Month: January 2016

Veganism is not a diet. And why that’s critically important.

Veganism is not a diet. If that is news to you, please read on. If you not only know this, but are tired of having to explain it to others, please read on. Because most pre-vegans — and even a lot of new vegans — don’t know, yet, and it’s critically important that we try to remedy that as quickly as possible. My partner and I originally went vegan a few years ago for “health reasons.” We were part of the graduating class of Forks Over Knives vegan converts. I’d had very little exposure to veganism before that; a remarkable feat given I’d lived in Portland, Oregon for over 10 years at the time! I must have had some exposure to derogatory coverage of veganism, though, because we were careful to tell friends and family at the time to not worry, that “we’re not the crazy, militant vegans — we’re doing it for health reasons.” I think we felt at the time that we had to set our friends’ minds at ease that they didn’t have …

Veganic farming with Bonnie from Spoke and Leaf Farm

Bonnie Hildebrand lives on 43.5 picturesque acres in the North Plains countryside just 18 miles West of Portland, Oregon. She currently grows all of her beautiful veganic produce and flowers on a 1/2 acre plot. Bonnie shares her home with eight furry friends: Meowgi (the cat) Munch (the pug), and 6 rescue goats: Violet, Earl, Alexa and Alexa’s three babies, Tonk, Pluto and Chrystalia. Violet and Earl were first rescued by Out to Pasture Animal Sanctuary before joining Bonnie at Spoke and Leaf Farm. The others were rescued by Harmony New Beginnings Animal Rescue prior to joining the gang. Two stray cats have recently made an appearance and both are available for adoption! *** What inspired you to become a farmer? I think it’s just been an adult life of learning about food and where it comes from and how it’s handled and where it’s grown and I started getting serious about it in 2010. I went to a permaculture conference and it opened my eyes further. And I was gardening; I was growing stuff here and there with moderate success. Then I heard about the Beginning Urban Farmer …

Vegan Majority News Survey – Jan 24, 2016

A round up of the latest news from the past couple weeks. Tesla investor Mark Peters told Business Insider in an email, “The vegan interior issue isn’t a casual ‘lifestyle choice,’ but a critical change needed for survival of life on our planet.”[1] The Herbivorous Butcher, the first vegan butcher shop in the US, opened in Minneapolis[2] — and is getting rave reviews.[3] The first vegetarian pub in Britain opened in Bristol. The pub is vegan except for some dishes with animal cheese.[4] A cow that was captured by the police after escaping a New York City slaughterhouse has found a home at an animal sanctuary in New Jersey.[5] Ecorazzi announced they’ll be relaunching on January 25th “with an unapologetically vegan perspective!”[6] Russel Simmons, co-founder of Def Jam Records, released his new book, “The Happy Vegan: A Guide to Living a Long, Healthy, and Successful Life.”[7][8] Animal rights activists from across the country traveled to New York to stage massive #StormSkansa protests at the home and office of the head of Skanska USA, a multi-billion …

Veganuary: An interview with Andrew Warren

It’s January 16th 2016 and I’m here with Andrew Warren — who happens to be my younger brother — and I’m interviewing him about his participation in Veganuary. Is this your first time participating in Veganuary?  No, I did it last year as well. Last year was the first time I heard about it. I think I had the intention of not doing it this year, but then you came and visited for the holidays and you remotivated me.

Connecting the Dots: How social justice advocacy led me to animal rights

I was about nine or ten years old when I started reading Zoobooks magazine. It was a gift subscription from my grandma, Laverne. Zoobooks is a children’s magazine that explores the anatomy, habitat, social behavior and ecological role of a specific animal or animal group, or sometimes features categories like “baby animals” or “endangered species.” It was established in 1980 and is still in publication today. I would eagerly await the magazine’s arrival each month and after reading the issue cover to cover, I would gently tear along the perforated lines to retrieve the centerfold poster and add it to the collection hanging on my bedroom wall. I was fascinated with this whole world of amazing creatures that shared the planet with me. I was especially drawn to elephants and big cats and one of my most prized possessions at the time was a small, stuffed white snow leopard I got on a trip to Marine World with my family. Beyond fascination, I felt genuine empathy and love toward animals — the way most children do.

The Vegan Majority News Survey: January 10, 2016

About a dozen animal rights activists made their voices heard at the Pennsylvania Farm Show during PA Governor Tom Wolf’s opening ceremony speech. [1] The first vegan butcher shop in the U.S. will open in Minneapolis Jan. 23. [2] Jennifer Aniston said she is “riveted” by the vegan taco cleanse, saying “I can see that being something.” [3] Two chimpanzees have been returned to their captors following a 2-year legal battle to have them declared legal persons. [4] Philly.com published “15 reasons why 2016 could be the Year of the Vegan in Philly.” [5] The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine filed a lawsuit against the USDA and the Department of Health and Human Services over newly-released dietary guidelines. [6] PETA staff delivered vegan jerky to the armed “militiamen” occupying the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon, carrying signs that read “The End (of Animal Agriculture) Is Nigh: Get Out Now!” [7] Chef Chloe Coscarelli will open her second and third by CHLOE fast casual vegan restaurants in Manhattan in 2016, in a wave of “vegan …

Choosing Compassion Over Fear

Many people are afraid to go vegan — for various reasons. They may wonder what they’ll eat, where they’ll get their calcium or protein — or whether they can give up cheese forever. Most often they’re afraid of what it will mean socially. What will their friends think? How will their relationships be impacted? Will people think they’re acting “high and mighty”? Will they stop being invited to parties and events? I’ve talked with people who were especially concerned about offending or inconveniencing others with their veganism. Wondering, for example, what would happen if they were offered non-vegan food and had to decline. How would their rejection land with the one who offered? Will they be seen as freaks or outcasts, or clueless beneficiaries of class privilege? These fears stop many would-be vegans in their tracks. Even after they learn the truth about the animal exploitation industries and the horrible torture and eventual killing of tens of billions of animals in the United States alone each year, many people are afraid to make what they recognize as an important …

A Note from the Editors

Welcome. We’re thrilled you’ve found us. The Vegan Majority seeks to amplify the voice of the global vegan community at a time of perhaps unprecedented progress and hope — and also of nearly unfathomable greed, destruction and despair. We will focus on the hope. Hope in the form of a burgeoning global community of vegans and those on their way to becoming vegan. Hope in the volume and reach of communication and conversation around animal rights and the importance of moving to a plant-based diet and away from the exploitation of and violence against animals. Hope in the expanding awareness that we already know how to end the worst problems plaguing humanity — and by extension, our non-human animal friends and neighbors: climate degradation, species extinction, poverty and starvation, the global health crisis, as well as violence and war.