Vegan Diets Make Sense Even For Those Who Promote “People First”

Over the weekend I read a negative piece about vegan diets that claimed, among other things, that vegans are “anti people.” The author noted that we humans are the only ones in a cerebral position to consider matters of food choice—which lends us a certain status. Part of our decision-making, he noted, has to be about where to draw the line. He believed that when we place the rights of animals on a par with the rights of humans, we diminish humanity.

His complaint wasn’t with those who choose vegan diets, but with those who want others to choose veganism. Well, I guess that latter group would include me. But do my attempts to promote vegan diets diminish humanity?

All vegans have heard ... Read More >

Vegetarian and Vegan Diets Do Not Cause Eating Disorders

A study published in this month’s Journal of the American Dietetic Association found a higher incidence of eating disorders among young girls who follow vegetarian diets. This isn’t news, and it’s not a concern for vegetarians, either.

Over the years, a number of studies have found that a relatively high number of girls with eating disorders are vegetarian. But there is no evidence that following a vegetarian diet causes eating disorders. It’s actually pretty silly to think that giving up meat could cause someone to develop anorexia!

Rather, it is likely that girls with eating disorders often choose vegetarian diets as one of many ways to control food intake and mask their eating disorder. Previous studies bear this out.

However, a number of ... Read More >

Vegan For The Health Of It?

I’ve been resisting the urge to write about last week’s big news story concerning meat and mortality. The study made a case against high intakes of meat and got lots of press. It reinforced the idea that red meat is bad for us, so that’s a good thing for anyone who promotes a plant-based diet.

Like all epidemiologic studies, it had its share of weaknesses, but the large number of subjects helps to counteract some of that. Furthermore, the results are supported to some extent by other research about the dangers associated with red meat consumption.

But the study also found that eating more white meat, like chicken, was linked to a lower risk of mortality. The take home message, according to many ... Read More >

Vegans Say “No” to Eggs and Thank You to Boca!

There is great news today for vegans and others who avoid products containing eggs. According to the latest e-newsletter from Vegan Outreach, Boca Foods has pledged to eliminate eggs from all of its foods by the end of this year.

Boca makes a variety of good-for-you meatless products including veggie burgers and entrees. Their decision to eliminate eggs is in response largely to efforts by four organizations: Vegan Outreach, Compassion Over Killing, Mercy for Animals, and the Animal Protection and Rescue League.

While many Boca products are not vegan (some contain cheese), elimination of eggs makes a big difference for farm animals. Egg production on factory farms—including those that are “cage free” –is among the cruelest practices of this industry.

The people ... Read More >

Vegetarian Carrie Underwood for Entertainer of the Year

I just voted for Carrie Underwood for Entertainer of the Year and you can (and should), too. The award is given by the Academy of Country Music (ACM), and I learned about it on a beef producer’s blog that I follow.

Beef industry proponents dislike Carrie with a passion and would like to undermine her career in any way possible. Carrie is a vegetarian (since she was 13 years old), an animal lover and a supporter of the Humane Society of the U.S. Some of the proceeds from her latest song, Home Sweet Home, are being donated to that organization.

Supporters of the beef industry are asking people to vote for George Strait, a member of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association, because he ... Read More >

Convenience Foods Are Okay for Vegans!

I had a few emails from readers about my last blog post. They were surprised at the number of canned and processed foods in my list of fast meals for vegans who hate to cook! Aren’t vegans supposed to eat whole plant foods?

Well sure—whole plant foods are the best foods for everyone, vegan or not. And, for many reasons, cooking meals from scratch is the ideal approach. But making responsible food choices is a balancing act and we have to create room for some compromise. It’s not just a matter of choosing the foods that keep us healthy and are kind to the earth and reduce animal suffering. Most people have to also consider cost and time constraints as well.

If we ... Read More >

What’s For Dinner When You’re Vegan, But Can’t Cook?

Yesterday I listed some menu ideas that show how luscious and sophisticated vegan cuisine can be. But what if sophisticated isn’t your culinary thing? Or what if you hate to cook?

Well, if you know how to boil water, steam vegetables, and wield a can opener, there is no end to the variety of vegan meals you can make.

Here are ten super quick meals. Most can be on the table in less than 20 minutes, and with a minimum of effort. Add some quickly steamed veggies or a salad to any of these.

  • Pasta topped with sauce from a jar and a sprinkle of grated soy parmesan.
  • Vegetarian baked beans served over couscous (the world’s fastest-cooking grain!)
  • Butternut Squash Soup (look for ... Read More >
  • Meat Out! Celebrate Spring By Going Vegetarian

    It’s the season of birth and new beginnings in the northern part of the world. We’re starting the time of year when daylight outlasts the night. March 20th is the first day of spring—and it’s also Great American Meatout Day. What a great time to make a few changes and a fresh start.

    Going vegetarian is about being kind to animals, responsible to the earth, and eating some of the best food in the world. But it’s not just a good thing to do; it’s fun, too! Do you think of meatless dishes as boring and limited? Look at some of the best-loved dishes from across the globe for ideas about how truly gourmet vegetarian eating can be. Here are just a few of ... Read More >

    Vegan Corned “Beef” and Cabbage: Happy St Patty’s Day!

    This may not taste exactly like the real thing, but that’s okay. For those who really want to go green this St Patty’s Day—for the earth and the animals—it’s a fun alternative. It’s easy to make, too. Serve it with Beer Bread. Here are both recipes:

    Vegan Corned Beef
    1 pound seitan (I use Westsoy Vegetarian Stir-fry Strips)
    2 tsp pickling spice
    2 tbsp brown sugar
    1 tbsp salt
    1 cup water

    ¼ cup canola oil
    ½ large onion, cut into chunks
    1 garlic clove, smashed and chopped
    1 tsp horseradish
    1 tsp Dijon mustard
    1 carrot, thickly sliced
    ½ head cabbage, cut into wedges
    2 large potatoes cut into big chunks

    In a large shallow pan with a lid, stir together the pickling spice, brown sugar, salt, and 1 cup water. Add the seitan, cover tightly ... Read More >

    Wear Your Soy Milk Mustache for Vitamin D Day!

    Today—March 9—is Vitamin D Day—according to the Milk Mustache “Got Milk” Campaign. They are reminding Americans that many don’t get enough vitamin D and that shortages are linked to risk for a variety of diseases.

    It’s true. There is a growing body of research showing that vitamin D helps to protect against bone loss and a host of other ailments, perhaps including cancer and depression. But the industry’s spokesperson, a registered dietitian, isn’t quite telling the whole story when she says that foods, not supplements, are the best source of vitamin D.

    Whether or not that statement is true, it has nothing to do with milk and vitamin D. Milk and other dairy foods are not naturally rich in this nutrient. They are ... Read More >