Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Saluting vegans: major animal lifesavers

"There is no meaningful distinction between eating flesh and eating dairy or other animal products. Animals exploited in the dairy industry live longer than those used for meat, but they are treated worse during their lives, and they end up in the same slaughterhouse after which we consume their flesh anyway. There is probably more suffering in a glass of milk or an ice cream cone than there is in a steak." —  Gary L. Francione, vegan American legal scholar and animal rights advocate  

Brussels sprouts fried rice                                     isachandra.com
With that, I’ve learned the truth of the familiar expression: “Pride goeth before a fall” – now amended to “Pride goeth before realizing how many ways (of which meat-avoidance is only one) vegans change their lives, for animals’ sakes.”

In other words, I’m a bare beginner, a raw recruit and hardly a hero at trying to save animals’ lives. Vegans are the ones I admire. Their route is truly tough. But lessening animal suffering and helping animals stay alive are what it’s all about.

Veganism is easier than vegetarianism to understand -- if not to live. Meat, fish, poultry, dairy, eggs, and all other animal-based products, like honey, are entirely given up. Any food or product that makes use of animals is rejected.

This often extends to clothing, medicines, and anything else in which animals or animal products are used. For example, vegans wouldn’t use leather handbags, shoes or belts; cosmetics tested on animals; down comforters; medicine capsules or candy (goodbye, “regular” marshmallows) containing gelatin; silk or woolen clothing or that made with dyes made from insects; or fur coats, of course. 
 Seitan pizza               Wikipedia

One info source had it that vegetarianism is usually a diet, while veganism is a lifestyle. Considering all that the typical vegan does without – animal flesh as well as products tested on or derived from animals -- “lifestyle” seems correct, of necessity. Here’s a simple and welcome summary: Vegans just leave animals alone and let them live their lives, period.

So, I get the why of becoming a vegan, but I wonder about the how of it. Does it happen in “one swell foop”?  Or is it more often a gradual process?  

Indicating that some 16 million people are veggie or vegan, one source reports that “69% said they chose to eat a vegan diet to support the ethical treatment of animals. Forty-five percent say they transitioned into veganism over time.”

If that sounded like a cue, it was!  Time to remind readers about the “Food for Life” starter kit, the free aid available on request from Animal Protection League of NJ.  Just visit the website (http://aplnj.org/food-for-life.php) and under the APLNJ logo near the top right, enter your email and click on “Request the Kit” -- then watch for the mail.  

(Note to vegan readers: You could help wannabe vegans by commenting here. How about telling us how you got started, what foods you enjoy – tips and recipes welcome-- and how you feel about veganism.)   



  1. There are so many substitutes these days that it's easy to just start switching items out as you can! Eg Almond or soy milk for cows milk, soy whip for whipped cream, Melt for butter, there are many meat alternatives in most supermarkets these days for mince, burgers, nuggets, meatballs, Smart Dogs for hotdogs, even fish!

  2. yes, I'm guessing it's all about motivation and remembering to make the kinds of switches you mention. thanks for commenting.

  3. A very interesting article! It would be very hard to make those switches. I know a few vegans and they made the change partly for health reasons.

  4. Whatever the reason, it helps animals, right?!