From Committed Carnivore to Voracious Vegan

I mentioned in an earlier post that, because of my heart surgery and, since I had not been successful in finding someone to work the garden at my direction, I wouldn’t try to put in vegetables this summer.  I would just concentrate on trying to keep perennials alive.    But, providentially, my good friend, Gene Shelton, found me.  For “grazing rights” he agreed to take over until I was back to full strength.  He would weed and plant and I would take care of setting up the drip irrigation.  This has worked out very well and we now have yellow crook neck squash, tomatoes, cucumbers, okra, radishes and peas…all doing very well.  We already had swiss chard and asparagus growing.

Since Gene is an East Texas child, he planted a lot of things that felt the West Texas heat and prudently refused to come up.  We will try some of them again as the weather grows a little cooler.

The vegetable garden has become a lot more important since I became a vegetarian (actually a “no-fat vegan”).  I expect the garden will become my primary source of food.  In the meantime the produce department of the grocery stores has become the most important section.

We are fortunate also to have two sources of organically grown vegetables in Abilene and a three-times-weekly farmer’s market (mostly offering non-organic produce).

Why did I become a vegetarian?  Well, it certainly was not because killing animals and eating their meat disgusts me.  It was not because I came to the conclusion that eating only vegetables would save the planet.  My mouth still waters at the thought of fried eggs, bacon, sausage, steak, pork ribs, fish, seafood, fried chicken, chicken-fried steak, barbeque and meat in general.  I love all kinds of cheese and other dairy products.  No one could love those delicacies more than me.  It took some powerful scientific facts to shift me from a carnivore to a herbivore.

If I had the power, I would command everyone to immediately read two books: Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease by Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr., M.D. and The China Study by T. Colin Campbell, PhD and Thomas M. Campbell II, M.D.  The China Study is billed as “The most comprehensive study of nutrition ever conducted.”  It is informative, disturbing and hopeful.  I say, without reservation, it can save your life.  In addition I would require everyone to watch the videos Forks over Knives and PlaneatAfter that, if you still want to eat meat and dairy, that’s your choice.  My goal is to educate.  If, in that process, you are converted then praise the Lord!


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3 Responses to From Committed Carnivore to Voracious Vegan

  1. Larry says:

    Looks like I stopped by just in time to see your latest post. Glad to hear things are going well and I look forward to reading more of your posts
    Speaking of which, I’m having a hard time opening some of them – it’s like I can’t get to the “continued” section, if that makes sense. It’s implied that you’re going to say more in some threads, but when I click on the heading it doesn’t open more text. So I’m going to post some dumb questions from a novice gardener from the area – hope you don’t mind and find time to answer. Here we go……
    I’ve just put in a raised garden and filled it full of Miracle-Grow Garden soil from Sam’s. I know I probably need to work something into it but don’t know what’s best (I have no compost yet – it’s been 20 years since I made compost). What would you suggest ?
    Also – would appreciate your suggestions for a mulch – was thinking about getting some hay as I’ve heard that’s good in hot weather ?
    Would also appreciate knowing your favorite drip irrigation system. I’ve got the brown hose drip emitter stuff in my beds, not sure how that’d work in a garden though.
    I don’t expect to grow much in this heat, even with some shade on the garden, but am going to try some tomatoes and peppers for fun. Maybe experiment a little. I’ll get serious when things cool off a bit.
    By the way – I grew up just down the street from you at 1001 Leggett !

    • dwhitsett says:

      Hi Larry…sorry to be so long in answering…been distracted by some urgent matters.
      Compost is best for your raised beds…looks like you might have to buy some at first. I use a heavy mulch on my beds with also breaks down in to humus in the course of a season. Been doing that for a long time and every year the soil gets better. Hay is a good mulch but leaves, grass clippings and even shredded newspaper can all be used.
      I use a combination of things for drip irrigation. You are welcome to stop by and take a look. I can’t use some methods because my well water is high in minerals and can quickly clog the “leaky pipe” methods.
      Autumn is the best time to grow stuff around here…all the cabbage family does well all winter plus carrots, lettuce, beets, turnips, etc. I grow a lot of Kale and broccoli in the winter. Also, autumn is the time to plant garlic cloves which will then grow all winter.
      Hope your gardening is going well.

  2. Morgen says:

    Larry– until you get some of your own compost ready to use, lowe’s sells a really nice organic compost that is inexpensive. (At least, the lowes in odessa does) I used it for my lime tree and the greens I’m growing for my chickens and the plants aren’t complaining. :)

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