The 17 Weirdest Things I Do Now That I’m Vegan

Let’s face it. Being vegan (or even vegetarian) is pretty weird.
But that’s okay — weird is the new cool. It’s also the new normal, according to Seth Godin (whose post I borrowed the Dr. Seuss quote from).
It seems weird begets weird, though, because in the two years my family has been vegan, bit by bit we’ve gone a little nuts-o in our other habits — many of which have nothing to do with veganism.
And yet, in a way, they’re all tied back to that fundamental choice to be different from 98 percent of the rest of the world in our food choices. Being weird, I’ve found, is not just fun; it’s addictive.
And so — since my brain is fried from book writing and moving and NYC-Vegetarian-FoodFest-ing — I figured I’d write a fun post today about the kinky things we do since going vegan.

1. Live microwave-free. I thought I could never give up my microwave, but it turns out it was a lot like going vegan — I used it less and less over time as it became less appealing, and eventually it was just a matter of making the decision to go all the way. It’s great — lots of counter space, one less big, ugly box in the kitchen, and food that feels better for us (whether it actually is or not, I’m not sure). It’s slightly more work to steam or bake or simmer our leftovers, but it’s work that is somehow joyful.
2. Hand-grind our coffee. More oddly joyful work. After reading Tim Ferriss’ 4-Hour Chef late last year, I got a hand-crank burr grinder and an Aeropress, and it’s the only way I’ve made coffee since. The combination not only makes the best coffee I’ve ever had; it’s also convenient enough to bring on a plane. I did have a bit of disaster when I spilled the grounds all over my lap on a flight home from San Diego, though. [FYI, links to Amazon here are affiliate links.]
3. Have a freezer full of broccoli stems and strawberry tops. Why? To feed to our Blendtec, of course. Might as well waste one less thing and get some more green in our smoothies. Speaking of which …
4. Drink weird-ass smoothies. It used to be that I could give someone a taste of my morning smoothie, and be met with a surprised, “Hey, this is pretty good!” No longer. Now our smoothies start with a base of pumpkin seeds (lots of iron), chia seeds, flax seeds, and hemp/rice/pea protein powder, and that’s before the greens get involved. But we’re used to it, and somehow it tastes good.
5. Use pink salt. Since I got heavy into cooking six or seven years ago, it’s been a steady progression from the normal, processed salt to kosher salt to sea salt to real salt. It’s got a pinkish hue, and we keep it in pinch bowl. Sort of looks like a bowl of dirt that we put on our food.
6. Wear trail shoes everywhere. So here’s how this happened. I stopped wearing leather shoes (technically, I stopped buying leather shoes, and the ones I owned wore out). I bought a pair of faux-leather shoes from a discount shoe store (they sell them because they’re cheap, not because they’re vegan-friendly), but I hated them. So then I just started wearing trail shoes around, since they’re grey and look better than Danny Tanner white sneaks. Right now I wear a pair of Merrells that I also run in, and my wife usually wears her New Balance Minimus Trail.
7. Dehydrate things. We don’t do the hardcore stuff like making crackers and breads and fancy raw food — honestly, we got it so we could dehydrate fruit for our son to snack on. Except we end up eating most of it. So far, we’ve done several batches of apples and bananas, but we’re still learning. (Suggestions?)
8. Run with dates. I’ve never been able to stomach energy gels, but now that I’ve discovered dates, it’s not a problem. They’re small and packed with quick-digesting carbohydrate (just like energy gels), only they’re whole foods and completely natural. And they actually taste really, really good. Get fresh ones instead of dried; they taste way better and they’re kind of like gummies. PS — Victoria Arnstein, wife of Michael (the Fruitarian), stopped by our table at the NYC Vegetarian Food Festival last weekend and told me that in her Vermont 100K win and Michael’s 100-miler win, they ate nothing but dates!
9. Make tons of stuff from scratch. From nut butter to dried beans to pizza dough (with some buckwheat flour, also weird enough that I wouldn’t serve it to guests), we’ve gone down a road of making an increasing amount of food from whole ingredients instead of buying it in packages. It’s fun and it brings us closer to our food, even if it takes a little more time. But not all that much time — we’ve found relatively easy ways to do this stuff, like making the nut butter in the Blendtec, dried beans in the slow cookers, and pizza dough in the food processor. No word yet on plans to go electricity-free.
10. Buy everything else Amy’s, Annie’s, Bob’s (Red Mill), Tom’s, Bragg, and Bronner’s. No, these aren’t our friends from the local farmers market (though I’m sure it’s no mistake they chose their brand names to sound like that). These are all brands that just three years ago I had never heard of, and now they represent most of what we buy that isn’t unpackaged produce or bulk goods from our local co-op. We actually refill our Dr. Bronner’s soap bottle from a big pump bottle at the co-op, which is fun. And pretty weird too, I suppose.
11. Put tofu, avocados, and black beans in desserts. Sounds gross, but somehow you can’t taste them. Tofu and avocado make for deliciously creamy cupcake icing and mousse, and black beans, of course, work amazingly well in brownies.
12. Live with very little stuff. I’d feel like a phony to call myself a minimalist, because we still have a bunch of kid toys and dishes and beer and wine glasses and stuff like that. But when we moved last year (more on that in a bit), we got rid of so much stuff, and we haven’t gone back. I’ve been living by my friend Courtney’s Project 333, pushing closer and closer over time toward owning only 100 personal items. Clutter occupies not just physical space in your house but mental space as well, and getting rid of it has been incredibly liberating. (We did get rid of one too many couches when we moved, keeping only a love seat, and we’ve missed being able to stretch out. But we’ll get another one, one day.)
13. Eat weird pastas. Spelt, quinoa and corn, brown rice. Not because we have any sort of gluten intolerance or even a sensitivity, but because it’s fun to try new stuff.
14. Drink kombucha. It’d be really weird if we brewed kombucha and had our own SCOBY, like my buddy Jeff Sanders does, but we’re not there yet. For now, I’m satisfied drinking it, something I didn’t start doing until I got to Asheville, where it’s made locally (like so much else). I’ve found the smaller and more local you get kombucha, the funkier it tastes, which I imagine is how it’s really supposed to be.
15. Sprout things and buy sprouted things. Sprouting is hippie-dippie, for sure. But we do it, usually with beans and lentils, because it takes even less effort than cooking them and makes them into something more vegetable than bean. As for buying spouted things, we usually stick to Ezekiel Bread, most often for almond butter or hummus (but never both!) sandwiches, which our three-year old eats like it’s his job. Their new Flax Sprouted Whole Grain bread has five grams of protein per slice, and even the plain Ezekiel has four grams per slice, so I don’t feel so bad about giving my kid five sandwiches a day and nothing else. (Just a joke, child services.)
16. Live in Asheville. Asheville is an amazing mountain town in Western North Carolina, and we just signed a lease to stay for another year. And it’s uber, freaking weird. I don’t know how to describe it other than as a mix of art, local beer, food, outdoors, hippies, hipsters, retirees, families, music, and mountain culture. We love it here. You should come visit.
17. Eat weird foods! A lot of the items I’ve listed so far have already been weird-ish foods, but I don’t want to overlook the obvious — we eat so much food now that I didn’t know existed before we went vegetarian. To us, and you, I’m guessing, they’re familiar — tempeh, quinoa, hemp seeds, spelt, tamari, miso … even kale and tofu, which seem so ordinary now, are foods that not too long ago I considered hippie food.
So there you have it. Weirdness. And the best part of it all is that to many of you, so much of this will seem completely normal … just more evidence that, as Seth and Dr. Seuss say, we are all weird.

Mushroom Butter Masala [Vegan]

If you’ve been to an Indian restaurant, chances are you’ve seen butter masala on the menu.
It’s a rich and delicious gravy curry with a sauce made creamy through the addition of milk or cream and butter. This vegan mushroom butter masala is a spicy, creamy and a delicious dish that is the perfect accompaniment for steamed rice, flatbread, or even dosas.






  • 10 ounces, mushrooms, chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 4 green chilis chopped
  • 1-inch piece ginger, grated
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 big or 3 small tomatoes
  • 7 cashews
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/4 cup non-dairy milk
  • 2 tablespoons vegan butter
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon kasuri methi/dried fenugreek leaves
  • Salt, to taste
  • Coriander leaves, for garnish


  • Heat oil and butter in a non-stick pan. Add onion, garlic, green chili and ginger and sauté until translucent. Add a pinch of salt while sautéeing so that onion cooks faster.
  • Add the mushroom and sauté until it develops some color.
  • Meanwhile, grind the tomatoes and the cashews together adding a little water to form a smooth paste.
  • Add this ground paste along with red chili powder, garam masala powder, and turmeric powder to the cooked mushrooms and onion and bring it to a boil. Adjust the salt and water for desired consistency. This might take about 4 to 5 minutes
  • Add the non-dairy milk and again bring to a boil. Finally, add the dried kasuri methi/fenugreek leaves, mix well, and cook for one minute or until you get the desired consistency.
  • Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough (Vegan, Dairy & Gluten-Free)


How a Vegan Diet Can Help You Live Longer

A Vegan Diet Can Save Your Life
A Vegan diet can lead to a healthier lifestyle and there are some great recipes out there to make your meals enjoyable and delicious. Veganism is a lifestyle choice and those who are not used to it should ease into it gradually as far as your meals go. Being a Vegan means not using animal products or byproducts of any kind. This is very different from vegetarianism as the lifestyle change only affects their food diet. Vegans will not use any animal product of any kind including leather products, honey, or anything that may contain animal byproducts as well. A Vegan diet consists of lots of fruits and vegetables and you would be surprised at how many great recipes are available for delicious meals. Many eat very unhealthy foods and the reason seems to be the claim of convenience but there are many unique ways to make quick and convenient meals and still maintain a Vegan diet.

Keys to a Successful Vegan Diet
The key to a successful Vegan diet is eating a wide variety of Vegan friendly foods to make sure you get all the vitamins and minerals you need. You can always take supplements for any that might be missing in your diet. Vitamin D is one that is more difficult to find in vegan foods but the answer is quite simple provided you are not a pale skinned goth hiding out in their parent’s basement. That’s right, all it takes is some sunlight to get your vitamin D and it only takes about thirty minutes a day in the sun to get your recommended daily allowance. Most people, regardless of their diet or lifestyle choice do not get enough fruits and vegetables in their diet. A Vegan diet will give you more energy as you will have no choice but to eat healthy foods and you will have an overall sense of well-being knowing you are not contributing to the mindless slaughter of innocent animals. It’s a win, win situation for all parties involved.
Vegan Diet – Check Your Labels
Another key to a Vegan diet is checking labels when you buy foods. You don’t necessarily have to go out of your way to find a natural food store, though it sure does help in the selection process, and you can find the right foods at your local grocery store as more and more stores are offering organic foods, or you can get what you need at your farmer’s market. If you are buying canned beans for example, as regular beans take so long to cook, just make sure to check the labels as many canned food items may contain animal lard or byproducts in them. Check online and you can find great vegan recipes, and there are so many available that you can have a new experience every time you eat. Remember most spices are safe for vegan diets to add all the flavor you want. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, raw or cooked, check your labels, and make sure you are not using any animal products or byproducts in your personal life.
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Tips For The Beginner Vegan – 10 Tips On How To Start A Vegan Diet

Making the transition to a vegan diet for the first time can be both daunting yet exciting at the same time. The beginner vegan often has many questions or uncertainties about this lifestyle that they are seeking to get answers for. Below is a list of 10 helpful tips for those who are new to the vegan diet, focusing on how to smoothly start a vegan diet and how to ensure that the transition to becoming vegan is as easy and stress-free as possible.

1. Research & Gather Information
Before you make any kind of lifestyle change, it is always a good idea to do plenty of research beforehand. By doing so, you will know exactly what to expect. You need to gather information on what vegans do and don’t eat, what benefits there are to going vegan, what obstacles and challenges vegans face, etc. You will thank yourself later on for your thorough research.
2. What Do You Want To Achieve?
For the beginner vegan, I always advise them to write down on paper exactly what they want to achieve on the vegan lifestyle. Whether it be weight loss, to clear up skin conditions (e.g.: acne, psoriasis, eczema) to achieve inner peace, to reduce allergies, to reverse chronic illness, to concentrate better, to help save the planet, animal rights, etc. – Whatever your reasons are for making the transition to the vegan diet, write them down on paper. Stick them where you can see them every day such as on the fridge.
3. Find Good Recipes
It is absolutely necessary to find and collect some good vegan recipes, since you will be doing a lot of different cooking from now on. You need to find some quick and easy recipes for the times when you are too tired or busy to cook anything fancy. Also gather a wide assortment of vegan recipes including vegan breakfast recipes, lunches, dinners, snacks, cakes, slices, desserts, etc… Find your recipes online, purchase a vegan recipe e-book- You choose, just make sure you have your vegan recipe folder well-prepared for when your start your new vegan lifestyle.
4. Let Family & Friends Know
Let your beloved ones know as soon as you make the decision to become vegan. This will ensure that when you visit them, or when they visit you, food will not be a problem since they have already been informed about your new vegan diet.
5. Be Prepared For Cravings
When you stop eating certain foods, you will inevitably have food cravings from time to time. Be prepared for this and make sure you have some healthy snacks or frozen baking easily accessible so you don’t cave in. Find some recipes also for “vegan clones” of your favorite meals and snacks (Note: Professional vegan chefs have written an assortment of recipe e-books to cater for your cravings).
6. Know Your Vegan Food Brands
Nowadays the supermarkets and health shops tailor to the needs of the vegan, so you should have no trouble finding meat-free, dairy-free snacks and foods such as vegan cheese, tofu, vegan chocolate, health bars, “bacon” and cereal. Try them all out and get to know your favorites.
7. Stay Motivated Online
There are many vegan online support groups, chat rooms and blogs that you can visit and interact with fellow vegans online. This will help you to stay motivated, encouraged, and will also help you to realize that you are not the only vegan on the planet!
8. Enjoy Your Fruit & Vegetable Shopping
You will be eating a lot more fresh produce now that you are vegan. Find some fruit and vegetable markets or food stores that deliver quality produce at a reasonable price. Keep in mind that supermarkets are often more expensive. Enjoy choosing your fresh produce and make your fruit and vegetable shopping a relaxing experience!
9. Bake Your Own Healthy Treats & Snacks
Since you will be limited to buying treats and sweets out at cafes and restaurants, bake your own vegan treats such as brownies, cakes, slices and muffins. Bake an entire batch every week and freeze in individual portions for when you need a treat. Once again, you can find an abundance of vegan baking recipes online either by websites, blogs, or recipe e-books.
10. Don’t Give Up Easily
The transition to the vegan lifestyle is often the most difficult right at the beginning. After a while, it will become easier and easier until it becomes second-nature for you. So for the beginner vegan or those relatively new to the vegan lifestyle, my advice is not to give up straight away but to give your new lifestyle a fair chance. Chances are that after a few months you will be extremely grateful that you never gave up! The rewards and benefits of this lifestyle always outweigh any challenges that you may face from time to time!
Get more vegan tips, recipe e-book advice and information at ” The Vegan Diet [!the-vegan-diet/c18xo]: Save Our Planet – Lose Weight – Glow With Health.” Find out the amazing health benefits of the vegan diet, why weight loss is so easy on this lifestyle, where to get your vegan recipes from, recommended vegan recipe e-books, and what to do if you are unsure about going vegan.
Alternatively, read about the vegan raw food lifestyle at [] for great information and ideas on raw food recipes and weight loss on the raw vegan diet!

How to Make a Vegan Pizza ( Easy Guide )

How to Make a Vegan Pizza

  • Crust
  • 100g (3½ oz) walnuts, soaked overnight
  • 140g (5 oz) sunflower seeds, soaked overnight
  • 180g (6½ oz) flax seeds, ground coarsely
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • ½ tsp dried basil
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • Sweet Pepper Sauce
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 white onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp vegetable bouillon powder
  • 5 drops stevia
  • Fresh or dried herbs: basil, oregano
  • No-cheese Parmigiano
  • 280g (10 oz) macadamia nuts
  • 4 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 125ml (½ cup) lemon juice
  • 250ml (1 cup) water
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • Topping
  • Black olives
  • Mushrooms
  • Red and yellow peppers
  • Red onion
  • Garlic and olive oil to marinate
  1. Prepare the parmigiano the night before. Soak the nuts in water for half an hour to soften. Drain well and process the nuts in a blender. Add the rest of the ingredients and process until smooth and creamy. Don’t over-blend or you will end up with nut butter. Spread thinly on two sheets of parchment paper and dry overnight in a dehydrator until the cheese is fully dry
  2. To make the sauce, process the ingredients together.
  3. To make the crust, process ingredients through a masticating juicer using the blank attachment, or alternatively process in food processor.
  4. Alternate nuts, seeds and herbs to combine thoroughly.
  5. Place between two sheets of parchment paper and roll out thinly.
  6. Remove top sheet and place in dehydrator for 3 hours. Then turn over the crusts. Continue dehydrating for 3 more hours until dry.
  7. Once done, spread the sweet pepper sauce over the base and layer with the toppings and parmigiano.
Recipe and image from Raw by Bernadette Bohan, published by Gill & Macmillan available to purchase on Amazon.

54 Interesting Facts About Vegetarianism and Veganism

  1. Several studies show that a plant-based diet increases the body’s metabolism, causing the body to burn calories up to 16% faster than the body would on a meat-based diet for at least the first 3 hours after meals.j
  2. A number of researchers argue that while the human body is capable of digesting meat, our bodies are actually designed to be herbivores. For example, the human molars are similar to those of an herbivore, flat and blunt, which make them good for grinding, not gnashing and tearing.k
  3. Vegetarianism has roots in ancient India. In fact, currently 70% of the world’s vegetarians are Indians and there are more vegetarians in India than in any other country in the world.l
  4. The first Vegetarian Society was formed in England in 1847. The society’s goal was to teach people that it is possible to be healthy without eating meat.k
  5. In 2012, the Los Angeles city council unanimously approved a resolution that all Mondays in the City of Angels will be meatless. The measure is part of an international campaign to reduce the consumption of meat for health and environmental reason.g
  6. Several researchers argue that a vegetarian diet can feed more people than a meat-based diet. For example, approximately 20,000 pounds of potatoes can be grown on one acre of land. Comparatively, only around 165 pounds of beef can be produced on 1 acre of land.i
  7. There are several types of vegetarians. The strictest type is vegans. Vegans avoid not only meat but also all animal products. There is a debate within the vegan community about whether honey is appropriate for a vegan diet. For example, the Vegan Society and the American Vegan Society do not consider honey appropriate because it comes from an animal.j
  8. Studies show that a vegetarian diet could feed more people than a meat-based diet. For example, only around 20% of the corn grown in the United States is eaten by people, with about 80% of the corn eaten by livestock. Additionally, approximately 95% of the oats grown in the U.S are eaten by livestock. Studies show that the number of people who could be fed by the grain and soybeans that are currently fed to U.S. livestock is approximate 1,300,000,000.i
  9. A fruitarian is a type of vegetarian in which a person eats just fruits, nuts, seeds, and other plant material that can be harvested without killing the plant.j
  10. The total production of excrement by the U.S. population is 12,000 pounds per second. The total production of excrement by U.S. livestock is 250,000 pounds per second, which would be greatly reduced if humans ate a more plant-based diet and had little or no need for domesticated livestock. Less livestock would also greatly reduce Earth’s trapped greenhouse gases.i,e
  11. Approximately 25 gallons of water are needed to produce 1 pound of wheat. Around 2,500 gallons of water are needed to produce 1 pound of meat. Many vegetarians argue that more people eating a meat-free diet would lower the strain that meat production puts on the environment.i
  12. A British study revealed that a child’s IQ could help predict his or her chance for becoming a vegetarian. The higher the IQ, the more likely the child will become a vegetarian.j
  13. Research reveals that if a man avoids red meats, it improves the sex appeal of his body odor.j
  14. Famous vegetarians include Leonardo da Vinci, Henry Ford, Brad Pitt, Albert Einstein, Ozzy Osborne, and (debatably) Hitler.k
  15. The American Dietetic Association (ADA) concludes that a vegetarian or vegan diet is healthier than one that includes meat. They note that vegetarians have lower body mass indices, lower rates of death from ischemic heart disease, lower blood cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure, lower rates of hypertension, type 2 diabetes, and less prostate and colon cancer.b
  16. Plants yield 10 times more protein per acre than meat.a
  17. Many vegetarians avoid meat because they ethically object to animal cruelty. For example, when stunners aren’t effective on hogs, they are sometimes sent to the scalding tanks, meant to soften the skin of dead pigs, while they are still alive and conscious.b

  18. Vegetarians often chose to avoid meat based on ethical objections against animal cruelty. For example, poultry is not included in the Humane Slaughter Act, so it is not required to stun them before they are shackled on a moving rail to have their throats slit. Some are still alive when they are submerged in the scalding tank. Those that are still alive are called “redskins.”
    bVegetarians have only slightly lower protein intake than those with a meat diet. Various studies around the world confirm that vegetarian diets provide enough protein if they include a variety of plant sources.j
  19. People become vegetarians for several reasons, including ethical, health, political, environmental, cultural, aesthetic, and economic concerns.l
  20. An ovo-vegetarian will eat eggs but not other dairy products.j
  21. A lacto-vegetarian will eat dairy products but not eggs.j
  22. An ovo-lacto vegetarian diet includes both eggs and diary products.j
  23. Some vegetarians may not know that rennet is often used to make cheese and, therefore, unknowingly eat it. Rennet is extracted from the inner mucosa of the fourth stomach chamber of slaughtered young, unweaned calves.j
  24. Ironically, the original actor who played Ronald McDonald, Jeff Juliano, is now a vegetarian.a
  25. The number of animals killed for meat every hour in the U.S. is 500,000.a
  26. Vegetarians can be deficient in Vitamin B12, which only comes from animal sources (though it can also be in fortified yeast extract products). Research suggests that a Vitamin B12 deficiency may be tied to the weakening of bones.j
  27. A pescetarian is a vegetarian who eats fish. Similar to a vegetarian diet, a pescetarian diet includes vegetables, fruits, grains, dairy, beans, and eggs. Unlike a vegetarian diet, a pescetarian diet also includes fish and shell fish. The term first originated in 1993 and is a blend of the Italian word pesce (fish) and the English word vegetarian.j
  28. Vegetarianism is based in the ancient Indian and Greek philosophies. In India, vegetarianism was based on the philosophy of ahimsa or nonviolence toward animals. For the Hellenes and Egyptians, it had ritual or medical purposes. After Rome became Christianized, vegetarianism largely disappeared from Europe. It remerged in the Renaissance.k
  29. A Buddhist vegetarian (su vegetarianism) will not eat any animal products nor vegetables in the Allium family—such as onion, garlic, leeks, chives, and shallots—because the smell of these fetid vegetables is offensive and “angers up the blood.”l
  30. Jain vegetarians will eat dairy but not eggs, honey, or root vegetables.k
  31. The only vegetables with all eight types of essential amino acids in sufficient amounts are lupin beans, soy, hempseed, chia seed, amaranth, buckwheat, and quinoa. However, the essential amino acids can be achieved by eating other vegetables if they are in a variety.j
  32. Food, especially eating meat, has been a central question of Christian history. Many theologians argue that the vegetarian diet is the most compatible with Christian values, such as mercy and compassion.l
  33. The China Study was a 20-year study that compared the mortality rates of meat eaters and plant eaters. They found that countries that ate more animal-based food were more likely to have higher death rates from “Western diseases,” while countries that ate more plant food were healthier.j
  34. The China Study makes several arguments, including that a plant-based diet 1) plays a critical role in determining how genes are expressed, either good or bad; 2) controls the negative effects of unhealthy chemicals, 3) can help resolve chronic diseases, and 4) will create health in all areas of our lives. The China Study also argues that there are no nutrients in animal proteins that are better than plant-based proteins.j
  35. Ethical vegans are vegans who reject the commodity status of animals or animals that are used for shelter, food, or clothing.a
  36. The vegetarian movement has been influenced by ancient ethics of abstinence, early medical science that noted similarities between humans and animals, and Indian philosophy that promotes kindness to animals.k
  37. French philosopher Voltaire used the antiquity of Hinduism to launch a devastating blow to the Bible’s claims of dominance and acknowledged that the Hindus’ treatment of animals represented a “shaming alternative to the viciousness of European imperialists.”l
  38. One of the first famous vegetarians was the Greek philosopher Pythagoras who lived at the end of the 6th century B.C. In fact, the term “Pythagorean diet” was commonly used for a plant-based diet until the term “vegetarian” was coined in the 19th century.l
  39. Vegetarians such as the Manicheans and Cathars were considered heretics and were persecuted during the medieval Inquisition.k,l
  40. The word “vegan” is derived from the word “vegetarian.” It was first used in 1944 when Elsie Shrigley and Donald Watson thought that the word “vegetarian” included too many types of animal by-products and did not encompass a completely plant-based diet.j
  41. An Oxford, England, study concluded that meat eaters were two and half times more likely to develop gallstones than non-meat eaters. Scientists concluded that the low-fat, high-fiber diet of vegetarians decreased the risk of developing gallstones.a
  42. Vegetarianism is still required for yogis in Hatha Yoga and Bhakti Yoga. Eating meat is said to lead to ignorance, sloth, and an undesirable mental state known as tamas.A vegetarian diet, on the other hand, leads to sattvic qualities that are associated with spiritual progress.l
  43. While vegetarian diets tend to be lower in calories and higher in fiber (which makes a person feel more full), some vegetarian diets can cause higher caloric intake than a meat diet if they include a lot of cheese and nuts.i
  44. A 2008 study by Time Magazine approximates the number of U.S. vegetarians at 7.3 million adults or 3.2% of the population. Of these, 0.5 % or 1 million are vegans.f
  45. The first Renaissance figure to advocate vegetarianism was Leonardo da Vinci. However, other influential figures, such as Immanuel Kant and Rene Descartes, did not believe humans had any ethical obligations toward animals.k
  46. Benjamin Franklin was an early American vegetarian (though he later became a meat-eater again). He introduced tofu to America in 1770.n
  47. Russian author Leo Tolstoy gave up meat because he was concerned about animal cruelty. He claims that eating meat is unnecessary, leads to animalistic feelings, excites human desires, and encourages “fornication and drunkenness.”n
  48. In the 20th century, English schoolmasters recommended that students become vegetarians as a way to curb their “appetites for self-abuse.”n
  49. A recent study argues that people who eat tofu and other plant-based foods have a better sex life than meat-eaters. It claims that certain plants influence hormone levels and sexual activity.n
  50. According to one study, while women view vegetarian men as more principled, they also considered them “wimps” and “less macho” than those who eat meat.d
  51. While Hitler wasn’t willing to institute the policy during World War II, he did believe that vegetarianism could be key to Germany’s military success. He claimed that Caesar’s soldiers lived entirely on vegetables and the Vikings wouldn’t have been able to undertake their expeditions if they depended on a meat diet.k
  52. Several studies indicate that it would have been biologically impossible for humans to evolve large brains on a raw vegan diet. They conclude that meat-eating was crucial in human evolution.m
  53. A 2006 survey reveals that 6% of people in England are vegetarian, making the UK the European country with the largest proportion of its population that is vegetarian.f 
    Cholesterol Content of Selected Foods c,j
    Food (3½ ounce portion)Cholesterol Content
    Egg (1 large)185 mg
    Pork90 mg
    Smelt89 mg
    Veal88 mg
    Beef85 mg
    Chicken (skinless white meat)85 mg
    Turkey82 mg
    Mackerel75 mg
    Lamb52 mg
    ALL plant food0 mg

    Animal Protein and Plant Protein Compared h
    SourceProteinCholesterolFiberEnergy kcal
    Soybeans, mature seeds, raw36.49 g0 mg9.3 g416
    Pork, fresh, leg (ham) rump half, separable lean only, cooked, roasted30.94 g96 mg0.0 g206
    Chicken broilers, or fryers, light meat, meat only, cooked roasted30.91 g85 mg0.0 g173
    Chicken, broilers or fryer, breast meat and skin, cooked, roasted29.80 g84 mg0.0 g197
    Winged beans, mature seeds, raw29.65 g0 mg0.0 g409
    Turkey, all classes, breast, meat and skin, cooked, roasted28.71 g74 mg0.0 g189
    Lamb, domestic leg, whole, separable lean only, trimmed to ¼" fat, choice, cooked, roasted28.30 g89 mg0.0 g191
    Lentils, mature seeds, raw28.06 g0 mg30.5 g338
    Peanuts, Spanish, raw26.15 g0 mg9.5 g570
    Broad beans (fava beans) mature seeds, raw26.12 g0 mg25 g341
    Finfish, salmon, Chinook, cooked, dry heat25.72 g85 mg0.0 g231
    Beans, kidney, royal red, mature seeds, raw25.33 g0 mg24.9 g329
    Mungo beans, mature seeds, raw25.21 g0 mg18.3 g341
    Peanuts, Virginia, raw25.19 g0 mg8.5 g563

    Five Measures of Comparison from the China Health Study (1983-2003) j
    Dietary Fiber33.3 grams/day11.1 grams/day
    Plant Protein (% daily potein intake)89%30%
    Dietary Fat (% of total calories)14.5%38.8%
    Dietary Calcium (mg/day)544 mg/day1,143 mg/day
    Blood Plasma Cholesterol127 mg/dl212 mg/dl
-- Posted March 14, 2013
a Cox, Peter. 2002. You Don’t Need Meat. New York, NY: Thomas Dunne Books.
b Foer, Jonathan Safran. 2009. Eating Animals. New York, NY: Little, Brown, and Company.
c Hellmich, Nanci. “USDA: Eggs’ Cholesterol Level Better Than Cracked Up to Be.” USA Today. February 8, 2011. Accessed: February 23, 2013.
d MacRae, Fiona. “Real Men Must Eat Meat, Say Women as They Turn up Their Noses at Vegetarians.” Daily Mail. February 1, 2011. Accessed: February 17, 2013.
e Nelson, Dean. “India Tells West to Stop Eating Beef.” The Telegraph. November 20, 2009. Accessed: February 17, 2013.
f “The Number of Vegetarians in the World.” Raw Food Health. Accessed: February 23, 2013.
g Pamer, Melissa. “‘Meatless Mondays’: LA Urges Residents to Turn Vegetarian One Day a Week.” U.S. News. November 10, 2012. Accessed: November 26, 2012.
h “Plant-based Protein Sources.” SoyStache. 2012. Accessed: November 26, 2012.
i Robbins, John. 1987. Diet for a New America. Tiburon, CA: Stillpoint Publishing.
j Saunders, Kerrie K. 2003. The Vegan Diet as Chronic Disease Prevention. New York, NY: Lantern Books.
k Spencer, Colin. 2000. Vegetarianism: A History. New York, NY: Four Walls Eight Windows.
l Stuart, Tristram. 2006. The Bloodless Revolution: A Cultural History of Vegetarianism from 1600 to Modern Times. New York, NY: W. W. Norton & Company.
m Wanjek, Christopher. “Sorry Vegans, Eating Meat and Cooking Food Is How Humans Got Their Big Brains.” The Washington Post. November 26, 2012. Accessed: February 17, 2013.
n Williams, Amanda. “‘Vegetarians Have a Better Sex Life’: Eating Tofu Can Boost You in the Bedroom, New Study Claims.” Daily Mail. November 23, 2012. Accessed: February 17, 2013.