Vegan activism

7 Ways to Encourage and Support New Vegans

Going vegan isn’t always easy for everyone. And clearly some people have trouble sticking with veganism for the long haul. So finding the best ways to support new and potential vegans is an important part of advocacy. Unfortunately, new vegans sometimes say that they feel discouraged and alienated by some messages they hear from vegan activists. Based on the comments I hear fairly often, here are a few ideas on what we might do to make it easier for others to go (and stay) vegan.

Be flexible about the transition. There is no “right” way to go vegan. Some people […]

By |2010-08-06T12:30:00-04:00August 6th, 2010|Tags: , |23 Comments

Is it Easy to be Vegan?

I was watching the video in which Ellen Degeneres describes her reasons for being vegan. Since a number of articles have put the spotlight on the health aspects of Ellen’s diet, it was nice to hear her talk about ethics and animals as her sole reason for choosing veganism. But, at the end of the interview, she uses the dreaded H word—saying that it is “hard,” and “takes a major shift” in one’s life to forego all animal products.

Around the internet, there is often discussion about whether it is okay to ever admit that being vegan can be “hard.” After […]

By |2010-06-21T13:53:00-04:00June 21st, 2010|Tags: |15 Comments

Processed Foods Are Good for Vegan Activists

I don’t think I could live without Vegenaise mayonnaise. It’s so handy for making vegan potato salad and pretty nice to spread on a sandwich with a few slices of Tofurky. I feel the same way about Tofutti brand vegan sour cream; a dollop on top of a burrito or in a bowl of black bean soup makes all the difference in taste and texture.

But some vegans choose not to eat these foods. They object to the environmental and health costs of highly processed products made from soy and other plant proteins, and might even shun […]

By |2010-03-02T08:29:00-05:00March 2nd, 2010|Tags: |16 Comments

The high cost of ethical eating

Is a vegan diet cheaper than one that includes animal foods? I recently read a comment on the internet about this—saying that a vegan saves $4,000 per year on food.

I don’t think so.

First of all, according to the USDA, food costs for a family of four following a “liberal” plan—that is, one that includes a fair number of higher-priced foods—are $954 per month. That comes out to $11,448 per year for a family of four, or $2,862 per year for an individual. So in order to save $4,000 on food—well, the grocery store would […]

By |2010-01-20T14:33:00-05:00January 20th, 2010|Tags: |32 Comments

Money Matters For Animal Liberation and Vegan Education

Some friends who work for non-profits—smaller groups in particular—tell me that donations are down this holiday season. It’s not surprising, of course, at a time when many are feeling the economic pinch. And with so many expenses at this time of year and the pressure to create a good holiday for family and friends, it’s easy to put charitable donations way behind other bills.

Because I read Peter Singer’s The Life You Can Save this fall, I’ve been inspired to work harder at giving more. Singer’s focus is on the billion people who live in extreme poverty, and about […]

By |2009-12-28T13:43:00-05:00December 28th, 2009|Tags: |1 Comment

Promoting Veganism: Finding the Message that Works

I’m always curious about what causes a person to go vegan and I always ask. As an educator and an activist, I’m interested in knowing exactly what message grabbed someone’s attention and put them on the road to veganism. My own background is in public health nutrition which means that I studied both nutrition and education. I’ve also taught Nutrition Education courses to dietetics students, and spent a lot of time looking at the literature on how we craft messages to convince people to change their behavior.

But the answers remain elusive for public health experts, and are […]

By |2009-12-03T10:34:00-05:00December 3rd, 2009|Tags: |20 Comments

Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer: Some of My Favorite Reviews

I posted my review of Eating Animals on the examiner site yesterday. I’m so grateful for what I consider to be a brilliant and important book. (And let me just say, as a complete aside, that it also has what is one of my all-time favorite covers!)

Jonathan Safran Foer has a unique talent for educating people about the horrors of factory farming through an engaging storytelling approach. No one can deny the impact that this book is having on readers. It’s likely to reach many more mainstream consumers than any other book so far on this subject, with […]

By |2009-11-16T11:13:00-05:00November 16th, 2009|Tags: , |4 Comments

Buying Cookbooks is Good Vegan Activism

I tweeted and facebook-status-updated this yesterday but I think it deserves a quick blog post, too.

I noticed that the best selling cookbook in America this week is The Pioneer Woman Cooks. In case you haven’t heard of her, The Pioneer Woman has a wildly popular blog sub-titled “Plowing Through Life in the Country…One Calf Nut at a Time.” She’s a city girl who met a rancher in a bar, married him and moved to Montana. It’s hard to figure out which blog posts are more annoying—those waxing poetic about the […]

By |2009-11-12T13:52:00-05:00November 12th, 2009|Tags: , |7 Comments

Is Vegetarianism a Useful Gateway to Veganism?

I have quite a few friends and acquaintances who are vegetarian. I’ve talked with them, of course, about why it doesn’t make sense to give up some animal products and not others. And about the horrible suffering involved in egg and dairy production. Some are making the effort to move toward veganism, and some are almost there. But, sometimes, when I talk to vegetarians about this issue, they are sort of stunned. They thought they had already done something very significant in giving up meat, chicken and fish. They thought they had done enough, and finding out otherwise takes some […]

By |2009-11-08T13:49:00-05:00November 8th, 2009|Tags: |18 Comments

Ten Tips for Animal Activists Based on the Life of Henry Spira

In 1973, when Henry Spira was 45, two things happened that sparked his interest in animal rights. A friend gave him a cat (he had no personal relationships with animals until that time) and he met Peter Singer. It was a turning point that gave way to full-time activism on behalf of animals.

Ethics Into Action, written by Singer, is the story of Henry’s work. It reads like an inspirational tale of one activist’s life as well as a manual on how to get things done. The lessons in this book for activists are not to be missed.

By |2009-10-09T11:53:00-04:00October 9th, 2009|Tags: , , |5 Comments
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