Animal Action Network
A non-profit Colorado Group Working for Compassion
what is veganism?
It is our individual responsibility to maintain our health and wellbeing, and we each have the means to do so. The balance of scientific evidence suggests that the healthiest way to eat is a vitamin B12-fortified diet of whole plant foods. For optimum nutrition, be sure to include in your daily diet not only an array of whole grains, beans, nuts, seeds, fruit, and as many vegetables as you can eat, but also specifically dark green leafy vegetables, berries, and green (or white) tea. No matter your dietary preferences, getting enough micro nutrients should be a priority. There are numerous reasons to avoid animal products, from the cruelty a meat-based diet inflicts on animals, to the harm it causes our earth and the ill effects it has on our health. Your dietary choices have a direct and measurable impact on the health of our planet. Animal farming pollutes our air, drains our fresh water supply and destroys our land in Colorado and throughout the world. A vegan diet is not only healthier for you and the better for the animals, but for the environment as well. The old adage “You are what you eat” still makes a lot of sense. Would you rather be organic rice with curried vegetables or a quarter-pound of hormone-laden, toxin-packed dead cow? The benefits of a vegan diet abound...
Despite common misconception, soy is not a necessary part of a vegan diet, so if you have a soy allergy you need not worry. Nowadays there are also a myriad of alternatives for vegans with wheat allergies or gluten in-tolerance. Products that were once only available in wheat varieties (such as bread, crackers and pasta) are now available wheat-and-gluten-free. Nut allergies are usually isolated; few people are allergic to all nuts and seeds.
A common mistake when transitioning to a vegan diet is to eat too few cal-ories, causing people to mistakenly think they “need meat” or “have to have some animal products”. Healthful vegan diets are bigger on volume – your plate should be overflowing with fresh food, especially if you include lots of raw vegetables. Snacking is recommended throughout the day. It is hard to eat too many fruits and vegetables, nuts or seeds, and they make very healthy snacks between meals. Although any dietary change may cause temporary bodily complaints, such as cravings, digestive discomfort or minor fatigue, these should not continue for a long period of time, and it is recommended to seek advice from a doctor to rule out coincidental health conditions if the symptoms go on for too long or become over-whelming.
advice when changing to a vegan diet
Seems that there is always that person, when discussing veganism, who will argue that scientists proved plants also feel pain and wants to know how that fits into vegan ethics. This is yet another reason to go vegan. The plants that “Food Animals” eat could feed 800 million people. So you are killing more plants when you eat animals. To avoid doing something “more morally wrong” just because you already do something “less morally wrong” seems a bit odd, and it is definitely not something we would like to see in other areas of human life. Watch a slaughterhouse video (you pick the species) and a video of people picking apples, oranges, grapes, veggies, etc. Compare and discuss the videos.
health & diet
The term vegan was coined in England in 1944 by Donald Watson, co-founder of the British Vegan Society, to mean "non-dairy vegetarian"; the society also opposed the consumption of eggs. In 1951 the society extended the definition of veganism to mean "the doctrine that man should live without exploiting animals," Veganism is nonviolence and a rejection of the exploitation of sentient beings, so the vegan diet reflects these values. Vegans consume an entirely plant-based diet, and just as in all aspects of vegan living, the vegan diet does not include any products that are taken from any animals, such as: the “meat” of any animal, including fishes, crustaceans, squids, octopi or any other sea-dwelling sentient beings; animal milks or animal milk products such as cow’s, goat’s or sheep’s milk cheeses, cow’s milk ice cream or any other “dairy” products; no bird’s eggs; nor honey; nor products containing any of the above; nor products containing any other animal by-products such as cow’s hooves (gelatine) or feathers (often labelled as “L-cysteine” and often used to make commercial breads) etc. This is not an exhaustive list, but if it seems like a lot to take in, never fear! Avoiding processed foods makes the avoidance of animal by-products easy, and is also a much healthier way to eat. There are vegan processed foods, but like most processed foods they are less likely to be nutritionally sound.
but plants have feelings