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What is a Vegan?
Why Go Vegan?
Vegan For The Environment
Vegan For Ethical Reasons
Vegan For Health Concerns
Is a Vegan Diet Safe?
The Milk Myth
What do Vegans Eat?
What about Shoes?
What is a Vegan?
A vegan is a true vegetarian: no animal products are consumed or used. Instead, a vegan diet is
rich in fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes. This is not as hard as it sounds, and is quite
natural. After all, humans are natural herbivores. We were not meant to consume the flesh and
milk from other animals. It is interesting to note that we are the only animal that drinks the milk
of another animal!
Why Go Vegan?
There are many different reasons that people chose a vegan lifestyle. Whether it be for the sake
of the animals, for the sake of the environment, or for the sake of personal health, a vegan diet is
the smartest choice around.
Vegan for the Environment
We waste an incredible amount of land through grazing animals for human consumption. It
takes much less land to produce the same amount of plant derived foods than it does to produce
animal derived foods. For example, an acre of land can either produce 40,000 pounds of potatoes
or 250 pounds of beef! Or, it takes ten times as much crop land to produce 1 lb of bacon as it
does to produce the same amount of soy "bacon"! And if that weren't enough, as much as 70%
of America's grain harvest is used to feed farm animals! In the process, we are losing 90% of
the energy that could be obtained if we would eat the plants directly! If you believe that the
Earth is overpopulated, and underfed, then a vegan diet could be the answer. It would require
much less land to produce much more food. It is more efficient, and more Earth-friendly.
Vegan for Ethical Reasons
As Jeremy Bentham said, "The question is not, Can they reason? nor, Can they talk? but Can
they suffer." We know that all animals are capable of suffering, including fish. Farmed animals
are subjected to cruel practices, ranging from overcrowding, to hormone injections, to captive-bolt pistol head stunning. We are capable of moral reasoning, and can see that such treatment is
wrong. The very basis for animal farming boldly states that we are superior, and therefore we
can dominate other species. Animals do have a reason to be here, and it is not that they are here
only for human use and domination. The way a person treats an animal is indicative of how they
might treat other people. We need to step lightly on the earth, which includes showing
compassion toward all living things.
Vegan for Health
A vegan diet is a healthy diet. Cholesterol is ONLY found in food derived from animal products.
Animal products also contain a high amount of saturated fats. So, a vegan diet contains no
cholesterol, and is lower in saturated fats! And, vegans have no trouble getting all of their
A vegan diet is the best present that you can give to your body! In general, vegans live longer
than non-vegetarians, have a lower risk of cancer, heart attack, diabetes, arthritis, asthma,
allergies, and obesity. If you are suffering from asthma or arthritis, try eliminating dairy from
your diet. Chances are that you'll be surprised at the results!
Is it safe to chose a vegan diet?
YES! Forget about the years of conditioning telling you that you need meat and milk to survive.
You can get all of the required nutrients in a vegan diet. In fact, plant foods are better sources
of nutrients than animal-derived foods, since they are more easily digested, contain no
cholesterol, are lower in saturated fats, and contain lots of fiber and antioxidants.
The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine has developed The "New" Four Food Groups: vegetables, fruits, legumes, and grains. The "traditional" four food groups, or food pyramid, is a fallacy. This pyramid is promoted by big business: the meat industry. There is a lot of money to be made if people think that they have to eat a lot of meat and dairy. It is time that we took charge of our bodies, and say that our health is more important that big business!
The Milk Myth
Worried about not getting enough calcium? If you consume dairy products, you should be. Drinking milk can actually lower your calcium level! Calcium is excreted in urine by animal proteins, which are found in milk and other animal products. Also, most calcium in milk is not readily absorbed in the body. Dairy products are low in Vitamin C and contain no fiber, but they do have allergenic proteins, animals fats, and pesticides. Milk is an irritant of the immune system, and should be avoided!
What do vegans eat?
I actually have more to eat now than when I was an omnivore! I eat pastas, salads, tofu,
vegetable stir-fry, etc. You truly are not limited when becoming a vegan. The hardest thing may
be eating out, but an ethnic restaurant is usually a good choice. Be sure to ask, however.
Animal products can creep up on you in the least expected places. For example: vegetarian
burritos, filled with rice made with chicken stock! Or french fries soaked in beef tallow
(McD's). Or cheese in spaghetti sauce. Just double check, and you'll be fine.
What about shoes (and other products)?
Not a problem. If you want to go cheap, shop at Payless or ShopKo, or someplace like that. A
lot of their shoes, for around $10.00, are made of synthetic materials. Read the labels! If you
want a good pair of running shoes, or cross-training shoes, you can actually buy name-brand
shoes (like Nike and Reebok) that are not made from animal products! You may even be
wearing a pair now, and not know it. Again, read the label. Many of these shoes are made of
synthetic leather. How many people actually check the label on their running shoes? They are
the same price as the other shoes, and in the same section, so you would just assume that they
Want sandals? Birkenstock has non-leather sandals. Again, be careful to get the ones that are
ALL non-leather. They do have some with non-leather uppers, but a suede liner. There are also
other places to buy non-leather goods, like
It is interesting to note that synthetic leather is actually better than leather. It lasts longer, is more durable, more breathable, and doesn't stretch. But, it looks the same as leather, so others would never know the difference.
Links for vegans
Veggies Unite Great Recipies!
Vegan World Great Info
Vegetarian Pages Vegetarian Guide
Pangea Cruelty Free Products
VegSource Links, chats, magazine
PETA People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals