Getting to grips..

Trying to find out information about veganism during the 1940s & WWII is proving to be quite difficult.

I’ve actually stopped eating meat, fish, milk and cheese etc now and using the next few weeks to prepare before my 8 week 100% vegan challenge. But information on the rationing system for VEGANS is pretty non- existent. During WWII vegetarians received extra rations of cheese instead of meat but what about the vegans?

I wanted to take the opportunity to thank Lili, Mary, Beti and Tempewytch who left comments on my last post…. I will be taking Lili up on her offer of more recipes for vegans during the 1940s and I have spent a lot of time reading up about the origins of Veganism thanks to Mary. It even seems more fitting that I should incorporate a veganism challenge into my 1940s Experiment as the word Vegan and the vegan movement was conceived in 1944 and therefore was very much a lifestyle that many embraced during the war years.

Here is a very interesting interview with Donald Watson who founded the Vegan Society and created the word Vegan

At the moment I am preparing for the challenge… it’s difficult. Incorporating it into my 1940’s Experiment is not on my mind at the moment. I am simply trying to get to grips with it full stop..

Today I cooked a wonderful Vegan Tofu Stir Fry – CLICK HERE FOR RECIPE AND PHOTOS however they didn’t have Tofu in the 1940s (not that I am aware of anyway)

So my challenge is two-fold. Get to grips with turning vegan and get to grips with finding out more about veganism during the 1940s ….

PS Do you think vegans were given extra nuts?

PPS If anyone can help me out with any information they may have I’d be so grateful!!

5 thoughts on “Getting to grips..

  1. Hi Carolyn, I found this brief info on wikipedia which mentions a publication on vegetarians (not vegans) during WWII.

    .. Arrangements were made for vegetarians so that their rations of meat were substituted by other goods [Reference: Courtney, Tina (April 1992). “Veggies at war”. The Vegetarian (Vegetarian Society). Retrieved 19 July 2009)].

    Kind regards
    Bev 🙂

  2. Carolyn,

    I’ve had my own health challenges over the years and have tried (sometimes for years) many different types of diet – vegan, raw vegan, macrobiotic, blood type diet etc etc etc. I’ve also trained as a nutritionist.

    It turns out my life-long cravings were caused by vitamin and mineral deficiencies through poor digestion. I was eating healthy food but I just wasn’t absorbing many of the nutrients. I have seen this in many other people since then. And of course that happens to those with good digestion, but poor quality diets.

    I know some poeple are fine and even thrive on vegan diets, but generally I see a window of around eight years where people will do very well and then start to struggle as they use up the nutrients stored in their bodies. I never did well on a vegan diet as I was already depeleted.

    It is not impossible to get full nutrition with a vegan diet, but you have to really know what you’re doing, and there are around five nutrients you will need to take as supplements (not just the usual B12 and D3 that everyone knows about).

    If you have beliefs about not eating animal products, I understand that, but if you’re just doing it for health reasons you may just be compounding the problems.

    My experience is that in eating a good balanced diet (rationing diet!) and adding extra nutrients stops cravings. When I have enough nutrients all I want is healthy food in moderate portions. When I am depleted, all I want is SUGAR!

    I am really impressed by the rationing diet. I have modified it for me: I eat les sugar, a little more meat and I do try and eat the best quality I can afford – real eggs and milk, etc.

    Oh, and be really careful with marge. The marge they stayed healthy on during the war was a mix of whale oil and coconut oil (Source: MOFs Wise Eating in Wartime). Modern, processed, damaged seed oil margarines (even if they don’t contain trans fats) are a real health disaster. Personally i use extra butter or goose fat instead of the marge.

    So, what do I do:

    1) Work on stress levels – this includes being kind to yourself when you slip (or jump!) from the diet. There is always a reason for it and it isn’t a moral issue. Stress uses up nutrients and hinders digestion. I really like EFT. There are loads of videos on t’internet that will help.

    2) Eat a good, well balanced diet – a little of everything as long as it’s not processed. Although you might want to try reducing/eliminating wheat as that can mess up some people’s digestion and cause weight gain. I grind up oats and use them in most rationing recipes – flour was heavier then anyway. I love the masses of veggies in the rationing diet. Yum!

    3) Look at topping up your nutrients. A good all round nutrient supplement (powder or liquid seems to work better for me than tablets) could save you money if it stops you from wanting G&B chocolate etc. Also vegetable juicing works really well. I don’t think they did it during the war, but it was a bit thing in the spas across Europe in the 30s.

    4) Have a nice cuppa tea (now you know I’m emailing from the UK!)

    I know you didn’t ask for advice, but I really recognise what you are talking about and felt a need to write this. Also, I love your recipes and want you to go on making the meat and dairy ones too!

    Good luck with whatever you chose to do.

    Lorna from London

    • Thank you Lorna for your very thorough reply… I will read through again later and do some further research. Just to let you know that the vegan thing is just for 8 weeks and I am using it to kick start myself again…I’d like to incorporate some research and 1940s vegan recipes so it covers everyones way of life during WWII……I’ll be carrying on making all sorts of recipes as my youngest daughter still eats meat and of course a huge amount of recipes from the 1940s were vegetable based as meat rations were so scanty…

      For me my biggest belief in getting healthy is things in moderation, no or very few processed foods (I think our modern highly processed foods are what is changing the face of our society into increasing obesity), more vegetables, more exercise…

      I take daily natural multi vitamins (that provide everything I need) and a Greens + supplement daily.

      Thanks so much Lorna- I look forward to reading this properly after work today!

      C xxxxxxxxxxx

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