“Sooo… I’m About 75% Vegan After All!”

Veganism is not a weird religion or cult philosophy. It is just choosing what to eat at the next meal.

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The title of this post was a kind-hearted comment to a FaceBook post. I shared a list of 100 Easy Vegan Foods to help people eat (a little) better (hat tip to Vegan.com for the list).

The crazy vegan fare listed included “bagels, margarine, oatmeal, Pillsbury Original Crescents, guacamole, ketchup, and Nutter Butters”–basically, a list of typical vegan items you can find most anywhere.

Remember, “vegan” just means “no animal products”. Vegan does not mean “crazy hippie soybean burgers”. My friend’s comment was good-natured but also a legitimate fact. Most of us are 50-75% vegan. That number would be naturally higher if more people understood how many products (food and other) sneak animal waste and by-products into our diet and lifestyles. Either way, though, vegetarian is our default diet, not meat and dairy.

You do not have to take my word for it. Think about this… a good, home-cooked American dinner might be a T-bone steak, steamed carrots with a dollop of butter on them, skillet-fried red potatoes, and a side salad, right? Guess what? Replace the butter with a little olive oil or margarine and everything but the steak is vegan–more than 75% there!

A vegan meal is just a normal meal with an extra helping of vegetables instead of meat, butter, or cheese.

Being vegan really is not radical. It is just healthier (usually) and does not involve killing or torturing anything to fill your belly. That seems like a good deal to me. Now, I am not a bleeding-heart vegan who will guilt you into making a healthier choice. I do not care what you eat or how you die. I am only responsible for my life but for people who are vegan-curious or just want to eat a little healthier, think about what it really means to be vegan (or a little more vegan). No dramatic life-changes are required. Just eat more plants when you have the choice.

One last thing to consider for those who believe or insist on forwarding misinformation about meat and dairy eating being natural… this is not true or even logical. Biologically speaking, we are much closer to vegetarianism or veganism than to being carnivores. If you think about it, catching and killing animals throughout most of human history was extraordinarily difficult. We did not always have guns, crossbows, or even machine-balanced and sharpened spears. Most animals are faster and better at camouflage than we are.

Even with all the tools and technology at our disposal today, most of us could not catch, let alone kill, skin, and properly prepare the meat of any animal. As a society, we are much smarter and better killers than our ancestors who first had to come up with the idea of a spear before actually figuring out how to use one.

Through most of human history, we only caged animals for dairy or killed them for meat out of necessity. Most of the time trees, berries, roots, and nuts were far easier to obtain. We simply are not meat-centric creatures and never have been.

I so loved the comment, “I am about 75% vegan after all!” Yep! Most of us really are close to 75% vegan. Do not buy into the idea that vegan is special or out of the ordinary. Vegans just do not have the marketing machine the big meat and dairy industries have (but we are getting better and you are seeing the word pop up a lot more than you used to… I think that is a good thing).

By the way, 75% is great but it is still just a “C” grade. Can we make the world just a bit better for us and the creatures we share it with by nudging that to a “B”? Maybe consider going for the extra helping of carrots or potatoes tonight instead of the extra helping of steak. It won’t kill you… and I mean that.

 

Today’s Lesson: Sometimes we are doing the right thing or heading the right direction and don’t even know it.

 

(A side note: I will never forget the morning my dad explained to me that he could never be vegan, not realizing we just happened to be eating a 100% vegan breakfast at that moment! I could not help but smile inside.)

 

 

 

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A Safe Place

Snuggling away, hiding under a heated blanket in 70 degree weather… crazy like a cat.

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I peeked in on my cat. She is buried in our electric blanket. I placed it on the floor and turned it on earlier today because I thought she might appreciate it. I checked on her because I realized three hours had passed without Rainee nagging me for something (attention, food, patio, unsure, wants to talk, etc.). She is presently a brown ball of cuteness, purring, and nearly indistinguishable from the warm, brown blanket on the floor.

 

Today’s Lesson: Sometimes all you need in life is to feel safe and warm in your home. 

How To Change Your Life

Many people want to transform something about themselves but do not know where to start.  This is the easiest, quickest, and best advice I can offer about that…

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Today’s Lesson:
To change your life, change your words. You are as your language is.

Paying For Average

If it does not sound too good to be true, then it probably isn’t.

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I received a very casual email from an Amazon.com marketer who “noticed” (you know, just by chance) I bought a particular product and, based on that, thought I might be interested in a “very special” offer. The offer, of course, was to buy the product the marketer was shilling for at a supposedly discounted rate in exchange for reviewing the item.

I thought about the offer for a second, then responded to the message. “No, thanks,” I said, “I am not interested in the offer. In fact, I believe buying and reviewing a product on Amazon.com is not normally considered a special offer. They just call it ‘purchasing’, but thanks for thinking of me.”

Undeterred, the marketer asked if I might be interested in buying a different product in the future, in exchange for a review. Needless to say, I was also undeterred.

 

Today’s Lesson: Just because someone calls something “special” does not mean it is. Do not be fooled into paying extra to do what you would have done anyway.

 

 

 

 

Don’t Ask; Don’t Sell

It never hurts to ask.

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I love lattes. Since we moved to Tampa, we have been shopping around for a Nespresso Delonghi machine (it’s like a high end Keurig that also dispenses, mixes, and foams milk into espresso for an amazing latte). You can special order them online or from specialty stores but it is difficult to find one on store shelves and nearly impossible to find one on sale.

While shopping, Nicole and I came across one someone ordered and must have changed their mind about before it arrived. The box was beat up but after inspecting the contents, it was obvious the unit was never used. Nevertheless, we knew it was going to be tough for the store to sell (if you are not familiar with Nespresso you would probably not have known how expensive the innards of this torn and damaged box sitting among the other lower end machines was).

We couldn’t believe our luck, plus we thought we might be able to convince the site to drop a few bucks off the asking price for the rough-looking box.

I have been in Sales for a while but I have never seen anyone haggle like Nicole. I would never want to play poker with her, either.

The store did offer 10% off right away, but Nicole was not moved. She explained we could save $100 on the Nespresso website for being first time purchasers and although we would pay a few bucks more, we would have a product in perfect shape and perfect packaging at our doorstep.

She explained to the store manager that she did not feel that was the best they could do. Further, she pointed out that obviously the store wanted to sell the machine and obviously we were an interested party. The box was sitting on the store shelf taking up valuable retail space that could be used to turn more product instead of continuing to be passed by indefinitely by uninterested parties.

In the end, we ended up paying $220 less than the original price and everybody was happy (although we might have been a little happier than everybody else).

Even with a career in sales, I hate haggling and negotiating but I was reminded of a valuable lesson…

Today’s Lesson: You get what you ask for (and you don’t get what you don’t ask for).