Have you read Sapiens, A Brief History of Mankind by Yuval Harari? Maybe you’ve seen the movie, Earthlings. I haven’t seen that movie, which was released in 2005, and I don’t plan to see it. Earthlings exposes the suffering endured by animals at factory farms, research labs, puppy mills and more. In his book Harari also discusses the manner in which animals (cows, sheep, pigs, chickens and turkeys) are used by big time farmers to meet our insatiable desire for meat and dairy. This industry is big business and, of course, done for profit. The conditions in which the animals live and the manner in which they are treated is unnatural and cruel.
I don’t want to be part of that. I will no longer eat meat or dairy products. This may sound drastic and difficult, but there are many alternatives, and most grocery stores and restaurants cater to vegans today. Fortunately I like fruits and vegetables. I’m using almond milk, eating lots of beans and nuts and trying recipes from Forks Over Knives.
There are a couple of things I’m not sure about yet: wild caught salmon and canned tuna. Tuna is often criticized for containing mercury, and what about tuna farms? I just read about canned light skipjack tuna. Not sure what that is. There’s also a new dietary label: “seagan”. It’s for vegans who include fish in their diets. Maybe that’s what I am. There are also climatarians. Those folks buy locally to reduce their impact on the environment. I think I’ll be a climatarian seagan or vegan.
Here’s a great recipe for anyone–vegan or not.
Green Chili Rice with Black Beans
1 poblano pepper
1 4 oz can mild green chilies
1 c coarsely chopped cilantro
1/2 c spinach
4 c vegetable stock
1 1/2 c brown rice
1 medium yellow onion, peeled & diced
1 t ground cumin
1 jalapeno pepper
1 can black beans, drained & rinsed
zest of 1 lime
Salt to taste
Add the poblano pepper, green chilies, cilantro and spinach to a blender & puree. Add some of the vegetable stock to achieve a smooth consistency. Add the mixture to a medium saucepan with the remaining stock. Add the rice & bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, covered until the rice is tender, 45-50 min.
Saute the onion in a bit of olive oil. Then add cumin, jalapeno & black beans and cook for 5 min longer. Fold in the cooked rice & lime zest. Season with salt.