Baking with happy ingredients

Ok, so you’re quite not on the vegan train. You just haven’t been dazzled by my ostensibly persuasive arguments or you are strong believer of meh-ism. Or maybe, you aren’t yet ready to part ways with your beloved blueberry muffins, pancakes and puddings. Well, do I have a solution for you!

I present…(triplet timing, obnoxious freeform jazz drum roll please)….baking with happy ingredients!

I purport to you today that all your cherished baked goods can in fact be made just as well without any animal products. Not only will you be able to create delicious treats without having to use products that involve mistreatment of animals (ooooh yes…just look at what goes on in those dairy farms little Jimmy), you’ll be able to make them healthier, cheaper and with just common household ingredients. It’s a win-win situation for you and Daisy. (I wish I could sound less like an infomercial but I’m resentfully diggin’ my oratory groove right now)

Here are a few recipes that have been tested and approved by yours truly.

Blue Berry Muffins
Straight up good muffins. No fats or cholesterol and a lot of the sweetness just comes from fruit.

Link

Pancakes
These are really easy to make. The banana gives a natural sweetness to the pancakes so you might not even need to add sugar. Oh, and you can top it with the left-over half of the banana.

Link

Pumpkin Pie
With the goodness of pumpkin and the awesomeness of pie. But seriously, you get nutrients from the pumpkin, dates and it’s a really nice dessert.

Link

“Ice Cream”
If you blend frozen bananas with a few goodies you get ice cream. Just add your choice of flavour and you’re sorted eg, berries, cocoa and vanilla.

Link

These are just a few examples of how to bake with vegan ingredients. You can find many great recipes for cakes, puddings, dessert pies, slices etc, with just a few clicks on the internet. Here’s a quick run-down on how you replace your usual ingredients:

Milk: Soy-milk, Rice-milk (for the love of Vishnu this stuff is heavenly), Oat-milk
Cream: Coconut milk, Coconut cream, Soy cream, Cashew cream, Silken tofu
Eggs: Mashed fruits eg, banana, apples, pumpkin etc, Flax seeds ground in water, Commercial Egg replacer
Butter: You don’t actually need butter, especially if you used mashed fruit. ‘Sigh’, if you really want there are vegan alternatives to butter, or just use oil…but think of your poor arteries!

Why are these healthier? First of all, you are adding much less fats when you use these ingredients (aside from coconut products). Next, these products generally have no cholesterol unlike eggs, milk and butter. Thirdly, because you are replacing some of the dairy products with mashed fruit, you are using more of the natural sweetness of the fruit, hence relying less on refined sugars as well as gaining all the nutrients from the fruit itself. And finally, by using wholemeal and oat flours you are adding more fiber and more than enough protein.

So next time you get the urge to bake or whip up a dessert (which I’m sure you all do), check to see if you can make your dessert healthier, cheaper and free from animal exploitation. And if that doesn’t convince you, then go watch Bambi again after reading this.

Advertisements

5 thoughts on “Baking with happy ingredients

  1. You take a very religious approach to veganism, in that you believe it to be adherence to a universal truth rather than a relative viewpoint – i.e. that there is an objective right way and that veganism is the method for getting there. Your attitude to non-vegans tends to be that we just can’t be bothered (as above – ‘meh-ism’, or as you’ve said to me in the past, meat-eating is because we’re too lazy to change) to follow this truth, whereas I believe we have a different and equally valid apprehension of it. It’s a bit like suggesting to an atheist that the reason he’s not a Christian is because he can’t be bothered reading the bible, going to church and walking the good path. The alternative is that there is another belief structure at work, objectively equally valid (since there’s no god and all that :P), that we adhere to because our moral compass as well as our logical cognition directs us to, rather than that we simply can’t be bothered finding the right way.

    Yes, I’m bored – I think you know why 🙂

    1. I wouldn’t say I take a religious approach at all. I actually read literature both for and against veganism from ethical, environmental and nutritional points of view, and have yet to find a justifiable discourse for the current paradigm of consumption of animal products. On the other hand, I have found very sound reasoning to suggest the opposite.

      If you have an actual argument as to why such practices are justifiable then please enlighten me. I recall that the first time I mentioned it to you, your central response was ‘eh, animals are just there. i don’t see the issue’. The reason I used the expression ‘meh-ism’ is that in my experience, most people simply have not properly thought about the ethical implications of where there food comes from. As well as that, I’ve encountered people who somewhat agree with some of positions yet openly admit that they will not go vegan because they are unwilling to put in the effort, or stray form their beloved meat cuisines.

      So furthermore, I do believe that your analogy is weak due to my observation that most people do not in fact hold an ‘alternative…belief structure’ that is ‘… objectively equally valid’. People do a lot of things that don’t have an underlying ethically valid justification. A lot of what we do is simply unquestioned due to culture, social conformity, ignorance of facts etc.

      Would it help if I made a post which articulated my vegan conclusions from a more ground up structure? I haven’t done this yet due to my jaded experiences with this in the past. I naturally assumed that people would be more amicable to ‘lighter’ posts such as this.

  2. True dude, and I wouldn’t want you to post anything other than what you want to – I do appreciate your goal with this and other posts.

    To your points: I was meaning more from a relativist sort of perspective that everything’s equal. Whether or not something is an ‘ethically valid justification’ can’t be anything more than a personal opinion to someone who doesn’t really believe in the objective existence of ethics in the first place.

    My idea was that some people have a different natural moral compass that suggests to them that there is absolutely nothing wrong with killing and eating animals. When I see a pig’s throat slit I feel a pang of ‘that’s yucky, glad I’m not that pig’ and then I’ll happily tuck into pork and apple sauce. There is no moral imperative to seek more information or a different way of doing things. I don’t think ignorance plays any part at all, however minute, in my decision to consume animal products in general (specific ones – maybe, but generally no). The point is there is a moral feeling guiding my actions that is different to yours.

    Ultimately what I take issue with is the idea that there is a right way, and that those who aren’t on it just haven’t found it yet, or are in some way deficient for not adhering to it. Hypocritically, I take the opposite view on other issues, for example I think racial equality is a universal truth and racists should be lynched. Rather, I don’t think that. I feel it. If I think about it I get back to the relativism. But I feel that moral imperative.

    I would suggest that when a lot of people say they can’t be bothered learning about veganism (and I absolutely believe you that people say this all the time) they aren’t actually too lazy, but rather they have no moral drive and do not feel the same impulses you do about it.

    1. From a relativist approach you are correct. However, I reject moral relativism here, the idea that the ethical validity of an action is purely subjective or that it cannot be objectively concluded. Of course, I don’t in adhere to the idea of absolute morality either, it makes no sense to say that morality is somehow an inherent attribute of the universe. But from a pragmatic point of view I think that moral relativism a weak way to justify your actions.

      I think most people would agree that moral relativism is fine with regards to activities that do not impact others but not when it impacts against beings who have interests. For example, you (Chris) would not of course argue that punitive murder is permissible on the grounds that you have no intuitive qualms regarding this action. Such an action would undoubtedly undermine the constitution of society in many ways. This is not acceptable because we generally agree that we need to take the interests of others into account. Hence we agree that rather than base our normative guidelines on the moral subjectivity of individuals, we develop more comprehensive, impartial frameworks that surpass moral egoism such as utilitarianism and rights theories.

      Given that is the case, I don’t consider that moral relativism applies to our treatment of animals either. Non-human animals clearly have interests such as being free from suffering, seeking social bonds and continuing to live. Read Peter Singers book ‘Practical Ethics’ for scientific evidence to suggest that animals are conscious beings who are self aware, have an understanding of their existence over time an are intelligent. If our moral frameworks apply to maintaining the interests of humans, and animals also hold many of these same interests, then our moral frameworks should extend to consider the interests of animals. To do so otherwise would be speciesist, which is to discriminate against a sentient agent on the basis of an irrelevant factor such as ‘species’. And species is purely a taxonomical term, not a moral one.

      You could argue that our moral frameworks should exclude animals because they are the out-group and we are to have preference to our own kind. However, that same argument could be used to justify slavery or the discrimination of any out-group who can be exploited by your group for a net gain, based on an irrelevant factor such as ‘race’.

      The fact that humans can actually live well on a vegan diet means that we no longer need to consume animals in such a fashion. This really renders the consumption of animals for food to a pleasure or convenience. Clearly you wouldn’t permit the killing of a person because you enjoy their flesh. This would act against the interests of that person and those who have emotional interests in that person. But killing an animal to enjoy it’s flesh produces the same relevant harm to the animal and the animals social group. It feels the same pain and even greater emotional anxiety in it’s little cage. The species tag is irrelevant hence the same rule should apply.

      You argue that in your mind, your ‘moral compass’ permits such an action because your ‘feelings’ value that the pleasure gained from eating the animal trumps the cost to the animals. But as I have just argued, this relies on a moral relativist approach which is nothing but an emotional guideline which is not a strong basis for ethics. And when the harm comes to those who can’t speak against you, who can’t do anything about it, it’s that easy to discredit the suffering they go through so that you may enjoy your life more.

      The reason I don’t eat animals is not because my emotional compass is different from yours. It’s not because I have different ‘feelings’ towards such actions. I don’t consider myself to be doing them a favour by not eating them. Rather, I see no valid reason not to extend the considerations of interests of sentient beings to animals. It’s a matter of ethical principals, not because I’m too much of a pansy to eat meat.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s