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How many people have encountered and can recall, with great detail, the terribly mean/smug/angry vegan they once met? And how did that one person's attitude prevent them from wanting to learn more about this great movement? A whole movement should not be judged based on the actions of one vegan. And true, anger is a natural and justifiable response to animal abuse, but we live in the real world and the real world is not always fair. There are many kind, concerned and intelligent people out there who earnestly want to learn more about veganism.

ATTITUDE ABOUT VEGANS FROM SOME NON-VEGANS people were meant to eat meat / Where will all the cows go? / Vegetarians need supplements / vegans need meat / The bible says God gave us animals to eat / You need meat for protein / Cows need to be milked otherwise they die / Eggs are baby chickens / vegans are sick and pale / Vegans are preachy / vegans are hypocrites / vegans eat fish / Why do vegans eat Faux meat? / vegans crave meat / plants have feelings too / meat is good, wholesome food / all vegans support PETA / would vegans eat chicken/fish/cow/pig (etc.) if vegans were on a desert island with no vegetables / can vegans eat animal crackers / vegans are all hippies / all vegans wear leather / vegans only eat salad / meat wouldn’t be so tasty if we were not meant to eat it / vegans go around and criticize meat-eaters / Vegans are not vegans because cars have glue in them and petrol is made from dead animals / PETA = People Eating Tasty Animals / If people were meant to only eat vegetables we would’ve been born with 2 stomachs like cows / The ocean will be overloaded with fish if everyone goes vegan / Will vegans go back to eating meat when they finish their diet? / If you ate meat, you wouldn’t have that cold/flu etc / Vegetarians loose their hair because of their diet / people need milk for strong bones / It’s an attempt to gain attention / Vegan men are gay and cannot get it up / “vegetarians” are suffering because we are denying ourselves all this “wonderful” meat / vegans do not know what they are if most of them have never eaten meat / cows enjoy being milked / what do you eat then? if at all / It is a sin to be a vegetarian / but, meat tastes so good / meat builds muscles / If people did not eat animals, they would all be overpopulated and they would take over the Earth and then what would we do / vegans do not eat dairy or eggs EITHER? Then how can they live? What do you eat for breakfast?” / What is your attitude about vegans?

Table of contents Understanding vegans Brief history of veganism Types of vegans Animal ingredients Knowing their reasons

2 6 12 16

Understanding omnivores Brief history of omnivores, carnivores, and carnists Surviving in non-vegetarian world

34 44

Solving the problems


(1) Understanding vegans Brief history of veganism

570–490 BCE

in the early 19th century

Greek philosopher Pythagoras. A believer in the transmigration of souls, Pythagoras warned that eating an animal might involve eating a human soul; therefore, he argued, human beings ought to regard all living beings as kindred souls. The word “vegetarian” seems to have come into use in England; The Oxford English Dictionary attributes one early reference to the actress Fanny Kemble (1809–1893) writing in 1839. The British Vegetarian Society, led by Joseph Brotherton (1783–1857), held its first meeting on September 30, 1847 at Northwood Villa in Ramsgate, Kent, and in 1886 the society published the influential A Plea for Vegetarianism by the English campaigner Henry Salt (1851–1939)—widely known as the first writer to make the paradigm shift from animal welfare to animal rights. In it, Salt acknowledged that he was a vegetarian, writing that this was a “formidable admission” to make, because “a Vegetarian is still regarded, in ordinary society, as little better than a madman.”

Understanding vegans // page 2

“ I discovered that for remaining staunch to vegetarianism a man requires a moral basis.” —Mahatma Gandhi In 1888 Mahatma Gandhi (1869–1948) arrived in London to study law. Before he left India his mother asked him to swear an oath that he would eat no meat or eggs. He wrote that after reading Henry Salt's A Plea for Vegetarianism he was glad he had taken the oath, and that the spread of vegetarianism became his mission. He became friends with other leading vegetarian campaigners, including Anna Kingsford (1846– 1888), author of The Perfect Way in Diet (1881), and in 1931 he addressed a meeting of the Vegetarian Society—attended by Salt—arguing that it ought to promote a meat-free diet as a moral issue, not as an issue of human health. Norman Phelps writes that this was a rebuke to those members of the society who focused on the health benefits. Gandhi argued that "vegetarians had a habit of talking of nothing but food and nothing but disease. I feel that this is the worst way of going about the business. ... I discovered that for remaining staunch to vegetarianism a man requires a moral basis."


In July 1943 Leslie Cross, a member of the Leicester Vegetarian Society, expressed concern in its newsletter, The Vegetarian Messenger, that vegetarians were still eating dairy products. A year later, in August 1944, two of the society’s members, Donald Watson (1910–2005) and Elsie “Sally” Shrigley (died 1978), suggested forming a subgroup of non-dairy vegetarians. When the executive committee rejected the idea, they and five others met at the Attic Club in Holborn, London, on November 1 to discuss setting up a separate organization. Suggestions for a concise term to replace “non-dairy vegetarian” included dairyban, vitan, benevore, sanivore, and beaumangeur, but Watson decided on “vegan”—pronounced “veegun”, with the stress on the first syllable—the first three and last two letters of vegetarian and, as Watson put it in 2004, “the beginning and end of vegetarian.” The meeting saw the foundation of the British Vegan Society with 25 members. Fay K. Henderson published Vegan Recipes, the first recipe book with “vegan” in the title, in 1946. The word was first independently published in the Oxford Illustrated Dictionary in 1962, defined as “a vegetarian who eats no butter, eggs, cheese or milk.”

Mahatma Gandhi Eating Breakfast in Paris - 1930

The first vegan society in the United States was founded in 1948 by Dr. Catherine Nimmo of Oceano, California, and Rubin Abramowitz of Los Angeles. Nimmo had been a vegan since 1931, and began distributing the British Vegan Society’s Vegan newsletter to her mailing list within the United States. In 1951 the Vegan Society in the UK broadened its definition of veganism to “the doctrine that man should live without exploiting animals.” Leslie Cross, the society’s vice-president wrote that veganism is a principle, that it is “not so much about welfare [of animals] as liberation.” The society pledged to “seek to end the use of animals by man for food, commodities, work, hunting, vivisection and all other uses involving exploitation of animal life by man.” Members were expected to declare themselves in agreement with this, and live as closely to the ideal as they could, but without making specific promises about their own behavior.

Understanding vegans // page 4

Type of vegans Fat oil, & sweets

Dairy 2-3 servings Vegetables 3-5 servings

Proteins 2-3 servings Fruits 2-4 servings

Bread / Grians 6-11 servings

The advised number of serving from each group varies depending on how many calories you take in each day. This in tum, depends on your activity level, body size, gender, age, and stage of life. U.S. Department of Agriculture.

According to the Food Guide Pyramid, a balanced diet should include 11 to 20 servings of plant foods. Only 4 to 6 of the day’s food servings should come from animal foods. This includes meat and dairy products. These guidelines are based on studies of people around the world that show plant-based diets are among the healthiest. However, people who choose more limited types of vegetarian diets (such as vegan) need to do more planning to get all the essential nutrients. They may need to take a multi-vitamin supplement. It is recommended not to take more than 100 percent of the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA). Let's take a closer lookat the eating habbits of those "vegetarians". The face is that mant people today use the term evgetarian loosly to mean that they are consciously reducing their intake of animal products the term has a positive connotation, especially among those who know that vegetarian diets confer health benefits

Understanding vegans // page 6

Vegan or strict vegetarian A vegan is a vegetarian who avoids eating or using all animal products, including meat, fish, poultry, eggs, dairy products, and any foods containing byproducts of these ingredients. Vegans deplore the slaughter or exploitation of any creature for any reason. For example: Clothing: Wool, leather, silk, reptile skins, etc.; Adornment: Fur, feathers, pearls, ivory, etc.; Toiletries: Soaps, cosmetics and creams containing animal fats and oils,lanolin [wool fat] and perfume ingredients obtained from animals in undergrossly cruel conditions; Household goods: Hair and wool rugs and carpets, woolen blankets, feather pillows, brushes

and brooms made of hair; oils, greases, polishes that include animal fats in their ingredients; Sports: Hunting, racing, shooting, fishing, etc.; Amusements: Circuses and all acts which include performing animals or birds; zoos wherein naturally free creatures are imprisoned; Medicines: Vaccines and serums made from animals, not forgetting that millions of animals are used yearly for “testing” all kinds of drugs as well as shampoos and “beauty products”.

Ovo-vegetarian This type of vegetarianism allows for the consumption of eggs. Unlike lacto-ovo vegetarianism, no dairy products are permitted. Those who practice ovo vegetarianism are called ovovegetarians or “eggetarians.” “Ovo” comes from the Latin word for egg.

Lacto-ovo-vegetarian This is a vegetarian who does not eat animal flesh of any kind, but is willing to consume dairy and egg products. In the Western world lacto-ovo vegetarians are the most common type of vegetarian. Generally speaking, when one uses the term vegetarian a lacto-ovo vegetarian is assumed. Lacto-ovo vegetarians are often well-catered to in restaurants and shops, especially in some parts of Europe and metropolitan cities in North America. In the airline industry, a lacto-ovo vegetarian meal is known by the acronym VLML (for Vegetarian, Lacto-ovo Meal).

Lacto-vegetarian A lacto vegetarian (sometimes referred to as a lactarian; from the Latin lactis, milk) diet is a vegetarian diet that includes dairy products such as milk, cheese, yogurt, butter, cream, and kefir, but excludes eggs. Lacto-vegetarians also abstain from cheeses that include animal rennet and yogurts that contain gelatin. The concept and practice of lacto-vegetarianism among a significant number of people comes from ancient India and was originally based on religious beliefs.

Pesco-vegetarian This is the practice of a vegetarian diet that includes seafood but not the flesh of other animals. Pescetarian is probably a neologism formed as a portmanteau of the Italian word pesce (“fish”) and the English word “vegetarian”. Pescetarians are sometimes described as vegetarian or pesco-vegetarian, and often people unfamiliar with vegetarianism believe the pescetarian diet to be vegetarian. In common with vegetarians, pescetarians often eat eggs and dairy products, in addition to fruits, vegetables and grains. The Vegetarian Society, which initiated popular use of the term vegetarian as early as 1847, does not consider pescetarianism a vegetarian diet. Understanding vegans // page 8

Soybeans : First introduced in the United States in the early 1800s. Today, soybean production is second only to corn as the largest crop produced in this country.

Eggs: Many lacto-ovo vegetarians will only eat free-range eggs. This is because of welfare objections to the intensive farming of hens.

Understanding vegans // page 10

Animal ingredients

Some ingredients can originate from an animal or a plant source, but you can not determine which by reading labels. When offering food, knowing what vegans can or can not eat is good manners. Why would you as meat-eater care about this? Actually it is not that important, but what if people who you live with or someone you really care about turned vegan? Instead of having an arguement at the dining table, how about knowing more about veganism beforehand in order to avoid conflict?

Understanding vegans // page 12


What it is

Where you find it


What it is

Where you find it


The protein component of egg whites

As a thickener or texture additive in processed foods


Fat from the abdomens of pigs

Baked goods, refried beans

Animal shortening

Butter, suet, lard

Packaged cookies and crackers, refried beans, flour tortillas, ready-made piecrusts


Phospholipids from animal tissues, plants, and egg yolks

Breakfast cereal, candy, chocolate, baked goods, margarine, vegetable oil sprays, cosmetics, ink

Casein (caseinate)

A milk protein

An additive in dairy products such as cheese, cream cheese, cottage cheese, sour cream. Also added some soy cheeses, so read the label.

Oleic acid (oleinic acid)

Animal tallow

Synthetic butter, cheese, vegetable fats and oils; spice fiavoring forbaked good, candy, ice cream, beverages, condiments, soaps, cosmetics


Protein from bones, cartilage, tendons, and skin of animals

Marshmallows, yogurt. frosted cereals, gelatin- containing desserts

Stearic acid (octadecanoic acid)

Tallow, other animal fats and oils

Vanilla flavoring, chewing gum, baked goods, beverages, candy, soaps, ointments, candles, cosmetics, suppositories, pill coatings

Glucose (dextrose)

Animal tissues and fluids (Some glucose can come from fruits.)

Baked goods, soft drinks, candies, frosting


Waxed paper, margarine, soap, crayons, candles, rubber, cosmetics

Glycerides (mono-, di-, and triglycerides)

Glycerol from animal fats or plants

Processed foods, cosmetics, perfumes, lotions, inks, glue, automobile antifreeze

Solid fat of sheep and cattle separated from the membranous tissues

Vitamin B12

Supplements, fortified foods


Gelatin from the air bladder of sturgeon and other freshwater fish

As a clarifying agent in acoholic beverages, some jellied desserts

Vitamin produced by microorganisms and found in all animal products; synthetic form (cyano- cobalamin or cobalamin on labels) is vegan

An acid formed by bacteria acting on the milk sugar lactose

Cheese, yogurt, pickles, olives, sauerkraut, candy, frozen desserts, chewing gum, fruit preserves, dyes, textile printing

Vitamin D (D1, D2, D3)


Waxy fat from sheep's wool

Chewing gum, ointments, cosmetics, waterproof coatings

D1 is produced by humans upon exposure to sunlight; D2 (ergocalciferol) is made from plants or yeast; D3 (cholecalciferol) comes from fish liver oils or lanolin

Supplements, fortified foods

Lactic acid


Watery liquid that separates from the solids in cheesemaking

Crackers, breads, ca processed foods Understanding vegans // page 14

Knowing their reasons

“ Humans are only animals that have

children on purpose, keep in touch, care about birthdays, waste and lose time, brush their teeth, feel nostalgia, scrub stains, have religions and political parties and laws, wear keepsakes, apologize years after an offense, whisper, fear themselves, interpret dreams, hide their genitalia, shave, bury time capsules, and can choose not to eat something for reasons of conscience.” —Jonathan Safran Foer Author of “Eating animal”

Vegans eat an entirely plant-based diet — either for health reasons or out of concern for animal welfare — but may continue to use animal products for other purposes. Joanne Stepaniak, author of Being Vegan (2000), argues that to place the qualifier “dietary” before “vegan” dilutes its meaning

Understanding vegans // page 16

Most important reason for becoming a vegetarian 32% 15% 13% 11% 10% 6% 4% 3% 1%

Health Chemicals and hormones in meat products Taste of meat Love of animals Animal rights Religious reasons Concern for planet Weight loss To reduce hunger and famine worldwide

Global shift towards a vegan diet is critical for mitigating global issues of hunger, fuel poverty and the worst impacts of climate change. The panel declared: “Impacts from agriculture are expected to increase substantially due to population growth and increasing consumption of animal products. Unlike fossil fuels, it is difficult to look for alternatives: people have to eat. A substantial reduction of impacts would only be possible with a substantial worldwide diet change, away from animal products.” —United Nations Environment Program’s (UNEP)

HEALTH BENEFITS Health benefits are one of the primary reasons people become vegan. Weight loss, lower cholesterol and blood pressure, less use of medication, avoiding surgery, and feeling and looking great are some of the many health benefits. Although many people ask how vegans get the nutrients they need or attempt to prove that animal products are essential, a vegan diet is actually healthier than the alternative. Dieting by eating less is the most common form of weight loss in the United States. However, it is not the healthiest. This method can cause anorexia and other malnutrition disorders. But to lose weight you don’t have to eat less. You can eat as much as you like of the right foods and not gain weight. Food itself is not what causing weight gain. Animals products contain extremely high amounts of fat that vegetables don’t have. By not eating high-fat foods you will lose weight, even if you continue to eat a lot. Another major certain for many people is cholesterol. Too much cholesterol can clod your arteries and cause heart attacks and strokes. The good news is only animal products contain cholesterol. Humans naturally also have small amounts of cholesterol. By not eating animal products, your cholesterol level will remain low, limited to the amount already in your body. High blood pressure levels will also drop considerably, with just a few weeks of eating the right foods.

Health benefits are one of the primary reasons people become vegan. Weight loss, lower cholesterol and blood pressure, less use of medication, avoiding surgery, and feeling and looking great are some of the many health benefits.

People who eat high on the food chain, consuming large amounts of meat, dairy products and eggs, are plagued by chronic lifestyle diseases, ranging from cardiovascular deterioration to many types of cancer. A rich body of medical literature links the high quantities of cholesterol, saturated fat and protein found in meat-rich diets to the incidence of these diseases throughout the world.

“ Men who eat red meat as a main dish five or more times a week have four times the risk of colon cancer of men who eat red meat less than once a month,” —Edward Giovannucci

“ PETA asked the band Pet Shop Boys to change their name to Rescue Shelter Boys. The band didn't but acknowledged that there were issues worth discussing.”

TREATMENT OF ANIMALS Animal cruelty is predominant throughout the world, in slaughterhouses, egg and dairy industries, and animal testing labs. Few people realize just what these conditions are like. Even fewer people know that these conditions are not a thing of the past Others become vegetarian due to the cruelty of slaughterhouses but don’t realize how the chickens and dairy cows of the egg and dairy industries are treated. Most of the industries’ animals are kept in extremely small confinement. Chickens live their entire lives in a small cage. Cows leave their fenced enclosures only to be slaughtered. Dairy cows may never be released. Another very important part of animal treatment is properly feeding the livestock. Not all cattle are feed with the expensive grain mentioned in the environmental reasons to become vegan. To cut costs, some farmers are adding a variety of questionable waste substances to their livestock and poultry feed. It is estimated that fifty to seventy-five percent of the U.S. cattle feed on poultry wastes. In addition, more than forty billion pounds of slaughterhouse wastes like blood, bone, and viscera, as well as the remains of euthanized cats and dogs are annually feed to the cattle that millions of people are consuming. In some cases they are experimenting with dehydrated food garbage, fats emptied from restaurant fryers and grease traps, cement-kiln dust, newsprint, cardboard, cattle and hog manure, and even human sewage sludge Not only is it very cruel to feed animals this, but do you want to eat the animals that have been eating this? Obviously this creates many health concerns as well. Unfortunately, the health officials are doing relatively little to stop them. Most claim that it’s okay if properly handled. This includes stacking the manure for four to eight weeks while the sun generated heat supposedly kills the bacteria and toxins. Most farmers, however, don’t follow these procedures. And remember, bacteria or not - it’s still manure.

Understanding vegans // page 26

In the typical cage for egg-laying hens, each bird has 67 square inches of space—the size of picture on the left. Nearly all cage-free birds have approximately the same amount of space. To be considered free-range, chicken raised for meat must have “access to the outdoors,” Very often, the eggs of factory farmed chickens—chicken packed against one another in vast barren barns—are labeled free range.

Understanding vegans // page 28

RELIGIOUS REASONS Last but not least are the religious reasons to become vegan. Many religious support healthy eating, including Seventh-Day Adventists, Buddhists, Jews, and Muslims. Although not every member of all these groups is vegan, many are vegetarian and others are at least careful of what and how much they eat. Although most Christians do not tend to be vegan, biblical basis for veganism exists, right from the very first book. In Genesis 1:29 “...God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.” Here is also the original definition for meat. Meat is simply the food one eats. However, this verse never mentions God giving us animals to eat. Only the seeds and trees which grow in the ground, are to be meat. There are also other verses, including I Corinthians 6:19-20, Romans 12:1, III John 2, and I Corinthians 10:31 that all support veganism and healthy eating.

“ In the US alone, animals on factory farms produce 87,000 pounds of feces per second. Animal feces are one of the leading causes of global warming and are quickly poisoning fresh water supplies.”

ENVIRONMENT REASONS One of the most common statistics you hear in conncetion with factory farming is that it takes 16 pounds of grain to make one pound of beef, because it demonstrates how wasteful the process is Yes, that 16 pounds of grain could be going directly to feed people, but lack of effciency isn't the only wastes; it takes untold amounts of water, fossil fuel, and chemicals to create that beef Large scale animal farms in the Midwest are rapidly depleting what is called Ogallala aquifer, a vast supply of underground water which has been accumulating for hundreds of thousands of years, because 70% of the water in the Western states goes toward animal agriculture. All intensive agriculture is dependent on fossil fuels, but animal agriculture even more so because of that 16 to 1 ratio. It takes approximately 140 gallons of oil to produce one acre of grain, since petroleum is used create the pesticides and herbicides, as well as to run the farm machinery. Another way to view this statistic, taking into account the transportation of cattle as well, is that it takes 260 gallons of fossil fuel to provide beef for a family of 4 for a year, in the process releasing 2.5 tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

Understanding vegans // page 30

1 in 31.36 adults in the United States is a vegetarian, which equates to about

7.3 22.8 million people

Million Follow a VegetarianInclined Diet.

—Vegetarian Times

(2) Understanding omnivores Brief history of omnivores, carnivores, and carnists

There is invisible system that shapes our perception of the meat we eat, so that we love some animals and eat others without knowing why. Carnism is the invisible belief system, or ideology, that conditions people to eat certain animals. “carn” means “flesh” or “of the flesh” and “ism” denotes a belief system. Most people view eating animals as a given, rather than a choice; in meat-eating cultures around the world people typically don’t think about why they find the meat of some animals disgusting and the meat of other animals appetizing, or why they eat any animals at all. But when eating animals isn’t a necessity for survival, as is the case in the majority of the world today, it is a choice - and choices always stem from beliefs.

Understanding omnivores // page 34

Carnism is the invisible belief system, or ideology, that conditions people to eat certain animals. “Carn” means “flesh” or “of the flesh” and “ism” denotes a belief system. Most people view eating animals as a given, rather than a choice. In meat-eating cultures around the world people typically don’t think about why they find the meat of some animals disgusting and the meat of other animals appetizing.

Just as “meat eater” is an inaccurate and misleading phrase to describe those who are not vegetarian, so, too, are the other commonly used terms, “omnivore” and “carnivore.” These terms reinforce the assumption that eating animals is natural, one of the most entrenched and compelling myths used to justify carnism. “Omnivore” and “carnivore” describe one’s physiological disposition, rather than one’s ideological choice: an omnivore is an animal, human or nonhuman, that can ingest both plant and animal was coined simply for accuracy, the term may be perceived as offensive - likely because, on some level, people consider the unnecessary slaughter and consumption of animals to be offensive. matter, and a carnivore is an animal that needs to ingest flesh in order to survive.

For the reasons mentioned above, “carnist” is the most appropriate term to describe those who eat animals. “Carnist” is not meant to be pejorative; it is merely meant to be descriptive, describing one who acts in accordance with the tenets of carnism - just as “capitalist,” “Buddhist,” “socialist,” or “raw foodist,” for example, describe those who act in accordance with a particular ideology. If we have a name for vegetarians, it only makes sense to have a name for those whose behaviors reflect the opposing belief system. “Carnist,” however, differs from the aforementioned “ists” in that most carnists don’t realize that they are, in fact, carnists, since carnism is invisible. Many people are, essentially, inadvertent carnists; such is the paradox of being carnist. And though “carnist” Understanding omnivores // page 36

Carnistic Defenses Ideologies such as carnism keep themselves alive by teaching people not to think or feel when they follow their dictates, and one of the primary ways they do this is by using a set of defense mechanisms which operate on both the social and psychological levels. “Carnistic defenses� hide the contradictions between our values and behaviors, allowing us to make exceptions to what we would normally consider ethical. Carnism also defends itself by distorting our perceptions of meat and the animals we eat so that we can feel comfortable enough to consume them. We learn, for instance, to view farmed animals as objects (e.g., carnists refer to a chicken as something, rather than someone) and as abstractions, lacking in any individuality or personality (e.g., a pig is a pig and all pigs are the same), and to create rigid categories in our minds so that we can harbor very different feelings and behaviors toward different species (e.g., beef is delicious and dog meat is disgusting; cows are for eating and dogs are our friends). In discussions about food, vegan advocates often find ourselves defending our choice not to consume animal products, as though that decision is an aberration we need to explain. A discussion of carnism, however, emphasizes that the habit of animal consumption is itself a social construct. Humans are social animals, and we learn behaviors, including how and whom we eat, from those around us. In carnistic societies, members unwittingly support businesses that engage in systemic cruelties and conspire to look the other way. But humans are also hardwired to feel empathy. The concept of carnism is a useful tool to understand and deconstruct a dominant institution that stifles our innate compassionate impulses.

Understanding omnivores // page 38

In one year, the average American consumes

130 40 26 1 1/2 1/10

shellfish fish chickens turkey pig cow

Carnism is an ethically-indefensible position that doesn’t stand up to scrutiny. Vegans may “win” an argument, but the animals will be the ultimate losers. —Jo Tyler

Understanding omnivores // page 42

Surviving in non-vegetarian world

Whether they agree or not on veganism, omnivores and vegans interact on a daily basis and spend a lot of time together. At some point, they are bound to end up in a situation that involves eating, and are going to have to talk about veganism. If lucky, some vegans will have cool and understanding friends who are big-hearted, love their friends without question, and take veganism into consideration when choosing a restaurant or preparing a meal. But sometimes friends might react in a different way. They may tease, sabotage veganism, and give their vegan friends a hard time about being too difficult. No matter what kind of reactions one gets when talking about veganism with friends, following a few guidelines will definitely help maintain not only friendships, but sanity as well. Do not lie about veganism or avoid talking about it. One of the things non-vegans seem to like least about vegans is when they are confrontational and preachy. Not that there are necessarily a lot of vegans like that, but the idea of the preachy, annoying vegan is a common enough metaphor that vegans need to be careful of what they say and how they act. Bringing up veganism as a topic of discussion among non-vegan friends is generally not a good idea. Unless they are also vegan, they are probably going to feel a little defensive and preached to if you bring up your cruelty-free lifestyle; even if you are not being preachy or annoying about it. Hanging out with friends is time for socializing and fun, so concentration should be put on that. If friends bring it up in a non-confrontational way (usually this means they ask honest questions like, “How do you bake without eggs?” or “Isn’t it a pain to find restaurants to eat at?”), by all means do not ignore their questions or act weird. Answer the questions and be positive – just do not bring up personal reasons for being vegan while eating dinner with omnivore friends. It is rude and will invariably lead not only to heating discussions and confrontations, but also contributes towards the unpleasant reputatstion of vegans.

Understanding omnivores // page 44

Do not get defensive. This is true for all interactions, but if preserving friendships is the goal, this advice is of critical importance. Sometimes, people act like jerks about things they do not understand or that make them feel uncomfortable. Even if ones friends are all super awesome people, chances are that one of them, at some time, is going to ask an inflammatory question or say something stupid about veganism or even act hurtful about it. If a particular friendship is important, one needs to rise above these differences. So the best thing to do is to brush off these kinds of loaded, baity questions. Do not be rude – a simple”anyway” and a quick change of subject will work just fine. A lot of vegans get really defensive about themselves and take legitimate, non-confrontational questions the wrong way, which makes them feel like they are being prosecuted when they are really not. Be careful to really listen to what people are asking and be friendly and candid in answering when merited. Just because someone asks where you get your protein does not mean they are attacking the vegan diet —they may be legitimately curious, and the vegan answer has the potential to put them one step further on the path

towards going vegan. Stay calm, be reasonable, and stay friendly. Do not apologize. It is easy to be too accomodating. It is often easier to acquiesce to what others want and what will be easier for others, than to reasonably ask for what we want or need. Do not take the easy way out. In North America, one is hard wired to avoid inconveniencing others, and it is hard to resist the urge to suffer in silence so as not to inconvenience omnivorous friends, whether it is at dinner, out for coffee, or anywhere else. Chances are ones omnivore buddies will survive eating at a vegan-friendly restaurant for one meal. People tend to default to what is convenient and familiar. Do not apologize for being a vegan pain – revel in being the savvy diner with good taste. If this tack fails, one may have to make a contingency plan. If friends steadfastly refuse to try a vegan-friendly restaurant (or coffee house, or bar, or whatever), do not to sell out vegan ethics and/or settle for a salad. If they are not budging on dinner, suggest meeting up afterward for drinks or coffee or a movie, or better yet, suggest drinks or coffee or a movie instead of dinner – just look at it as an excuse to be more creative socially, and do it with a smile.

Do not go changing. Remember, your friends like you, not what you eat. Lots of times, your friends may be defensive about your veganism because they are worried that they are losing a part of the person they befriended.

Know when it is hopeless. Some people just can not hang, but that is the sad reality. Sometimes these people come around after a little while, and sometimes they do not. The important thing to remember when dealing with a friend who just will not deal with veganism, is that one can only control a person’s behavior in that situation: your own. No matter how mean the “friend” is, rise above. Do not resort to insults or “comebacks”, and do not sink to their level. By loosing calm one looses rationale, ant that does nothing for the friendship or the animals, so keep it together, and if nothing else, have dignity and a clear conscience when all is said and done.

Be knowledgeable. Be sure to have all the correct vegan facts and knowledge. One does not have to become a nutritionist or a philosophy major, but having some basic vegan knowledge (like knowing that there’s calcium in dried fruits, greens, and most soymilk or that factory farming produces more greenhouse gases than all the cars on the planet) is a good idea so that one does not come across as a clueless devotee of some diet trend. People respect opinions more if they know they are at least partially informed. Do not go changing. Remember, people become friends, not just because of food, but for a variety of mutual elements. At times, friends may be defensive about veganism because they are worried that they are losing a part of the person they befriended and potentially gaining a very annoying element to that person. Do not change personality or treat people differently because of being vegan. Friends will be a lot more likely to accept veganism if their vegan friends do not act all crazy like they have just joined a cult. Be yourself, but vegan, and the rest will follow.

Understanding omnivores // page 46

Thanksgiving day accounts for 18 percent of annual turkey consumption

SURVIVING THANKSGIVING FOR VEGANS If you are a new vegan, you may be little apprehensive the first few times that you have family, friends, or bussiness associates over your home for holiday meals. That is understandable. You have change the way of your eating, and your old menus may not fit anymore. A Thanksgiving meal is not the time to explain or defend your diet. You become their entertainment and do not make the mistake of trying to convert anyone from a meat-eater to a vegan lifestyle. Thanksgiving is the time to enjoy the company of your family, not to try to change them. You can discuss your vegan lifestyle, of course, but you might want to wait for someone else to bring it up. They will!

BYOV (Bring Your Own Veggies). Celebrating Thanksgiving at the home of family and friends need not be torturous. The key is to plan ahead and mind your manners. Even on one of the biggest meat-eating days of the year, vegetarians and vegans can be gracious, satisfied guests. Find out in advance what your hosts are serving and plan accordingly. This could, of course, mean making a complete meal out of side dishes. However, if your hosts are amenable, why not bring a dish or two of your own? You may even win over some new converts. It is important to use proper etiquette when bringing your own food to someone else's Thanksgiving dinner party. Regardless of dietary preferences, no one wants to offend the host.

The online Etipedia from the manners experts at the Emily Post Institute offers the following advice: Offer to contribute to the meal - but do not dictate the menu. Your best bet is to make your offer open-ended and follow your host's direction. If you or your "party" have special dietary needs, it is very gracious to offer to bring a dish that meets those needs. Whether cooking in or dining out, vegetarians can and should enjoy Thanksgiving just as much as their omnivorous counterparts. The important thing is that we not lose sight of the holiday's true meaning. After all, Thanksgiving is about coming together with loved ones to celebrate the closing of another year and to give thanks for all of the good things we have enjoyed throughout. Meat-eaters and vegetarians alike, this feeling of gratitude is something we can all share.

Thanksgiving is about coming together with loved ones to celebrate the closing of another year and to give thanks for all of the good things we have enjoyed throughout. Meat-eaters and vegetarians alike, this feeling of gratitude is something we can all share.

Understanding omnivores // page 48

Solving the problems

Even though Vegans and non-vegans have different lifestyle and eating habits, they can not avoid each other. Research from Vegetarian Times states that 1 in 31.36 adults in the United States is vegetarian. Sooner or later, one might meet and interact with one or more vegans. One might date, work or study with one or a few vegans, and at one point in time eat with them. This is how people live together as a society; one cannot avoid interacting with different kinds of people. I believe vegans and non-vegans can live together peacefully. All of the arguements can be solved if they are understanding towards each other and keep an open mind. As a graphic designer I would like to give 5 solutions towards building a better understanding and to the bridge the differences between the vegan and non-vegan world.

Solving the problems // page 50

{1} Book for non-vegans How do vegans get proteins? This might be a common question that non-vegans ask their vegan friends. In fact vegan foods have good sources of proteins such as nuts, beans and legumes. So, how many non-vegans know that Vitamin B12 is only found in animal products? There are many misconceptions about veganism. All the how-to books are for vegans who live in a non-vegan world or for people who want to become vegans.I want to use my graphic design skills to design a book for non-vegans who want to know more about veganism. This book will not be about converting to veganism, but about building a better understanding for non-vegan individuals about the vegan movement.

Solving the problems // page 52

{2} Vegan menu options There are non-vegans who do not want to go to vegan restaurants because they think vegan foods are not tasty. Some vegans do not have anything to eat when they go to the normal restaurants. How about going to restaurants with vegans options? How do you know which restaurants have vegan options on their menus? Yelp can only filter vegan restaurants from normal restaurants. As a graphic designer I want to create a mobile-web toolkit to help vegans with this issue. By making the database website with vegan menu options from different restaurants, I can help vegans and non-vegans identify which restaurants are suitable for their needs and preferences.

Solving the problems // page 54

{3} Living together There are many types of vegetarians, like the many types of people in your life. When people turn vegan, it not only affects the way they eat, but also their lifestyle. New vegans might find difficult to adopt a new lifestyle and the people around vegans have to deal and adapt to these changes too. I want to start a campaign called “Living Together� to get vegans and non-vegans to come together and discuss their lifestyle and how to deal and interact with people around them. This campaign will include posters and other graphic media to entice vegans and non-vegans to come together to the social events for this campaign, and this in turn will allow them to interact with each other to build a better understanding.

Solving the problems // page 56

{4} Meal preparation Most non-vegans do not know or do not fully understand what vegans eat and how they choose food to cook. Also, non-vegans have an attitude that the food vegans eat is bland and boring. As a graphic designer I want to start a campaign for vegans and non-vegans to work together to prepare a meal. Starting with shopping for ingredients, to talking and discussing about how to get all the essential nutritients from a plant-based diet. Then non-vegans can better understand how vegans eat, cook and prepare their meals.

Solving the problems // page 58

{5} Alternative meals Non-vegans think the vegan foods are plain and not delicious. But in fact some of the faux meats taste just as good the real stuff. Most non-vegans are unwilling to try vegan food because they are unfamiliar with ingredients such as tofu, soy milk, seitan, tempeh, etc. As a graphic designer I want to start a magazine called “Alternative meals� This magazine will help non-vegans to learn to cook with alternative meats and incorporate them into their normal cooking. The recipes will not only be a source for non-vegans to get a glimpse as to what vegan food tastes like, they will also act towards a smoother transition for new vegans towards their new lifestyle change.

Solving the problems // page 60


BOOKS Foer, Jonathan Safran. Eating Animals. New York [u.a.: Little, Brown, 2010. Print. Torres, Bob. Vegan Freak: Being Vegan in a Non-vegan World. Colton, NY: Tofu Hound, 2005. Print. Havala, Suzanne. Being Vegetarian for Dummies. New York: Hungry Minds, 2001. Print.


Images are mainly from these flickr users hannah * honey & jam mariczka myfoodthoughts Lucinda Dodds kristin :: the kitchen sink Jess | Sweet Amandine sass & veracity

relationship between vegans and non-vegans  

visual communication lab // Fall 2011

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