Why go vegan?
Veganism is a lifestyle choice which tries to exclude, wherever possible, the exploitation of animals. Vegans don’t eat animal flesh, or animal by-products, such as dairy and eggs. It also means staying away from wool and leather. Basically, anything that came from an animal, or was part of an animal’s body, is a no-go.
There are a variety of reasons to live a vegan lifestyle. For many, the reasons are ethical; not wanting to cause harm to sentient beings that are far more like us than most people realise. There are also environmental and health reasons to stay away from animal products. There are several interesting documentaries you can watch about the various benefits of veganism and I've made a handy list below of my favourites.
Recently veganism has been gaining popularity, with more people adopting the compassionate lifestyle. Many companies and organisations are looking to exclude animal products and create more cruelty free options for food and fashion, which is great!
See the resources below for more information on veganism, and shoot me an email if you have any other questions!
Forks Over Knives
This informative and fascinating documentary looks at the science behind the incredible healing properties of a plant-based diet. It’s packed full of interviews with world renowned experts (from doctors, scientists and nutritionists), information about complex systems in the body and how certain foods affect them. Although there’s a lot to take in, everything is explained in such simple and understandable terms. It’s one of my favourites and still leaves me feel motivated and inspired every time I watch it.
This documentary came from the same team as the more recent What The Health? It looks solely at the environmental damage caused by animal farming. An amalgamation of interviews, and easy to understand info-graphs and animations, it’s a sobering look at how damaging it is to farm animals.
What The Health?
In a similar style as Cowspiracy, What The Health? uses interviews and simple animations to show the devastating health consequences of eating animal flesh and how deceitful and deceptive the food industry is. It also gives a lot of solid guidance on how to eat a healthy plant-based diet.
This is a slightly older film from 2005, exploring the many ways humans exploit animals. Joaquin Phoenix narrates and has said it was the most important work of his career. I’ll be honest; it is not easy to watch, and I spent most of the film in tears. But I sincerely believe everyone should watch it, to truly understand the suffering and pain that using animals for entertainment, pets, and food causes.
Raising Vegan Children:
I recently stumbled across this extremely helpful nutrition guide for vegan infants and under-5s. It is immensely detailed and simple to follow, with information on the amount of minerals and vitamins infants need at different stages, recipes and meal plans, and lots of colourful photos of different servings ideas! A complete gem of a resource for vegan parents and COMPLETELY FREE! Yay!
Although it’ll be a few years before Willow can appreciate this, I’m so excited there’s a magazine like this available! Based in Australia, Vegan Kids Magazine is an illustrated magazine for kids. It’s released quaterly, and full of stories about vegan families and activism, recipes, activities and fun facts! It looks absolutely adorable and I can’t wait to get it for Willow when she’s older.
They also recently released the first episode of Vegan Kids TV, on Youtube, which is filmed in a talk-show style to discuss veganism with kids of varying ages. Definitely worth checking out, and perhaps would be more interesting for older vegan childs.
This website is primarily for older children, but does have a dedicated space for “little kids” and parents.
The main site has several categories; food, videos, quizzes, and save animals, to name a few. A healthy balance between health, compassion, and activism: it’s one I’ll introduce Willow to when she’s older.
The little kid's page is mostly full of animal themed arts and crafts, puzzles and matching games.
The parent’s page has seasonal craft ideas and recipes, tips for helping vegan kids through daunting social situations, and general recipes and unique ideas for meal times. There are also a lot of articles helping parents navigate the sometimes tricky business of raising vegan kids.
Nutritionfacts.org is a great website run by Michael Greger, M.D. FACLM. Each year, countless medical studies are conducted on the effect certain foods and substances have on our health. To save you the time (and headache) of scouring through studies to find the core message, he does it for you, and compiles everything he discovers on nutritionfacts.org. The result is an enormous library of articles, videos, and infographics covering every plant-based nutrition question, query, or concern you could ever have.
Apart from explain all the ways plant-based eating is the healthiest, he also explains why animal-based diets are unhealthy. Properly educating people about the true, scientifically proved effects a meat and dairy heavy diet has on our bodies is just as important as spreading the benefits of veganism. I highly recommend checking out the site! And Michael Greger’s book, How Not To Die and the accompanying cookbook!