By: Joyce Vandenberg Porter
I used to believe the Food Chain was a normal part of life, however, the way we raise our livestock is inhumane and anything but natural. This has bothered me for a long time but while I was busy raising three young boys, I was able to push those thoughts to the back of my mind. Once my youngest left for college I was able to explore what feels right to me in my heart. My original plan was to go for one year and not eat meat from animals that I identified as loving and nurturing, primarily mammals like cows, pigs and sheep. I had already cut veal and foie gras out of my diet years ago to protest those inhumane practices so this was a logical step. An interesting thing happened at the one year mark. Instead of reverting back to my ‘old’ diet, I also stopped eating chicken and other poultry. It just didn’t feel right and I didn’t want to be a part of so much suffering and death.
My OMG moment, and also the inspiration for this blog, came right after I had eliminated meat from my diet. I was watching a YouTube video of two baby moose playing in someone’s backyard. They were running through one of those old fashioned sprinklers that go back and forth under the watchful eye of their quite enormous mother. The thought hit me hard! Oh my God! She brought her kids to the playground, just like I have done hundreds of times! I realized in that moment that there was little difference between me and her. We both love our children and spend our days feeding, entertaining and keeping them clean and safe through whatever means it takes. I have always strongly identified with mothers, since it’s the most important, difficult, but also the best job I’ve ever had. Now I’m pretty convinced that conscientious mothering happens across the Animal Kingdom. Here is the link to the adorable Moose video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yNy9jTeolUk
So where does “Goodmotherdiet” come from? About a month into my new meat free ‘diet’, I had the following text conversation about our dinner plans that night:
Kerri: R U eating meat? Chix only?
Me: No beef, deer, moose or lamb. Want me to bring a tofu dish?
Me: I don’t know. Are they good mothers?
And thus the “Good Mother Diet” was born.
So what do I blog about? Every week I post a yummy Meatless Monday recipe which is either vegan or vegetarian and a Wheatless Wednesday recipe (sometimes Pescetarian) which explores creative ways to eat well but avoid empty carbs. I do not have Celiac disease but many of my recipes are gluten free. All recipes are healthy, delicious and user friendly. I also love to garden and sometimes offer gardening tips or canning recipes. For more on Meatless Monday or Wheatless Wednesday, check out their individual pages on the menu of this blog
My focus is on eating close to the earth using local, organic, unprocessed foods whenever possible. I am adamantly opposed to CAFO’s (factory farms) for their cruel, inhumane treatment of animals and their enormously negative impact on our health and our environment. I still use eggs, milk and cheese but buy from small farms that practice Pasture Raised and Certified Humane handling practices. I realize that even small farms are not completely cruelty-free, but I believe in supporting the farmers that are making an effort to do it the ‘right’ way. We vote with our pocketbooks by buying from farms that allow their animals to graze on open space as nature intended. Not everyone is willing to take the step to go vegetarian or vegan but if we can eliminate the worst offenders from our diets, like factory farmed animal products, it’s a step in the right direction and much more do-able for new vegetarians, flexitarians or omnivores who would like to see less cruelty in the world.
People often ask me if I will ever eat meat again. I honestly don’t know. This year or so of not eating meat has opened my eyes to the unnecessary suffering in the world. The reality is that once your eyes are opened they can’t be unopened. That said, I prefer to focus on the positive rather than the negative. Cooking, for me, has never been so much fun! I thoroughly enjoy trying and creating yummy new recipes that feature vegetables and healthy grains. I hope you like the photos and recipes. If you make any of my dishes, send me a photo and I will post it on my You Made It page!
Photos originally found on honkifyourevegan.wordpress.com
Giraffe photo courtesy of weruletheinternet.com.
Lion and cow photos courtesy of frugalcafe.com.
Lamb photo courtesy of shutterstock.com.
Goose and elephant photos courtesy of komonews.com.