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Vegan Philosophy Starter Kit

The most important thing you need to succeed as a vegan is confidence. When you first become a vegan and people start finding out everyone is suddenly a doctor, nutritionist, biologist or anthropologist (/sarcasm) and they begin to use their deep knowledge of these subjects to tell you why you are wrong.

It is important to be prepared to handle their questions, not just for their benefit, but for your own. You don’t want to leave an exchange feeling like you made a mistake going vegan. The content in these videos and resources has provided me with plenty of knowledge and confidence about my choice and I hope they can help you as well.

  • 30 Non-Vegan Excuses & How to Respond to Them

    This book should be required reading for any vegan. It will empower you with the answers to the most common anti-vegan arguments. Even if you don’t plan on arguing, it will help strengthen your resolve.

  • You Will Never Look at Your Life in the Same Way Again

    Earthling Ed is one of the most well-spoken and calm vegan advocates active today. His speech is compassionate and convincing. If you are vegan for ethical reasons, this will give you plenty of amazing ways to explain your point of view to others.

  • How Not To Die: The Role of Diet in Preventing, Arresting, and Reversing Our Top 15 Killers

    I am vegan for ethical reason, the health benefits are a convenient side effect. However after watching this speech and realizing that nearly all of the world’s health problems can be prevented or reversed just by adopting a plant-based diet I was shocked. Imagine the economic benefits if we all but eliminated obesity, diabetes and heart disease by adopting a plant-based diet.

  • Toward Rational Authentic Food Choices

    A change of pace from the other longer videos, Melanie Joy explains how exactly humans are capable of not caring or feeling about the food we eat, and how to wake up and start understanding reality.

  • Veganism: The Moral Imperative

    Here is a more crunchy video about ethics. Gary Francione explains why veganism is the only reasonable conclusion for those who believe animals have moral value.

  • The Christian Basis for Veganism

    Many vegans, especially non-christians struggle with the most basic Christian-based argument: “God put animals on Earth for us to eat.” Time to call in the big guns.

  • Puppies, Pigs, and People: Eating Meat and Marginal Cases

    This is something shared on reddit which really resonated with me. It’s an essay about a man who most people would obviously label a maniac, but then asks the reader to determine the difference between this man’s behavior and one’s own.

Recipes and Ingredients

Remember it took you an entire lifetime to develop your pallet and explore food choices. It takes some time and practice to get to that level on your new vegan diet. The good news is you will probably end up trying plenty of new food you have never experienced before. Here are some good staple recipes to get your started on vegan cooking.

  • Preparing Tofu

    Everyone has a “once I tried tofu and hated it story” don’t let that stand in your way. Don’t be afraid of tofu. It has a very mild flavor much like egg whites. It stands up really well to cooking and can be prepared in nearly every possible way!

  • Seitan

    If you have ever had “Mock Duck” at an asian restaurant, that is made out of seitan. Lots of the fake meat products on the market are made out of this. Seitan is essentially dough, but with a bunch of seasoning and flavoring mixed in. It can be a very rewarding recipe to have in your arsenal.

  • Ramen Noodles

    Ramen has been a saving grace for me. It’s super cheap, easy to make in a short time and you can put anything into it to liven it up. Try throwing in some seaweed, tofu, beans, spinach, mushrooms, pea pods, whatever you have! Not all ramen is vegan, meat-stock is often used. Here is a vegan ramen I buy in bulk.

  • Pasta Entrees

    Pasta is a vegan staple. There is a ton you can do with it and all of it will keep you satisfied. This video has some great suggestions to get you started, don’t be afraid to get creative. You can also make cold pasta salads with all kinds of beans and vegetables tossed in.

  • Vegan Mac & Cheese

    There are tons of ways to make vegan cheese sauce. This is the first one I tried and really fell in love with. Cheese sauce usually has a bunch of heavy creams and butters in it. But not this one! It’s made from blended potatoes and carrots. You will be amazing how close it comes.

  • Nutritional Yeast

    This is a product most people have never even heard of until going vegan. Suddenly it’s required in every recipe. Nutritional yeast is a fungi (like baking yeast) and tastes somewhat nutty. It is often used in creamy sauces to convey a cheese-like flavor. You can buy it in most grocery stores, but I like to buy it on Amazon.

  • Soy Curls

    Another product I hand idea about until well into my new vegan life. Soy curls are dried soy strips which need to be hydrated with something (veggie stock or some other flavorful liquid) and they gain the consistency of chicken strips. They are perfect for stir fry, salads or wraps! I couldn’t live without them anymore.

Article Refutation: “Someone Explained Why Veganism Is Not Cruelty Free”

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Argument:

“Eating vegetables isn’t cruelty free because humans are exploited and animals are killed even in vegan food production”

Refutation 1:

The argument: because one solution isn’t perfect (being 100% cruelty free) it is not valuable is a fallacy.

Nirvana fallacy:
By creating a false dichotomy that presents one option which is obviously advantageous—while at the same time being completely implausible—a person using the nirvana fallacy can attack any opposing idea because it is imperfect. Under this fallacy, the choice is not between real world solutions; it is, rather, a choice between one realistic achievable possibility and another unrealistic solution that could in some way be “better”.

~https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nirvana_fallacy

What is the point of having drug laws? People are still using drugs…

Of course when vegan food refers to itself as “cruelty free” it’s impossible to guarantee that no cruelty was involved in the process of making it. The same way you can’t say flying is perfectly save. What they can guarantee is no animals were intentionally harmed, which is what vegans are going for.

Refutation 2:

Being directly responsible for unethical behavior (you are paying money to eat an animal’s corpse.) Is very different than incidental deaths caused by generally normal behavior. Here is an example: Let’s say you pay someone $2,000 to run your boss over with their car. Obviously this is not acceptable, this is a crime, you are at least partially responsible for which resulted in a death. On the other hand, let’s say you ordered a (vegan) pizza and the delivery driver accidentally hit a pedestrian. In this case you are obviously not responsible.

Of course vegans don’t wish for animals to die during agriculture and we don’t want children to be exploited. These are separate issues we should fight as well.

Refutation 3:

Animals eat more food than humans.

Paulette Goddard Professor in the Department of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health at New York University and author of “Food Politics,” writes via email that all in all, “the ratio seems to be on the order of 6 pounds of grain to 1 pound of meat.”

~https://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/food-nutrition/facts/meat-eaters-consume-more-plants-vegetarians.htm

So no matter how you slice it, meat eaters cause much more cruelty than vegans. Directly when they pay money specifically for an animal to be killed, and indirectly when the animal they are eating had to eat times more plant matter to product the same weight in food.

Bonus:

Slaughterhouse workers in America often work in horrible conditions.

The workers, most often immigrants and resettled refugees, slaughter and process hundreds of animals an hour, forced to work at high speeds in cold conditions, doing thousands of the same repetitions over and over, with few breaks.

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) 2014 data that showed repetitive motion injuries among beef and pork processing workers were nearly seven times that of other private industries. And 76 percent of workers in a Maryland plant had abnormal nerve conditions in at least one hand, according to a 2015 report by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

~https://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2016/08/11/489468205/working-the-chain-slaughterhouse-workers-face-lifelong-injuries

So when you eat meat you are funding the agriculture industry allegedly forces many enslaved children to labor in the soy/corn/wheat/rice fields to make food for the animals, then you are funding the slaughterhouse and animal-ag industry which exploits it’s workers, and on top of that you are directly paying for the enslavement, torture and murder of countless sentient beings all for the sake of your delicious bacon. You are telling me that is justified?

Interested in learning more about veganism? Check out my vegan starter kit to make sure you can hit the ground running.