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Vegan 1-2-3 – Introduction

Vegan 1-2-3 – Introduction

Over the past few months, I have published a number of articles explaining my belief that making the transition toward a vegan society is an essential pre-requisite for a peaceful world.

As one would expect, discussions following these essays have been more than a little heated, with a number of readers taking offense at my insistence that we desperately need to re-examine the accepted cultural practice of enslaving others for our own pleasure.

Despite the many rewards of vegan living, and despite the irrefutable fact that veganism is the way to relinquish our personal stake in the exploitation of other animals, there are quite a few readers who do not agree that veganism would be an improvement over the status quo, or are simply not interested in becoming vegan. Some have expressed the sentiment (likely shared by many), that they strongly dislike ‘being told what to do’, or being ‘proselytized to’.
 
In the middle of these debates, however, there have appeared some comments from readers expressing a genuine desire to learn more about making such a transition, and some have even expressed a need for further information, not just in regards to why one should be vegan, but how one can go about doing so. This article is written with those people in mind.

I am concerned that some might have been intimidated by the stories of those who say they have had negative experiences with vegan experimentation, particularly those who have expressed that their own experiences with veganism were detrimental to their physical health.

In short, there seems to be a popular misconception amongst readers that being vegan is difficult for most people. It’s not surprising that this is the case, not only because our minds and bodies have been programmed for many generations to adapt to eating animal foods, but also for the simple reason that vegan living is not the norm, and anything that is not the norm tends to be daunting to those who live in a society where so many aspects of life are shared with each other. Food and eating are central to so many of our cultural rituals, and seem to permeate so many different aspects of life, not just our daily meals but also entertainment and even religious observances.

On the other hand, in my discussions with vegans, there seems to be a general consensus that being vegan is actually remarkably easy, especially when you compare the effort that is required with the rewards, which can include dramatically improved health and energy levels, a lighter environmental footprint, enhanced spiritual awareness, increased self-confidence and self-esteem, greater enjoyment of food, and a renewed love and appreciation for animals and the rest of the natural world. In a time when many are seeking a new way of living that does not contribute to the madness of ‘life as it is’, veganism represents a paradigm shift of consciousness and behavior that can benefit the individual in ways that are hard to understand until you have had the experience for yourself.

In an attempt to provide some guidance for those who are genuinely attracted to the values of veganism, but are not sure of how to go about making what might appear on the surface to be a quantum leap in behavior, I would like to try and shine a light on some of the myths that contribute to the common misconception that being vegan is too difficult, or even impossible for certain individuals.

This information is intended to address the basic concerns of those who want to put their minds at ease in regard to some common misunderstandings, but it is by no means intended to be an exhaustive or comprehensive guide. Anyone who has specific personal issues or serious concerns about health, nutrition, or any other aspect of the vegan lifestyle, would be wise to do their own research if they seek to go further.

For those who simply want reassurance that becoming vegan is not something to be intimidated by, I hope that these articles will provide the information you need. If, upon reading them, you have a question that I have not covered, please submit it as a comment, and I will do my best to address it in a future article.

For the sake of simplicity, I will be publishing this information in three separate articles, to be released soon. Keep an eye out for the following posts:

* What Do Vegans Eat?
* Health & Nutrition
* Being Vegan in a Speciesist World

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414 comments

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5:43PM PST on Jan 13, 2011

THANKS TO YOU I AM NOW TRYING TO BE A VEGAN. GO VEGANSSSSSSSSSSSS

7:32AM PDT on Sep 10, 2010

I recommend a great book by WIll Tuttle, "World Peace Diet: Eating for Spiritual Health and Social Harmony". Be well.

10:54AM PDT on Sep 8, 2010

@Karla, the only thing I would take exception to is in the uses of factory farming a gm food being produced. We DO have a say in these practices. I wish everyone would become vegan for their health as well as the humanity of other species, however I am not so naive to believe that will ever happen, but I am of the strong will to believe that we can make a difference in the unbearable way animals are kept and then killed, starting with the outlawing world-wide of such cruel practices of dairy farms, veal, or fois gras....

9:20AM PDT on Sep 8, 2010

You are what you consume and eating animals or treating them as property is hate. Abuse of animals tends to abuse of people which is part of sadist culture that humanity cannot seem to shed. Thou shall not kill means everything including animals and potentially plants if you can avoid it. There is no justification for killing which is relativism and intellectualism of human reasoning rationalizing their corruption which provides no justification for self but promotes hate creating complexes...

4:54PM PDT on Sep 7, 2010

I completely agree with you.

9:30AM PST on Nov 22, 2009

Great article, and great responses Angel. I know it can be frustrating trying to communicate this message in a world that does not want to hear it - so I commend your commitment to this.

I love being vegan - I feel great, and I know that my actions represent my beliefs. It's the easiest thing I've done in my life.

1:42PM PST on Nov 2, 2009

I have been a vegetarian for 17 years and a vegan for 11 of those 17 years. I believe that eating animals is not appropriate for me, and that's what I choose to do. I know that mainstream does not believe that way, and it's sad, but it's everyone's choice to make. I am healthy and I feel great that I am not contributing to the business of slaughtering animals in horrific and cruel ways! So that's the icing on the cake for me in addition to eating healthy foods! My family, friends and co-workers all support me in the way I eat and everyone is conscious of this fact when we're eating todether, which is really great! So my belief is that Yes, we could have a healthier and happier world if we all ate a vegan diet, but again, that's my belief. To each their own....

1:26PM PDT on Oct 31, 2009

i would like to start vegan diet becouse i belive. i've been vegetarian for 10 years then i start to work live with a man love meat & eggs. now i've colesterolo. what to say. i'm tired to fight all the time for everything. i hope to find help to start again vegetarian life. you are wonderful. thank's

1:21PM PDT on Oct 28, 2009

Though I am not an ostrich, I wish you good luck in your religion.

Cheers.

12:11PM PDT on Oct 28, 2009

I find that the game you just mentioned tends to be frequently played by those who choose to keep their heads in the sand in regards to the suffering they cause to other creatures through their diet.

It's not the game I'm playing.

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