It all happened a couple of years ago now. On being Vegan.

Spicy Brussels Sprouts with Black Bean Pasta

 It all happened about 2 years ago now.  I changed my diet, my habits, my lifestyle for the sake of animals on this Earth.  No one asked me to do it.   I didn’t anticipate the problems for my family my changes would eventually cause (and still cause)  I did it because I’d been awakened to all the nasty hidden lies about how our meats and dairy are produced.   I could no longer justify their pain.  

The Animal’s pain.  

The taste of all those meats and cheeses I’d enjoyed my whole life was a pin prick in comparison to the  unspeakable pain that thousands of animals were going through.  I did it for them, not me.  Not for my health even which is immeasurably improved since going to a plant-based diet.  I saw the suffering and I couldn’t swallow another bite without seeing their pain.  What was I thinking all those years, 49 years of enjoying cheeses and steaks, cozy furs and honey drizzled Sopapillas?  Boy, the advertizing agencies sure work their magic on us all don’t they?

Spicy Brussels Sprouts with Black Bean Pasta


 “The question is not, ‘Can they reason?’ nor, ‘Can they talk?’ but rather, ‘Can they suffer?’

– Jeremy Bentham


Spicy Brussels Sprouts with Black Bean Pasta 

Spicy Brussels Sprouts with Black Bean Pasta

I’ve been putting my thoughts together about all this for an article about Canned Time at This Is It DC coming up.  I really had to search and put reason behind some of the habits I now have.  Some things that years ago would never have occurred to me in a million years.  Chickens live utterly disgusting lives so I can have scrambled eggs in the morning?  My beloved cheddar cheese is making some forsaken cow stand hours and hours at a time with udders that should never – ever be forced that large, day after day after day?  I quit eating dairy products 4 years ago in September but never considered at the time any concern for cows, goats…… never crossed my mind.  

In another life, 10 years ago now, I was pushing meat sales.  I oversaw retail stores in the North East U. S. that sold premium meats.       4 years of bragging about the freshness, the cleanliness of the meat.  Never ocurred to me what a cow strung up by its ankle, shot in the head and then having its throat slit to drain the blood had to do with my sales?  Sales were money.  Income!

Never once considered it.  Why?

Spicy Brussels Sprouts with Black Bean Pasta

It’s not like I was a bad person after all.

I had plenty of good, caring qualities about me.  So what clicked that September and told me – enough?  Enough contributing to the suffering.  Enough causing pain so I can eat.  Enough rubbing my fingers though my deliciously soft, favorite rabbit coat.  Enough.

Spicy Brussels Sprouts with Black Bean Pasta

Spicy Orange Mustard Vegetable Sauce - from 


If you change your life, substantially that is, make sure that you believe in the facts behind that change.  

Make sure that it’s not just a trend.  Not something to do that weekend out of boredom.  Make sure that what you’re doing is worth that change.  Make sure that it’s what you want.  No one else.

The changes I made in my diet in these last 2 years are minuscule in comparison to the difficulty those around me have had accepting my changes.  That’s been the hard part.  The food?  Don’t miss it.  The fur?  Never.  

The way my Mom looks at me when I ask her not to put butter on mine please?  That’s the hard part.  That’s what will  tear at your heart.  But then I see a short video of a turkey, thrown into a tiny cage like a baseball, kicked, strangled.  That stops my pain and brings it back to the animals.  The pain that they suffer, every day, all day makes what I feel crystal clear.  And whatever disappointment I’ve caused to family and friends just fades away.  I want to live a life without causing pain to animals as much as humanly possible.

I am a Vegan.

Spicy Brussels Sprouts with Black Bean Pasta

For more information on how you can help with Animal welfare causes, I’d start with FarmUSA and go on from there. 

Spicy Orange Mustard Veggie Sauce
A deliciously easy sauce that compliments so many different vegetables. Artichokes, broccoli, asparagus, Brussels sprouts, carrots, cabbage, get the picture.
  1. 1/2 cup spicy brown mustard
  2. Juice of 1 to 2 fresh oranges - juiciness varies so start with 1, add more if needed after blending
  3. 1/2 tsp garlic powder or 1 clove minced
  4. 1 Tbs. of melted Vegan butter or oil
  5. pinch of salt
  6. pinch of red or black pepper
  1. Blend all ingredients in a blender. Serve warmed over veggies, pasta, even goes well with salty chips.
  1. The dish shown in the post is broiled Brussels Sprouts, blanched and then ice bathed, marinated in the orange-mustard sauce for 1 hour and then broiled for about 20 minutes. Served here on top of Black Bean pasta.

 Spicy Brussels Sprouts with Black Bean Pasta

I’ll be in the kitchen this weekend.  Working on a special pear tart. Hope it’s special anyway.

 Any big changes you’ve made in your life lately you’d like to share?  Have a favorite vegetable sauce?  Share!  And enjoy!

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12 thoughts on “It all happened a couple of years ago now. On being Vegan.

  1. narf77

    I have been vegetarian for 23 year now and vegan for 20 of them. My family just thought that I was their resident fruit loop and accepted it. My dad was the only one who found it hard to accept but then he ate meat for every single meal. Mum started adapting her diet to less meat and was very interested in what I cooked and used some of my recipes, my sister eats less meat now and even though my family are omni, including Stevie-boy, they have all accepted that I don’t eat meat or animal products and it isn’t an issue. Steve doesn’t eat much meat. It’s not form me to tell him to stop, we all live our lives how we see fit, but by shining our lights into other people’s lives and showing them that meat isn’t the bee-all and end all of a meal, we can educate from within and slowly erode away at the massive industry of cruelty keeping plastic wrapped food in our supermarkets away from sight so that people no longer associate all of that blood, that pulsating terrified life being terminated in order that we might throw a hamburger on a bbq with impunity and blind ignorance. To quote a long dead cigarette ad, “We have come a LONG way baby!” 😉

    1. Angela @ Canned Time Post author

      Wow, I would never have guessed that you’d been towing the line for soooo many years, I love it! I knew that there was something special about you!!
      I’ve had some mild success with family gatherings when I bring some yummy, fresh dish and everyone ends up eating it all. I was raised on frozen corn, canned beans, frozen lima beans (with sour cream), and sometimes we had a salad. Other than that, it was 1960’s processed carbs and meats. I love that your Mom took to your ways 😉 Three cheers to you for being such a wonderful influence for sooo many years ♥♥

  2. Mandy

    Loved this post!!! Beautifully written. Not everyone can actually grasp the connection between the animals and the food on their plates – I wish everyone could. Keep spreading the word!! Your recipe sounds delicious!!! We LOVE Brussels sprouts! Can’t wait to try this 🙂

    1. Angela @ Canned Time Post author

      I’m loving Brussels sprouts too since I learned a few sauces to go with…so healthy too!
      Thanks for your comment about Veganism. I’m certainly not an expert but I do have my own perspective to share and I’m glad you came and shared yours.
      It was a strange post to write. Like going to confessional or something. VERY few of us I suspect had a vegan diet from birth so…..Just glad I’m on the boat now at least. Thanks again.

  3. gloria kersh

    My husband and I went Vegan 4 1/2 y ears ago. Mainly for health reasons, but I see and hear the horrible conditions animals live in so that people can have an egg, steak, butter, etc and it’s just not for me. I prefer NOT to watch various videos and such, because it’s just too painful for me to tolerate. (Thank you for not having those in this post.) — I think the best we can do is to show people there are other ways to eat and as one comment said, to each their own. It definitely isn’t for me to judge.

    1. Angela @ Canned Time Post author

      I agree Gloria and I really appreciate your taking time to share you own experiences. Mine are maybe more severe than some with having worked in the meat industry for a while but now I’ve come full circle! Your idea of nudging by example I think is the best defense without being defensive 😉 Take care. Hope to see you back as well.

  4. Kitchen Shaman

    I’ve encountered veganism for many, many years. I even tried over the last 25 years. I had a vegan roommate who taught me all about tofu in the mid-90’s. I am now mostly vegan. It’s been pretty easy to transition, especially after I stopped working in the culinary industry a year ago. My blog is 8 years old. I’ve been writing about food, vegan recipes, and what it’s like to be a working chef for years now. Thank you for sharing this thoughtful, insightful reason for being vegan. There are other reasons to be vegan as well, but a trip through northern Texas or Western Kansas will help you understand a bit more about factory farming.
    And while I’m vegan for health reasons, I’m happy to be helping the animals as well. Keep writing, and thank you for sharing.

    1. Angela @ Canned Time Post author

      Thank you so much Johnna.
      I can imagine having worked for men for 4 years who buy up those poor cows to slaughter that the farms all over the mid west are full of sadness. I think its a shame that more of us don’t see our health as a reflection of eating animal products. My husband has recently started training at a gym and is told over and over again now to pump up the animal protein in order to be ‘healthy’ Animals don’t eat other animals to be strong so what’s the disconnect? Anyway, thank you so much for your comments and I hope to see you back soon to share more of your thoughts.
      Take care.

  5. Tony Seta

    When you don’t realize that you are doing it for the animals then it is easy to go back. All your doing is changing a diet. Vegan is not a DIET! It is a Social Justice Issue and Philosophy!!

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