Vegan Deli

Vegan Deli  by Jo Stepaniak

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Raising Vegetarian Children
by Jo Stepaniak, M.S.Ed., & Vesanto Melina M.S., R.D.

Raising Vegetarian Children

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Getting Older

As one who was born two score and seven years ago, I consider myself an expert on getting older, since I've been doing it for so long (though I don' t go quite as far back as President Lincoln). As with so many things, there are good and bad aspects to getting older. The good includes gaining a sense of perspective in your life. You finally realize that the clock IS ticking, and you had better do what you always wanted to do, and do it NOW, or risk never getting it done. I was raised to believe that this "live for today" philosophy and lifestyle was for the irresponsible and frivolous among us, but now as I'm in " the Autumn of my years," I've grown to understand that an opportunity I lose may be an opportunity that will never come my way again. As the great Jewish philosopher of the fourteenth century, Maimonides, said: "If not now....when?"

Another great thing about getting older is having the memory of living through so many events, both historic and personal. There is an enormous difference between living through something, and simply reading about it. I remember the day President John F. Kennedy was assassinated and the tears the tollbooth worker cried as he told my dad what had happened. It is a memory etched forever in my mind's eye, and is so much more poignant and meaningful than mere words on paper. I remember air raid drills, and having to scrunch under my desk at school until they ended. I lived through the days of segregation, sex discrimination and the Vietnam War, all of which influenced my life.

There are great memories too. The early memories of the Polo Grounds, hoola hoops, the Beatles. the first girlfriend, the school days, and the later memories of meeting my wife, of getting married, of becoming a father, of growing up -- these things stay with you for a lifetime. The personal struggles, the triumphs, the defeats, they never leave you; in fact, they are a major part of what makes you who you are today. I am still the little boy who tried to sneak cats into my house to help them. My mother laughs to this day when she retells the story of how I put a cat under my shirt to hide it, only to have a big bushy tail stick out of the bottom of my shirt. That boy became a vegan, when all the striving and achieving and ladder climbing became less important than being who he really was.

Of course, the downside of growing older is painfully obvious. You have to confront and come to terms with your mortality, which is nearly impossible without faith, and believing in something beyond the bonds of this earth. And of course, let' s not forget the receding hairline and gums, the expanding waistline and credit debt and the various aches and pains in places you didn't even know you had.

But the best thing about growing older is that you've seen enough and done enough to know exactly who you are. No more self doubt, no more wondering about what you're really about. When I became a vegan, it was for such a totally personal reason that most people would actually laugh if I told them. And the best part about growing older is that I can laugh right along with them -- I really don't care anymore what other people think about my decisions. As long as I know that what I do is right for me, and doesn't hurt anybody, the rest of the world will just have to adjust to me. I've done my adjusting to the world, and I'm very pleased with the result.

Fred F.
New Jersey

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Vegan Vittles:
Second Helpings

Vegan Vittles: Second Helpings by Jo Stepaniak

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The Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook

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Review by Dan Balogh

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The Food Allergy
Survival Guide

The Food Allergy Survival Guide

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