Although the amount of info on this page may initially give the impression that living vegan is hard, the reality could not be further from the truth. While there may be an adjustment period, in a matter of weeks, living vegan will be so second nature to you that you will wonder what took you so long to start living vegan. The reason why our veganism guide includes a lot of info is because:
- it goes beyond food as veganism is not a diet,
- we've wanted to save you the inconvenience of spending days on the internet looking for reliable information. The answers to any questions you may have now or later on are most likely all found in here.
Having said that, let's get started...
*** GETTING INFORMED ***
For your transition to veganism to be smooth, first and foremost, you have to be properly informed.
• EARTHLINGS is an informative documentary about animals who are exploited for consumption, clothing, entertainment, research and "pet" purposes: documentary-movie.com/earthlings/
• The falsely yet widely held belief is that only factory farms are inhumane but things are not any better on "cage-free," "free range," "humane-certified" "welfare-approved," "grass-fed" "organic," "local," "family" farms. HumaneMyth.org is where former animal farmers turned vegan and animal rights activist expose the myth and absurdity of "humane" animal farming and "humane" animal products. Slideshows on HAPPY COWS and CAGE-FREE EGGS are especially important.
• What is wrong with eating backyard eggs?
• What to do with a rescued hen's eggs?
• An adorable 2-minute video that briefly explores the mother-child relationship between a mom hen and her baby chick (narrated by a former animal farmer): youtube.com/watch?v=_qqCeasIRhg
• Thousands of hens get rescued from the egg industry (one of the largest animal rescues in U.S. history):
• What is wrong with honey products?
Assuming you have explored the above links thoroughly, let's move on...
*** VEGANISM ***
a) What is veganism?
Although it is commonly and falsely portrayed as a diet that excludes animal products, veganism is an ethical stance that rejects the property status and exploitation of ALL animals of ALL sizes — including bees whose food humans steal and silkworms whom humans kill for their silk — not just so-called "food" animals. The vegan diet (meaning the diet of a vegan) is the ethical diet that represents the philosophy of veganism but the vegan diet is ONLY one aspect of veganism. Veganism is against the exploitation, domestication, killing, breeding, trading, selling, buying of animals for:
• consumption: vegans do not consume honey, flesh, eggs, non-human milk or anything that contains them or their derivatives,
• entertainment: vegans do not visit zoos, circuses, marine parks, rodeos, dog/horse racing. Vegans also do not ride horses (or other animals) and horse carriages (more info: tinyurl.com/horseriding1) etc.,
• clothing: vegans do not buy anything that comes from animals such as wool, silk, mohair, alpaca, shearling, leather, suede, nubuck, angora, cashmere, ivory, fur, pearls, feathers, seashells (skeletons of marine animals called mollusks), down (found in many pillows, bed comforters and similar fluffy things such as ski jackets; the label should indicate if it contains down), etc.,
• cosmetics: vegans do no use products that contain animal ingredients, including honey and its derivatives such as royal jelly and beeswax, which are commonly found in lipsticks, lip balms, mascaras and candles (there are vegan cosmetic products and candles),
• testing, experimentation, research: vegans do not use cosmetic, household, cleaning products tested on animals,
• "pet" industry: vegans do not buy, sell, breed, rip animals from their habitats and families to turn them into "pets" for humans. Vegans support rescuing, adopting, fostering, spaying/neutering animals who have already been ripped from their habitats and families by humans and now depend on human care for their survival and protection.
And because veganism is not a diet but an ethical stance, there is NO such thing as "mostly vegan" "veganish" "kind of vegan" "half vegan'' ''full vegan'' ''80% vegan" "strict vegan" "casual vegan" "on-and-off vegan" "vegan except on family gatherings/holidays" "vegan as long as nobody sees me eating this slice of dairy cheese."
Just as we CANNOT be against
RACISM (prejudice, discrimination or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one's own race is superior)
SEXISM (prejudice, discrimination or antagonism directed against someone of a different sex based on the belief that one's own sex is superior)
80% of the time, whenever it suits us or whenever we feel like it, we cannot be against
SPECIESISM (prejudice, discrimination or antagonism directed against someone of a different species based on the belief that one's own species is superior)
80% of the time, whenever it suits us or whenever we feel like it.
There is veganism, and there is non-veganism — nothing in between. Therefore, we are either vegan thus absolutely against speciesism at all times or we are not vegan thus absolutely for speciesism. Anyone who eliminates animal exploitation only from her/his diet for whatever reason (e.g., to lose weight, to improve health, to detox) and has not yet internalized the selfless and ethical philosophy of veganism is not a vegan but a plant-based eater/dieter. In short, eating vegan alone does not automatically make one a vegan.
Speciesism is a word that philosopher and psychologist Dr. Richard Ryder coined in 1970. Speciesism is acknowledged as a word by many English dictionaries today. E.g.: en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/us/speciesism
b) Was veganism founded as a solution to corporate owned/operated factory farms or bad animal welfare conditions?
Absolutely no. Donald Watson, who coined the word "vegan" in 1944 and defined veganism as "the doctrine that man should live without exploiting animals," did not found veganism as a temporary or permanent solution to bad animal welfare conditions or corporate owned/operated factory farms in England. Factory farming in England began in 1947; that is, 3 years after Watson founded veganism. It was actually Watson's experience on a "humane" family owned/operated local farm that led him to veganism. Watson said,
"One of my earliest recollections is of holidays on my Uncle George's farm where I was surrounded by interesting animals. They all 'gave' something: the farm horse pulled the plough & the lighter horse pulled the trap; the cows 'gave' milk; the hens 'gave' eggs and the cockerel was a useful 'alarm clock.' I didn't realise at that time that he had another function, too. The sheep 'gave' wool. I could never understand what the pigs 'gave' but they seemed such friendly creatures, always glad to see me. Then the day came when one of the pigs was killed. I still have vivid recollections of the whole process, including the screams, of course. One thing that shocked me was that my Uncle George, of whom I thought very highly, was part of the crew. I decided that farms - and uncles - had to be reassessed. The idyllic scene was nothing more than DEATH ROW, where every creature's days were numbered by the point at which [s/he] was no longer of service to human beings."
c) What is the difference between welfarism and veganism?
The philosophy of welfarism states that other species are the property of human species; therefore, it is morally justifiable for humans to exploit other species and intentionally destroy their families as long as they are treated "humanely." The philosophy of veganism states that other species are not the property of human species; therefore, it is not morally justifiable for humans to exploit other species and intentionally destroy their families regardless of how well they are treated. Vegans acknowledge other species to be irreplaceable individuals with unique personalities (NOT expandable property as defined by law and accepted by welfarists) by referring to them as "she"/ "he" and "who" instead of "it" and "which." For example,
SHE is a curious cow WHO loves treats (a cow is someone, an individual)
IT is a curious cow WHICH loves treats (a cow is something, a property)
Watson, who believed that humans exploiting other species is inherently unjust, said, "We can see quite plainly that our present civilization is built on the exploitation of animals, just as past civilizations were built on the exploitation of slaves..."
Like those who fought to abolish the property status of blacks, who were once legally considered to be the property of whites just for looking different from whites, vegans acknowledge that someone's physical appearance does not dictate the moral consideration she/he deserves thus aim to abolish the property status of other species, who are legally considered to be the property of human species, just for looking different from human species. This is why veganism is not a diet but a social justice movement.
d) What is Animal Rights?
Although welfarist organizations have degenerated what Animal Rights mean, Animal Rights refer to the laws that would protect other species against human exploitation, including so-called "humane" exploitation. Simply put, Animal Rights are laws that would enforce and protect the principles of veganism. Within recent years, interest in the growing field of Animal Law has exploded. Animal Law is now taught in over 100 U.S. universities. Lewis & Clark Law School in the U.S. is the first law school to offer the world's first advanced legal degree in Animal Law. Under Animal Rights, other species would no longer be considered the property of humans but legal persons with rights. To learn more, we recommend this brief speech by Canada's first Animal Rights attorney: youtube.com/watch?v=Fr26scqsIwk
e) When did Donald Watson die?
Many had claimed that Watson could not have possibly survived by not consuming animal products but Watson died at 95 (1910-2005, England), free from the need for doctors' interventions in his final days.
*** ANIMAL TESTING, EXPERIMENTATION, RESEARCH ***
Doctors AGAINST animal testing, experimentation, research to save human lives:
*** NUTRITION ***
Why you probably SHOULD NOT listen to your physician when it comes to nutrition:
• Most medical schools in the US fail to provide even a bare minimum of nutrition training to future physicians:
• Patients know more about nutrition than physicians:
• Physicians know less than they think about nutrition:
• The dairy industry has scientists, medical doctors and medical writers on its payroll:
• Physician trade groups such as the California Medical Association came out in opposition of a bill requiring physicians get 7 hours of nutrition training: nutritionfacts.org/video/medical-associations-oppose-bill-to-mandate-nutrition-training/
• A presentation by Dr. Michael Greger where he shares shocking nutrition facts about animal products and states that physicians are one of the leading causes of death in the US (this video was once taken down by youtube for no reason):
• USDA promotes the special interests of the dairy, egg, flesh industries through its official dietary guidelines and the Food Pyramid: tinyurl.com/usdaconflictofinterest
Nutrition info by physicians who have studied nutrition extensively and do NOT consume animal products for health reasons:
• A simple nutrition chart:
• A more detailed version:
• FAQs about plant-based nutrition & their answers:
• Is soy bad for your health?
• What is the safest source of vitamin B12?
- More videos on B12: nutritionfacts.org/index.php?s=b12
For more info by physicians who do not consume animal products for health reasons (NOT in order of importance):
Dr. Micheal Greger:
Dr. Michael Klaper:
Dr. John A. McDougall:
Dr. Neal Barnard:
Dr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn Jr:
*** FITNESS ***
*** FOOD ***
plantbasedonabudget.com (avoid or modify the recipes with honey)
and many more...
Free vegan recipes are all over the net; there are also many cookbooks. Just google "vegan recipes" and countless recipes / videos will show up. But keep in mind that just as not every non-vegan recipe is yummy, not every vegan recipe is yummy.
The following products are "luxury" items that many vegans enjoy but these products are NOT necessary to live vegan.
Plant-based (as opposed to flesh-based) meat products:
Vegan milk, cheese, butter, ice cream, yogurt, mayo, ranch dressing, etc. products:
Vegan artisan cheeses: vtopiancheeses.com
Handmade fine art vegan cheeses made to order: midasdeli.com
Vegan cheese cookbooks:
- his facebook page for recipe tips: fb.com/TheGentleChef
Vegan solution to hen exploitation:
• Kala Namak Salt a.k.a Black Salt (which is actually pinkish/greyish in color) gives an "egg" flavor when it is added to a dish.
• hamptoncreek.com is currently working on a product called "Beyond Eggs" so keep an eye out for it.
- Veganize your favorite egg dishes: freefromharm.org/food-products/delicious-vegan-eggs-recipes
Vegan solution to bee exploitation:
• Agave nectar
Vegan restaurants near you (international):
Vegan online stores (some of the products sold on these sites should be available at your local health stores. If not, just ask the store manager to carry them):
thecrueltyfreeshop.co.nz (New Zealand)
*** VEGAN PREGNANCY, RAISING A VEGAN BABY & CHILD ***
• As recommended by Dr. Michael Greger:
The following links come from the physicians at PCRM. Just keep in mind that PCRM uses the word "vegetarian" to refer to a diet based on vegetation; that is, plants. They should have just used the word "vegan" to avoid confusion.
• What to eat while pregnant?
► An important video by Dr. Greger regarding B-12 intake, which is especially important during pregnancy and infancy:
• Vegan parents groups:
Australia -- facebook.com/veganparents
Israel -- facebook.com/groups/veganparents.il
*** VEGAN HOUSEHOLD, PERSONAL CARE, COSMETIC PRODUCTS ***
*** GROWING PLANTS WITHOUT ANIMAL PRODUCTS ***
*** VEGAN COMPANION ANIMAL FOOD ***
• Veterinary Specialist Dr. Andrew Knight discusses in depth the controversial topic of feeding companion animals vegan food:
• International suppliers:
• Websites that sell only vegan companion animal products (though some of the products sold on these sites should be available on other sites such as amazon.com, too):
• To connect with vegans with cats for advice, help, questions:
VEGAN TATTOO SHOPS (USA) & VEGAN TATTOO AFTERCARE LOTION
jspooner.wordpress.com (CA, NY)
Blogs about animal-free shoes:
Athletic Shoe Directory:
mattandnat.com (US-based; ships worldwide)
pansymaiden.com (US-based; ships worldwide)
alternativeoutfitters.com (US-based; ships to 19 other countries)
mooshoes.com (US-based; ships worldwide)
herbivoreclothing.com (US-based; ships worldwide)
meatfreeathletestore.com (US-based, ships worldwide)
cowjonesindustrials.com (US-based; ships worldwide)
compassionco.com (US-based, ships worldwide)
zappos.com/vegan (US-based, no int'l shipping)
animalrightstuff.com (US-based, not sure if they ship worldwide)
susannichole.com (US-based, not sure if they ship worldwide)
theethicalman.com (US-based, not sure if they ship worldwide)
niceshoes.ca (Canada-based; ships worldwide)
eco-vegan-shoes.com (UK-based; ships worldwide)
wills-vegan-shoes.com (UK-based, ships worldwide)
beyondskin.co.uk (UK-based; ships worldwide)
ethicalwares.com (UK-based; ships worldwide)
vegetarian-shoes.co.uk (Despite the name, all of their products are actually vegan. UK-based; ships worldwide)
veganline.com (UK-based, ships to US and Europe)
ISSUES WITHIN THE ANIMAL RIGHTS MOVEMENT (especially important for future activists):
Any part of this note or the note in its entirety can be copy/pasted anywhere you'd like to educate others (e.g. your website, facebook profile, facebook comments section) but we'd appreciate it if you could please mention our website BloodyDairy.org somewhere so the page can get more exposure and the truth about the dairy industry (including ORGANIC, HUMANE CERTIFIED, WELFARE-APPROVED, LOCAL, FAMILY dairy farms) can reach more people. Thank you.