ShellyBHi, I’m ShellyB, and I’m more or less an “accidental vegan”. My daughter calls me this jokingly. But I find it fits rather well because I surely didn’t set out to become a vegan.

Far from it. I thought vegans were NUTS!

Vegetarian’s I got, just barely, but vegans, not so much. To me they were those odd, smelly folks who lived on seeds and berries that were always trying to make us normal folks feel bad for liking bacon.

I mean, come on! I knew where bacon came from. What was so bad about that?

I grew up on a farm. I helped my Grandma plant, hoe and harvest the vegetables she’d later can and freeze to get us thru the winter.

There were chickens for eggs and “The Milk Man” brought milk, butter and wonder of wonders… ICE CREAM!

Yes, I grew up in Mayberry!

Well, watching it and playing on what felt, at the time, like a real life version of it.

Cows and pigs lived in pastures or pens and spent nights in a big red barn. Chickens scratched thru the garden eating pests and spent the night in their coops.

the-accidental-vegan-chickensWe gathered eggs and when the chickens got old or one was just plain mean. Grandma would harvest it just like we did the green beans. Beef and pork came from the neighbors who raised cows and pigs.

So yes, I knew where meat came from. Why were all these vegans getting so upset over it?

Unfortunately, as I grew up, the world changed but I never bothered to question what I knew about where food came from. Maybe on some level I understood how radical that had changed but I just didn’t want to know. I’m not sure.

What I do know, is that I’ve always been a seeker.

I wanted what was best for my family and myself and I’ve always loved to cook. Over the years one thing lead to another and I came to realize that what we ate had a MUCH larger impact on our health than I had ever imagined.

Dr Mercola introduced me to this concept ages ago. He taught me the importance of proper supplementation.

forks-over-knivesThen one day while surfing Netflix my daughter and I found “Forks Over Knives”. It was then that I found Dr. Esselstyn and Dr. Campbell and the dietary pieces started really falling into place.

They made a great case for a whole food plant based diet. I just wasn’t quite ready to take the plunge. Though, because of them, we did start experimenting with new fruits and vegetables and we did eliminate about 3/4 of the meat from our diets.

Dairy? Nope. We were still addicted to cheese.

Dr Fuhrman’s PBS plea for us to “Eat To Live” was the last straw. I knew I needed to make this change to a Nutritarian diet but I still resisted the notion of being Vegan. I mean how much could a few bacon bits, once in a while, hurt?

Then along came “Vegucated” and the bubble was burst!Vegucated

That film hit me like a ton of bricks. Meat no longer came from where it had in my youth. The meat, wrapped in plastic and foam found in supermarkets everywhere, never went near a 4H fair or a big red barn.

The truth of its origin was hideous and cruel.

Let’s be clear. I LOVE the flavor of bacon and steak. But not at that cost!  Never at that cost… I will not be a part of large scale industrialized farming of animals!

Not when the answer is so simple and so much better for us anyway. For myself and my daughter, I vote with the only thing American industry truly respects or listens to. My dollars!

I no longer buy meat or dairy. PERIOD!

the-accidental-vegan-cowsAm I a perfect Vegan? No way. My daughter and I still have a long way to go. And, as I’m sure you know, life is complicated. But each day, we strive to be the best we can be and hopefully a little better than yesterday.

We don’t beat ourselves up when we falter. We just get on with being better.

For example, if I have a small slice of ham to make my Mother happy (who spent the whole day cooking us a holiday meal), we don’t consider myself a “non-vegan”. Just a Vegan doing my best to be a good guest and get back to my way of eating afterwards.

If this makes me a bad vegan in your eyes, so be it. I pick my battles as do we all. I’m not perfect but I am trying to make a difference.

Anyway, I tell you all this so you know who you are dealing with here at The Vegan Banana. And I invite you to join us on this vegan adventure we find so rewarding and hope you will benefit from our triumphs as well as our mistakes.

Bon Appetite!