Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Animal-Rights-Friendly Presents to Give and Recieve

Hi!
Every time Christmas and my birthday approach, I make a wishlist of what presents I'd like to get, since my family asks for ideas of what to get for me. I love the idea of giving and receiving gifts that do good in the world, so I'm planning to ask for some animal-rights-related things on my own next wishlist. If you are making a wishlist for your birthday, Christmas, or another holiday, why not consider asking for a gift that helps the animals, or at least something related to animal rights?
On the other side of things, if you don't know what to get someone else for their birthday or a holiday, you could also consider giving them a gift that "keeps on giving" instead of giving them something that they may never use. (Of course, if you're the one giving the gift and you know the recipient is really never going to use a vegan cookbook or activist material, you might not want to give it to them. That being said, many non-vegans can still use, learn from, and enjoy a vegan cookbook, so whether or not each gift is suitable for a person really depends on the situation and the person.)
Here are some ideas of gifts that you could give or ask for:
  • A donation to a charity, such as the Vegan Society.
  • A membership to an animal rights or vegan organization, such as your local vegetarian/vegan association, The Vegan Society, or Physician's Committee for Responsible Medicine. (Bonus: you may get some cool free stuff when you become a member of some of these organizations.)
  • A subscription to a vegan magazine, like VegNews magazine, or one of the other vegan magazines.
  • Leaflets, buttons, posters, booklets, pamphlets, brochures, stickers, and other activist material!
  • Clothes, lunchbags, mugs, stationery, and bags that have animal rights slogans on them.
  • Books/movies to educate yourself or others more in-depth about veganism and animal rights issues.
  • A vegan cookbook!
  • Other things that will help you with your animal rights activism!
 
If you have any other ideas, feel free to post them below!

Cat

P.S. Have you heard about the Worldwide Vegan Bake Sale in April/May? I may write more about that another time, but either way, here is the link to the website: http://www.veganbakesale.org/veganbakesale/index.html.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Clearing Some of the Confusion Surrounding Vegan Diets!

A lot of people nowadays seem to be afraid of carbohydrates. Once, when I was taking a "Philosophy and Animal Rights" weeklong mini-course, a fellow student told me that she wouldn't go vegan because "Carbs make you fat."
Other people are less focused on carbs and more focused on "getting enough protein"... They say, "Oh, if you're a vegan, you have to be extra, extra careful to get enough protein!" and "You have to combine your proteins!"
I think that these people are really just mis-educated on nutrition. Here are some facts:
  • In reality, carbohydrates from unprocessed, whole-food sources are very healthy! Whole grains, beans, fruits, nuts, seeds, and vegetables all contain a combination of carbohydrates, fat, and protein. According to Becoming Vegan by Brenda Davis, R.D., and Vesanto Melina, M.S., R.D.,
       "Populations consuming animal-centered diets, rich in fat and protein and low in carbohydrates, have high rates of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, obesity, and other chronic diseases. By contrast, those consuming plant-based diets, rich in carbohydrates, have significantly lower rates of disease." (page 77)
    Of course, whether or not you're a vegan, junk foods such as chips and pop aren't good for you, so it's important to opt for plant-based whole foods such as veggies, fruits, whole grains, etc. instead!
  • Most people eating a standard North American diet get about twice as much protein as they need per day! Consuming excess protein, especially from animal sources, can actually lead to health problems.
  • As a vegan, it is quite easy to meet and even exceed your daily protein requirements. It is recommended that people get about 10 to 15% of their calories from protein, according to No Meat Athlete. Studies of vegans in the US, UK, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia over the past 60 years or so have found that vegans get around 11.3-12.2% of their calories from protein. (Source: Becoming Vegan by Brenda Davis, R.D., and Vesanto Melina, M.S., R.D.) If you're still worried about getting enough protein, you can consider using a plant-based protein powder, although this shouldn't be necessary for most people.
  • As for the protein-combining theory, it's actually not true. As long as you eat a variety of foods throughout the day, you'll be getting a good combination of amino acids-- you don't have to worry about combining your proteins to form a "complete protein" at every meal. (Source: Becoming Vegan)
You can read more about protein in the vegan diet in the book Becoming Vegan or on websites such as VeganHealth.org and Vegetarian Resource Group.

The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine points out some of the risks of low-carb diets on their website here:
http://www.pcrm.org/health/diets/ffl/newsletter/no-carbs-no-way
And, if you're interested in reading "Five Protein Myths" on PCRM's website, you can read this here: http://www.pcrm.org/health/reports/five-protein-myths

If you haven't gone vegan yet, please do so today! Veganism is a compassionate, non-violent choice. It promotes non-violence towards animals, the environment, and your health. You can find information on going vegan at https://www.vegansociety.com/try-vegan/how-go-vegan. You can also read Mercy for Animals' trendy and colourful Vegetarian Starter Guide (if you live in the US, you can order one at http://www.mercyforanimals.org/vegan-starter-kit.aspx, or, if you live outside the US, you can see the PDF online for free at http://www.mercyforanimals.org/VSG.pdf).
And, if you're already a vegan, I hope you can use this information to help others become vegan, too!
Have a nice day, and thanks for reading!
Picture from http://veganfoodpyramid.com/

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Vegan Healthy Recipes for the Christmas Season!

The Christmas season is coming up! If you're looking for ideas on cruelty-free, vegan, healthy recipes to prepare for the holidays, here are some ideas!:



Festive Chickpea Tart from Dreena Burton's Plant-Powered Kitchen
http://plantpoweredkitchen.com/vegan-thanksgiving-christmas-recipes/
ARV's Vegan Gingerbread Cookies
http://almostrawvegan.com/2011/12/30/gingerbread-cookie-balls-raw-vegan/


Of course, there are many vegan cookbooks as well as other vegan recipes online that you could look at, too.

Here are some of my previous blog posts on having an animal-friendly, Earth-friendly, vegan Christmas. I hope you find them helpful!:

"Animal- and Eco-Friendly Christmas Ideas!":
http://theanimalrightsactionsite.blogspot.ca/2013/12/animal-and-eco-friendly-christmas-ideas.html

"Healthy Vegan Desserts Just in Time for the Holidays!": http://theanimalrightsactionsite.blogspot.ca/2013/12/healthy-vegan-desserts-just-in-time-for.html

"Vegan on Christmas": http://theanimalrightsactionsite.blogspot.ca/2012/11/vegan-on-christmas.html

"Action VI: The Animal-Friendly Christmas": http://theanimalrightsactionsite.blogspot.ca/2011/12/action-vi-animal-friendly-christmas.html

"Surviving Non-Vegan Meals with Family and Friends": http://theanimalrightsactionsite.blogspot.ca/2012/07/surviving-non-vegan-meals-with-family.html

Happy Holidays!

Monday, December 8, 2014

International Animal Rights Day

Hi everyone,
Wednesday, December 10, 2014 is International Animal Rights Day! International Animal Rights Day (IARD) takes place on December 10th of every year. There is not currently very much information online about it, but that doesn't mean that people can't acknowledge it!
This Wednesday, I hope we all can try to do something special to help the animals. :) I've written some ideas on some ways to make a difference in my previous blog post, which can be found at http://theanimalrightsactionsite.blogspot.ca/2014/11/november-is-world-vegan-month.html.

I don't have one of these on my blog, but on the "Animal Rights: The Abolitionist Approach" website, http://www.abolitionistapproach.com/, they have an "Animal Kill Counter", which shows you the shockingly high "Number of animals killed in the world by the meat, dairy and egg industries, since you opened this webpage." (This feature is actually on a number of animal rights websites.) I wouldn't put one of these on my blog, because it's so disturbing. However, if you want to get a numerical impression of how many animals are being slaughtered, you could go to that website and scroll down a bit to see it.

Animals all over the world are in horrible suffering at human hands right now. If the world goes vegan and animal testing is abolished, this suffering could be enormously reduced. If you haven't gone vegan yet, please do so today. Together, if we raise awareness about animal rights, join or start campaigns, and follow a cruelty-free lifestyle, we can and do make a difference, even if change is frustratingly slow-going sometimes.

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
-Margaret Mead

Have hope, passion, resolve, and compassion. Let's keep working to make the world a better place!

Friday, November 21, 2014

November is World Vegan Month!

Hello everyone!
That's right-- this month is World Vegan Month. :)
On November 1, 2014, which is World Vegan Day, the "world's first vegan football [soccer] match", to quote The Vegan Society, was held! You can read more about it on The Vegan Society's website or on the Gloucestershire Vegans' blog.
Although veganism is something that should be practiced year-round, World Vegan Month provides us with an extra opportunity to raise awareness. Readers, I challenge each of you to do at least one thing this month to raise awareness for the animals and the vegan lifestyle. Please take this challenge-- the animals need our help. Here are some ideas...
  1. If you haven't gone vegan yet, become a vegan! This is the number one thing you can do for the animals!
  2. Host a vegan lunch or dinner, and invite friends and family to come try some delicious food. If you want, you could even make it a potluck and ask them to bring along a vegan dish for everyone to try.
  3. Bake some vegan treats and give them away to your friends, family, co-workers, classmates, clients, teachers, etc. This will help them to understand that vegan food can be delicious as well as ethical. (Make sure to tell them that the food is vegan!)
  4. Wear clothes and buttons and carry tote bags that have slogans on them that promote veganism and animal rights.
  5. Ask your local library and bookstores to set up a display of books on veganism.
  6. If you are a student or a teacher, here are some things you can do at school: put a message proclaiming World Vegan Month on the announcements, in the school newsletter, and on calendars; have a vegan bake sale; give out free vegan food samples; put up posters on the school bulletin boards (with permission, of course); hold screenings of documentaries; invite guest speakers to come and speak to classes on veganism; ask the cafeteria to serve more vegan options; hand out leaflets; start a vegan or animal rights club; and have a table offering literature and information in the hallways.
  7. Do a blog post, Facebook update, etc. on veganism and animal rights.
  8. Write a letter to the editor educating readers on the benefits and ethics of veganism. (It's probably more likely to get published if you mention that this month is World Vegan Month!)
  9. Put up posters on telephone poles, community bulletin boards, etc. advocating for veganism. You can print off some posters for free from the Abolitionist Vegan Society's website: http://www.abolitionistvegansociety.org/posters-for-printing/#.VG-lt4t0yUn
  10. Hand out materials advocating for veganism-- the Abolitionist Vegan Society (TAVS) (which is now my favourite animal rights organization) provides free downloadable bookmarks, cards, colouring pages for kids, leaflets, tear-off posters, slips, and posters for you to print out! You can see their resources here: http://www.abolitionistvegansociety.org/tavs-initiatives/tavs-resources/#.VG-mCot0yUk
  11. TAVS also has posters that you can publish on your Tumblr, blog, Facebook, Twitter, and other online pages: http://www.abolitionistvegansociety.org/tavs-initiatives/tavs-resources/posters-for-online-use/#.VG-mWot0yUk.
  12. Additionally, TAVS has online videos you can watch and share. I haven't watched them, but I agree with most of TAVS' overall values, so I think the videos would probably be good: http://www.abolitionistvegansociety.org/videos/#.VG-mXot0yUk. And they have audios, as well: http://www.abolitionistvegansociety.org/tavs-audio/#.VG-mWot0yUk
  13. There's a currently free Kindle e-book available on Amazon.com called Why We Should Go Vegan by Magnus Vinding. I have not read it, but it might be interesting to look at, if you have a Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00IHPBCOS/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B00IHPBCOS&linkCode=as2&tag=volentiacom-20&linkId=GUG7AO7B7Z4LCBZE
  14. If you have any other ideas, please feel free to post them below in the comments section! :)
Hmmm... Coming up next, I think I'd like to do a post specifically on TAVS (which, as I'm sure you've noticed, I am particularly fond of!), or perhaps something else on philosophy... Or, likely, both mixed together!
See you then!

Cat
20140506
Picture from http://www.abolitionistvegansociety.org/tavs-initiatives/tavs-resources/posters-for-online-use/#.VG-mWot0yUk

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Mercy For Animals Inspirational Short Video

Hello everyone,
This is a pretty neat video. It gives a reminder of some of the reasons why people choose a vegan lifestyle, and it also provides a unique insight into the fact that people from many different walks of life are vegan. You can view it right here on my blog or on Mercy for Animals' website at http://www.mercyforanimals.org/i-am-mfa.aspx.


Have a nice day! :)

Friday, November 7, 2014

Petition: "University of Wisconsin: Cancel The Unethical Torture and Killing of Baby Monkeys!"

Hi everyone,
There's a petition by Dr. Ruth Decker, M.D., J.D., M.B.A., on Change.org called "University of Wisconsin: Cancel The Unethical Torture and Killing of Baby Monkeys!" that still needs more signatures.
 
Says Dr. Decker,
"As an alumna of the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s School of Medicine, I am horrified to learn that my alma mater plans to conduct highly controversial and cruel experiments that will torture and kill baby monkeys.
The experiments, led by Dr. Ned Kalin, will take newborn rhesus macaque monkeys away from their mothers (who have been restrained or drugged against their will while their baby is removed). The defenseless baby monkeys are then sent to solitary confinement—where they are terrorized and exposed to anxiety-inducing stressors including live snakes, painful skin-punch biopsies, and stressful brain scans. After this relentless torture, they are killed before the age of two."
Dr. Decker's petition is calling for the plans for these experiments to be cancelled at once.
 
Please visit the petition webpage and sign the petition: http://www.change.org/p/university-of-wisconsin-cancel-the-unethical-torture-and-killing-of-baby-monkeys?tk=LkFvaJbcdoAlzT8TI01jbPZp2HyKpkCImJZlqxD02S0&utm_source=petition_update&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=petition_update_email
Thanks.