Why veganism? https://www.whyveganism.com Comprehensive website about veganism and animal rights with vegan recipes and information on vegan replacements for food, clothing, personal care products, and home products. And much more. Sun, 28 May 2017 16:51:06 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.5 https://www.whyveganism.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/cropped-why-veganism-dot-com-logo-512-px-square-32x32.jpg Why veganism? https://www.whyveganism.com 32 32 Would that make killing them okay? https://www.whyveganism.com/would-that-make-killing-them-okay/ Fri, 26 May 2017 15:15:10 +0000 https://www.whyveganism.com/?p=2496/ Whether you're vegan or nonvegan, animal welfare proponents would have you believe that the wrong in this picture is that these pigs are confined and not freely roaming on a pasture.

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[Image Description: This photo shows a row of light pink pigs in small rebar cages. The pig closest to the camera appears sad.]

Whether you’re vegan or nonvegan, animal welfare proponents would have you believe that the wrong in this picture is that these pigs are confined and not freely roaming on a pasture.

They’re confined. They appear to be suffering. And “current research provides compelling evidence that at least some animals likely feel a full range of emotions, including fear, joy, happiness, shame, embarrassment, resentment, jealousy, rage, anger, love, pleasure, compassion, respect, relief, disgust, sadness, despair, and grief.”¹ A quick conscience check tells us that this isn’t okay.

But if these pigs were freely roaming on a pasture until they were 1-2 years old before they were killed, would that make killing them okay?

Sentience, as defined by Google Dictionary / Google Search, is the ability “to perceive or feel things.” And clearly these pigs are perceiving their surroundings; clearly, they are feeling emotions. And the thing about those who possess sentience is that they value their lives. Their lives.

So regardless of the conditions they lived in or whether they were allowed to move more, these pigs value their lives. And their lives belong to them.

Early on in life, children are taught not to take what is not theirs. And one of the most egregious crimes one can commit is murder—to take the life of another. The charge of murder does not go away because the victim’s species is other-than-human.

As an animal rights proponent, I am someone who isn’t satisfied with the unjust aims of animal welfare. Helping animals isn’t simply about making the conditions they experience before we kill them better, it’s about challenging ourselves and our society to stop using them as resources and killing them at all. So I’m curious if you’ll take a moment to ask yourself this question: If an animal lives in possibly better than torturous conditions for a couple years, would that make killing them okay? If you answered no, you already believe in veganism. And I encourage you to request a free veganism starter kit.

 

¹ Marc Bekoff; Animal Emotions: Exploring Passionate Natures: Current interdisciplinary research provides compelling evidence that many animals experience such emotions as joy, fear, love, despair, and grief—we are not alone. BioScience 2000; 50 (10): 861-870. doi: 10.1641/0006-3568(2000)050[0861:AEEPN]2.0.CO;2

 

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A Delicious Vegan Egg https://www.whyveganism.com/a-delicious-vegan-egg/ Fri, 05 May 2017 19:56:34 +0000 https://www.whyveganism.com/?p=1757 The post A Delicious Vegan Egg appeared first on Why veganism?.

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It’s the sort of thing a fair amount of vegans dream existed: a 100% plant-based product that empowers them to easily re-create the tastes and textures of a countless number of the foods they loved before they were vegan. Since people become vegan for reasons that have nothing to do with a sudden and spontaneous dislike for French toast or a delicious omelette, several people work hard to ensure that everyone who opts for this plant-based form of nourishment is satisfied and can fill their bellies with all the goodness that they deserve (because yes, vegans deserve the very best!). Our desire is to see more nonvegans become vegan, and the easier that becomes in society, the more people will change so we’re super excited about this beautiful little gem that we want to share it with everyone.

So, what is it that we are talking about? Well, for those of us with cravings for the foods we loved before we were vegan but that require whole or parts of eggs in the recipe, there is a name that you should remember when you wish to create the perfect breakfast or bake the best-ever quiche: The Vegg.

Why are we talking to you about this great wonder that was developed by an amazing mastermind? It’s simple – we want to help make that seemingly-difficult shift from a nonvegan diet to an entirely plant-based diet to be as easy, quick, and satisfying as possible… because really, it’s not as hard as many people believe it is. After all, if we’re going to let you know what is going on for animals, what is hidden behind the doors and walls of slaughterhouses and animal product manufacturers, we also want to let you know that there are wonderful delicious alternatives available for you in the marketplace. Our hope is that when you choose to take that great, important, and crucial step towards living justly to animals, you remain vegan – for good. Otherwise, we would not succeed in our mission, and we believe that this is one of the main paths that will lead everyone into a better life for all living beings on the planet.

Delicious French toast made with The Vegg French Toast Mix

Rocky Shepheard, CEO is the clever mind behind this amazing line of products (not just one product!). He began his journey of endeavoring to create the best-ever egg replacement because of a bad April Fool’s Day joke. So, he stepped into his ‘lab’ – his kitchen – and got to work. He would try anything that seemed promising, work for a week, then give up… until the next seemingly great ingredient appeared, ”such as pistachios,” he says. But what finally gave him that final boost to succeed was learning about gastronomic chemistry and spherification techniques. The Vegg, an excellent replica of an egg yolk, was born. And it’s sooo good.

If you have not heard of this great company yet, allow us to introduce you to some of their great inventions. They have mastered the egg yolk with its unique texture and interesting flavor, which is wonderful because some recipes call for only the actual yolk as an ingredient (lemon pie, for example). Then, there is the difficult-to-replicate French toast, which is a breakfast favorite for many people.

the vegg french toast mix

Afterwards, their Not Your Parents’ Tofu Scramble, which comes in a convenient powder form, has a very similar appearance and texture to real scrambled eggs.

not your parents tofu scramble

They offer a baking mix to replace eggs in all your baked recipes, and have cleverly devised an exquisite cookbook – the Vegg Cookbook.

vegg cookbook

Best of all, their products contain no cholesterol, which is one of the health issues related to the consumption of eggs. This, however, is typical of a plant-based diet since cholesterol only comes from animal products. Plants are naturally free of cholesterol.

Up your plant-based cooking and baking game. Give The Vegg a try!

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If you only read one article about Earth Day, make it this one. https://www.whyveganism.com/if-you-read-one-article-about-earth-day-make-it-this-one/ Fri, 22 Apr 2016 02:43:33 +0000 https://www.whyveganism.com/?p=1647 The post If you only read one article about Earth Day, make it this one. appeared first on Why veganism?.

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Friday, April 22, 2016, will mark the 46th anniversary of Earth Day, and we are already hearing all the annual awareness campaigns. Take shorter showers, drive a hybrid, change a light bulb, recycle, blah, blah, blah. What’s noticeably missing in these campaigns is perhaps the single most important thing one can do for the environment —adopt a plant-based diet.

To commemorate Earth Day 2016, Sarah K. Woodcock of The Advocacy of Veganism Society asked me to write a piece about environmentalism and veganism. As Communications Director of the Sustainability Institute at Molloy College, I sat down with every intention of writing a piece that extols the compatibility of environmentalism and veganism. As a vegan, however, I have a hard time making the case for veganism (which is an ethical position about nonhuman animals) on strictly environmental grounds. It’s not that a compelling argument can’t be made from an environmental standpoint. The environmental benefits of being vegan are tremendous, and the environmental toll that animal consumption takes on our planet is frightening. When thinking on this subject, I’m often reminded of this now twelve-year-old statement from WorldWatch Institute:

The human appetite for animal flesh is a driving force behind virtually every major category of environmental damage now threatening the human future—deforestation, erosion, fresh water scarcity, air and water pollution, climate change, biodiversity loss, social injustice, the destabilization of communities, and the spread of disease.

Even the most casual Internet search about raising animals for human consumption will turn up a number of persuasive environmental reasons to adopt a plant-based diet. And that’s a good thing.

That gets me thinking, however. When we adopt a plant-based diet but ignore the ethical position of veganism, we miss a critically important moral opportunity with regards to nonhuman animals. With environmentalism enjoying the spotlight these days and the green movement having a whole array of ‘green’ products to consume, I might be quickly criticized when I suggest that anything done for environmental reasons alone is not a legitimate enough reason. Fact is, I’m glad for the growing number of plant-based dieters out there. If concern for the environment gets people thinking about and moving towards veganism, that is great. In the end, however, those of us who are vegan because we respect the inherent sentience of animals must take an active role in moving environmental plant-based dieters beyond environmentalism to learn about veganism and what it is about: the rights of non-human animals.

From the moment Donald Watson and his spouse Dorothy Morgan first coined the term ‘vegan’ in 1944, veganism has been about the rights of animals to be given equal consideration. To this day, veganism continues to be the only logical answer that gets at the heart of animal exploitation. Being vegan is your everyday statement that things are not right as they are, that you are one more person who is standing up to be counted in opposition to the exploitation of animals. It is a refusal of a system that produces enormous profits at the expense of animals that are just as sentient as the family dog or cat. Veganism is and has always been about animal rights.

I don’t want to be misunderstood, so let me say this once again: I’m glad to have people adopt a plant-based diet for environmental reasons. My point is, however, an environmental thrust alone is not a basis for veganism or for a long-term movement seeking to gain animals’ important rights. Adopting a plant-based diet but failing to positively engage veganism (as the ethical position it is) is quite like opposing genocide for environmental reasons. I know that is a provocative thing to say, but think about the central point I’m making. Yes, the person is opposed to genocide. But all of us would argue that the person making an objection on environmental grounds is really failing to see the larger point. That is that using and killing animals is profoundly disgusting and wrong because it violates the inherent rights that all sentient beings have. Most importantly, I would argue—the right not to be used as a resource.

Veganism is recognizing the inherent value of animals as individual beings unto themselves. If veganism is going to have any impact, it needs to be a movement that, at its core, is concerned about realizing rights for animals. Though the environmental implications of the exploitation of animals, and humans for that matter, are severe, disturbing, and taking a growing toll on our ecosystems, we must put these concerns within the larger framework of exploitation—one in which the environmental side effects of exploitation are recognized and understood but not in which they are the central focus of concern.

We need not be silent about the environmental benefits of veganism, but when we do address such benefits, we should point out that, while great, they are very much incidental to the grave moral wrong of exploiting and unnecessarily breeding and killing the innocent. I would be vegan even if it were bad for the environment, but it’s good to know that I can be a good environmentalist and a good vegan simultaneously.

Those of us who are seriously concerned about the environment should absolutely adopt a plant-based diet. But beyond that, those of us who are also seriously concerned with morality should go vegan and take a strong animal rights position. No other ethical position has a farther-reaching and more profoundly positive impact on the environment and all life on earth than veganism. If you’re not vegan – go vegan. If you are vegan – stay vegan. It’s probably better for your health, definitely better for the planet and all life on earth, but most importantly, it’s the ethically right thing to do.

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Demosthenes serves as the Communications Director at the Sustainability Institute at Molloy College, where he has been employed since 2009. Demosthenes has worked in the field of environmental and public policy since 1989. He began his career with the Long Island Neighborhood Network, the New York region’s largest and most active environmental advocacy organization. There, in addition to many successful efforts, he campaigned for the two most significant pieces of pesticide legislation in New York State history – the Neighbor Notification of Pesticide Spraying law and the Safe School Grounds law.

Now with the Sustainability Institute at Molloy College, Demosthenes is part of a team that provides community education and fosters informed debate on key issues related to sustainability. His work also includes integrating concepts of sustainability, environmental ethics, and veganism into the curriculum, operations and culture at Molloy College and the larger Long Island community. He hosts the Sustainability Institute’s Sustainable Living Film Series that boasts an entirely vegan menu at each screening, and makes the ethics and environmental benefits of veganism a central focus of each event. He is also featured in the 2014 documentary film, Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret that is currently streaming on Netflix.

Demosthenes holds a degree in Sociology from St. John’s University. He has been vegan since 1989.

Learn more about veganism right here on WhyVeganism.com and request a FREE veganism starter kit. And if you are already vegan, visit The Advocacy of Veganism Society to get started with vegan advocacy.

If you were inspired by Demosthenes’ unique perspective, share this post with your friends.

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A Fellow Fire Fighter Shares His Unusual Perspective about Saving Animals https://www.whyveganism.com/a-fellow-fire-fighter-shares-unusual-perspective-saving-animals/ Mon, 21 Mar 2016 17:37:41 +0000 https://www.whyveganism.com/?p=1613 Early this morning, on the Facebook post referenced above, Chris Foott, a fire fighter from Manchester in the United Kingdom, shared his unusual perspective about saving animals.

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This image is a screenshot of The Dodo Facebook page post of its article called "Firefighters Make An Itty-Bitty Oxygen Mask To Save 4 Tiny Fire Victims." The caption on the post is "The teeniest rescue ever!" It shows someone holding a tiny animal and giving them oxygen.

This image above is a screenshot of The Dodo’s Facebook page post of its article called “Firefighters Make An Itty-Bitty Oxygen Mask To Save 4 Tiny Fire Victims.” The caption on the post is “The teeniest rescue ever!” It shows someone holding a tiny animal and giving them oxygen.

Early this morning, on this Facebook post above, Chris Foott, a fire fighter from Manchester in the United Kingdom, shared his unusual perspective about saving animals with this comment below:

I have been a fire fighter for nearly 12 years.

I have attended countless rescues of both humans and other animals. I have seen the overwhelming relief when we turn up and help to save their lives.

I have rescued a litter of kittens from a house fire and assisted with administering them oxygen. Their (cat) mother later came over and you could see how relieved she was that they were all ok.

I have also seen the life drain out of other animals that we have failed to save. You can see the sorrow in their eyes. They know exactly what is happening, they know that they will never feel the sun on their face again.

Being exposed to so much life and death, I have learned that ALL living beings cherish their lives equally.

Our life is just as important to us as a pig’s, cow’s, or chicken’s life is to them.

This is why we should not allow their only ever chance to live on our planet to be spent being exploited, tortured and ultimately killed just so we can enjoy the taste of their flesh for just a few minutes. Please just think about it.

 

ALL living beings cherish their lives equally.

This amazing fire fighter, Chris, then directed readers to learn more about veganism. We encourage you to do the same right here on WhyVeganism.com and request a FREE veganism starter kit. And if you are already vegan, visit The Advocacy of Veganism Society to get started with vegan advocacy.

If you were inspired by Chris’ unique perspective, share this post with your friends.

Click here to read our Terms of Use, which includes our disclaimers about food, endorsements, and links, which this website is subject to.

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