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Category : Veganism

What Is the Definition of a Vegan Diet? – LIVEKINDLY

Gone are the days when plant-based food meant bland salads and disappointing burgers, when vegan leather was just an oxymoron, and the closest thing you had to a vegan friend was the quirky, meat-free songstress Phoebe Buffay.

Now, veganism is everywhere. Burger King offers a Whopper with a vegan meat patty, Tesla cars come with cruelty-free leather, and when KFC UK launched a vegan chicken burger, it sold out in four days, performing 500 percent better than the average new product.

By now its likely you know a vegan, a vegetarian, or somebody whos trying to eat less meat. So what is the definition of a vegan diet? And why do people go vegan?

A vegan diet includes no animal products. Animal products can mean anything from meat (including fish), cheese, eggs, honey, and gelatin (a food ingredient obtained by boiling the skin, bones, or tendons of animals). If a food is made by or out of an animal, its not vegan.

A vegan diet, also known as a plant-based diet, can be rich in anything else fruit, vegetables, grains, nuts, and legumes. Dont be fooled; creatives in the culinary world use these ingredients to make everything from stretchy dairy-free cheese and vegan ice cream to meaty plant-based burgers. And you dont have to do the hard yards in the kitchen yourself (unless you want to). Most supermarkets stock a variety of vegan products and more and more major fast-food chains are jumping on the bandwagon to cater to the rising number of people eating animal-free.

More people are turning to plants for the good of their health. Health was the most popular motivator for the participants of this years Veganuary campaign, which sees people going vegan for the month of January. Forty-six percent of the 250,310 participants named health as their main reason for taking part.

A growing body of research is pointing to the harmful effect of meat, dairy, and eggs on the body. In 2015, the World Health Organization (WHO) named red meat a Group 2 carcinogen, meaning it is probably carcinogenic. WHO classified processed meat like bacon and pepperoni in the Group 1 category, signifying that it causes cancer in humans. Asbestos and tobacco smoking are in this category, too.

Meat consumption has also been linked to diabetes, liver disease, kidney disease, and arthritis.

While a meat-based diet could cause the onset of disease, research suggests eating plant-based could actually help you live longer. Vegan foods are rich in fiber, unlike animal products, which contain none. Researchers from the University of Otago studied the link between diet and disease earlier this year. Looking at data from 185 observational studies, they found that those who consume the most fiber are 15 to 30 percent less likely to die prematurely. They also discovered a 16 to 24 percent reduced incidence of type 2 diabetes, stroke, and colon cancer among those who follow fiber-rich diets.

Vegan foods also contain no cholesterol. Dietary cholesterol is only found in animal-based foods. High cholesterol can lead to plaque forming along the inside of the artery walls, causing the artery to narrow and blood flow to decrease. This raises the risk of stroke, peripheral artery disease, and heart disease. A study conducted by the Cleveland Clinic in 2018 suggested that red meat could increase the risk of heart disease 1,000 percent more than a plant-based diet.

A vegan diet is probably the single biggest way to reduce your impact on planet Earth, not just greenhouse gases, but global acidification, eutrophication, land use, and water use, Oxford University researcher Joseph Poore said in a statement last year.

Poore was the lead researcher on the worlds most comprehensive analysis of farmings impact on the planet. The analysis saw the researching team assessing the environmental impact of the 40 food products that make up 90 percent of the total food consumed around the world. To do this, they analyzed data from around 40,000 farms in 119 countries.

The study found that many environmental issues could be helped by reducing meat and dairy consumption. If those industries were removed, land use could be reduced by more than 75 percent. That would free up an area the size of the U.S., the European Union, China, and Australia combined all capable of feeding the worlds population.

Animal agriculture also uses vast amounts of water. Beefhas a particularly high water footprint at about 1,800 gallons per pound, while pork follows at 578 gallons and chicken with 468 gallons, says environment website Water Calculator. On average, the water footprint of a vegan or vegetarian is around half that of a meat-eater.

Animal-based food production is also linked to ocean dead zones, water pollution, deforestation, and species loss. Its a leading generator of greenhouse gas emissions, which drive climate change. Animal agriculture is responsible for more greenhouse gas emissions than the worlds entire transportation sector, a fact that prompted the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to name meat the worlds most urgent problem.

Our use of animals as a food-production technology has brought us to the verge of catastrophe,it added.

Global food-related emissions could drop by 70 percent before 2050 if the world went vegan, according to a study published today in the journal Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences in 2016.

A survey by Vomad asked nearly 13,000 participants why they went vegan. Most 68.1 percent named animal welfare as their main reason.

The decision to stop eating animal products helps some align their behavior with their beliefs. Many people would call themselves an animal lover. Forty-five percent of Brits have an animal living with them. Most (93 percent) pet owners claim that having a pet makes them happy and 88 percent say it improves their overall quality of life.

Social psychologist and author Dr. Melanie Joy has researched the concept of carnism, a set of beliefs that lead people to eat some animals but not others.

Joy believes that although most people do not want animals to suffer, social conditioning steers many toward animal-based diets. She claims that this can cause cognitive dissonance, mental discomfort experienced by those who hold contradictory beliefs.

To prevent this discomfort, people subconsciously shift their views on animals to see them as food rather than sentient beings. The meat industry does well to further this by marketing cow meat as beef, pig meat as bacon, and calf meat as veal.

Documentaries like Dominion uproot this way of thinking. The 2018 film uses hidden camera and aerial drone footage to expose the dark side of animal agriculture.

Many people subscribe to the belief that farm animals live out happy lives before being sent to slaughter. However, an analysis from the Sentience Institute found that approximately 99 percent of animals in the U.S. meat industry live on factory farms.

Factory farming, also called intensive animal farming, aims to maximize production. Some factory farms keep hens in cages the size of an A4 piece of paper. Others confine mother pigs to sow stalls so small that they cannot turn around. The industry permits workers to remove parts of animals bodies without pain relief; chicks have their beaks cut off and calves have their horns, tails, and testicles removed.

The meat, dairy, and egg industries also cut animals lives drastically shorter than their natural ones. The natural lifespan of a chicken is eight years. But chickens bred for meat are killed as early as six weeks old. Cows can live to be 20 or older. But those raised for meat are sent to slaughter at just 18 months old. Lambs are killed at six months even though many will naturally live to be 14 or older.

The Daily Mail called Dominion the scariest movie ever made. Many say they cant make it past the 10-minute mark due to the confronting nature of the footage. High Note Cafe in Idaho stopped serving animal products and went completely vegan after its manager watched just 15 minutes of Dominion.

Adopting a vegan diet also supports human rights issues.

Experts say we are growing enough food to feed 10 billion people. Yet almost 795 million or one in nine people suffer from chronic undernourishment. Between one-third and one-half of the worlds crops are fed to livestock. Eighty-two percent of starving children live in countries that grow crops for animals raised for Western consumption.

A study published by the National Academy of Sciences last year found that we could feed an additional 350 million people by swapping animal-based foods with vegan alternatives.


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What Is the Definition of a Vegan Diet?


What is the definition of a vegan diet? All your questions about meat, eggs, dairy, and even honey answered once and for all.


Jemima Webber

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What Is the Definition of a Vegan Diet? - LIVEKINDLY

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How to have a meat-free Thanksgiving: advice from vegans – Montreal Gazette

Vanessa Percher, head chef at Chef Veganessa, with her vegan Thanksgiving dish, lentil and mushroom loaf with roasted walnuts, miso gravy, roasted butternut squash mash, string beans and orange cranberry sauce in Beaconsfield on Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019.Dave Sidaway / jpg

This long weekend, you can give some turkeys something to be thankful for by trying a meat-free feast for Thanksgiving.

With the growth in popularity in veganism and vegetarian diets, it seems every family now has one or several members who have adopted meat-free eating, either for ethical reasons, health or environmental concerns.

Its not foreign anymore; were definitely in the age of plant-based food, said le-Perrot resident Vanessa Percher, the owner of Chef Veganessa.

Thanksgiving is a favourite time of year for Percher, and not only because she does brisk business selling vegan holiday meals, but because she loves preparing a traditional meal with all the trimmings.

Its my favourite dish, said Percher, who has been running the Beaconsfield-based meal delivery business for the last 10 years. Its a lentil loaf with nothing artificial. Its got brown rice, mushrooms and walnuts. Its a very savoury loaf, and it comes with roasted butternut squash mash. Its comfort food, whether youre (on a plant-based diet) or not.

Percher found out she had celiac disease about 10 years ago when working as a pastry chef at Bich restaurant, now known as Ristorante Beatrice. She adopted a vegan diet for health reasons around the same time and realized there was a need for healthy gluten-free and vegan meal options.

When I found out that I was not able to taste the food I was making, I had a problem, Percher said. I realized there was a rise in allergies, so I decided to focus on cooking for people who are limited in what they can eat.

Chef Veganessa delivers weekly gluten-free and vegan meals ready to reheat or freeze for later, it also has a small takeout counter at the storefront in Elm Plaza. Saturday was a busy day for Percher, delivering special holiday meals, as the store is closed Sundays and Mondays.

For those who are trying to cut back on meat, or hosting a vegetarian or vegan in their family for the first time, Percher recommends going to the organic section of a grocery store, or visiting a specialty grocery store to find plant-based alternatives to turkey. They include a Tofurky loaf, made with soy, or the Gardein Holiday Roast. Percher said cooking for vegetarians doesnt have to be overly complicated and can be as easy as buying vegetarian ground beef, which is available in most grocery stores and substituting that for the real thing.

The website of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals also has recipes and suggestions for meat-free products. They include ordering a vegan loaf from Rosemont-based Caf Dei Campi.

If youre going out for dinner, some popular vegan restaurants are Lov andLola Rosa. At Westmount and Mile End-based Aux Vivres, you can either dine in or you take home their products either from take-put counters attached to the restaurants or at partner distributors like Metro, IGA, Rachelle Bery and Tau grocery stores. Montreal-based Gusta also offers plant-based sausages and seitan loaves. It has a counter at the Jean-Talon Market and products available at many grocery stores and retailers throughout the country. For dessert, Sophie Sucre on Pins Ave. at the corner of De Bullion St., is another option. Its products are also available at cafs and restaurants throughout the region. On its fall manu, the bakery features a brown sugar spice cake with pumpkin icing, among other treats.

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How to have a meat-free Thanksgiving: advice from vegans - Montreal Gazette

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Vevolution Is the Must-Attend Vegan Festival of 2019 – LIVEKINDLY

The vegan movement is on fire. From soaring IPOs to vegan fried chicken launching at KFC, 2019 has seen some of the biggest mainstream breakthroughs in the plant-powered universe. And where better to celebrate those vegan wins than at the UKs leading vegan festival? Set to take place on Londons picturesque Southbank this November, Vevolution Festival will treat you to a day packed with inspirational and thought-provoking talks, workshops, and panels.

Speakers include pro skateboarder Kenny Anderson, Wicked Healthy co-founder Derek Sarno, LIVEKINDLY founder and CEO Jodi Monelle, and restaurateur Loui Blake.

We are so proud that Vevolution Festival has become a global event with attendees and speakers traveling from all over the world to be a part of it, the festivals co-founder Damien Clarkson told LIVEKINDLY. Together with Judy Nadel, Clarkson created Vevolution to push the vegan movement forward. It aims to raise awareness and educate the masses about veganism, creating free educational content for people around the world to access.

Vevolution supports vegan entrepreneurs, businesses, and hosts major events around the world, including its annual London festival. The event is sponsored by a number of vegan brands, including BOL, Follow Your Heart, Wuka, and Bute Island Foods. Environmental organization Greenpeace has also partnered with the festival, as has Animal Equality UK, and community kitchen Made in Hackney.Clarkson explained, when we started [Vevolution Festival] we didnt ever envision it would grow to be such a big global celebration of the plant-powered movement and positive change-makers. Each year, the festival gets bigger and better. This year, it will unveil a new Positive Futures stage.

We live in an economically, politically unstable time, said Clarkson. We think we are clearly seeing the very real impacts of man-made climate change on our planet. This stage will be discussing how we re-imagine and transform our food systems, our health, and creative positive change-making businesses.

Its been a huge year for vegan food; 2019 has seen major fast-food chains including Papa Johns, KFC, and Burger King add new animal-free options to their menus. But the biggest leap forward for the plant-based movement? Clarkson says its got to be the Beyond Meat IPO.Based in California, Beyond Meat has taken the world by storm with its vegan bleeding beef-like patties, which look, cook, and taste like their animal-based counterparts.

The burgers arent just kinder to the animals, but theyre good to the planet too. One Beyond Burger produces 90 percent fewer greenhouse gases than its beef equivalent.In May, it became the first-ever vegan brand to IPO. Initially, its value was $25 a share. By the end of its first day, its value was $65 a share. By June, it was valued at $99.9 a share. Its success has changed the future of food, says Clarkson. We speak to so many investors and big companies who are now waking up to the potential of the plant-based products to generate profit.

He added, the Beyond Meat IPO has led to so many more big companies, banks, and investors contacting us about the future of plant-based business and this is really exciting.

Positive change is happening around the world, and Vevolution will inspire you to get involved, says Clarkson. Even if youre planning on going solo, you wont be disappointed.

We always have people attend our festivals on their own, he said. Every year we hear stories of people who have made new friends and come away from Vevolution feeling like they are a part of how we are going to create a better world.He added, our ultimate wish is that attendees leave feeling positive about the future and the role they can play in transforming the planet and making it a better place to live.A renewed sense of hope and passion arent the only souvenirs attendees will take home. For every ticket purchased, guests will receive a goodie bag worth 25, packed full of the best new vegan products. If you want to go all-in, theres also the option of an Extra Entry Ticket. Youll get access to the festival, entry queue jump, and access to the venue 15 minutes before the doors open.

Youll also be able to access to breakfast 15 minutes before the doors open. Youll get a free lunch and a WIP goodie bag, packed with vegan products worth more than 45. But if youre not interested in filling up your home with new things you may not necessarily need, Vevolution understands. It is also offering the choice of a low impact ticket, which simply grants access to the festival alone.Free continental breakfast which includes muffins, fruit pots, and cookies will be on offer on a first-come, first-served basis, and free coffee will be available for all throughout the day.

For those there for the food (who isnt), Vevolution is offering the best vegan street food you can find in the country. The venues internal caterers Benugo have also cooked up a special plant-based menu for the occasion. Vevolution is for everyone, said Clarkson. It is a place to come and discuss the future of the plant-based economy, meet your new best friend, and hear a positive vision for the future.

Vevolution will take place on November 16 at BFI Southbank. To choose your ticket, click here.


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Vevolution Is the Must-Attend Vegan Festival of 2019


London's Vevolution festival will treat you to a day packed with vegan food, inspirational and thought-provoking talks, workshops, and panels.


Charlotte Pointing

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Vevolution Is the Must-Attend Vegan Festival of 2019 - LIVEKINDLY

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Movers & Thinkers: The Butcher, The Vegan Baker, The Potions Maker – WPLN

When we decide what to eat or drink, we're making choices that go beyond flavor. What we consume can be a tool for social change, a connection with generations past, and a major influence on our well-being.

In this lively episode, WPLN's Emily Siner talks to Chris Carter of Porter Road Butcher, Tiffany Hancock of The Southern V, and Leah Larabell of High Garden Tea three food entrepreneurs who are merging innovation and tradition. How did they start down the paths of local meat production, veganism and herbalism? And how do they navigate pushback from skeptical customers?

Support our podcasts by donating at and noting that you listen to Movers & Thinkers. Hear previous episodes of Movers & Thinkerson our website,Apple PodcastsorGoogle Play Music.

Leah Larabell grew up close to the land, and she began studying herbalism over a decade ago. She opened High Garden in East Nashville with her husband Joel in 2012. Through running the tea shop and offering classes, she is able to reintroduce many people to their forgotten green friends and a way of life full of joy, support and connection.Leah considers it her purpose to bring person and plant back together in the bonded relationship that it once was and can be.

Tiffany Hancock craved the flavors and seasonings from her past. She couldn't find them after she transitioned to veganism. But Tiffany loves a challenge, so she went to the kitchen and made magic. Now, you can find her sprinting back and forth, cooking and baking all the items for The Southern V in North Nashville. Her Southern take on vegan/plant-based dishes has provided many customers with a new perspective on the lifestyle, as well as given a nostalgic experience to longtime vegans.

Chris Carter made his entry into the restaurant industry as a busboy in high school and later studied culinary arts at Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Institute in Arizona. It was after culinary school, however, working at Flemings Steakhouse, where Chris came to appreciate high-quality meat and decided to create Porter Road Butcher. While not driving all over the region to pick up animals, processing and cutting meat in Princeton, Ky., or serving customers in the East Nashville shop, Chris enjoys going to a good concert, drinking several cold beers while fishing, roaming the aisles of Bass Pro Shop at Opry Mills and finding his center in a hot yoga class.

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Movers & Thinkers: The Butcher, The Vegan Baker, The Potions Maker - WPLN

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Love Earth Cafe: A new vegan eatery dedicated to healthy choices –

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- Love Earth gives a big, green hug to Staten Islanders, fresh on the food scene as the boroughs first and only dedicated vegan eatery.

Veganism is on the rise, said Danielle DiLillo with a broad smile. She owns the business along with Renee Raia and Anthony Gerardi.

Were just here to raise consciousness and awareness of high-vibration foods, said Di Lillo, over a mason jar of just-pressed, potent celery juice that the kitchen normally blends with lime. Its one of several Healing Nectars on the menu highlighted as Farmacy.

Love Earth, in Richmond Valley, also blends concoctions like Miracle Red Juice --- beets, carrots, apples, celery, limes and ginger -- and Anti Cancer elixir -- cucumber, celery, kale, spinach and lemons.

High-vibe foods are loaded with nutrients and very important ones that can heal physical and mental health, explained Di Lillo.

When you put dead animals in your body, youre legitimately killing your vibe, said Di Lillo. And out of respect for the Mother Earth, the business uses no plastic.

Love Earth vows a brand of bakery thats gluten-free, peanut-free, soy-free, dairy-free and egg-free. Food is baked, not fried. Cupcakes, chocolate chip cookies, muffins and cookie dough balls, part of its initial line of sweets, use organic sugar. Regular sugar, Di Lillo pointed out, uses animal bone char in the processing, which gives the granules their clean, white color.

Sugar is so bad for you. Here we do all these allergen-friendly desserts but what Im looking to do next is to bake everything with coconut sugar, said Di Lillo.

Although considered healthy, Raia said that food is not prepared with honey. It just is too controversial of a food among vegans, as the insects can be compromised and exploited by human harvesting. So the restaurant avoids using it.

(Staten Island Advance/Pamela Si

Burgers are made with veggies like spinach and artichoke. Earth Love Cafe is a vegan-friendly restaurant that caters to various diet regimens because they use no animal products like dairy and eggs. (Staten Island Advance/Pamela Silvestri)

Also on the menu are five salads with various beds of greens and house versions dubbed Loving Kale, Love Spinach Salad and the Love Salad, the most basic with greens, cucumbers, red onions, olives and tomatoes with a roasted pepper vinaigrette.

Veggie-based burgers come on a bun (not gluten-free) with chips and a tussle of lettuce. Patties are made from portobello mushrooms, pea protein, chickpeas, black beans and sweet potato. An artichoke-spinach version is blended to toothsomeness with gluten-free flour, rice and nutritional yeast. It comes with a tomato and creamy pesto, one of Di Lillos signature sauces.

Soups on this inaugural menu include Coconut Thai Butter Bean, Vegetable Minestrone with red beans and Santa Fe, a chunky brew of garlic, onions, bell peppers, beans, sweet potato, cilantro and Ayurvedic spices.

(Staten Island Advance/Pamela Si

The kitchen crew (Staten Island Advance/Pamela Silvestri)

There are veggie-centric sandwiches like the eggplant-driven ELT and apps like the fiery Buffalo Cauliflower, hummus and guacamole with chips. Raia is a two-time Staten Island Advance Cookbook and one of her award-winning dishes lands on this menu -- the mojito bean and plantain salsa served with tortilla chips.

Di Lillo and Raia are passionate about their vegan lifestyle.

Di Lillo introduced a vegan and Paleo-diet menu at a former venture, the now-closed Dominicks Bakery. Raia has self-published a book in 2017 on the subject, Heal the Planet. Heal Your Soul: Awaken Through Veganism." The restaurant has been years in the works. Di Lillo admitted it was hard to find investors who believed in the project. But Gerardi understood what the pair was trying to do. And the concept hit home since his son suffers from severe food allergies.

Love Earth will roll out cooking classes, yoga and Broga, a yoga tailored for men.

We have a space downstairs for anyone who wants to help humanity on a collective scale, said Di Lillo.

There are so so so many benefits when you eat from the sun and from our mother, she emphasized, adding, Love earth! Love your mamma!

Love Earth is located at 4916 Arthur Kill Rd., Richmond Valley; 646-960-6411. In the works is the website The cafe is kosher certified.

(Staten Island Advance/Pamela Si

Burgers are made with pea protein, mushrooms, black beans, sweet potato or artichoke and spinach. (Staten Island Advance/Pamela Silvestri)

(Staten Island Advance/Pamela Si

Celery juice with or without lime (Staten Island Advance/Pamela Silvestri)

(Staten Island Advance/Pamela Si

Roasted red pepper pesto can to burgers (Staten Island Advance/Pamela Silvestri)

(Staten Island Advance/Pamela Si

A chandelier at the front of Earth Love (Staten Island Advance/Pamela Silvestri)

(Staten Island Advance/Pamela Si

Some of the greens in the decor (Staten Island Advance/Pamela Silvestri)

(Staten Island Advance/Pamela Si

The dining room features sit-down service (Staten Island Advance/Pamela Silvestri)

(Staten Island Advance/Pamela Si

Cookie dough balls and chocolate chip cookies (Staten Island Advance/Pamela Silvestri)

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Love Earth Cafe: A new vegan eatery dedicated to healthy choices -

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Vegan Cafe Ready to Open in Wilkes-Barre – WNEP Scranton/Wilkes-Barre

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WILKES-BARRE, Pa. -- Dairy-free pizza, meatless burgers, and veggie buffalo wings are just some of the offerings at a new vegan restaurant that opens Tuesday in Wilkes-Barre.

Eden A Vegan Caf opens this week on South Main Street in downtown Wilkes-Barre and the owner tells us it's not like your typical vegan restaurant.

"We take traditional comfort foods that people already love and we veganize them, so we just use different proteins, so instead of animal products and dairy and eggs, we use proteins like soy, wheat, pea protein, and we make burgers and pizza and wraps and wings," Christian Pilosi explained.

"It's such a big trend right now," said employee Emily Brodhead. "A lot of people are into the whole veganism thing. A lot of people don't understand what it is, so it gives people a really prime opportunity to come in here and eat their everyday foods that they would usually get anywhere else to have it here."

Pilosi has had a location in downtown Scranton for more than a decade. He says he's thrilled to bring this option to people in Wilkes-Barre and excited to be so close to Wilkes University.

"It's all student apartments on the second and third floor. There's student apartments behind us, and they just wanted one storefront. They talked to a few people and they chose us and we couldn't be happier about it," Pilosi said.

Students at Wilkes University tell Newswatch 16 they think new restaurants and new businesses opening up nearby adds flavor to life on campus.

"I think it's a great opportunity. Obviously, it's a little bit more of a condensed campus and it's smaller, so it allows the students to go off and have more opportunities to enjoy different cuisine and enjoy different things to entertain themselves, so I think it's just one of those things to make their college experience more enjoyable," senior Eric Beideman said.

"I think that there's going to be a lot of people that come in just to see what it is, just to get the experience and kind of test their curiosity. I think we're going to get a lot of people really hooked on it. I think it's going to be a really, really, really busy day, a busy week, and just a busy future for us at Eden," Brodhead added.

Eden A Vegan Cafe opens Tuesday at 11:30 a.m. on South Main Street in Wilkes-Barre.


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Vegan Cafe Ready to Open in Wilkes-Barre - WNEP Scranton/Wilkes-Barre

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The unstoppable rise of veganism: how a fringe movement went …

Late on a Thursday afternoon in early March, just off Brick Lane in the heart of Londons nightlife hotspot Shoreditch, 23-year-old Louisa Davidson is taking calls and co-ordinating cables and scaffolds, as shocking pink Vegan Nights banners are hung around the expansive courtyards of the Truman Brewery. There is a chill in the air, quickly warmed by a buzzing atmosphere more like a music festival than an ethical food fair, as BBC Radio 1Xtra and House of Camden DJs play records, cocktails are poured and entrepreneurs sell zines and street wear alongside the vegan sushi, patisserie and filthy vegan junk food.

Davidson had been running weekend markets at the venue when she noticed a sharp increase in the number of vegan food businesses and vegan menus on offer. So last September, with her colleagues, she decided to put on a one-off vegan night market, with music, drinks and food. On the day there were queues around the corner, she says. We were not prepared for it at all! There was so much interest that by Christmas we decided to make it a monthly thing. Its all happened very quickly. Inspired by its success, and the traders she was working with, Davidson switched from vegetarian to a vegan diet in January.

Were riding on that wave of veganism getting into the mainstream, Davidson says. People are curious about it and theyre finding out that vegan food is not just a boring salad, its experimental, and the food traders are amazing people can have a drink, listen to music and hang out. First and foremost, we want to offer a positive platform, whether youve never had a fried jackfruit before or youre a longstanding vegan. Many of the traders are new to it as well, with a couple of them having launched their businesses at Vegan Nights. It is a community and everyone supports each others businesses. Its great to be a part of it.


Rise in the number of vegans in Britain from 2006-2016; 542,000 people said they were vegans in 2016.


Veganuary 2018 participants, of which 60% were under 35, up from 3,300 on its 2014 launch.


Increase in vegan products launched in the UK between 2012 and 2016.


The year the term vegan was coined by woodwork teacher Donald Watson. Rejected words include dairyban, vitan and benevore.


Percentage of under-35s who have tried a vegan diet.

Veganism might have recently acquired a hipster cache at buzzy London events such as Vegan Nights and the weekly Hackney Downs market established by influential blogger Sean OCallaghan, AKA the Fat Gay Vegan, but its surging popularity is a national phenomenon, with plant-based food festivals and businesses booming from Bristol to Inverness.

The high street is adapting with incredible speed. Big chains such as Marks & Spencer and Pret a Manger have introduced vegan ranges, Wagamama has a new vegan menu, Pizza Hut recently joined Pizza Express and Zizzi in offering vegan pizzas, while last year Guinness went vegan and stopped using fish bladders in its brewing process, after two and a half centuries. Scrolling through Twitters popular #veganhour (an hour of online recipes and ideas running 7-8pm every Tuesday, and trending at number seven nationally when I looked), alongside less surprising corporate interventions from Holland & Barrett and Heavenly Organics is a tweet from Toby Carvery, trumpeting its vegan cherry and chocolate torte. Sainsburys and Tesco have introduced extended new ranges of vegan products, while the latter recently appointed American chef Derek Sarno to the impressive job title of director of plant-based innovation.

If this is the year of mainstream veganism, as every trend forecaster and market analyst seems to agree, then there is not one single cause, but a perfect plant-based storm of factors. People cite one or more of three key motives for going vegan animal welfare, environmental concerns and personal health and it is being accompanied by an endless array of new business startups, cookbooks, YouTube channels, trendy events and polemical documentaries. The traditional food industry is desperately trying to catch up with the flourishing grassroots demand. What do you mean, weak, limp and weedy? In 2017, the vegan category is robust, energetic, and flush with crowdfunding cash, ran an article headlined Vegan Nation in industry bible the Grocer in November, pointing to new plant-based burger company Vurger, which hit its 150,000 investment target in little more than 24 hours.

The rapid explosion of the annual Veganuary campaign, in which curious omnivores and vegetarians sign up to try out veganism for a month and are then plied with recipes and other advice, shows how fast veganism is growing. (The choice of January is significant, given the resonances of fresh starts, good intentions and post-Christmas diets.) Veganuary was launched in 2014, with 3,300 people signing up; by 2016, there were 23,000 participants, then 59,500 in 2017, and a staggering 168,000 this year and these are just the numbers that signed up officially online. Notably, 84% of this years registered participants were female, while 60% were aged under 35. Showbiz magazines and websites are full of lists of fully vegan celebrities Ellie Goulding, Natalie Portman, Ariana Grande, Woody Harrelson, JME, Ellen DeGeneres, Liam Hemsworth; we could go on all of them making Beyonc and Jay-Z look a bit wet, having tried a vegan diet for just 22 days.

A weekend outing to Blackpool in 2018 offers much of what it always did: seagulls, slot machines, big-screen sport, family meal deals, traditional fish and chips, pirate rides, poncho vendors, palm-readers and pound shops. But there are other, newer diversions, too. On a grey Saturday morning in low season, at St Thomas church, north of the city centre, the Blackpool Vegan and Green festival is humming with people. Something of the churchs evangelical spirit is alive here, too.

Were in a non-vegan world, says volunteer Elizabeth King, delivering her 10 steps to going vegan talk in a back-room. But things are changing rapidly and if youre trying to go vegan, youre a pioneer. She talks about shopping challenges and getting around social stigma, meal-planning and vitamin supplements, how to make holidays and dining out easier, how to check labels and online resources and the group of new vegans and could-be-vegans asks keen questions and shares local tips. People have an assumption you live off lettuce, dont they? But thats changing.

With almond milk and vegan ranges now available in supermarkets, its a testament to soaring public curiosity that people are being drawn to once specialist events in such numbers. Its jam-packed isnt it! says Michelle Makita, with a laugh, from the Little Blue Hen vegan soap stall. Over the course of the day, hundreds of people stream in; visitors from across Blackpool, the north-west, even Spain. There is an African superfoods stand, a Glaswegian jerk pie company, Turkish gzleme flatbreads, cakes, curries, wraps, sushi, vegan candles, vegan pet food, shlocky T-shirts and accessories (Zombies eat flesh, go vegan). Darting around in a high-vis jacket, organiser Roddy Hanson squeezes past the prams, teenagers, bearded veterans in earth-tone baja tops, normies and newbies.

Grabbing some air and calm when the lunch rush has finally subsided (at about 4pm), Hanson is a mine of information about vegan history and culture and has seen a tightly bound, activism-driven outsider community become an accepted phenomenon in a matter of a few years. When I went vegan in the 1980s, it was primarily two groups: hippies and punks. Some people who come to our events think its going to be wall-to-wall people with pink hair and piercings, but the whole culture has changed its a very broad crosssection.

He has been vegan for 30 years, a veteran of animal rights activism, but this convivial, family-day-out approach to winning converts is more his speed. Ive never been the sort of person who wants to stand outside fur shops and get into arguments with people. Its more positive this way and you can choose to engage with it if you want, rather than be confrontational. Ive been involved in anti-circus demos where fights have broken out with some of the protesters and the circus staff; that kind of thing was a lot bigger in the 80s. Now its based around vegan groups and fairs, which didnt really exist then.

Last summer, Paul White opened Faringos, the first vegan restaurant in Blackpool. Only a year ago, he was an omnivore, running a hotel with an Italian steakhouse attached in which he was also head chef. One weekend, they had a vegan guest staying, which prompted lots of lengthy conversations about veganism and he decided to try running a small vegan menu alongside the existing one. Within two weeks, we had more people eating vegan food than anything else, he recalls. What surprised us was people were coming from all over Blackpool. There were hidden vegans in Blackpool who were struggling in silence! That was June last year and at that point we decided to turn the restaurant 100% vegan and it just exploded on Facebook. I went vegan as well, as head chef, and I feel better for it. We have such a wide range of people coming in: well have a table of six people who are protesters from an anti-fracking demonstration [Preston New Road fracking site is just three miles away], sat next to a table of two people who are multimillionaires, sat next to international rugby players.

Whereas before, veganism may have been viewed like you were giving up something, now its been reframed as what you gain

Theres been a knock-on effect to their success, he says, with numerous other restaurants in the city beginning to offer vegan options on their menus and White is preparing to open the first vegan food shop in Blackpool, too. One of the main drivers, he says, is the critical mass of information available online, both motivating people to change in the first place and making it easier than ever to do so. When people see documentaries like Cowspiracy, one is enough. The fact social media is as big as it is now, it spreads things so much faster. I think thats why its mushrooming right now. And it is mushrooming.

In May 2016, the Vegan Society commissioned Ipsos Mori to poll 10,000 people on their dietary habits and found that Britains vegan population had increased from 150,000 to 542,000 in the space of a decade (alongside a vegetarian population of 1.14 million). Of those, 63% were female and, significantly for veganisms future growth, almost half were in the 15-34 age category. What is astonishing is that the pace of change in the two years since the survey was carried out has been seemingly exponential it seems plausible to speculate the number may have doubled again in that time.

Tim Barford, manager of Europes largest vegan events company, VegfestUK, has been vegan for three decades and points to the deeper roots of this recent explosion of interest. There is a big plant-based shift culturally, he says, a systemic change in the way that were approaching food and the way that we feed ourselves. Remember that successive governments over 15 years have been ploughing money into persuading people to eat more fruit and vegetables, with the five-a-day campaign. Then youve got a real cultural change among millennials, which is very much built around justice and the way we look at animals.

He also points to a new non-violent breed of millennial activist, such as James Aspey, who took a years vow of silence to raise awareness of animal rights issues. Thirty years ago, it was more balaclavas and intimidation, almost verging on terrorist activities. This new breed are not playing up to that stereotype they recognise the danger of it. Theres a real understanding and compassion among todays activists. Im a bit older and that wasnt there in the radical 70s and 80s, with the punk rock, fuck you kind of attitude its now more reflective and therefore more effective.

That less aggressive approach is winning a lot of new converts, but for veterans such as Barford its still an evangelical movement with an irreducible political message. Our challenge with VegFest is to combine the feelgood factor, the fun and sociable atmosphere, with quite a strong moral and ethical standpoint. We want to attract people in without putting them off, but then once weve got them in, we dont want them to walk away thinking this is just a health fad, just food and shopping and entertainment.

He thinks the rise of Jeremy Corbyn a vegetarian of almost 50 years, who has recently spoken about his admiration for his vegan friends has helped fuel a definite appetite for justice. Justice is no longer a dirty word, people can have a conversation about justice for the 70bn animals killed for food, without being shot down and screamed at as a radical extremist and I think Corbyn has helped a bit, with the way hes won over a bit of the middle ground.

One influential factor that comes up regularly when talking to new vegan converts is a series of polemical online documentaries, or advocacy films, many of them on streaming services such as Netflix, documenting the damage animal agriculture does to the environment, or meat-eating does to human health, or exposing gory scenes in slaughterhouses and factory farms. In Blackpool, Michelle Makita tells me the 2005 film Earthlings, with its harrowing, hidden-camera footage of animal suffering, was the epiphany that led her to switch to veganism. I think I cried for about three days I was hysterical, she says. The thriving sub-genres titles tell their story in microcosm: Vegucated, Planeat, Forks Over Knives, Live and Let Live, Peaceable Kingdom. A common trope among recent converts is that the revelations about the brutality of the meat, dairy and egg industries were hidden from view, until these documentaries exposed them.

The genres influential break-out hit was the 2014 documentary Cowspiracy, which looks at the environmental impact of animal agriculture, its contribution to greenhouse gas emissions, deforestation and excessive water use. It is a film about climate crisis in the first place, which argues that meat and dairy farming is the hidden evil responsible for a dying planet. Made by Californian documentary-makers Keegan Kuhn and Kip Andersen, amiable frontman Andersen tells the story of how Al Gores film An Inconvenient Truth changed his life as a young man (It scared the emojis out of me) and committed him to an environmentally conscious lifestyle. With Kuhn, he has now no doubt changed the lives of countless others by persuading them that turning off the taps, cycling everywhere and home composting is not enough: that worldwide conversion to veganism is the only possible way to save the planet.

Cowspiracys marketing strapline claims it is the film environmental organisations dont want you to see. The alleged conspiracy of the title is that environmental groups such as Greenpeace, Sierra Club and the Rainforest Action Network are focusing all their efforts on fossil fuels and renewable energy, while ignoring the real threat from livestock farming. The evasiveness of their spokespeople on camera is often embarrassing, although perhaps the reason these NGOs wouldnt want people building their politics around the film is its fast-and-loose use of highly questionable statistics. The original version of the film claimed 51% of global greenhouse gases were produced by animal agriculture, based on a single, non-peer-reviewed academic paper the scientific consensus is closer to 15%. Dont use the 51% figure. Please. Youre making us all look bad, vegan author Danny Chivers wrote in the New Internationalist. If you want more people to understand that animal agriculture is a significant part of the climate change picture, bear in mind that there are lots of good reasons why many people are focusing on the fossil fuel industry and its not an either/or issue.

For the version that premiered on Netflix in 2015, Andersen and Kuhn changed the figure and Leonardo DiCaprio came onboard as executive producer. Since then, they have made an equally hard-hitting follow-up, What the Health, which looked at the effect of meat and dairy on human diseases. While their films have been controversial (registered dietician and vegan Virginia Messina called What the Health junk science), their impact as polemicists is undeniable in a world where different strategies of evangelism are always being debated. Cowspiracys original crowdfunding pitch speaks volumes about its appeal: Together, we arent just creating a movie, we are creating a movement.

Of course, the vegan movement already existed, but Cowspiracys success reflects a new emphasis on animal agriculture, in particular cattle farming, in the context of the deepening climate crisis. Critical in this refocusing from animal welfare as the primary motive for veganism was a 2006 report produced by the UN, Livestocks Long Shadow, which described the livestock sector as one of the most significant contributors to environmental degradation, both globally and locally. A follow-up UN report in 2010 warned that rising meat and dairy consumption, and a global population predicted to be 9.1 billion by 2050, meant a shift towards veganism was vital to save the world from climate catastrophe and food shortages. Overall, agriculture accounts for 70% of global freshwater consumption, 38% of total land use and 19% of the worlds greenhouse gas emissions; within this, the footprint of meat and dairy production is heavily disproportionate.

Oxford academic Dr Marco Springmann has attempted to model what a vegan planet would look like, especially as climate change, food shortages and population growth intensify. He projected that were the world to adopt a vegan diet by 2050, the global economy would benefit to the tune of $1.1tn savings in healthcare costs and environmental savings of $0.5tn and a cut in greenhouse gas emissions by two-thirds. Its quite hard to argue with numbers that speculative especially when one is not a fellow of the Oxford Martin Programme on the Future Of Food but what is certain is that the makers of Cowspiracy were right in their general argument, if not some of the key specifics.

Our motivation was that animal agriculture was so under-discussed, says Kuhn. We really felt promoting a plant-based lifestyle had to be at the forefront of the environmental movement and environmental veganism had to be a movement in itself, versus animal rights or health.

The speed of change they have witnessed since then has been exhilarating even in just four years. Information can pass so freely and easily now, Anderson says. It was only a matter of time before the truth about animal agriculture was revealed. Its not in your face like racism or sexism its deeply ingrained in our culture, and financially ingrained, but now that its revealed, people just dont want to be a part of that horrific industry. Its like a weight off their shoulders; getting clean of the lies and the destruction.

People feel empowered, it doesnt feel like a sacrifice. Thats a huge shift. Whereas before, veganism may have been viewed like you were giving up something, now its been reframed as what you gain: you gain health, you gain a greater sense of living in bounds with your values, you gain all the environmental benefits.

One can become vegan in stages there are no rules and you are only answerable to your own conscience

Kuhn says that consumer pressure from below will create a domino effect. These corporations are just going to follow the dollar, and follow consumer demand, which hopefully will force them to switch to sustainable, plant-based agriculture. The next step, he says, is to push governments to abandon tax breaks and subsidies to animal farmers. They are keeping the advocacy-via-documentary ball rolling. Currently in production are Seaspiracy, which focuses on the oceans and the myth of sustainable fishing, and Running for Good, a sports documentary following British marathon runner Fiona Oakes, to break the stereotypes that veganism holds you back from any kind of athletics.

Rapidly growing consumer awareness and changing eating habits have combined with a dawning realisation about the extent of the sustainability crisis to send shockwaves through the food production industries. With broad agreement that the future of animal agriculture has to change, the big money investors are moving quickly. Richard Branson announced last year that he was investing in a startup called Memphis Meats, which is developing lab-grown meat from animal cells as an alternative to animal agriculture, sometimes called clean meat. In 30 years or so, I believe we will be shocked [that] we killed animals en masse for food, he wrote. Tyson Foods, one of the biggest meat businesses in the world, has recently invested, joining the likes of Bill Gates and Cargill, the second-largest beef producer in the world. Its no surprise that the meat and dairy substitutes industry is predicted to be worth $40bn by 2020.

The executive vice president at Tyson, Justin Whitmore, made a telling comment in explaining the companys diversification in the face of a looming crisis of sustainability. We dont want to be disrupted, he said in February. We want to be part of the disruption. While clean meat is not vegan, by definition, it is a parallel response to the same problem and is accompanied by the soaring popularity of alternative vegan proteins such as tempeh, amaranth, seitan and nutritional yeast.

Even within the hard-headed world of big capital, there are serious manoeuvres afoot to push food production away from meat and dairy. In 2016, a group called Fairr (Farm Animal Investment Risk & Return) co-ordinated a group of 40 large institutional investment funds, including Swedish state pension funds, worth $1.25tn (almost 900bn) publicly to urge major food producers and retailers such as Kraft Heinz, Nestl, Unilever, Tesco and Walmart to develop alternative, plant-based sources.

Theres growing investor support, says Rosie Wardle, who worked on the project for Fairr. Across the board now, market research firms, food analysts, industry commentators, theyre all talking about alternative proteins and flexitarian diets theyre the key food trends for this year. The risks around intensive livestock production are becoming harder to ignore and people recognise that is going to impact business as usual.

Fairrs latest report, Plant-Based Profits, points to the rise of flexitarian diets among young adults who may not be full-time vegans. Fairrs head of research, Aarti Ramachandran, sees the industry moving only in one direction. Companies are investing in a lot of research and development because they know that todays millennials are tomorrows consumers and theyre going to be setting the stage in terms of future growth prospects. Thats a key point that our investors are interested in: this is a market thats not going to go away. Plant-based diets arent a trend or a fad; we see this very much being the basis of consumer growth.

The business world seems to agree. In the last few months, you can scarcely move on for articles with headlines such as Heres Why You Should Turn Your Business Vegan In 2018. With this kind of money swirling around, and a combination of hipster entrepreneurs, hedge funds and major supermarket chains defining veganism in 2018, its easy to see why some vegans feel that the movements traditional association with anti-capitalism is a position rapidly disappearing in a fog of marketing hype. Popular, youth-orientated vegan cookery startups such as Bosh.TV, which scored 1m followers on Facebook within a year of launching, as well as a Bosh! book deal, define the new spirit of veganism as a lifestyle, rather than the cornerstone of a political worldview. Just three years ago, we werent even vegan ourselves, wrote cheerful founders Henry Firth and Ian Theasby, recalling late-night kebabs on the way home from the pub. Back then, the V word had a touch of anger associated with it; it was loaded with political and ethical connotations.

The promotion of a flexitarian approach of reducing the use of animal products, without cutting them out altogether, has raised hackles among some activists. In 2014, the Vegan Society rebranded with a love vegan campaign to mark its 70th anniversary, which proposed a few small changes if full veganism seemed a step too far. This prompted a backlash among some animal rights activists and claims that the organisation was more interested in being a marketing body for vegan businesses than an ethically driven campaign group. Is veganism no more than a capitalist lifestyle choice? ran a rhetorical question on the Red Black Green blog. Veganism was for a long time associated with the counter-culture and seen as difficult, wrote Vegan Society CEO, Jasmijn de Boo, in 2013. She spoke of softening the movements image: One can become vegan in stages there are no rules and you are only answerable to your own conscience.

Veganisms mainstream rise has certainly benefited from this conscious rebranding: for better or worse, it is much cooler than it used to be. Its a lifestyle, a community, a culture, an ever-expanding club where the only price of entry is being mindful and making a positive change, goes the motto of the Young Vegans pie and mash shop in north London. Social media has spread the word with incredible speed, via Twitter hashtags, thriving wellness and cookery YouTube vloggers and Instagram influencers. Its not just the obvious clean-eating celebrities and channels that have taken up the subject: even Unilad, a site not exactly known as a bastion of compassion and political sensitivity, commissioned a powerful 20-minute documentary, Meat the End, about the horror and abuse of animal agriculture.

With a seemingly growing number of young people trying out vegan diets for personal health reasons (39% of the generally young, generally female Veganuary participants cited this as their motive), and its association with often controversial social media influencers, concerns have been raised that veganism provides a socially acceptable cover for disordered eating. Are you depriving yourself or finding plant-based alternatives? This is where a lot of my problems lay, wrote Lila Flint Roberts in an open letter on the Not Plant-Based blog. I was just another individual who turned veganism into an eating disorder.

British Dietetic Association spokeswoman and registered dietician Linia Patel is more than familiar with the problem. We do see this. Its very easy for people who have problems with disordered eating to take on veganism as a mask for something deeper thats going on, because its cutting out huge food groups and for them its a way to control their diet thats socially acceptable.

At the moment, its so faddy, and there are Instagram influencers who are becoming vegan, and maybe it works for them, in their specific scenarios. The key point is always individualisation and research to know why youre doing it and how to do it properly, rather than just jumping on a trend. People can run the risk of being deficient in b12, even protein and iron. She is keen to point out though that, done correctly, going vegan can be very good for health.

With a potential post-Brexit trade deal with the US threatening to flood the British market with farming practices currently prohibited in the UK by EU regulations chlorinated chicken, beef with growth hormones and bacon with banned additives the appeal of a plant-based diet could get another substantial spike in the near future. With or without such a trigger, a major shift in the way British people think about the food they eat and how it is produced is underway driven by an increasingly networked, savvy millennial generation who realise that the certainties of the world they are growing up in are deteriorating fast. Veganism is no longer niche or difficult and, as industrial agriculture bends to adapt to consumer demand and its own crisis of sustainability, it is only going to get more accessible and more popular.

Kishani Widyaratna, 32: My veganism fits in with the rest of my politics, which are very left-leaningWorks in publishing and runs the Tinie Tempeh vegan Instagram account

Ive been vegan 10 years. In 2008, Jamie Oliver made a TV show, Jamies Fowl Dinners, going behind the scenes of egg and chicken farming, and he showed male chicks that are useless for the egg industry being suffocated in a Perspex, oxygen-deprived box, live on television. It sounds like Black Mirror but it happened. Id been vegetarian since I was 13 and seeing that pushed me to look into how dairy and eggs are farmed on an industrial scale; it went from there. Its an extension of the basis of my vegetarianism: I didnt want to kill anything to live.

Ive always loved food and cooked from a broad range of cuisines. My heritage is Sri Lankan and food and eating are important elements of that. Starting my Tinie Tempeh Instagram, I wanted to do something that would encourage me to cook, but also I wanted to create something fun and positive. So hopefully you can look at my feed and see the variety in what I eat as an enthusiastic home cook with a big appetite. I wanted to help show how easy it has become [to be vegan]. The transparency of social media means its not so much of a leap of imagination for people any more.

A significant part of vegan Instagram has these unhealthy trappings of being super body-conscious and clean eating-focused: there are a lot of thin, lean, white bodies and, frustratingly, you dont have as high a visibility for the vegans who are people of colour or queer or fat or eating whatever they want. But things are slowly changing, with the vegan junk food movement for example and Im glad to add to the visible women of colour in that space.

Im also inspired by people such as Ruby Tandoh and Bethany Rutter and their desire to liberate our personal relationships to food and the body, so I wanted to showcase vegan food that was about enjoyment without shame. Ive also made a group of vegan friends through Instagram and Ive learned so much about places to eat, things that I can cook; its educational, too.

My veganism fits in with the rest of my politics, which are very left-leaning, informed by an intersectional feminist approach and also Im a person of colour moving through the world. So while I am passionate about animal welfare and the environment, there are other struggles that are equally important to me and each feeds into the other.

Jamie Kidd, 35: Glasgow is a great place to be vegan. Theres a real communityFounder, Cool Jerk Vegan Pies, Glasgow

I run a vegan scotch pie business. I always had a passion for food and being from Dundee, which is pie country in Scotland, I felt inspired and thought no one else was doing it. I started two and a half years ago and the response was great; we couldnt keep up with demand to begin with. The biggest seller here is the macaro-nae cheese pie because macaroni pies are a bit of a Scottish delicacy. I travel all around Scotland and north England, sometimes as far as Brighton and London to do vegan festivals. The haggis and mash always seems to do really well when I go down to England, maybe because haggis is seen as slightly exotic. Im really into Glasgows music scene and Im lucky that Ive got to sell pies to some of my musical heroes, such as Stuart Braithwaite from Mogwai, a couple of guys from Belle and Sebastian; Field Music seem to be particular fans.

Ive been vegan for five years and I was vegetarian for five years before that. I didnt really see the difference between being vegetarian and being a meat-eater, because youre still contributing towards animal suffering. I found it relatively easy to switch because I live in Glasgow, which is a great place to be vegan. There are a couple of long-term established vegan restaurants here and in the last few years at least half-a-dozen new vegan places have opened I think in total weve got about 12 now. A new one just opened last week.

The venues have been really supportive of vegan market stalls and startups such as mine. Theres a bar-restaurant venue called the Flying Duck that has a monthly vegan market and its free for the stallholders, which is great. Theres a real sense of community we all help each other out and share ideas. We dont see each other as being rival businesses; the ultimate aim is to grow the vegan movement.

Samantha Reidy, 27: I pretty much went vegan overnight after binge-watching Netflix documentariesArtist, Cleveleys, Lancashire

Ive been vegan for two years. Prior to that I wasnt even vegetarian but I spent one weekend binge-watching all the documentaries on Netflix Cowspiracy, Forks Over Knives and Earthlings and I pretty much went vegan overnight. I was really shocked by them and I thought: I cant eat meat any more, I cant eat dairy any more.

I found the transition really easy. There are a lot of foods that are accidentally vegan and there are so many alternatives now it doesnt have to be expensive. Even in quite a small town we have a massive Free From section in the supermarkets.

I watched a lot of vegan vloggers as well. I think YouTubes becoming bigger than TV and a lot of people my age watch that instead. It seems more genuine because its not edited by corporations; its done by somebody in their bedroom with a camera and you can relate to that person better.

I joined the Vegan Society as soon as I went vegan. I really like their magazine and they have loads of information. Then they asked me if I would like to be a representative for them. As an artist, I make some vegan stickers and badges it seems like a good way to express your beliefs. I also own a lot of vegan tote bags and I always use them when I go shopping; its a bit of subtle campaigning. Veganism is a community and its growing. Hopefully one day it wont be a community, it will be everyone.

Dan Strettle, 66: There is a domino effect within families parents are listening to their childrenOwner, Alternative Stores, Newcastle upon Tyne

I was in sixth-form at school, and I was anti-vivisection, and this lad in my class says: If you dont believe in experimenting on live animals, why do you eat them? So I thought about it, woke up the next morning and said: Im going vegetarian. But my concept of vegetarian was veganism; I didnt realise there was a halfway stage. I was fully vegan by 1969 next February it will be 50 years. Ive never felt better.

When I changed, they said: Oh, its a fad, give him six weeks, we dont even know any vegetarians, let alone vegans hes one of these hippies, I mean look at his hair. For school lunches I took in something called Nutmeat. It comes in a tin its nuts and flour, combined to make what looks like luncheon meat, and you slide it out of the tin, cut it into slices. You had to go to a health food shop and there was one called Milburns in Newcastle; we used to go there every week.

Theres a bunch of vegan places in Newcastle now; were catching up with Berlin thats the leader. Vegans have never had it so easy! I run a vegan shop. We have a little bit of opposition from the supermarkets now, but were all right because people go in the supermarkets, see theres one flavour of vegan cheese and then they come to my shop and see theres 12 flavours. We dont mind the supermarkets theyre like a gateway drug: weve got the variety that the vegans and vegetarians want. They come to us for perfume, soap powder, toothpaste, all the groceries and the whole foods. Our bestseller is probably Sosmix. We sold 4 tonnes this year thats the same stuff I was eating in the 1970s!

We must be getting half-a-dozen new people a week coming in and saying: Someone in my family has gone vegan and I dont know what to feed them; can you help? Or: My son went vegan three months ago and weve all joined him now. There is a domino effect within families and parents are listening to their children. There was a lad who came in who was 10 he had made his own decision to be vegan; he was so determined, and his parents were so supportive. Its great to see.

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Veganism: 20 Powerful Reasons People Become Vegans

Veganism is a great way to not only save sentient creatures from harm but also to improve your life. Dont waste time. Start to make the transition now.

Reading Time: 11 minutes

Veganism is a great way to not only save sentient creatures from harm but also to improve your life. Dont waste time. Start to make the transition now.

Veganism is one of the most powerful ways in which you can support animal rights, spare the planet, protect your body, and live without moral compromises. More people go vegan every day, and if youre committed to this dietary lifestyle, you wont find it as difficult to follow as you think. It is the single best action you can take.

Many still believe that veganism is unhealthy, unnatural, or impossible. None of those things are true. In fact, going vegan can actually make you healthier and keep you more in line with the natural order of things. Plus, if you think its impossible, maybe you should give yourself more credit.

Today, Im sharing with you 20 powerful reasons people choose veganism over any other diet. Ill explain why going vegan is important and how to make the switch.

You might not have noticed, but were in a bit of a crisis. Humanity is depleting the planets finite resources at a rapid rate, the environment is undergoing unnecessary changes, and people suffer from myriad diseases linked to their diets.

You cant fix all that by embracing veganism, but you can be one part of the solution.

People tend to follow those they admire. If you decide that veganism is for you, your friends, family members, and colleagues might follow suit just because you led by example.

Plus, when you stop eating meat, dairy, and eggs you wage war with your wallet. Companies that sell meat and animal by-products only do so because it makes them money. When their profits start to sour, they will consider other ways of being in business.

You know veganism is important after all, you hear celebrities always talking about it but why should you take the plunge? Ive come up with 29 compelling reasons to give up animals and animal by-products. Lets address them one by one.

When we lose compassion and empathy, we cant relate as well to other people and other thinking, feeling creatures. We turn animals into objects rather than understand them as the sentient beings they are.

Cows, pigs, sharks, fish, chickens, and other animals that often wind up on plates have emotions, just like you and me. They experience love, grief, and fear. They may not be able to verbalize their emotions but then again, not all humans can, either.

Imagining growing up in a steel cage with hundreds of other people. Youre crammed so tightly you cant even turn around. Youre denied sunlight, a kind word, and affection. Then, at the end of your plight, you and everyone around you is slaughtered for someone else to eat.

None of us would consider that a humane existence for a thinking being, yet animals experience it every day, and their numbers total in the billions.

There are some beautiful stories out there about why people become vegans. Glenn Greenwald, the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, became a vegan and joined the ranks of vocal animal activists. In his talk below, Greenwald describes what it was (beyond a love for animals) that triggered the decision to become a vegan.

Its easy to grab a meal at a fast-food restaurant maybe a burger and fries or a beef taco or to throw a few chicken breasts in the oven when you get home from work. But what are those habits doing to your health?

Its true that animal flesh and by-products nourish our bodies, but they also contribute to disease and other problems, which Ill detail more below. If youre fighting to lose weight, overcome an inflammation-based diseased, or prolong your lifespan, veganism is the best first step on your path.

If you ask any nutritionist what people should focus on in their diets, he or she will say, Fruits and vegetables. Thats always top-of-mind for any professional who makes dietary recommendations.

No nutritionist would say, Steak and fried chicken. For a good reason those are much likelier to kill you early.

Factory farming contributes heavily toward environmental problems all over the world. Think about the number of animals that are slaughtered every day to fill supermarkets with sufficient stock. All of those animals have to be fed, watered, and housed before theyre destroyed. Deforestation across the world is driven by the gluttony for more pasturelands and animal feed, whereas feeding the world with plant-based foods would require only a fraction of that land.

Animals in the agriculture industry contribute to the contamination of the water table because of the fecal runoff. They consume tons of water and grain, which must be farmed using yet more water. Pesticides are added to the crops that feed the animals, and unhealthy hormones get injected into the animals.

Its a vicious circle that contributes to the degradation of our environment.

We also have to think about the natural resources that factory farming and crop raising deplete. Factory farms have to be powered, so they consume fossil fuels. The more finite resources we use, the less will be left over for our children.

The crucial point here is the long production chain of factory farming you need to put resources into growing the food for the animals, then growing the animals themselves, and then processing (just a pretty word for slaughter) the animals. By contrast, the plant-based food chain is much shorter and requires less natural resources.

Veganism is the practice of eliminating meat and animal by-products from your diet. That doesnt mean youll go undernourished. In fact, we dont need meat to survive.

A report in Medical News Today states:

From a medical point of view, we should only eat meat if it is healthful to do so. Over recent years, there has been a growing mountain of evidence in support of the health benefits of a vegetarian diet and the health risks of pounding too many burgers into our bodies.

We need neither meat nor animal by-products to survive. Quite the opposite, we can improve our health by abstaining from those types of foods and turning to a plant-based diet instead.

What many people dont realize is that veganism contributes to saving lives other than those of cows or chickens. These animals have natural predators, and farmers use cruel methods to trap and kill those predators.

Again, its all about preserving the source of their income.

Coyotes, wolves, and other predators get stuck in traps all the time. So do non-predators (at least of cows), such as birds who unwittingly fly into these traps.

Imagine if everyone embraced veganism at once. Nobody would need to breed cows and other animals for food because there would be no market (of course, wed take good care of the farm animals currently alive, dont worry).

The effects ripple far beyond that, though. Instead of shoveling grain and other crops into animals mouths, we could feed the hungry populations of the world.

Those populations could use the grains and other foods that factory farmers feed their animals. We could systematically provide relief to those in need. Perhaps we could also bring water to those who dont have it readily available since wed eliminate all the water that farm animals consume.

Some refer to humans as the ultimate apex predator. However, our anatomy doesnt bear that out. We dont have the long, sharp teeth required to tear into flesh, and our intestines often struggle to digest meat. Calling those little, pointed teeth at the corners of your mouth canines is quite the overstatement.

The same thing goes for dairy. Cows milk contains more protein and fat because its meant for calves, who grow rapidly from birth and who wind up weighing 1,000 or more pounds. Its not meant for human consumption and can contribute to weight gain among other problems.

If you are reading this and you are a baby cow, go ahead and continue drinking milk. Otherwise, its not really for you.

Its a lot easier to lose weight or maintain your ideal weight when youre not consuming fatty foods like meat and cheese. Veganism entails a diet rich in protein, carbohydrates, healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

Women, in particular, can gain weight easily due to hormone imbalances. When this happens, any food that contributes to inflammation can cause a weight gain. Meat and animal by-products are inextricably linked with inflammation.

Youll also consume fewer calories on a plant-based diet as long as you stick to whole, natural foods. Dont shop the frozen aisle at the supermarket for vegan TV dinners. Fill your plate with nutritious fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and seeds.

Were not just talking about salmonella and E. coli here, though those are certainly problematic. Foodborne illness can also result from the contamination of meat: feces, insect eggs, and other things you probably dont want in your mouth let alone your gut.

Related to this are illnesses that are not technically foodborne, but borne from the intensive factory farming practices that are needed to turn animals into human food. You may have heard of bird flu and swine flu they are called that because they were most likely originated in chicken factories and hog farms. Pathogens borne out of factory farming are one of the largest, most real existential threats to humanity.

Meat eaters often restrict their diets to the same meals over and over again. Not only can the monotony get boring, but it also reduces your exposure to foods that could improve your immune system, reduce digestive problems, and reverse vitamin deficiencies.

When you decide to turn to veganism, youll automatically get more creative with your meals. Adding color and texture to your plate can make it even more delicious, and youll have fun experimenting with new flavors that might go with favorite standbys.

Digestion is a complicated topic, but its also problematic for many people. More and more consumers are speaking out about ulcerative colitis and IBS, two digestive disorders that have their roots in inflammation of the digestive tract.

Plant-based diets are rich in fiber, which help aid digestion. Additionally, all that rich nutrition will help you build lean muscle and dissolve fat. Many people assume that theyll struggle to gain muscle after turning to veganism, but the opposite is often true. As long as you continue to work out and consume sufficient calories, you can train as well as or even better than you could before veganism.

Did you know that veganism can help reverse chronic psychological and emotional problems like anxiety and depression? A study suggests that a plant-based diet can improve not only our physiological health but also our mental health.

Millions of people struggle with mental health issues, ranging from the minor to the acute. By changing your diet and eliminating animal products, you can help better yourself psychologically.

Similarly, you might discover that you can concentrate for longer periods of time after you convert to veganism. Thats because youre consuming more healthy nutrients that improve cognition and productivity.

Youre likely to feel more rested, which well cover more below, and you might find that you get better performance reviews from your boss. Its amazing what eliminating meat and animal by-products from your diet can do for you.

Skin health is a common topic of discussion in dermatologists offices and at beauty stores. Men and women alike want to know how they can prevent evidence of aging. The answer: veganism.

Meat and animal by-products often lead to acne, facial swelling, and the development of wrinkles. They contain harmful chemicals, such as the pesticides mentioned above, and hormones that our bodies cant easily process. Your skin suffers as a result.

Experts havent yet agreed on whether veganism leads to longevity, but there are a few new sources of information to suggests that vegans live longer. One study suggests that, regardless of carbohydrate intake, people who eat plant-based diets have reduced mortality rates. Interestingly, per the study plant-based food becomes even more important when reducing carbs so if you are doing keto or paleo diets and eating animals, youre doubly shortening your life expectancy.

Again, animal by-product consumption contributes to inflammation, which makes inflammatory diseases worse. If you suffer from arthritis or any other condition that impacts your joints, you might get some relief from veganism.

When you have the right combination of vitamins, minerals, and macros in your body, your immune system is better equipped to fight disease. You might discover that colds and other minor illnesses last for shorter time frames.

The anti-inflammatory properties of many plant-based foods help, too. Inflammation is harmful to the body, whether it impacts the skin, organs, cartilage, or other body parts. That inflammation gets even worse when youre sick.

Maybe you have an I Dogs bumper sticker, or perhaps you volunteer every weekend at the local animal shelter. You love animals, dislike hunting, despise the cruel conditions in which factory farmers keep their animals, but you still eat meat, dairy, eggs, and honey.

That means youre not living your life in line with your beliefs. By embracing veganism, you live your beliefs instead of just espousing them. And, as mentioned above, others might follow in your footsteps. Getting rid of hypocrisy will feel good.

Share vegan meals on Instagram, talk about your favorite recipe over dinner with your family, give veganism credit when a colleague asks how you lost the weight. When other people can see the positive changes veganism has created in your life, theyll want to know more.

You dont have to push your veganism on everyone you meet, but if the opportunity arises, take advantage of it.

Youre convinced, right? You want all the benefits described above. So, how do you become a vegan?

Its not that hard, really. Focus on filling your shopping cart with items that contain no animal flesh or by-products. Look for vegan and cruelty-free labeling on consumer goods, and make sure you read labels when choosing processed foods.

Thats it. Eliminate the problem from your diet and become vegan.

Start by getting in touch with likeminded people. When you surround yourself with other people who have chosen veganism, you have a built-in support system. Plus, you wont have to fear listening to diatribes about how meat eating is good for you.

You might have friends and family members who disagree with your dietary choices but try to tune them out. You know whats best for your body, so stick to your guns.

You might not switch to veganism all at once. Maybe youll cut out red meat and pork first, then poultry. Move on to removing fish and shellfish. Some vegans remove dairy and eggs at the very end of the transition, but it all depends on your lifestyle and preferences.

Theres no rule that says you have to sign a blood oath to never consume X, Y, and Z products again. Just let your comfort zone guide you toward veganism. Eventually, itll feel as natural as eating a burger used to feel.

Make sure youre fully informed about your dietary choices. Veganism is about your health as well as the health of other sentient creatures. Reading articles by Sentient Media and other organizations can help you better understand your food choices.

Your mindset has to shift if youre contemplating veganism. Dont think about what youre giving up. Think about what youre giving to others.

You dont have to deprive yourself. In fact, you might find that veganism introduces more flavor and satiety into your life. You might crave a hamburger once in a while. Buy a vegan tofu patty. If youre dying for ice cream, choose a vegan alternative.

But dont rely too much on those processed options. Focus on creating delicious meals that include whole ingredients.

Veganism is a great way to not only save sentient creatures from harm but also to improve your life. Dont waste time. Start to make the transition now.

Sure, you might struggle to find good restaurants at first, and find some challenges in your grocery shopping, but youll get better at it the longer youre vegan. Its like any lifestyle change. It may not feel like it fits at first, but you gradually warm to it. Or maybe you, like many, quickly realize that youve finally made the right choice and it feels entirely right and natural from the beginning.

Are you thinking about going vegan? Have you tried veganism?

Read the original:

Veganism: 20 Powerful Reasons People Become Vegans

Recommendation and review posted by Alexandra Lee Anderson


Aside from the typical recommendations (ex: do some research before you begin) here are a list of 12 recommendations (+ a bonus tip + resources!) for anyone venturing into the world of veganism. Hopefully it offers some inspiration and insights to those who are interested in adopting more of a plant-based lifestyle.

If you read this far, kindly comment that you will hereby solemnly swear to only share the message with love

FEATURED IN THE VIDEO Sadia's personal plant-based journey: Free grocery shopping list (PDF): PUL article for this video: PUL article "adequate vitamin B12 on a plant-based lifestyle": PUL article "vitamin D and nutrition - do you need supplements?": Resource "Becoming Vegan" book: Resource "NutritionFacts": + book Resource "Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine": Music "Frannie" & "1000 Words" by Josh Woodward. Free download:

MAKING PUL VIDEOS Film & photography gear I use:

WHAT WE USE @ THE PUL KITCHEN (2019) Blender: Food processor: Hand blender: Cast iron pot: Mini spice jars: Air-tight containers:

STAY CONNECTED Website: Instagram: Facebook: Pinterest: LinkedIn: Sadia

Read the rest here:


Recommendation and review posted by Alexandra Lee Anderson

Veganism | What is Veganism & How to Do More for Animals …

From DxEs perspective, veganism is the way of living that seeks to excludeas far as is possible and practicableany products or services derived from the exploitation of nonhuman animals. This includes any products made from the bodies or secretions of animals, as well as those developed using animal testing.

DxE fights against speciesism in society. Speciesism is the set of oppressive ideologies that perpetuates this violent exploitation of nonhuman animals. DxE regards living vegan as one crucial expression of anti-speciesist philosophy, but not the only one. To truly oppose speciesism, we must take comprehensive direct action to change the world for all animals, and living vegan is just part of this.

*The work of Gary Francione distinguishes between "lifestyle veganism," framed as a "personal choice" to not use animals, and "abolitionist veganism" defined as "the animal rights based opposition to all animal use by humans," which maintains that all sentient beings share a basic right not to be treated as the property of others.


Veganism | What is Veganism & How to Do More for Animals ...

Recommendation and review posted by Alexandra Lee Anderson

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