This page has links to other websites that provide more information about being vegan and helping animals. My primary focus with this website is the animals who are used and slaughtered to create and become food for humans, because they represent over 90% of animals who are exploited, harmed, and killed unnecessarily by humans. But there is much more to veganism than just food choices. Click on an organization’s logo to go directly to that organization’s website.
The information on this page is separated into the following sections. Click on the section title to go directly to that section.
VEGAN STARTER KITS
Click on the images below for FREE Vegan Starter Kits!
These guides will help you understand the basics of veganism, as well as HOW to go vegan, with simple, practical steps to help you implement the change right away.
NEED HELP GOING VEGAN?
If you need help figuring out what to eat and how to live vegan, click on one of the images above for a vegan start kit, or simply ask a vegan! We’ve all been through this process. We will help you! We want to help you, not just because we care about the animals——but also because we care about YOU. We know that you don’t want to be contributing to the horror and slaughter of lovable animals. That’s not who you are!!
And the good news is that every day it gets easier to live vegan, because vegan products and services are becoming more available and accessible every day. There are affordable, healthy plant-based alternatives that taste exactly the same as meat and have as much protein. You just have to look for them. And every day there are more people who decide to live vegan. You have a support system. There are many Facebook groups that you can join for advice and support.
Being vegan is simply about being compassionate. YOU CAN DO IT!!! Ask for help if you need it. All vegans will tell you that the one regret they have is not going vegan sooner.
PLANT-BASED MEAT, DAIRY,
& EGG ALTERNATIVES
Here are some leading vegan businesses that specialize in plant-based food and beverages. Click on the images for more information about the companies and products. Many of them will ship directly to you, and you may always ask for these brands and products at your local grocery stores and restaurants. You will find store locators on many of these websites, to let you know where to find these products locally.
Please note that the following businesses are vegan, but the business owners or investors are involved with other businesses or brands that use animal products: Beyond Meat, Chao, Daiya, Earth Balance, Field Roast, Gardein, Lightlife, Silk, and So Delicious.
Click on an image to go to the company’s website.
* Please note that not all Morningstar Farms products are vegan; however, the brand is currently phasing in vegan versions of its products, and by 2021, all of its products will be vegan.
** Please note that while all Impossible Foods products are vegan, the company did conduct animal testing for one ingredient, and actually killed 188 rats.
Click on an image to go to the company’s website.
When you are baking, there are many alternatives you may use instead of eggs: vinegar and baking soda, applesauce, soy yogurt, silken tofu, a ripe mashed banana, aquafaba (the liquid that chickpeas are soaked in), ground flaxseed, chia seeds, arrowroot powder, or a combination of water, oil, and baking powder. See the images below to figure out what egg replacement works best with what you are baking.
VEGAN MEALS & RECIPES
Click on the images to go to the websites.
SUPER QUICK PLANT-BASED RECIPES
The Facebook page Super Quick Plant-Based Recipes posts daily recipes that take only 5 to 20 minutes of preparation time and that use as few ingredients as possible. If you want to add more plant-based meals into your diet, you will find this page very helpful. Occasional tips are also provided to help you save more time in the kitchen.
VEGAN SHOPPING & DINING
VEGAN & PLANT-BASED ATHLETES & BODYBUILDERS
More and more professional athletes and bodybuilders are proving that a plant-based diet enhances physical performance. They report that being solely powered by plants enhances their overall health, increases their rate of recovery during and after training sessions and workouts, decreases inflammation, and makes them more powerful than ever before. And most of them are vegan because they care about the animals too.
Meat, milk, and eggs increase acidity in the human body. A high-acidic blood pH causes inflammation and impairs recovery. Plant-based foods are alkaline, and studies show that fruit, nuts, and legumes decrease inflammation, potentially lowering the risk of chronic disease. And clearly these athletes and bodybuilders are getting enough protein by eating only plants!
Here is a list of some of the many athletes and bodybuilders who endorse a plant-based diet.
Austin Aries (world champion wrestler)
Cam F. Awesome (pro heavyweight boxer)
Patrik Baboumian (pro bodybuilder & world champion strongman competitor)
Borja Perez Batet (runner & multisport athlete)
Dotsie Bausch (pro cyclist & Olympian)
Rob Bigwood (champion arm wrestler)
Tia Blanco (champion pro surfer)
Brendan Brazier (pro triathlete & endurance runner)
David Carter (pro football defensive end, aka “The 300 Pound Vegan”)
Wilson Chandler (pro basketball player)
Robert Cheeke (pro bodybuilder)
Michaela Copenhaver (world-record rowing champion)
Mac Danzig (pro mixed martial artist & Ultimate Fighting Championship fighter)
Alexander Dargatz (world champion bodybuilder)
Nimai Delgado (pro bodybuilder)
Nate Diaz (pro mixed martial artist & Ultimate Fighting Championship fighter)
Novak Djokovic (pro tennis player world champion)
Barny du Plessis (Mr. Universe 2014)
Meagan Duhamel (world champion pro figure skater & Olympian bronze/silver/gold medalist)
Sally Eastall (world champion long-distance runner)
Cody Elkins (world champion racquetball player)
Rip Esselstyn (pro triathlete)
Kendrick Farris (pro weightlifter & Olympian)
Matt Frazier (marathoner & ultra-runner)
Ben Gordon (pro basketball player)
Lewis Hamilton (world champion for auto racing)
David Haye (world champion pro heavyweight boxer)
Hench Herbivore (pro bodybuilder)
Kyrie Irving (pro basketball player)
Moses Itkonen (pro skateboarder)
Mischa Janiec (pro bodybuilder)
Seba Johnson (skier & Olympian)
Sofia Jokl (world champion Ju-Jitsu expert)
Matthew Jones (world champion powerlifter & Olympic weightlifter)
DeAndre Jordan (pro basketball player & Olympic gold medalist)
KJ Joseph (world champion for knuckle push-ups & martial arts expert)
Scott Jurek (record-breaking ultramarathon runner)
Colin Kaepernick (pro football quarterback)
Andy Lally (world-class racing driver champion)
Georges Laraque (pro ice hockey player)
Carl Lewis (Olympic gold medalist for track & field, Olympic athlete of the century)
Jehina Malik (pro bodybuilder)
Tyrann Mathieu (pro football player)
Javale McGee (pro basketball player)
Frank Medrano (calisthenics bodyweight expert)
David Meyer (world champion martial artist)
Denis Mikhaylove (world record ultradistance runner)
Morgan Mitchell (champion sprinter)
Heather Mitts (pro soccer player & Olympic gold medalist)
Katherine Monbiot (world champion arm wrestler)
Alex Morgan (pro soccer player)
Derrick Morgan (pro football linebacker)
Martina Navratilova (pro tennis world champion)
Patrick Neshek (pro baseball pitcher)
Harri Nieminem (world champion Thai boxer & ultramarathon runner)
Fiona Oakes (world record pro marathon runner)
Yolanda Presswood (world champion powerlifter)
Pat Reeves (world-record powerlifter)
Weia Reinboud (world-record track & field athlete)
Patrick Reiser (pro bodybuilder)
Rich Roll (ultramarathoner, Ultraman & Ironman athlete)
Murray Rose (pro swimmer & Olympic bronze/silver/gold medalist)
April Ross (pro volleyball player & Olympic silver/bronze medalist)
James Southwood (world champion fighter)
Hannah Teter (pro snowboarder & Olympic bronze/silver/gold medalist)
Abel Trujillo (mixed martial artist & Ultimate Fighting Championship fighter)
Brian Turner (pro bodybuilder)
Alexey Voevoda (pro bobsledder & pro arm wrestler)
Hulda B. Waage (pro powerlifter & weightlifting champion)
Torre Washington (pro bodybuilder)
Dustin Watten (pro volleyball player & Olympic gold medalist)
Griff Whalen (pro football wide receiver)
James Wilks (pro mixed martial artists & Ultimate Fighting Championship fighter)
Mike Zigomanis (pro ice hockey player)
Abundant scientific research confirms that people who eat a vegan diet have a lower risk for cancer, obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and many more chronic diseases. The organizations below provide an abundance of peer-reviewed, evidence-based research and studies on plant-based nutrition.
THE ACADEMY OF NUTRITION AND DIETETICS
Vegans are always being asked for proof that a vegan diet is healthy. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is the largest organization of healthcare professionals in the United States (and the world), representing over 100,000 credentialed practitioners. The Academy published a position paper in the December 2016 Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (Volume 116, Issue 12, Pages 1970–1980), that affirms its official position that a vegan diet is best for human health and the environment. The Academy is the leading authority on diet and nutrition in the U.S., and is committed to improving the nation’s health and advancing the profession of dietetics through research, education, and advocacy.
The Academy states that humans have no inherent biological or nutritional need for animals or animal products, and that a vegan diet provides significant health benefits, may prevent and treat chronic diseases, and is best for overall health. The paper states that a vegan diet is “healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits for the prevention and treatment of certain diseases.” Additionally, the Academy affirms that a vegan diet is “appropriate for all stages of the life cycle, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, adolescence, older adulthood, and for athletes.”
This position paper also includes a section on environmental issues, concluding not only that a vegan diet is more sustainable and less damaging to the environment, but also that animal agriculture negatively impacts the environment. The paper states, “Plant-based diets are more environmentally sustainable than diets rich in animal products because they use fewer natural resources and are associated with much less environmental damage.”
Furthermore, according to the Academy, “Vegans are at reduced risk of certain health conditions, including ischemic heart disease, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, certain types of cancer, and obesity.”
And because characteristics of a vegan diet include “low intake of saturated fat and high intakes of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, soy products, nuts, and seeds (all rich in fiber and phytochemicals),” a vegan diet produces “lower total and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels and better serum glucose control. These factors contribute to reduction of chronic disease.” The Academy concludes that a vegan diet provides better nutrition than an omnivorous diet, as assessed by the Alternative Healthy Eating Index.
Here are some of the American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ determinations regarding a vegan diet compared to other dietary patterns:
Vegans are at reduced risk for heart disease, and vegan diets seem to be the most beneficial in improving heart disease risk factors.
Vegans are at reduced risk for cancer, and a vegan diet provides greater protection against overall cancer incidence.
Vegans have a lower risk for type 2 diabetes, and a vegan diet serves as effective therapeutic tools in the management of type 2 diabetes.
Vegans are at reduced risk for hypertension, and have the lowest systolic and diastolic blood pressure levels and the lowest rate of hypertension.
Vegans are at reduced risk for obesity, and a vegan diet is associated with the lowest body mass index.
Vegan diets typically meet or exceed recommended protein intakes, when caloric intakes are adequate. “The terms complete and incomplete are misleading in relation to plant protein. Protein from a variety of plant foods, eaten during the course of a day, supplies enough of all indispensable (essential) amino acids when caloric requirements are met.”
Vegan eat the most fiber, the least total fat and saturated fat, and have the healthiest body weights and cholesterol levels.
Vegans have the lowest levels of bone mineral density.
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics used a large collection of studies and public surveys to arrive at its conclusions. There are 117 sources cited, and no potential conflicts of interest, nor any funding sources that could have created bias.
YOU MAY SEE THE ENTIRE STUDY AND DOWNLOAD A PDF HERE.
NUTRITION FACTS – DR. MICHAEL GREGER
Nutrition Facts is a free, science-based public service website provided by Dr. Michael Greger, offering evidence-based recommendations covering the nutritional features of a vegan diet. The goal of this website is to provide the results of peer-reviewed nutrition and health research, presented in a way that is easy to understand. There are health and nutrition videos covering more than 2,000 alphabetized topics.
“A significant convergence of evidence suggests that plant-based diets can help prevent and even reverse some of the top killer diseases in the Western world and can be more effective than medication and surgery: Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and Parkinson’s disease.
Plant-based eating may have a positive effect on abdominal fat, acne, aging, allergies, asthma, body-odor, cellulite, childhood IQ, cognition, dysmenorrheal, eczema, gut flora, fibromyalgia, kidney stones, metabolic syndrome, menstrual breast pain, mood, multiple sclerosis, oral health, rheumatoid arthritis, stools, waist circumference, and weight control.
Plant-based eating also appears to help prevent abdominal aortic aneurysm, age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, Crohn’s disease, diverticulosis, gallstones, hiatal hernia, kidney stones, rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis, and vaginal infections.
Eating meat and other animal products may be associated with weight gain (even after controlling for calories), a shortened lifespan, and other negative effects. Meat also contains a high amount of saturated fat, trans fats, sulfur dioxide arachidonic acid, and heme iron. Meat, fish, dairy, and eggs may also increase our exposure to dietary antibiotics, industrial toxins, mercury and other toxic heavy metals, advanced glycation end-products (AGEs), cadmium, xenoestrogens in fish, and estrogenic meat carcinogens...”
In his 2015 presentation Food as Medicine: Preventing and Treating the Most Common Diseases with Diet, Dr. Greger addresses how animal-dependent diets cause many diseases, and how plant-based diets can prevent and even reverse leading causes of illness and death.
HOW NOT TO DIE
Dr. Michael Greger’s book How Not to Die examines the 15 top causes of death in America, and explains how nutrition and lifestyle changes are superior and healthier to prescription pills and medical procedures. Dr. Greger backs up his claims with peer-reviewed scientific evidence, showing that a vegan diet is what we need to live longer, healthier lives.
There is also an animated summary of How Not to Die. “We have tremendous power over our health destiny and longevity.”
Dr. Greger lectures on the leading causes of death (meat, milk, and eggs) in this video.
PHYSICIANS COMMITTEE FOR RESPONSIBLE MEDICINE - DR. NEAL D. BARNARD
“The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) is leading a revolution in medicine——putting a new focus on health and compassion. PCRM combines the clout and expertise of more than 12,000 physicians with the dedicated actions of 175,000 members across the United States and around the world.
Our efforts are dramatically changing the way doctors treat chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and cancer. By putting prevention over pills, doctors are empowering their patients to take control of their own health.
And we are also building a new way of viewing research. Since 1985, the Physicians Committee has been working tirelessly for alternatives to the use of animals in medical education and research and advocating for more effective scientific methods.
Our staff of physicians, dietitians, and scientists is working with policymakers, industry, the medical community, the media, and the public to create a better future for people and animals.”
PCRM provides health and nutrition literature and facts sheets, including a 21-Day Vegan Kickstart program. The program features tips, daily meal plans, nutrition information, and other activities to help make it easy for participants to test drive a plant-based diet.
“Two themes consistently emerge from studies of cancer from many sites: vegetables and fruits help to reduce risk, while meat, animal products, and other fatty foods are frequently found to increase risk. Consumption of dietary fat drives production of hormones, which, in turn, promotes growth of cancer cells in hormone-sensitive organs such as the breast and prostate. Meat is devoid of the protective effects of fiber, antioxidants, phytochemicals, and other helpful nutrients, and it contains high concentrations of saturated fat and potentially carcinogenic compounds, which may increase one’s risk of developing many different kinds of cancer...
[D]iets rich in high-fiber plant foods such as whole grains, legumes, vegetables, and fruits offer a measure of protection. Fiber greatly speeds the passage of food through the colon, effectively removing carcinogens, and fiber actually changes the type of bacteria that is present in the intestine, so there is reduced production of carcinogenic secondary bile acids. Plant foods are also naturally low in fat and rich in antioxidants and other anti-cancer compounds. Not surprisingly, vegetarians are at the lowest risk for cancer and have a significantly reduced risk compared to meat-eaters.”
“Milk and dairy products are not necessary in the diet and can, in fact, be harmful to health. It is best to consume a healthful diet of grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes, and fortified foods including cereals and juices. These nutrient-dense foods can help you meet your calcium, potassium, riboflavin, and vitamin D requirements with ease—and without facing the health risks associated with dairy product consumption.”
In 2015, The Physicians Committee opened the Barnard Medical Center, which draws on the Physicians Committee’s 30 years of experience in clinical research and educating physicians and the public on the link between diet and health. The center focuses on prevention and integrating nutrition into patient care.
VEGAN DIET: THE BEST MEDICINE
“In 2015, a meta-analysis by the Physicians Committee published in Cardiovascular Diagnosis and Therapy found that a plant-based diet improves type 2 diabetes treatment—and does so more effectively than oral diabetes medications. In the last 30 years, we have published more than 70 research papers, including three major metaanalyses on the role of plant-based diets in improving blood pressure, blood sugar, and body weight.”
T. COLIN CAMPBELL CENTER FOR NUTRITION STUDIES
The mission of the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies is “to promote optimal nutrition through science-based education, advocacy, and research,” emphasizing living a “whole life” by maintaining health and building happiness, “a life scientifically proven to be achieved by doing a very simple thing: understanding and implementing a whole food, plant-based diet.”
The website features whole food plant-based resources including in-depth articles, recipes, a free monthly newsletter, and information about the online Certificate in Plant-Based Nutrition program, a nationally-recognized comprehensive plant-based nutrition education program, with lessons from more than 25 experts, including Dr. T. Colin Campbell.
The T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies is based in Ithaca, New York, established to advocate Dr. T. Colin Campbell’s life-changing work in nutritional research, especially The China Study, the 2005 bestseller (updated and expanded in 2016), which he co-authored with his son Thomas Campbell, MD.
THE CHINA STUDY: STARTLING IMPLICATIONS FOR DIET, WEIGHT LOSS, AND LONG-TERM HEALTH
The China Study is based on the 20-year China Project, the most comprehensive study of health and nutrition ever conducted. The project included 367 variables and 6,500 participants, and produced more than 8,000 statistically significant associations between lifestyle, dietary factors, and disease variables——clearly showing the damaging effects of diets high in animal protein, contrasted with the undeniable health benefits of a vegan diet. They also incorporate a wealth of additional research data from other sources.
The China Study provides irrefutable evidence of the health benefits of a plant-based diet.
The study was conducted jointly by the Chinese Academy of Preventive Medicine, Cornell University, and the University of Oxford, directed by T. Colin Campbell, PhD. He has received more than 70 grant years of peer-reviewed research funding and authored more than 300 research papers.
The researchers looked at diets, lifestyles, disease characteristics, and mortality rates of 6,500 people in China, and concluded that people who eat primarily animal-based foods are more likely to suffer from chronic diseases than people who eat vegan foods, and that people who eat vegan foods both minimize and actually REVERSE the development of chronic diseases.
The researchers emphasize a clear, significant correlation between the consumption of meat, milk, and eggs and many ailments: heart disease, diabetes, cancer, obesity, osteoporosis, Type 2 diabetes, and more——concluding that diets high in animal protein are strongly linked to chronic disease.
Some of the most significant findings, which have been published in the most reputable scientific journals, include the following:
Heart disease can be reversed with a vegan diet! Patients with coronary heart disease who eat a whole-foods, plant-based diet can stop the progression of the disease. In fact, the clogged arteries of 70% of the participants actually opened. Reducing the consumption of animal protein is more significant than reducing the consumption of saturated fat.
The growth of cancer cells can actually be turned on and off by increasing and decreasing quantities of casein, the protein found in cow milk.
Dairy consumption increases the risk of prostate cancer.
The China Study’s conclusion is simple: If you want to live a healthy, long life, choose a vegan diet.
From the Introduction to The China Study:
“Even though information and opinions are plentiful, very few people truly know what they should be doing to improve their health. This isn’t because the research hasn’t been done. It has. We know an enormous amount about the links between nutrition and health. But the real science has been buried beneath a clutter of irrelevant or even harmful information—junk science, fad diets, and food industry propaganda. I want to change that. I want to give you a new framework for understanding nutrition and health, a framework that eliminates confusion, prevents and treats disease, and allows you to live a more fulfilling life. I have been ‘in the system’ for almost sixty years, often at the very highest levels, designing and directing large research projects, deciding which research gets funded, and translating massive amounts of scientific research into national expert-panel reports. After a long career in research, policy making, and lecturing to a wide variety of public and professional audiences, I now understand why Americans are so confused. As a taxpayer who foots the bill for research and health policy in America, you deserve to know that many of the common notions you have been told about food, health, and disease are wrong...”
“The China Study...unearths surprising answers to the most important nutritional questions of our time: What really causes cancer? How can we extend our lives? What will turn around the obesity epidemic? The China Study...represents a major turning-point in our understanding of health.”
—Neal Barnard, MD, President, Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine
Click on the images above to watch Dr. T. Colin Campbell present the overwhelming evidence that animal protein causes cancer.
DR. MICHAEL KLAPER
Dr. Michael Klaper is a leading educator in plant-based nutrition and ending animal cruelty worldwide. His website offers a variety of nutritional health resources, including answers to frequently asked health questions, videos, recipes, news and events, and “Healthy YOU Webinars” about how to achieve optimal health and well-being.
“Practicing primary care medicine for over 40 years has taught me many things, but chief among them is that health and disease are not a matter of chance. As a wise professor told me in medical school, ‘People do not get diseases, they earn them!’... The adage ‘By age 20 you have the face that Nature gave you; by age 50, you have the face your choices gave you’ is, indeed, true——and holds throughout the body. By age 50, we have the arteries, the heart, the skin, the colon and the brain that our choices have given us.” ― Dr. Michael Klaper
DR. MCDOUGALL’S HEALTH & MEDICAL CENTER
Dr. John McDougall is a nutrition expert who recommends a low-fat, no oil, starch-based, vegan diet. His website features the latest information on health-related topics, success stories from people with medical issues who have improved their health, and information on specific health problems and nutrition.
Dr. McDougall offers a free program that has all of the information to successfully improve health and well-being, which includes a vegan diet. The program emphasizes “the exclusion of animal foods, including red meat, poultry, dairy products, eggs, and fish——all of which provide toxic levels of fat, cholesterol, protein and, very often, infectious agents and harmful chemicals.”
The program emphasizes the following:
Animal foods have little nutritional value.
Protein from animal sources damages the human body.
Americans consume far too much protein (which overworks the liver and kidneys).
Plants provide all of the essential amino acids needed for the human body to build protein.
Cow milk is an inferior source of calcium.
For optimum health, humans need adequate complex carbohydrates, which are simply not found in animal sources.
Dr. McDougall discusses “Why Doctors Don’t Recommend Veganism” in this video.
THE PERMANENTE JOURNAL
In 2016, Kaiser Permanente, the leading healthcare provider in the United States, published an article in its medical science journal advocating that physicians recommend a vegan diet for all of their patients.
The article notes, “Healthy eating may be best achieved with a plant-based diet, which we define as a regimen that encourages whole, plant-based foods and discourages meats, dairy products, and eggs as well as all refined and processed foods... Physicians should consider recommending a plant-based diet to all their patients, especially those with high blood pressure, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, or obesity....
Not only is there a broad expansion of the research database supporting the myriad benefits of plant-based diets, but also healthcare practitioners are seeing awe-inspiring results with their patients across multiple unique subspecialties. Plant-based diets have been associated with lowering overall and ischemic heart disease mortality; supporting sustainable weight management; reducing medication needs; lowering the risk for most chronic diseases; decreasing the incidence and severity of high-risk conditions, including obesity, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, and hyperglycemia; and even possibly reversing advanced coronary artery disease and type 2 diabetes.”
NOT Milk’s goal is to educate the public about the detrimental effects of consuming cow milk, with resources including studies that link milk to a long list of diseases.
“We are breaking down the greatest myth in America: that milk does a body good. By establishing a stance against the dairy industry and the tens of billions of dollars spent in propaganda activities...we will tell America the other side of the milk story... The dairy industry has invested an immense amount of money, and Americans are still getting sick, breaking bones, getting cancer and osteoporosis. The secret to the ‘Fountain of Youth’ is giving up milk and dairy products.”
Also featured on the website is Dr. Robert M. Kradjian’s article “The Milk Letter – A Message to My Patients,” which focuses on three sources of information regarding the human consumption of cow milk: a study of nature, the history of the human species, and the world’s scientific literature on the subject of milk. Dr. Kradjian references many studies, and concludes that cow milk is not healthy for humans and that it interferes with calcium absorption due to excess protein. He advises, “Don’t drink milk for health. I am convinced on the weight of the scientific evidence that...milk will only reduce your diet’s nutritional value and safety.”
SCIENTIFIC STUDIES ON A VEGAN DIET
Below are several peer-reviewed, evidence-based studies about the benefits of a vegan diet. These studies clearly link a vegan diet with improved health outcomes, including protective benefits against cancer, heart disease, and many diseases.
It has been proven repeatedly that a predominantly plant-based diet is optimal for human health and that diseases can be prevented and even reversed with a vegan diet. There are no nutrients in animal-based foods that are not better provided by plants, including protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. (The one exception is vitamin B12, which does not occur naturally in animal products, and can be supplied via fortified food sources such as plant beverages, cereals, and nutritional yeast, or with a supplement.)
A 2014 study on health and disease outcomes found that while vegetarians consistently have lower risks for cardiovascular diseases, cardiometabolic risk factors, some cancers, and total mortality, further avoidance of eggs and dairy products may offer additional benefits. The researchers concluded that compared to vegetarian diets, vegan diets provide added protection against obesity, hypertension, type-2 diabetes, and cardiovascular mortality.
A 2015 study examined the association between dietary patterns and prostate cancer incidence, and found that a vegan diet showed a statistically significant protective connection to a lower risk of prostate cancer. Participants who switched to a vegan diet either stopped the progression of their cancer or reversed the illness entirely.
A 2016 systematic review with meta-analysis of observational studies compared multiple health outcomes in vegetarian and vegan diets, and concluded that consuming a vegan diet significantly reduces risk of both cardiovascular disease and cancer. The overall analysis also revealed significantly reduced levels of body mass index, total cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol, and glucose levels in vegetarians and vegans, compared to omnivores. Incidence of cancer for those following a vegetarian diet was lower than an omnivorous diet, and was even lower still in those who followed a vegan diet. The analysis conducted among vegans reported a significant reduced risk of incidence from total cancer.
A 2014 study found that high protein intake, especially from animal sources, is linked to increased cancer, diabetes, and overall mortality, and that a diet in which plant-based nutrients represent the majority of the food intake is likely to maximize health benefits in all age groups. The researchers also concluded that protein from plant sources is associated with lower mortality than animal-derived protein.
A 2016 study found that a vegan diet is associated with a substantially lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes. The researchers recommend a shift to diets rich in healthy plant foods.
The first study of thousands of vegans in the United States was published in 2009. Comparing the body mass index of vegans to that of meat-eaters and vegetarians, the researchers found that vegans had 40% less body fat and achieved healthy weight.
A 2014 study about nutrition and cancer concluded that limiting or avoiding dairy products reduces the risk of prostate cancer; that avoiding red and processed meat reduces the risk of colon and rectal cancer; and that avoiding grilled, fried, and broiled meats reduces the risk of colon, rectal, breast, prostate, kidney, and pancreatic cancer. The researchers emphasize eating fruits and vegetables to reduce the risk of several types of cancer.
A 2014 study led by Dr. John McDougall found that a low-fat, starch-based, free-feeding vegan diet eaten for seven days led to consistent reductions in total cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood glucose, and that adherence to the diet used in the study would reduce participants’ risk of a cardiovascular disease and metabolic diseases, based on commonly tested biomarkers that are used to predict such future risks.
The largest study examining the effects of different sources of dietary protein, conducted in 2016, found that high intake of protein from animal sources (including meat, milk, and eggs) was associated with a higher mortality rate, while a high intake of protein from plant sources was associated with a lower risk of death.
A 2015 study from the Cleveland Clinic found that a vegan diet was more effective in cardiovascular disease risk reduction (including reducing factors such as weight, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels) than the diet recommended by the American Heart Association. The researchers concluded that a vegan diet can help reduce the likelihood a future cardiovascular event in both children and adults.
A 2016 study by Oxford University is the first to estimate both the health and climate change impacts of a global move toward a vegan diet. The researchers found that veganism is the key to saving the planet and millions of lives. The researchers modeled the effects of four different global dietary scenarios and found that by 2050, if the entire world became vegan, 8.1 million fewer humans would die per year, healthcare savings would be $700 billion to $1 trillion per year, and food-related greenhouse gas emissions would be reduced by 70%.
These are some of the many prominent vegan organizations, groups, and individuals who help animals——both by spreading the vegan message and by directly helping the animals. Click on the images to go to the websites.
VEGAN NEWS & CURRENT EVENTS
Click on an image to go to the organization’s website.
INFLUENTIAL VEGAN ACTIVISTS
Principle One: Abolitionists maintain that all sentient beings, human or nonhuman, have one right —the basic right not to be treated as the property of others.
Click on the image above to go to the website and read the other five principles and more about the Abolitionist Approach.
"Carnism" is the widespread belief system that conditions us to eat animals by operating outside our awareness, and therefore without our conscious consent.
Please watch this video, The Secret Reason We Eat Meat, in which Dr. Melanie Joy explains why rational, compassionate people don’t question the system of "carnism." This mostly animated video is 18 minutes long, and it is non-graphic except for two minutes starting at the 8:15 mark.
THE VEGAN ACTIVIST
VEGAN DOCUMENTARY FILMS
There are many documentaries about going vegan. These are six of the most popular.
Click on the images for more information.
Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret addresses environmental concerns.
The Game Changers features vegan athletes and bodybuilders.
CLIMATE CHANGE &
YOU ARE NOT AN ENVIRONMENTALIST IF YOU CONSUME MEAT, DAIRY, AND/OR EGGS
A comprehensive, five-year study by the University of Oxford reveals the detrimental effects that animal agriculture has on the environment, and it includes data on 38,700 farms in 119 countries, including 1,600 processors, packaging plants, and retailers.
Researchers analyzed the impacts of 40 agricultural products, which represent 90% of all food that is consumed worldwide. The study assessed the full impact of these foods on land use, climate change emissions, freshwater use, water pollution, and air pollution. It concludes that ANIMAL PRODUCTS ARE ABSOLUTELY DEVASTATING FOR OUR PLANET, AND THEREFORE, IF YOU CARE ABOUT THE ENVIRONMENT, THE SOLUTION IS TO GO VEGAN.
The findings reveal that meat, eggs, and dairy production (which combined, use 83% of the world’s farmland) is responsible for 58% of agriculture’s greenhouse gas emissions, but that meat, eggs, and dairy products provide only 18% of calories and 37% of protein levels worldwide. (See graphic below.)
Lead author of the study Joseph Poore concludes:
“A vegan diet is probably the single biggest way to reduce your impact on planet Earth, not just greenhouse gases, but global acidification [air pollution], eutrophication [water pollution], land use, and water use. It is far bigger than cutting down on your flights or buying an electric car... AVOIDING CONSUMPTION OF ANIMAL PRODUCTS DELIVERS FAR BETTER ENVIRONMENTAL BENEFITS THAN TRYING TO PURCHASE SUSTAINABLE MEAT AND DAIRY [AND EGGS]... Converting grass into [meat] is like converting coal to energy. It comes with an immense cost in emissions.”
The study was published in the journal Science (June 1, 2018: Vol. 360, Issue 6392, pp. 987-992). To read the full study, “Reducing Food’s Environmental Impacts Through Producers and Consumers,” click here.
“Food’s environmental impacts are created by millions of diverse producers. To identify solutions that are effective under this heterogeneity, we consolidated data covering five environmental indicators; 38,700 farms; and 1,600 processors, packaging types, and retailers. Impact can vary 50-fold among producers of the same product, creating substantial mitigation opportunities. However, mitigation is complicated by trade-offs, multiple ways for producers to achieve low impacts, and interactions throughout the supply chain. Producers have limits on how far they can reduce impacts. Most strikingly, IMPACTS OF THE LOWEST-IMPACT ANIMAL PRODUCTS TYPICALLY EXCEED THOSE OF VEGETABLE SUBSTITUTES, PROVIDING NEW EVIDENCE FOR THE IMPORTANCE OF DIETARY CHANGE. Cumulatively, our findings support an approach where producers monitor their own impacts, flexibly meet environmental targets by choosing from multiple practices, and communicate their impacts to consumers.”
For more information on this study and its implications, read the following articles...
“New Estimates Of the Environmental Cost Of Food: Research published in the journal Science highlights the environmental impacts of thousands of food producers and their products, demonstrating the need for new technology to monitor agriculture, and the need for environmental labels on food products”
“Avoiding Meat and Dairy Is ‘Single Biggest Way’ To Reduce Your Impact On Earth: Biggest analysis to date reveals huge footprint of livestock——It provides just 18% of calories but takes up 83% of farmland”
“Veganism Is ‘Single Biggest Way’ To Reduce Our Environmental Impact On Planet, Study Finds: Avoiding meat and dairy could reduce your carbon footprint from food by nearly three-quarters”
“The Most Effective Way To Save The Planet: Without meat and dairy consumption, global farmland use could be reduced by more than 75%——an area equivalent to the U.S., China, the European Union, and Australia combined——and still feed the world”
ANIMAL AGRICULTURE CONTRIBUTES TO OVER HALF OF GREENHOUSE GASSES RELEASED WORLDWIDE
A report from the United Nations in 2006 stated that the animal agriculture industry was responsible for 18% of greenhouse gas emissions. In 2009, Worldwatch Institute reported that 18% was an under-estimation based on many factors. These factors include the following:
Exclusion of animal respiration
Overlooked land use
Undercounted methane emissions
The increase of animal product consumption since the data used by the United Nations
Undercounting of animal statistics
The increase in emissions than in the previous years on which the United Nations data was based
The United Nations’ use of data in very efficient areas that are not representative of developing countries where the industry is growing the fastest
Exclusion of emissions from deforestation, which is done to grow food for farm animals
Exclusion of emissions from farmed fish and the construction and operation of facilities for marine organisms, which are fed to farm animals
Exclusion of the use of fluorocarbons needed for cooling animal products
Exclusion of emissions from the necessary cooking of animal products
Not accounting for waste disposal (of bone, fat, and spoiled body parts that are disposed in landfills, incinerators, and waterways)
Not accounting for production, distribution, and disposal of packaging used for animal products
Not accounting for production, distribution, disposal, and packaging of byproducts such as leather, feathers, skin, and fur
Exclusion of carbon-intensive medical treatment for millions of cases worldwide of zoonotic illnesses (such as swine flu) and chronic degenerative illnesses (such as coronary heart disease, cancers, diabetes, and hypertension leading to strokes) linked to the consumption of animal products
Taking all of these omissions into account, Worldwatch Institute found that the animal agriculture industry is actually responsible for at least 51% of annual greenhouse gas emissions worldwide. Their detailed findings may be found here.
Why should we care about greenhouse gasses? Greenhouse gasses (such as carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and chlorofluorocarbons) absorb infrared radiation, trapping heat in the earth’s atmosphere. Greenhouse gasses cause the earth’s temperature to rise, which causes polar ice caps to melt, resulting in a rise in sea level and destructive flooding. Greenhouse gasses also deplete the earth’s ozone layer by converting ozone to oxygen, causing holes in the earth’s protective ozone layer, which let in harmful ultraviolet radiation from the sun. Animal agriculture creates massive amounts of these very harmful greenhouse gasses.
GOING VEGAN TO STOP HUMAN STARVATION
More than 870 million people in the world are starving, and every year childhood malnutrition is a cause of death for more than 2.5 million children worldwide, according to the United Nations. How can one person make a difference and help these starving people? By going vegan of course! How does going vegan help starving people? Well, you have to think about it logically.
First, it’s important to understand that there is no biological requirement for humans to consume animals or their bodily secretions. The millions of healthy vegans living on the planet right now are proof of that!
Second, it's important to realize that the vast majority of the world’s starving people live in countries where grains are fed to animals who are slaughtered and then transported to wealthy countries, where humans consume the flesh and organs. If we stopped intensively breeding animals by the billions for food that humans don’t need, and instead used that land to grow crops for humans to eat directly, we could easily feed every human on the planet with healthy and affordable food.
A cow’s diet requires much more vegetation than a human diet. A cow weighs an average of 1,500 pounds (680 kilograms). Vegans eat plants directly rather than having massive amounts of crops fed to fatten up animals who are later eaten by humans.
One acre of land can produce 2.5 pounds (1.134 kilograms) of animal flesh OR over 24,000 pounds (11,188 kilograms) of edible plants.*
Sometimes people say that not all land can be used for growing crops. If that is true, then how is it possible that we are currently feeding tens of billions of animals enough crops for them to become human food every year? Humans can eat those same crops, and humans require far less than cows and other animals who are exploited and slaughtered to become and create unnecessary food for humans. Over 70 billion land animals are killed every year worldwide for human consumption. The world’s human population is 7.7 billion. Obviously, there is abundant land capable of growing vegetation to feed all humans on plants.
Please think about how your food choices affect starving people around the world. Animal agriculture causes worldwide human hunger, poverty, and death. If you care about starving humans, then make the sustainable, ethical, compassionate choice: GO VEGAN!
Oppenlander, Richard A. Food Choice and Sustainability: Why Buying Local, Eating Less Meat, and Taking Baby Steps Won’t Work. Minneapolis, MN : Langdon Street, 2013
Schwab, Denise, et al. “Grass-fed and Organic Beef: Production Costs and Breakeven Market Prices, 2008-2009”. Iowa State University 2012
FISH & SEA LIFE
FISH ARE SENTIENT INDIVIDUALS
There is an abundance of evidence that fish feel pain and suffer just as much as other animals. Fish have central nervous systems, and they are sentient. They experience emotions, as well as pleasure, pain, and fear.
“Fish Feel is the first organization devoted to promoting the recognition of fish as sentient beings deserving of respect and compassion.
Fish Feel primarily serves to help educate the public as to why these animals are deserving of our admiration and appreciation, the immense problems caused by the exploitation of them, and how we can help them.”
FISH FEEL PAIN
“Fish have nerves, as we do, to detect the elements that cause pain—heat, chemicals, and pressure.
Fish have nerve receptors that detect painful events.
Pain signals are sent to higher brain areas.
Pain receptors are similar to amphibians, birds, and mammals.
The three types of pain receptors in people are also in fish.
Fish pain sensitivity is comparable to humans.
In an experiment, 22 pain receptors were found on the face of rainbow trout. Neural activity was recorded from single cells in the face when either a mechanical probe, heat, or a weak acid was applied. THE FISH NERVE ENDINGS ON THE FACE WERE ACTUALLY MORE SENSITIVE, WHEN PRESSURE WAS APPLIED, THAN THOSE IN HUMANS, AND WERE MORE SENSITIVE THAN OUR EYES. (Braithwaite, 2003).”
Abstract: “Nociception is the detection of a noxious tissue-damaging stimulus and is sometimes accompanied by a reflex response such as withdrawal. Pain perception, as distinct from nociception, has been demonstrated in birds and mammals but has not been systematically studied in lower vertebrates. We assessed whether a fish possessed cutaneous nociceptors capable of detecting noxious stimuli and whether its behaviour was sufficiently adversely affected by the administration of a noxious stimulus. Electrophysiological recordings from trigeminal nerves identified polymodal nociceptors on the head of the trout with physiological properties similar to those described in higher vertebrates. These receptors responded to mechanical pressure, temperatures in the noxious range (more than 40 degrees C) and 1% acetic acid, a noxious substance. In higher vertebrates nociceptive nerves are either A-delta or C fibres with C fibres being the predominating fibre type. However, in the rainbow trout A-delta fibres were most common, and this offers insights into the evolution of nociceptive systems. Administration of noxious substances to the lips of the trout affected both the physiology and the behaviour of the animal and resulted in a significant increase in opercular beat rate and the time taken to resume feeding, as well as anomalous behaviours. This study provides significant evidence of nociception in teleost fishes and furthermore demonstrates that behaviour and physiology are affected over a prolonged period of time, suggesting discomfort.” [See the study HERE.]
FISH HAVE EXTREMELY SENSITIVE PAIN RECEPTORS
“In humans and other higher vertebrates, there are two types of nerve fibers used in pain transmission:
‘A’ fibers that transmit pain signals quickly, involved in the fast, pricking sensation of pain
‘C’ fibers that transmit pain signals slowly, involved in aching pain
In vertebrates, including fish and humans, the trigeminal nerve (the fifth cranial nerve), conveys sensory signal information from the head and mouth to the brain. In one experiment, in Scotland, rainbow trout were deeply anaesthetized. The head was operated on to expose the trigeminal nerve, which was stimulated by very fine wire, heat and chemicals. The research found both of these fiber types (Sneddon, 2006).” [See the study HERE.]
“Russian scientists recorded the responses of various fish to painful electrical shocks, which caused their tails to jerk. They were then given painkillers, followed by further shocks. Painkillers reduced the tail jerks by up to 89%. The most sensitive areas to pain were the tail and pectoral fins, skin around the eye, and olfactory sacs. Pain sensitivity was found to be comparable to humans (Chervova and Lapshin, 2004).” [See the study HERE.]
“In research carried out at Manchester University in England, the face of the trout was stimulated while responses in the trigeminal nerve in the brain were recorded. It was found that skin receptors of trout are more sensitive to mechanical stimulus than mammals and birds. It was conjectured that this is because fish are continuously exposed to water pressure, bacteria and fungi. Fish were also pain-sensitive to lower thresholds of heat than mammals (Ashley, 2007).” [See the study HERE.]
For more information on scientific research and studies regarding fish pain, please visit Fish Pain.
LEATHER, & WOOL
THE DOWN INDUSTRY
THE FUR INDUSTRY