While developing and writing for my website over the nearly last two years, I have come to understand that veganism is not a lifestyle, a belief, a fad, a diet, a personal choice or any of the labels used to describe a way of living and being that many still think of as extreme. This way of living and being on this earth is born of the horrific and undeniable facts surrounding our cruel meat eating cultures that have fostered all of our death for profit industries. Veganism is, in effect, a universal truth which decries the exploitation of other beings for our wants, not needs. This exploitation takes many forms, all of which are justified by those who, for the almighty dollar, enslave and or capture, abuse and mutilate, forcibly breed and genetically alter, rip babies from their mothers, and ultimately murder these innocent beings. Turning away, pleading ignorance and continuing to pay for these cruel and unnecessary products is complicit and unacceptable – another undeniable truth.
Now, here is something I have come to believe over the last nearly two years. Banding together and speaking as one voice with different approaches will give the truth the backing it needs to grow exponentially and to become everyone’s own personal heaven here on this earth. To this end, I encourage fellow vegans and animal rights advocates and bloggers to contribute on my website. To date, I have featured two contributors whose illuminating posts have proven to be very popular.
Recently I answered a general invitation by Tommy Vaznelis to contribute to a new vegan website which was under development at the time. As a result, I am delighted to say that an article from my website has been published on this up and upcoming site, VeganMuch. Because the exchange of knowledge and approach is a two way street, I am happy to feature an article about veganism and healthy living written by one of the creators of VeganMuch.
Don’t Replace Animal Products with Junk Food
Going vegan is already a great step forward to improving your health, but first and foremost, to help the animals and help this planet to become a better place for humanity and other living beings and to be more peaceful. So, kudos to you for choosing a vegan diet and lifestyle no matter what kind of vegan you are.
The Junk Food Vegan
A junk food vegan is a vegan who regularly consumes highly processed foods like fake meats, cheeses, other substitutes for dairy, vegan cookies and so on.
Did you know that the famous Oreo biscuits are vegan? And there are many more junk foods on the market that are accidently or not, vegan. Plus, there are all the other delicious junk foods that are already labeled as vegan.
Although these foods can be a great start for people who can’t give up their meat, eggs and dairy products, they shouldn’t be a part of your daily diet. Vegan diet is healthy because of the big amount of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes that you should be consuming as the biggest part of your diet. They will provide you with all the nutrition you need, all the vitamins, minerals, healthy fats and protein.
But the good news is that you don’t need to give up your favorite junk food, vegan or non-vegan. Basically, every recipe in this world you can veganize and even better make it a healthy plant based recipe. It does take more time to prepare it than to just grab it in the store but hey, your health is worth it!
And by the way, eating a healthy whole foods plant based diet is not as expensive as many people think. Expensive is to buy all the meat and dairy substitutes and processed vegan foods. I mean, what is cheaper than rice, potatoes, beans, greens and seasonal fruits?
Be the healthy example!
As vegans we should be examples for other people to get inspired and motivated to try a vegan lifestyle. Unfortunately, many people are attracted to veganism as a diet, to lose weight, or cure certain health condition and not so much for the ethical reasons. Because of that, we need to be the shiny healthy example. And the best health comes from whole plant foods.
Think about any food that you consider unhealthy and that you love. Pizza, burgers, fries, ice cream, deserts etc. Well, you can convert all of them into healthy vegan recipes. Just ditch the oils, sugars, meat and dairy substitutes, and use fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds and get creative!
Annie’s Vegan View
Beliefs based on traditions, conditioning and the best information we have at that moment, can change and become more in alignment with our morals and values.
Be open to changing your beliefs, especially if they are harming others.
Welcome collaboration with fellow vegans and advocates, raising one united voice for those who cannot secure their own freedom.
May all beings be happy and free.
8 thoughts on “Veganism: A Universal Truth and Collaborative Effort”
Thanks for the intro to VeganMuch! I’m looking forward to checking it out and that’s cool that you’re able to feature and be featured on other sites. 🙂
This really doesn’t have anything to do with the post exactly, but it’s a part of my particular being vegan….I’m getting more and more mad at and fired up about litter. It’s a real problem in certain neighborhoods in Berlin and it’s starting to make me madder than usual because it kills wildlife. And in more ways than one. There are stores putting out poison traps now because the poor rats are being attracted to all the trash that these people are throwing down. My husband confronts them but they get very defensive because ethnically they aren’t German (he is) and they think he just doesn’t like them. They don’t even believe or comprehend that we’re mad because it’s hurting other animals. I pick up as much as I can, but there’s no way to get it all. And I’m sure I don’t need to say this, but part of being vegan is not littering and using as least plastic as possible. At least that’s what I think.
Thanks again for the link to the other site! Have a good weekend!
I agree with you about litter. This is, shall I say, benefit of being vegan: we become more aware of everything around us, especially over consumption and over use of the planet. Kindness and compassion extended to everything in this life is hopefully where we are headed. Keep our footprint as small as possible.
Thanks for your continued support. I also wrote an article about how helping other species has impacted my life. It is a compilation of this article and other thoughts that I have rolling around in my head. You will find it if you Google, Respect and Connect. They are looking for more submissions. Perhaps you would like to contribute. Let me know what you think about the article if you get a chance. There is a place to comment on the website itself.
I’ll google that right now while I’m still doing my internet catch-up. Just wanted to say that I did want to leave a comment on one of the sites you featured recently (the one where you wrote about Frostie), but the only way was through Facebook. I signed up for Facebook a while back specifically to be able to connect to Save the Chimps and I was able to go on the first day and a half, but then Facebook demanded my actual email password to continue and I’m not going to do that. So I can’t comment with Facebook, but will be glad to comment on any sites that I can comment without it. … A few months ago I ran into a bird that was entangled by her foot and ankle to a fence because of all the garbage that had gotten stuck on her. I had scissors with me coincidentally to cut the mats off the goat I go visit…it took me almost 5 minutes to cut her free and at one point I was terrified I’d cut her, but thank goodness hadn’t. I was already mad about trash before that, but since then have gotten steadily madder. So yes….loving our fellow beings and thinking of them as equals opens us up to a lot of things we otherwise might only acknowledge in passing without caring too much.
I use my Facebook account to comment on other sites. As I understand it, Facebook is asking for your password to their account, not to your e-mail account. If you would like to meet up with me on Facebook look for Anne Elizabeth McGuigan or click the Facebook Icon on the right side of the home page on my website. Thanks for trying to comment on the other sites.
And a million thanks for helping out the little birdie.
Hmmm, I actually disagree with a number of points the contributing author has raised in this article, although I appreciate his perspective and your willingness to share it. And while I could simply not comment at all, something about this article just didn’t sit that well with me, and maybe by elaborating why and where I don’t agree, I can figure out why. 🙂
I suppose part of it is that I don’t consider myself a “junk food vegan” even though I regularly (although how often is considered regular?) consume “fake meats” (but I think of them as neutral meat substitutes, not fake anything) and other cheese and dairy substitutes. But I also consume lots of grains, beans, nuts, fruits, and am trying to eat more veggies (which were never my favourite), so don’t see anything wrong with having the supposed junk stuff as part of my daily diet. And as a person who is slim enough and almost never sick, I certainly don’t come across as an unhealthy person.
I think the rule of everything in moderation applies to vegan eating as well, so that would include yummy cheesecake (lots of sugar I would imagine) or ice cream once in while, a bit of olive oil (something two registered vegan dietitians I trust, Ginny Messina and Jack Norris, say is absolutely fine), Daiya cheese, and believe me, I would never give up soy creamer for my coffee. Life’s too short! And while it’s true that whole plant foods may be cheaper, time can be money as well, plus convenience can be of huge value.
The author is right in saying that many people are not attracted to veganism because of ethical reasons, which is a shame because folk are more likely to stay vegan if their main reason is ethics. And while the health benefits are nice, they’re exactly that, a bonus. A bonus more for humans, and if we really don’t want to equate veganism with being a diet or about human health rather than stopping animal exploitation, why be so focused on whole plant foods? That almost veers too dangerously in the direction of veganism being seen as a plant-based diet only, instead of primarily concerned with justice for other species. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I’d be vegan even if it wasn’t healthy, because health is not why I’m vegan. And appealing to health self-interest may not be the best way to get people to stick with being vegan over the long haul anyway.
At any rate, those were some of my reactions/observations, but you’re welcome to do with them what you will. 😉
p.s. am working on a draft post that’s more inspirational (I hope!) than cynical, yay, so am looking forward to returning on a positive note…
Good to hear from you and your perspective is always welcome, even if you don’t agree with what I or someone else on my site has said. Some of my best life changing moments occurred when someone disagreed with something I said.
When I decided to publish this guest post, I was thinking about Norm Phelps who wrote Changing the Game. He states that to win the freedom of all species caught in our death for profit industries, it will take the cooperation of all advocates, religious, political and grassroots groups, with all of their various perspectives to get the job done. He says this is because this is the first social movement in history where the victims cannot advocate for themselves.
That having been said, I agree with you that “veganism is not a lifestyle, a belief, a fad, a diet, a personal choice or any of the labels used to describe a way of living and being that many still think of as extreme. This way of living and being on this earth is born of the horrific and undeniable facts surrounding our cruel meat eating cultures that have fostered all of our death for profit industries.”
And yes, junk food vegan is one of those labels that I do not like and try not to use, but I took the author at his word when he wrote, “Going vegan is already a great step forward to improving your health, but first and foremost, to help the animals and help this planet to become a better place for humanity and other living beings and to be more peaceful. .”
It seems that we are all on the same page in our understanding of veganism being about the animals.
We live in a world where we are judged by how we look, as unfortunate as that is, I, for one, certainly do not agree with it. What I do believe, however, is that in order to be the best at what we do, whatever it is that we do, we need to give our bodies the best fuel possible. There are medical experts out there who stand behind a whole food plant based diet. Dr Caldwell Esselstyn, Dr Neal Barnard, Dr, Joel Furhman, to name three. None of them recommend processed oil which they say is a “junk” food. Do I always get it right? -absolutely not. I love sweets and a glass of wine after a hard day of work. But I do want to be my best in terms of energy and health so that I can better advocate for animals.
Is it a part of veganism?-no. Can it run along side? I think so. That is why I do feature some articles about health and food on my website. But, I am very clear that veganism is not about us or for us.
Looking forward to hearing your comments on my reply in case I have missed the point on any of your points.
Also looking forward to another of your enlightening posts. you keep me thinking, you keep me thinking!
Hi Anne, first, just learned that Norm’s book is available in paperback, so am now happily awaiting it’s arrival! Having heard good things about it from both from you and others, I can’t wait to read it. 🙂
Yeah, I just find the label “junk food vegan” judgemental (especially since some of the foods he mentioned are not considered junk food by all), and even more so in this article as it was used as a subtitle. Obviously I’m not against whole foods (and certainly didn’t mean to imply that you shouldn’t be writing about them on your blog), but just feel that it’s important to note that eating only or primarily whole plant foods doesn’t have to be a priority or criteria for a person to qualify as being vegan, and a “good enough” vegan at that. Again, my comments were directly mainly, well, completely I guess, at the author, and perhaps I should have responded directly on his own post. But I feel I kinda know you, so you’re the one I’d rather communicate with. 😉
Norm’s right that there are so many perspectives (even among vegans as to what’s healthy or not, snort), and that various perspectives are needed to get the job done. Lots of work ahead of us!
Looking forward to your take on Norm Phelps and his book and views. He covers the history of social justice movements and makes great points for how we can win this one. He talks about food as well and you may find his take interesting.
Your are right, food has nothing to do with veganism, yet it is the one thing that people discuss most of the time. I have a theory about that. I think it is because we are so selfishly motivated by what is good for us that we cannot think outside of the box and understand that veganism is about the end to the exploitation of animals for our own personal use. It is likely that this obsession is partially due to the horrid state of health of many people in North America especially, due, ironically, to eating animals. People are desperate for help. They are not getting it from mainstream medicine and they don’t want to make the changes necessary to bring about good health, so they look to veganism to do it. Hey, if I am vegan, I will get better. Quick fix for them perhaps, but death to the truth of veganism.
I did not infer anything negative from your responses, friend. We need to have these dialogues to get people thinking about what they are doing, to challenge them to change and yes, to amend, when necessary our own way of thinking about things. I welcome your comments and do not take a difference of opinion personally. Anyway, I think we are on the same page with this. We do what we do for the animals, plain and simple, point finale!!!
I will say that Tommy’s view has merit in the sense that he is encouraging people to be their best and sometimes labels like Junk Food Vegan resonate with the population at large and get them to tune in. I do not think that any judgement was intended.