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7 Reasons I Never Went Vegan

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At its simplest level, the notion always made some sense to me: we hurt and kill animals for our pleasure and convenience, and we don’t have to.

But I’ve always held so many levels of resistance to veganism. Surely it’s not that simple.

I bring up the topic now because I’m about to give it a whirl, not as a response to any kind of ethical crisis, but instead as a health experiment. My diet has been without any hard edges for a long time. Nothing has been off limits, and as a result I’m steadily gaining the 1-pound-a-year perma-fat that the experts say will continue to bog down the typical adult until they die.

I ate about nine chicken taquitos at a get-together not long ago, and I think it was a cry for help. I want to put some strict boundaries onto my diet, if only so I become more conscious of what I eat and so I can practice that “just say no” reflex. Just for a month, to see what happens.

I was going to do the paleo diet, since that’s the thing these days, but to be honest the “on-limits” foods instantly depressed me. I don’t want to eat shrimp and avocado omelets, with berries and balsamic as a snack. Paleo looked like it would prescribe an increase in the animals foods that have had me feeling a bit, uh… clogged these days.

So I’m going the other way, and swan-diving into the plant kingdom. Besides, I’ve had it on my bucket list for a while now: try out a vegan diet for 30 days.

But what about the social ickiness I’ve always felt about veganism? Well I went over my long-standing reasons for steering clear of it, and I have to admit they’re looking a bit wilted since I last checked:

1) It’s too hard.

I know more former vegans than vegans. The unwillingness to live a cheeseless life seems to be the primary reason my once-vegan acquaintances quickly backpedaled to the more moderate vegetarian camp.

Usually restaurants have between zero and one vegan dishes, so that’s what you get. The world is made for omnivores, so you’re painting yourself into a pretty tiny corner if you only allow plants into your body.

While researching this post I kept running into the same surprising anecdote: when people go vegan, they typically wind up expanding their palette. They end up doing a lot more cooking, trying a lot more different goods, and learning a lot more about nutrition in the process. After the initial restocking of the fridge, and a crash course on vegan staples, finding something to eat isn’t so hard.

Ok, so it’s harder than what I’ve been doing, which has basically been doing whatever’s easiest and most gratifying to me. Maybe “hard” is just “harder than the easiest possible approach.”

2) It’s too idealistic.

Oh, I don’t want to hurt anything, so I’ll only eat plants. While I’m at it, I’ll never get angry. I’ll never drink. I’ll never swear. I’ll never take a pen from work or listen to burned CDs.

Life feeds on other life, and that’s a reality we all have to accept. Animals kill animals. We’re animals. We kill other animals too, and we couldn’t have gotten to where we are today without doing a lot of killing and dismembering of animals that really didn’t want to get killed or dismembered. Yes, it’s ugly, violent, bloody. It’s nature.

This was another argument I’ve used to veto the idea of going vegan. Just because I find nature’s violent side a little disturbing sometimes, does that mean it’s wrong to kill animals for food? Mother Nature creates horror on a daily basis. The spectacle of a predatory cat ripping its prey apart while it’s still alive is something most people would hide from their children. Most nature shows won’t even show it. Just because it’s unappetizing and disturbing, does that make it bad or wrong?

Looking a bit closer, it’s not such a great argument. The real atrocity, in the view of some, is not how food animals die but how they must live. In the system that creates food for us, animals are typically treated worse than history’s slaves. There’s plenty of footage online if anyone isn’t clear on what I’m talking about, but I think we all are.

Now, not everyone agrees that there is an equivalency between human and animal lives, but that’s a moot point. Even if we rank animals firmly below humans on whatever arbitrary “worthiness of respect scale,” I really don’t want to picture an animal I know being treated like that: Chico or Marley or Rocko or whoever.

Of course non-human mammals have personalities, any dog owner knows that. But it’s so much easier to eat them if I never had to know them. They don’t look like animals by the time we see them anyway.

There are lots of schools of thought on this but no matter how I dice it (the argument, not the animal) it always comes down to the same bottom line: we inflict suffering that we don’t have to inflict, and it’s easy for us to justify because we don’t have to see it.

3) Vegans are angry.

While I was researching this post, it was sometimes difficult to find articles on veganism that didn’t degenerate into ranting and accusing. A lot of vegans do seem to have trouble refraining from getting vindictive when the topic comes up, and as a meat-eater, all it’s ever done is make me dig my heels in. It’s like they’re always trying to slip in the gross-out reference, telling you there’s pus in your cheese, or calling your burger a crime scene.

I think the vegan cause suffers from this. I know now that it is only a minority that are always looking for a fight, but those few really do a number on the image of veganism. It is an emotional issue and it’s easy for someone in either camp to get heated about it. But I wonder of those loose-cannon vegans realize that to alienate one omnivore to the vegan cause is to ensure that one more person will probably eat meat with full self-justification for the rest of their lives. Do this to a couple of people, and maybe it was better for the animals if that person never went vegan in the first place.

But as I said, this is a vocal minority and most vegans seem to recognize that peace between humans and humans is a prerequisite to peace between humans and animals.

On a related point:

4) I don’t like PETA. I don’t want to be one of those people.

This is the institutionalized version of the antagonistic approach in #3. When I think of PETA I think of their publicity stunts.

They seem to love to shock and enrage, and while it might be a great way of preaching to the choir, they are probably most successful at getting omnivores (both the staunch and the fence-sitting kind) to hate not only their organization, but the word vegan and the notion behind it.

It’s almost like they’re secretly trying to turn everyone in to Ted Nugent. To scream “Meat is Murder” at a meat-eater is to say “You’re a selfish prick who kills for pleasure, you bloody murderer! Join us!” I suppose the audacity of their stunts might get them on TV, giving them a chance to arouse more hatred for their organization, and forfeit any chance at converting anyone, but they’ve created the image of vegans and vegetarians as being subverts, accusers, haters. How this is supposed to help animals is something I will never understand.

Their hearts might be in the right place but their methods (or at least the most visible ones) are an embarrassment, and so many vegans don’t support them. What a burden PETA must be to vegans who recognize that you can’t change the mind of someone who hates you.

So my disdain for PETA remains, but I no longer equate PETA with the vegan cause, because that’s just not fair.

5) I don’t want to ask the waiter fifty questions.

This might just be the one that’s been the biggest dealbreaker for me. I have always had a rather extreme contempt for nitpickers of any kind, and there’s no way I’m going to interview the server in every restaurant so that I don’t accidentally swallow some whey extract that somebody else would have eaten anyway. I will not be one of those people who holds up everyone else while they make sure everything conforms to their self-imposed “alternative” standards.

Now that I’ve seen how a few vegans handle this, it’s not hard. Meat dishes are obvious, and they know what foods typically contain animal products. If questioning is necessary, it’s usually limited to “Does this have any dairy in it?” and the server always knows, or can easily find out. When it doubt, they can order something else.

There may be other complications I haven’t foreseen, but this part of it no longer intimidates me.

6) The harvest of plants kills animals anyway.

This is a pretty well-worn argument by now, but we know that the harvest of food crops by machines results in the violent death of all sorts of sentient creatures, from field mice to rabbits. There doesn’t really seem to be a way around this, as long as food production exists on an industrial scale.

There are still a lot of vegans who seem to believe that by living a vegan lifestyle, they don’t cause any harm to their fellow beings — that they can criticize the lifestyles of others from a karmically “clean” position. I’ve always resented this particular hypocrisy, and I kind of let it disqualify veganism as a possible lifestyle for me.

But it didn’t take too much research for me to discover that most vegans do recognize that the purpose of their lifestyle is to greatly reduce the suffering caused by their way of living, rather than eliminate it. I’m sure they would have told me this if I had asked.

7) How could I ever say, “Ok, this is the last cheeseburger. Ever.”

One time I was getting my hair cut and I was half-eavesdropping on a conversation on the other side of the mirrored partition. A bride-to-be was getting her hair done, confessing to the hairdresser her worries about getting married:

“It’s just… I guess… I’m never going to have sex with anyone else for the rest of my life!”

No word on how she’s doing.

I have had the same thoughts about cheese. And wings. And lattes. How could I ever reach a point where I’m going to say, ok, this is the last one. Ever.

The way I see it now, “lifetime commitments” are not really possible. Not technically anyway, because the 30-year-old making the commitment is not the same person as the 48-year-old who is going to be responsible for upholding that commitment eighteen years later. We’re all constantly becoming different people with evolving values year by year* so the person you are today can’t make promises for the people you will be 5, 10, or 25 years from now. Each day, each moment, we have the options of upholding or re-evaluating and re-negotiating our commitments with ourselves and others.

Of course, people can and do honor commitments that they made in their youth, but it’s either because they happened to carry a consistent belief in that department through the years, or because they’re afraid of rocking the boat and living the values they carry today, if it means making a major lifestyle change or upsetting other people.

So there’s no need to make a lifetime commitment. I’ll go all the way through 30 days, and on day 31, breakfast will be whatever I feel like eating.

*or at least I hope you are. If you have the same beliefs you’ve always had, you haven’t grown a lick, just gotten closer to your grave.


So none of my reasons really hold up for me anymore. Now I’m not saying that my cheeseburger days are over for good, or that I’ve “seen the light” but it seems like now is the perfect time to tackle one of my Life List items and eat a vegan diet for 30 days.

I want to see what it does to my body, to my social interactions with others, to my wallet, and to my opinion of myself. After the 30 days is up I’ll do whatever I see fit.

Even just playing around with veganism feels like I’m opening an enormous can of worms. If I change the way I eat for ethical reasons, it means I must examine everything I do now. How can I hold my eating to an ethical standard but not the rest of my life: the products I buy, the stores I shop at, the public figures I support, the charities I give to, the way I talk to people, the places I spit my gum out, the way I dispose of my batteries…

It’s the pandora’s box of ethical living — one endless slippery slope. Well I’m not going to worry about that for now. I’ll do my vegan experiment, let one thing lead to another, and keep an open mind.

The Terms

NOTE: Experiment No 9 is just finishing up now, and my final report will be posted later this week, but I wanted to get this experiment underway first because I have all this vegan food in my house and I’m ready to go.

I will eat a vegan diet for 30 days, beginning Monday, February 21 and ending Thursday, March 24.

I am limiting the lifestyle changes to my diet for now. Veganism is about more than just what you eat but also what you wear and who you buy from.

During the 30 days I’ll read and watch essays and videos on the vegan issue from as many viewpoints as I can find. I will hear PETA’s schtick, and Ted Nugent’s. I’ll see what makes sense to me.

I will report the changes I see in my experiment log.

There are a few foods on which vegans aren’t unanimous. Honey is one. I do not believe bees suffer, but I can’t argue that eating honey is an example of exploiting the animal kingdom. I am not going to seek out any honey, but I’m not going to go to great lengths to make sure none enters my body either.

To my great relief, my favorite beer, Keith’s White, is vegan-friendly. But there are probably animal products out there I don’t know I’m consuming.

Another issue is refined sugar. It’s usually made using bone char, which is an animal by-product. Now, I’ve bought raw sugar, but I’m not going to worry too much about eating incidental refined sugar in foods other people prepare. It is not necessary to use bone char as a filter in the refinement process, so I suspect that its use in sugar production only occurs because the meat industry happens to create a cheap supply of it, and not because all the refined sugar fans out there are creating a demand for it.

Anyway, I can’t possibly account for every contingency or grey area right at the outset. I’ll learn as I go along.

If you’re interested in doing this too, even for just a week instead of a month, you can post your progress in the comments section of the experiment log.

Whatever you do, bon appetit.


Photo by David Cain

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Adam February 21, 2011 at 10:24 pm

I don’t want to be one of those vegans who says “welcome to the bandwagon,” so I’ll just say that I hope you enjoy the ride! One point that you made that has been so very true for me was that since becoming vegan I feel like I have a much richer food life. I eat all kinds of foods now that I never had even contemplated before, but I do end up cooking most of them myself. Vegan restaurants are not usually very good compared to what I can get for myself at home.
I look forward to hearing your report at the end of the month. And remember, beans are your friend on this journey! (Did that sound mystical or just flatulent?)

David February 22, 2011 at 6:54 am

Hey thanks Adam. I noticed you published a comprehensive guide to eating just as I published this and I’m taking a look at the resources you linked. Today will be my first day at work, so there will be some new challenges today.

Adam February 22, 2011 at 6:57 am

Yeah, I thought it was funny that as soon as I published I saw you publish this article. Perhaps great minds think alike.

Gustavo February 21, 2011 at 11:00 pm

You know what? I think I will go along with you on this one.

Not sure how to do it yet but I guess it must not be that hard. I will start by eating only the salad and the rice (rice is very big here in Ecuador).

I would like to follow up some reading regarding this topic also. Any suggestion? (something fun to read, please)

David February 22, 2011 at 6:56 am

I would make sure you eat more than a few different foods or you could get into vitamin deficiency trouble. Try cooking something new. I’ve been getting a lot of my recipes from the veganyumyum.com cookbook.

Adam February 22, 2011 at 6:59 am

If you want to get into a vegan lifestyle, remember that at each meal you need a grain, a green, and a bean. If you do that you should be OK as far as nutrition, just make sure to take a multi-vitamin once in a while to get B-12 which is only found in animals.

Liana April 24, 2013 at 7:31 pm

Hi… just to let you know vitamin B12 can actually be found in savoury yeast flakes also known as nutritional yeast, it is good for recipes where you want a cheesey taste.

Anna February 21, 2011 at 11:27 pm

Hi David,
I hope you’ll enjoy this experiment! I’m really interested in how it will turn out for you, because that’s something I also want to try sooner or later.
Thank you for this article, it really made me think again about the reasons for not yet having started to try out a vegan diet.
All the best, Anna

Lydia February 22, 2011 at 12:25 am

David, I’m looking forward to reading your updates on this. I’ve tried eating a vegan diet a few times but have never been able to commit to it longterm. Will you be posting menus or recipes?

David February 22, 2011 at 6:57 am

I’ll post some of the recipes I use in the experiment log, yes.

Gerrit February 22, 2011 at 3:56 am

Congratulations, David!

Whenever you get “weak”, read the book “Eating Animals” by Jonathan Safran Foer


And you’ll just lose your apetite for meat.

I have made to page 190 now and though (98%) vegetarian, I have not stepped away from milk (ice-cream, chocolate!) and eggs yet. Maybe you will become my role model ;-)

Kylie February 22, 2011 at 5:25 am

I’m also looking forward to this one David. I’ve recently become vegetarian and have been thinking through (and experiencing) some of the issues that go along with it. I dabbled in veganism, since from an ethical standpoint it makes sense, but I’m not quite ready for it yet. But still, ethically I feel like I’m doing better than I was, so that’s a good thing. I’m also feeling healthier and have shed a couple of kilos, also a good thing. And since I’m experimenting with food more I’ve been eating some really yummy stuff that I wouldn’t have discovered otherwise. Win, win and win so far. I will read with interest your experiment log. Enjoy!

Célia February 22, 2011 at 6:20 am

Great article! Good luck with your experiment. I went vegan for a while, not really for ethical reasons (though I do have my concerns about the way we exploit the animal kingdom too), more for health and environmental reasons. While I didn’t stick to it, a good 90-95% of my diet has been vegan ever since. It works for me; if I fancy a bit of goat cheese or scrambled eggs once in a blue moon, I’ll have some. I’ve also recently started to eat fish again, after 3+ years of being strictly vegetarian, but very little of it and only about once or twice a month.
I do believe we are omnivorous creatures by design, but we definitely weren’t meant to eat the amount of animal foods in the average Western diet; it’s unhealthy, bad for the envionment and cruel to animals.
On another note, I don’t like PETA either, for the exact reasons you mentions.

Mara February 22, 2011 at 6:47 am

support you 1000%!!! Also a small tip, may help, try to be mindful when you eat. Go slow, feel the texture, the taste… it will make you enjoy eating any food and be aware of the process rather than the purpose

David February 22, 2011 at 7:00 am

Thanks Mara. That’s the attitude I try to bring to everything, especially eating.

KellieBom February 22, 2011 at 7:03 am

I’ve been a vegetarian for roughly 17 years. I quit keeping track some time ago… I’ve always wanted to do exactly this! A 30 day vegan experiment. Not because I think it’s necessary and morally correct to live this way, because I don’t. I like my dairy. I just want to experience it. I want to see how I feel about it.

I know it may be judgemental, but I just always found vegans to be so hardcore about thier diets. They want to tell you about it, they want to discuss the politics, they want to explain to you why thier way is the RIGHT WAY DAMMIT. Heathen meat eaters are so ignorant. Geeze.

See, I just want to eat my veggie burger in peace. I dip my bread in the garlic butter from the shrimp at Red Lobster, and I pick the pepperonis off the pizza that everyone ordered for midnight munchies. I don’t want my diet to be everybodies business…. but I think a 30 day experiment sounds like a wonderful experience and I can’t wait to hear more about it. <3

David February 22, 2011 at 6:47 pm

Good to hear from you Kellie. I’ve been relieved to find that most vegans don’t seem to be like that, but it’s the negative encounters that I remember. This is really new to me and I haven’t had a chance yet to be on the other side of the discussion, but I’m sure it’ll come up. I want to make sure that I never let the discussion come to argument, no matter how enthusiastic I feel about it.

Are you thinking of going ahead with an experiment of your own?

Ollie February 23, 2011 at 4:36 am

Animals eat some other animals, that’s right. But animals do not pollute environment by growing huge amounts of meat. «I don’t want to kill anybody» — this is just one argument and there are a lot of reasons not doing it.
Just watch this talk — http://www.ted.com/talks/graham_hill_weekday_vegetarian.html.

Georgina May 1, 2014 at 1:41 pm

Hi! I am vegan and I do not preach it on others, it is my own personal choice. But in contrast people ask me all the time why I am vegan and I am more than happy to tell the reasons. I think it is the other way around, people think there is something wrong with me because I am vegan.

Ms. Simone February 22, 2011 at 7:41 am

As a holistic nutritionist my advice would be to try what works for your body. Not everyone is meant to be vegan etc… the best advice I can offer without knowing your health history is a method called crowding out. Meaning just start adding more nutrient dense and health foods to your plate. It has to become a lifestyle. But a healthy lifestle you enjoy.

I tried jumping on the raw foods bandwagon a few months back and lost so much weight(I was already to darn skinny) that now I’m paying for it dearly as I’m finding it really hard to become the proper weight for my height again. Totally support what you are trying to do but if you are not enjoying the vegan lifestyle after a while please try crowding out.

Ms. Simone

David February 22, 2011 at 6:49 pm

That’s a good point and I’ll see how it goes. I’ll listen to the body’s feedback. So far it seems to be saying “Thanks”.

Genna February 22, 2011 at 7:58 am

As a vegan, I say well done for giving it a go and hope it leaves you considering a vegan diet for life. I’ve was a vegetarian for 15yrs and then became vegan about 8yrs ago. I’d like to tell you I don’t crave a cheesy pizza every now and then, because I do. However my now VERY lactose intolerant body would not thank me for it.

I used to belong to PETA but gave up my membership about 6yrs ago when I got sick of them sexually exploiting women for their cause. So yeah, I’m with you on that one and am glad I’m of the vegan camp that respects each person’s choice to make an informed decision about what they eat.

As for the bees, my point is that they are still farmed for the majority of the honey you see on the supermarket shelves, so in that regard humans are still exploiting them for their gain. But like you, I avoid it where I can but don’t freak out too much about it.

Best of luck, if you were anywhere near Glasgow, Scotland, I’d bake you some delicious vegan cupcakes!

David February 22, 2011 at 6:51 pm

At the moment the thought of dairy is totally unappealing, but it’s so early in the game. It’ll be interesting to see what I miss and what I don’t.

Di February 22, 2011 at 8:21 am

David, I applaud your get-real attitude about reasons not to go vegan. Many will stick to them doggedly. I went instant vegan from carnivore after watching Earthlings and I have never regretted it – 4 yrs down the line. Only wish it had been sooner.
I’m not sure 30 days will bring the results you are interested in (it took me a month to figure out I don’t have to live on boring lentils and millet). I hit a steep learning curve (reading labels, discovering how many things actually contain animal products etc etc). Of course now I make the most divine food which my vegan and meat-eating friends equally love. Over a year I lost about 15kgs without trying – not that that was my motivation, but certainly the health benefits and weight loss were an awesome bonus.
I wish you much support on this journey and eagerly await your report!

David February 22, 2011 at 7:00 pm

Thanks Di. At this point it feels like this will continue beyond the 30 days. Even if I don’t stay vegan, I won’t be eating with the same carelessness I was before. Habits are changing rather quickly. Never read so many labels in my life, for one thing.

I’ll check out Earthlings, I’ve heard a lot about it.

Di March 9, 2011 at 12:51 am

Hi David,
Just interested to know whether you have watched Earthlings yet – and if so, whether it had an effect on you. The newest documentary by Mercy for Animals is called Farm to Fridge – also available on Youtube.

David March 9, 2011 at 6:38 am

I did, and I posted my thoughts below, in response to Sarah B’s comment. I liked it but it’s not my favorite style of documentary — too emotionally biased — but I will probably still check out Farm to Fridge.

Lindsay February 22, 2011 at 8:28 am


I would go vegetarian before I went all-out and did the vegan thing. Vegan just seems so…extreme. And hard. But then, you don’t do things half-assed, do you? Way to go! I admire your courage and fortitude.

I can’t wait to hear how this goes for you. I do my best to cut out meat at home – I never cook with it, partly because I’m lazy and partly because I figure it’s better for me and the environment if I eat less meat.

Let me end this comment with a horrible play on words: considering going vegan is great food for thought. Perhaps I’ll give this a go some time in the near future. I’m curious to see how much healthier it makes you feel (if at all).

David February 22, 2011 at 7:04 pm

I’ll keep you posted. :)

LunaJune February 22, 2011 at 9:52 am

I myself have tossed those questions around many times….Life needs life to live.. even consuming a diet of nothing but leaves the lifeforce of the plant is killed and consumed.
Even if I gave up meat….I have cats and dogs.. and work in the Veterinary field… so will always have to have meat to feed them.
and truly once dead the animal cares not anymore… so truly the most important thing is living a good life however long it is.

goodluck on your month… I most definitly couldn’t go vegan

karen February 22, 2011 at 11:49 am

Nice post Dave,


beany von doom February 22, 2011 at 11:59 am

Hey David! Right on! I used to be a super annoying (to myself and others) militant vegan. I’ve been vegan for 10 years and apply a much looser approach now. I’m sure lots of vegans would judge me for not asking a million questions to waiters and eating cake at Polish Fest every year, but I don’t care about that. The impact I’m having by eschewing animal products 99% of the time is huge. Enjoy your experiment, and remember- if you like the effects but find it “too hard” at the end, you can still be vegan by your own personal rules. So many people decide not to go vegan because they couldn’t give up this or that. I say to them, “Do the best you can, be as vegan as you can if it’s what you want to do!” You can call it whatever you want. And if you end up hating being vegan, good for you for at least giving it a go!

If you have any questions, I’m a vegan nutritionist, feel free to shoot me a line!

David February 22, 2011 at 7:16 pm

This “it’s not all or nothing” idea is actually not something I expected to hear a lot about from vegans, but it looks like it’s pretty common. It makes sense, because most people recognize that it’s only ever a reduction of harm, not elimination. I know not everyone agrees, but the idea of the “Paris Exemption” makes veganism accessible to many more people than it would otherwise be.

I’ll definitely take you up on your offer of information :)

k8et February 22, 2011 at 2:06 pm

I was vegetarian (still eating dairy and eggs) for many years. I am back to eating some meats, but in an ideal world (IE, having a personal chef or vegan restaurants all around town) I would love to be vegan. I never made it about “never eat XYZ again” but rather I knew my reasons for not eating it, and each time I was presented with a chance to eat meat, I asked myself what I wanted. For a long time, I stuck to being veggie, and still prefer it as I’m fussy about what meats I will eat.

While I know many of the angry vegans (often PETA supporters I find…), I often found myself angry for different reasons – defense, not offense. Once you are known as “the vegetarian” in many social groups, friends/coworkers/strangers can feel like they have the right to publicly comment, inquire, or flat out mock your choices. While I NEVER said anything to those eating meat, my choices were publicly discussed and often rudely dismissed. Unless you are in an area with a higher percentage of vegan-minded folks, it can feel like you are wearing a scarlet V on your chest some days. And it can be so tiring. (It’s not one of the reasons I stopped, but I still get flack for it.)

Anyway. I applaud any efforts to be veggie or vegan, temporary or not. We can never be as impact free as we would like, but if you (general you) are aware of the issues and try to do what’s best for you personally while reducing your impact, it’s a huge step in the right direction.

David February 22, 2011 at 7:46 pm

This is something I haven’t encountered yet, but I know I will soon. I’m prepared to wear the scarlet letter here, that’s all part of it. I am going to try not to let it ever get to argument, but I know the kind of mockery you’re talking about from having seen it directed at other people. This kind of encounter might be one of the more interesting parts of my report.

Lisis February 22, 2011 at 2:48 pm

Better you than me. I could *not* live without cheese, even for a day. I eat meat from time to time, but I can take it or leave it. The dairy and eggs thing, on the other hand, would be my downfall.

Cheeeeeeeese… mmmm…

I look forward to reading about how abstinence works out for ya. ;)

David February 22, 2011 at 8:10 pm

Heh.. well of course you could. On this particular topic I see a lot of people using the word “couldn’t” when they clearly mean “won’t”. I don’t mean to make an example out of you of all people, I’ve done it too, I just find it interesting. It’s like we all claim to be under some cheese spell or something. ;)

Athonwy February 22, 2011 at 11:03 pm

Yes, exactly, a cheese spell. Cheese contains concentrated casomorphins, a naturally occurring opiate that helps to bond a calf to its mother. In addition to this, most cheeses contain the addictive trio of fat, salt, and sugar, which humans find almost impossible to resist. It’s the reason so many people are addicted to cheap chocolate, bacon, cheese, and other crappy foods. David A. Kessler, the former head of the FDA and Harvard Professor talks about that in his book “The End of Overeating”. Check out this article about it:


Also, check out this video:


Gary Yourofsky gives a great and in-your-face talk about the very compelling reasons for Veganism.

You make a good point about language though. People always say to me “Oh you can’t eat this, you’re Vegan.” and I usually respond: “I can eat any damn thing I want to, I CHOOSE not to.”

Lisis February 23, 2011 at 8:32 am

Right… I *could* live without cheese (and ice cream, and omelets), but why in the world would I WANT to? I’m with Wilde on this one: “I adore simple pleasures. They are the last refuge of the complex.”

I appease my conscience my making sure I consume “Happy” animal products… cage-free, grass-fed, antibiotic-free, organic, practically-raised-in-a-spa-type stuff. Once I’m past that hurdle, it’s all bliss. Bliss, I tell ‘ya. :)

David February 23, 2011 at 6:52 pm

There are lots of reasons a person might want to: short-term health, long-term health, a “habit shakeup” (like I’m doing), a trigger for learning more about where food comes from, and of course ethical reasons.

Not that I’m a sterling example, but there is a difference between appeasing the guilty feelings we have and actually living in accordance to our values. For example, “cage-free” is not the same as “free range” and neither one is cruelty-free. They still cut off beaks and grind up the male babies alive and all that. We all have to draw a line where we’re comfortable, and I’ve noticed it’s harder for me to be comfortable with my typical diet the more I look into the processes that create it. So if my goal was just to feel okay with myself I would definitely want to know as little about that as possible. ;)

Christopher February 23, 2011 at 5:06 am

I tried to be *Vegetarian* for 30 days, I only lasted 28 days :D

David February 23, 2011 at 6:54 pm

What happened on that 28th day?

Turnip April 14, 2014 at 7:24 pm

God gave him some Holy Laxative. Then rested. Then visited the bathroom for a while. But rested, yes.

Suzanne February 22, 2011 at 3:17 pm

Good for you on going for it!

A blogger I read (because she’s fun to read) just put together 4 week long meal plans for a family friend. Thought I’d share the link in case you’d like some food choice ideas for during your experiment or later…plus her recipes always look so appealing!


David February 22, 2011 at 8:19 pm

I’ll check out the meal plan, thanks Suzanne. I need to keep adding to my repertoire.

Athonwy February 22, 2011 at 3:22 pm

Really well written, I appreciate your thoughtfulness and willingness to give others insight into your questioning of your own beliefs. I wish you luck and health. As a 7 year Vegan I can say that I have only gotten healthier and more muscular in that time, and am now, at 35, in the best shape of my life, way better than I was as a vegetarian at 25. Please keep in mind that many people who cut out dairy and meat experience detox symptoms for the first 3 – 6 months, and these are often falsely attributed to a vegan diet. Cheers.

David February 22, 2011 at 8:22 pm

I was wondering about that. What kind of detox symptoms can I expect? I’m experiencing much more energy and just a better mood overall. I feel like I’m made of Aero bar.

Athonwy February 22, 2011 at 10:50 pm

Well, I know a lot of people experience a purging of mucous from their system after cutting out dairy. It’s flu like, with runny nose, and expectoration, like you have a chest cold. I’ve also heard of some people having lightheadedness randomly, which can result from the radical altering of nutrients your body is receiving.

Oh, and don’t worry about the protein thing, it’s a myth. If you eat any kind of reasonable diet you will get adequate protein throughout the day. Protein deficiency is almost unheard of even amongst raw foodists, because almost EVERYTHING has protein in it. Protein combining is also a myth. Of course it’s good to have a widely varied diet, but if you feel like eating a whole damn vegan pizza for dinner and nothing else, no worries, you won’t suffer for it. Now if you did that EVERY night… :)

David February 23, 2011 at 6:56 pm

For what it’s worth there has been no mucous purging that I’ve been aware of.

Sarah B February 22, 2011 at 7:22 pm

Not all vegans like PeTA! In fact, most don’t. It really is all schtick with them. They objectify women and use shock tactics to “convert” people. They concern themselves with small changes in the treatment of animals, claiming victories that aren’t results of their actions.

Coming from my 3 years of veganism (still going strong!) I can recommend Compassion Over Killing and Mercy for Animals as organizations to get information from. If you have a strong stomach, go to Google Video and type in “Earthlings.”

As for tips: Vegans aren’t all healthy. I know I eat a TON of crap. French fries and potato chips are vegan. The key is not trying to eat crazy super healthy things that you wouldn’t normally eat just to be “more vegan.” Eating some junk is normal for any diet. I recommend the Spicy Chili Doritos (full of chemicals, but nothing from an animal.)

Again, don’t drive yourself nuts or feel bad about accidentally eating whey or egg or whatever. And even though you will have very intense gas for the first week, stick it out and stock up on Gas-X :P

David February 23, 2011 at 7:06 pm

I watched Earthlings last night. I have to say I was disappointed. I wanted them to really run with the “earthlings” concept they talked about in the beginning but it really just became another “this is what happens inside a slaughterhouse” film. I did learn a lot but I am still holding out for a more emotionally-impartial, existential kind of documentary on animal food. They seem to be staunchly identified with an animal-rights political stance, and then they just pile on the reasons to take that side, and I guess that’s fine… it just felt a bit like a Michael Moore film, you know, leveraging the sad-toned voiceover and soft piano music. Not to start ranting about it but I know the kind of film I’m looking for is out there somewhere. Food Inc was more in that vein I guess, but it was more about plant food. And The Omnivore’s Dilemma too, but it’s not a film yet.

I know vegans aren’t all healthy but I never buy junk food anyway and I’ve always cooked quite healthfully at home. My transgressions are always when I’m out, usually at party-type situations where there are deep fried appetizers everywhere. I haven’t been in a situation like that on my new diet but I would guess that a lot of the foods would be off limits anyway. So I think this change in diet is only going to improve my health.

Nicki March 2, 2011 at 10:06 pm

I found the same thing about Earthlings. I haven’t gotten all the way through it to be honest but I found the dramatics to be counter productive. The images are starling enough without the music, it just took away from it. And his voice gets tiring quite quickly. That being said I think that it’s a documentary a lot of people should see.

Di March 9, 2011 at 7:59 am

Sorry i missed this earlier post! If Earthlings is not your kind of doccie, I recommend powerful speech by Gary Yourofsky: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=es6U00LMmC4&feature=player_embedded
or ‘Meat the Truth’ (I don’t have an url) – done Al Gore style but pretty powerful and not graphic at all.

David March 9, 2011 at 8:11 pm

I guess what I am trying to avoid is an emotional approach to ethics. When people get riled up and self righteous, no matter what the cause is, I don’t want to hear it because by then they are closed to any other viewpoints — it’s just preaching and not discussion. I couldn’t watch much of the Yourofsky speech before I had to turn it off. He brings a very vindictive and smug tone to it and I think it is exactly what keeps veganism a fringe lifestyle that most people would never consider.

I do appreciate the suggestions though. I will check out Meat the Truth.

Carol February 22, 2011 at 8:04 pm

This is great! You’re keeping on earning more and more respect from me :)

I actually took a similar decision early january. After being a shy vegetarian for many many years I am now a strict vegetarian more or less vegan (ahaha! Does that make sense? Well, I think it does, little step by little step). The trigger maker was Jonathan Safran Foer’s book “Eating Animals”.
And some movies, like “Earthlings” even though I found it so upseting, quite agressive in its approach. You might find in it what you admirably spotted about PETA. The book brings a lot more nuances and scientifics facts/ researches. It’s definitely a must read.

And it’s true, you really are eating a lot more and learning so much about food.
Did you know, for example, that 7 almonds contain as much calcium as a whole liter (a regular bottle) of milk?

Good luck and much pleasure for you for this 30 days!


(sorry for my english, I’m a french speaker)

David February 23, 2011 at 7:18 pm

I’ll check out “Eating Animals”. I’ve had a few people recommend it.

I just bought some almonds and almond milk today, so I got the almond thing going on pretty good here

Thomas February 22, 2011 at 8:50 pm

1. It is only harder than the easiest mode of eating (that is, eating trash)
2. What’s wrong with being idealistic? And there are tons of more reasons to become vegan rather than “ooh, don’t let the poor animals suffer.”
3. You only notice the angry vegans (or atheists, or liberals, or conservatives) because they’re the most loud.
4. PETA is annoying…
5. Yes, agreed here too, and the waiter usually don’t know. It’s an embarrassment and it’s impractical to only eat at vegan restaurants.
6. Again, way more reason to be vegan (economics, environment, health, social justice)

Brenda (betaphi) February 22, 2011 at 11:36 pm

I have a vegan living in my house. Every Sunday she spends about four hours making the most amazingly delicious black bean tamales. They’re so nutrient dense that one fills me up. From what I can tell the trick to yummy vegan dishes is lots of spices and plenty of hot sauce. My son in San Francisco is also vegan but I don’t know much about his diet. Once he took me to a vegan restaurant that cooks food on hot rocks. I don’t think I’m cool enough to be a vegan.

Joy February 22, 2011 at 11:37 pm

Hi David,
This article explains your FB post on eating kale *grin*!
My friend, Evita, at evolvingwellness.com offers a very comprehensive free e-book that changed my life. Very simple to read, very straightforward..might help in your experiment.
I was a vegetarian until my first year of college when I saw a guy eating a burger and I “had to have one”..was it the guy of the burger that fascinated me most? I still love Carl’s Jr commercials..they make burger eating look fantastic! I recently decided to embrace the vegetarian lifestyle, easing into vegan..more about having pure energy than anything else. Surprisingly, a few of my closest friends said they do not support me and will no longer eat with me. Interesting. Life changing. On all levels.
I’ve always been a fabulous cook, my talents have not changed, just my ingredients..and I promise the flavors and spice and layers are all still there in vegan foods. I have been to a few wonderful vegan restaurants (in So CA you may find everything!)..there are substitutes for cheese and chocolate so you won’t have to “miss” it. In changing my food choices, I focus on what I am adding in rather than what I am “removing”.
I wish you well with your experiment..I love that you constantly try new and different and allow for growth..and that you share as openly as you do.

David February 23, 2011 at 7:20 pm

It’s cool to explore a subculture like this. There are so many established products and methods. It’s a benefit I never really thought of.

I’ll check out Evita’s book.

Ryan February 23, 2011 at 2:10 am

Kudos on giving this a shot, such things are harder to do than many give credit for.

Diets/health/nutrition are just like politics and religion, everyone always knows their beliefs are right, the other side is wrong, and they’ll likely be debated forever.

For some of the arguments it doesn’t help that even defined terms like vegetarian or vegan really doesn’t describe what an individual’s diet entails. As someone else mentioned plenty of junk food like french fries or potato chips is vegan. Someone can eat just Doritos for a month, then claim that the whole vegan thing is a sham and doesn’t work. With so many people claiming ‘this is the right way’ or ‘eat this not that’, it’s easy/impossible to dismiss just about any terminology offhand.

Personally so far for me it looks like low fat raw vegan is the optimal choice, at least if you do it right and can stick to it. It never made sense to me why people would give up meat for health reasons, only to trade it for artificial crap made in a lab.

I’ve tried to do 30 day challenges on 80/10/10 lfrv myself, but I can only get a couple of weeks in. Work stresses me out and eating healthy doesn’t destress me… Taco Bell does. Maybe one day I’ll get there though.

David February 23, 2011 at 7:23 pm

Right now I feel about raw foods what I felt about vegan six months ago: too hard, no thanks… but I’ll probably end up giving it a whirl since it has so many die hards.

heather February 23, 2011 at 2:17 am

Veganism is what you make of it. Personally, I’m a vegetarian, and I’ve found that I’m pretty laid-back compared to most of my fellow vegetarians, and that’s fine–they can do vegetarian their way and I can do it mine, and some people are even more laid-back than me and call themselves vegetarians when they eat fish or whatever, and I don’t really care about that either. You find a plan that works for you and stop worrying about how other people carry out their own plans.

It doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing thing, either. I tell my friends who are worried about the environmental impact of what they eat but think that they don’t have the willpower to go vegetarian that even cutting down their meat consumption to 2-3 times a week would do a huge deal of good for the environment, without making them feel particularly deprived. As a vegetarian who occasionally contemplates going vegan, I know that I could never give up cheese, and I prefer the taste of real butter to any alternatives, but I try to balance that out by not using milk or eggs when I don’t have to (which is most of the time). If going vegan doesn’t work for you, that doesn’t mean you have to go back to eating steak and potatoes and cheese all the time, it just means you have to look harder for a middle path that makes your body function at its best while still being as kind to animals and the planet as you reasonably feel you can!

sandra February 23, 2011 at 7:44 am

Thank you for posting this. I did similar experiment in February 2009 for many of the same reasons that you describe. I figured a 30 day vegan diet would be a great way to clean up my diet and then maybe adopt a vegetarian diet after the 30 days were over. During those 30 days I restocked my frig, and read everything that I could get my hands on about being a vegan. I also watched videos about being vegan and to make a long story short, today I am still a vegan. Over all I have dropped about over 40 pounds since 2009 and I have never felt better. Good luck with your journey.

nrhatch February 23, 2011 at 10:46 am

I love that you experiment with more mindful approaches to living. Enjoy the path as it unfolds before you . . .

Regina February 23, 2011 at 4:05 pm

A thoughtful article. What more can anyone ask? Good luck to you, be true to yourself, and I wish you health and happiness. Signed, a non-militant, imperfect vegan.

Nicki February 23, 2011 at 10:00 pm

I recently went vegan. I definitely relate to the last reason. It’s so hard to decide to put your foot down and say “I’m never having eggs or dairy for the rest of my life!” but I’ve just been taking it a day at a time. Even a meal at a time is essential for some days. It’s been nearly a month and I’m really enjoying myself. I hope you do too!

I find it interesting as an experience too, but sometimes explaining my dietary choices on a daily basis is exhausting.

Tomorrow I am going to a vegan potluck. You should check out if your city has any vegan/vegetarian groups, such a prime spot to gather outlooks, and recipes!

Nea | Self Improvement Saga February 24, 2011 at 7:46 am

Congrats David. It takes a lot of courage to try something so different from your norm. I love the way you explained what held you back from the vegan lifestyle in the past. I second those reasons and I’m thankful that you’ve given me a different perspective. No, I have no intention of going vegan. Still, I’m glad you’ve opened my eyes to the realization that all vegans don’t fall into the category of those who are most vocal and negative.

I think I’ll give vegetarianism a try for a while, but veganism is too extreme for me.

I wish you well and I can’t wait to hear how it’s going. Please please keep us updated.

Daniel Loureiro February 24, 2011 at 10:00 am


Why not go veregetarian for 30 days and then, Vegan for 30?

Josh Fossgreen February 24, 2011 at 2:49 pm

Hey David, thanks for the article! I enjoyed hearing your thoughts and I wish you well in your vegan experiment. My own first trial with veganism was 90 days, and I HATED it! I broke my trial with pepperoni pizza. But here I am, vegan for almost 3 years and a raw vegan for the last year. Not that you asked for it, but my advice for success in your early flirtations with veganism is:
1) Eat a lowfat, high carb diet with lots of potatoes, yams, rice, beans, and keep the oil, avocado, and nut/seed intake minimal. You won’t get a protein deficiency if you eat enough calories.
2) Get educated. My favorite authors are John Robbins, Dr. McDougall, Doug Graham, T. Colin Campbell. Gathering sufficient information is critical to successfully being a vegan, especially in a culture that gets its nutritional education from the Cattlemen’s and Dairy Associations.

Be well!


Maria February 24, 2011 at 3:24 pm

Go David! # 7 and # 4 deserve their own post. I hope PETA sees your logic but your humor is even better. Hairstylist? Bride? Cheeseburger? In the same anecdote? I’m going to be smiling for days. I’ve done this experiment and you will feel your body’s gratitude, but taste buds are your body’s hooligans, those thugs never give the other body parts a break…

Carrie February 24, 2011 at 3:52 pm


Best of luck to you! I’m one of those vegetarians who can’t imagine giving up cheese— I am ashamed to admit that I survived my first full week of being “vege” due in great measure to macaroni and cheese!— but definitely appreciate the points you have made in this post.

Similar to your point about making a temporary vs. permanent change, I decided to try being vegetarian for a week. If I hated it, I would simply go back to eating meat and consider it an experiment (in fact, I referred to it as “the vegetarian experiment”). I didn’t have a single craving for meat during that entire week, and I never looked back! Maybe your experiment will end up the same…

Madeline February 25, 2011 at 12:41 pm

So interesting to read your thoughts on this, David. I’ve been a vegan for over a year, and came to this way of eating by researching nutrition and gradually eliminating foods that made me feel less than my best – such as refined sugars, white flour, dairy, red meat – over an extended period of time (about 4-5 years). I didn’t do this with the goal in mind to “be a vegan,” but instead, came to realize I was eating that way and there was a name for it.

However, now that I use “vegan” to describe my eating habits (I actually practice eating a macrobiotic vegan diet, but tend to just say vegan to cut out explaination time), the ethical questions – about vegan clothes, accessories, body products, etc. – come up from friends and family. Because I consume a plant-based diet primarily for my personal body needs and health, as opposed to a “meat is murder” approach, I’m not at the point where I feel passionate about doing research to ensure every purchase I make is vegan-friendly. Yet, if it is available and convenient, which more and more vegan items are becoming, I do feel better making vegan-friendly investments.

It’s not a black-or-white matter, but what feels good for me at this moment.

Also, with the “last cheeseburger ever” idea, what happened to me was that as I began to incorporate more whole foods my body responded positively, and my taste buds changed. Then, when I’d go back and eat something highly-processed it would taste disgusting, give me a headache or stomach, etc., and I’d go back to the whole foods for something more satisfying. As you said, there’s definitely no need for an ultimatium. There IS the possibility for cravings and favorite foods and to simply change!

Thanks for posting!

Bo February 27, 2011 at 6:27 am

Another well thought-out and comprehensive blog my friend and I hope your transformation into the Bane of Broccoli-kind is a painless one. One point is that, if you haven’t already, you should talk to vegan converts and/or nutritionists about your 30 day experiment period. Radical changes in diet can have all sorts of short-term effects on your health, constitution and energy-levels while your body adapts to the new regime. So you may find that your first 30 days are hell, but thereafter you reap the benefits. The last thing you want is to give up just at the point where your body is coming to terms with it all, and throw it back down the rocky road by switching back again! The same applies to many smokers who quit, and say the first 4 weeks are hell, and then it starts to get easier. So if 30 days was an arbitrary time allocation choice, make sure it isn’t, and avoid missing out on the pay-off! Good luck!

David February 27, 2011 at 8:08 am

Hi Bo. It has actually been anything but hell. I felt great right from the start, probably because it wasn’t a super-drastic change for me. I always limited meat in my diet and ate a mostly plant-based diet at home. I have been talking to long-time vegans about some of the nutritional pitfalls. I won’t be switching back to the way I was eating before after 30 days, I will remain at least near-vegan.

Dave Moore March 2, 2011 at 2:45 pm

At the risk of being completely ostracized I submit that if animals were able to speak for themselves they would want people to eat them.

I know this flies in the face of everything we have been told but there is a rational reason for this. We have to shoulder our responsibility to these species.

For starters this discussion cannot omit the understanding, ordering, and attribution of sentience, cognizance, and sapience.

Although we take from ourselves when we eat animal products we lift them up.

David March 2, 2011 at 8:37 pm

Hi Dave. I’m open to any argument, but I have to say I don’t understand what you mean here. Why do you think animals would say they want to be eaten? I think it’s pretty clear that they don’t.

Dave Moore March 2, 2011 at 9:29 pm

As feeble as we are at being able to grasp the infinite we’ve scratched the surface by somewhat agreeing on “good” over “evil,” “expansion” over “contraction,” and “up” over “down.” (no pun intended), when it comes to evolution of the self, the mind, and the spirit. In this sense we are moths to the flame of enlightenment. Even supposing the physical universe is a “thing” “somewhere” we strive to rise. We attach ourselves to philosophies that will inspire a higher nature in ourselves, perspectives that will guide us to uplifting experiences, and behaviors that remove us from degradation. That’s natural, meaning we’d do it without thinking to some level of refinement. Otherwise, we can chalk up our development to happenstance and humanity has no exceptional value compared to its surroundings. (Some will assert that we are not exceptional. In that case why the conversation?)

You know the saying, “You are what you eat”? Energetically, we never stop being who we are we just evolve to become new forms of ourselves. Our evolution is due to newly acquired…what? Energy? Inspiration? Consciousness? Sure all those things. But where do those things come from? And where do they accumulate?

The animals we eat become part of us, we become a little of what we eat. And in that association the collective species’ consciousness “rises,’ in some small way. Just like the association of wearing pelts, and bones, and teeth. There is energy there which is shared to the benefit of all. One gaining a boost upward and one giving a little of their upward movement over to the other. It’s symbiotic and very natural.

Albeit, so is the behavior of people staying away from having those outside energies dilute their system.

There’s probably something I’m missing but that’s the short version.

Thanks for being open to considering the possibilities.

Dave Moore

David March 3, 2011 at 9:20 pm

Hmmm.. very fuzzy talk here but I think i see what you’re getting at. Nonduality has its place, but the truth is for practical purposes we are beings who have to decide whether we want to create suffering, whether that suffering only happens to some other being, or to ourselves, or to the whole universe.

Kate March 3, 2011 at 1:03 pm


I am so glad that you have blogged about this. I am so glad you have realised that veganism isn’t all or nothing. This is for the simple reason that it is not possible to be 100%vegan, it’s an unreachable ideal but every effort that we make makes a difference. I was a total perfectionist before I was vegan but making the transition from vegetarian made me take far more notice of food, nutrition and ethics. This led to many vexing question, for example, the apple I’m eating was delivered by a truck which contains animal products, somewhere down the line from tree to me there is bound to be a meat eater involved etc. It made me realise that my best really is all I can do and that when I make mistakes (like missing an animal ingredient on a package) I have to forgive myself and carry on.

My life is so much richer for it, my health is much improved and the food I eat is amazing, which leads to my only disappointment, I thought it would make me skinny but I am loving the food a bit TOO much ;-)

Julie March 8, 2011 at 8:48 am

Hi David and All!

I wanted to jump into this discussion after I, being so inspired by David and many folks in my life, decided to do the exact same thing!

First let me say that I love it (on Day 9), and it has been easy breezy to find and prepare amazing foods that satisfy me completely! However, David, while you are experiencing energy and vitality, I have had the opposite experience and wanted to post a few tips in case another could benefit.

After Day 3, I became so lethargic and foggy brained it was ridiculous. No flu symptoms, no mucous, just absolute mental and physical fatigue. I am a very healthy person in general and have always loved and enjoyed veggies, nuts, seeds, legumes, and fruits. I am neither a fast foodie nor a sugar junkie. I did, however, eat meat and/or dairy on a regular basis. My guess is the switch in how my body received it’s protein and other nutrients was a big one and it kinda fumbled around waiting for the meat at first… haha! Also, for any believers in blood type nutrition, I am O+… which is caveman blood. I know that my body works very well on meat and according to the blood type theory, I am not supposed to be vegan or vegetarian. (Curious to know what you are, David!)

So, what helped? Well, I am blessed to have an amazing array of friends including tons of vegans and a handful of holistic nutritionists. They slammed me with helpful tips, I took them all, and am feeling my body begin to shift into vitality… even though the fatigue is still mildly present. I’m not at the energy level before I went vegan, but I feel I will get there soon.

Here’s the list:
B12 and other Bs~ sublingual B supplements rock.
A kickass vegan protein powder ~ the winner in my research can be found at http://www.myvega.com AMAZING!! It has iron, omegas, macca, greens, and almost anything your body could desire for optimal nutrition.
Spirulina ~ superfood extraordinaire
H2O ALL THE TIME ~ I drink water a lot. But I kicked it up even more and noticed a difference.
Go easy on the fruits ~ fruits, being high in fructose, can spike the blood sugar and contribute to crashes. I was advised to go easy on fruits, I did and felt better.
Colonic ~ haha, haven’t done this yet, but I plan to. Apparently, if your colon is backlogged with meat from days gone by, then all these nutrient dense goodies aren’t getting a fair chance.
Rest ~ seems obvious, but it helped to give in to this instead of resisting.
Coconut oil ~ my new favorite oil.. and sometimes I even just stick my finger in it and have a taste ;-)
Raw Garlic and Clove Spice~ it was suggested to me to eat tons of raw garlic and clove spice. However I choose to do that, the theory is that it helps to kill off the parasites that live in a carnivore’s body. I’m going to be taking that on this week.

The most sound advice from my gang was that every body is different and to be sure and honor your own body’s wisdom. I do believe that I will return to meat as my body truly thrives on it. I was a sleepy vegetarian for years in my early 20s. However, how I eat meat will drastically change. I see myself bringing my consciousness to this by only eating meat from local farms where the animals are humanely treated, with no hormones or antibiotics. I may even decide to raise my own chickens for their eggs! I’m lucky to live in a town where this kind of local culture is alive and thriving.
Interestingly enough~ I know this will make eating meat a more “special day” in my home. It won’t be every day, maybe once a week. And what honor can now be bestowed upon this! Knowing how my body will receive it, and consciously consuming with love and respect, instead of begin totally asleep and shovelin’ it in.

It feels good to bring consciousness to every aspect of life… and what a fun experiment to fuel my body from a space of love and mindfulness.

Thank you, David, for the inspiration… and for the listening.

With Love~ Julie

Gustavo March 8, 2011 at 9:53 am

Hi Julie,
Thanks for the great information.

David March 8, 2011 at 7:13 pm

Sounds like you’re doing well. I would like to know more about what people refer to as ethical meat.

I know I’ll never go back to eating animal products the way I did. If they reappear in my diet it will be on an extremely limited basis, but I want to examine the ethical issues before I reintroduce them.

As for blood type, I’m A-positive. Not sure what that means.

Julie March 8, 2011 at 8:20 pm

A+ is THE vegetarian blood type. You have found your match! Haha! Brilliant.

Julie Jarnagin (Divajules) March 8, 2011 at 1:39 pm

Hi David,
Wow, what similar feelings we seem to have. Much of what you wrote sounds very similar to my experience with the whole notion of consuming animal products. I have not concerned myself much with the topic lately so what you wrote was thought provoking. It gave me a chance to gauge my emotional reaction again since my attempt to become vegetarian (which is a good indication of where you are vibrating about certain issues). Thanks for that and good luck with your thirty day trial. It is sure to be educational.
Julie J. (Divajules)

David March 8, 2011 at 7:06 pm

One thing I am finding during this experiment (and I’ll write more about this when I’m done) is that I could never really be open to the ethical issues while I was still eating animal products. I mean, I’d watched the slaughterhouse videos and had an emotional reaction to them before. But while watching, I always had to harbor some rationale in my mind why it was still okay for me to consume animals, so I could never really be quite emotionally open to what I’m seeing. It was either change my lifestyle at that very moment, or subconsciously tone down my emotional involvement in the reality of what happens in the animal food industry. Does that make sense?

Veronika March 15, 2011 at 2:03 pm

Your question was directed at Julie, but I feel compelled to share my thoughts. Yes, I had the same experience as you. When I was eating meat (or even just an egg-eating vegetarian), I felt a need to shut myself off or turn away when watching those videos or listening to ethical arguments. Now that I’m vegan (vegetarian for about 5 years, vegan for less than a year), I can listen to any argument or see the images with neutrality – I accept the emotions I’m feeling, and I don’t resist them because I know I’m not contributing (or at least contributing less) to the suffering. But I think it’s more than that…it’s a knowingness that I’m living my life to my highest vibration…meaning, living by what is true to me at that given moment, feeling content with all my choices instead of feeling friction. So that I’m not resisting, regretting, or doing something that is less than what I truly want. It’s like being vegan allows me to be more at peace with myself, and with my choices. I’m having a hard time putting it into words, but maybe you can help with that. =)

Side note regarding nutrition: I eat only raw foods nearly all the time (John Kohler, a great guy from growingyourgreens.com says with a smile, “I eat 100% raw, 99% of the time”…gotta love it, haha). I’ve learned that it’s less about the cooking process and more about removing the junk to create health: processed sugar, flour, dairy, and excess meat…and most of the time gluten grains like wheat and barley cause problems. That’s why a whole food, plant based diet has similar positive effects as the raw food diet. But the raw diet encourages more fresh fruits, veggies, and especially greens, so you can get an abundance of vitamins and minerals without losing them during the cooking process. You may have learned about the “junk food vegan” lifestyle that results in deficiencies, and why some former vegans say the diet doesn’t work. Too much bread, pasta, vegan pizza, soy, fake gluten meat, and sugary sweets will do it.

Looking forward to hearing about your experience in the future!

Jessica Rugg March 12, 2011 at 11:58 am

I hope you’re doing better David and that this bout with botulism isn’t that bad.

It makes perfect sense what you said above about either making immediate changes in your life or distancing yourself emotionally from the actions you choose to perform. How can one take a standpoint with others when he isn’t taking a clear standpoint with himself?

Once your perception of reality changes, it rarely unchanges. For example, meat at the supermarket goes from being a benign source of food to being a doctored product of industrial factory farming. That reality will be paired with meat in all of it’s forms; however, another person without such mental references will see that same piece of meat as nothing more than ‘dinner’ that ‘used to be a cow’ and perhaps also a vague idea of the processes which occurred between those two states.

Thanks for the blog. I’m glad that I chanced upon it today.

Kind regards,
-Jessica Rugg

Dave Moore March 12, 2011 at 6:28 pm

Excellent point Jessica. Perception is everything. Yet how we form our perception is so very important. Regardless of where we are on any scale of awareness, or of wisdom possessed, in our present and finite form we will always have room for more. Everything that is emotionally charged and also not well understood is open to being perceived through those prisms. When we seek to sway others we can be doing so to more purely bolster our own perspective and emotion. How do we approach these matters openly without judging?

Katherine March 26, 2011 at 2:24 am

I was put on the “elimination diet” at one time, because I was losing a lot of weight fast for no apparent reason. I was already heading toward vegetarianism at the time, but that forced me into being vegan for most of a year.

My results: My body does a very good job of processing vegetable protein. Not everyone’s body does. Nevertheless, once a month (yes, I’m female) I had a tremendous craving for chicken. Obviously, I needed the iron boost at that time. When I slowly started putting certain foods back into my diet, I found I had a protein chain intolerance to mammal meat, white or dark meat made no difference. Chicken and fish are fine. So for several years I had chicken once in awhile, some eggs and dairy, and laid off the meat. After five years I started having memory problems, that’s the beginnings of neural damage from a lack of B complex vitamins. So, I take a supplement and I’ve brought back a little fish.

My body seems to work optimally when I eat mostly a variety of vegetables with a little meat supplementation.

I grew up near forests and I grew up near farms.

Animals in a forest almost never die of old age. They die of illness, predation, and accidents. If we can raise them humanely and give them a swift painless death, that is better than they would experience in the wild. You may or may not see this as a reason to eat animals, but these things are true.

I love all animals. I consider myself an animal. I do not judge the cougar for eating a deer. I do not judge the eagle for eating a mouse. Why should I judge myself and others for these things? Now certainly, you can choose not to judge others for their choice to eat meat and still choose not to eat meat yourself.

I make sure to live near a reputable organic butcher. However, I now live in Australia where it is easier to find genuinely organic foods, since they have to be certified by a well-respected body. Part of the certification includes the ethics of how an animal is treated.

You cannot assume the farmers who raise food animals don’t care about their charges. However, there is a difference between factory and industrial farming, and traditional farming.

To understand the process when I was eleven or twelve I asked an uncle, who raised rabbits for food sale, if I could watch when it came time to slaughter the animals. He of course asked, “Are you sure?” But I wanted to understand.

I had seen the care with which he raised the rabbits. The family even kept one or two in the house as pets. He never found it an easy task to kill the food rabbits, but what I saw was done swiftly and with care. The animals did not suffer, nor did they feel any fear until possibly the last moment. Yet, it would be true to say that he could take the time to show that care because he was a boutique farmer.

Finally, we as humans often both project too little and too much of ourselves onto other animals. Some animals are capable of fearing death more than others. Some grieve the death of others of their kind more than others. Nevertheless, I do not believe that death in and of itself is cruel. It’s part of the process of life. We live fuller lives when we respect life and also reduce our fear of death. I wonder sometimes how frightened of death some politcal eaters may be. I could be wrong, but it feels that way.

Melanie April 6, 2011 at 4:29 pm

I became a vegan about 3 months ago, and I often find myself saying that I don’t want to be ‘one of those’ ‘vegans’. I try not to define myself with labels.

I don’t understand how anyone (from vegan to cannibal) could expect to change another person’s opinion through harsh and negative dialogue. I am not confrontational at all about my views, in fact I keep my ‘vegan’ status to myself most of the time, unless it comes up directly.

I can honestly say I’ve never asked the waiter/waitress more than a single question when dining out; If I’m unsure, I simply specify no cheese/dairy, etc. and skip an item altogether if necessary.

I can’t say I’m a huge fan of PETA either. They are at times radical and offensive, although I sympathize with their cause.

I also don’t ever tell myself I can’t have anything. This is mentally not acceptable, especially when trying to change long-standing habits. Human nature often and naturally wants to rebel, so not setting super-uber-strict limitations is part of my personal vegan philosophy.

And finally, with all due respect, saying “animals die anyways” (whether via plant harvest or being dinner for other animals) is as lame an excuse as any for opting out of a certain lifestyle.

I personally chose to go vegan after reading “The China Study” by T. Colin Campbell. This book was the final straw, but what I began to see before and after reading it, was that many views I held, were brought together into a single coherent picture via veganism, and this is why it works for me personally.

I don’t expect everyone to choose the same things I have chosen. The world would be a very boring place if we were all the same.

Peace :)

Lori June 8, 2011 at 4:30 pm

you’ve inspired me to to give this a whirl. My reasoning for vegan over vegetarian is to focus on veggies. I suppose I could try a raw food diet, that would certainly force more veggies into my life but that seems a little extreme for me. If i did vegetarian I would probably over do the dairy. So, I will attempt vegan but giving myself wiggle room with fish if I so choose. So far, two days in. I have cheated with cream in my coffee. I dont consider this a failure but a chance to see where I need an alternative. Like you, I am going to have to make sure I have food on hand and some good recipes. wish me luck!

David June 18, 2011 at 4:10 pm

Hope it’s still going good Lori. Yeah you learn as you go. There are vegan alternatives for everything, but you might not think of them until you need them. It’s nice that so many vegans have gone before us to pave the way with recipes and products. Have fun :)

Rhonda Straw July 21, 2011 at 6:59 pm

I had a bad experience with ice cream. I can’t have milk anyway, it usually makes me asthmatic, so the other day was the last straw. I work from home, I’m a nurse, but I audit charts from home. I lean vegetarian,and a soon as I started yoga last month, I have been vegetarian, though not telling everyone about it, whatsoever. I was vegetarian about a year ago, for 9 months, but went on HCG diet, and it requires animal products. The steak days I never could do, they grossed me out. I can’t do the HCG diet, and won’t.

So, the other night, I ate some ice cream, and 4 hours later, every joint hurt, I was sick. I was sick all day yesterday, and feel fine today, except for the migraine, which I took Excedrine. So, I’m going to take a trip to Trader Joe’s (lucky, one just opened within 20 minutes of here), and I’m stocking up on vegan items. I was very sick yesterday, and my family bought me a plain cheeseburger, and I ate it. That was to sustaining. I hate the word cheat in diets. If I mess up, so be it….When I went full vegetarian a year ago,I was mourning (for real), shrimp, cause I’d miss it. lol. It didn’t occur to me that I hardly ate it anyway. So, I learned to make mock crab cakes, and still like them.

Right now, the thought of dairy makes me ill, but I do have a liking for Mexican food, so I have to figure out how I can go to a Mexican restaurant and eat without cheese. Personally, I can’t imagine eating cheese. But I can’t imagine not going to a Mexican restaurant. But, this time around, my main inspiration are my yoga teachers. I really like this blog post, this, and the 30 day post you did.

Arianna December 26, 2011 at 9:17 am

It’s funny, i just decided that i should try a vegan diet for 30 days, after my friend told me that January is vegan month. I googled what do vegans eat etc. and i found your post. Well, the reasons you listed are EXACTLY the same reasons i’ve been using for years to justify my aversion for vegetarianism. But hey, i live in taiwan, there are tons of vegetarian restaurants here, I might as well try, I’m intrigued by the results of your experiment. Thank you for sharing it with us, it really motivates me now! :)

Tash February 5, 2012 at 5:59 pm

The reason some vegans/vegetarians are angry is because they feel responsible for the well being of all animals, not just the ones they themselves chose not to eat. Just how environmentalists can be angry because we, you know, share the environment. Just how women were angry when they weren’t allowed to vote. Just how slaves were angry when they didn’t have rights. When people stand up to an injustice that is embedded in the status quo and tradition, they tend to be angry. It’s all very well to live and let live, but when someone is not letting another being live, it’s our responsibility to step in and say something, if we do truly want to be keeping with the premise of ‘live and let live’. So please don’t let meat eaters tell you to be quiet or label you preachy, because animals don’t really care about your perceived social standing or potential embarrassment at a dinner party, they just want to live.

Essy November 18, 2012 at 10:51 am

I’m so glad I found this. I have recently decided to become vegan, pure and simply because I want to limit my part in anything that is either a result of an animal’s death, or in the case of dairy cows, will eventually contribute to their death and/or suffering. However, I absolutely can’t stand PETA’s ways of dealing with this. I was truly traumatised by some of their “informative” articles, and even my vegan/vegetarian food became hard to eat because I have a generalised anxiety disorder and I felt sickened all the time. At one point I had to say to myself “I cannot control the world and I cannot bleed myself out emotionally for every other living thing on Earth – including humans”…

Now, as I’m 33, already married, and have three children, I’m the only one who is now vegan, and so I have had to decide that for me, my husband eating meat is something I have to accept. I give my children a Lacto-ovo-vegetarian diet (I tried them with milk alternatives and they wouldn’t accept them but they don’t mind eating meat substitutes, so some is better than none)…

BUT! If I have to buy dairy, eggs, fish or meat, I try to get organic products which are certified by the Soil Association, who while they still “use” animals, make absolutely sure that animal welfare is as high quality as possible. Much like the average meat-eater who only eats free range eggs, this is a couple of steps further.

I feel that we’re lucky here in the UK, as we have a lot more legislation and products that help us to be vegetarian and vegan…

Also, I try to only buy cruelty free (no animal testing) products and ones that contain no, or as little as possible animal derived products (for instance gelatin is a no-no regardless, but lanolin can be acceptable to me, because I know the mulesing is illegal in the UK)…

I love the animal world but I also believe that it’s just wrong to cause people distress like the kind I suffered (albeit I’m an unusually sensitive person). I just try to educate people of the best level of animal welfare they can achieve given their beliefs about whether we truly need to eat meat/dairy/eggs. We all know really that someone has to die for the meat to be there, but I’m no longer under the illusion that the whole wide world is just going to stop eating meat.

Essy November 19, 2012 at 8:27 am

Incidentally, one of the reasons I am reasonably easy-going about meat-eaters, is that I do believe the fact that we have the teeth of Omnivores indicates some necessity for some Humans as a race to have eaten meat as well as non meat food sources. We may evolve not to have these kind of teeth, as we’re always inventing alternative goods, and as my teenaged son said, who first became a lacto-ovo (milk and dairy eating) vegetarian, and who prompted my veganism when I started to research foid options for him, it’s not about changing the whole world, it’s a personal choice, and we have the luxury of having really good food alternatives now (I personally REALLY love rice milk!) so why not be either veggie or vegan? :)

Essy October 9, 2013 at 1:51 pm

Oh bless. This was me a year ago, and some of what I have said is so naive… But, at least the learning journey has continued – I can now report 4 out of the 5 of us are vegan, and my non-vegan (I no longer think calling people “omnivore” is appropriate) hubby is eating more vegan food. There’s hope yet! LOL…

Josh Wapp January 20, 2013 at 1:06 am

Great blog. Glad I found you. You write well.

This article may be of interest to you:


Darrin January 23, 2013 at 5:28 am

First of all, I absolutely love your blog, I got here reading about Veganism, but have been enjoying so many articles here, and thought after reading every comment on this page I would first add my two cents here.

I have been vegetarian pretty much my whole life, by the time I was 14 I didn’t eat any meat, but yes cheese and dairy were part of my diet. I was pretty much happy with that for awhile, but I had a rare heart problem, and an operation because my cholesterol levels were still quite high. Especially Triglycerides (caused mainly by alcohol, and sugars in the blood), but also the LDL (Low density Lipoprotein) which truly upset me, and I had to give up alcohol to lower the TGL. My father has also a history of high cholesterol and he was also experimenting with finding a way to lower it. After reading several books, he decided to remove cheese and dairy from his diet, and voila! Problem solved. I decided I would do this as well as going from vegetarian to vegan seemed a pretty small step. I rarely eat eggs, don’t care for milk, but alas the bane of many who complained here, I love cheese! Well, after a week I began to drop the pounds, my belly started shrinking, I felt more boisterous, and my LDL levels are now the lowest they have ever been. Still struggling with the hereditary TGL a bit, but otherwise I had an absolutely normal healthy blood reading for the first time in years. I had been off dairy for 3 months, and then again 6 months to see these results improving. I don’t miss the cheese at all. I just eat more tofu which I have always loved. And yes I take B12 supplements. One thing I also suggest is reducing coffee intake as a Vegan. Tea or just water is better. There are Indian and Thai vegan currys. I also hate when people ask me “what do you eat?”. There is so much variety, I honestly think that people who just stick with steak, fries, and cheese are the ones who are missing out. You will always find pros and cons even from medical societies, and especially online. But the truth is milk and cheese does in fact raise LDL levels. Most meat, like breakfast salami is full of glucose syrup, and sugars for taste and preservation, so no one can say that the cavemen hunted for that! There are also strong healthy vegetarians, horses, and brontosaurus dinosaurs just to name a few examples. No one has to make an argument for or against your choice. If you feel healthy then you are right for yourself. I think the militancy comes from the “religious high” that many Vegans feel when they discover how musch energy they have, and they just want to spread the news. I had this feeling as well, but I just keep it to myself, and my friends accept that it’s good for me, so each to his own. I personally never liked the taste of meat, so it has always been easy for me. That’s why I don’t judge others who like it. All the best to you!

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Devorah July 29, 2013 at 10:59 pm

As a vegan, I am very unimpressed with his arguments. I have had every single one of those presented to me. I especially disagree with the “Vegans are angry” because we are! Would there be a movement if we weren’t? It is a sad state of affairs wheel all you can come up with is this. But, do as you may.

David July 30, 2013 at 6:41 am

Obviously you didn’t actually read the article.

Essy October 9, 2013 at 1:54 pm

The titles of each point state the arguments the author had with himself about why NOT to go vegan, but then he followed with explanations about why he realised that now those arguments were rubbish and he didn’t believe in them anymore. :)

kate October 28, 2013 at 8:18 pm

hold on…..in numero dos, you mention that we kill a lot of animals in that second paragraph….maybe that should have been reworded to read “slaughter houses kill a lot of animals…etc”. WE don’t. BUT…maybe if we had to go wring a chicken’s neck, or shoot some cute little fuzzy thing, skin it, and cut all the guts out, we’d think twice about our carnivorous cravings.
It’s convenient, packaged, free range (on how big a range, btw?) and we want it. Just like so many other convenient items….and yes, the bit about how the animals actually live before being done in, that’s the really horrible part. I enjoyed this writing of your. thanks

mynameishayomannaise January 14, 2014 at 9:40 am

i enjoy this projectionism you’ve got going on here.

doesn’t care, move on, find purpose in life other than stalking ‘non-animal consumers’. ha! here i am a raw vegetarian and i know that title is CRAP!

just being online is consuming a creature.

now, do something formidable like not waste bandwidth.


Kala January 17, 2014 at 9:40 pm

I know I’m super late on this (and at least according to the article at the end of the 30 day period, you are vegan/mostly vegan now anyway) BUT I am a huge non-fan of the “slippery slope” argument, and was disappointed to not see it refuted in the slightest.
The article mentions an “ethical” slippery slope several times (where does it end—stop eating animal products, might as well stop being angry, stop swearing, dispose of batteries differently, blahblahblah), and I’d like to mention that actually, there is no slippery slope here.
Non-vegans have ethics/morals, too. No one says “oh well if I don’t cheat on this test I might as well never curse and stop watching porn.” “Oh well if I donate to charity I’ll have to donate every year to many charities and never spend any money on myself and move to Africa and build a school.”

Starla Trotter February 4, 2014 at 6:08 pm

I am newly vegan. I started about two weeks ago. So far I am loving it. Everything you said is SO inspiring and makes so much sense! I am not a PETA supporter, nor do I want to be a militant, angry vegan. Everyone has to make their own lifestyle choices. I wish vegans didn’t have such a bad rap. It’s a beautiful, kind way to live and I hope I can stick with it as a beautiful, kind person. It is sometimes very hard not to get super passionate about the cause, especially when it IS emotional and my research really effects me and it’s new for me and I want to talk about it. But then I remember how resistant I used to be to the idea and I talk myself down from the urge to just go off about the horrors that occur. Reducing animal cruelty is the goal. I cannot eliminate it. I have to remind myself of this. Researching what animals actually go through is as depressing as it is motivating (I mean it keeps me focused on being vegan but I’ve shed a lot of tears) so I like to try and find stories of optimism and hope as well. I think more people would consider veganism if it wasn’t so traumatic to take a good hard look at the proBLEM because the proGRESS tends to get lost. Hope and positivity are key! I love what you’re doing! Just wanted to say thank you.

Carl Balley February 16, 2014 at 1:40 pm

We are what we eat and I, as a carnivore diner, wonder if the vegan human might not make the better meal if one were stranded on an island with both carnivore (like me) and vegan members of our species being the only source of food to be found- no edible plants, animals, fish or foul on this imaginary island. Seems that since I prefer herbivore animals on my plate to omni-or carnivore animals such as foxes or lions, that the vegan might be the better choice-now we are talking about an emergency situation, not something I am planning for the weekend.
I would be worried that my vegan meal might be missing B-12, D (if this island is not tropical) and possibly zinc (as a male this is most important to me). I suppose we could supplement with the odd carnivore human, but then there would be the problem of the vegan-carnivore percentage in the diet for these important nutritional elements.
So complex is the subject but one should always be prepared for life’s little unexpected possibilities.

Kelly March 2, 2014 at 2:38 pm

Sorry, but all I’m reading here is that you’re just lazy and trying to look for an excuse to fall back to your old habits. Whining about nonvegans their luxury problems, but yet not even once I read something about the feelings of the actual victims in this case who, unlike nonvegans, actually DO suffer for your laziness and luxury. It’s funny because the ones who always get angry and defensive by mentioning you’re vegan are meat eaters. So why don’t you complain about their anger, or better yet; their violence towards other life?

I have a hard time to believe that you actually tried, since you’re just using typical carnist exuses to keep eating meat like “eating plants does little harm, so I might as well support some extra harm as well” or the pathetic “lions eat meat too” excuse. There’s nothing natural about buying meat from an animal that’s been exploited its entire life from the store.

By reading this article another part of faith in humanity was lost.

David Cain March 2, 2014 at 3:11 pm

By reading this article another part of faith in humanity was lost.

That’s unfortunate, because clearly you just reacted to the headings and didn’t read the article. If you had, you’d know it is a pro-veganism piece.

You are the reason vegans are not well-liked.

Elaine April 11, 2014 at 7:08 pm

Please watch the documentary Earthlings, it is online, after you see this profound movie, or the movie, Specesim, you may understand more fully why vegans want to talk about this subject. It is a passionate one because once you know the horrors of this industry, you are awake, the veil has been lifted and you feel an obligation to share this knowledge. 97 million land animals a year are killed, living in horrific conditions, and this is not necessary. The movie Earthlings is the truth of it all, and it is very educational. It is necessary that we humans see what is happening, it is the elephant in the room.

Kelly April 21, 2014 at 10:21 am

I just want to point out that not all vegans hold the same standards; it’s been 9 years for me being vegan now, but I’d shoot a deer if I was handed a gun. Just beware of false dichotomies.
Great article, otherwise, though!

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Sarah April 26, 2014 at 5:33 pm

As a vegan, this blog post was very useful for me to read. Animal use has been strongly conditioned into our society and many vegans take the wrong approach when trying to promote a vegan lifestyle by being too acute with their message which defames the movement more than anything. People like Gary Yourofsky do the movement no favours and neither do what I like to call ‘straw vegans’ who talk about how much they ‘hate humans’.

Yes we do live in a world where animal use is the norm, however we can all change this and all changes have to start from somewhere. I think that education is key as is making vegan food and lifestyle choices more readily available as a mainstream option.

It sounds like peer pressure is a problem for you and it was for me and I was an on/off vegetarian for 10 years before I took the plunge and I decided to go vegan.

As for PETA, I appreciate their message and they have done some good things for animals (they are a big part of the reason why animal testing for cosmetics does not happen in the EU any longer), but they have done nothing to appeal to mainstream people. I don’t see them putting adverts here on UK television trying to get Joe Public to relate to veganism in a civil and polite way, which is something I would personally like to see, and would promote if I had the resources.

I think that using shock tactics can only work on some people. I have learn’t from experience that this doesn’t often work because animal use is very normalised and people are going to feel attacked and retreat rather than want to be a part of something if one jumps right into the deep end when trying to argue a point.

There is also a stereotype that people think of when they hear the word vegan. They think that only a certain type of person can be a vegan and that all vegans are ‘alternative hippies’ and this needs to be challenged as it alienates the movement and even turns it into a fashion statement in some circumstances.

People are not directly bad for using animals. Most people don’t even think about it and vegan activists need to challenge people into thinking about it. However, there is a right way to do this, and by coming across as angry is not the way to do it.

I think that veganism has been very alienated as a movement by the image that it upholds, and even though I’m just one of many, I feel like it’s my mission to challenge this.

You also bought up how veganism is too ‘perfect’. I understand how a person can feel that way, however, we mustn’t let that fear of perfection stop us from progressing as human beings. I think that we are civilised enough and have enough technology and understanding of the sciences to build a society completely focused on nonviolence, teamwork, compassion and cooperation. We do not need to eat animals for our nutrition, especially if we can eliminate poverty, which without denial and greed and this fear of truth many of us seem to have, we can achieve as well. A plant based diet is actually better for our personal health and it’s also better for the planet and better for our pockets. Fear of progress is holding us back.

I think that as a vegan you felt alienated and went back to what you felt was normal, which says a lot to me about how vegans need to promote the cause.

Twitch June 6, 2014 at 4:36 pm

I’m just going to point one thing out, about the whole “vegans are angry” thing. I’ve seen far more pissed off meat-eaters than vegans. It’s strange.. When I ate meat, I never had a problem with vegans, and they never really had a problem with me. Granted, I didn’t know very many vegans and I never openly tried to justify eating meat to one.. But regardless, most people don’t know very many vegans anyways since they’re such a minority, yet act like they’re such a nuisance. I go vegan, and suddenly everyone has a problem with me because I point out something horrible that is taking place because of their choices.. you know.. the truth. And the only reason I do it is because I care about the animals and want people to stop killing and torturing them. Yet, I’m labelled as this “angry, self-righteous, vegan” *sigh* I think we should get to the heart of the problem.

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Ilknur June 17, 2014 at 5:15 am

Hahaahaaa!! This list is like my excuse list. When I want to achieve a goal I am making a list to write my excuses stopping me to go to my goal. We are so creative with excuses right?
Thank you for this great list:)

Dave Moore March 3, 2011 at 9:33 pm

To tighten up this offering requires lots of time/space. It isn’t something to breeze through. That’s why books and ongoing conversations are so useful.

Duality only exist for those who want to pick winners and losers (judgment, check with Nietzsche on that one).

The projection of suffering on plants and animals that show no signs of sapience is the hinge so many are attached to. And so the dealing with this subject is emotionally surface.

No all fixed in one blog.

Dave Moore

David March 4, 2011 at 6:27 am

No, I don’t agree. Duality is a function of the normal way people perceive the world. It’s so conditioned it isn’t really a choice, and it is a rare human being who spends much of their time having transcended duality. By making an intellectual argument that there is no duality you could rationalize any violence or theft.

Sapience isn’t required for sentience, or for suffering. Animals are clearly sentient and clearly suffer.

Dave Moore March 4, 2011 at 12:45 pm

Having people hooked on picking winners and losers is a function of ego. If it is conditioned that proves the fact that it is of our making. It also points out that we can recondition ourselves to live a life of polarity. As for violence we can still identify it as less-desirable simply because it lacks love as we understand love regardless of the fact that the perpetrator deems the act the most desirable choice at the moment indicating their pursuit of self-love. Wacky, I know but it comes back to ego.

And you are correct sapience isn’t required for sentience but it is required for wisdom, as in knowing one is suffering. Sentience merely means they can feel it doesn’t even include cognizance, which you will know means the ability to be aware (to know). This is the best science and philosophy can offer and rejecting this we return to ego to pick winners and losers.

We suffer because we choose to.

All the best,
Dave Moore

Jen April 30, 2011 at 4:04 am

This is exactly why there are limits to what intellect can offer the Earth;
“You know the saying, “You are what you eat”? Energetically, we never stop being who we are we just evolve to become new forms of ourselves. Our evolution is due to newly acquired…what? Energy? Inspiration? Consciousness? Sure all those things. But where do those things come from? And where do they accumulate?

The animals we eat become part of us, we become a little of what we eat. And in that association the collective species’ consciousness “rises,’ in some small way. Just like the association of wearing pelts, and bones, and teeth. There is energy there which is shared to the benefit of all. One gaining a boost upward and one giving a little of their upward movement over to the other. It’s symbiotic and very natural. ”
If you’ve ever seen prey being hunted, it is extremely clear that they wouldn’t care much for giving energy to men. That an animal may choose self-sacrifice for it’s own kind is common. But that’s not what is at stake. I seriously think you need to fall out of love with your brain and simplify your understanding of the world.

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