If you’re a vegetarian or vegan, it’s almost certain that you can recall distinctly the moment when you made the connection between animals as living beings and animals as food. For me, it was like a lightening bolt had struck my heart. I had picked up a PETA brochure, not knowing the organization or what they did, and read an article about a “downed cow” and her tortuous journey from the back of a truck to the slaughterhouse…and then of course, to her final destination which was likely between two halves of a bun on someone’s plate. I had never been confronted with the source of the meals that had filled my plate and belly over the years…until that day. Once you know something…you can’t “unknow” it. And so the journey began.
If you are receiving this newsletter, it’s because you care about animals and believe in the mission of Catskill Animal Sanctuary. You are in good company and on a powerful journey. Like learning to walk, the natural progression of putting one foot in front of the other is what moves you forward…baby step by baby step. Having made tangible your compassion for animals by supporting CAS is quite literally a step in the right direction. Making lifestyle choices that reduce dependence on our animal friends is another important step forward – and one of the most powerful decisions you can make is to eliminate animals and animal products from your diet.
Perhaps you’ve had your “a-ha!” moment but don’t quite know how to support your enlightened appetite other than by relying on the old stand-bys–pasta and rice & beans (have you noticed your waistband getting just a little tight?). Maybe you’re standing on the sidelines, wanting to join in and put your compassion into action, but feel intimidated by where to look for help. Not everyone moves from the on ramp into the fast lane of vegan living. Some need to ease on into the right lane and take it a little slower until they get comfortable with their new surroundings. Whether you are in the fast lane, the slow lane, or still idling on the entrance ramp, it’s o.k. You’ll get there…and we want to help!
We are proud to announce that the Compassionate Cuisine Program is offering its first “Vegan 101” class, geared toward helping people make healthy, compassionate and sustainable changes to their diets. In this class, which mixes lecture, discussion, cooking and of course…eating, we’ll help you understand where to start in terms of nutrition, shopping, meal planning and more. Join us in the judgement-free kitchen at the Homestead and discover how easy it is to prepare plant-based meals that are delicious, healthy and humane. We’ll explore non-dairy cream soups, whole grain dishes, high-protein beans and calcium-rich greens. All participants will receive the lesson plan, recipes and resources for creating simple, compassionate dishes at home. Seats are limited, so register today!