invest in things such as glass lunch boxes, Metal straws, reusable fresh produce bags, on the go coffee cups/thermos, glass jars,reusable utensils and the list goes on.

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You will also need to carry around an extra bag with you incase you need to buy something when you are out and don’t want to purchase a plastic bag. Of course, this is one of the simplest changes you can make… just buy a cheap cotton bag which you can always have in your bigger school/work/gym bag!

Bring your thermos/on the go coffee cup with you so that you don’t buy coffee out… but if you do have to buy coffee out, skip the plastic lid!

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I think it is great with the initiativ to decrease plastic use… how it is not always practical or possible for everyone.  There is plastic everywhere. And i am pretty sure i use and purchase items which contains plastic which i had no idea about.

But also …. going plastic free means you may need to invest in certain products/items before you can go fully plastic free. Not to mention, it may mean having to cut out ALOT OF different foods because they contain plastic. If i am honest… almost half the food i buy comes in some form of plastic packaging. When going plastic free you will most likely have to shop at stores which sell products that have very little or no plastic packaging… where you bring your own jars or use brown reusable bags to pack the fresh produce. However… alot of frozen food is then no longer an option. But frozen food (meaning frozen vegetables and fruit, not pizza and fries) which are often cheaper and last longer, arenät an option. But many people don’t actually eat up the fresh produce they buy and have to throw it away, meaning that it isn’t really better.

However… what you could do if you can afford it (and have the space in your freezer), is to buy big 1kg frozen vegetables instead of the small 200g/500g bags… because then you atleast minimize plastic in that way. 

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4 examples of plastic:

1 The lid and little inside “lid” in plantbased milks. (Note, cut the little “capsule/lid” when you thro them away so that wildlife don’t get caught in them/eat them)

2: Alot of the food i buy does have plastic… which i do want to become more aware of and limit – as i do have the possibility to do it at times.

3: Everything in that pesto came in a plastic pacakge… apart from the garlic

4: Eevn the glassfood boxes i bought came with plastic.

Also, you can’t forget that if someone is living on minimum wage the most important thing for them is to find some form of cheap food to be able to eat…. not whether it is plastic free, vegan or nutritious.

Going plastic free is a privelage in a sense… I live in Sweden and have the possibility as well as somewhat economical possibility to make choices. I can buy food in bulk and without plastic when possible. I can bring my own bag to the grocery store and invest in glasslunchboxes and metal staws. I can bring my own freshproduce bags and skip the plastic bag that is usually used when buying fruit and vegetables in bulk.

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I can choose between buying lentils in a cardboard package or plastic package. I can choose to not buy a food because it has lots of plastic packaging – because i know i can buy other food. I can take the time to walk/travel to another store just because they have more fresh produce which is loose/buy in bulk. Some months i can spend the extra money on making more plastic free choices. It is a privilige which not everyone has.

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However… i can’t avoid all plastic. It would not be possible for me to buy all my food plastic free. Not to mention, i take medication which i need daily that comes in/is packaged in plastic… there is no plastic free alternative.

I can of course make active choices when possible.

But what about disabled people… there are certain foods which may have extra packaging because it is easier for someone who is disabled.

I think when possible we should all try to limit plastic… example, does the product with a cardboard/nonplastic package cost 1dollar more than the option with plastic… then it is worth tat 1 dollar… according to me anyway.

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Can you skip the small portion packages of food and instead buy in bulk? Can you skip the Nescafe coffee capsules and instead use a coffee press/coffee beans? (in all honesty, i think these coffee capsules should be banned). Can you buy fresh produce in bulk using a paper bag or your own fresh produce bag? Can you buy the frozen berries in a cardboard pacakge instead of plastic pacakge? Can you skip the plastic lid when ordering coffee on the go?

 

Just because we can’t do something perfectly or can’t do it all… doesn’t mean we can’t try. Can’t go completely vegan? Well you can still eat as vegetarian as possible and not buy products with animals products (such as fur, leather, wool), as well as buying cruelty free. Can’t go completely plastic free? Well you can still decrease use of plastic when possible. Can’t go zero waste/minimalist? Well you can still try to limit waste and clutter when possible. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing, 0 or 100. We can just do our best and what is possible.

I also think it is important for us all to ask ourselves… do we not make these changes because we don’t want to or because we can’t? There is a difference. Many people don’t even try to limit plastic or try to eat more vegetarian because they don’t want to… even if they can. Whereas there are many who are in situations where they actually can’t make those choices but might want to.

So if you are in a situation where you actually can make choices and changes that are better for the climate, planet, animals… then i think you should. It doesn’t have to make a huge impact in your life, but may make a huge impact for the planet and climate if everyone made those small changes.

You can read more about plastic and plastic pollution in the links below:

Plastic pollution in numbers

The worlds plastic pollution criss explained  *highly recommend you read*

100 steps to a plastic free life

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Substituting food – but not with the same nutrients? | Vegan

When i promote a vegan/plant based diet, i always mention the importance of substitution. I.e you shouldn’t just take away food, you also need to replace it with something.

Not only for nutrients, but also it can make it more sustainable when you feel like you aren’t “Missing out”. I.e when you can still eat burgers with friends, or you can still eat your favourite dishes – but vegan.

Of course, the important thing – which many don’t think about – when substituting, is that it is not just substitution of the food, but also the nutrients in the food you are replacing.

I.e it is great that there is vegan cheese which you can use instead of dairy cheese. However, vegan cheese is usually just made out of oil and some sort of flavour, or it is made from cashews and nutritional yeast. This doesn’t give you the same nutrients, i.e protein and calcium which dairy cheese gives you. So if you want to use vegan cheese instead of dairy cheese, that is great… you just have to make sure to get your calcium from other sources (such as sesame seeds, tahini, tofu, enriched oatmilk, dark leafy greens etc).

And the same goes with example making tofu fish/using jackfruit instead of fish. Granted, white fish is mostly just protein, but if you are replacing tofu/jackfruit with fatty fish such as salmon or mackerel or herring, then you are also missing out on D vitamin and Omega 3 (and other healthy fatty acids). So it is important to get those nutrients from other sources – such as walnuts, chia seeds, flax seeds. And D vitamin from a supplement.

^^Important to note, that when ex. making veggie schnitzels or ex. using eggplant instead of meat, you will be cutting out a protein source in your meal – as well as other vitamin sources. (Once or twice it is fine… but switching meat for just vegetables i.e not legumes/grains is not a good idea).

And the same goes for making ex. potatoe based “cheese” sauce for pasta. Sure it is great and creamy and delicious, but i would also recommend you add some beans or tofu along with the pasta (or use bean pasta) if it is an everyday meal you eat. Of course, if you just eat it from time to time, it is no problem that it is more carb rich.  ^^

 

Also, when you are replacing dairy milk with a plantbased milk, it is good to choose a fortified plant based milk.This is because otherwise you could be missing out on important nutrients such as b12, calcium, d vitamin. (Note, the organic plant based milk aren’t allowed to be fortified, so then you are missing out on nutrients).

When your replace meat with vegan protein sources, it is also important to make sure you are getting iron from other sources. Ex, if you switch meat for seitan, or you switch a portion of meat for a small portion of beans or legumes, you won’t be getting the same amount of iron. So increasing your intake of iron rich plant based foods is a good idea when you cut out meat.

Typically, vegan fake meat based on soya do contain a good amount of nutrients and typically are the same nutritionally compared to meat (maybe higher on the fat, but that doesn’t have to be a bad thing).

I do not mean to diss or bash a plant based diet, i just think it is important to bring awareness to. Especially as a nutrition student i think about these things… i.e when i eat vegan cheese i do it because i want the texture/flavour, but i also know that nutritionally it is lacking in vitamins/Minerals compared to dairy cheese.

Also you typically need to eat more food/portions are bigger when you are consuming lots of legumes/grains/whole foods instead of animal products. I.e a small portion of beans/lentils is not the same as a portion of meat – nutritionally.

Hopefully this post will help you, and maybe bring awareness to something you didn’t think about before. Also important to note that you can get all the vitamins and minerals you need on a plantbased diet, but you may just need to think/plan a little more than if you were to eat meat and dairy as well.

 

Vegan meal ideas | Masterpost | Veganuary

It’s a new year and i know that many are starting the year off with Veganuary. For many, going vegan may be a complete 180 from what they are used to eat and it can be hard to know what to eat.

One of the important and helpful things when trying a plantbased diet, is writing down a list of different recipes and meal ideas you can make. Whenever you are stuck for ideas or what to make, then you can resort to that list. It may also make you more excited for all the meals to test the different meals!

I thought i woul do a masterpost of some of my recipes to help you with some meal idaes!! Of course there are plenty more recipes and ideas out there, but these are some of the ones i have to offer on my blog 🙂 I hope this is helpful to anyone who may need more food inspiration!

Some other helpful posts:
What’s in my fridge & freezer – Vegan| Staple foods at home

Eating vegan on a budget: Cheap vegan snacks

Eating vegan on a budget: Cheap vegan, nutritious meals!

Vegan staple foods to have at home

Vegan replacements Part 1

Top 10 tips to eat Vegan on a budget – getting all your vitamins and minerals on a budget

Tips when going vegan – Food edition – Guide Part 1.

 

Breakfast and snacks:

Oatmeal recipes: Carrot cake oatmeal with coconut milkCinnamon fried appleOvernight oats (& weekly meal prep)Chocolate & coffee oatmeal & different overnight oats

Rice pudding & coconut rice pudding

Savoury tofu scramble breakfast

SconesVegan scones recipe | Simple and quick to make  & Cornbread scones recipe

Chia seed pudding: Chia seed pudding recipe

Pancakes: Oat and banana pancakes & Chocolate chip pancakes & Cinnamon swirl pancakes & The best vegan pancakes – simple recipe 

Chickpea pancakes recipe  &  Chickpea omelette with ch*cken and mushroom filling – savoury, can be good for both breakfast or lunch/dinner

Chickpea cookie dough

Banana bread with chocolate chips & another banana bread recipe

Chocolate peanut butter granola & make your own granola

 

Sandwiches: Barbeque tofu sandwich & Vegan sandwich toppings/fillings

Nice cream: Berry banana nice cream – recipe

Smoothies: Smoothie recipe masterpost & Green smoothie recipe – banana & mango & Chocolate & ginger protein smoothie bowl & Green smoothies recipes

Savoury snacks: Roasted chickpeas Home made vegetable crisps | Vegan | Recipe

Hummus: Roasted carrot hummus | Recipe & Sweet potato hummus  Roasted red pepper hummus  & Beetroot hummus & different types of hummus recipe

 

Lunch/dinner

 

 

Different soups: Carrot, sweet potato and lentil soup with ginger and chilli & Butternut squash and carrot soup Sweet potato and carrot soup with coconut milk Red lentil and sweet potato soup & Pumpkin and red lentil soup & roasted pumpkin seeds recipe 3 bean chilli & Vegan “meat” stew

Pasta recipes: Creamy vegetable one pot pasta | 15 minute recipe & Creamy vegetable & tofu pasta salad & Vegan pasta bake! & Beetroot pasta sauce! & Pasta with avocado and green pea sauce! & Creamy mushroom, garlic and thyme pasta & Pea & avocado pesto with pasta & Pasta with a creamy sun dried tomato and basil sauce & Pasta with sweet potato “cheese” sauce 

Pad thai

Tofu “fish” recipe

Lasagne

Quesadillas

 

Swede scnitzel recipe | Vegan | & Hasselback potatoes

Stuffed aubergine recipe

Different cauliflower wings:  Breaded and baked cauliflower wings & Sesame coated cauliflower wings – vegan recipe & Vegan cauliflower buffalo wings

Different pizza recipes: Rainbow pizza – using prebought crust & Vegan tortilla pizza | 15 minute meal & Vegan spinach-tofu pizza rolls! & Cauliflower pizza recipe

Potato salad and coleslaw

Oumph! ribs

Seitan recipes: Vegan orange “chicken” seitan & Chickwheat shreds/Pulled ch*cken seitan recipe!

 

Falafel recipe & Beetroot, black bean and quinoa burger | Vegan (can be made glutenfree) & Baked beetroot falafel – Vegan recipe

Stuffed paprika with quinoa, tofu and beans

Tofu nuggets – Vegan recipe

Rice paper rolls

Vegetable & tomato casserole with garlic bread | Vegan

Cauliflower and broccoli gratin

Tofu satay recipe | Vegan & Gluten free

Tofu and vegetable skewers with peanut butter sauce | Recipe | Vegan

 

Sweet/dessert:

 

5 minute microwave brownie

Double chocolate chip cookies & Simple vegan chocolate chip cookies! & Vegan oatmeal raisin cookies & The best vegan fudgy chocolate cookies! & Vegan Oreo cookies 

Vegan apple pie

Vegan fudge brownies recipe

Cheesecake: Vegan mojito cheesecake recipe! & Vegan oreo moussecake | Recipe & Vegan mango and passionfruit cheesecake! & Vegan saffron cheesecake recipe

 

Cake: Vegan snickers cake (peanut butter and chocolate mousse!) Recipe & Vegan carrot cake with lemon frosting & Vegan saffroncake with white chocolate and lingonberries & Vegan oreo cookies and cream cake recipe

Candy: Vegan ferrero rocherVegan daim recipe , Vegan kitkat Recipe/ Vegan “kex” recipe!Chocolate covered peanut butter filled dates | vegan | christmas candy2 ingredient chocolate truffles | Vegan | & Peanut butter cups

 

Going vegan 2019? Start the year with veganuary

Soon it is time for a new year, and what better way than to start off the year with veganuary?

A time where you get advice and help from others also doing the challenge. A time for you to really try a plant based diet and/or vegan lifestyle. Many actually stay vegan after trying veganuary… so you don’t have to put an end date to veganuary… i.e you don’t have to eat a ham sandwich the first of february just “because you can”.

Of course the goal should be to make lifestyle changes to minimize your consumtion of animal products and live more vegan. To make sustainable changes which you will keep up the whole year, not just one month of a plantbased diet followed by eating animal products 5 times a day everyday for the rest of the year.

I understand that not everyone can or wants to go vegan, but it is also a chance to really give it a go if you are in a place in your life where you can actually do that. I.e if you are struggling wtih an eating disorder then maybe it is not the right time to start mixing with your food even more.

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I do encourage everyone who can to try veganuary – and to get your friends or family involved as well. Small changes add up, and also by having support from others it can help motivate you and support you to stay vegan. It can also make it a fun challenge to do with others.

Hopefully you realise that it is easier to be/eat vegan than you thought.

I do of course realise that being and eating vegan is a privelege whcih not everyone has the choice to make. Also not everyone has supportive friends or family like i do, but you can still try your best to minimize your consumption of animal products – not only for the sake of the animals, but also for the planet and your health, not to mention that eating more vegetables and whole foods and less animal products is usually cheaper. (Even if of course buying some vegan alternatives can be more expensive than the non vegan options).

The important thing to realise is that YOUR choices DO matter, and all SMALL choices and changes add up. So don’t think that just because you can’t be 100% vegan, that you shouldn’t try at all. Or just because you are “one person” that your choices don’t matter… if everyone thinks like that, then nothing would change. So everyones choices matter and make a difference.

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My goal is to try to write some helpful vegan posts during the month of January for those of you who are trying veganuary. Of course i realise that there are many resources out there and some premade challenges you can sign up, but i will try my best to help and be a support to you as well 🙂 To inspire you and even those of you who can’t do veganuary!!

If you have any questions or cetain topics you want to read about, comment below.

Also you can read my previous posts about veganism and related to vegansim, HERE. and some more vegan related posts HERE

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