Friday, August 27, 2010


Veganism as defined in Wikipedia

Veganism is a philosophy and lifestyle whose adherents seek to exclude the use of animals for food, clothing, or any other purpose.Vegans endeavor not to use or consume animal products of any kind. The most common reasons for becoming a vegan are human health, ethical commitment or moral conviction concerning animal rights or welfare, the environment, and spiritual or religious concerns. Of particular concern to many vegans are the practices involved in factory farming and animal testing, and the intensive use of land and other resources for animal farming.

A Vegan diet excludes all animal products such as milk, dairy, eggs, any meat and so on. It is definitely a difficult lifestyle to choose. Because you definitely can find ethical alternatives, like certified local farms who will provide you with organic and ethical milk and meat. And in most discussions with aggressive vegans, the question of humane slaughter for meat always comes up. In my opinion, there is probably no way to kill an animal humanely. But if you look around other carnivores around you, you will see that the way a carnivore lion or a tiger kills a deer is not pleasant either. What I support about these ethical farms is that they try to give their flock a happy life before they are eventually killed for food like the life they would have had in the wild before eventually getting hunted by a carnivore. Most ethical dairy farms infact have a really low kill rate because they are not necessarily in the meat industry.

This knowledge however does not necessarily give me any prolonged solace about continuing to use these products ! Who really ensures that the farms and suppliers stick to the requirements for them to be certified ethical, humane, organic and cruelty free. How frequently are the requirements checked? There are several believable organizations who do take up the charge, but I find it difficult to keep believing that the model will be sustainable. Eventually, if the demand for ethical and organic food increases, these farms will end up becoming industrialized to meet the demand. It is like an endless cycle.

Like every person in the process of converting to Vegan-ism, I am going through a transition phase, trying out new things, substitutions, being confused some days and so on. Even though it is such passionate cause, it is always difficult to convince everyone around you to just give up and change their entire food and living habits. So I am trying to figure out a process of change. A small change in every aspect, a change to find other options for people who cannot completely give up yet, options which are ethical, options that make sense to someone who cannot grasp your passion about the cause, options that will eventually help them understand and slowly move towards a better, a right, direction. The mantra..Just be as kind as you can be.. be it what you eat, what you use, what you see and what you do..

If you have some time, please do read up some great write ups about why Veganism and how being Vegan is just an extension to being human, here


Heather Mills McCartney has issued a consumer alert about several top fashion brands whose fur garments may be made of dog and cat fur. At a news conference inside the New York Fashion Week tents, Mills McCartney—wife of former Beatle Sir Paul—screened a graphic video of animals in China being skinned alive for their pelts and unveiled her new PETA ad campaign, “If You Wouldn’t Wear Your Dog, Please Don’t Wear Any Fur.”

Tommy Hilfiger, DKNY, and Sean John manufacture fur or fur-trimmed garments in China, whose fur industry has just eclipsed all other countries combined to become the world’s leading supplier of fur to the United States. Millions of foxes, raccoons, minks, rabbits—and, yes, dogs and cats—are killed in China in ways that would shock unsuspecting consumers because there is not a single animal protection law in the country.

“Consumers who find themselves favoring fur because it’s cheap are in for a shock when they find out that it’s at the expense of animals who are literally skinned alive,” says McCartney. “Buying anything with fur supports one of the most gruesome industries on the planet.”

A year-long undercover investigation concluded earlier this year captured video footage of fur farmers in China swinging raccoons and foxes by their hind legs and smashing their heads into the ground—breaking the animals’ necks or backs but leaving them completely conscious, panting and blinking as they are skinned alive.

Raw fur pelts from China often move through international auctions where their origins can be mislabeled as other types of fur. Dog and cat fur is indistinguishable from that of other animals—only a DNA test can reveal its real source—so the best solution is to avoid wearing any fur.

Please, please just do not buy anything made of Fur. We dont need such cruel embellishments to look good!

Monday, August 09, 2010

Vegan Resources/Factsheets/Essays/Blogs (Nutrition & Ethics)

Articles about veganism, factsheets, essays, documentaries/videos or related blog-sites for the purposes of outreach and informative commentary collected by David Catherine


* "B12 and the Vegan Diet: All You Need To Know About Vitamin B12 in Vegetarian and Vegan Diets" by Dr Justine Butler:

* "Vitamin B12: Are you getting it?"

* "The Vitamin B12 Issue" by Dr Gina Shaw:

* "Vitamin B12 Importance" by Dr Gabriel Cousens:

* "What every vegan should know about vitamin B12" by Stephen Walsh Ph.D:


* "The Protein Myth: Why vegetarian and vegan diets contain all the protein that you need" by Amanda Woodvine, BSc Nutrition:

* "Vegan Protein Sources" by Thomas Stearns Lee:

* "Protein in the Vegan Diet" by Reed Mangels:

* "Protein"

* "Quinoa: A Great Vegetarian Protein Source":

* "The Queen of Protein, Quinoa!"

* "Hemp Protein" by Jennifer Walker, BSc (Nutr.):


* "Ironing out the facts: Why plant iron is best" by Dr Justine Butler:

* "Iron in the Vegan Diet" by Reed Mangels:

* "Iron"


* "Boning up on Calcium! Why Plant Calcium is Best" by Dr Justine Butler:

* "Calcium":

* "Are you getting too much calcium?" by Micki Misiaszek, RD, LDN:

* "Health risks from excessive calcium" by the National Institute of Health:


* Vegan Ethics (various booklets)

* Abolitionist Approach (pamphlet)

* "The Dark Side of Dairy"

* "Environmental Degradation"

* "Greenhouse Emissions and exacerbated Climate Change"

* "UN urges global move to meat and dairy-free diet"

* "Expanding Our Compassion Footprint: Minding Animals As We Redecorate Nature" by Marc Bekoff:

* "Why 'Good Welfare' Isn't 'Good Enough': Minding Animals and Increasing Our Compassionate Footprint" by Marc Bekoff:

* "The Problem of the 'Welfarist' Approach: The 'humane' myth of effectively regulating ongoing abuse"

* "Minding the Animals: Ethology and the Obsolescence of Left Humanism" by Dr Steve Best:

* "Revolutionary Environmentalism: An Emerging New Struggle for Total Liberation" by Dr Steve Best:

* "The Misleading Language of Species-ism" by Joan Dunayer (intro by David Catherine):

* "First Strike: The Connection Between Animal Cruelty and Human Violence"

* "Empathy is What Really Sets Vegetarians Apart (at least Neurologically Speaking)" by Daniel R. Hawes:

* "Rational Ignorance and Rational Irrationality" by Dan Cudahy


* "The Comparative Anatomy of Eating" by Milton R. Mills (MD):

* "A-Z Of Hidden Nasties! Alphabetical Glossary of Animal Substances" by Juliet Gellatley, Director of VVF and Laura Scott, MSc Nutrition:

* "The Safety of Soya" by Dr Justine Butler, VVF Senior Health Campaigner:

* Vegan Factsheets (various):


* "Unpopular Vegan Essays" by Dan Cudahy:

* "Abolitionist Animal Rights" by James Crump:

* "Animal Rights: The Abolitionist Approach" by Gary Francione:

* "On Human-Nonhuman Relations: A Sociological Exploration of Speciesism" by Roger Yates:

* "My Face Is on Fire: Abolitionist vegan education, animal rights issues and the misrepresentation of veganism in pop culture or mainstream media":

* "Thomas Paine's Corner: Comforting the afflicted and afflicting the comfortable" (various authors/editors):

* "Vegetarianism, Environmentalism, Animal Rights, and Social Theory" by Dr Steve Best:

* "The Earth Blog: Giving The Earth A Future " by Keith Farnish:

* "The Permavegan: A conversation at the intersection of plant-based nutrition, permaculture, and vegan ethics" by Jonathan Maxson:


* "Earthlings" (3 trailers, plus full version)

* "Meet Your Meat"

* "The Milk Documentary"

* "Dr. Jay Gordon: No one needs meat for health"

* The Witness" (trailer excerpt)

* "The Witness" (full version)