Intro / Вовед

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Hey world,

My name is Dragana Velkovska. I was born in 1984 in Skopje, Republic of Macedonia. My country is located in the heart of the Balkan Peninsula, but I can’t say that people here really have a heart when it comes to animals. I believe you all have heard about the notorious mistreatment of animals in Eastern Europe. Well, it’s true, and sometimes the stories in the media are just euphemisms.

I became a vegetarian in February, 2008 – totally by chance and not for ethical reasons – after reading The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari by R. Sharma. The line that pushed me over the edge goes like this:

So if you like meat you can certainly keep eating it. Just remember you are ingesting dead food.

I am one of those so called born vegetarians. I never really liked eating meat, and when my mom was forcing me to do so when I was younger I used to throw the burgers or steaks out the window or – when I couldn’t get to the window – behind the fridge. I remember that prior to becoming a full-fledged vegetarian I didn’t have any meat for about six months or so.

After a while into my vegetarianism I started becoming interested in animal rescue, mostly cats and dogs, and I became part of an animal protection organization here in Skopje. That’s when my vegetarianism took on another dimension: I no longer cared for the spiritual, now I realized that animals suffer and die just for us humans to indulge our avariciousness, and for nothing else. Being a part of this organization I started getting more and more interested in animal rights, the new-age slavery, and about speciesism. Slowly I realized that being vegetarian was not enough, I still contributed to the suffering and death of animals on dairy and egg-farms. I have to go vegan, I said to myself. This was in fact my New Year’s Resolution for 2013. I had my last non-vegan meal at about 11:00 PM on 31 December 2012, and an hour later I was vegan.

I can’t say it was an abrupt change. I really prepared and flirted with veganism the whole previous year. Macedonia is known for its great non(yet)-GMO fruits and vegetables, but not much for its ready-to-eat vegan products, such as butter, cheeses, spreads, milks, etc. Even the small number of goods we do have here is really expensive, and one can’t quite afford it. Especially if the one is in their twenties and getting ready to fly out their nest. So, step by step, I threaded unknown territory and here I am, one year later, prepared to share my experience with you.

My New Year’s Resolution for 2014 is to give you 365 days of vegan cooking and the amazing lifestyle that goes with it. Those who know me know I am a disaster waiting to happen in the kitchen, so if I can do this, trust me, so can you! I believe that this blog will show you that being vegan can be really easy at times, and sometimes very challenging, but over the years I’ve learnt that progress means stepping out of your comfort zone and constantly reaching for new heights. With each new recipe I will discover bit by bit of my own journey in becoming vegan, which, I have to admit, was not at all peachy, nevertheless I was determined to reach my goal because I am not a quitter!

So here goes, hope you will enjoy reading me and please feel free to comment, ask questions, etc!

One love,
D

***

Здраво на сите,

Се викам Драгана Велковска. Родена сум 1984 година во Скопје, Република Македонија. Мојата земја се наоѓа во срцето на Балканскиот Полуостров, но не би можела да кажам дека луѓето што живеат овде имаат срце кога станува збор за животните. Верувам дека сте чуле за ужасната злоупотреба на животни во Источна Европа. Сите информации се вистинити, а некогаш написите во медиумите се еуфемизми кога ќе се споредат со реалната ситуација.

Вегетаријанец станав во февруари 2008 година – сосема случајно и не од етички причини – откако ја прочитав Калуѓерот што го продаде своето ферари на Р. Шарма. Моментот што беше пресуден за моето поминување од другата страна беше оваа реченица:

Значи, ако толку многу сакаш месо, секако дека можеш да продолжиш да го јадеш. Само имај на ум дека јадеш мртва храна.

Јас сум еден од оние таканаречени родени вегетаријанци. Никогаш не сум сакала да јадам месо и кога мајка ми ме тераше со сила како мала, ги фрлав плескавиците и кременадлите низ прозорец или – кога немав можност да стигнам до прозорецот – ги фрлав зад фрижидер. Се сеќавам дека околу шест месеци пред официјално да станам вегетаријанец воопшто немав јадено месо.

По некое време откако станав вегетаријанец почнав да се интересирам за спасување на животни, главно мачки и кучиња и, нормално, се приклучив во здружение за заштита на животни. Тогаш моето вегетаријанство доби нова димензија: духовното повеќе не ми беше приоритет, зашто ми стана јасно дека животните патат и умираат од никоја друга причина освен за задоволување на човековиот ламтеж. Како дел од оваа организација почнав сѐ повеќе да се интересирам за животните и нивните права, за ропството на 21. век и за специзмот. Полека почна да ми станува јасно дека не е доволно што сум вегетаријанец, зашто сѐ уште придонесувам за ужасните судбини на животните на млечните и на фармите за производство на јајца. Морам да станам веган, си реков. Ова всушност и беше мојата новогодишна одлука за 2013 година. Така, околу 23:00 ч. на 31 декември 2012 г. го изедов мојот последен вегетаријански оброк и еден час подоцна веќе бев веган.

Не можам да кажам дека тоа беше нагла промена, затоа што целата претходна година се подготвував и пробував да станам веган. Македонија е позната по своите прекрасни и (сѐ уште)не-ГМО овошја и зеленчуци, но не и по готовите веган производи, како што се путери, сирења, кашкавали, намази, млека, итн. Дури и оној мал број продукти што го имаме тука е доста скап и не секој човек може да си го дозволи. А особено не може да си го дозволи човек во своите дваесетти кој се спрема да го напушти гнездото. И така, чекор по чекор низ непознатата територија, еве ме тука една година подоцна и спремна да го споделам своето искуство со вас.

Новогодишната одлука за 2014 г. ми е да ви подарам 365 дена со веган специјалитети и исто толку извонреден животен стил. Оние што ме познават знаат дека сум катастрофа во кујна, што значи, ако можам јас, верувајте ми, можете и вие! Сигурна сум дека со овој блог ќе ви покажам дека некогаш е навистина лесно да се биде веган, а некогаш е голем предизвик, но со текот на годините научив дека напредокот значи излегување од сопствената зона на удобност и секојдневно посегнување по нови височини. Со секој нов рецепт ќе ви откривам делче по делче од моето патешествие до веганството, на кое, морам да признам, баш и не ми цветаа цвеќиња, сепак, јас бев решена да си ја остварам целта – не ми е во природата да се откажувам.

Се надевам дека ќе уживате читајќи ме и ве молам не се воздржувајте да коментирате, да прашувате, итн!

Со љубов,
Д

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Tammy Gardner says:

    I’m definitely going to follow along on your journey! I’m a vegetarian (since 2007) and have been flirting with veganism for quite awhile as well. It’s been a difficult change due to lack of support and resources where I live, but I’m still doing my best to incorporate it where I can. I’m excited to see what you share! Oh! And thanks for the book recommendation. It’s on my list!

    1. edenmkorg says:

      Thank you from the bottom of my heart, dear Tammy! I hope that one day you too will let yourself ‘be pushed over the edge’ and I would really like my blog to be that reason that made you do it. I am extremely happy that I have someone following me already and I promise I’ll do my best to not let you down! Three posts are due today, I hope you’ll like them all 🙂

      One love,
      D

  2. vio says:

    Dear D,

    Thank you for sharing your story. That was very interesting to read.
    After reading your post I also want to share some of my story. First, I became a pescetarian in January, 2013. And then vegetarian in 2014. I was really happy when it was several monthes since I was eating only vegetarian food and started to define myself as a vegetarian. If someone asked me about my favourite meal when I was a child, I would tell them that it is meat. Thus, this vegetarian period was nessecary for me to realize that I could cope with that well and all in all I was satisfied that I could call myself a vegetarian.

    Later I was thinking about religious fasting that some people do. I thought it must be cool for them to do something according to their values and change their diet for a month or more by following the ideal of their worldview. So I desiced to it myself too, but according to my values and my worldview. I told myself to be vegan at least for one month or more, if possible. That time I was eating a lot of dairy everyday. My ration could be a bottle of yogurt with buns or something else that did not require cooking and was cheap. I needed to change my eating habbits. I was eating vegan food for 2 months. Which was also very good.

    However, I was not doing it smart. I did not have enough essential nutrients, I did not really have new healthy foods. I even felt a desire to eat meat. So, there were some periods when I was eating meat but after eating it I was going into self-reflections about ethics, violence and so on. And the last day I ate meat was when my friend visited me in my homecountry. After my friend departured from the airport to their country, I had several hours to get back home in early morning and all these hours was thinking about importance of not supporting the violence and following the ethical lifestyle. When I came home I was reading some information on why it is important to be vegetarian, reminding that to myself. And was eating vegetetarian food since then.

    I want to go vegan. At least, for some period. But if find out that I can cope well with that and feel good, I would be happy to be vegan, because ethically it would be a better choice. Yesterday was my first vegan day. And thanks to you and your cafe, because your example and the messages in your cafe were also a motivation for me to make this desicion.

    Thank you for reading it.

    Love,
    V

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