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Now we get to the vegan part of Veganjohn.com   I have been vegan since 1991.

Vegans do not eat animal foods; including meat, fish, eggs, dairy, honey, and we do our best to be aware of animal ingredients in processed foods and other products like hair care stuff, household cleaners, drugs (milk and egg products are sometimes used to bind pills for instance)(and gelatin capsules are also avoided). Non-fat dry milk turns up in the weirdest places. You think bread. Flour, water, yeast . . . Must be safe, right? (yeast is not an animal). Not always. With a lot of comercial breads, not even often. Most of them have honey or non-fat dry milk or casien (a milk protein) or some other animal derived part of the recipe. When you become vegan, you are an avid label reader. I am.

For clothing and shoes, there are many plant fibers, as well as a host of synthetic materials, well beyond your grandmother's scratchy nylon jumper. I got a pair of black vinyl pants when I was in college, for times when I choose to try to look all sleek, shiny and sexy (without the leather pants). For shoes, I often wear sneakers, and usually I buy New Balence shoes, a company with many shoes made of all synthetic materials. You can find them here via Shoebuy. Shoebuy also charges no tax, has free shipping on all orders as well as a 110% best price policy. There are also a few online vegan shoes companies who only sell shoes you can be sure are vegan, like here: Veganstore.

The reason honey is not on the vegan list; with large scale honey production (99+% of honey in America) bees are treated as tiny honey making machines. Cheap and easily replaced. When they are working, their honey is often taken from them and replaced with a cheaper sucrose water. It's enough to get them out, searching for more pollen the next day. At the end of the summer, their honey is all taken away and they are left to starve and die, after working all summer making themsleves food. The honey companies can easily get new bees in the spring. A hive will also increase it's honey production when it gets a new Queen Bee, so large honey producers regularly squish the old Queen and replace her. There are loads of other reasons an ethical eater will avoid honey and other bee proucts. If you're curious, do a quick search on good ol' and find out more.

I am an animal - the same as every cow, chicken, pig, fish, horse, dog, sheep, and while none of them think about what they eat, I can and do, and I choose not to eat some things. There is way way way too much pain and suffering that goes into the production of animal foods, from what they must endure when they're being raised to how they're gotten to the killing pens to how they're murdered.

I am vegan for environmental reasons. The cost of raising animals to eat is monumental. Most people have no idea what goes into putting that nice, shrink wrapped package of hamburger into the meat case at the grocers. Half of all water used in the USA goes to Animal Agriculture in some way. Next time you hear about water shortages, think of that. Animal Agriculture also accounts for much of the water pollution in this country. All those billions upon billions of cows and pigs and chickens and sheep and other food animals have to shit somewhere. Their waste is certainly not processed in a sewerage plant as yours is. Then there are the millions of tons of dead body parts that never make it shrink wrapped to the grocers. Not everyone wants cow brain or pig liver for dinner. And all those bones. I think I have an idea where cat food companies get some of their 'real meat' ingredients. It's great that vegan cat food is made

I can see this could turn into a few pages of me sounding much more stern and unfun than I am. There are a lot of other environmental costs of rasing food animals, all the trees cleared, land dersertified, grounds impacted and made hard and cakey, as well as other ethical considerations, as well as the health aspects of eating and not eating an animal based diet. If you're burning with curiosity, do some searches on my favorite search engine There are so many very good reasons to be vegan, I am frankly amazed there are not a lot more of us. It's really not scary, all that hard, and it's better for your health and the environment.

Vegan.comA very good, basic vegan site.

peta veg PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) is a premier animal rights group and they rarely shy away from uncomfortable and unpopular subjects and actions. They make many people very angry. I have a lot of respect for the PETA people. It can't be easy, doing what they do.

vegsource Excellent site with lots of free information and news updates.

Vegan ActionAnother very good vege* site.

GoVeg Your source for great-tasting vegan and vegetarian recipes, information on all aspects of vegan and vegetarian living, news about PETA’s campaigns to stop factory farming, tips and free stuff to help you promote a vegetarian lifestyle.

VeganstoreExcellent quality and huge selection shoes, boots, belts, foods and much more. By Pangea.

If you're serious about being veg*, you know what a hassle it can be to meet a romantic interest who shares your ideals & lifestyle.
Check out Veggie Date if you like to see if there is a possible veg* suiter in your area! This mavelous site is how I met my husband Donn, so it DOES work!

Now we get to the food part of this place. I am vegan, and I love food. I love good food. I was a whole wheat organic carrot kind of guy years before I went vegan. I think I understand why people look at me somewhat quizically when they hear I am vegan. I am a healthy, strong, muscular well fed man. Not the skinny, pale stereotype I think many people have of vegetarians, and they even say "But, what do you EAT?" I could be a wise-ass and say "food" but that doesn't tell them anything really. Actually, I think I have said that in the past.

So I may go into all manner of vegan foods from the noble peanut butter & jelly sandwhich (on whole grain bread) to wholegrain pasta with any number of sauces and vegetables, nuts, seasoned, baked tofu or tempeh to hummus or baba ganoush or vegan shepard's pie and I love love love brown rice. It's very nice that beer is vegan too. Give me a yummy Newcastle Brown Ale anyday.

Here's a very nice commercial vegan food - Macaroni & Chreese. It's a vegan version of that old funky orange cheese Kraft Mac & Cheese stuff, and I think it's great! You can buy it at Wholefoods Markets, many Coop Stores (if they don't have it, request it) and you can also buy it online to get shipped to your front door. It's very good with some vegatables mixed in. Maybe some lightly cooked broccoli, braised spinach, and even easier a bag of mixed frozen vegetables

What makes mac & chreese work so well is nutritional yeast. This funky wonderful substance comes as a yellow, flaky powder, and I love the taste of it. Red Star nutritional yeast (most of the nutritional yeast sold IS Red Star. They make more nutritional yeast than anyone) has vitamin B12 added to it, so it's a good source for vegans, who don't get as much as folks who eat animal foods. Nutritional yeast is also fantastic on popcorn. Just crush some in a mortor & pestle with some garlic powder, salt and perhaps some cumin or tumeric or chili powder or curry. Be adventuresome and fanciful! A base of yeast, salt and garlic powder, crushed (nutritional yeast comes in flakes, which don't do such a fabulous job sticking to popcorn. You end up with a lot in the bottom of the bowl) and poured over the popcorn and you can kiss that smartfoods stuff goodbye. Nutritional yeast is 48% protein, and it is a 'complete' protein. It is also packed with minerals, from calcium, iron, zinc, copper to maganese, chromium and potassium.

I'll give a little plug for organic foods here. These are grown using no synthetic/petroleum based fertilizers, pesticides or other man-made chemicals. They are generally more nutritious than their "conventional" counterparts, taste better, do not beat on the Earth so harshly (conventional agriculture accounts for vast pollution, water use and land mismanagement across the globe) and organic agriculture tends to employ more people than conventional agriculture does. It takes more work, and the Land does not suffer so much for it.

I eat wholefoods as much as I can. This is wholegrains as opposed to white flour, brown rice over white rice, raw sugar over that bleached, white stuff. I rarely peel my potatoes, carrots, or other vegetables (using organic foods often makes this no problem at all) and I do not eat packaged, processed foods for the most part. Probably my biggest nutritonal "failing" is I consume a lot of clif bars, but these are vegan, very nutritious, made with wholefoods and they taste great. They're my little vegan candy bars with a vitamin pill mixed in. Along with 8 to 10 grams of protein. I have found they are cheapest at Trader Joe's stores. If you do not live near one of those, I feel for you. They have a lot of good stuff at decent prices.

Soups are also an easy thing to make that can be very filling as well as tasting wonderful. There is nothing much better than a hot bowl of soup on a cold autumn/winter day either. I prefer thicker, stew type soups to thin ones, generally speaking. The nice thing about making your own soup is you make is just as you like it. Too thick, add more water. Too thin and just cook it down or you can always toss in a bit of arrow root powder or corn starch, or if you use root vegetables they'll break down over time and thicken the soup. If you add rice or another grain (wheat berries, rye, barley etc) they'll also thicken soups up. You can also toss in a cup or 2 of quinoa. (smile) You pronounce this "keen-wa" as I understand it. This good food is called a grain, but it is actually the berry of a low growing shrub, not a grass, as true grains are. It originated in the Andes mountains in South America, eaten by the Inca peoples, all those years ago. Quinoa has a "complete" protein profile and is high in calcium and other minerals, as well as B vitamins. Watch out when cooking. Mix 1 part dry quinoa with 2 parts water, and it swells 3 or 4 times it's volume. A little goes a long way.
Soups can be easily made with a larger pot filled half full (or more) with water, and start adding ingredients. Root vegetables make a good base, say potatoes, yams, carrots, turnips. Adding a sauteed onion & garlic gives soups a nice taste. A half cup to a cup or cup & a half of nutritional yeast also give a soup a nice, creamy taste & texture. Toss in some cumin, tumeric and/or a little bit of asafetida. I enjoy indian spices. If you are not familiar with asafetida , it is an indian/middle eastern spice with a VERY strong taste. One of it's translations is "devil's dung". As with quinoa, a little goes a long way.