Neal Barnard, MD
President, Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM)
Vegan means you sleep better knowing your dinner didn't die screaming.
Vegan. It's the least we can do.
I couldn't get around the fact that eating animals meant causing enormous suffering and death just so I could satisfy a taste preference—it seemed like such a trivial reason. I just couldn't do it anymore. - Dale Lugenbehl
Read EVEN's exclusive interview with Dale and Sandy Here.
Vegan food: easy, cheap, fast, healthy, delicious. Don't let anyone tell you anything to the contrary. - Gary Francione, JD
Denise - Long-Term EVEN Member and Donor
I encourage everyone who is interested in veganism to jump in and do it. Don't wait for the "right time" as that time will never come. - Jo Stepaniak
Read EVEN's exclusive interview with Jo Here.
The fundamental idea of good is that it consists in preserving life, in favoring it, in wanting to bring it to its highest value, and evil consists in destroying life, doing it injury, hindering its development - Albert Schweitzer (1875 - 1965) - German theologian, physician, philosopher and medical missionary
Cowardice asks the question, 'Is it safe?'
Expediency asks the question, 'Is it politic?'
Vanity asks the question, 'Is it popular?'
But conscience asks the question,
'Is it right?'
And there comes a point when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but one must take it because one's conscience tells one that it is right. -Martin Luther King, Jr.
...feeling stronger, fitter, healthier and more productive...I ride longer distances on my bike, can do more pull-ups than ever...My health and strength make me a better performer and all that combined gives me more confidence to go out in the world and shine my light....- Jason Mraz, singer-songwriter, on going vegan.
Habit is often simply the easiest way to be wrong again. - Laurence J. Peter (1919 - 1990), educator, management theorist, author, The Peter Principle
"I would not eat if no one kills the animal," said the meat eater.
"I would not kill if no one eats the animal," said the butcher.
Nothing's changed my life more. I feel better about myself as a person, being conscious and responsible for my actions and I lost weight and my skin cleared up and I got bright eyes and I just became stronger and healthier and happier. Can't think of anything better in the world to be but be vegan. - Alicia Silverstone
Teaching a child not to step on a caterpillar is as valuable to the child as it is to the caterpillar. - Bradley Miller
My perspective of veganism was most affected by learning that the veal calf is a by-product of dairying, and that in essence there is a slice of veal in every glass of what I had thought was an innocuous white liquid---milk. - Rynn Berry
We don't need to eat anyone who would run, swim, or fly away if he could. - James Cromwell (1940 - )
I love to cook. Very healthy eating. I don't eat meat, fish, or eggs. Nothing that had to die... I think there's something odd about eating another living anything. - Shania Twain
A true 'vegan' lifestyle is not hard because it is a lifestyle that is in line with a belief system, and an understanding of real issues and how our behavior impacts those issues. - Robert Cheeke, Read EVEN's exclusive interview with Robert HERE.
Chickens killed for their flesh in the US are bred and drugged to grow so quickly that their hearts, lungs, and limbs often can't keep up. - United Poultry Concerns
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I personally chose to go vegan because I educated myself on factory farming and cruelty to animals, and I suddenly realized that what was on my plate were living things, with feelings. And I just couldn't disconnect myself from it any longer. - Ellen DeGeneres, Emmy Award-Winning TV Show Host, Comedienne, Vegan
I went on essentially a plant-based diet. I live on beans, legumes, vegetables, fruits... It changed my whole metabolism and I lost 24 pounds, and I got back to basically what I weighed in high school. - Bill Clinton, 42nd US President
Meat kills, especially the animal who is killed for the meat. That's why we like to say, "Peace begins on your plate." So all of you out there who say you're peaceful and you want world peace, start it right on your plate. - Jane Velez-Mitchell, CNN TV Journalist
...it's a dream of a world without all this human-imposed suffering. People can call it sentimental, but it's just that basic thing—it's not nice to see some body or being that is in pain, and people have that gut reaction. They want to ignore it because they like the taste of their burger, or their chicken, but most people do have empathy. I think that's what scares them so much. - Nellie McKay, singer-songwriter
I've found that eating vegan the last five or six months has really given me energy, I feel good and I look fabulous. - Ted Danson, Actor, Environmentalist and Author of Oceana: Our Endangerd Oceans and What We Can Do to Save Them
You don't change the world by hiding in the woods, wearing a hair shirt, or buying indulgences in the form of save the earth bumper stickers. You do it by articulating a vision for the future and pursuing it with all the ingenuity humanity can muster. - The Next Green Revolution
People are the only animals that drink the milk of the mother of another species. All other animals stop drinking milk altogether after weaning. It is unnatural for a dog to nurse from a giraffe; a child drinking the milk of a mother cow is just as strange. - Michael Klaper, M.D.
Killing is never right. - Supreme Master Ching Hai, World-Renowned Humanitarian, Artist, Spiritual Teacher
I'm in better condition [after going vegan]. My endurance has gone up, and I haven't gotten tired at all during the whole season. - Atlanta Hawks guard, Salim Stoudamire
Our food choices have far greater ramifications than most of us realize, especially for spiritual and psychological health, peace and social justice. Inquiring deeply into food brings us to the hidden core of our culture and beyond: to a path of immense and inviting social transformation and personal healing. By understanding and transcending the "military-industrial-meat-medical-pharmaceutical complex" we can awaken vibrant natural health and our inherent capacity for compassion and wisdom.
- Dr. Will Tuttle, The World Peace Diet
© Boston Veg Association
People everywhere are making choices more connected with their values. We are simplifying our lives, buying less and living more because we know that the Earth provides enough to satisfy everyone's need, but not everyone's greed.
But there is one connected choice that sometimes gets overlooked. It's one of the most far-reaching personal, practical and ethical choices you can make. With this choice we can help >>MORE
Vegan from the Inside survey. The findings show vegans are healthy, energetic, and happy. Hopefully this will get some non-vegans to realize a diet change really is not that difficult and is easily within reach.
When someone asks us, "How do I go veg?" it is probably the most exciting question we ever hear. To us it signifies an interested newcomer is open to making a change---a change that will improve her/his life...and the world!
Natural, vegan foods, like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds, are nutritional powerhouses! They provide countless benefits----to us, for our own health, energy and vitality---and, quite amazingly enough, to the entire world around us. No one or thing on this planet exists independently of the others, and to think otherwise would lead to the rudest of awakenings. Sometimes too late.
When one pursues the value of a plant-based diet, we find so many issues interconnected. Respect for all life, compassion for the animals, living sustainably, creating and maintaining environmental health, global peace, personal peace, easing of world hunger, spiritual awakening... And it becomes easier to see how all life truly is interconnected. There is a value for everyone and everything in a vegan diet. A plant-based diet is a Win-Win-Win. For you and me, for the planet, and for all the non-human animals with whom we share the Earth.
Wonderful and numerous books, articles and websites have been written on the benefits of going veg. This website will refer you to some that emphasize Why going veg is such a powerful choice. In this Going Veg section, we also will be referring you to How to Go Veg.
These Why and How questions are also linked. Typically, those who inquire into the Why, ultimately end up asking How, as soon as they realize how powerful their daily food choices are. And those that dive right into the How, eventually learn many more whys and wherefores than they originally thought existed!
If any of the issues interest you, set out on a wondrous journey in awareness. You are guaranteed a life-changing experience many times over.
From those of us who share the Earth with you, thank you.
Louisa May Alcott, Susan B. Anthony, Clara Barton, Wiliam Blake, Charlotte Bronte, Leonardo da Vinci, Charles Darwin, Isadora Duncan, Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Epicurus, Henry Ford, Benjamin Franklin, Mohandas Gandhi, Sylvester Graham, John Harvey Kellogg, Jiddu Krishnamurti, Lord Byron, Mahavira, Sir Isaac Newton, Ovid, Rosa Parks, Plato, Plutarch, Pythagoras, Rainer Maria Rilke, Rousseau, St. Francis of Assisi, Albert Schweitzer, Seneca, George Bernard Shaw, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Upton Sinclair, Isaac Bashevis Singer, Socrates, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Rabindranath Tagore, Nikola Tesla, Henry David Thoreau, Leo Tolstoy, Mark Twain, Vincent van Gogh, Voltaire, and H. G. Wells are just a few of the famous vegetarians throughout history.
Some modern day vegetarians include: Bryan Adams, Andre 3000, Christina Applegate, Casey Affleck, Viswanathan Anand, Ed Asner, Fiona Apple, India Arie, Erykah Badu, Alec Baldwin, Bob Barker, Brigitte Bardot, Kim Basinger, Ed Begley Jr., Kristen Bell, Jessica Biel, Michael Bolton, Brandy, Pierce Brosnan, Lauren Bush, Dan Castellaneta, Jackie Chan, Tracy Chapman, John Cleese, James Cromwell, Ellen Degeneres, Portia de Rossi, Doris Day, Emily Deschanel, Dre, Kevin Eubanks, Jorja Fox, Michael Franti, Peter Gabriel, Jane Goodall, Dick Gregory, Thich Nhat Hahn, Daryl Hannah, Woody Harrelson, Anne Hathaway, Dustin Hoffman, Bryce Dallas Howard, Chrissie Hynde, Samuel L. Jackson, Joan Jett, Ashley Judd, Scott Jurek, Coretta Scott King, Jay Kordich, Lenny Kravitz, Dennis Kucinich, k. d. lang, Alison Lohman, Tobey Maguire, Paul McCartney, Alyssa Milano, moby, Martina Navratilova, Kevin Nealon, Sinead O'Connor, Alexandra Paul, Pink, Dan Piraro, Natalie Portman, Prince, Raffi, Robert Redford, Sade, Alicia Silverstone, Grace Slick, Shania Twain, Liv Tyler, Carrie Underwood, Bill Walton, Vanessa Williams, Dennis Weaver, and Dwight Yoakum. Just to name a few!
For a terrific website to learn of many more famous veg folks, go here:
"A man of my spiritual intensity does not eat corpses." - George Bernard Shaw, quoted in Hesketh Pearson, Bernard Shaw: His Life and Personality, believed vegetarians had radically different experiences from meat-eaters: "The odd thing about being a vegetarian is, not that the things that happen to other people don't happen to me---they all do---but that they happen differently: pain is different, pleasure different, fever different, cold different, even love different." (Columbia Dictionary of Quotations)
A PHILOSOPHY OF VEGAN VALUES
by Stanley Sapon, PhD
The term philosophy is often used to mean a set of basic values and attitudes toward life, nature and society. In this sense, Veganism is a "Philosophy of Life," guided by what I envision as an essential core of values and principles:
- Vegans see life as a phenomenon to be treasured, revered and respected. We do not see animals as either "The Enemy" to be subdued, or the Materials for Food, Fabric or Fun that were put on Earth for human use.
- Vegans see themselves as a part of the natural world, rather than its owners or its masters.
- Veganism recognizes no expendable or superfluous species that humans are free to hurt or destroy. Species of life-forms need not justify their existence, nor plead for protection from extinction on the grounds of their potential usefulness as food or medicine for humans. We continue to be burdened and misguided by adages such as "A weed is a plant we have not yet found a use for."
- Veganism acknowledges the intrinsic legitimacy of all life. It rejects any hierarchy of acceptable suffering among sentient creatures. It is no more acceptable to torment or kill creatures with "primitive nervous systems" than those with "highly developed nervous systems." The value of life to its possessor is the same, whether it be the life of a clam, a crayfish, a carp, a cow, a chicken, or a child.
- Veganism understands that gentleness cannot be a product of violence, harmony cannot be a product of strife, and peace cannot be a product of contention and conflict.
- Vegan ideals encompass much more than advocacy of a diet free of animal products, or a fervent defense of animal rights. Veganism excludes no sentient being---animal or human---from its commitment to compassionate, gentle benevolence. To show tender regard for the suffering of animals, yet treat humans with callous contempt, is a disheartening contradiction of Vegan principles.
- John Muir, talking about the natural environment, once observed "Every time I bend down to pick something up, I find it is connected to something else." There is an equivalent "ecology" to our behavior. Everything we do connects to something else; every action touches on the world around us, either close at hand and noticeable, or far away and unperceived, immediate in its effect or distant in time.
- If Veganism has a prime value, it is simply that life-respecting compassion overrides individual issues of custom, convenience, comfort or cuisine.
- If there is a single article of faith, it is that commitment to Vegan values will bring us closer to a world in which the fate and fortune of a planet and all its life forms do not hang on the judgment or the generosity of one species.
- If there is one single concept that both generates and sustains the meaning and the power of the Vegan worldview, it is found in the word mindfulness. As Vegans, we strive to be thoughtful, aware and concerned about the impact of our choices, our actions and our decisions. The fruit of this awareness is inner peace, the quiet strength of ethical confidence, and an uplifting sense of fulfillment.
Reprinted with permission of Dr. Stanley Sapon
Stanley M, Sapon, Ph.D. is Professor Emeritus of Psycholinguistics at the University of Rochester (N.Y.), where he was Director of the Verbal Behavior Laboratory and the Child Language Development Center. Since earning his Doctorate at Columbia University in 1949, he has taught at universities in this country and abroad, and carried out extensive research in learning at Harvard University and the University of California Los Angeles. He was Director of Research in Verbal Behavior at the Britannica Center for Studies in Learning in Palo Alto, California.
Dr. Sapon has been an active proponent of a vegan lifestyle for 28 years, and his extensive writings have earned him respect as a vegan philosopher. In 1989, he and his wife Rhoda founded the Rochester Area Vegetarian Society. As dedicated hunger activists, they established, and continue to direct, the Maimonides Project- a grassroots hunger action organization. They have both served as members of the Board of Trustees of the North American Vegetarian Society.