The Vegan Ferret

Vegan Food, Restaurants, Experiences from a Newly Vegan Ferret Lover

Week 1 – Cabbage Soup, Peanut Butter and Supplements

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I’m a ferret mom and I am not here to tell you what perfect angels they are.  They poop all over my living room, tear up my paper towels, and take all of the books off the only shelf they can reach on my bookshelf.  THEY ARE FRUSTRATING AS HELL.  However, whenever someone asks me why I’m a vegetarian, my response is always that I could not imagine ever being in a place where I would feel that it’s okay to sacrifice my babies’ lives so I could eat some meat.  This translates to all animals.  No meat could ever taste delicious enough to justify the death of an animal.

I’ve been vegetarian for a while, and last weekend I decided to go vegan.  Here’s the short version:

I’m an early riser on the weekends so when I woke up last Saturday at 4am and my boyfriend was bound to be asleep for at least four more hours (if not seven), I headed to Pinterest to check out tattoo ideas, weird art, and ways to improve our undersized and overpriced one bedroom apartment.  As I was browsing, I came across some incredible vegetarian and vegan recipes.  I’ve been a vegetarian for a few years now, but hadn’t made the full commitment to veganism.  Falling into a Pinterest hole of never-ending recipes, I finally decided it was time to make that commitment.

Fave recipe of the week: Vegetarian Cabbage Soup – Incredibly delicious, clean, and healthy.  Surprisingly dense and filling.  Definitely one for the recipe scrapbook.

I am not a vegetarian for health reasons.  I smoke cigarettes, love discovering new beers, and can be a sucker for junk food.  My reasons are purely ethical, but I’m also excited about the ways in which veganism will encourage a healthier lifestyle for me.  Over this past week, I’ve realized that I won’t be able to just grab a three-cheese sub from Longfellow’s Deli on my lunch break anymore.  I will have to plan my meals, carefully evaluate the snacks I buy, and take vitamin supplements so I don’t pass out in a church basement filled with sweaty fans attending an emo-punk show in Philly.

This is not an easy transition.  My boyfriend brought up a good point today as we were going through our cabinets, ridding our house of any non-vegan products (he decided to join me on this journey).  “This is like going vegetarian all over again.”  He’s right.  We have to re-think our lives – our lifestyles, our clothes, every little treat we buy for ourselves.  It is work.  But I am enjoying the challenge.  It encourages me to think deeper about the products we buy and it forces me to realize the ingredients that go into every product.  For instance, I’m not one to think about or care about the ingredients that are in my peanut butter.  But when we went to the store today to buy vegan peanut butter and had to read all of the ingredients on the back of the jar, it made me think about the many ingredients in my food I can’t even read, nonetheless understand.

Peanut-Butter tip for vegans: All Peanut Butter & Co. peanut butters (straight from NYC) are vegan except The Bee’s Knees because it has honey in it.  They are also super delicious and a great replacement for spreads like Nutella (which has milk in it).  My favorites are the Cinnamon Raisin Swirl and White Chocolate Wonderful.  SO GOOD.  They also only have about 6 ingredients, which is a nice change from the 20 plus ingredients you would normally see.  

It was a good week for me to make this change.  My birthday’s coming up, so my lovely mother sent me two vegan cookbooks for beginners (just what I need as I’m not much of a cook) and thanks to one of the talented women of Cayetana (band from emo-punk show previously referenced), I discovered an amazing vegan restaurant in Philly, “The Tasty”.  I had also just spoken with my therapist about taking vitamin D supplements to counter the lackluster Jersey winters, so I found myself in the health store in front of the vitamin supplements, a place you would have never found me before.  I’m not going to pretend like I’m an expert because my journey is just beginning, but I did some research and decided to start with Iodine, B12, and Iron supplements.  In my research, I read that iron supplements may not be necessary to everyone, but as a woman with historically low iron, I decided it would benefit me.  My dad suggested I see a nutritionist, which is probably (no, definitely) a good idea, and I guarantee I will find myself in one’s office as soon as I realize I need a little more direction.

To wrap this up, from this blog, you can expect to see vegan foods and products, vegan restaurants, vegan challenges, and vegan solutions.   Most of all, though, you can expect to see pictures of my adorable ferrets with each blog post.  I’m excited to start this journey and look forward to doing it with you!

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