Vegan, Jane Austen student, Minimalist, Reader, Librarian

Monday, March 30, 2009

I Need to Read Even More

As a librarian, I read a lot, about three books a week, but sometimes more, in addition to online sources such as newspapers, blogs, & other information for my job. But I’m finding that I think I need to read even more about veganism. I have never, ever been a person who is quick with the comebacks and that is why I sometimes get tongue-tied when people ask me direct questions about myself. Even though I’m a librarian and work on a busy reference desk every day, I can handle questions about other topics but when it comes to me and my life, I find it harder.

But, as a new-ish vegan, I find myself sometimes stymied when people ask me questions about why I’m vegan, what I eat, etc. Now that I think about it, it’s only some people that have that effect on me. They seem genuinely confused, sometimes even angry, & bewildered that anyone would want to be a vegan. They think it’s limiting, boring, weird, etc. But this is why I need to read more so that I can talk about it easier. On my blog, I at least have time to think about what I’m going to say and phrase it right.

Jill Ovnik (of the Vegan Gal DVD) gave me the advice of reading more, especially information by Dr. McDougall. She said you probably won’t change anyone’s mind or convert them to veganism, but you will give them something to think about and ponder. For example, where do cows get their protein & calcium? How much protein is in breast milk? Or, what species drinks the milk of another? Or, as Dr. McDougall asks on his site, “Ever consider Diet vs. Drugs?; Oatmeal vs. Obesity? or “Peas vs. Pills?”

What I’m finding more and more is that most people only think of food and eating when they’re hungry, and then as a nuisance, another task in a busy day, instead of the nourishment and necessity that your body needs to keep working well. So if it seems like a lot to think about, it is. Most people don’t think about their body and what they put into it until their body isn’t working right (indigestion, headache, etc.), then they go to the doctor and ask for drugs.

And I know vegans are in the minority. A quick perusal of this site and it was ALL meat or seafood every single day for all meals! http://food.yahoo.com/everyday/dinner/ It’s crazy.

I’ll let you what I’m reading and what I learn in the process.

In the meantime, today I made this super delicious warm potato salad, adapted from Eat, Drink, & Be Vegan:

1 1/2 lb new potatoes or fingerling potatoes (I used an unspecified amount of red potatoes, & it was a lot more than this recipe called for--good for leftovers!)

Vinaigrette:

2 1/2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 1/2 tsp agave nectar
1/2 tsp sea salt
ground black pepper to taste
4 tbsp olive oil
1/8 C pine nuts (I didn't have so I left it out)

Salad:

2 1/2 C loosely packed baby spinach leaves
1/4 C packed fresh basil (I didn't have so I left it out)
3/4-1 C artichokes chopped (I used marinated, drained)
1/2-3/4 C red bell peppers, diced (I used green)
1/4-1/3 C pitted Kalamata or green olives (I used green), halved or chopped
2 tbsp pine nuts (again, I left out)
1/2-1 tbsp olive oil (optional if need for more moisture)

Boil potatoes in a large pot of water. Reduce to simmer until potatoes are tender when pierced, about 12-15 minutes. If using the pine nuts, blend all vinaigrette ingredients in a blender until smooth; just stir together in a small bowl if not. When potatoes are done, drain & allow to cool just enough to handle, then cut in half or in quarters (I cut mine into bite-sized pieces). I then returned potatoes to the cooking pot (no need to dirty yet another bowl), then tossed in vinaigrette & salad mix & tossed that all together. I ate some warm after making it but it’s also just as good chilled or at room temperature.

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