Vegan Action #70 - Freeganism

    Discussions about freeganism have come up a lot lately, so I thought I would write a little about it.  Freeganism is based on the idea of being vegan but consuming non-vegan foods and drinks at times.  The idea behind it is this- if I don't pay for it and don't support the industries that oppress animals and the environment, it's okay.  On one hand, this makes a whole lot of sense with the idea that if you aren't a paying consumer, it's better for the animals and the environment, even if you are buying vegan.  Also, this is an option for folks that don't have money to buy food and are around some good dumpster diving opportunities.   If you think about it, not buying anything at all is even better than buying vegan food.  But, there are some negative sides to this as well.  Calling yourself vegan and then eating non-vegan food around other folks can be confusing to people, especially if you can't explain to them the idea behind freeganism.  Someone that isn't vegan and sees a vegan eating cheese pizza could be reading into a variety of messages such as: 'vegans aren't truly passionate about their choices', 'vegans just promote not eating animal products but do it anyway', veganism isn't a consistent lifestyle,' you get the idea.  Not that it is always important what other people think, nor is being vegan something we do to impress other people, but isn't it a good idea to set an example for something we strongly believe in?   Just because something is free doesn't mean there aren't any consequences involved.  If my mom buys some ice cream and offers it to me, well, I didn't buy it, but she did and if I eat it she will buy more ice cream that much sooner.  So, indirectly, I would be supporting factory farming.  Just the same, if a friend buys a cheese pizza and I just take a slice, that is one less slice for the non-vegan who will have to go buy something else non-vegan to eat.  Once again, this comes down to supply and demand and if I participate in consuming the supply of non-vegan foods then more will have to be bought for the demand.
    None of us are perfect and being completely vegan isn't really possible, we just do our best to eliminate as many animal products in our lives as we can and not support oppressive industries as much as possible.  So, what I really want to say is this:  just think about what you are doing and try to remember that you do effect the people around you, whether you choose to or not.  Not everyone wants to be a role model or set the standard for anything but we do often have the opportunity to introduce people to new ideas.  If you are doing something you really dig and care about, let people know and share your knowledge, people will appreciate it.
    xoxo-krissi  krissi@vegan.org  P.O. Box 4288 • Richmond, VA 23220 
 
Here are two really cheap and easy recipes for you, enjoy!
Tasty Pizza the Old Fashion Way 
Make the dough first: Mix up: 1 cup warm water 2 tbsp oil 1 tsp sugar and 1 tbsp (1/2 a packet) baking yeast then mix in 3 - 3/12 cups flour to a nice sticky but elastic dough and knead for at least 5 minutes.  Let this sit and rise (about 30-45 minutes) under a towel.  Next make your sauce:  fry up an onion in some oil add 4 oz tomato paste 1 cup water some garlic powder, oregano, black pepper, basil, salt, sugar, and a pinch of cayenne.  Let this simmer for about 15 minutes on low heat.  Once your dough is ready, roll or spread it out on the top of an upside down cookie sheet and pull up the edges to keep everything in.  Spread on your sauce and add some crumbled tofu, chopped veggies, whatever and bake it up for about 20 minutes at 425 degrees..You won't believe how good this is.

The Best Ever Peanut Butter Cookies  
Mix up: 1/2 cup sugar 1/2 c brown sugar 1/2 cup peanut butter 1/4 cup shortening 1/4 cup vegan margarine and 3 tbsp water in a bowl  then add: 1 and 1/4 cup flour 3/4 tsp baking soda 1/2 tsp baking powder and 1/2 tsp salt  Spoon out balls onto a cookie sheet and flatten with a fork.  Bake at 375 degrees for about 10 minutes or until slightly brown.  Cool for a few minutes and eat!