Monday, March 22, 2010

Mothers milk and corned seitan and cabbage stew....

A week with my brother and nephew, it was really nice. My nephew, 4 yrs old, likes to go see the buffalope(buffalo)as he calls them, and he was able to pet some sheep. I did too!  They were so cute!  My nephew also loves "tofood" or what you and I call tofu. LOL!  They left to go home on Friday, then my mother-in-law came up late Saturday night to use our computer then left early Sunday.  She and my father-in-law will be back up on Friday for Keaton's Science Fair.  Next?!!!!   We have rooms available on....jk!  We love having visitors.

Here is a brief run down of our St. Patrick's dinner.  My mother in law used to make a corned beef and cabbage for my son years ago and he loved it.  So when Keaton became vegan I told him I would rally up a recipe for him to make him something similar.  My first go around with making the meal was okay.  The second go around, jack pot!  So this year I used the same recipe and it was a hit again with the kid.  My brother even had some and said it was pretty good.  The corned seitan recipe from Vegan Dad was made the previous day.  I didn't have any allspice or juniper berries so I didn't add that and I didn't use as much seasoned salt.  Then for the stew part I used Susan's, Corned "beef" and cabbage recipe at Fat Free Vegan .  I just added a bit more herbs in this and a bit more wine.  I actually think it turned out tastier than last years.
This next bit I've been wanting to post for some time now and it's regarding cows milk, or actually any type of animal milk.  For those of you who still eat and drink animal products or are new to being vegan here is some info.

 So we were driving around alot this weekend in Santa Barbara trying to get Keaton's science fair project working and so I picked up the local calendar called the Independent.  I notice this article that reads "Breast Milk Canape." Hmmmm...sounds interesting,  so I read it and you can too just click here.   So if you just read the article, what is so weird about this?  Wait!  Hold on now.... what I mean is if people drink cows milk or goats why would it gross them out?  Now.....what is milk for?  It's for babies.  Mothers milk from humans or cows, or goats, or's for their babies!   Milk is the secretions of the mammory glands that provides food for their babies, it has all of the wonderful antibodies and nutrients for their young.  Now in the article it quotes "Mothers milk, technically, should be one of the healthiest things people can put in their bodies".   But mothers milk is made for babies not adults, it has a high content of fat which is needed for the baby.  Babies at some point are weened off of mothers milk to eat solid food.  Most people whether they know it or not are lactose intolerent or allergic to dairy, we lose the enzyme lactase to metabolize it.  Then there is alot of talk about added hormones to cows milk which was a big deal years ago but cows milk naturally has hormones in it, it's for the calves to grow and calves grow at a rapid pace compared to human babies and they also are bigger and heavier than humans. So people are consuming massive amounts of this stuff which has cows hormones in it. 

 Moooving on....cows are bred into producing 10 times more more milk just for human consumption!  The cows live uncomfortably and is very taxing on the cows which can lead to getting sick easier and when they stop producing milk at around 4 years old, they will take them to slaughter.   They are also articifically inseminated so they can keep producing milk, then the male calves are taken away from these dairy cows and are used as veal and the females are led on to the dairy life. These animals are being used as machines, they are not treated with any respect what so ever! 

Let's talk cheese.  In the cheese making process they use rennet.  Rennet comes from the lining of the calves stomache, some places use vegetarian rennet and they will list it on the packaging if they do. On a health note just think of how many dairy products are consumed each day. Cows milk with breakfast, cheese on the lunch sandwich, yogurt for a snack, cheese on tonight's dinner pasta, encho's, pizza, burrito's, etc. Dairy Ice cream for dessert.  All of that saturated fat and cholestrol you are putting into your body that is moving through those arteries slowly clogging them up.  We grow up eating dairy products and are told to do so to get our calcium and then we tell this to our kids.  If we eliminate dairy you may ask how do I get my calcium?  Where do the animals get their calcium from?  Cows get there calcium from certain grasses, clover, etc and look how strong they are.  But the cows now a days in the factory farms don't get to eat and roam in the fields so they are given calcium in their food. Well these cows aren't drinking there own milk or anyone else's.  Got you thinking?  Hmmmmm... so if they are given calcium in their food then we can take calcium supplements too.  We can also get calcium from plant foods, seeds, nuts and tofu.    Dr. Fuhrman has a great book called "Disease Proof Your Child" and he speaks about calcium and vitamin D and gives some examples of how much foods contain calcium and how much is absorbed.  One example is:

100 calories of skim milk  calcium 334mg.  percent 32  amount absorbed 107mg
100 calories of bok choy  calcium 787 mg.  percent 54  amount absorbed 434 mg.

So you see we absorb more calcium from eating these plant foods than from animal foods.  Also when you eat animal products and high amounts of salt they make the body acidic so in order to neutralize the body it will take calcium from the bones to make it alkaline and then it is excreted from the body.  When eating plant foods or non animal products,which are not acidic to the body, you don't need as much calcium because less will be excreted.  There are also so many foods that are fortified with calcium, from cereal to orange juice so the chances of not getting enough calcium is slim. The bigger concern recently has been are we getting enough Vit. D which luckily out here in California we get alot of it.  Yay for the sun!
So instead of that slice of cheese try a slice of a creamy avocado, it contains 20 nutrients , contains vitamin E, folic acid, b-vitamins, to name a few and contains healthy fats, no cholesterol.  For milk there are many non dairy milks ranging from soy-rice-hemp milk and many brands that make them.  Take your pick!  I know it takes a while to eliminate dairy, some more than others, do to us eating it from toddler on to adult but you can do it if you realy want to.

So I have spoken and have got that out of my system. Maybe for those who may not have made the switch from vegetarian to vegan yet will realize that these animals are treated just as badly and end up in the same place as those raised for their flesh.  I just wish more people will read more about these things and make a more compassionate and healthy choice. 

  Next time you see a cow, or pig, or goat, look into their eyes...and their whole being.  They eat, breath, scratch when they are itchy, soak in the sun and relax....just like us! 
Have a wonderful and compassionate day!


  1. Nice post! I love the sheep! I want to snuggle up to them! I am I the subject of years of laundry commercials?

  2. Great post! Love the corned beef idea, never thought to make a vegan version for St. Patty's day! D'oh!

  3. JoLynn, you're the best! i loved what you wrote about milk - you rock! i am willing to bet that most people hadn't a clue about rennet and where it comes from, and i looooove your point on calcium, too. dairy has always creeped me out and i'm so glad we don't consume it anymore. it breaks my heart - the cruel cycle the cows (and their offspring) are stuck in. it's so, so sad. another reason dairy stinks - not only is it cruel, but it's ridiculously wasteful. it takes almost 900 gallons of water to produce 1 gallon of milk ( animal products are not only cruel, they're not very earth-friendly either. i wish the world was vegan!

    hooray for visitors and hooooray for one deeeeeelicious corned setain and cabbage stew dish. it looks divine! next st. paddy's day i'm gonna see if i can create a gluten-free version, i'm thinking tempeh might be pretty yum. buffalope & tofood made me giggle; your nephew is too cute!

  4. Thanks for the additional info Jessy! I need to make this meal gluten free next year as well. I haven't made seitan in quite a while and it really is bothering my son, I think because its just mostly made with the gluten. Where as bread at least has more to it.

  5. Hi-
    You left a comment on my blog and I thought I'd reply. My husband is Romanian and moved to the US with his mother when he was 17. We visited Romania last September to see his Dad, Grandmother, and various family and friends. YOU MUST GO! It was a beautiful country, with a wonderfully rich culture and fantastic food. I will warn you-"vegan" and even vegetarian food is very hard to come by, so you will be a little hard pressed when dining out. There are plenty of fruits and veggies but the restaurants all have a few select traditional dishes and very little else. I hope you get to go.

    Buna ziua!


  6. Cheers to you for the effort put into the dairy rant! I know that for me it has been absolutely the hardest part of animal products to give up entirely. I stopped drinking milk a long time ago, but cheese has been a tough one. But the fact is - dairy is another element of the factory farming system that I cannot support!

    I just picked up some Daiya vegan cheese from Whole Foods - Wow! I made some nachos with it and it was heavenly. There is hope...

  7. Vegan corned beef, now that's quite the concept! I was recently wondering how that might be done... I guess I'll have to go check out that recipe!

  8. Always learning a bit more! Thank you.

  9. Hi- so glad I found your blog. You have so much good information and links to other great resources :). I'm now a follower.