I am vegan. Vegans eat food only from the plant kingdom, including vegetables, fruits, grains, beans, nuts, and seeds.
I became vegetarian in 1992 primarily due to ethical concerns about the horrible treatment of animals on factory farms. I later learned that this intensive farming does great damage to the environment as well. I continually minimized my use of all animal products, including dairy, eggs, and even animal-derived clothing, in an effort to tread more lightly on the Earth. The Food Revolution by John Robbins is an eye-opening book about U.S. food production and the benefits of going vegan; I gave away copies of it at my all-vegan wedding reception.
Since 2011 my diet has been entirely vegan except for honey (which, as of April 2014, I'm now avoiding as well), and follows the principles of the lowfat, starch-based Engine 2 Diet and McDougall Program. For an ethical perspective on animals and veganism, I recommend reading The World Peace Diet by Will Tuttle. I also recommend the approach espoused by the Abolitionist Vegan Society (but see this caveat).
I am fortunate to live in the San Francisco Bay Area where an abundance of fresh produce and vegan-friendly restaurants are readily available. I do volunteer work with the Free Farm Stand, growing and giving away free produce for those who cannot afford it.
One food, or actually beverage, I particularly enjoy is tea. I started preparing tea from loose leaves in 2004, and found out how much superior that method is to tea bags (though I do still use those occasionally). I get my tea mostly by mail order from Adagio, which makes an excellent Irish Breakfast blend which I enjoy every morning.
Thanksgiving, 2004. Photo by Julie Bernstein.
Last modified July 1, 2014