I was raised by a single mom. She worked full-time, yet still had time to cook our meals. At an early age, I craved healthy foods and chose fruits, vegetables, seafood, and yogurt. I was forced to eat liver because I was anemic, I went through so much yogurt mom made my yogurt in a huge stockpot, and I was given bee pollen pills for energy because I was in gymnastics. I was not given sugar and I don't remember us eating at a fast food chain. I was lucky mom taught me good healthy eating habits from an early age.
Around 1984, age of 14, I decided I wanted to become a vegetarian. I just didn't like the taste or smell of meat. Mom said, if I wanted to become a vegetarian then I needed to learn how to do it right and she took me to Life Grocery in Marietta Georgia. Back then Life Grocery was a tiny co-op store, off Roswell Street, near the square and I still have the books I bought that day: Gourmet Vegetarian Feasts and Modern Herbal. I started drinking rice milk and learning about the medicinal value of herbs.
In my late 20's I started eating meat. It was mostly chicken, occasionally beef, rarely pork. I never did like the taste of chicken or pork and for the next decade, I occasionally ate meat.
Several years ago I started returning to Veggie-land and I am dabbling with vegan meals. I gave up my love of yogurt and cottage cheese earlier this year! Why? First, for personal health and second, because I want to speak up for those that can't.
It's disturbing the horrific life farm animals are forced live to put meat and dairy on our plate; Abuse, neglect, inhumane conditions. They are shot up with antibiotics, steroids, forced fed unnatural foods, confined to spaces their entire life, barely, or not at all, being able to stand or turn around (gestational crates) with intense ammonia and fecal smells. Mother's are repeatedly raped to induce pregnancy only to have their babies torn away at birth to either die a slow painful death, or slaughtered all so mom's can produce milk for us. Male baby chicks are ground up, alive because they are useless. Farm animals are mutilated without any numbing and dull blades, kicked, punched, body slammed, have broken extremities, severe illnesses without medical care, and forced to live in horrific inhumane conditions.
I get the world will never be vegan. What I don't get is how we turn our head and won't learn about the industry, their standard of practice and demand change. The meat and dairy you're eating is most likely full of antibiotics and steroids. Your animal was most likely severely ill, malnourished, and/or living in pain from broken bones. They were most likely tortured every day of their life.
IF you're going to eat meat and dairy please learn about farms who practice and run humanely. They are out there and most likely a small local farm. Yes, it is more expensive, but aren't you and your children's health worth it? Find out more information at: http://www.certifiedhumane.org or google search humane certified farms in your area.
Do we really need meat for protein or iron? Do we need cow's, goat's, or sheeps' milk for calcium? The answer is 100% no! I welcome you on my journey in learning healthy tasty ways to eat clean and without meat or dairy
~ Lisa Iacofano
Diseases of the soul are more dangerous and more numerous than those of the body.