Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Vegan is Cheaper

Lately I've been posting in the Oprah boards about Eckhart Tolle's A New Earth about veganism, how important it is to the environment, and how it is the simplest, and best way to reduce one's impact on Gaia.

Surprise! Those of us talking about this enormously important subject have been met time and again with opposition. These are the reasons given:

1. I have been told by my doctor that I MUST consume meat and dairy.

(OK, I'll bite - I'm to assume you do EVERYTHING your doctor tells you to do. )

2. But what about the tomatoes? They are living things too! Who knows what kind of pain they endure!

Ummm yeah. But we are addressing sentient beings with a central nervous system here - and we know that the cows and pigs and chickens who live out their lives in fetid CAFO's are denied the most basic comforts of light, liberty, their young, and ultimately their lives.

3. "I buy all organic products! That's good enough for me!"

Well, ackshully...... the organic label simply means your cow's milk didn't come from a cow who was shotgunned antibiotics, that's all. It doesn't change the reality that she was forcibly bred via artificial insemination, and then had her baby ripped away from her breast around the three day mark. If her baby was a boy, he's destined to be kept in the dark, forcefed milk, never get to feel what it is like to run (to do so creates muscle, and we want our veal tender and milky white, right?) If the calf was a girl, she's destined to Mom's fate of being milked until her production drops and then having some vicious sicko scramble her brains at the end of her usefulness.

4. I've visited all the places my food comes from and it's all very clean, healthy, and humane.

Not unless you boycott fast food restaurants, never buy or consume processed foods, never buy nachos or cheese fries at a baseball game, and don't eat at friends or families homes. Oh, and it is nigh onto impossible to obtain any pork not produced by the Big Guns - Hormel, Smithfield Foods, which increased capacity following the purchase last year of Farmland Foods and Alliance Farms; Premium Standard Farms; Seaboard Farms; Christensen farms; Iowa Select Farms; Prestage Farms; The Pipestone System, which also owns Ellison Meat; Cargill, which has announced plans to exit the state of North Carolina; Goldsboro Hog Farm and the Hanor Company, a Wisconsin-based shareholder in Triumph Foods.

That said, my very favorite response for the "Why I can't go vegan" answer is this one -- Ready???

5. It's more expensive! I can't afford it!!!

So today I conducted an experiment. I pulled a recipe for the classic American Macaroni and Cheese from and the vegan version I whipped up last night, courtesy of the (which, by the way, was mind expandingly good. Now since both recipes are copyrighted, and I am all about not ripping off other writers, photogs, or any other creative talents - I will not be reproducing the recipes here. However, I printed them out and went shopping. Using the organic argument, I put together a price list for each dish. The dairy heavy heart clogging model came in at (approx - I couldn't waste time computing the amount of money for the 1/2 teaspoon of paprika....) $10.30. The vegan version came in at $6.35. You do the math.

No comments: