Home » From the chef » Veganism and the Madame Zen

Veganism and the Madame Zen

Doesn’t that sound like an interesting book title?  LOL!  Sadly, I definitely have NOT written the book on veganism.  As a friend pointed out on HIPC’s Facebook page, “…beware militant vegans when including honey in a “vegan” recipe”.  I automatically add agave, stevia, etc as honey alternatives in my recipes though to be honest, I leave the measuring to those who use it.  For those of you who aren’t “militant vegans” and don’t know what the fuss is about, let me explain a bit.  See many vegans feel that being vegan goes way beyond just your diet and they do not wear, use or purchase anything made from, tested on, made by or derived from animals.  Honey is a substance made by an animal and therefore many vegans don’t use it.

I don’t claim to be vegan… technically, I don’t claim to be anything really other than a health conscious person.  Honey has a lot of health benefits and thus is my sweetener of choice.  Sugar, raw or otherwise, has nothing but empty calories so I don’t use it.  My choices in food are solely based on health benefits and personal tastes, nothing else.

That said…

I am a VERY environmentally conscious consumer and do not purchase products tested on animals, are considered harmful to the environment either as the product itself or the manner in which it’s made, aren’t biodegradable and/or contribute to the rapid decline of any species.  There are of course, exceptions to every rule.  Tires… kind of hard to drive a car without them despite what their production does to the environment.  I can, however, purchase tires from companies that offer recycling programs and “give back” programs that help offset their damages to the environment.  Also, by rapid decline of any species I mean I don’t purchase fish that is being over harvested, I don’t purchase products that are harvested by destroying a natural habitat, so on and so forth.  I believe that I make the biggest impact with my wallet when it comes to big business and how corporate America works.

I buy locally and in season.  I make as much of my own products/foods as I can in order to not only ensure what we’re eating or coming into contact but also to cut down on trash.  Having Multiple Chemical Sensitivity changes the way you look at the world and how you interact with it.  I find that most people are always looking for the fastest, quickest, easiest way to do something even though it honestly doesn’t take that much more of your time to do something.  Like bread making for example.  The recipe I’m currently working with literally takes ten minutes to mix and the rest is either waiting for it to rise, cool overnight or bake.  But people are intimidated by it or just don’t want to bother.  It’s such a shame because it really is so rewarding and takes so little effort.  You spend more time and going to the store and purchasing it than you do baking it.