Eggsactly!

 
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From the desk of Dr Nandita Shah

II used to love eggs. I loved the way they allowed me to make a quick meal and I enjoyed the taste too. As a vegtarian who did not want to harm any being, I was told that ‘English’ eggs were unfertilised eggs as opposed to ‘Desi’ eggs. So I told myself it was ok to eat them as they did no harm. This lie has been propogated by an industry that wants to keep selling eggs. Nothing could be further from the truth.

When I learned about factory farms where hens are bred to lay an egg a day and made to lay 250 eggs a year through forced moulting and other cruel practices, where male chicks are ground up and fed to their female counterparts, I decided this cruelty was not for me.

Recently I watched the video of a former egg farmer https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=382189249039202 and I understood that even the people who are in the business know that its something from hell. When male chicks are not suffocated to death as soon as they are born or ground up, they are sold in the market as playthings, for entertainment. These chicks live for just a few days. The cheap price of eggs and their white shells mask the truth of untold suffering. 

I am glad that I am vegan now. The health benefits are just a bonus. Want to see a happy video about a male chick? Watch this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rTPBcrmST58
 

 
 

The best gift that my husband got from his travels were eggs!

Born and bred in a Christian household, Rose Pinto grew up with the notion that animals were God's gift to mankind for eating. Though she felt that something was not right, a seminar with Dr Nandita Shah convinced her otherwise.

I became vegan five years ago for my health and my family's well-being, but the only thing I kind of missed was eggs. My husband knew nothing else would make me happy than gifting me eggs, so he would actually bring them as gifts even when he travelled!

As I read more about veganism and watched videos, I realised the cruelty that existed and how I was indirectly a part of it. As a family, we were meat eaters. However, when I learnt the truth, compassion paved my way towards veganism for life. 

That didn’t stop me from getting tempted each time I got a whiff of eggs cooking from my neighbour’s kitchen or watched someone eating eggs. I made up my mind that whenever I got tempted, I would remind myself that eggs are but chicken periods and might even have a life. And it has worked! My other concern was baking, but there are so many egg alternatives that I can use. In fact my baking has become extra-special now – healthy and full of compassion.

I am happy and grateful for having gained this knowledge. Now my family also follows this path. And, I have taken it upon myself to demonstrate meat-alternative and dairy alternative recipes in my cooking classes to make it easier for others to follow.
 

Vegan Custard Cream 

Custard is a sweet cream thickened with egg, mostly the yolk and sometimes the whole egg! However, this vegan version is truly delicious as its filled with compassion and love for other beings.

Ingredients

  • Take either one of these or a mixture of coconut milk, cashew milk, rice milk and soy milk. These milks are mixed so as not to give the cream any specific taste. This can easily be done by adding warm water to a mixture of cooked rice, cashews, and coconut gratings in the blender and straining the puree. Soy milk can be added later. The total liquid including the sweetener (below) should measure about ½ litre.
  • Date paste
  • Salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract of vanilla beans
  • 1-1/2 tsp agar agar powder
  • Cinnamon powder for sprinkling on top.

Method

Add enough sweetener to the milk to get just the right amount of sweetness. Add a dash of salt and the vanilla beans or extract to add to the taste. Add some agar agar (about 2.5 tsp of flakes works with ½ litre of liquid or 1.5 tsp powder to ½ litre of liquid). Put in a pot, on slow flame, and allow to simmer for the agar agar to dissolve. Scoop out a portion in a spoon and place in the fridge to check if the agar is enough to set the custard. If it does not set, add more agar. Keep in mind that it should not become too hard. The custard can be applied on a cake and set in the fridge. Garnish with cinnamon and serve.

Food for the mind

FACEBOOK SUPPORT GROUP

If you love Facebook, then join us to be supported on your plant based journey. Since 1 January, 2016, we have been offering three possibilities

1. SHARAN India This is SHARAN's main Facebook page which you can like and follow for getting useful daily updates and news from the plant based health world. You will also get news about the latest SHARAN events, see testimonials, and more.

2. SHARAN's Vegan Support Group This is an open support group to know more about vegan/plant-based lifestyle. Here you can ask questions and share inspiring stories, tips, recipes, etc.

3. SHARAN's Plant Powered Health This is the new group only for the past attendees of SHARAN's events: seminars, cooking classes, retreats or longer programs.

All our doctors and presenters will be here to answer your questions and give you tips. If you have attended our events join this group to be a part of our family.

Please like the main SHARAN page and join the group(s) applicable to you.

 

So what's with eggs?                                                                                      

We eat something because everyone around us is eating it, and they eat because everyone around them is eating it! Rarely does anyone pause to think – should we eat this?

Has it ever crossed your mind to check what hen's eggs are actually? Well, a hen is a female and has a menstrual cycle. During her cycle, an ovary sends a yolk on its path that forms an egg white as it moves through the reproductive tract into a shell gland. The shell takes 21 hours to form and gets ejected out of the hen’s vagina as an egg. In short, eggs are a hen’s period.

Now that we know this truth, here are other reasons why eggs need to be kept out of our plates…
 

1. Cholesterol bombs

A large egg contains about 185 mg of cholesterol. This is largely present in the yolk. Not at all recommended for heart health.

2. High in saturated fats

All the iron, proteins and vitamin A that eggs provide are easily available in a plant based diet. We don't need to top them up with saturated fats.

3. Salmonella

Eggs are the vehicles that transport the spread of bacteria like salmonella, which is one of the main causes of food-borne illness and death.

4. Cruelty-full

Hens are packed into battery cages, with their beaks chipped off so they don't peck at each other. These cages are kept in dark filthy sheds. The hens often develop reproductive diseases and are slaughtered after two years when they cannot lay ovulate any more.

5. Free-range? Not really

It just means they get to go outdoors, but the duration and treatment is quite ambiguous. The term ‘free-range’ is more of a marketing spiel, and of course involves cruelty. The eggs still contain cholesterol and fat.

6. Lay more than they can

Naturally a hen in the wild will produce about 25 to 30 eggs in a year, whereas on egg farms they are forced to produce 250 eggs! This reduces their life-span too, as laying an egg is a very laborious process.

7. You may be eating a fertile egg!

When a hen mates with a rooster, she delivers fertile eggs, which if kept in the right conditions, hatches a chick. Farmers can't always know whether the eggs are a result of pregnancy or periods.

8. Pollutants

A by-product of egg-farms is hen manure that pollutes water-ways and gets into our drinking water, suffusing it with nitrogen and phosphorous.

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This newsletter was compiled by SHARAN Head of Mumbai, Reyna K Rupani, She facilitates the Six Weeks to Health & Weight Loss program and also conducts health talks for schools, groups, corporates and more.

Edited by Vasanti Sundaram, Bangalore who has also benefitted from the SHARAN programmes, and now spreads awareness of the benefits of plant based lifestyle through her talks.

Sanctuary for Health and Re-connection to Animals and Nature (SHARAN) is a non-profit organisation with the goal of spreading awareness about holistic health and an ecologically sustainable compassionate lifestyle.

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