Tuesday, September 3, 2013

A Feast for All

Lemon Curd Tarts

One of the themes foundational to The Split Plate is embracing the personalization of each individual's plant-based diet.  To one person, moving toward a vegan lifestyle could involve making certain days of the week meat free, while to another, it could include not only avoiding all animal products in food but also in products used around the house, clothing, etc.  Some people make choices to avoid animal products to support the environment, others to improve their health, others to reduce animal cruelty.  The Split Plate believes no one person is wrong for making different dietary choices than another because every individual's journey toward their own understanding of a plant-based lifestyle is personal.

I once witnessed a facebook chat in which one person, a vegan, berated another facebook member, a vegetarian, for not eliminating all eggs and dairy products from his diet.  My friends, this type of hateful, critical behavior attracts no one to a vegan lifestyle and instead alienates people who otherwise would stand a good chance of experimenting and perhaps adopting a vegan diet.  Instead of criticizing one another for our differences we need to be embracing one another for our similarities.

My mother is not a vegan.  She is not a vegetarian.  As she has seen me mature, she has witnessed my own slow and steady progression away from animal products.  However, when I bring up new vegan recipes I'm perfecting, or new research I've discovered about the benefits of plant based diets, she invariably will make statements about how much she feels her own body requires meat.  I've never disagreed with her because, even though I believe multiple studies have repeatedly demonstrated many damaging effects of meat, I also respect her right to make her own health decisions.

As I am accustomed to my mom's mini-lectures regarding the importance of meat in her diet, you may imagine how surprised I was when she called me up recently excitedly telling me about her new dinner party, which was to feature multiple vegan options!  She stated that she has many friends who are vegetarians or vegan or lactose intolerant and she wanted to host a party with plenty of delicious choices for everyone.

I see this as a demonstration of the reason we accept and love each other, regardless of how another's diet differs from our own.  Doing so creates a safe environment wherein others can experiment with plant based foods with nothing to prove and nothing to lose.  As we all celebrate our unique individual dietary preferences, each of us can find motivation to refine our choices and continue our journey toward a plant-based lifestyle.

Fruit Kebabs on the "Grill"

Spicy Cucumber Soup

Black Bean Brownies

(love you mom!)
-Grace Geiger

Back to Day 2
Forward to Day 4

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