the practice of abstaining from animal products and a philosophy that rejects animal commodification
Veganism is both the practice of abstaining from the use of animal products, particularly in diet, and an associated philosophy that rejects the commodity status of animals. A follower of either the diet or the philosophy is known as a vegan.
- My motto has always been “If you love animals, don’t eat them”. ... the moment I began to understand what was going on with the treatment of animals, it led me more and more in the way of the path I am [on] now, which is a complete vegan.
- I coined the term feminized protein for eggs and dairy products: plant protein produced through the abuse of the reproductive cycle of female animals. Feminized protein is taken from living female animals, whose reproductive capacity is manipulated for human needs. The unique situation of domesticated female animals required its own term: a sexual slavery with chickens in battery cages and dairy cows hooked up to milking machines. … The radical truth is that people can be perfectly happy as vegans, but the dominant culture can’t or won’t acknowledge this. … Being vegan is an exciting, wonderful culinary experience and we probably don’t even know what’s possible because it’s still so new. … The process of objectification/fragmentation/consumption can be interrupted by the process of attention/nowness/compassion.
- When people ask me why I don’t eat meat or any other animal products, I say because they are unhealthy and they are the product of a violent and inhumane industry. Chickens, cows, and pigs in factory farms spend their whole lives in filthy, cramped conditions only to die a prolonged and painful death.
- They taught me the importance of eating right and how it can benefit my boxing career. I went vegan ‘cold Tofurkey’. … Since being plant based, I am 23-0, winning 3 International Golds and 2 National tournaments and can thank my new lifestyle.
- I've been vegan for two years and vegetarian for 20 years. I used to be a dancer, and so health and vitality have always been important to me. I wouldn't say it took any one big event, vegetarianism just always made sense to me. [What farmed animals] endure is just terrible. It's horrible … Vegan food is soul food in its truest form. Soul food means to feed the soul. And, to me, your soul is your intent. If your intent is pure, you are pure.
- Honestly, ever since I found this way of eating I have endless amounts of energy. I can go all day, and after it all I never find myself getting tired. No matter what kind of shows I have done, or workouts I do on top of it, I still have to force myself to sleep at night.
- By setting aside animal-derived products—meat, dairy products, and eggs—you can reach a level of health and well-being that you may never have expected you could enjoy. … Although our work has focused on helping people trim down, conquer diabetes, cut cholesterol, and tackle other medical problems, it should be said that not everyone who decides to forgo animal products makes that choice for health reasons. Many people are concerned with how animals are treated by the food industries, and rightly so. And the environmental consequences of meat and dairy production should be of concern to all of us.
- Cooking is my love language, where there's the most amount of giving selflessly. … It's more about the health benefits than the ethics. But it's compounded by the fact that I love animals and feel better not eating them.
- Kristen Bell, on her vegan cuisine, after her transition from vegetarianism to veganism, in "Kristen in the Kitchen", in Women's Health (8 March 2012).
- My perspective of veganism was most affected by learning that the veal calf is a by-product of dairying, and that in essence there is a slice of veal in every glass of what l had thought was an innocuous white liquid—milk.
- Unless tied to alliance politics and radical social and environmental movements, the animal rights movement is just single-issue reformism and veganism is reduced to just another form of bourgeois individualism and capitalist consumerism. Profound in moral, social, and ecological implications, animal rights and veganism are crucial necessary steps for liberation politics, but hardly in and of themselves sufficient conditions for revolutionary change. The profound importance of veganism and animal rights can be recognized by a social majority only in a broad political context, and only in alliance with other struggles can their revolutionary potential be realized.
- After having my daughter, I made a conscious effort to regain control of my health and my body. But I didn't want to do a crash diet. I was a mom now. I needed to change my ways and set an example for my child. … A year later (around November 2013), my husband and I decided we wanted to try a completely plant-based diet … And so the journey began that helped me get into the best shape of my life. Little did I know the long-lasting effects it would have. I thought, like with most diets, I would feel deprived and hate food, that I would miss out on restaurants and celebrations, that I would get headaches and be irritable, etc. I was wrong about all of that. It took a few days to adjust, but what I discovered was increased energy, better sleep, weight loss, improved digestion, clarity, and an incredibly positive feeling for my actions and the effects it would have on those around me and the environment.
- I used to say the only reason why I didn’t eat meat was to be healthy, but I would be lying if I said that now, knowing the horrible things they do to the animals. Any person who has a heart for animals and knew how they are treated would be vegan.
- I want to try to live my own values as consciously and purposefully as I can. Being vegan for me is a cleaner way of not participating in practices that don’t align with my values. … As soon as I said publicly that I was trying this experiment, so many vegans out there, hundreds and hundreds of people, have been reaching out to me with incredible support and encouragement as well as practical tips of how to do this without having to sacrifice that much in terms of the food and what I like. I've discovered some really delicious things—recipes, stores, and restaurants—that have made this transition far easier. … There's too much judgment out there. Really what we need to be doing is just all of us finding our own paths towards living the best lives we can live as clearly and boldly in accordance with our own personal values.
- I have used this [vegan] diet since 2008. I first tried it when I was preparing for my challenge of WBC super lightweight champion Junior Wittier -- my first world title fight -- and after seeing the results it gave me I have tried to stay as loyal to it as possible. It helps keep my body clean and it provides me with a tremendous amount of energy due to my body spending less energy breaking down foods like meats. This is a big key factor in my fitness. … The energy is always there. I feel so alive. My senses and reflexes are so acute. … With a vegan diet you always have energy, so much that sometimes I have trouble sleeping at night. You feel light. You don't feel bulky or heavy. This would benefit any athlete in any sport.
- How then can it be compassionate to gorge on other beings’ blood and flesh? Monks who will not wear silks from the East, whether coarse or fine; who will not wear shoes or boots of leather, nor furs, nor birds’ down from our own country; and who will not consume milk, curds, or ghee, have truly freed themselves from the world.
- You're going to be healthier, you're going to live longer, you're going to look better. You're going to have fewer zits. You're going to be slimmer. You're going to radiate health. You're going to have a better sex drive. That's what shifting away from meat and dairy does. My whole family did this, and we're doing spectacularly well from a health standpoint. I have not had a single sniffle, not a flu, not a cold, nothing that's taken me offline as much as an hour in three and a half years.
- Our study [China Diet and Health Study] suggests that the closer one approaches a total plant food diet, the greater the health benefit. … It turns out that animal protein, when consumed, exhibits a variety of undesirable health effects. Whether it is the immune system, various enzyme systems, the uptake of carcinogens into the cells, or hormonal activities, animal protein generally only causes mischief. High fat intake still can be a problem, and we ought not to be consuming such high-fat diets. But I suggest that animal protein is more problematic in this whole diet/disease relationship than is total fat.
- T. Colin Campbell, interview, 1994; as quoted in Souls Like Ourselves by Andrea Wiebers and David Wiebers (Rochester, MN: Sojourn Press, 2000), p. 51.
- The vegan choice is revolutionary, it is an act of daily love for animals and people.
- Going veg is one of the best decisions you can make for your health and the planet. Period. Your organs, blood, bones, teeth, and private parts will thank you. … If your meals consistently revolve around corpse multiple times daily, you might become one sooner than you planned.
- One of the things that pushed me to change my diet is that the average football player dies at 56 years of age. That's because they're constantly drinking milk and whey protein shakes, eating steak and chicken. … We thought, 'We're big dudes, we need to eat meat to be men.' I thought that too. But you're screwing your insides up. You're taking advantage of a helpless animal. You're killing a life that you don't need to take. With dairy, you're stealing breast milk that's meant for the baby cows and drinking it yourself. How is that manly? Men are supposed to be protectors.
- Promoting veganism, I think it’s such an important message. … I remember as a child, my grandma instilling in us that no matter how little you think you have, there are always people and beings that are suffering on the planet and have even less than us. As I’ve grown older, the love just continues to grow for all living beings. It breaks my heart when I see animals being mistreated. As we all know, in agriculture, that’s like one of the biggest mistreatments that animals endure in our country. The more I educated myself about the subject, the more I was able to make wiser, more intelligent decisions in my life. … I’ve seen some tremendous positive changes in my health in the last six years when I switched to a plant-based diet … I live by the Golden Rule: treat others as you would like to be treated. And to me, that includes animals as well. They should be loved. They are souls on this planet just like we are.
- I don’t want to torture anything. … it’s about trying to live a life where I’m not contributing to the cruelty in the world. … While I am on this planet, I want everyone I meet to know that I am grateful they are here.
- Jessica Chastain, on her veganism and lifestyle in a PETA press statement, as quoted in "PETA Sexiest Vegetarian Celebrities 2012: Jessica Chastain And Woody Harrelson Win Celebrity Contest" by Tara Kelly, in The Huffington Post (29 June 2012).
- The vegan lifestyle is a compassionate way to live that supports life, supports fairness and equality, and promotes freedom.
- [After struggle with heart disease] I've stopped eating meat, cheese, milk, even fish. No dairy at all. I've lost more than 20 pounds so far, aiming for about 30 before Chelsea's wedding. And I have so much more energy now! I feel great. … I just decided that I was the high-risk person, and I didn't want to fool with this anymore. And I wanted to live to be a grandfather. So I decided to pick the diet that I thought would maximize my chances of long-term survival. … The main thing that was hard for me actually … was giving up yogurt and hard cheese. I love that stuff, but it really made a big difference when I did it. … [To truly change the conditions that lead to bad habits and poor health] we have to demand it by changing the way we live. You have to make a conscious decision to change for your own well-being, and that of your family and your country.
- [Babe] also inspired me to become vegan. After having worked all morning with these extraordinary animals, I'd see their relatives on the lunch table. They had ham and duck, every animal except horse. That's when I said, "I've got to try to be a vegan." And for the most part, I have been vegan since 1994.
- I used to think that I needed chicken and fish as a source of protein in order to train properly. I subscribed to that theory for a while and then when I finally decided to cut everything out and I was doing it right, it felt really good and I didn’t lose any strength at all–I feel like I recover quicker so it’s been good. … A lot of people try to stay away from carbs and stuff like that, but I eat a lot of brown rice and just good clean complex carbs and it works for me. … In this day and age I don’t see any reason to contributing to a really awful industry [sc. the meat industry] that causes too many problems. It’s horrible what the animals have to go through on a daily basis, it’s just awful–they’re born and raised in really nasty conditions and it’s better not to contribute to that whole thing. … I just don’t see in this day and age a real reason to contribute to that when you can be really healthy and not eat that sort of thing and not cause a lot of suffering.
- I read a couple of good books and realized the ethical implications of eating meat and the countless other ways of abusing animals and nature. It made me cry. There simply is no need for us to consume animal products and we cause a lot of harm by doing so; that is the definition of crime. I couldn't be anything else but vegan after understanding that.
- I’ve been vegan for 10 years now, and there’s nothing in my life that hasn’t become better as a result. … To perform my sports and to stay alive in high risk environments, I need to be at top level athletic fitness. I also need to be highly attuned to the natural environment, and able to listen to myself and any outside messages. I have found that eating a vegan diet gives me optimum physical and mental awareness.
- I personally chose to go vegan because I educated myself on factory farming and cruelty to animals, and I suddenly realized that what was on my plate were living things, with feelings. And I just couldn’t disconnect myself from it any longer. I read books like Diet for a New America and saw documentaries like Earthlings and Meet Your Meat, and it became an easy choice for me. If you choose to educate yourself, it’ll be an easy choice for you, too.
- Ellen DeGeneres, from her website; as quoted in "Why Ellen Went Vegan", in Peta.org (9 November 2009).
- I decided to become Vegan simply because if you care about animals and people, there is no other choice but to be vegan. It’s a very simple equation — meat and dairy = animal and human suffering. … When you know the truth about meat and dairy the hard thing would be to continue to eat them.
- I think it’s more difficult to be vegan than gay. I think people have a harder time accepting it; people feel more uncomfortable with a vegan at their dinner table than they do a lesbian. It’s confronting. It’s kind of suggesting that what someone else is doing is bad or wrong, and it hits them on a more personal level. … If somebody is setting there eating a steak watching you eat polenta, they’re thinking that you’re trying to preach to them or you’re trying to convert them in some way. Whereas with being gay, I don’t think anyone’s concerned that that’s the agenda. “Hey, Mom, you also have to be gay. I’m gay and so should you be!” Certainly when I told her that I was vegan, it forced her to look at her habits.
- I’m vegan. it’s really changed, like, my eyes, my, you know, everything.
- Portia de Rossi, said in her shoot for People’s most beautiful list, as quoted in "Portia de Rossi Stays Youthful with Vegan Diet", in Ecorazzi (26 April 2013).
- Vegan is a term that refers to people who have chosen a way of living guided by ahimsa (nonharming) and reverence for life. … Vegans recognize the value of life to all living creatures and extend to them the compassion, kindness, and justice in The Golden Rule. Vegans see animals as free entities in nature, not slaves or vassals, nor as chattel, pieces of goods to be bought and sold. An animal has feelings, an animal has sensitivity, an animal has a place in life, and the vegan respects this life that is manifest in the animal. Vegans do not wish to harm the animal any more than they would want the animal to harm them. This is an example of The Golden Rule precisely as it should be applied.
- I have been a vegetarian for a few years and just recently I have become a vegan … I took this step following my inner feeling. … If we think for a moment how man manages animals and what impact he has on animal world we could say he was not human at all. Just think of all slaughter houses and production of beef or poultry where conditions for animals are impossible. Animals are transported in lorries many times without any water, which is extremely cruel. It is not that people are bad, they just don't think about it. … it is unreasonable to expect from people with lower levels of consciousness, who are cruel to animals, to end wars, to stop manipulating others, to help eradicate world poverty. In short as long as consciousness level is low all the disagreements in the world today will remain and possibly increase to the point of annihilation of humans.
- I guess I'm a very compassionate person so hearing about animal abuse kind of triggered something in me that maybe I should try it… I'm really into health and fitness and wellness, so this kind of tied into it. I thought I was just going to do it until the (2010) Olympics, but then I didn't go to the Olympics, and then I ended up liking it so much, I think I'll be a vegan for the rest of my life. … My energy is so much better, I don't hit that wall at 2 o'clock or 3 o'clock in the afternoon, I sleep well, my skin is better, everything just feels well. And it transfers into my attitude, everything in my life has just become a lot calmer, everything I'm putting in me is clean and genuine and organic and in turn, the way I live my life has started to follow that path.
- Meagan Duhamel, "Canadian pairs champ Meagan Duhamel credits vegan diet for good health" by Lori Ewing, The Canadian Press, in The Huffington Post Canada (2 July 2012).
- As a physician I am embarrassed by the lack of initiative and obstructionist policies of my own medical profession toward healthier lifestyles. This is not surprising. Physicians lack training and knowledge of nutrition and are self-serving when they proclaim “patients won't follow plant-based nutrition.” Having counseled patients with severe coronary artery heart disease for over twenty years, I find the opposite to be true. Patients sent home to die by expert cardiologists after failing bypass or stents rejoice as they lose weight, eliminate angina chest pains, lessen their medication, lower their blood sugars, decrease or come off their insulin, revert their positive stress test back to normal, selectively diminish the plaque plugging their arteries, and resume a fully active life empowered by the knowledge that they, not their physicians, have become the locus of control for the disease that was destroying them.
- I don’t necessarily trust the way the food is being processed. I don’t agree with the way the animals are mass-slaughtered. So that’s one thing that kind of got me looking at what they call a vegan diet. … My mind is extremely clear. I’m not easily flustered [now]. My attitude is totally different. I had a really bad temper growing up, something I worked on for years. And now I’m able to recognize different emotions and I’m not governed by them. Doesn’t mean I don’t have them. I’m human. But I’m not easily moved. … I think a lot of people look at things as being restrictions, but that kind of shows me the way they view life. I don’t view it as restriction ― I look at what I can eat, what’s going to be the best source of energy for me.
- Everyone has a goal, and mine right now is to become vegan – I think of them as modern saints, as they make sacrifices for a better, collective good.
- One of the main arguments that I make is that although almost everyone accepts that it is morally wrong to inflict "unnecessary" suffering and death on animals, 99% of the suffering and death that we inflict on animals can be justified only by our pleasure, amusement, or convenience. For example, the best justification that we have for killing the billions of nonhumans that we eat every year is that we enjoy the taste of animal flesh and animal products. This is not an acceptable justification if we take seriously, as we purport to, that it is wrong to inflict unnecessary suffering or death on animals, and it illustrates the confused thinking that I characterize as our "moral schizophrenia" when it comes to nonhumans.
- Soon, you'll notice people (especially men) flocking to the new you. Not just because you're skinny but because you are happier, healthier, and eating a cruelty-free diet. So feel free to share your new wealth of information with everyone who asks. Spread the good word, but be careful not to preach. You'll see that some people get very defensive about their diets when you tell them about yours. Even if you are being very non-judgmental, people may feel threatened by your righteousness. Understandably, your being a vegan shines a spotlight on the cruelty they're contributing to, and it makes them feel uncomfortable.
- Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin, Skinny Bitch (Philadelphia: Running Press, 2005), ch. 13.
- Being a veganist is good for your health, it's good for the environment, and it's certainly good for the animals, but it also has a powerful spiritual component. When you begin eating consciously, with compassion and thoughtfulness, you attain a certain lightness and inner peace, a sense of connectedness to the larger world.
- Kathy Freston, Veganist: Lose Weight, Get Healthy, Change the World (New York: Weinstein Books, 2011), p. ix.
- When we have a choice it is always best to choose kindness. Veganism is simply the kinder choice.
- To be a joyful vegan in the world today is to become involved in the most radical, positive, political revolution ever. A fork can be a weapon of mass destruction or an instrument of peace. Everything a vegan eats or consumes reflects a choice that takes into account the well-being of others rather than just ourselves—and that is a big difference. Each one of us can make a huge difference by choosing not to eat animals. By choosing kindness over cruelty, we contribute to the sustainability of our planet Earth and can even change the destiny of our species and all the species on Earth. … To become a vegan is by far the best way we have at this time in history to contribute to peace on Earth. Being a vegan in the world today is to be involved in a nonviolent, direct-action protest against cruelty and an affirmation of kindness.
- Over a year ago I changed my diet to a vegan diet, really just to experiment to see what it was like. And I felt better, so I continued with it. Now, for many people, that choice is connected to environmental ethics and health issues and all that stuff, but I just wanted to try it to see what it was like. In a visceral way, I felt better, so I've continued with it and I'm likely to continue it for the rest of my life.
- A plant-based diet is like a one-stop shop against chronic diseases.
- When you’re treating diseases with drugs, you know there’s one drug you take for cholesterol, a different class of drugs you take for high blood pressure, different class of drugs you take for diabetes, but, with diet, a plant-based diet affects all these diseases. One diet to kinda rule them all.
- I watched a TV documentary about how animals are farmed, killed and prepared for us to eat. I saw all those cows and pigs and realised I couldn’t be a part of it any more. It was horrible. I did some research to make sure I could still obtain enough protein to fight and, once satisfied that I could, I stopped [eating animal products]. I’ll never go back.
- It's been at least 20 years. I used to eat burgers and steak, and I would just be knocked out afterward; I had to give it up. The first thing was dairy. I was about 24 years old and I had tons of acne and mucus. I met some random girl on a bus who told me to quit dairy and all those symptoms would go away three days later. By God she was right.
- Woody Harrelson, explaining why he became vegan. Interview with Maxim, as quoted in "Woody Harrelson’s Vegan Acne Cure", in HuffingtonPost.com (23 September 2009).
- It started with me being a vegetarian, and then it eventually moved towards veganism. Now it's permanent. It's a true way of life. As a professional athlete, my diet helps me tremendously. There's no difficulty in me making weight before fights, or maintaining it. I feel better than ever, light on my feet... Heck, I even think with a more clear mind, all from my eating the right choices for me and my body. I research everyday on veganism, learning new things daily, which is pretty cool.
- I was raised Vegan since birth. … I remember watching undercover investigation videos and reading the pamphlets that were mailed to the house when we were kids—I felt deeply for the animals at an early age. I remember how the other parents of my childhood friends would either get upset or interested when their kids would come home after sleepovers at my house—I felt it was my duty to show my friends what was happening to animals. … Veganism is the ultimate form of compassion. … I never considered my being Vegan was for health reasons—it was always for the love and respect I had for animals. And because of that love and respect I have for non-human animals my compassion flows over to all living beings, of all types. … I am encouraged by compassionate souls and the love I see in the eyes of those I've committed my life to stand up for.
- I’ve only known a vegan life and have been constantly teaching others of the joys and benefits of being a vegan … As an adult, I THANK my Mother profusely for being extremely honest with me as a kid and for never hiding the truth about milk, “meat”, animal experimentation … There is speciesism and that is about as cruel as it gets because it sets the stage and practice for cruelty amongst human beings. … Discrimination is discrimination—as abuse is abuse … regardless of an animals human or nonhuman form, gender, ethnicity, ability, sexual orientation or level of intelligence/knowledge it should be our birthright to LIVE our lives peacefully and harmoniously without inflicting pain on others. People who inflict intentional pain without moral or ethical regard for other human or nonhuman animals are just reminders of how much further we have to go until oppression is completely eradicated.
- I'm healthier and I can run longer and faster because I eat a plant-based diet. But I don't preach to my carnivorous friends or lambaste anyone who eats a baked potato slathered with butter and sour cream. Anyone who pays attention to what they eat and how it affects them will naturally move toward plants — and toward health.
- Scott Jurek, Eat & Run: My Unlikely Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness (Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2012), ch. 15, p. 149.
- Veganism has given me a higher level of awareness and spirituality, primarily because the energy associated with eating has shifted to other areas. … If you're violent to yourself by putting [harmful] things into your body that violate its spirit, it will be difficult not to perpetuate that [violence] onto someone else.
- The very saddest sound in all my memory was burned into my awareness at age five on my uncle's dairy farm in Wisconsin. A cow had given birth to a beautiful male calf. The mother was allowed to nurse her calf but for a single night. On the second day after birth, my uncle took the calf from the mother and placed him in the veal pen in the barn—only ten yards away, in plain view of the mother. The mother cow could see her infant, smell him, hear him, but could not touch him, comfort him, or nurse him. The heartrending bellows that she poured forth—minute after minute, hour after hour, for five long days—were excruciating to listen to. They are the most poignant and painful auditory memories I carry in my brain. Since that age, whenever I hear anyone postulate that animals cannot really feel emotions, I need only to replay that torturous sound in my memory of that mother cow crying her bovine heart out to her infant. Mother's love knows no species barriers, and I believe that all people who are vegans in their hearts and souls know that to be true.
- If I could deliver one message to the researchers who are looking for the cause of diabetes, and the cause of clogged arteries, and the cause of high blood pressure, and the cause of obesity, I would tell them the answer is in three words. It's the food! … If people adopted a plant-based diet, the changes we would see in our individual health, in our national health situation and in this physical, environmental world we live in, would be so profound.
- I’ve been a vegan now since 1995, that would be more than 14 years, and as a result I’ve had tremendous health… great energy, clarity — I’ve had the ability to connect my dietary choices with my health. I had Crohn’s growing up and I had a pretty serious bout with it throughout my thirties and forties. When I changed my diet, the symptoms began to disappear. And I started to understand also how the choice of diet affects the environment, resources, energy — it’s a spiritual choice, as well. And so if I had one day to make an imprint on the nation, I’d look at the choices that we make as respect to food. Also, the matters of compassion towards living creatures who become food. We need to be more thoughtful as a nation about the choices that we make and the food that we consume.
- Dennis Kucinich, interview on Reddit, quoted in "Dennis Kucinich Wants To Give Vegan Chocolate Chip Brownies To The World", in Ecorazzi (21 December 2009).
- Each time we eat we are choosing to support a system. In our choice of agricultural production methods, we can support one which either helps our future, or one which undermines it. The same is true of our actual dietary choices we make. The healthiest diet is one rich in fresh fruit and vegetables, whole grains and legumes, low in animal products. This is better for the environment, our health and of course animals. I'm a vegan because I care for animals and for the future of our planet. Additionally, a vegan diet helps to prevent and reverse a range of non-communicable diseases including heart disease, high blood pressure, cholesterol, type II diabetes. Each time we eat, we are either feeding disease, or fighting it.
- I want to … empower other women to go vegan to feel better about their body and to live a compassionate lifestyle. … I'm vegan for the animals. If you go into the factory farms, when you see what these animals endure and the torture, it's not right and the only way to not participate in that is to go vegan.
- In fact, my best year of track competition was the first year I ate a vegan diet. Moreover, by continuing to eat a vegan diet, my weight is under control, I like the way I look. (I know that sounds vain, but all of us want to like the way we look.) I enjoy eating more, and I feel great. … I remember vividly making the decision in July of 1990 to become a vegan. … And I had my best year as an athlete ever! … Your body is your temple. If you nourish it properly, it will be good to you and you will increase its longevity.
- Only by discarding a diet based on rotting corpses could men become sane. The fantasy of needing a blood-diet, a corpse-diet, was inseparable from the distorted relation to the parents I had been trying to clarify in myself and which one way or another existed in everyone. The corpse-eater was still in fantasy feeding on the parents. We discussed these ideas and decided to eat no more meat, no more animal products of any kind (such as milk, cheese, eggs) and to discard mineral salt. Apart from a few extreme applications of our position, when I tried to eat such nauseous things as raw potatoes, we found that we felt very much better in health.
- Jack Lindsay, Fanfrolico and After (London: Bodley Head, 1962), pp. 217-218.
- I do recommend the vegan diet because you wake up and feel great!
- Jennifer Lopez, interview with New York radio station Z100, as quoted in "Jennifer Lopez Feels 'Great' on Vegan Diet!", in Ecorazzi (13 May 2014).
- For those who are still merely vegetarian and not yet vegan, I ask, what in heaven's name are you waiting for? If you are trying to avoid the health pitfalls of eating carcasses—high fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol content; lack of fiber; deficiency of vitamins and enzymes; abundance of stored toxins—well, then take a good look at the dairy you're eating. Dairy is basically liquid meat without the iron. … Milk should be viewed as no more or less than what it is: a delivery system for fat, cholesterol, blood, pus, antibiotics, and carcinogenic growth hormones. … If your reason for abstaining from meat has more to do with an emotional attachment to animals than a concern for your health, then understand that dairy cows are truly sick, miserable, abused creatures … Someone who has become vegetarian for emotional reasons ought to switch to the vegan diet as swiftly and surely as someone brought to vegetarianism for reasons of health.
- Do not unjustly eat fish the water has given up,
- And do not desire as food the flesh of slaughtered animals,
- Or the white milk of mothers who intended its pure draught
- for their young, not noble ladies.
- And do not grieve the unsuspecting birds by taking eggs;
- for injustice is the worst of crimes.
- And spare the honey which the bees get industriously
- from the flowers of fragrant plants;
- For they did not store it that it might belong to others,
- Nor did they gather it for bounty and gifts.
- I washed my hands of all this; and wish that I
- Perceived my way before my hair went gray
- I remember one day in August of 2003 I made the decision to become (near) vegan and that once the decision was made I felt great emotional alignment within my heart. I knew this was the right thing for me to do and I also knew that I was making a decision that I would be committed to for the rest of my life. At last my beliefs and my ethics had come into alignment.
- Many years ago, when I was merely a vegetarian, I met the great Cesar Chavez, and he said to me: "If you are interested in preventing animal suffering, the first thing you should give up is eggs and milk, because the animals who produce those foods lead the most unhappy lives. You would do better to eat meat and stop eating eggs and dairy products." I was shocked, since I had no intention of eating meat but had never thought of giving up eggs or dairy products. But when I looked into it I realized he was right, and now, years later, after I have studied the matter up close, I know for certain that he was completely correct about the cruel treatment of the animals raised for such products. The advantages of a vegan diet are enormous for our health, for the environment, for the animals themselves.
- Jeffrey M. Masson, The Pig Who Sang to the Moon: The Emotional World of Farm Animals (New York: Ballantine Books, 2004), Conclusion, p. 226.
- Among the many prejudices against vegans is the belief that they are always preaching to others and trying to convert them. I do not think that is true; we are incredibly tolerant. We are always polite when others ask, “Don’t you ever get tempted by a bacon sandwich?”… In fact, most vegans I know are rather coy about explaining why they are vegan, mostly because the question tends to be asked when we are sitting a dinner table full of meat eaters, and it seems rather impolite to answer. However, seeing as we are not at a dinner party now, here is the ethical case… If people are vegetarians for ethical reasons—because they believe that killing and eating animals is wrong—they really ought to be vegan, too. The average human eats more than 11,000 animals in his or her lifetime, but millions of calves and chicks are also killed every year as “waste products” of milk and egg production.
- Vegans are duly rewarded for their deep sacrifice when they discover that, in fact, plants provide all of the protein, amino acids, essential fats, vitamins, and minerals they need, and that eliminating meat and dairy from their diet provides a great many health benefits.
- The transformations initiated by a healthy vegan diet go well beyond physical health. For those who want it to be, a plant-based diet is also a potent political comment on our broken food system. … we're looking at a diet for which the ultimate beneficiary is the individual. Healthy veganism explicitly serves no corporate or industrial gods. In fact, it counters these interests. … If the prospect of simultaneously giving corporate food executives nightmares while achieving personal dietary empowerment -- not to mention lowering your carbon footprint and minimizing animal suffering -- has any appeal, then veganism is for you.
- I came to the understanding that individually we are responsible for the way in which we live and for the care of our human frame by good nutrition, proper exercise and a balanced lifestyle. It is this, together with a strong focused mind, that enables us to draw from our vast inner resources and strength to make the most of our time on this planet. The changes in my life came by way of a massive physical and psychological shock and were implemented for the purpose of healing and motivating my recovery. A change in our diet and lifestyle of course can be started at any time, and is of interest to anybody wishing to maximise their health and vitality, leading to a more fulfilling life. This was how I discovered the benefits of cutting meat and dairy from my diet and then taking the correct care of my body’s nutritional requirements to help heal my mind, body and soul.
- Certainly, if the entire world decided to become vegan tomorrow, a whole host of the world's problems would disappear overnight. Climate change would decrease by 25 percent, deforestation would cease, rainforests would be preserved, our water- and air-quality would increase, life-expectancy rates would increase, and our rates of cancer would plummet, so certainly, with that one action of becoming vegan you are quite effectively making the world a better place.
- Moby, responding to the question "What do you think of the view that the adoption and promotion of veganism is the most important form of activism an animal advocate can undertake?", in "Interview with Moby", in VegNews (1 December 2008).
- Mainly the fact that I love animals and don’t want to be involved in anything that causes or contributes to animal suffering. Also, I never really liked meat that much, unless it neither looked [n]or tasted like meat. Like taco filling. But, mainly because I love animals and don’t want them to suffer. Death is unavoidable, suffering is avoidable.
- Moby, on what inspired him to become vegan, from an "Ask Me Anything" session on Reddit; as quoted in "Vegan Veteran Moby Reveals on Reddit Why He Eschews Eating Animals", in Ecorazzi (6 February 2014).
- As a meat-eater, I've long found it convenient to categorise veganism as a response to animal suffering or a health fad. But, faced with these figures, it now seems plain that it's the only ethical response to what is arguably the world's most urgent social justice issue. We stuff ourselves, and the poor get stuffed.
- For me, the essence of veganism is compassion … not just compassion for animals, but all the way around.
- Victoria Moran, Compassion, the Ultimate Ethic: An Exploration of Veganism (Wellingborough: Thorsons, 1985), p. 44.
- We've all heard it: vegans are cool and plant-based dining is hot. What other diet can promise to keep you trim without working at it, clear clogged arteries, save the lives of animals, and do more to stem climate change than driving a Prius—or not driving at all?
- 98 percent of the animals raised for food suffer horrifically on factory farms before being slaughtered. Every time you eat a vegan meal, you're voting for something different.
- I believe that all creatures, all living creatures are born with the right, the inalienable right of freedom, freedom to live our own life in our own way in our own environment making our own decisions, every creature. I believe we are all equal. … Most people have a problem becoming a vegan or stopping eating meat, but because of how I want to live in this world and how I want to treat other creatures, I have to be a vegan. In order for me to eat meat, I would have to change all of my other beliefs.
- I’ve also been on a pretty strict plant-based diet for 4 months now – feeling stronger, fitter, healthier and more productive. I ride longer distances on my bike, can do more pull-ups than ever, and my brain seems to have a larger capacity for new projects, problem solving, songwriting, and fielding random questions. My health and strength make me a better performer and all that combined gives me more confidence to go out in the world and shine my light. It also makes me a lot better in bed. … For those curious or concerned about a plant-based diet, check out the film Forks Over Knives. It’s a life changer. You can get all the protein you need from greens, quinoa, and hemp seed.
- Veganism started off as a willpower challenge for me from vegetarianism. … I just walked into year three, so I'm still a brand-new vegan, but I've learned so much … and it's done wonders for my entire life. Some of the changes that I've experienced being vegan: I'm no longer anemic. … I don't get sick! And my skin is clear. I lost 30 pounds. … Everything in my life has benefited me just eating natural foods, and the more information about the truths and the harsh realities of treatment of animals as well as the process of manufacturing food or meat products—including seafood, including the dairy industry, which I was oblivious to being a vegetarian—prompted me to continue this journey, which I'm very proud of, but it's impossible to turn back, because I no longer see product—I see process.
- Although my veganism started out absolutely about health, it's also become about the environment and animal cruelty. The way animals are treated and the conditions are atrocious. They're force fed steroids, the chickens are de-beaked. You end up eating sick, diseased chickens because they're living in shit. It's like a holocaust on animals.
- As I learned more about veganism, and animal farms and the way animals were treated, it just disgusted me to the point where I could never imagine eating animals again.
- I became quite green - I have a very strong connection to nature. I read that if we fish the way we fish, in 2048 there will be no more fish left, which is pretty soon. So it's a statement.
- Petra Němcová, explaining why she became vegan, spotted helping out at an OCRF Benefit, as quoted in "Petra Nemcova Goes Vegan For The Fish", in Celebrity-Gossip.net (31 July 2007).
- While expressing my milk realised that the equivalent for cows is my milk going to the mouths of people who murder and eat my family #VEGAN
- Living a plant based life isn’t just about your food choices nor is it a “diet”; it is about living a healthy life while causing the least amount of harm to animals and our environment. You need to find your reasons for choosing this lifestyle and remember them if and when you think you might stray. Once you learn the real affects animal products have on your health and the environment, it will be an easy choice.
- Obviously, the health benefits of being vegan are written in stone but I honestly believe the most benefit to me being vegan is that I do not carry the burden of guilt that I would have to endure knowing that I abused others for my own 'benefit'. … Veganism is everything to me. It touches every part of my life. It is my life. I could not begin to imagine living my life any other way. … Often people think we are weak in body and mind. They mistake our compassion for weakness. … My strengths as an athlete are that I am not an athlete for myself. I am doing it for the benefit of others, which makes me work much harder to achieve. I am not selfish enough to want something this badly for myself. It makes me push myself that bit harder knowing that by doing well I can possibly convince others to consider a vegan lifestyle.
- My assistant showed me a video called Forks and Knives (sic) or something, about (cutting out) meat and dairy products, so I thought, 'I'll give this a shot!' … I feel OK actually, I feel better about myself, you know? I go on binges... That's the reason why I decided to cut out meat out and dairy because I've limited what I can have because when you're on the road and you're travelling, you grab buns and... burgers are everywhere... so now I've just narrowed the margin. … I'm not saying I'm gonna do it forever; I might go back - when my wife learns to cook, so that'll be never!
- Ozzy Osbourne, on his new vegan diet in order to get healthier, in an interview on his wife Sharon's US daytime talkshow The Talk (25 October 2011), as quoted in "Ozzy Osbourne Trying Out Vegan Diet", in Contactmusic.com (25 October 2011).
- Why are vegans made fun of while the inhumane factory farming process regards animals and the natural world merely as commodities to be exploited for profit?
- A global transition to a cruelty-free vegan diet won't just help non-human animals. The transition will also help malnourished humans who could benefit from the grain currently fed to factory-farmed animals. For factory-farming is not just cruel; it's energy-inefficient. Let’s take just one example. Over the past few decades, millions of Ethiopians have died of "food shortages" while Ethiopia grew grain to sell to the West to feed cattle. Western meat-eating habits prop up the price of grain so that poor people in the developing world can’t afford to buy it. In consequence, they starve by the millions. In my work, I explore futuristic, hi-tech solutions to the problem of suffering. But anybody who seriously wants to reduce human and non-human suffering alike should adopt a cruelty-free vegan lifestyle today.
- Eating a vegan diet — it’s just so much healthier — and you avoid a lot of toxins that could age your skin and your body. I really noticed a difference in my skin not too long after switching to fully vegan. … The older I’ve gotten, the more it’s occurred to me that I’m doing it in order to live longer, though the vanity component will always be there. … I just told myself one day that I’m going to do it and I’m going to give myself eight weeks. And that I’m not going to commit on this for a lifetime because it’s psychologically huge for people to wrap their minds around it. And I’m just going to see how I feel, I’m going to test my blood again and see if there’s anything. Giving it that long you sort of get over the fact of feeling how big and difficult it is at the beginning. And if you really give yourself long enough to start feeling differently and sort of see the benefits then it will be great.
- I went vegan for health reasons. I had that cholesterol, my choice was to either take medication that I didn’t want to take or change the way I eat. And I love a good challenge, so I walked out of the doctor’s office vegan. This is three years ago. I felt different pretty much immediately. I always had trouble with lingering throat inflammation, and I got rid of that immediately, and my skin cleared up. I slept better. … Try it out and see how you feel. If you feel better after a week, try another week.
- Veganism is the fastest growing lifestyle movement — and with good reason. Lots of people are loving the amazing benefits of living a vegan lifestyle. I like to say that becoming vegan is a bit like learning to ride a bicycle. At first, it can be challenging. You may wobble, you may fall off, you may be worried about how you look to others. But once you learn the ropes, it’s so satisfying that you can’t believe there was ever a point in your life when you didn’t ride a bike.
- Well-planned vegan diets contain all the nutrients that our bodies need. … If you're switching to a totally plant-based diet, set aside a bit of time to work out how you're going to hit your nutrition targets without animal products.
- When you think about a better tomorrow, you think about veganism in the world. I don’t need a dead animal or dead piece of flesh to go into my live body. There’s nothing on this planet that doesn’t want to live. I had animals as friends, they were happy to see me in their own animal way. I’m quite sure they did not want to be on my plate. I think hip-hop has become more conscious about diet… You are what you eat, so if this cow who is stressed, dumbfounded, sick becomes your meal, when you eat it, you are eating that stress and sickness. You are eating that fear. My peers and people that are related to me appreciate the vegan lifestyle, it’s really spreading.
- I credit my plant-based diet with giving me the energy and stamina to help carry my teams to four NBA championship wins. … Veganism has become a transformative part of my life and I have made it my mission to share the power of plant-based eating with the world. … Vegan eating is not just a slam dunk for human health; it’s also the most effective way to combat climate change, according to a 2010 report by the United Nations. … going vegan is one of the best things a person can do for their health, for animals, and for the environment.
- The meat industry doesn’t want you to think about all the animals they are torturing and killing. And they definitely don’t want you to think about all the diseases related to eating meat. Their only concern is making a profit. A long time ago I made a decision to quit eating meat and dairy products. Animals are not ours to torture and dominate. If I was to eat factory farm meat or dairy products I would be taking part in the torturing and killing of animals. There’s just no way! Animals are my friends, so why would I want to hurt them?
- When I became vegan I stopped training for myself and started training with a purpose greater than my own. Veganism for me is about mindfulness. I do this to liberate animals. … Before I went vegan I had tendonitis, and I would get joint aches and ligament strains, and my knees would be sore. All that went away as soon as I switched to a wholefood plant-based diet. It’s anti-inflammatory, and your digestive system gets a break. … I didn’t understand what it meant to be an athlete. I was big, muscularly, but I was swollen; it wasn’t ‘healthy big’. Now I’m leaner, sharper, quicker, and my mind’s sharper too.
- When I went vegetarian at age eleven, it was a remarkably easy transition. A boy at my school was attempting to kill creatures in the pond. When I tried to stop him, he said, “You eat animals,” like that meant I had no right to try and save something that could end up on my plate later. The hypocrisy of my actions became crystal clear in that moment. I decided, no more meat. … When I first started working for two organizations supporting anti-factory farming, vegan outreach and humane education, my choice to go vegan became that much clearer. I realized veganism is the only diet that can change the world. … You can expect a healthier body, and the feeling of pride that goes hand-in-hand with living according to your values. That’s something that many people aspire to, but few people achieve.
- [As a vegan] I feel better, I look better, so it’s a big change for me. You have more clarity and I think that all of us want to be more clear. I wanted to look younger and feel better and wanted to be a greater contributor to the good on the planet … The more I learned about factory farming… the more I realized that I could not, in good conscience, be a contributor to such violence.
- Russell Simmons, in 2008 to CNN. Quoted in "Russell Simmons Becomes a Stamp", in SoJones.com (1 December 2011).
- [As a vegan] I feel sexy. I feel confident. I’m healthier than ever. And my body is better than ever. … What upsets me the most is the way animals are treated. There’s no difference between a cat and a dog and a pig and a cow. They’re all individuals that have their own fears and desires and personalities.
- In the final analysis, despite our diversity, there is only one type of vegan — a person who is committed to and practices reverence and respect for all life.
- Joanne Stepaniak, Being Vegan: Living with Conscience, Conviction, and Compassion (Los Angeles: Lowell House, 2000), p. 5.
- Implementing a compassionate perspective that embraces all life is at the heart of being vegan.
- Joanne Stepaniak, Being Vegan: Living with Conscience, Conviction, and Compassion (Los Angeles: Lowell House, 2000), p. 52.
- As far as a compassionate lifestyle and [it being] healthy for me, for the planet and all the life on it, vegan is really the best way to go. It helps me a lot. I really believe that I'm doing something good for me and for everyone else every time I eat, you know.
- I'm in better condition [after going vegan]. My endurance has gone up, and I haven't gotten tired at all during the whole season. … I don't think you should eat something that had a mother.
- Salim Stoudamire, interview for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (5 April 2007), quoted in "Salim Stoudamire Runs on Broccoli", in ESPN.com (6 April 2007).
- There are no emergency meetings, no headlines, no breaking news. No one is acting as if we were in a crisis. Even most climate scientists or green politicians keep on flying around the world, eating meat and dairy.
- Greta Thunberg, "School strike for climate - save the world by changing the rules", TEDxStockholm (24 November 2018).
- The contemporary vegan movement is founded on loving-kindness and mindfulness of our effects on others. It is revolutionary because it transcends and renounces the violent core of the herding culture in which we live.
- Will Tuttle, The World Peace Diet (Lantern Books, 2005), ch. 2.
- The good news is that our bodies thrive on a conscious plant-based diet, and that this diet is infinitely more compassionate to animals and people and more environmentally sustainable than eating animal foods.
- Will Tuttle, The World Peace Diet (Lantern Books, 2005), ch. 5.
- Veganism denotes a philosophy and way of living which seeks to exclude—as far as is possible and practical—all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing, or any other purpose; and by extension, promotes the development and use of animal-free alternatives for the benefit of humans, animals, and the environment.
- If you look at the incidence of hypertension and diabetes and mortality in men, they actually get reduced when you get higher and higher in how much you restrict animal products.
- Kim A. Williams, interview in the documentary What the Health by Kip Andersen (2017).
- I started [following a vegan diet] for health reasons. I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, and I wanted to maintain my performance on the court. Once I started I fell in love with the concept of fueling your body in the best way possible. Not only does it help me on the court, but I feel like I’m doing the right thing for me. … I literally couldn’t play tennis anymore, so it really changed my life. Because it was starting to take away what I loved, I had to make some changes, I had to change my life. Thankfully, I was able to find something that helped me get back to doing what I loved. … It changed the pace that I live at. It changed everything.
- So far from vegetarianism springing from the anthropomorphism of predominantly urban dwellers, as has been suggested by its more superficial critics, it and its inevitable successor veganism are increasingly being recognised as a logical, even inescapable, process, essentially relevant, essentially practical, essentially compassionate to all species.
- V Stands for Verity, Virtue, Valor, Validity and Veganism. … Veganism is real conservation in action. It goes beyond talking about climate change and diminishment of biodiversity and actually does something to address the problems.
- I have a dog who looks a lot like a pig and I would look at him and think: “You know? I can not eat pig anymore.” And besides, is my dog really all that different from a pig on a factory farm? They both have their own lives and big personalities and most importantly the same capacity to feel pain. Once I made the connection, animal suffering became something I could not ignore. So if you have ever loved a cat or a dog, or even a human, I hope you will extend your compassion to include all animals.
- It was my sophomore year at Yale, going through the food line for dinner, and I wanted a chicken breast, but the way they put it on my plate – all of a sudden it reminded me of my mom’s dog – and at that moment I was instantly on the outside of the food chain. I just couldn’t be a part of it. It was very personal to me in an instant, all because of a big breast of chicken that was oddly plated and slightly pink and I couldn’t do it. At first all I could think to eat was peanut butter and bread, so I put on a bunch of weight, but over the years it’s gotten a lot easier because people are much hipper to the fact that a plant based lifestyle is healthier for us. So it’s gotten so easy and so delicious to be vegan.
- That little, small voice in your mind and in your heart that makes you curious about being vegan is something you should listen to, because that’s the sound of your conscience making you be compassionate.
- There's no vegan who is the greatest
Because all you vegans are great,
Just like the peace dove
You symbolise love,
And there is no death on your plate.
- Benjamin Zephaniah, "Peace Eats", in The Little Book Of Vegan Poems, AK Press, 2001.
- Someone said that Capitalism will eat itself, and I think that’s like the meat industry, the meat industry itself will become dead meat and compassion will reign supreme.