Blog

An unexpected consideration

I watched Cowspiracy the other night.

I went into it with a healthy dose of skepticism, being an avid meat eater. I didn’t think I’d learn much past what I already knew, but was interested in what the documentary had to say. I use natural products, I don’t buy supermarket meat, I buy local, I eat healthily. I didn’t think it would change my outlook, but I wanted to see what people were talking about. I thought it was just another ‘eat less meat’ film. Nevertheless, I sat down that evening with a glass of wine and a curious mind. I never expected, 2 hours later, to have a whole new viewpoint and be considering a lifestyle that had never, ever featured on my radar.

Cowspiracy is a documentary film about the impact of animal agriculture on global warming. What I learned shocked me. I was…I am… a huge, vocal supporter of the ‘local meat’ idea, eating quality meat, and yes, eating a large quantity of it. I’m quite sure of my beliefs and ideas. It takes a lot for me to change my mind. And yet, in less than 2 hours, I’d given thought to an idea of a lifestyle that I’d not even considered before. I wasn’t considering vegetarianism, or cutting down on meat consumption.

No, I was seriously considering veganism.

Usually I’d be strangely embarrassed to admit that I’d made a U-turn in my thinking. Most of the people I know eat meat, dairy and fish with delight, enjoyment and without a thought, myself included. It’s just part of daily life. But I sent an immediate WhatsApp to my fellow meat-loving husband, shocked at the way I could suddenly admit that this may just be a valid choice for me. I’m as surprised at it as anybody. And I appreciated the fact that he took this message with respect and curiosity, rather than the ‘phhhp’ that I myself would probably have responded with only a day or two ago.

Just watching a documentary made me question the way I am living my life currently. It made me question my deepest priorities, shake my beliefs, open my eyes to a truth, and wonder if I could be strong enough to publicly make such a statement as changing my whole diet and lifestyle. Just how passionate am I? How much of a change am I prepared to make?

I need to consider the steps. Giving up meat…fish…dairy…eggs…all animal products. All products made from, or by animals. Leather shoes. Honey. Cake. Would I ever be able to manage that? Are my reasons strong enough? How would it affect my life?

I’m still thinking and processing what I learned. I’m researching and thinking of ways to change my lifestyle. I’d love to hear if anyone else has changed their lifestyle or diet in response to something that changed their mind. What challenges did it throw up? Has anyone else watched Cowspiracy or similar films? What is your opinion?

 

 

 

Share:

53 thoughts on “An unexpected consideration

  1. On February 18th 2015, I became a vegan. I’ve been an ovo lacto vegetarian for 48 years & thought that was good enough. I gave up all red meat, seafood & poultry when I was 8. On New Year’s Eve 2014, I resolved to eat a healthier diet & so I started to research the food I ate. I read an interview with Martin Shaw, the actor & he talked about his healthy vegetarian lifestyle. That article lead me to read some vegan blogs & from there I found my way to the PETA & VIVA websites. I clicked my way through all sorts of material & I felt as if a light had gone on in my mind. I knew that I had to change. I cut all animal products out of my diet & out of my life. It was very hard at first. I love cheese. A lot. I stuck to my decision though. I could no longer justify my previous lifestyle choices. It took 3 or 4 weeks to stop craving dairy & that was when I discovered the savoury ‘almost cheesey’ taste of nutritional yeast. Eating out needs forward planning. Recipes have to be modified, or ditched completely & new foods have been incorporated into my life. Not many people have understood my choice & I have had some very negative comments, but as time goes on, I feel more and more comfortable with my life. The benefits have far outweighed the negatives for me. I wish you well as you work out whether veganism it is the right choice for you.

  2. I read Committed by Dan Matthews back in 2008 (my husband chose it randomly off the library shelf because it had a funny quote from Tommy Lee on the cover! – http://www.amazon.com/Committed-Rabble-Rousers-Memoir-Dan-Mathews/dp/0743291948 ) and as soon as we read it we both went vegetarian. My sister was vegan at the time, so it wasn’t long before I started evolving in that direction. Even the kids were vegetarian! Unfortunately, in 2011, after the stress of dealing with my son being very unwell for an extended period of time (gluten allergy, he grew out of it, whew!!!), I developed IBS and my body is unwilling to tolerate legumes of any kind πŸ™ Not even tofu!! So the kids and I went back to eating meat, but my husband is still a vegetarian. I haven’t watched Cowspiracy or any other such films – I read Jonathan Safran Foer’s Eating Animals right before I had to give up being vegan (http://www.amazon.com/Eating-Animals-Jonathan-Safran-Foer-ebook/dp/B00390BE7G/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1442267720&sr=1-3&keywords=jonathan+saffron+foer) and it really made going back to eating meat a struggle, even though I had no other choice. Some of the stories about American factory farms were horrific! I am pretty sensitive and have to be careful what I watch and after reading that I decided that seeing any of those films would be a mistake for me. I tried going Veg again when we got our wee puppy earlier this year, but, unfortunately, my intestinal system is still being stubborn about legumes (amongst other things πŸ™ )
    Good luck exploring this! You will meet some wonderful people and learn some amazing things! πŸ™‚

    1. I am curious about why you think you need to eat legumes to be vegan? There is absolutely no reason not to be vegan because you can’t eat legumes.
      I have been vegan 20 years and veggie for at least a decade before that, I have been studying nutrition and plants for health and helping msny msny people transition to healthy plant based diets and veganism. Without eating legumes. I am assuming that you think that you need them because you don’t have meat, this us an absolute myth and there is no reason at all yoh have to eat legumes if you are vegan, I have many long term (decades) Vegan friends who don’t eat legumes. We can get all of the nutrients , including proteins, we need from fruits and vegetables, feel free to ask!

    2. Hi Clare,
      Just out of curiosity, have you heard of raw till 4? A woman named Freeleethebananagirl on YouTube has created the diet, evolved from 80/10/10. It focuses on the easiest to digest whole plant foods (all vegan of course). It also incorporates food pairing which helps a lot with bloating and digestive issues. I started the diet after having a lot of digestive issues as well, and although I’m not 100% anymore, when I am my digestion is near perfect. Just thought I’d share the option with you!
      -Cheyenne πŸ™‚

    3. Clare there is a way you can be vegan and still be healthy. Traditional vegan/vegetarianism required excessive amounts of legumes in the belief that you needed them for protein but less is by far better. There is sufficient protein in veges like kale, beetroot, carrot, spinach, leafy greens, hemp seeds etc. It may be worth your while to investigate a raw food lifestyle. By no means do you need to go completely raw but it is easy to manage a predominately raw way of eating. I also had enormous trouble digesting the amounts of legumes and tofu that was recommended for a traditional vegetarian lifestyle and the overcooking of all the beautiful produce was concerning me greatly, so I started looking into the raw lifestyle. I do not know where you live but there are a large number of people both in the states, UK and Australia that are embracing this new lifestyle. I have rediscovered the joy of producing tasty fresh and healthy food again. And honestly I have never felt better!!
      I feel proud I have made a better lifestyle choice for me , the plant and all the beautiful lives that share the world with us.

    4. I became vegan in 1999. For 12 years previous to this, I had IBS issues and followed a food combining diet that precluded any legumes so there was no way I was going to include them in my diet once I switched to veganism! I adopted a fully raw diet because the vibrant foods appealed and it made so much sense to me to NOT denature fresh and nutrient rich fruit and veggies with heat. Within several months of eating this way, I found that I could eat sprouted legumes with no problem at all. I absolutely thrive as a vegan. I had so much energy, I became a fitness instructor just to use up some of it whilst also completingand a full-time BSc degree and looking after a husband, home and two young children. Last year, I began to eat some cooked again out of curiosity and I have no digestive issues whatsoever – even eating cooked legumes.

    5. I became vegan in 1999. For 12 years previous to this, I had IBS issues and followed a food combining diet that precluded any legumes so there was no way I was going to include them in my diet once I switched to veganism! I adopted a fully raw diet because the vibrant foods appealed and it made so much sense to me to NOT denature fresh and nutrient rich fruit and veggies with heat. Within several months of eating this way, I found that I could eat sprouted legumes with no problem at all. I absolutely thrive as a vegan. I had so much energy, I became a fitness instructor just to use up some of it whilst also completing a full-time BSc degree and looking after a husband, home and two young children. Last year, I began to eat some cooked again out of curiosity and I have no digestive issues whatsoever – even eating cooked legumes.

  3. I would still keep a healthy dose of skepticism about Cowspiracy. It’s definitely a big step in the right direction, but he’s also twisting facts and outright ignoring other research and methods. To be fair I stopped about 3/4 through, I plan to finish it but he’s put me off a lot with his offhand dismissal of Allen Savoury. Research the man, his work and Ted talk, and see if you think that was warranted.

    Healthy biosystems have a mix of plants and animals – the problems isn’t the animals we farm, it’s the sheer numbers and the way it’s done.

    1. Alan was invited to share his view point on the film. The film makers also requested to see the holistic ranges Alan is so eager to talk about but not enough to share with Kip.

    2. Every fact that is stated in the movie is backed up with the sources on http://www.cowspiracy.com/facts

      And a simple web-search will show many peer-reviewed, published scientific studies that debunk Allen Savory’s ideas. The only peer-reviewed studies that are in favor are ones that very tightly select the land that is studied. It is a great idea in theory but doesn’t work in practice for most of the country and where it might work, forests would sequester much more carbon than cows.

      Something he never addresses are the inputs needed – most parts of the country you do need to bring in a lot of water and often extra hay too. There is a book coming out next month from the makers of Cowspiracy with a lot more information that they didn’t have time to cover in the movie – including a lot about Allen Savory.

    3. That is great, Sal!
      I went vegan nearly 4 years ago, and it was the best thing I ever did. Many health issues evaporated (psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis, sluggishness…) and my conscience never felt better. I only wish I had done it sooner.
      There are so many resources out there; I love podcasts like Rich Roll, It’s All About Food, Mainstreet Vegan, Plant Yourself and Jami Dulaney MD. A so many great books and websites like PCRM.org and nutritionfacts.org to get health information. I wish you luck on your adventure – eating will taste better and feel better than ever before!

    4. Ari,

      Allen Savoury’s work is controversial and has been challenged and criticized by many people. All one needs to do is take a look at his wikipedia page, which has a section titled ‘criticisms’. It lists all of his detractors and provides references. Point being, that the creators of Cowspiracy are not outlandish in their dismissal of Savoury’s ideas.

    5. Okay, so you like Allen Savoury, for some reason. And now that’s in the way of your reasoning. For others it’s the pope. Jezus or Santa Claus. All you have to do is do the calculations, thank rationally, take a good look around and throw your compassionate side into it… than it becomes instantly clear that humans are not only destroying the ecosystem but also their own splendor. If that doesn’t bother you than just keep doing what you were doing before but shut up about it. If you do give a damn, than shut up with the endless excuses….. keep it simple an honest.

  4. Well Ari, the choice is simple then. Limit your animal product consumption to practically nil, or attempt to cut the worlds human population by 2/3s. What seems easier to you?

  5. You don’t have to give up cake!! πŸ˜€ (or honey http://beefreehonee.com/) When I went vegan, my mom was convinced I would never be able to eat anything tasty ever again…and then she started going through my vegan Pinterest board

    https://www.pinterest.com/oborochann/vegan/

    It convinced her to go vegan as well and she loves every second of it. I think if you give it a try you’ll see there is an incredible abundance in plant food and instead of seeing doors close, they’ll open. Also check out this site, its amazing for people who are curious and just starting out πŸ™‚ http://www.joyfulvegan.com/

  6. I would recommend watching Forks Over Knives to better your health and Earthlings to better your soul. What Cowspiracy does to strip away the social conditioning that we have inherited towards the treatment of animals and the natural world, those two other documentaries will only take this new education further. Veganism, or, as I like to call it, reverting back to our natural state as herbivores is a win, win, win direction of travel.

  7. I have been vegan for two years now for health and ethical reasons. I am of south american background so eating meat was very well my lifestyle choice. I am very lucky to have a wife that researches and crosschecks everything from superfoods, plant base diets, food and blood types, human evolution, etc. I recomend if you have been shifted or mind changed if you call it to research you heart out in all apects of life, i dont believe that we need any animal intake nore use of there bodys as they are all sentient beings. mind body and spirit evolves and so does the planet.

  8. I went vegan overnight after being told some of the same ideas and situations presented in Cowspiracy and I have seen the movie. Going vegan was the best decision I ever made (Hubby and I, 10 years ago now). From a formed dedicated *meat* consumer to a person who cannot conceive I ever ate someone’s rotting flesh.

  9. For those looking for a longer discussion about Allen Savoury in the context of this film, check out this Rich Roll podcast with the Cowspiracy filmmakers. They get into it pretty early in the podcast:
    http://www.richroll.com/podcast/cowspiracy-how-animal-agriculture-is-destroying-the-planet-what-you-can-do-about-it/

    They also promised longer versions of the film’s interviews to be posted on their website soon.

    I congratulate this blogger on having the courage to question her own beliefs publicly. I’m rooting for that you choose a vegan diet….I’ve never felt more healthy or good about my lifestyle eating plants. Good luck!

  10. Check out plant fuelled trucker & Dr McDougall. Healthy way to go & simple. I’m still trying to give up oil for my health. But feta cheese was my last anchor.

  11. That’s a huge steep, but when you are in the other side you will see how easy it is to act accordingly with your ideals. Internet is full with blogs and additional information to help you go thru this change. It’s a beautiful one, you will love it.

    I thing as Ari that more information could have been included in this Doc Cowspiracy, but it was a low budget film and also a short film. Nevertheless, the information is out there in science papers and in every day press (The Guardian, The Huffington post and New York Times have released several articles on the subject).
    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0048969715303697
    http://www.unep.org/pdf/unep-geas_oct_2012.pdf
    http://content.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1839995,00.html
    http://www.ted.com/talks/sylvia_earle_s_ted_prize_wish_to_protect_our_oceans?language=en
    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/world-on-a-plate/2014/sep/18/sylvia-earle-overfishing-seafood-ocean-hope-spots

    ∞

  12. Hi Sal,
    I also had the scales tip for me by watching a documentary. Mine was over 3 years ago watching “Forks over Knives” which focused on health. Society and culture play such a huge part in eating meat, that it is really easy to just go with the flow. Once one looks into things, and opens the mind to truth, the information is staggering. Factory farms are incredibly bad for people, the environment and especially animals. We all can agree with this.

    I started my path towards veganism by getting some books, 30 day Vegan, and just committing for 30 days. I think it is important to allow yourself some space to not be perfect. Just move towards a good direction, and if that means keeping honey for now or leather shoes, don’t let it seem too much to even try. If you are interested you can check out my journey. I’m not perfect, but I hope to just raise awareness to more people, which is better than being perfect.

    Good luck, and please contact me if you want any tips. (-; I really enjoy my food so much more now.
    Amy

  13. Good for you! A difficult decision for many people as it goes against everything in our culture. But you will be in excellent company – Tolstoy, Leonardo Da Vinci, Einstein, Voltaire and Plato are some famous vegans from history and there are many thoughtful people today making the switch also. There are many resources out there for vegans across the country, from local Meet Ups to the new Plant Pure Pods and millions of recipes online. If you now want to get the truth about the nutrition side of the subject, go to http://www.nutritionfacts.org .

  14. My sister watched a video on Youtube called “101 Reasons to go Vegan”. She transformed on the spot from total meat eater to vegan. Only one problem, she had no idea where to start!!
    So she phoned me in a frantic state – “How the heck am I supposed to get together a meal made out of only plant foods – what does that look like, where do I begin?” So I sent her some information and a few easy recipes and ideas to get her started.
    Two years later, (today), she is a much better cook than I am. Invitations to eat at her house are my favorite thing, I can’t wait to see what she will come up with next. And it’s so great, never having to worry that I am going to accidentally eat something not vegan!
    What an amazing and wonderful transformation!

  15. For those interested, Rich Roll interviewed the Cowspiracy creators the other day on his podcast & I highly recommend listening! As an FYI, in order for Leonardo DiCaprio to be the executive producer & get the film on Netflix, these guys had to find AT LEAST 2 sources for EVERY fact in the movie. They also went conservative with their numbers. So, before assuming they’re twisting the facts, I’d recommend checking out their website where they site their sources & then do your own research if you’re still not convinced!
    I’ve been a vegan for 4 years, changing because I had done enough research on my own that convinced me it was a healthier choice. Since then I’m so thankful for people who are seeking & sharing the truth, like the Cowspiracy creators. It’s time for us to stop blindly following the herd, padding the pockets of meat & dairy farmers because of economics their corresponding political influence, leading people to believe they should follow the food pyramid, which includes a “dairy” category; isn’t it calcium that we really need?!?!

  16. Good for you for being so open minded! I love being vegan. Been vegan 17 years. And the food is no where as restrictive as you might expect. And you can still have cake! πŸ™‚ Check out the http://ohsheglows.com/ website for inspiration. πŸ™‚

    In response to the post above, there is a really good discussion of the Alan Savoury theories on Rich Roll’s latest podcast with the Cowspiracy filmmakers – http://www.richroll.com/podcast/cowspiracy-how-animal-agriculture-is-destroying-the-planet-what-you-can-do-about-it/

  17. Thank you for being receptive to new information that challenges your lifestyle, for taking it seriously and for even considering how you might begin such a major transition. Since I don’t know where you live, I don’t know what’s available in your area, but these days most supermarkets carry non-dairy milks, Earth Balance “butter,” Vegenaise or Just Mayo mayonnaise, and Gardein/ Field Roast/Yves vegan “meats.” Some of the newer nut cheeses like Miyoko’s Kitchen and TreeLine are excellent. This is a wonderful time to go vegan, as there are many new and delicious vegan alternatives that didn’t exist even 5-10 years ago. If you have questions about nutrition, I strongly recommend http://www.nutritionfacts.org. I hope you have fun on your journey! I think you’ll find that the less animal products you eat, the better you’ll feel in the knowledge that you’re making the best choices for the environment, to reduce greenhouse gases, for the animals’ welfare and world hunger, and for your own health. Best wishes. Louisa

  18. Best change I ever made in my life was becoming vegan. (My husband is also)
    My only regret was that I didn’t do it sooner. I can’t change the past, but I can commit
    to living the rest of my life cruelty free.
    I’m ashamed to admit that I had no idea of the extent of the cruelty involved, especially in the dairy industry.
    In my ignorance I thought cows ate grass and produced milk. I was horrified when I
    found out the truth.
    Good luck! I hope you make the decision to leave the dark side, for the animals, the planet
    and your health.

  19. wow! I commend you for having such an open mind πŸ™‚ I received a CD copy early when it came out since I sponsored them on their Kickstarter campaign. I showed it to my then 19 year old son who also cares a lot about the environment but he is also an elite alpine skier (heavy protein whey shakes, etc) I’ve been vegetarian since my 20s and went vegan in 2012. Anyway, directly after the film ended my son looked at me and said, “well, I guess I’m vegan now”.
    If you are seriously wanting to do this I would recommend going to Cowspiracy.com and signing up for the free 30 day vegan challenge with Colleen Patrick-Goudreau, it’s a great program with daily advice and videos. The cheese part is a bit hard at first and now a days there are great meat substitutes too when you get a meat craving.
    And I also want to say to “Ari” please listen to the Rich Rill podcast number #176 with Kip and Keegan and keep an open mind about Allen Savoury, his environmental history isn’t that impressive.
    Good luck!!!

  20. I had been a “lazy” vegetarian for about 3 months before I watched cowspiracy. I loved animals, and that’s why I decided to stop eating meat (though I continued to eat fish for a while, and more than made up for the lack of meat with cheese, yogurt, eggs and tuna…)
    In January of this year, a friend suggested I watch Cowspiracy, and damn, it just changed everything.
    I was so ignorant to the reality before watching this documentary. I had no idea on the impact on the planet – that my choice to eat fish and dairy (and previously meat) was actually counter acting efforts to feed the starving?!
    I decided that day I would go vegan. I still had eggs in my fridge and I made a frittata with about half the pack. When I finished that, I just didn’t want any more eggs. Tried to give them away but no one wanted them, and I ended up just throwing them.
    I’ve since learnt more and more about the health benefits of a plant based diet. I lost about 10kg, my adult acne has gone completely, my hair grows INSANELY fast (I had dreamed about having long hair my whole life, and now, 6 months into a vegan diet, it’s a reality). I stopped getting anxiety attacks and the binge eating disorder I had just went. It wasn’t even conscious… But I guess I was just addicted to animals products (mainly cheese).
    Some people say go vegan over night – it’s up to you. I went vegan over about 3 months, and it worked amazingly for me. I just kept gradually replacing the meat products with plant based ones, and so it wasn’t such a shock and I didn’t find it so difficult.
    One thing I would say is that to stay “on the wagon”, in a world where every second advertisement on the TV / billboard in the city is encouraging you to eat sugar coated, deep fried, salted, animal products, just continue to educate yourself. I watch any new documentary that comes out, YouTube videos, I read articles, studies and reports. It all keeps the fight in me alive.
    It’s much easier to just carry on eating animals products, but easy does not equal right or moral. We have an obligation to protect the planet for the next generation, and veganism is the BIGGEST step in the right direction any individual can feesably take!
    P.s. Anything you loved before you can veganise… I’ve seriously surprised myself with my cooking skills and creativity!

  21. Sal,
    You don’t have to give up cake! You don’t have to give up ice cream, or brownies, cookies, pizza, hotdogs, milk, etc. There are really yummy vegan alternatives to almost anything you could ever want! As more and more people turn to veganism, we vote with our purchases and more vegan options arise. You see, you can have your cake and eat it too, it’ll just be a cruelty-free cake, which in my opinion tastes way better than one filled with cruelty. If you need any advice, or just someone to talk to on the subject, I would be happy to help and I have a ton of people in my vegan community that would love to help as well!
    Good luck on your journey! ?
    -Cheyenne

  22. Among the many reasons to go vegan, there’s health. Yours and your family’s. I was raised not just eating meat (muscle tissue) but all kinds of animal body parts. Vietnamese people eat like that. Our family ate certain animals illegally in this country too). Until awareness dawned on me what I was eating, where it came from, and how much I have on common with it (thank you high school physiology class dissections, grosso!). I turned vegetarian many years ago. Then 5 years ago when both my parents died from lifestyle induced illnesses. My mom in particular had aggressive late stage colon cancer. Animal protein causes cancer. I decided to become vegan and never find myself in my parents’ situation, dying with great suffering from preventable diseases.

  23. I watched Gary Yourofsky’s “Best Speech You Will Ever Hear” back in 2011 and went vegan the same day. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=es6U00LMmC4
    He is controversial but makes many valid points in the video. Even though I gave up consuming animal products right away, it took awhile before I found reasonable replacements for items I had come to depend on. I tried many plant based milks and decided that rice milk suits my tastes. That was a big one for me because I like eating cold cereal for breakfast. The best way to transition is to NOT try to replicate the taste of foods you enjoy, but to find food you enjoy as much but that are 100% plant based. I also recommend watching “Forks Over Knives” and “PlantPure Nation” if you can.

    Remember that veganism is a journey, not a destination. Do what you can as you can, and don’t let other peoples’ opinions get you off track.

    One other thing, you never have to give up cake!

  24. I was a vegan prior to seeing Cowspiracy, but watching it reinforced my commitment to veganism. Animal agriculture is destructive in many ways. Whether or not you are morally opposed to eating meat, the devastating effects that animal ag is having on our environment is crystal clear. I commend you for keeping an open mind and watching the film. I’m glad to hear that it has made you reevaulate your dietary choices. If the thought of going vegan all at once seems overwhelming then start off slow. Have a meal a day that is vegan and see how you feel about it. Then gradually increase the vegan meals you have. I thought I would never be able to stick to it, but here I am.

  25. Yes! When the old slips away and doesn’t make sense anymore. Embrace what your heart is telling you. Don’t push yourself to do anything that doesn’t feel good, or make any choices that compromise your health. Do your research. Find other vegans and join in on sharing recipes, restaurants, products… Veganism doesn’t have to be a choice made out of militant rules or out of a place of scarcity. It can be a beautiful choice born out of abundance, a love for the planet, its inhabitants, and yourself. When you get to a point in life, where even your mealtimes are coming from an act of conscious action, motivation and love, you know you’re on the right track. πŸ™‚

  26. As others have said, cake isn’t inherently non-vegan, there are a million vegan cake recipes! I became vegan close to two years ago, and never looked back.

    Also, most non-vegan recipes can be veganized! Here’s a great chart for replacing eggs:
    http://41.media.tumblr.com/1aa0c32545c104062ed3a22fa263c46b/tumblr_nnfif5NsKo1rj3wsho1_1280.jpg

    Milk can be replaced with any substitute (oat-, soy-, almond- or cashew milk, or any of the others).

    Butter can be replaced with coconut fat (works best in “bready” cakes, such as cupcakes, muffins, sponge cakes etc.).

    Honey can be replaced with agave syrup.

    I wish you all the luck on your journey!

  27. Why no honey? — we need all the bees we can get! (or else we’ll have no fruits.)
    Besides, bees don’t produce honey like cows produce milk or hens eggs; essentially, it’s a plant-based product.

    1. It’s not a plant-based product if it comes from an animal but of course that in itself is not a reason to ditch honey. A good reason to not eat honey is that we do not only need bees, we need healthy bees! When we eat industrialized honey we are actively harming the bees’ immune systems because their honey is taken away and replaced by sugar water. While that may provide them with energy it does not provide them with the same essential nutrients that honey has. Honey is the bees’ food saving. It’s a perfect lunch pack that has everything they need to be healthy. If you find someone who sells a bit of honey and let’s the bees keep the majority that’s less problematic but that cannot be found in any supermarket.

      1. I used to be a hobbyist beekeeper for a few years and my hive was producing more honey than they needed (granted, winters here are comparatively mild, with hardly any frost.) I said it’s *essentially* a plant-based product because it’s a regurgitated flower nectar (a process during which bees add some enzymes to it.)

    2. Tomasz – That’s a great question. Vegans abstain from honey because bees make honey for themselves, not humans. A bee makes 1/12 teaspoon of honey in their entire lifetime. Typically the honey that is taken is replaced with sugar water or corn syrup, which isn’t as healthy for the bees since it lacks the antibiotic and probiotics naturally occurring in honey and makes the bees more susceptible to illness or parasites. There also are cruel aspects to honey production: some bee keepers over work the bees by transporting them too far and too often to pollinate crops, intentionally or accidentally kill off bees, artificially inseminate queen bees and/or clip the queen bee’s wings. Additionally, the pesticides bees are exposed to when pollinating non-organic crops have been linked to colony collapse.

      There are a lot of great honey alternatives so it is super easy to replace. My favorite substitute is agave nectar, but maple syrup, brown rice syrup, coconut nectar and Bee Free Honee (made from apples) also are great as well.

      1. Didn’t know about the one-dozenth of a teaspoon; had to look it up cause it sounds like an urban legend. While it’s true that “bees make honey for themselves, not humans,” the same can be said about carrots πŸ˜‰ so I’d be careful with this line of logic.

        Well, sugar is generally bad for you, and honey is ~80% sugar — so I certainly don’t indulge in it — but at least it has some good stuff in it too, which I don’t suppose the substitutes offer (?)

  28. You can definitely eat a delicious and mentally fulfilling diet as a vegan! I think I’ve baked more cakes, cookies, muffins, etc. as a vegan than I’ve ever had before (been vegan for 2.5 years). It doesn’t hurt that these things are healthier too, and no living creature has to die so that you could have dinner!

    If you’re not sure where to start with your vegan diet, please take a look at my ‘vegan starter’ guide: http://www.veganrunnereats.com/847/first-steps-in-going-vegan-where-to-start-what-to-expect-and-how-to-stick-with-it/

  29. My life was changed by a documentary as well. Just four years ago I had never even considered vegetarianism and I didn’t even know that veganism existed. I knew that vegetarians were those freaks that didn’t eat meat and I knew that I definitely didn’t wanna be one of them. Then I watched Earthling and immediately I was a vegetarian. A month later I was vegan and I never looked back. There was just too much logic to refuse it. Too much suffering to turn away. Too many good reasons to change my behavior. So I did and it’s all for the better. I hope you make the same realization and live a happy, healthy life without hindering others from doing the same. Best wishes.

  30. I absolutely love being vegan. I was ovo-lacto vegetarian for 13 years before my aha moment where I found out how horrible the dairy and egg industries were. Since going vegan 4 years ago I’m healthier, I’m more at peace with myself and I eat a much wider variety of better tasting food. I’ve actually become a pretty good cook! Happy Herbivore is a great place to visit when first starting to explore becoming vegan or plant-based. That blog has a wonderfully positive outlook, easy recipes and lots of great advice. I know it can initially be scary and uncomfortable to think about make such a huge change, but by making the choice to eliminate animal products you are helping the planet, improving your health and saving animals from misery and suffering. If you need further motivation I recommend watching Forks Over Knives, a documentary that shows the health benefits of a vegan/plant-based diet. The documentary Earthlings also has inspired many people to become vegan by showing the horrors of animal mistreatment, but because I can’t bear to watch suffering, I won’t watch that film (I had to cover my eyes for the couple of violent scenes in Cowspiracy). If you still need an extra nudge to jump into veganism, Earthlings may do the trick. Good luck on your journey!

  31. i read Diet for a New America 20 years ago, and never ate meat again. But it can take years to give up dairy, eggs and fish. dont beat yourself up. I am a vegetarian with a vegan kitchen. Out in the world I do
    what I can. But if Im at a pizza joint with friends, I eat pizza.

  32. I literally watch Cowspiracy (along with Vegecated) last night – and I’m struggling with the same morality complex this morning. I will definitely cut meat out of my diet, but it may take me a few weeks/months to go full vegan as I learn about substitutions and nutrition. That said, I watched the documentaries at the urging of a close friend who became vegan a year ago, and she’s offered up all kinds of vegan recipe support (thank heavens!).

    Thanks for posting this! I was afraid I was the only meat eater to be so affected by this eye-opening documentary.

Comments are closed.