It’s never too late!
Source Maple Farm Sanctuary
Read Lee’s inspiring story, in her own words, about why she decided to become a vegan at the age of 68!
I am 68 years old and worked for many years as a visiting nurse and later as a family nurse practitioner, specializing in the care of the elderly, folks with dementia and folks at end-of-life. I have always cared for and about people of all ages and their pets. Our family has always adopted pets from local animal shelters.
One Sunday in the spring of 2016, I was having dinner at my brother’s house and my niece, Katie, mentioned an article she had found online about artificial insemination of dairy cows and how the calves were taken from their mothers at birth. I found it difficult to believe and decided to research it for myself. Once I learned the truth, I was horrified at the treatment of farm and dairy animals.
In my research, I came across the website for Maple Farm Sanctuary (MFS) and read Cheri and Jim’s story. I decided at that time I would not be the cause of suffering for any animal. Katie and I visited MFS a short time later and had a chance to see firsthand the compassionate care and treatment of the animals there.
During my research, I also came across an article about the mayor of Marshall, Texas, reversing his high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and prostate cancer by working with his doctor and changing to a whole food, plant-based diet. I am diabetic and have high blood pressure and thought a change to this kind of diet might help me as well.
I won’t say becoming vegan was easy. I didn’t eat that much meat at home. As a single person with a very small kitchen, I was the queen of the microwave frozen dinner. For me, the most difficult thing to give up was cheese. I read books, I studied, and I decided to move outside my comfort zone. I soon learned about the negative aspects of processed foods and the positive benefits of unprocessed, whole foods and plants. I started cooking soups for myself and created my own recipe for no fat, no salt, pasta e fagiole and minestrone. I bought a pressure cooker and later a food processor.
I discovered vegan alternatives such as Gardein, Field Roast, and Chao cheese. I got my chocolate cravings satisfied with Silk Cashew chocolate milk and love Silk Original Soy milk on oatmeal. I discovered vegan Parmesan cheese and often take that with me when I go out to eat at a restaurant. I have worked closely with my primary care physician and found her very supportive. Her only concern was Vitamin B12 deficiency so we keep an eye on that and I take a supplement.
My family is not ready to make the change but are very supportive. My first Thanksgiving, I took Gardein’s individual serving Sage Turkey and gravy. My sister-in-law made delicious vegetables and used almond milk in the mashed potatoes. When we go out to eat, I study the menu ahead of time and call the restaurant if I have any questions.
This past Thanksgiving it was my delight to be able to meet Cheri in person and thank her and Jim for their story and the inspiration to become vegan. We are so blessed to have MFS in our area. We can all learn a lot from Cheri and Jim about compassion for all!
Lee Holfelder, Blackstone, MA
Order a FREE vegan kit: http://www.peta.org/living/food/free-vegan-starter-kit/
Take PETA’s Cruelty-Free Shopping Guide along with you next time you head to the store! The handy guide will help you find humane products at a glance. Order a FREE copy HERE
Want to do more than go vegan? Help others to do so! Click on the below for nominal, or no, fees to vegan literature that you can use to convince others that veganism is the only compassionate route to being an animal friend.
Looking for merchandise? Action for Animals has a very good selection : http://store.afa-online.org/home.php?cat=284
Have questions? Click HERE
as long as life breathes
within your heart
and that heart is open….
not too late to start
Karen Lyons Kalmenson