Compassionate Living

Awareness and education are the keys to fighting suffering. I’m here to make a positive change in the world for birds and other animals. Please read the following with an open heart and mind. No one is asking for perfection, just a some effort.

(via Soycrates)
Veganism is a philosophy and a way of living. A vegan is someone who seeks to exclude, as far as is possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose.

What is a vegan?
This is different from someone who adopts a plant-based diet for health and fitness reasons, just like it would be different from someone who was allergic to animal products in food but used animal products and other methods of exploitation in their daily life, or someone who boycotted venues of animal captivity (zoos, circuses, etc.) but ate meat, dairy, and eggs.

Why do people go vegan?
Preventing cruelty to animals is the major reason people choose to go vegan, although veganism is often motivated by other ethical factors, such as environmental concerns and humanitarian reasons.

About 60 billion land animals and over a trillion marine animals are used and killed as commodities to satisfy human taste preferences, with millions more being killed or exploited for fashion, entertainment, and research. We breed animals into existence at such an alarming rate that it not only affects their health, but the health of our environment and the sustainability of our society and lifestyle. The agricultural industries which facilitate animal cruelty maintain the worst documented treatment to human workers compared to other methods of agriculture. 

In a world that is beginning to show real support for environmental, humanitarian, and animal rights issues, veganism is the logical next step.

Isn’t it enough to be vegetarian, or do meat-free mondays?
The suffering caused by the dairy and egg industry is possibly less well publicised than the plight of factory farmed animals. The production of dairy products necessitates the death of countless male calves that are of no use to the dairy farmer, as well as the premature death of cows slaughtered when their milk production decreases. Similarly, in the egg industry, even ‘ethical’ or ‘free range’ eggs involve the killing of the unnecessary male chicks when just a day old, often being thrown alive into a shredder. These industries also contribute to the environmental impact of animal products, and take up valuable land.

When we realize that we care about these issues, it makes more sense that we should change our behaviour in ways that reflect our values rather than to make symbolic or temporary changes. We want our actions to have noticeable effects on the world around us, and though we can say “every little action helps”, we know it’s better to take more actions than fewer, and bigger actions than smaller.

With animal exploitation leading the climate crisis, contributing to poor resource management, human rights violations and severe animal abuse, it’s easy to get motivated enough to make the leap into veganism.

From a dietary perspective, is veganism healthy?
The American Dietetic Association and Dietitians of Canada said in 2003 that properly planned plant-based diets were nutritionally adequate for all stages of life, including pregnancy and lactation; people avoiding meat and dairy products are reported to have lower death rates from ischemic heart disease, lower blood cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure, and fewer incidences of type 2 diabetes and prostate and colon cancers.

Protein (including all essential amino acids), iron, calcium, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamin b12 can all be found in plant-based food products. Many staples of the average vegan food pantry are nutritionally fortified. Check out this website for more info.

Being vegan and eating a plant-based diet doesn’t guarantee good health, since there is plenty of vegan junk food on the market. Just like in a non-vegan dietary lifestyle, it is up to you whether or not personal health is your top priority.

Is veganism hard or expensive
Some people claim veganism is unattainable because it is only for the middle-class or only for those with plenty of time on their hands. And while it takes a little time to research how and why one should go vegan, it can be a very inexpensive and rewarding lifestyle. If you’ve ever been told you can’t go vegan because of these reasons, there are plenty of resources out there to help you along the way and show you that veganism is accessible to a wide variety of people.

Where should I go to learn more about veganism?
Visit this FAQ on veganism or check out The Vegan Society (many of the statistics, definitions and explanations in this post are sourced from their website).

Common Excuses to Not Go Vegan Dismissed
For more info, please see the following resources:

  1. 269 Life
  2. The Vegan Society
  3. 10 Amazing Facts About Animal Sentience
  4. A Hen’s Relationship with her Eggs
  5. Chickens are Smart
  6. Animal Equality
  7. Compassion Over Killing
  8. Free From Harm
  9. Mercy For Animals
  10. Animal Emancipation
  11. Beyond Carnism
  12. Vegan Future Now
  13. Why I Am Vegan -
  14. National Animal Rights Day, Toronto, 2015 Photos by Jo-Anne McArthur
  15. Why Veganism?
  16. Vegan Street
  17. One Green Planet
  18. Vegan Outreach
  19. I Love Vegan
  20. Tribe of Heart
  21. Animal Visuals
  22. Factory Farm Coalition
  23. Howard Lyman the Mad Cowboy
  24. Farm Kind
  25. Food Empowerment Project
  26. Animal Liberation Victoria
  27. Responsible Policies for Animals
  28. Humane Myth
  29. Vegan FAQ |
  30. Answers to Your Questions | Vegan Sidekick 
  31. EVOLVE! Campaigns
  32. It's Not About Your Hurt Feelings by veggieprobs
Health & Nutrition
  1. TIME | The Triple Whopper Environmental Impact of Global Meat Production
  2. 5 Ways Being Vegan Saves The Planet
  3. Cowspiracy | THE FACTS
  4. Vegan Organic Network
  5. Graph | Veganism & Environment By The Numbers
  6. Scientific American | How Does Meat in the Diet Take an Environmental Toll?
  7. The consumption of animal products contributes to more than one-quarter of the water footprint of humanity
  8. More than 12,000 liters of water are used to produce 1 kilogram of beef while it’s only 850 liters per kilogram of wheat
  9. The leading source of deforestation is animal agriculture - up to 80% of all deforestation can be attributed to it
  10. The most prominent source of CO2 emissions - more than every type of transportation combined - is animal agriculture
  11. Dairy cattle, pigs, chickens and other farm animals play a huge role in severe land and water degradation
  12. It takes 16 lbs of grain to produce 1 lb of meat, with more than 70% of the grains and cereals grown in the U.S. going to feed animals
  13. Grass-fed, free-range beef is actually more damaging for the environment
  14. Over 85% of the world’s soybean crops are used for livestock rather than human consumption
  15. Giving up animal products is more environmentally efficient than basically any “eco-friendly” act you can think of
  16. Factory farms are destroying our air quality
  17. It takes about 14 calories of fossil-fuel energy to produce one calorie of milk protein on a conventional farm. By comparison, it takes about 0.26 calories of fossil fuel to make a calorie of organic soybeans.
  18. United Nations’ Advice
Getting Started
Farm Sanctuaries
    Social Media
    1. Pinterest | Animal Rights
    2. Tumblr | EthicalSoldierSailorVegan
    3. Tumblr | liberateanimals
    4. Tumblr | Garden of Vegan
    5. Tumblr | Soycrates
    6. Youtube | Veganmakeup
    7. Youtube | BeautyTalkWithCin
    8. Youtube | CrueltyFreeQTs
    9. Youtube | ilymorgannn
    10. Youtube | xoLoveLeti
    1. Herbivore Clothing
    2. Compassion Co.
    3. Arm The Animals
    4. BraveGentleMan
    5. MooShoes (visit the NYC storefront at 78 Orchard!)
    6. AlternativeOutfitters
    7. CompassionCoutureShop
    8. VeganChic
    9. VeganStore
    10. VeganEssentials
    11. VAUTE. Stylish and warm outerwear, dresses, shirts, and jewelry. Visit the flagship store in Brooklyn at 234 Grand Street (& Driggs)
    12. Love is Mighty. Gorgeous vegan shoes combining old-world textiles with modern designs
    13. Brave GentleMan. NYC-based all-vegan attire, shoes, accessories, and custom suits
    14. MATT & NAT. Design-centric, eco-friendly and vegan handbags and accessories
    15. Susan Nichole. Vegan handbags, wallets, and more
    16. Gunas. 100% cruelty-free eco-friendly bags
    17. OlsenHaus. Pure vegan boots, wedges, flats, and more
    18. Cri de Coeur. Ethical contemporary shoes, handbags, and jewelry
    19. Beyond Skin. Designer non-leather women’s shoes
    20. Pansy Maiden. Fashion-forward, cruelty-free bags and clutches
    21. Neuaura. Unique animal-free and eco-friendly footwear
    22. Melie Bianco. Stylish, luxurious, animal-friendly handbags at an affordable price
    23. NOAH. Italian vegan shoes, famous worldwide for quality and comfort
    24. Deux Lux. Women’s fashion handbags and accessories; glamorous, edgy, and ethical
    25. LeSportsac. Leading manufacturer of functional and chic handbags
    26. Cornelia Guest. Cruelty-free handbags
    27. Folli Follie. Fun, versatile, cruelty-free watches, accessories, and handbags (be sure to check out the Madison Ave. location at 56th and 57th!)
    28. John Bartlett. Be sure to check out the Ambassador Collection, which supports Farm Sanctuary
    29. Novacas. Animal-friendly, environmentally-friendly, and worker-friendly shoes for men and women
    30. Vegetarian Shoes. Featuring leather-free shoes, hiking boots, and belts
    31. NOHARM. Offering vegan shoes, boots, accessories, and clothing
    32. Mohop. Hand-made vegan shoes with interchangeable ribbons for thousands of styles
    33. Big Buddha. Eye-catching bags made from vegan “V-Leather”
    34. The Glamazon Guide to Conscious Living
    35. Fashion, food, and etiquette for the ethically handsome man