Hello! I'm glad you're here.
This page is meant to be a judgement-free place to learn about veganism. Too many vegan resources are unnecessarily hostile, which pushes people away from ever considering going vegan. The proper way is to educate people if they state they're open to learning about it. Thus, this page was created. No one is forced to read this if they don't want to, it's optional and it's patient. Whenever you'd like to learn about veganism, even if that's not now, you are free to come here to learn. I will not be shaming anyone and being rude. This page was also created to help myself. I am not a "perfect" vegan. There's still much more I need to learn about this movement. So, whoever is reading this can learn along with me.
That being said, I won't go out of my way to sugarcoat anything. I'll be patient and understanding, but I will hold you accountable if you're not vegan. I will not sugarcoat facts. I just won't be rude.
Veganism is a social movement that aims to reduce (and eventually completely erase) the unnecessary suffering of animals, including humans. This means vegans abstain from animal products, such as certain foods, clothing, makeup, and much more. Vegetarianism is the diet (although it should be noted that there's other vegetarian diets that are NOT vegan), but veganism is the lifestyle choice that some vegetarians take on. Veganism does not only help reduce the unnecessary suffering of animals, but it helps the environment greatly, and in turn, benefits humans.
The difference between vegetarianism and veganism can be a bit confusing at first. The vegan diet is a form of vegetarianism, but not all vegetarian diets are vegan. For example, there's ovo-vegetarians, which are vegetarians that eat eggs, and lacto-vegetarians, which are vegetarians that drink milk. That is not the vegan diet because vegans refrain from consuming any food that comes from animals. But as I said in the above paragraph, veganism extends beyond just a diet, unlike "normal" vegetarianism. It's a lifestyle and affects day-to-day activities and your mindset on the world.
People become vegan for various reasons. Some people become vegan for animal rights, others for environmental factors, and others for health reasons. Some people become vegan for multiple reasons, it's all up to a specific person. There is no "wrong" or "right" reason to become a vegan, because in the end, we're all doing the same thing. But, I think it's important to note that you can't be a vegan without caring about animals as that's what the lifestyle is about. Most people who start the vegan diet (referred to as plant-based) end up staying for the animals. Our actions matter more than the reason we originally started. But, for me, the main reason I became vegan is for animal rights. Due to being autistic, I have hyper-empathy for animals, so I can't handle the thought of hurting and eating them. Another reason why is because I don't want to harm the environment any more than I already do in my day-to-day life. I don't really care about my health, so for that reason, this page will mainly be focused on environmental harm and animal rights. I will try to talk about some of the health benefits, though, for those who are interested in that.
Some vegans may respond to this with, "Just stop eating meat," but it's honestly a lot harder than that. Not to sound like an echo, but veganism is a lifestyle, and changing your lifestyle takes a lot of work. It can be very expensive for some people, too. We need to be more open-minded when people ask us questions like this.
But, the first step to becoming vegan is wanting to be vegan, and if you're reading this, then you've probably made that first step. I'm proud of you for that. And if you're not here considering becoming vegan, but just because you're curious, I'm still proud of you for being open-minded enough to educate yourself on it. Maybe one day you will be open to it.
You need to be passionate about your reason(s) for wanting to become vegan. If you're not, you'll probably drop it after a few weeks. So, learning about veganism and why we're against what we're against is a good way to develop a passion for it. Reading this and the other resources linked may help greatly.
One tactic a lot of people use is to dip their toes into veganism. Give yourself a goal to live a vegan lifestyle for a week or two. Most of the time, it's not the best idea to set yourself with a long-term goal of being vegan as you can get overwhelmed. You also don't have to go completely vegan to dip your toes in. Maybe just try cutting out red meat, or fish, or dairy, or eggs. Slowly work yourself up to a vegan diet. Then, you can work yourself up to the vegan lifestyle, which is much harder than just the diet because you have to keep your eyes peeled for anything made with animal products or any products that test on animals. That means a lot of the things you currently use, like makeup, soap, shampoo, clothing, and much more will have to be changed, and that's a lot of work. I won't lie to you about that. It takes a long time to become a full vegan, and also a lot of work. That's why it's best to start slow.
For starting slow and staying motivated, trying out Veganuary is great idea! You can check out their website here. Every January is Veganuary. What that means is you try out the vegan lifestyle for the entire month of January. Since it started in 2014, the amount of participants doubles each year. They give you lots of information on vegan recipes you can try and vegan options at restaurants.
One common thing people that want to be vegan but don't become one say is that, "It's too expensive." And, again, I won't lie to you here. It can be more expensive, especially if you're trying to be as healthy as possible. That being said, there are ways to live an affordable vegan lifestyle. And you'd be delighted to hear that as veganism grows more popular, the cost of living the lifestyle drastically declines. Nowadays, depending on where you live, being vegan can even be cheaper than not being vegan!
You don't need to spend a bunch of money on already-made meat and dairy alternatives (and as I said, they're getting cheaper!). There's plenty of other vegan foods you can buy. Grains, beans, seeds, and legumes are all great examples of vegan foods that probably won't cost you much. You can also make it much less expensive by making your own meals. So, you can save money and learn a new skill or hobby if cooking isn't already one! Some other ways you can make it more affordable is by buying frozen fruit and vegetables instead of fresh ones, purchasing from bulk sections instead of purchasing packaged produce, buying generic brands instead of named ones, and, obviously, searching for stuff on sale and using coupons. You can read more about an affordable vegan diet here.
You can find more resources on the 'Other Resources' tab, as well as the 'My Alternatives' tab, where I talk about any vegan alternatives (not just foods!) that I love.
One common misconception (which can be true, I admit) is that the vegan diet is expensive. However, I wrote about that in the 'How to Become Vegan' tab, so I recommend reading that if you haven't.
It's actually the contrary! Of course, just like someone who is not vegan can eat poorly, so can some vegans (*cough* Lucius *cough*). But, in general, the vegan diet is far healthier than a non-vegan diet. For obvious reasons, we're more likely to reach the daily recommended consumption of fruits and vegetables. We also have a lower rates of obesity (1), reduced risk for colorectal cancer and prostate cancer (1, 2)
The general rule here is that really only the people that needed to take supplements off a vegan diet would need supplements on a vegan diet. There's plenty of nutritional vegan foods out there, often much more nutritious than non-vegan foods, so this misconception doesn't make much sense. If you'd like to learn more about veganism and nutrition, The Vegan Society has some good reads.
This is true if you're not eating well, but that's the same for if you're not on a vegan diet anyway. Eating poorly will make you weak. There's plenty of vegan bodybuilders out there, and they're not at all hard to find. Just search "vegan bodybuilder" up on whatever search engine you use and you'll be proven wrong.
This is one of the most confusing misconceptions to me. If you've ever owned a pet, you'd already know that non-human animals do in fact feel emotions. So, why would that stop at just a cat or a dog or a human? While there is no current proof that animals are completely sentient as the same level humans are, we are still learning more each and every day about the animals we share this planet with. I'll list some studies and articles on studies to provide evidence that humans are not the only animals to experience emotions. An orca mourns her dead calf and carries them around for two weeks. Emotional states discovered in fish. Evidence for emotional contagion/empathy in pigs. There are plenty more studies and articles on similar studies that you can easily find online. Even if we eventually have "proof" non-human animals are not concious like humans, they still have emotional states.
No matter how afraid you are of insects, they are animals. This is a scientific fact and is not debatable. Just look up the definition of "insect" if you don't believe me. Oh, and just like there's studies providing evidence non-human, non-insect animals can experience emotional states, there are studies that provide evidence insects can, too. Just check out these studies and articles on bees! Bees found to have emotions and moods. Unexpected rewards cause positive emotion-like state in bumblebees. Sexually-rejected fruit flies turn to alcohol. Fruit flies seem to experience fear.
WARNING: This documentary contains extremely graphic and disturbing footage. They don't censor anything, so please be careful if you watch it. If you need to, take breaks when watching it. I had to take countless breaks from watching it since it was so upsetting to me and it kept making me sob.
IMDB Description: "Dominion uses drones, hidden and handheld cameras to expose the dark underbelly of modern animal agriculture, questioning the morality and validity of humankind's dominion over the animal kingdom. While mainly focusing on animals used for food, it also explores other ways animals are exploited and abused by humans, including clothing, entertainment and research."
On July 7th, 2012, a group of prominent scientists got together to sign the Cambridge Declaration on Conciousness. This declaration states that non-human animals are concious beings. This includes both vertebrates and invertebrates. There's an overwhelming amount of evidence to support this, clearly, as these scientists did not just pull it out of their arse.
These are the best veggie burgers I've EVER had! Seriously, they're so good. I love vegetables, and these have big chunks of vegetables inside them, so I love it! There's peas, corn, carrots, and much more! So, so tasty and I definitely recommend this. I eat these pretty much every dinner. I like to have one with lettuce because I don't like buns.
This is the recipe I always use for my kimchi! It is SO good! Unlike normal kimchi, this one is vegan and doesn't use any seafood. Along with being tasty, kimchi is also super duper healthy for you! It has a bunch of probiotics and definitely will get you up to your recommended daily intake of vegetables. It's pretty easy to make. The hardest part is patience. You have to wait a few days before you can eat it, and it's hard because it smells so good ;-; But other than that, pretty easy to make for most people!
I just made this last night (24/07/20) for the first time and tried it this morning! It's super yummy! It's also very filling. I feel like I won't be hungry for the next century. It's very simple to make, all you need are three ingredients. Bananas, chia seeds, and non-dairy milk. We used almond milk. I recommend this if you love pudding!
I've only made this using almond milk instead of coconut milk, but it was still very yummy! Very frothy, too.
This is SO GOOD! I can't even begin to describe how good it is. It's creamy and sweet, but also a tiny bit spicy (not that much) and tastes like vegetables (because you use lots of them!). I cannot recommend this enough!!! Probably one of my favourite foods now after trying it.
I love this drink SO MUCH. It's a combination of 15 ingredients (some of them are apple, mango, kiwi, spinach, pineapple, and bananas) blended together into a yummy green drink! It's very sweet and has a lot of good nutrients.
Another Bolthouse Farm's product! What can I say? They just make yummy drinks! This one is exactly what the name suggests... 100% carrot juice! Nothing else, just carrot juice! It's really yummy and sweet. Full of Vitamin A, too!
Yes, believe it or not, Monster Energy is vegan. Well, at least the Ultra versions in Canada and The United States of America. In the EU, the Ultras aren't vegan. Sorry, EU vegan friends! I'm not too sure about all the other flavours, but I know for sure the Ultras are. Some flavours are also obviously not vegan (Java Monsters). Just in case, make sure to read the labels!
Taurine is used which may make you worry that it's not vegan, but they use synthetic taurine, so it's vegan! But if you really need to settle your worries, you should contact Monster and ask them. You may be wondering why they don't advertise themselves as vegan-friendly. It's pretty obvious if you've seen their branding... They're all about this super-macho idea of "masculinity", and veganism isn't exactly what their target audience views as "masculine" and "cool". They make a lot of money off their current branding, so it's obvious they wouldn't take the chance of pissing off their petty customers by advertising it as vegan.
Anyway! I'm obsessed with Monster Ultra and drink at least one a day. They taste better than any other type of Monster and they're low-calorie, so that's a bonus. There's a bunch of different flavours of these! My favourite is Ultra Violet, with Ultra Rosá being a close second. They're pretty expensive (at least here), but they're usually on sale.
Going through this page with a lot of talk about animal suffering and negative environmental impact can get a bit depressing, so why not have a tab of funny vegan-related memes to cheer it up a bit? I will credit all creators of the memes I share here.
Although, some won't be that "funny" as it will mention animal suffering, but it will be "funny" as in it's true.
Meme by Veganalysis on Instagram. It was made on their previous account, so that's why the watermark is different.
Absolutely true 💚 I love all you vegan men so much and you'll never be less of a man for having emotions and standing up for what you believe in! Tweet handle/credit is in the picture (herb_beauty).
I'll write various things here that don't fit into the other categories but are still related in some way to veganism.
Topics I plan on writing about here soon:
For the longest time, I've felt immense guilt using technology. Playing videogames; browsing the internet; streaming movies, videos, and music; and having my own site here, it all made me feel terribly guilty knowing how it can destroy the environment. But I refused to stop using technology because... I don't know life without it having been born in 2002, and it's also just practical. But recently, I learnt there are things I can do to help reduce my digital carbon footprint. I think these simple ways to make your internet usage more eco-friendly are important even if they won't save the planet, and therefore, I'd like to share them. I'm always looking for more practices I should adopt, so feel free to let me know if you have any other ideas, and I'd be happy to add them here.
If you're on Neocities, you most likely know what a search engine is. In case you don't, it's what you use when you search up things on the internet. An example you probably know of is Google. Google is a search engine. But... there are much better search engines out there. Usually when people say that, they mean privacy-wise, which is all good and I support, but what I'm talking about here is a search engine that is better for the environment. I'm sure there's others, but the one I use and will talk about here is Ecosia.
Ecosia is a search engine that donates 80%+ of its profit to reforestation efforts. It's referred to as "the search engine that plants trees," because that's exactly what it does. On average, forty-five searches are enough to plant one tree. Ecosia is free, so they make the money off of the advertisements they show you. They are transparent with where the money goes. They share their financial reports and they also post videos of tree-planting updates on their YouTube channel.
Ecosia claims to be privacy-friendly. I'm honestly not knowledgeable about internet privacy, so I can't confirm or deny that. Therefore, you should read up on their website about how they handle privacy and decide for yourself if you trust them.
Carbon neutral is good, right? Well, carbon negative is even better! And Ecosia is carbon negative! Since they're run entirely on solar panels, and they plant trees, that means they are actually carbon negative. They are removing carbon dioxide from the planet. Isn't that wonderful!?
Even with all this talk of the eco-friendly goodness of Ecosia, you're probably still concerned about it. Probably about the people that are planting the trees, right? That's a concern, definitely, since lots of "eco-friendly" (and vegan) organizations claim to be ethical while utilizing child labour and slavery. But thankfully, Ecosia isn't like that! They give good, steady, well-paying jobs to people in poverty. So, it helps everyone! Happiness all around!
I only recently learnt of Ecosia, so I only have six-hundred searches as of writing this. That means I'm responsible for the planting of thirteen trees. That might not sound like a lot, but over time the number will get higher, and also that's still thirteen more trees in this world! Every tree counts! I highly recommend using this search engine. It'll make you feel good about how much time you waste on the internet, haha.
No, I don't mean just shutting off your monitor/closing your laptop. I mean actually shutting them down. If your computer has a hibernate option, that's the best option for you to choose as it saves your work while not wasting any energy when you're not using it. If you just close your laptop/shut off your monitor, your computer is still wasting energy, just not as much as when it's open. Even though it's a small amount of energy, it does add up. This goes for more than just laptops, though. Your phones and anything else like that should be turned off when not in use. It both stops wasting energy and saves you money!
If you're the one having autoplay audio and videos, please stop. Not only is it a waste of energy, but it's a massive accessibility violation that can seriously harm people. It also just annoys people even without mental and/or physical conditions. There's literally no reason to EVER have autoplay. People can click a button if they want to listen or watch whatever it is.
If you're not, you should disable autoplay in your settings. It's annoying when videos and music play automatically, right? Well, it's also a waste of energy that in turn harms the environment. So might as well disable it. There's no positive to it. If you're using Edge, you can disable it by going into your settings. There should be a section titled "Site Permissions." Click it then scroll down until you see Media. Click it, and the option to toggle autoplay should be there. I'm not too sure, but I believe on Chrome, they removed the option to disable autoplay, so you'll have to get a browser extension. Or just stop using Chrome because it sucks anyway.
Harvard's Law School energy manager suggests turning your screen brightness to 70%. It saves 20% of the energy the monitor uses. You probably won't notice a difference, but it helps eye-strain. I personally keep my phone screen brightness at the lowest it can go and keep my laptop screen brightness at 40%.
Your old emails and duplicate files (images, videos, audio files, etc) are hosted on a Server. It all ends up to a giant machine that requires a massive amount of energy. Having unnecessary files and emails makes those machines work harder and thus do more damage to the environment. This is a very very simple, boiled-down explanation of how it works. I suggest looking into it yourself if you're curious as I'm not good enough at explaining things.
I can understand why some people are militant vegans. I say some because a minority of militant vegans are so aggressive because they're full of themselves. Their aggression doesn't come from a place of actual compassion. They just want to make others and themselves believe that they're so much better than everyone else. But the majority of militant vegans aren't like that. They have genuine reasons for being aggressive with their beliefs. I understand, trust me. Sometimes, I feel like I can be a militant vegan with how heated I can get because of my hyper-empathy for animals (autism-related). It's because we care, we care so much. We know what happens to these innocent animals, all the suffering and torture these sentient beings have to go through, just to feed a human that doesn't even need to eat them to survive. I completely understand how with that knowledge, you can become a militant vegan. It's hard to not get angry at others for eating meat and condoning animal abuse. But in the end, militant veganism does no good. It doesn't help your mental health, being in a constant state of rage and sadness, and it also doesn't help convert others to veganism. Instead, it turns people away from veganism, to the point they'll never even consider it.
Most likely, you ate or used animal products before. Unless you were raised vegan, which is rare if you're old enough to read this (although it's becoming more popular nowadays). The reason you consumed animal products was probably not because you were an evil person that hates animals. If you were, you would've never become vegan. So, why would that be different for others who aren't currently vegan? While there are definitely malicious people out there, animal abusers who understand all the pain factory farms cause and support it, most people are not like that. Just like you and I, most people love animals. They just don't understand how horrifying the reality of what they're consuming truly is. And when they do hear stuff about the truth, it's hard to believe. It's hard to believe because it seems like it's ripped straight from a horror movie. I know that sometimes I often struggle comprehending that this mass-scale torture of innocent, sentient beings is real because I don't understand how anyone could do those things. But it's true, sadly. It's the reality of the world we live in. And on top of that, you have lots of people who are scared to change. Change is hard. As I talked about on the "How To Become Vegan" tab, changing your entire lifestyle is hard and takes a lot of work. It's not easy. So, some people convince themselves that it's not true in order to cope. Is that a good thing? No, not at all, but you have to understand where these people are coming from. They probably do feel a lot of guilt but bury it beneath denial. So, guilting others will just make them deny the reality more and more in order to cope. No one likes to feel attacked, especially if they already feel guilty. It just pushes them further and further away from ever considering your point of view. Some people even consume more animal products out of spite when they feel personally attacked by militant vegans, so militant veganism often does the exact opposite of what your good intentions are... It causes more animal suffering.
So, how do you get others to become vegan? Well, be gentle about it. I know how hard it can be at times, but it's usually the only way. You have to be understanding and break the myths and stereotypes of veganism. I suggest finding a way to naturally bring veganism up. Don't randomly start preaching about veganism as that will more than likely turn them off. Maybe if they're talking about trying new recipes, ask them if they've ever experimented with vegan recipes. Or if they bring up veganism on their own, that's a great way to start a conversation about veganism without being preachy. Or maybe cook them some food. Some vegan food. And tell them after they've tried it if they really liked it that it's vegan. See their reaction and go from there. Gently educate them that the myths of veganism aren't true. Give them some resources to back it up. Recommend books, movies, documentaries, or Hell, if they're a more factual person, send them studies. One important thing to keep in mind when talking to non-vegans about veganism is that people are usually put off by negativity. So, try to talk about veganism in a more positive light. Instead of lamenting the horrors of factory farms, talk about how good veganism is for animals, the environment, and your health. Be positive and they'll be drawn into what you're saying.
I'll finish this off by saying sometimes, militant veganism is the right answer. Only when animal abusers are involved. Then you should be as aggressive as possible. I'll talk more about this exception to militant veganism in the "Why You Should Support the Animal Liberation Front (ALF)".
Veganism is very stigmatized in general, but especially for men. While the gender roles surrounding women have greatly improved over time, the gender roles for men haven't. I understand how much abuse men are put through, all the things they're told they have to be. Eating meat, sadly, is considered "manly" and encouraged. Veganism is discouraged among men as it's seen as making you less masculine. But I'm here to say that's not true at all. And I'm sincerely sorry if you've been abused by society to the point you believe that. While I hate using the term "manly", as there's no definition on how a man should behave (a man is inherently manly/masculine no matter what they wear, like, or do because he's a man), I will tell you that by their definition of "manly", it's not even "manly." To society, being "manly" means being brave and confident. So, how is sticking to strict gender roles out of fear of being ridiculed manly at all? By that definition, it's not. By that definition, what's manly is being brave enough to destroy gender roles in a world that'll abuse you for breaking out of gender roles and doing what you believe is right. By that definition, not being afraid to show that you care and have emotions for non-human animals is the most manliest thing you can do. You'll never be less of a man for showing compassion. You are brave and strong and I'm proud of you.
Now, this isn't a debate, obviously, as I'm just writing here myself with no one to respond. That being said, here are some viewpoints/arguments related to veganism that I encourage non-vegans read and seriously consider. This can also be used by vegans as a source for good debate topics/points.
There is overwhelming evidence to support that non-human animals are sentient beings. If you don't think there's enough evidence for that yet (somehow... rather anti-science, in my opinion), does that mean we should kill them? Take this for example. I don't know if you, whoever is reading this, is sentient. I can't read your mind. I can't experience what you experience. You could not be sentient. Now, should I give you the benefit of the doubt? You'll probably say, "Yes," which I agree with. We both agree you shouldn't be murdered by me just because I don't believe you're sentient. So, why is that different for non-human animals? Think about this.
Most people love cats and dogs. Most people want one as a pet if they do not already have one. Most people think eating dog or cat meat is animal abuse. Most people would want to kill somebody for leaving a dog in a hot car. Why is eating other animal meat acceptable? Why is it acceptable to rape cows and steal their children, or to throw male baby chickens into a wood chipper? Why is that okay with you? There is absolutely no difference in the value of these animals. It's all about your perspective. It's about the culture you were raised in. In other places of the world, it's totally fine to eat dogs and cats. There is no "law" by "Mother Nature" that dictates cats and dogs are worth more respect than any other animal. You are biased and hypocritical. Think about this.
A common way to shut down vegans is by claiming they don't consider all sides and are biased. How does that make any sense? Most vegans were not born vegan. They know the non-vegan side just as much as any other non-vegan, if not more. They grew up constantly being exposed to the stigmatization of the vegan community and were misinformed by veganism myths that non-vegans perpetuate. They are shunned, disowned, and often verbally/emotionally abused by friends and family for even considering going vegan. And still, they were unbiased enough to learn about veganism. And after learning what they learnt, they became vegan. They changed. Vegans are less biased than non-vegans. Think about this.
This man is a bit different from your typical Vegan YouTuber. His cooking show is set in... a zombie apocalypse! Definitely a horror fan, he is. Alongside his cooking/recipe videos, he also reviews vegan products, has videos on vegan lifestyle on a budget, and some other stuff.