The only 4 things I stopped eating when I became vegetarian

Cows, chickens, pigs, and turkeys.

Yup, that’s all. Not a big deal, really. Those were the only four animals I ate on a regular basis. I also gave up salmon, shrimp, and all seafood, but only ate those things a couple times a month so really I can't consider that a huge change.

And later when I went vegan, I didn’t give up anything that I regularly ate.

Vegan Bacon Cheeseburger --just one of the many foods we didn't give up when we went vegan...we simply upgraded. Made with Gardein Beefless Burgers, Daiya Cheddar Style Slices, Phoney Baloney's Coconut Bacon, Follow Your Heart Vegenaise Mayo, and Rudi's Organic Whole Wheat Hamburger Buns.

Vegan Bacon Cheeseburger --just one of the many foods we didn't give up when we went vegan...we simply upgraded. Made with Gardein Beefless Burgers, Daiya Cheddar Style Slices, Phoney Baloney's Coconut Bacon, Follow Your Heart Vegenaise Mayo, and Rudi's Organic Whole Wheat Hamburger Buns.

It’s true…we simply switched to vegan versions of things we normally ate. In 2014, there are now excellent vegan versions of nearly everything a vegan could want, many of them available in larger, well-stocked supermarkets: butter, milk, ice cream, mayonnaise, bacon, sausages, sour cream, cream cheese, whipped cream, chocolate truffles, “chicken” tenders, frozen pizza, burgers, hot dogs, mozzarella, cheddar, queso, provolone, Swiss, blue cheese, and much more! Even die-hard meat-eating food personalities such as Alton Brown (Good Eats on Food Network) and Andrew Zimmerman (Bizarre Foods America on Travel Channel) and are touting the amazing flavor and texture of this new generation of vegan products. Some of the more specialty items are found in health food stores, but many vegan products are easily found in regular supermarkets (the Vons/Safeway chain is especially vegan-friendly).

Ingredients used to make our Vegan Bacon Cheeseburgers at home: Vegenaise Mayo, Phoney Baloney's Coconut Bacon, Daiya Cheddar Style Slices, Rudi's Whole Wheat Buns, and Gardein Beefless Burgers.

Whole, minimally processed veggies, legumes, grains, and fruits are always the best choice for optimum health and disease prevention, of course. But if you feel like you want to indulge in a little bit of ice cream, a bacon cheeseburger, or other goodie, vegan versions are usually much healthier than non-vegan versions simply because they are always free of both cholesterol and animal protein.

It took a little while to get into the habit of grabbing the vegan versions of food instead of our old brands when grocery shopping, but now it’s our new normal and we don’t even give it a second thought.

So instead of saying, “If I go vegan, I’ll never be able to eat a cheeseburger again!” say “From now on, I’m going to eat VEGAN cheeseburgers!” Each time you choose a vegan cheeseburger instead of a non-vegan one, somewhere a cow will smile and be thanking you from the bottom of their heart (and so will me and Ryan).

Thanks for reading. Peace and love to all who live.

Susan

Safran, a rescued dairy/veal calf living at Farm Sanctuary's Animal Acres in Acton, CA

Safran, a rescued dairy/veal calf living at Farm Sanctuary's Animal Acres in Acton, CA

V'gos Raw Vegan Cheeseburger by Chef Tomas Zazycki of Veggos (Lake Forest, CA)  

V'gos Raw Vegan Cheeseburger by Chef Tomas Zazycki of Veggos (Lake Forest, CA)

 

VG Vegan Cheeseburger from Veggie Grill (national chain restaurant)  

VG Vegan Cheeseburger from Veggie Grill (national chain restaurant)