Vegan's Most Frequently Asked Questions
This FAQ was compiled by mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org, and originally
converted to HTML by Leor Jacobi of Vegan Action.
Is This Group For Me?
Words Commonly Used
What Are Good
Books For New Vegans?
How Is "Vegan"
With Free Range Eggs?
What Can Be
Substituted For Eggs?
With Dairy Products?
But Don't I
Need Eggs And Dairy Products?
Are Soy Cheeses
Gelatin? Is There Any Alternative To It?
Those Bugs, Flies Etc?
Wines And Beers?
Non-Food Household Items?
Should I Be
Worried About Getting Enough Protein On A Vegan Diet?
Do I Need To
Combine Proteins On A Vegan Diet?
Vitamin B12 On A Vegan Diet?
Should I Worry
About Iron In A Vegan Diet?
Is Oral Sex
Infants And Children?
Can You Feed A
Cat (Or Dog) A Vegan Diet?
Nutritional Yeast? / Which Ones Provide B12?
What Are Some
Groups That I Can Join Or Get Information From?
Is That It?
Veganism may be defined as a
way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as possible and practical, all
forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any
In dietary terms it refers to the practice of dispensing with
all animal produce - including meat, fish, poultry, eggs,
animal milks, honey, and their derivatives.
Abhorrence of the cruel practices inherent in dairy, livestock and poultry
farming is probably the single most common reason for the adoption of veganism,
but many people are drawn to it for health, ecological, spiritual and other
"Land, energy and water resources for livestock agriculture range anywhere
from 10 to 1000 times greater than those necessary to produce an equivalent
amount of plant foods. And livestock agriculture does not merely
use these resources, it depletes them. This is
a matter of historical record. Most of the world's soil, erosion, groundwater
depletion, and deforestation -- factors now threatening the very basis of our
food system -- are the result of this particularly destructive form of food
production" (Keith Akers, p. 81, "A Vegetarian Sourcebook", 1989).
If the above section doesn't make
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experienced vegetarian and have now decided to move to veganism on ethical
grounds then please stick around. If you're vegetarian or "vegan" for health
reasons only then there are a couple of other groups you may prefer:
Fatfree (covers very low fat vegetarian and vegan food). To
Veglife (a general vegetarian list, covers all sorts). To subscribe:
veglife (your name)
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Please use AR-News for all AR news postings, not
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Veggie (general vegetarian chat list) To subscribe:
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Vegan: excludes animal
flesh (meat, poultry, fish and seafood), animal products (eggs and dairy), and
usually excludes honey and the wearing and use of animal products (leather,
silk, wool, lanolin, gelatin...). The major vegan societies all disallow honey,
but some "vegans" still use it.
Strict vegetarian: originally meant
vegan, now can mean vegan or vegetarian.
Pure vegetarian: as per strict vegetarian.
Vegan Nutrition, a
Survey of Research by Gill Langley MA PhD
Vegan Nutrition, Pure and Simple by
Dr. Michael Klaper
Friendly Foods by Ron Pickarski
The Vegan Cookbook by
Alan Wakeman and Gordon Baskerville
Diet for a New America by John
The Gourmet Vegan by Heather Lamont
Power of your Plate by Neal
Animal Liberation by Peter Singer
Recipes from an Ecological
Kitchen by Lorna Sass
Pregnancy, Children and the Vegan Diet by Dr. Michael
Compassionate Cook by PETA
The Seventh-Day Diet, by Chris Rucker
and Jan Hoffman
The word was invented by Donald
Watson in the 1940's. It is pronounced "vee-gun". This is the most common
pronunciation in the UK today. No one can say this pronunciation is "wrong", so
this is also the politically correct pronunciation. In the US, common
pronunciations are "vee-jan" and "vay-gn" in addition to
"vee-gn", though the
American Vegan Society says the correct pronunciation is as per the UK.
Here are some of Donald's own words from
the early years (1945):
'Vegetarian' and 'Fruitarian' are already associated with societies that
allow the 'fruits' of cows and fowls, therefore.. we must make a new and
appropriate word... I have used the title 'The Vegan News'. Should we adopt
this, our diet will soon become known as the vegan diet and we should aspire to
the rank of vegans.
In order to get laying
hens you have to have fertile eggs and half the eggs will hatch into
male chicks. These are killed at once or raised as table birds
(usually these days in broiler houses) and slaughtered as soon as they reach an
economic weight. So for every free-range hen happily scratching around the
garden or farm who, if she were able to bargain, might pay rent with her daily
infertile egg, a corresponding male from her batch is enduring life in a broiler
house or has already been subjected to slaughter or thrown away to die. Every
year in Britain alone more than 35 million day-old male chicks are killed. They
are mainly used for fertiliser or dumped in landfill sites. The hens are also
culled as soon as their production drops. Also be aware that many sites classed
as free range aren't really free range, they're just massive barns with access
to the outside. Since the food and light are inside the chickens rarely venture
The battery hen, from which the
vast majority of all eggs are produced and almost all products containing eggs
(especially cakes) suffers an even worse fate. The battery hen is an anxious,
frustrated, fear-ridden bird forced to spend 10 to 12 months squeezed inside a
small wire cage with up to nine other tormented hens. There are usually many
tiers of these cages in gloomy sheds which hold a total of 50,000 to 125,000
birds. Caged for life without exercise while constantly drained of calcium to
form egg shells, battery hens develop the severe osteoporosis of intensive
confinement know as caged layer fatigue. Calcium depleted, millions of hens
become paralyzed and die of hunger and thirst inches from their food and water.
Battery hens are debeaked with a hot machine blade once and often twice during
their lives, typically at one day old and again at seven weeks old, because a
young beak will often grow back. Debeaking causes severe, chronic pain and
suffering which researchers compare to human phantom limb and stump pain.
Between the horn and bone of the beak is a thick layer of highly sensitive
tissue. The hot blade cuts through this sensitive tissue impairing the hen's
ability to eat, drink, wipe her beak, and preen normally. Debeaking is done to
offset the effects of the compulsive pecking that can afflict birds designed by
nature to roam, scratch, and peck at the ground all day, not sit in prison; and
to save feed costs and promote conversion of less food into more eggs. Debeaked
birds have impaired grasping ability and are in pain and distress, therefore
eating less, flinging their food less, and "wasting" less energy than intact
which is make from potato starch, tapioca flour, leavening agents (calcium
lactate (vegan), calcium carbonate, and citric acid) and a gum derived from
cottonseed. It's primarily intended to replace the leavening/binding
characteristics of eggs in baking, but it can be used for nonbaked foods and
Alternative replacements (quantity per egg substituted for)
2 oz of soft tofu can be blended with some water and substituted for an egg
to add consistency. Or try the same quantity of: mashed beans, mashed potatoes,
or nut butters.
1/2 mashed banana
1/4 cup applesauce or pureed fruit
One Tbsp flax seeds (found in natural food stores) with 3 Tbsp water can be
blended for 2 to 3 minutes, or boiled for 10 minutes or until desired
consistency is achieved to substitute for one egg.
1 tsp. soy flour plus 1 Tbsp. water to substitute for one egg.
Dairy cows are made
pregnant yearly to ensure they produce adequate milk. In nature the calf would
suckle for almost a year but nature, like the calf, is denied by the dairy
industry. Some calves may be separated from their dams on the first day of life;
others might remain for just a few days. But as the inevitable by-products of
relentless milk production each will have to endure one of several possible
fates. The least healthy bobby calves will be sent to market to be slaughtered
for pet food; to provide veal for veal & ham pies; or for rennet to be
extracted from their stomachs for cheesemaking. Some females will be reared on
milk substitutes to become dairy herd replacements and begin, at 18-24 months of
age, the cycle of continual pregnancies. Some will be sold at market at 1-2
weeks of age for rearing as beef in fattening pens and slaughtered after 11
months, often without sight of pasture. Up to 80% of the beef produced in the UK
is a by-product of the dairy industry. Over 170,000 calves die in the UK each
year before they are three months old, due largely to neglectful husbandry and
appalling treatment at markets. A few will be selected for rearing as bulls,
spending their lives in solitary confinement serving canvas 'cows' and rubber
tubes. Artificial insemination is now responsible for 65-75% of all conceptions
in the dairy herd. In the US the vast majority of unwanted calves are reared for
veal, all but around 12% of them spending their short miserable lives in narrow
crates (5'x2') on wooden slats and without straw. Whilst none suffer such a fate
in Britain they are now exported for the purpose. In solitary confinement,
unable to turn around or groom themselves they must drink the only diet they are
allowed - a milk substitute gruel. Deliberately kept short of the iron and fibre
which would redden their fashionably white flesh, they will suffer from
sub-clinical anaemia and gnaw at the crates and their own hair for the roughage
they crave. Fed large doses of hormones and antibiotics to promote growth and
prevent the onset of infections caused by the stress of confinement and
malnutrition, they will suffer scours, pneumonia, diarrhoea, vitamin deficiency,
ringworm, ulcers or septicaemia. After 14 weeks, barely able to walk, they are
taken over long distances to slaughter.
In 1905 the Lord Mayor's Cup at the London Dairy Show was won by a 24 year
old cow. Today it is impossible to find a dairy cow of that age. The cow is
usually sent for slaughter at five to six years, less than one quarter of their
expected lifespan. Ketosis, laminitis, rumen acidosis, bse, mastitis, milk
fever, staggers, liverfluke, lungworm and pneumonia are just some of the
diseases facing the short life of the dairy cow.
Just as the
meat manufacturers would have you believe that you need to eat meat, the egg and
dairy producers are now spending vast amounts of money promoting the healthy
aspects of eggs and dairy products. Eggs and dairy products contain large
amounts of cholesterol and saturated fats, which is considered a major cause of
heart disease. In a 1985 study published by the J. Am. Med. Ass. dairy products
were the major source of saturated fat and cholesterol for 75 adult vegetarians
living in the USA, whose blood levels of cholesterol were higher than those of
vegans who ate no dairy produce. Dairy products contain lactose, a milk sugar
which the majority of the world's population is actually unable to digest and is
often found to be the cause of digestive problems. Casein, the milk protein, has
been shown to cause iron deficiency anaemia from internal bleeding in many
infants and is suspected of causing juvenile diabetes. Milk products can also be
a cause of eczema, rash, mucous buildup, wheezing, asthma, rhinitis, bleeding,
pneumonia and anaphylaxis in children and adults.
Some soy hard cheeses contain
casein which is a milk-product. Just because something is "lactose free" doesn't
mean it's dairy free. The only true VEGAN hard cheeses in the U.S. are SOYMAGE
and VEGAN RELLA. In the U.K. there are vegan hard cheeses called SCHEESE and
TOFUCHEESE. There is also a vegan pre-grated parmesan style cheese called
PARMAZANO in the U.K.
Bees are often killed in the production
of honey, in the worst case the whole hive may be destroyed if the keeper
doesn't wish to protect them over the winter. Not all beekeepers do this, but
the general practice is one that embodies the attitude that living things are
mere material and have no intrinsic value of their own other
than what commercial value we can wrench from them. Artificial insemination
involving death of the male is now also the norm for generation of new queen
bees. The favoured method of obtaining bee sperm is by pulling off the insects
head. Decapitation sends an electrical impulse to the nervous system which
causes sexual arousal. The lower half of the headless bee is then squeezed to
make it ejaculate. The resulting liquid is collected in a hypodermic syringe.
(used to make Jell-o and other desserts) is made from the boiled bones, skins
and tendons of animals. An alternative substance is called Agar-Agar, which is
derived from seaweed. Another is made from the root of the Kuzu. Agar-Agar is
sold in noodle-like strands, in powdered form, or in long blocks, and is usually
white-ish in color. Some Kosher gelatins are made with agar-agar, most are not.
Some things that are vegan that are replacing gelatin are: guar gum and
carrageenan. Only some 'emulsifiers' are vegan. Gelatin is used in photography.
Although the technology exists to replace photographic film, its price is
currently prohibitive and there is insufficient demand. Hopefully, with the
growth of vegetarianism and veganism, this situation will soon change.
Scientists over the years have
bred a Merino sheep which is exaggeratedly wrinkled. The more wrinkles, the more
wool. Unfortunately, greater profits are rarely in the sheep's best interests.
In Australia, more wrinkles mean more perspiration and greater susceptibility to
fly-strike, a ghastly condition resulting from maggot infestation in the sweaty
folds of the sheep's over-wrinkled skin. To counteract this, farmers now perform
an 'operation' without anaesthetic call 'mulesing' in which sections of flesh
around the anus are sliced away, leaving a painful bloody wound.
Without human interference, sheep would grow just enough wool to protect them
from the weather, but scientific breeding techniques have ensured that these
animals have become wool-producing monstrosities.
Their unnatural overload of wool (often half their body weight) brings added
misery during summer months when they often die from heat exhaustion. One
million sheep die in Australia alone each year from exposure to cold after
Every year, in Australia alone, about ten million lambs die before they are
more than a few days old. This is due largely to unmanageable numbers of sheep
and inadequate stockmen.
Of UK wool, 27% is "skin wool," pulled from the skins of slaughtered sheep
It is the practice to boil the
cocoons that still contain the living moth larvae in order to obtain the silk.
This produces longer silk threads than if the moth was allowed to emerge. The
silkworm can certainly feel pain and will recoil and writhe when injured.
The process of live-plucking is wide spread. The terrified birds are lifted
by their necks, with their legs tied, and then have all their body feathers
ripped out. The struggling geese sustain injuries and after their ordeal are
thrown back to join their fellow victims until their turn comes round again.
This torture, which has been described as "extremely cruel" by veterinary
surgeons and even geese breeders, begins when the geese are only eight weeks
old. It is then repeated at eight week intervals for two or three more sessions.
The birds are then slaughtered. The main countries using this cruel process are
China, Poland and Hungary, where some 60 per cent of down produced is
live-plucked. The down market in the UK alone is worth around 2.6 million pounds
per year. The "lucky" birds are plucked dead, i.e. they are killed first and
Cochineal is a bright red
colouring matter made from the dried bodies of a Mexican insect Dactylopius
coccus. Billions of these insects are raised and destroyed each year for a red
colouring that is used in desserts, some strawberry soya milks, clothing, etc.
Why kill even insects
if we don't have to? The same applies to using killed insects for broaches,
crushed insect wings for irridescent eye shadow, or dying insects in jumping
beans. Why promote even at this level a callous disregard for living things
I think for good reason, based on ethical intuition, that we are more
impressed by the kind-hearted soul who nets the flies to let them out of the
house alive versus the person hunting them down for certain chemical death with
a bottle raid. Even if our great White Suburban hunter of houseflies uses a
fly-swatter for ecological reasons, the more admirable course pertains to the
person who uses a butterfly net to simply capture the fly for relocation
This doesn't mean we have to let our houses be over-run by pests or let our
gardens be destroyed either. Common sense should prevail.
Many leather goods are made from the
byproducts of the slaughterhouse, so while you may not be contributing to the
destruction of animals, you will be contributing to the profits of these
establishments. Some leather is purpose made, i.e. the animal is grown and
slaughtered purely for its skin.
The Nov/Dec 1991 issue of the Vegetarian Journal has this to say about
leather: "Environmentally turning animal hides into leather is an energy
intensive and polluting practice. The Kirk-Othmer Encyclopedia of Chemical
Technology states, "On the basis of quantity of energy consumed per unit of
product produced, the leather-manufacturing industry would be categorized with
the aluminum, paper, steel, cement, and petroleummanufacturing industries as a
gross consumer of energy." Production of leather basically involves soaking (beamhouse), tanning, dyeing, drying, and finishing. Over 95% of all leather
produced in the U.S. is chrome tanned. The effluent that must be treated is
primarily related to the beamhouse and tanning operations. The most difficult to
treat is effluent from the tanning process. All wastes containing chromium are
considered hazardous by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Many
other pollutants involved in the processing of leather are associated with
environmental and health risks. In terms of disposal, one would think that
leather products would be biodegradable, but the primary function for a tanning
agent is to stabilize the collagen or protein fibers so that they are no longer
Wine is clarified, or cleared, after fermentation. Some of the ingredients
- edible gelatines (made from bones)
- isinglass (made from the swim
bladders of fish)
- casein and potassium caseinate (milk proteins)
animal albumin (egg albumin and dried blood powder)
In the UK beer (bitter) is also commonly fined using isinglass. Many bottled
bitters and most lagers are vegan. Guinness is not suitable for vegans. Most
spirits are vegan except for Campari (contains cochineal) and some Vodkas
(passed through bone charcoal).
Some refined sugars use bone charcoal as a
decolourant. In the UK Tate and
Lyle and Billingtons sugars are free of animal substances. British Sugar,
trading as Silver Spoon (the largest UK supplier) state that their white sugar
is vegan but they cannot guarantee their brown sugars as some bone charcoal may
be used by their suppliers. No data is presently available concerning sugar in
In the UK the shiny Washington red apples are glazed with shellac, which is a
resin produced from insects.
Many are dipped in honey. In the UK they often don't mention this on the
Some bakers grease the tins with animal fat. If you're using a local bakery
ask them what they grease their tins with. In the UK Allied bakeries (makers of
Allinson wholemeal) have stated they only use vegetable oils.
In the UK all Kellogs products are unsuitable for vegans as Vitamin D3 (of
animal origin) is added. In the US some of Kellogg's cereals are apparently
Nutri-Grain cereal (plain "Wheat" variety only) is a good vegan
source of B12. Be careful though, the almond- raisin variety contains animal
Many manufacturers use whey as the flavour carrier. Check with your local
vegan society as to what crisps are vegan.
For sure. If a manufacturer can
stick some part of an animal in something, chances are they probably will. Learn
to be a fastidious label reader and avoid products not properly labelled unless
you know for sure that they are suitable for vegans. Buy products from companies
who make their stance on animal products known. Look out for ethically vegan
companies and support them when possible. Some foods have "E" numbers listed in
the ingredients, with no mention as to the source of these E numbers. Ones to
definitely avoid include:
120 - cochineal
542 - edible bone phosphate
631 - sodium
901 - beeswax
904 - shellac
920 - L-cysteine hydrochloride
hexaphosphate, lactose, sperm oil, spermaceti
Possibly animal derived:
glyceryl triacetate, glycine, leucine, monoacetate, monoacetin, oxystearin,
triacetin and any unspecified flavourings.
Just about everything you see on the cleaning/personal hygiene shelf of the
supermarket has been force fed to animals and smeared in rabbit's eyes. Worst of
all they don't tell you that this is the case, and they don't tell you what
animal ingredients go into these products. Buy products labelled as "Cruelty
Free" or "Not tested on animals" and "Contains no animal ingredients" when
shopping. Some suitable suppliers are listed in a later section. Oh, and when
buying your plates remember that "Bone China" really does contain bones.
No, not as long as you're taking in enough calories. Official
recommendations suggest that eating 8% of our daily energy as protein will
provide an adequate amount. National and international recommendations for
protein intake are based on animal sources of protein such as meat, cow's milk
and eggs. Plant proteins may be less digestible because of intrinsic differences
in the nature of the protein and the presence of other factors such as fibre,
which may reduce protein digestibility by as much as 10%. Nevertheless, dietary
studies show the adequacy of plant foods, as sole sources of protein as does the
experience of healthy vegans of all ages.
The main protein foods in a vegan diet are the pulses (peas, beans and
lentils), nuts, seeds and grains, all of which are relatively energy dense. As
the average protein level in pulses is 27% of calories; in nuts and seeds 13%;
and in grains 12%, it is easy to see that plant foods can supply the recommended
amount of protein as long as the energy requirements are met.
Frances Moore Lappe popularised the idea of protein combining in her book
"Diet for a Small Planet" in the '70s, however in her revised edition: "Diet for
a Small Planet 10th Anniversary Revised Edition" she has since renounced it.
The 1988 position paper of the American Dietetic Association emphasized that,
because amino acids obtained from food can combine with amino acids made in the
body it is not necessary to combine protein foods at each meal. Adequate amounts
of amino acids will be obtained if a varied vegan diet - containing unrefined
grains, legumes, seeds, nuts and vegetables is eaten on a daily basis.
"Food combining" is another term for the Hay diet and has nothing to do with
the concept of protein combining.
The data on B12 is still coming in, so it is impossible to say "It's no
problem....", however, the latest information suggests that acquiring enough B12
is not as problematic as it was once thought. If you are concerned about
inadequate B12, there are many foods which are fortified with B12, in addition
to vitamin pills. Here is the most recent information: From the book:
Vegan: Quick Vegetarian Meals, by Debra Wasserman and Nutrition
Section by Reed Mangels, Ph.D., R.D. Published (1990/1991) by the Vegetarian
Resource Group, P.O. Box 1463, Baltimore, MD 21203, (410) 366-VEGE. ISBN
Summary: The requirement for vitamin B12 is very low. Non-animal sources
include Nutri-Grain cereal (1.4 ounces supplies the adult RDA) and Red Star
T-6635+ nutritional yeast (1-2 teaspoons supplies the adult RDA). It is
especially important for pregnant and lactating women, infants, and children to
have reliable sources of vitamin B12 in their diets.
Few reliable vegan food sources for vitamin B12 are known.
seaweed often are labeled as having large amounts of vitamin B12. However, these
products are not reliable sources of the vitamin because the amount of vitamin
B12 present depends on the type of processing the food undergoes.
Other sources of vitamin B12 are fortified soy milk (check the label as this
is rarely available in the US), vitamin B12 fortified meat analogues (food made
from wheat gluten or soybeans to resemble meat, poultry or fish) [Midland
Harvest products contain B12.], and vitamin B12 supplements. There are vitamin
supplements which do not contain animal products.
To quote Vegetarian Times (August 1992, p. 60):
"Iron deficiency, unlike protein deficiency, sometimes is a real problem, but
meat is not the answer. The American Dietetic Association said in 1988 that
vegetarians don't have a higher incidence of iron deficiency than nonvegetarians.
If you are concerned about getting enough iron, avoid eating iron- rich foods
along with substances that inhibit iron absorption: phyates (found in high-bran
and unmilled cereals), polyphenols (such as tannins in tea) and calcium. Eat
iron-rich foods along with foods containing vitamin C, which aids absorption.
Good sources of iron include dried figs and prunes, dark-green leafy greens,
legumes, certain whole grains such as quinoa and millet, blackstrap molasses,
nuts and nutritional yeast. Acidic foods cooked in cast-iron pans are also good
sources of the mineral."
Green leafy vegetables such as kale are as good or better than milk as
calcium sources. Other good sources include: White/Wholemeal bread, Taco Shells,
Oats, Soyabeans, Tofu, Almonds, Brazil Nuts, Pistachios, Sunflower Seeds, Sesame
Seeds, Flax Seed, Carob, Carrots, Cabbage, Garlic, Parsley Spirulina, Chives,
Seaweed, Cauliflower, Okra, Cassava, Figs, Papaya, Rhubarb, Molasses...
The National Research Council itself (which set the RDA values in the first
place), acknowledges that people have been able to maintain calcium balance on
intakes as little as 200 - 400 gm/day. They recommended the 800 mg/day because
of the excessively high protein diet of most Americans (see
NRC, Recommended Dietary Allowances, 9th Ed., 1980, p. 120-29)
Preformed vitamin A is not needed by the body, it can be synthesized by
ingestion of carotene (often called provitamin A). Excess consumption of
pre-formed Vitamin A can be dangerous. Good Carotene sources include: Green
leafy vegetables, yellow fruits and vegetables.
Preformed vitamin D is not needed by the body, it can be synthesized by
exposure to sunshine of dehydrocholesterol present in the skin. Vitamin D
created this way lasts in the body for many months such that it is possible to
"top-up" one's vitamin D levels over the summer for the coming winter. Excess
consumption of pre- formed Vitamin D can be dangerous. The Vitamin D in cow's
milk is artificially added. In the UK margarine is fortified with vitamin D by
law and some soya milks are also fortified.
Don't be silly! Of course it is. It harms no creature (don't tell my wife I
said that) and provides vital sustenance for another. Vegan mothers commonly
breast feed for longer periods of time than other mothers, as they are unwilling
to use dairy based infant supplements. Vegan infant formulas are available now.
Is that you again? Go away! :-)
Oral sex is vegan even though it may involve putting flesh in your mouth, as
it shouldn't really involve any cruelty or exploitation, and said flesh is taken
out again eventually and returned to its rightful owner. If you decide to
swallow any bodily liquids, well, once again, no one else has suffered to
provide them, so it's up to you... I doubt if anyone has done very much research
on the health aspects of this, though.
Oh and by the way, many condoms have casein added. Two that are vegan are
"Excalibur" and "Vis-a-vis" from Sagami.
According to the American Dietetic Association, vegetarian diets can meet all
nitrogen needs and amino acid requirements for growth. A vegan diet, to be on
the safe side, should be well planned, and probably include fortified soy milk.
If you live in a cold climate and you don't intend to get your child out in the
sun a lot after you finish breastfeeding then a vegan source of vitamin D should
be added to their diet. Children need more of the essential fatty acids than
adults so a bit more fat in their diet is a good idea. Also keep the fiber
content down, their under-developed digestive systems can't handle it. Generally
the energy content of their meals should be higher than for adults. You should
also ensure that they get a regular supply of B12.
Miso is made from fermented soybeans, and usually is found in a paste form.
It is used as a flavoring agent, and for soup stocks. Storing Miso: If it is a
dark miso, like hatcho miso, or red miso, it will keep for a while unrefrigerated, especially if it is 3 year
miso. However, it does not hurt to
refrigerate it. If it is sweet miso like yellow, mellow white, or sweet white,
it will not keep unless refrigerated. Also, if the miso has been pasteurized, it
should be kept refrigerated. Warning! Some Japanese brands of Miso contain fish
Nutritional value, per tablespoon:
calories 36 g. protein 2 g. carbs 5 g. fat 1 g. sodium 629 mg.
(from Pennington, "Food Values of Portions Commonly Used")
Tofu, or Soy Bean Curd, is essentially curdled soymilk minus the liquid (a
parallel is the way cheese is made from dairy). Its natural flavor is quite
mild, but its natural ability to absorb the flavors of other ingredients has led
it to be called a culinary chameleon. It's found in several varieties, from soft
(silken) to extra-firm style. Soft tofu is often used to make frostings for
cakes, dips for chips and vegetables, while the firmer styles are often found in
stir-fries and soups. Frozen tofu is an excellent substitute for ground beef in
many recipes. Tofu is usually found in the refrigerator sections of stores, near
the vegetable or dairy sections.
Tempeh is a somewhat meatlike substance made from cultured soybeans. It is
used in dishes like barbeque, and has a rather strong taste compared to tofu.
Textured Vegetable Protein (or
TVP) is a meat-like substance that is used to
boost the nutritional content of meals, while still remaining relatively
attractive-tasting. TVP usually contains "defatted" soya flour, and is very low
fat. It is quite often sold in mixes for meat substitute dishes, and can often
be found in bulk bins in health food stores. It is sold in a dehydrated form and
requires re-hydration before using.
Seitan is a form of wheat gluten. It is a high protein, low fat, no
cholesterol (of course, all vegan food is cholesterol free) food that is usually
found in the refrigerated section of most organic groceries/health food stores.
It is usually near the tofu and typically comes in small tubs (like margarine
tubs). It is brown and sometimes comes in strips 1/4 to 1/2 inches thick. Seitan
is made from whole wheat flour which is mixed with water and kneaded. This dough
undergoes a simple process of rinsing and mixing, to remove the starch and some
bran, until a gluten is obtained. After boiling in water, this glutinous dough
is called Kofu, which can be further processed in many ways. One of which is
seitan. Kofu becomes seitan by simmering in a stock of tamari soy sauce, water
and kombu sea vegetable. Seitan can be used in sandwiches, or to make dishes
such as sweet and sour seitan, seitan stir fry, salisbury seitan, etc. It can be
made at home from scratch or with a commercially available mix. Some companies
produce vegan seitan products such as Meat of Wheat by Ivy foods.
Neither is a vegan by nature -- dogs are omnivores, and cats are carnivores.
While both dogs and cats belong to the class carnivora, this doesn't mean a lot,
so does the panda bear and they are near vegan. By nature cats and dogs wouldn't
eat anything like what is commonly found in a can of pet food either. Special
diets must be provided for cats, as they require an amino acid
called taurine -- found in the muscles of animals. Synthetic taurine has been
developed, and is used in commercial (non vegetarian) cat foods. Vegetarian cats
should be fed it as a supplement. Taurine deficiency can result in blindness and
even death. Cats also require pre-formed vitamin A and arachidonic acid. All
known vegan cat foods contain these essential ingredients. Ask your vet about
changing your pet's diet if concerned.
Not only is it possible to feed most cats and dogs a
non-meat diet, it is also desirable. Buying "normal" pet food
is supporting the same meat industry with its attendant cruelty, exploitation,
waste, and environmental damage that veganism is so opposed to. Why should ten
horses/cows/chickens/ducks or something have to suffer and die every year just
to support your pet cat/dog? This is not a matter of "imposing your beliefs" on
your pets (or companion animals, or whatever you call them) since you are not
forcing them to eat it and you are not stopping them eating local wildlife on
their wanderings round the neighbourhood. Also animals don't have morals or
beliefs. They do whatever is necessary to survive, with no preference one way or
the other about the impact on anything else. We however can make moral/ethical
decisions - like the decision to be vegan. In the wild, surviving may mean "kill
something or else starve to death," but if your animal is being fed anyway, this
becomes unnecessary. It is also no more unnatural for a pet cat/dog to be eating
vegan food than any other food. Firstly, the domesticated cat/dog bears little
resemblance to its wild cousins so we're already in an artificial situation.
Secondly, the whole act of feeding it from a tin (as opposed to letting it find
food for itself) is unnatural, so you might as well make the best of it.
Thirdly, the actual contents of the tins of commercial pet food bear no
resemblance to what a cat/dog would eat in the wild anyway... Could you imagine
your darling moggy killing horses and cows and going deep sea ocean fishing for
309 Burr Rd., East Northport, NY 11731
449-8572, 1-800-326-0230 (outside of NY only)
Dogs: 20lb. bag is $20.35 +
Cats: supplement, 15oz. is $15.95
Nature's Recipe for location of a distributor near you.
Canine/Feline Anergen III, a vegetarian diet for food sensitive cats,
contains special high-protein vegetables.
Dept. CF, 1880 N. Eastman Ave., Midland, MI
Phone: (800) 748-0188
Harbingers of a New Age
717 E. Missoula Ave, Troy MT 59935-9609
[vegecat supplement for vegan or lacto-ovo-vegetarian cats]
341 Bonnie Circle, Corona, CA 91720
Phone: (714) (800)
843-4008 or 278-4280
[Vegan canned food and kibble for dogs]
P.O. Box 728, Orange Park, FL 32067-0728 Phone: (800)
[vegan canned dog food]
Famous Fido's Doggie Deli Inc.
1533 W. Devon Ave., Chicago, IL 60660
Phone: (312) 761-6028
[Vegetarian cookies, croissants and bagels for dogs]
Natural Life Pet Products, Inc.
Frontenac, Kansas 66762. Phone:
(For dogs) Available from veterinarians and pet food centers.
Evolution Healthy Pet Food
2950 Metro Dr. Ste. 102, Bloomington, MN
1-800-524-9697 or 1-612-858-8329
cerevisiae) is a food yeast, grown on a
molasses solution, and comes in powder or flake form. It has a pleasant-tasting,
cheesy flavor and can be used directly on vegetables, baked potatoes, popcorn
and other foods as a condiment. It is different from brewer's yeast or torula
yeast. It can often be used by those sensitive to other yeasts.
Yeasts are not animals! Yeasts are part of the group
fungii. They were
originally considered to be plants even though they do not produce chlorophyll,
now they have their own kingdom. Ms. Carlyee Hammer at Universal Products (the
parent company of Red Star, 414-935-3910) indicates that only
one variety of Red Star nutritional yeast (product number T-6635+) is
fortified with B12 at the level of 8 ug/g.
The Vegan Society (NSW)
PO Box 467, Broadway, NSW 2007. Phone: (02)
Organization For Farm Animal Liberation
PO BOX E65, East
Parramatta, NSW 2150. Phone: (02) 683 5991 (AH)
Vegan Society of Australia
PO Box 85, Seaford, VIC 3198. Phone: (03)
Canada EarthSave Society
Suite 103 - 1093 West Broadway,
V6H 1E2 Phone: (604) 731-5885.
Canada Earthsave describes itself as "an educational non-profit organization
that promotes awareness of the environmental and health consequences of our food
Str. 1, 57589 Pracht Tel: (+49)2292/40014 Fax:
ANARCHISTISCHE TIERRECHTS-AKTION (ATA)
Bergheimer Str. 7a, 69115 Heidelberg
Phone: (prefix) (0)6221-385702
MUT - MENSCHENRECHT UND TIERRECHT
e.V. (people for human and animal rights)
Grueneburgweg 154, 60323 Frankfurt, Germany
Phone: (prefix) (0)69-559589
VEGANE OFFENSIVE RUHRGEBIET
Str. 22, 44145
Maqi - f�r
Tierrechte, gegen Speziesismus (for Animal Rights, Against
Hagenbacher Str. 6, D-76187 Karlsruhe
The Vegan Society
7 Battle Road, St
Leonards-on-Sea, East Sussex TN37
Phone: (0424) 427393
publishes "The Vegan" quarterly, free with
American Vegan Society
501 Old Harding Highway, Malaga, NJ 08328 Phone:
publishes "Ahimsa" magazine.
P.O. Box 4353, Berkeley, CA, 94704, Phone: (510)
Vegetarian Resource Group
P.O. Box 1463, Baltimore, MD 21203 Phone: (410)
publishes "Vegetarian Journal"
Hotline for Vegetarians'
questions: Phone: (410) 366-VEGE
Cruelty-free products information
P.O. Box 315 North Cambridge, MA 02140
Washington St. Somerville, MA 02143 Phone: (617) 628-8030
Route 2 Box 300, Milner Road, Leary, GA 31762 Phone: (404)
Animal Rights Catalog
1857 West 4th Avenue, #205 Vancouver, B.C. V6J 1M4
Phone: (604) 737-7185
The Body Shop -- in local shopping centers
some of its products may
contain dairy and a couple even contain lanolin.
Box 218 Dakota City, Iowa 50529
Humane Alternative Products
8 Hutchins St., Concord, NH 03301
Beauty Without Cruelty
175 W. 12th St., New York, NY, 10012
19373 San Rafael, CA 94913 Phone: (415) 382-7784
P.O. Box 27, Jericho, NY 11753 Phone: (718)
1307 Dwight Way, Dept C, Berkeley CA 94702
Humane Street USA
467 Saratoga Ave. #300, San Jose, CA 95129
Spare the Animals
P.O. Box 233, Tiverton, RI 02878
Vegan Street Company
P.O. Box 5525, Rockville, MD
PETA: write for a free list of companies.
Newsletter: "Style with Substance", quarterly
c/o Laura Grey, P.O. Box
160322, Cupertino CA 95016-0322
$2 per issue or $8 for 1 year subscription.
YOUR BODY, Unit 53, Milmead Industrial Estate, Mill Mead Road,
9QU tel: 081-808-6948 fax: 081-801-1611 (mail-order, vegan)
MARTHA HILL Ltd., The Old Vicarage,
tel: 0780-450259 (24 hour) fax: 0780- 450398
advice line: 0780-450284
(8am-5pm Mon- Fri)
(mail order, uses honey in some of the products, otherwise
Mail Order Book Outlets and Food Outlets
Foods of India
Sinha Trading Co. Inc.
120 Lexington Ave, New York, NY
10026 Phone: 212-683-4419
Garden Spot Distributers
Route 1 Box 729A, New
Hollare, PS 17557. Phone:
(bulk foods, speciality items)
PO Box 4514,
Decateur, IL 62525. Phone: 800-
(TVP, Sauces, Herbs, Mixes)
The Mail Order Catalog
P.O. Box 180, Summertown, TN 38483. Phone: 800-
or 615-964-2241 or email email@example.com
Instant Gluten Flour, Nutritional Yeast)
Soyfoods Center Catalog
PO Box 234, Lafayette, CA 94549. Phone: 415-283-
Penns Creek, PA 17862 Phone: 800-433-3998
kitchenware, pantry items)
Rainbow Natural Foods
1487 Richmond Road
Ottawa, Ontario K2B 6R9,
Canada Phone: 613- 726-9200
Paradise Farm Organics
1000 Wild Iris Lane
60385 Frankfurt, Germany
Physicians Committee For Responsible Medicine
Wisconsin Avenue NW Suite 404, Washington DC 20016
c/o The Vegan Society
7 Battle Road, St
East Sussex TN37 7AA
Phone: (0424) 427393
PO Box 7641, Riverton, N.J. 08077-7641
Animal Rights Organizations
MUT - MENSCHENRECHT UND TIERRECHT
e.V. (people for human and animal
60323 Frankfurt, Germany
Humane Society of the U.S.
2100 L St., N.W., Washington DC 20037 (USA)
Posters against animal research available.
FARM (Farm Animal Reform Movement)
Box 30654, Bethesda MD 20824, Phone:
e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, web: http://envirolink.org/arrs/farm
publishes quarterly newsletter and
P.O. Box 150, Watkins Glen, NY 14891, Phone: 607-583-2225
(Responsible, along with the North American Vegetarian Society, for getting
veggie burgers in the local Burger King. They are currently trying to set up
another sanctuary in California).
Farm Sanctuary - West
P.O. Box 1065, Orland, CA 95963, Phone: 916-865-4617
American Anti-Vivisection Soc.
801 Old York Rd. #204, Jenkintown, PA.
PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals)
P.O. Box 42516,
Washington, DC 20015 (USA), Phone: 301-770-PETA
Shopping Guide" and information
National Anti-Vivisection Society
53 W. Jackson Blvd., Suite 1550,
Chicago, IL 60604 (USA)
Phone: (312) 427-6065
Free Cruelty-free products
The Fund for Animals
200 W. 57th Street, New York, NY 10019, Phone:
Friends of Animals
P.O. Box 1244, Norwalk, CT 06856, Phone: 203-866-5223
In Defense of Animals (IDA)
816 West Francisco Blvd. San Rafael, CA 94901
Phone: 415-453- 9984
(Currently overseeing the "Free Corky" campaign in
response to the movie "Free Willy".)
Psychologists for the Ethical Treatment of Animals
Washington Grove, MD 20880 Phone: 301-963-4751
and Animals" and "Human Innovations and Alternatives")
By all means no, if you have any additions you think should be made to the
FAQ or any questions about the FAQ email mailto:email@example.com(Michael Traub).