The Most Inspiring & Delightful Vegan Related Quotes

Fancy some bite-size motivation from the past? Some nuggets of wisdom to reinforce your resolve and keep you on the plant-based path?

Do you need something you can hold on to and pull to the forefront of your mind those times when you are reminded that – although interest in veganism is growing exponentially year upon year and will only ever continue to do so – there are still a lot of uninformed individuals spouting crap and reinforcing ancient myths, and that this is gonna take a long time to disappear?

Here’s a little something to remember. Being vegan, or making the move to be so, means that you are in most eminent company.

From Einstein, Leonardo Da Vinci and Pythagoras, to Tolstoy and Mark Twain; a holy boatload of philosophers, writers, poets and artists – and even a polymath or three – have had words of wisdom to share on diet, health, and how we view non-human animals.

I do wish there were some quotes by women. I DID find some quotes by women but I had no idea who they were, and seeing as I’ve used quotes by VERY accomplished and well-known male figures, I didn’t want the unheard of women to seem like token female voices. We have to remember that women have traditionally had NO voice, and that their voices still don’t have the profile that men’s do. There were no doubt loads of female veggies – they probably just didn’t make a song and dance about it! 🙂

In short, a lot of bloody cool people have said a lot of bloody cool stuff about a plant-based diet. It’s good to know that these people came before us, and had the same thoughts we did about the ethical, sustainability and health issues surrounding food choices.

They would surely have been regarded as odd by many, especially as in many societies through the ages, meat and animal products have been considered indulgent luxuries, and so anyone deliberately abstaining from them would have been perceived as strange.

Thank goodness they had the courage to speak the truth!

I’ve verified from reliable sources the origin of each quote. Unfortunately some of the most well-known veggie quotes cannot actually be traced to the supposed speaker.

You may have come across some of these quotes before, but I thought I’d assemble lots of my favourites into one place for you, for maximum motivational effect.

Some are a bit long, admittedly, but there was such good stuff in them, I couldn’t bear to edit them down!


As long as man continues to be the ruthless destroyer of lower living beings he will never know health or peace. For as long as men massacre animals, they will kill each other. Indeed, he who sows the seed of murder and pain cannot reap joy and love ~ Pythagoras (Greek polymath, c. 570-c. 495BC)

But for the sake of some little mouthful of flesh we deprive a soul of the sun and light, and of that proportion of life and time it had been born into the world to enjoy ~ Plutarch (Greek historian, c. AD46- AD120)

King of the animals–– as thou hast described him–– I should rather say king of the beasts, thou being the greatest––because thou doest only help them, in order that they give thee their children for the benefit of the gullet, of which thou hast attempted to make a sepulchre for all animals; and I would say still more, if I were allowed to speak the entire truth…now does not nature produce enough simple (vegetarian) food for thee to satisfy thyself? ~ Leonardo Da Vinci (Italian polymath, 1452-1519)

It is true that the reluctance to abstain from animal food, in those who have been long accustomed to its stimulus, is so great in some persons of weak minds, as to be scarcely overcome; but this is far from bringing any argument in its favour ~ Percy Bysshe Shelley (English romantic poet, 1792-1822)

There is no disease, bodily or mental, which adoption of vegetable diet and pure water has not infallibly mitigated, wherever the experiment has been fairly tried. Debility is gradually converted into strength, disease into healthfulness: madness, in all its hideous variety, from the ravings of the fettered maniac, to the unaccountable irrationalities of ill-temper, that make a hell of domestic life, into a calm and considerable evenness of temper, that alone might offer a certain pledge of the future moral reformation of society. On a natural system of diet, old age would be our last and our only malady ~ Percy Bysshe Shelley

It is found easier, by the short-sighted victims of disease, to palliate their torments by medicine, than to prevent them by regimen ~ Percy Bysshe Shelley

The most fertile districts of the habitable globe are now actually cultivated by men for animals, at a delay and waste of aliment absolutely incapable of calculation ~ Percy Bysshe Shelley

NB: Yes, I like Shelley. Can you even believe that Shelley already knew that livestock farming was a completely wasteful and unsustainable way to produce food? What a dude!


Until he extends the circle of his compassion to all living things, man will not himself find peace ~ Albert Schweitzer (French/German theologian, organist, philosopher, physician and missionary, 1875-1965)

Civilization can only revive when there shall come into being in a number of individuals a new tone of mind independent of the one prevalent among the crowd and in opposition to it, a tone of mind which will gradually win influence over the collective one, and in the end determine its character. It is only an ethical movement which can rescue us from the slough of barbarism, and the ethical comes into existence only in individuals ~ Albert Schweitzer

Very little of the great cruelty shown by men can really be attributed to cruel instinct. Most of it comes from thoughtlessness or inherited habit. The roots of cruelty, therefore, are not so much strong as widespread. But the time must come when inhumanity protected by custom and thoughtlessness will succumb before humanity championed by thought. Let us work that this time may come ~ Albert Schweitzer

The thinking man must oppose all cruel customs no matter how deeply rooted in tradition and surrounded by a halo. When we have a choice, we must avoid bringing torment and injury into the life of another, even the lowliest creature; to do so is to renounce our manhood and shoulder a guilt which nothing justifies ~ Albert Schweitzer

Man can hardly even recognize the devils of his own creation ~ Albert Schweitzer

A man can live and be healthy without killing animals for food; therefore, if he eats meat, he participates in taking animal life merely for the sake of his appetite. And to act so is immoral ~ Leo Tolstoy (Russian writer and philosopher, 1828-1910)

The wrongfulness, the immorality of eating animal food has been recognized by all mankind during all the conscious life of humanity. Why, then have people generally not come to acknowledge this law? The answer is that the moral progress of humanity is always slow; but that the sign of true, not casual Progress, is in uninterruptedness and its continual acceleration. And one cannot doubt that vegetarianism has been progressing in this manner ~ Leo Tolstoy

People often say that humans have always eaten animals, as if this is a justification for continuing to the practice. According to this logic, we should not try to prevent people from murdering other people, since this has also been done since the earliest of times ~ Isaac Bashevis Singer (Polish/American writer, Nobel prize winner, 1902-1991)

As long as people will shed the blood of innocent creatures there can be no peace, no liberty, no harmony between people. Slaughter and justice cannot dwell together ~ Isaac Bashevis Singer

Society does not want individuals that are alert, keen, revolutionary, because such individuals will not fit into the established social pattern and they may break it up. That is why society seeks to hold your mind in its pattern and why your so called education encourages you to imitate, to follow, to conform” ~ Jiddu Krishnamurti (Indian writer, speaker, philosopher, 1895-1986)

The worst sin toward our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them: that’s the essence of inhumanity ~ George Bernard Shaw (Irish playwright, 1856-1950)

(On being asked why he was vegetarian) Oh, come! That boot is on the other leg. Why should you call me to account for eating decently? If I battened on the scorched corpses of animals, you might well ask me why I did that ~ George Bernard Shaw

A dinner!
How horrible!
I am to be made the pretext for killing all those wretched animals and birds, and fish! Thank you for nothing.
Now if it were to be a fast instead of a feast; say a solemn three days’ abstention from corpses in my honour, I could at least pretend to believe that it was disinterested.
Blood sacrifices are not in my line ~ George Bernard Shaw

I was told that my diet was so poor that I could not repair the bones that were broken and operated on. So I have just had an Xradiograph taken; and lo! perfectly mended solid bone so beautifully white that I have left instructions that, if I die, a glove stretcher is to be made of me and sent to you as a souvenir ~ George Bernard Shaw

(In response to author Archibald Henderson asking him how he looked so youthful) I don’t. I look my age; and I am my age. It is the other people who look older than they are. What can you expect from people who eat corpses and drink spirits? ~ George Bernard Shaw

When a man of normal habits is ill, everyone hastens to assure him that he is going to recover. When a vegetarian is ill (which fortunately very seldom happens), everyone assures him that he is going to die, and that they told him so, and that it serves him right. They implore him to take at least a little gravy, so as to give himself a chance of lasting out the night ~ George Bernard Shaw

We consume the carcasses of creatures of like appetites, passions and organs with our own, and fill the slaughterhouses daily with screams of pain and fear ~ Robert Louis Stevenson (novelist and poet, 1850-1894)

Nothing more strongly arouses our disgust than cannibalism, yet we make the same impression on Buddhists and vegetarians, for we feed on babies, though not our own ~ Robert Louis Stevenson

One farmer says to me, ‘You cannot live on vegetable food solely, for it furnishes nothing to make the bones with;’ and so he religiously devotes a part of his day to supplying himself with the raw material of bones; walking all the while he talks behind his oxen, which, with vegetable-made bones, jerk him and his lumbering plow along in spite of every obstacle ~ Henry David Thoreau (American polymath, 1817-1862)

Non-violence leads to the highest ethics, which is the goal of all evolution. Until we stop harming all other living beings, we are still savages ~ Thomas Edison (American inventor, 1847-1931)

It is my view that the vegetarian manner of living, by its purely physical effect on the human temperament, would most beneficially influence the lot of mankind
~ Albert Einstein (German physicist and philosopher of science, 1879–1955)

So I am living without fats, without meat, without fish, but am feeling quite well this way. It always seems to me that man was not born to be a carnivore ~ Albert Einstein

You have just dined, and however scrupulously the slaughterhouse is concealed in the graceful distance of miles, there is complicity
Ralph Waldo Emerson (American essayist, poet, Transcendentalist, 1803-1882)

Gosh, I think I’m gonna have to do a Part Two!


The Most Important Movie Ever Made? Please Watch ‘Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret’

I don’t know how to persuade you to watch this movie.

If the title is putting you off, I’m not a fan of it either – it sounds a bit ‘tin foil hat brigade,’ or ‘woo woo.’

I can assure you the film is neither of these things.

Kip Anderson, the film maker/narrator, is searching for answers on why, when UN and FAO research points to livestock agriculture being the prime cause of climate change (in fact you find out during the film that livestock agriculture is the biggest culprit in ALL forms of environmental degradation), the major environmental charities – Greenpeace, Rainforest Action Network, Amazon Watch etc., aren’t even talking about this issue.

What he discovers is shocking. I knew a lot of this info before, but it’s sobering having it all in one place, and being validated by so many eminent people like Dr Richard Oppenlander, and ‘Mad Cowboy’ Howard Lyman.

The movie is easy to watch; it’s pretty, there’s no ‘over-the-head’ science and everything is explained in a highly accessible way with fun infographics to keep you engaged. Kip is softly spoken, calm, measured and highly likeable.

I heard of this film a while back before it was made, when Kip was looking for online crowd-funding. I thought it looked interesting and even posted links to Twitter and Facebook (but wasn’t in a position to donate myself at the time).

You learn the reason why Kip had to end up getting the film crowd funded (Spoiler Alert: A major backer pulled out due to fear of reprisals from the meat industry).

At the end of the film Kip is clearly endorsed by the Bill Gates and Biz Stone (co-founder of Twitter) backed company, Beyond Meat, who make meat alternatives. You know these guys are incredibly business-savvy (understatement!) and would not have anything to do with this movie if the information in it wasn’t proven and credible. And what an advertising opportunity for them too – who can blame them?

You know those dumb pictures and quotes about children that people post on Facebook saying ‘…Share (this) if you love your children/grandchildren’?

These things are way obnoxious any way you look at it; suggesting as they do that if you DON’T share the stupid thing you obviously don’t love your children or grandchildren.

Well, maybe it would be more intelligent and fruitful if we shared THIS FILM if we love our children and grandchildren. After all, they will inherit this planet, and I shudder to think what will be left if we don’t spread the word, educate ourselves and act against this.

Best thing you can do immediately? Do like Kip did at the end of the film – go vegan!


The Paleo Diet. SIIIGGHHH. Alright, Let’s ‘Ave It.

Dinosaurs and Cavemen from Flickr via Wylio
© 2010 Orin Zebest, Flickr | CC-BY | via Wylio

‘…but I am a great eater of beef, and I believe that does harm to my wit.’ 

-William Shakespeare (via Sir Andrew Aguecheek, Twelfth Night)


I’ve mocked the referred to the Paleo diet in a couple of previous posts, so I thought I should probably just devote an entire post to it already and be done!

Just in case you don’t know (but I’m sure you do,), the Paleo diet – which has now been around for a few years – is the latest in a long line (Atkins, Zone, South Beach) of low-carb, high-animal protein diets; yet this time the premise is that it’s good to eat like Paleolithic peoples, who were hunter gatherers that ate lots and lots of meat, fish, some nuts and seeds, and some non-carby, watery veg and fruit. According to the inventors of the diet, they ate no grains, beans or legumes either. The benefits of eating this way, supposedly, are increased health and easy weight maintenance.

The only silver lining is that it also prescribes eliminating dairy and processed foods.

These guys (1, 2, 3,) have made all the scientific points against Paleo in much greater detail than I have space for, so if you are seriously considering trying Paleo, or just need info to convince a friend or loved one NOT to try it, please, PLEASE take time and go click one of these links.

But, in a nutshell (ok, a bloody HUGE nutshell), these are the reasons why eating like Captain Caveman (I adored him, by the way!) does not make sense:


  • There is NO EVIDENCE that Paleothithic people ate this way!!!
  •  This diet is heavy on the meat. All meat contains cholesterol and saturated fat, which contribute greatly to heart disease. See this study; published in the British Medical Journal in 2012, that concludes that low-carb, high-protein diets (such as Paleo) are associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease. As we know,, there is also overwhelming scientific evidence that meat consumption puts you at risk for lots of other chronic diseases, including type 2 diabetes, cancer, strokes and Alzheimer’s disease. Some people initially feel great on a Paleo diet because it excludes dairy, refined starches and processed food. This does not mean a Paleo diet is good. It means the person’s previous diet was extra crappy. In the long term, to consume meat, and at the levels prescribed by the Paleo diet, as mentioned above can be seriously detrimental to health.
  •  It is way too resource intensive. If everyone ate meat like cave people supposedly did according to the creators of the Paleo diet books, there wouldn’t be enough land on the planet to accommodate this. And the more meat you eat, the more you are contributing to all forms of environmental damage, including climate change, topsoil loss, air and water pollution.
  • No beans and no whole grains? Are you kidding? Beans are full of necessary fibre, and are a good source of protein and iron. They lower cholesterol and help eliminate excess hormones. Whole grains provide us with the perfect fuel. They also contain fibre, vital vitamins and minerals, and help the body secrete waste and metabolise protein. To miss out on these two incredible food groups is utter crazypantedness (the correct medical term).
  • You are probably a caring, compassionate person who would like to live in alignment with your values of not participating in or contributing to cruel practises. Some Paleo types hunt animals, believing they are emulating their Paleolithic ancestors. Hunting when there is no need nutrient-wise for us to do so IS unnecessary and cruel. But even if they don’t hunt – the amount of meat they eat? Well that’s just a whole lot of needless slaughter.
  • The Paleos that hunt feel this is a more authentic, primal way of eating. However, after hunting, they probably go back to their air-conditioned or heated house, put the meat in the fridge, check their social media accounts, and watch Top Gear or some dudely sport on the TV (yes, I’m stereotyping. Totally wrong but I can’t resist it). Anyway, my point is; waaaay to be selective with all the primalness and authenticity.
  • Paleolithic peoples probably did lots of other stuff too. Why would you pick ONE thing you THINK they did (except they didn’t), and use it as a gold standard in one area of your life?
  • EVEN IF it were found to be true that Paleolithic peoples had eaten a shit tonne of meat – why are we looking at the past? We know now that we don’t need meat to thrive and that in fact it’s extremely problematic for our health, the environment, and all beings. Shouldn’t we be aiming to PROgress, not REgress?

It’s pretty easy to see why Paleo caught on. In the face of rising awareness of vegetarian and veganism, when meat consumption in the ‘west’ has significantly dropped as we become aware of the health and environmental harm it causes; this diet validates and justifies the continued consumption of meat. It gives those that are so emotionally invested in meat a pretext for continuing to eat it (sure, you have to clean your diet up a bit – but you can still eat meat – yay!)

What next – the Bronze Age diet? The Ancient Egyptian diet? The Restoration diet?


All Vegans Are Preachy, Holier Than Thou, And Think They’re Superior.

dark angel from Flickr via Wylio
© 2007 Alosh Bennett, Flickr | CC-BY | via Wylio

I wasn’t sure whether this post should be part of the ‘Dumb Comments Vegans Get‘ series, but seeing as how the above accusations are all in the same vein (associating vegans with religious zealotry), and all spewed forth with the same intention (to make vegans sound as off-putting as possible so no-one will be expected to have to become one), I thought I’d tackle them in a post on their own.

In any online comments thread on ethical  veganism or plant-based diets, there will always be some ‘super genius’ that will claim that vegans act ‘holier than thou.’

I’m not even sure that the people who keep parroting this know what it means. It feels like they’ve heard someone ELSE say it, and thought ‘yeah!’ without really thinking about it, and can’t wait to regurgitate it at the next opportunity.

You can also replace ‘holier than thou’ with ‘superior,’ and add to this the WELL-worn old trope ‘vegans are preachy.’

These are such lazy, hacky, put-downs. The same people that use these will also often resort to ‘…well, Hitler was a vegetarian.’ (He most categorically wasn’t – but we’ll look at that in another post!).

Obviously nobody wants to be thought of as preachy or holier than thou, and certainly not as being like Hitler.

These words and associations are so loaded, that for omnis who are scared that a vegan might remove them from their state of comfortable stasis by making them think; they are a quick and easy way for them to end a discourse by de-legitimising the concept of veganism by making it sound as repellent as possible to their audience. If the audience is just you (a vegan) then these words serve to silence you, because by nature of the fact that you are telling a truth, you will be self-conscious that you ARE embodying them, even though you’re likely not.

If the omni orator were brave enough to be truthful – they’d say something like this… ‘Shut up. If you speak any more I’ll have to think. I don’t want to think because then I’ll have to change my lifestyle – which I don’t want to/am scared to do. I don’t want to be different, I want to coast along and be part of the status quo. Therefore I’m going to project these words onto you which will a) make everybody else not want to be like you either, thereby giving me the comfort of the crowd, and b) shut you up because you won’t want to be associated with them.’

It is soooo boring to read this particular type of comment, again and again and again. Some omnis are truly unimaginative and predictable. Please note that I said SOME. I’m perfectly aware that not all are. But it is apparent that SOME omnis think all vegans are the same. Are all meat-eaters the same in anything other than their food choices? Of course not. Well, breaking news: neither are vegans.

It would be fine if it was JUST boring. We’d move on. But it’s also pretty harmful and damaging. Who wants to be thought of as preachy? Holier than thou? Superior?

Is there any truth to these accusations?

  • Vegans think they are/act like they are ‘holier than thou’

Do vegans act (or think) they are holier than anyone else?

Maybe some do, I don’t know. I can’t speak for all vegans. If a vegan goes around acting this way, then chances are it’s because they’re an asshat, not because they’re vegan.

What I DO know is this:

The ONE thing AND ONE THING ONLY that vegans are (more than non-vegans), is informed. That is all.

Vegans have applied critical thinking to their diet and lifestyle, not just blindly accepted societal norms. They have educated themselves on the most sustainable way (for all concerned) to nourish themselves.

Does this make them holier?

Of course not. Don’t be silly. Vegans are multi-dimensional and each is informed by a million different influences, just like everybody else. A vegan can be as disconnected from God/Source/The Universe (pick what suits!) as anyone else.

Does it mean they have a higher ethical stance?

If they are vegan for ethical reasons, and not just doing it to lose weight (though I have no problem with this – it still has the same result of fewer animals being killed), then yes. You can’t really get away from this one.  In the same way that a person who doesn’t rape and murder human animals has a higher ethical stance than one who does; those who have widened their circle of empathy and compassion to non-human animals and have therefore chosen to NOT have them raped and murdered for their pleasure, have a higher ethical position than those that do.

This does NOT, however, translate to acting ‘holier than thou.’ If someone needs to label vegans as ‘holier than thou’ to make themselves feel better because they are not one, they may want to ask themselves why they feel so insecure in their current lifestyle choices.

  • Vegans think they are superior

Anyone who says this has completely missed the point, and has not grasped the concept of veganism. People who stop eating animals and their products for ethical reasons do so exactly because they know they are NOT superior to any sentient being.

By nature of killing and eating animals, you have to believe you are superior to those being eaten, so this silly comment may need to be redirected elsewhere.

  • Vegans are preachy

Yes, a vegan that really does go around advocating in inappropriate ways and situations could be a royal pain in the arse, but anyone speaking out on any subject who has the wrong intentions and attitude could be.

The reason the ‘p’ word gets hurled at vegans in particular, whether online or in person, is because people realise vegans are sharing a universal, undeniable truth – that going plant-based is best for animals, the planet and us. Truths are so often hidden from us, that we have learnt to be suspicious of them. And when they are exposed, it’s natural for someone to feel nervous and a little defensive at the moment they realise their life isn’t aligned with them. But, remember, vegans too had that moment of realisation. Not many people have been vegan since birth. There is no need to attack.

Assuming the vegan in question is talking (or writing) in an appropriate situation, and being compassionate and understanding to their listener(s), then to attack by using the word ‘preachy’ can only mean that, again (similar to those that use ‘holier than thou’), someone is very insecure with their lifestyle choices.

As a vegan, I feel I am often ‘preached’ to about the new deity that appears to be bacon. And If I turned on the TV, then commercial after commercial would ‘preach’ to me about the wonders of burger outlets, fried chicken joints, and sausages. But because non-human animal eating is currently the dominant paradigm, spouting the ‘p’ word would not carry the same weight as it does when used against vegans.

Whoever you are, vegan or not, not everyone will agree with your lifestyle choices. But it’s helpful to know what informs comments like these, so we don’t get held back by them. We can just deflect them and move on.

How To Respond To The Dumb Questions And Comments Vegans Get, Part 1







When you’ve been vegan as long as I have, you’ve heard it all. This may sound sad and jaded, but really it’s FANTASTIC, because it means there is no question or dumb comment that stumps me anymore. I have an answer for every single one, and I’m prepared to share some of them with you now – you’re most welcome!

If you are thinking of transitioning to a plant-based diet, or are easing in that direction, DON’T BE PUT OFF BY THIS POST!! It’s not that I, personally, am enduring dumb comments all the time – I’m really not. It HAS happened from time to time though, and you’ve just got to read any comment section following an internet article on veganism and you’ll see the full gamut of clown biscuits coming out to bleat their fear-driven, non-science based drivel (can you tell they piss me off?)

To be very clear – I have NO problem with curious people asking questions (see next point), but those who just blindly parrot and repeat myths, and/or mock, having done precisely zero research for themselves – well, I have no patience with these chump buckets.

We are currently living in a largely non-vegan world. Even people in countries whose diets, culturally, are not meat-based, are aspiring to eat more meat and dairy as they perceive this to be a more affluent, ‘western’ way, so it’s normal that there are going to be questions from those who follow the dominant carnist narrative. It should actually be encouraged – if the questions are curious and genuine.

It’s pretty easy to tell who is asking a genuine question and who is being a dumbass. If it’s face to face you can easily tell someone’s intention from their energy, and if it’s online, you can tell by their tone. The kind of question they are asking is usually the biggest clue! If they are petulantly stating ‘plants feel pain too, you know,’ it’s kinda obvious they’re just trying to push your buttons. If they’re asking you where you source your iron as they would be concerned about anaemia if they were to go vegan, then take the time and explain (or refer them to me!)


So here are my A’s to those dumb old Q’s:


Dumb question: (seeing as how we’ve already mentioned it) Don’t you know plants feel pain too?

Answer: Lordy, lord, LORD. Plants don’t have a central nervous system, so HOW can they feel pain? Also, if you are so interested in the pain of plants, then maybe you’d better go vegan straight away, because if you eat meat and dairy then MORE plants are killed for you, as not only are you eating plants yourself, but guess what they feed the animals you eat and drink secretions from? You guessed it, plants.  Save more plants today by going plant-based, oh plant-saving one.


DQ: Where do you get your protein?

A: From the same place that other strong animals (elephants, horses, gorillas and rhinoceroses) get theirs – from plants.


DQ: Where do you get your calcium?

A: Calcium is a mineral; therefore it comes from the ground. So I get mine from the same place cows get theirs, from green plants that grow in the ground (though these days most conventionally farmed dairy cows don’t graze from the ground, so their feed is supplemented with calcium). It’s far better to get your calcium first hand, than to have it after it’s been through the cow.


DQ: But lions and tigers eat other animals, it’s the circle of life isn’t it?

A: Awww, have you been watching your Lion King DVD again?

Circle of life for them, perhaps. For you – no. They are obligate carnivores. This means they have no choice but to eat animals. Their bodies are built for it. Their intestines are way shorter than ours, so meat can pass through their system in an appropriate amount of time without putrefying. They can run fast enough to catch their prey, and have LONG canines and claws to kill it swiftly and rip it apart. You do not. You eat the animals that are the slowest and most docile and expect others to skin and de-bone them. Lions and tigers can eat the meat fresh and raw, and can even eat slightly less than fresh meat, as they have enzymes in their stomachs that help stop them getting sick. You have to cook it and flavour it to make it safe and tasty for you to eat. And you try eating meat that’s not quite fresh and it’ll be coming out of both ends quicker than you know it. Does your mouth water when you see a dead animal in the middle of the road? Do you get hunger pangs when you see a sheep in a field? No? Then your eating habits resemble a lions to the power of ZERO.

Also – why pick on ONE thing a lion does to emulate because this suits your agenda? If you think you’re like a lion, why not go sniffing other people’s butts, as lions do with each other?


Dumb Comment: But vegans eat soy, and soy farming is destroying the rainforests.

A: While a lot of rainforests HAVE been razed to the ground to grow soy and other crops – you will find (with a minimal amount of research) that the vast majority of these crops are grown for livestock feed. Also plenty of vegans DON’T eat soy. In this world of plenty, soy does not have to be the staple of a nutritious vegan diet. There are lots of alternatives.


DC: You don’t have to be vegan. I don’t eat supermarket meat; I only eat grass-fed, poetry-read, tucked in bed animals. This is sustainable and ok.

A: For whom? The 3 reasons for going vegan are 1) for the animals 2) for health, and 3) for the planet. I’m assuming you are choosing to eat ‘happy’ meat to likewise lean towards a healthier, cleaner and more ethical diet.

The truth is that ‘happy’ meat fulfils none of these criteria. It is barely healthier – it still contains as much artery clogging saturated fat, cholesterol and hormones as mass-produced meat, so you are avoiding none of the diseases caused by these. ‘Happy’ meat is actually LESS environmentally sound, as grass-fed animals emit significantly more global warming methane than factory farmed animals. Also, a lot more land is needed to raise these animals. If everyone in the world eventually decided to eat ‘happy’ meat – there isn’t enough land on the planet to provide this! And you think it’s a more animal friendly way to farm? How? Healthy animals are still slaughtered (often in the same slaughterhouses as conventionally farmed animals) after only a quarter of their natural life-span. Free-range chickens still live in inhumane, barbaric conditions, with all male chicks being superfluous and ground up alive.


DC: Every vegan I’ve ever seen is pale, scrawny and weak.

A: (If I get this comment in person I just point to myself and look quizzically at the bearer of the DC, who will see clearly that I’m healthy, strong and bursting with vitality). How many vegans have you seen? I’ve been vegan twenty-five years and haven’t actually seen that many. There are plenty of meat-eaters who are pale, scrawny and weak. If someone is these things, they are not eating properly whether they’re a vegan or not. Why are you holding vegans up to a higher standard than all the weak, skinny or obese and unhealthy meat-eaters out there?

There are plenty of vegan sportspeople, athletes and bodybuilders who are achieving their best ever performances on a vegan diet.


DQ: But cavemen hunted animals, which means eating meat is natural.

A: Really? From which period did these particular ‘cavemen’ that you are referring to come from? Even if you mean (and you probably do) the paleolithic era, this lasted over two million years. Did every single cave dude eat the same way over that time span? Are you sure? And EVEN IF they did (which they didn’t), the very fact that they needed all those spears and arrows to kill their dinner, instead of just chasing it and ripping it apart like obligate carnivores (see DQ4), kinda shows that even if animals were occasionally a food source, it was not a natural one for them.


DC: My friend went vegan and she got really tired and sick. Her body just NEEDED meat. She felt fine when she went back to eating it; in fact she cried when she took her first bite of beef and felt the strength flood back into her body. (Yes, I swear I’ve read this kind of BS multiple times)

A: Was she a completely healthy meat-eater previously? Was she fully informed on how to nourish herself on a vegan diet? Even the conservative American Dietetic Association knows that ‘…appropriately planned vegetarian diets, including total vegetarian or vegan diets, are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases. Well-planned vegetarian diets are appropriate for individuals during all stages of the life cycle, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, and adolescence, and for athletes.

Just as one should make the effort to ensure they get a full quota of vitamins, minerals nutrients and fibre on a standard diet, so one should on a vegan diet. There is no need for anyone to get tired and weak on a varied vegan diet that contains plenty of energy giving whole grains, beans, nuts and seeds – not just the fruit and veg. No human body NEEDS meat. They can get all the nutrients they would get from meat in plant-based foods, and they’re usually of better quality and more bio-available.


Oops! I realise some of these aren’t exactly snappy answers. But I hope there are some things you can take from them. Try and always keep your cool, and if someone just isn’t listening and continues to come out with BS so they can hear themselves talk – simply walk away. Give your energy and time to the genuinely curious.

Next week we’ll tackle the kind of DQ’s that ask if a vegan diet is restrictive, depriving and no fun (SPOILER ALERT: This is BS too!)


Never Be Afraid To Be Different

Passion Flower from Flickr via Wylio
© 2012 Ernest McGray, Jr., Flickr | CC-BY-SA | via Wylio

A big stumbling block to many people considering a vegan lifestyle is the fear that they will be perceived as ‘awkward,’ or ‘different.’

I guess I’m lucky. I’ve never given two sweet ones what anyone thought of me in relation to my life choices. There was a brief period in my early teens when I wanted to be like everyone else, to fit in, to wear the same clothes, to belong to a perceived ‘something,’ but it quickly passed, thank goodness.

If your motivation to go vegan is ethical, then just think back to the first abolitionists who spoke out against slavery, or the first people who fought for women’s rights. These folks would certainly have been considered ‘different’, being disruptive to the status quo as they were. Slaves had been kept for hundreds of years in the south, and women hadn’t voted since elections began. This prejudice was completely normalised. From where we are now, we can see clearly that these two discriminatory practices were wrong and hateful. Yet where would we be if abolitionists and suffragists had been afraid to be different?

Someone has to be the first to speak out. In the case of veganism – don’t even worry, you are nowhere near the first. The earliest vegan I’m aware of is Pythagoras; and Einstein, Leonardo Da Vinci, and Tolstoy followed later, among many, many other eminent names, so it’s not at all as risky as being the first abolitionist or suffragist. Most people you will encounter are used to hearing about vegetarianism at the very least, so by eliminating animal products from your diet, you will not be doing something that no-one has ever heard of.

Nothing bad happens to you if you stick your neck out and dare to be different. You don’t get struck by lightning; you don’t get excommunicated from life! Quite the opposite in fact, life becomes richer and fuller, and you begin to feel more authentically ‘you.’

What’s the absolute worst that can happen? Maybe a few people talk about you behind your back calling you ‘awkward,’ ‘weird,’  a ‘lettuce muncher’ and you will probably be thought of by some as ‘preachy’ and ‘militant’ (you’ll find, sadly, that even if you never speak about being vegan, it’s enough for some people to know that you’re vegan, to perceive you this way). You may not get invited for dinner as often as non-veg friends do. But guess what? This is all on them. This is nothing to do with you, and real friends WILL make an effort to cook for you, you’ll see!

People will not drop you as a friend because you eat differently to them. My partner is vegan, and I have one close friend that is. About half the rest of my close friends are at least sympathetic to veganism and are happy to eat at vegan restaurants with me. The other half I’m sure think I’m a lunatic, but it is honestly never an issue. They may or may not mock behind my back, but if, when we’re together, it’s all good and they treat me as they treat everyone else – who cares? What I don’t know won’t kill me.

And we are all different in so many other ways. You don’t have the same tastes in music or clothes as all your friends do you? Even if I wasn’t vegan, my friends and I still wouldn’t eat the same kinds of food – some have pretty conservative tastes while I eat food from a ton of different ethnicities. And none of my close friends share the same taste in music as me, so even if I weren’t plant-based they would probably still perceive me as different. There isn’t much I can do about that, but you should know – it really isn’t a big deal. When I think about most of my friends, what we share above all is our senses of humour – and that is more bonding than anything.

I do get that it’s sometimes scary to be different, but once you try it and live it, you’ll see that your life (and social life) really doesn’t change all that much. And the more you experience all the benefits of a vegan diet; the fact that you may be a little different to most people will matter less and less to you. Once you begin to feel good and radiate health, joy and purpose, there’s a good chance they’ll want some of what makes you different for themselves!

Yerba Mate – Move Over Tea (Or At Least Make Room!)

So have y’all heard of mate (pronounced ‘mah-tey’)?

I’m sure most of my US readers have. I’d never heard of it before going to the US. Now, every time we visit the States, it’s one of the IMG_3748first things I buy to take home.

If you don’t know, yerba mate (to give it its full name) is a drink made from the naturally caffeinated leaves of the Ilex paraguariensis plant, (a member of the holly family), from South America. It has been drunk by indigenous people in South America for centuries, and is now still widely consumed in Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay and Paraguay. Traditionally it is a social drink, made in a gourd, passed around a group of family or friends, and drunk through a metal straw.

It is thought to contain as much caffeine as coffee, but without the side effects – the jitteriness, the heart racing, etc. So, if you’re like me and need a bit of a kick up the pants every morning, but don’t fancy bouncing off the walls with the effects of the caffeine in coffee, mate is ideal.

It is incredibly nutritious, more so than green tea! It contains twenty-four vitamins, including high concentrations of vitamins A, C, E, B1, B2, B3 and B5. It is also mineral rich, being a good source of calcium, magnesium, manganese, iron, selenium, zinc and phosphorous.

As if this isn’t good enough, it has fifteen amino acids, and more antioxidants than green tea.

A recent study at the University of Illinois found that the anti-inflammatory properties in mate kill cancer cells, and may be particularly helpful against colon cancer.

Elvira de Mejia, lead researcher in this study, had this to say about mate:

‘Our studies show that some of the most important antioxidant enzymes in the body are induced by this herbal tea.’

There is also evidence to suggest that drinking mate daily helps preserve bone-density in post-menopausal women.

Another study shows that mate lowers cholesterol.

In 1964, the Pasteur Institute and the Paris Scientific Society studied the properties of mate and concluded that it would be ‘difficult to find a plant in any area of the world equal to mate in nutritional value,’ and that mate contains ‘practically all of the vitamins necessary to sustain life.’

Pretty damn impressive huh?

So, what does it taste like?

I sometimes describe mate as like drinking a cigarette. Maybe I’ve just put everyone off of it right there. You really just need to try it. If you’ve ever smoked you’ll know what I mean, and if you’ve never smoked and are now thinking mate sounds gross, when you try it you’ll really see it’s about the smoky flavour.

There is some information on the internet linking mate to oesophageal cancer. When I saw it I thought ‘NOOOOOO, surely not!’ On further investigation, it seems that IF mate can cause cancer then it’s due to the boiling temperature at which some people drink it. Frequent consumption of boiling hot drinks is thought to cause cancer, because the repetitive burning of the throat can eventually cause malignancy in some people, (though there are probably a lot of other lifestyle factors involved). I think most of us wait until the beverage is more drinkable though, don’t we? In some cultures, a lot of very hot mate is drunk very often, so this might be a factor in cancer risk within these cultures, but any boiling hot drink is going to raise this risk, not just mate!

I have seen a lot of backlashes against certain highly nutritious foods and drink products, specifically those that big industries do not benefit from financially. Though I have no evidence for this, it would not surprise me if mate, being as nutritious as it is, was yet another victim of corporate fear.

Mate can be drunk hot or cold, with or without milk, sweetened or unsweetened, and flavoured with whatever you like (though like tea, IMG_3761it does have plenty of flavour of its own, so do try it plain first).

You can even get ‘mate latte’! I was a little skeptical of this at first – then I tried one at a cafe that specialised in mate – it was delicious! It was hazelnut flavoured, and this just really worked with the smokiness of the mate.

You can find it everywhere in the US, I usually get it from Whole Foods or Trader Joes. In the UK and elsewhere, you can try health stores, but it is always available online.

If you haven’t already, sample the taste of the Pampas!!


Get Cow’s Milk Into Context – And The Heck Out Of Your Life!

Milk Drop from Flickr via Wylio
© 2014 Chris Pelliccione, Flickr | CC-BY-ND | via Wylio

If you’re here in the first place, you are no doubt on the way (either in practice or in the thinking process) to eliminating cow’s milk from your lifestyle.

For more incentive, you just have to consider the following:


  • How utterly (or udderly – God, SORRY!) random it is that humans drink the baby milk from an entirely different species. Goats don’t drink chimp milk. Cats don’t drink pig milk.
  • That calves don’t even drink their mother’s milk after they’ve been weaned, at 6-12 months old.
  • That if we no longer drink our mother’s milk (‘cos that would be gross right?), why do we drink calves mother’s milk all our lives?
  • That cow’s milk is meant to grow a little calf into a four hundred pound cow in a short space of time, so of course it is too concentrated a source of protein and hormones for humans. Because of this, we know it causes us health problems (i.e. cancer, diabetes, heart disease, to name just a very few).
  • That you’d look a bit weird suckling milk from a cow’s udder, but that is in effect what you’re doing every time you drink milk.
  • That as much as you think it is YOU that made a personal independent choice when you were younger to drink cow’s milk – it has zero to do with you, and a lot more to do with the fact that cows are the cheapest, easiest animals to feed and shelter, and so therefore the most profitable to extract milk from.  This is why it’s the only milk that’s been offered and advertised to you since you were a tot. If giraffes were easiest and cheapest to keep, you’d be supping on a latte with giraffe milk right now, and believing THAT to be totally normal. You’re actually being more in control and more independent of thought if you don’t drink cow’s milk.
  • That you can drink cow’s milk that’s as organic as you please, where the cows are read fairy tales every night, but it will ALWAYS contain hormones.
  • That livestock agriculture (which of course includes dairy farming) is the biggest single source of greenhouse gas emissions, and a tonne of other environmental nasties.
  • That the baby male cows that are born on dairy farms (and there’s a lot of them – after all, dairy cows are kept pregnant for the most part so that they will lactate), are not profitable to the dairy industry. They are either stuck in veal crates, or killed. Sometimes in front of their mother (don’t forget cows have exactly the same capacity to suffer as we do, so it may be wise to think how we’d feel in this scenario).
  • That even held up to the tiniest bit of scrutiny and critical thinking. It makes no sense for us, the planet or the cows for us to drink cow’s milk. Why continue?


If you need a resource on healthy cow’s milk alternatives, pop on over to this post.

On my coaching programs you will learn how to eat, drink and cook without cow’s milk (or any dairy). You will realise a whole new level of wellbeing and clear-headedness, and I promise you, you will not miss it one teeny-tiny bit.


Why You Need The Facts On Flax

Brown Flax Seeds from Flickr via Wylio
© 2010 HealthAliciousNess, Flickr | CC-BY | via Wylio

Flax (some call it linseed) is magic. Well, practically. If any seed is on your side, it’s this one. Chia might be the seed ‘du jour,’ but this little grafter needs to be a part of your daily menu (or a few times a week at least).

Just why exactly is it so damned aces?


Weight Loss

Never mind the slimming shakes or the cayenne pepper maple syrup (wtf?) diet. These clever seeds are a great aid to anyone wanting to lose a few pounds. As they are so full of fibre, they help everything keep moving through your body, so nothing lingers longer than it should. Ground flax also expands in your stomach, helping you feel satiated for longer.


Toxin Remover

You know all that crap you breathe in every day? The toxins and heavy metals and stuff you really don’t want taking up residence in your body? Because it is so rich in soluble fibre, flax acts as a sort of sponge, to soak up all that shizz and transport it out of there. If you live in a city… actually, scratch that. If you live on Earth, you need a food source that helps your body get rid of pollutants and environmental baddies. Flax is it!


Cancer Protective

Flax seeds contain a phyto (plant) nutrient called lignan. Lots of plant foods have this, but flax has it in the highest amounts. Lignans are thought to be protective against breast cancer, and have been proved to help in survival after breast cancer when consumed regularly.


Best Source Of Omega 3 Essential Fatty Acid

You know that Omega 3 fatty acid that we all once thought you could only get from fish? Guess what? Flax is an amazing source of Omega 3 fatty acids. No need to ingest saturated fat, cholesterol and mercury.



Like nuts and avocados, flax seeds are a great way to moisturise your skin from the inside out. It is precisely because flax contains so much omega 3 that it does so much good for the skin, helping it retain moisture and reducing any inflammation.


System Regulator

As you can see, flax has the fibre factor. Ground flax is insanely good at helping everything move through your body in an appropriate amount of time. Don’t you just hate those ads for women (‘cos it is always apparently women) who suffer from bloating? Consuming ground flax regularly as part of a healthy plant-based diet means you never have to be like them, whining and rubbing their bellies. They will seem like aliens to you.


But How Can I incorporate It Into My Meals? It’s A Seed FFS! I’m Not A Bird! Easy peasy. To make it a little easier, you need to invest in a gadget that grinds these little darlings to meal. Some people use a coffee grinder, some use the Magic Bullet. I use the cheaper copy of the Magic Bullet – the Hinari Genie. Hurrah for cheaper copies!!

You can eat flax seeds whole, but you will get the most benefit from the ground meal. Your teeth may prefer them that way too.

I grind 2 tablespoons per day. You can always grind a week’s worth and keep it in the fridge in an airtight container, but, like everything, it’s probably best fresh.

Do you eat cereal? Porridge? Oatmeal? Soup? Stews? Chilli? You can put the ground seeds on practically anything. They have a pleasantly nutty taste, and are good added to sweet or savoury meals. There are not many places flax meal can’t go. You can even use them as an egg replacer in cakes. If you make your own bread, flapjacks, granola bars, cookies etc, you can add whole flax.

Flax it up, now! Get flaxing! Get your flax on! Flax that bitch! Get with the flax! Ok, ok, you know what? flax doesn’t need me to (attempt to) make it sound cool. People have used it for thousands of years for its health benefits. It’s a true gift from nature.

Try it and see for yourself.


I Want To Go Vegan, But What’s In It For Me?

As you know, the word ‘vegan’ ultimately defines a lifestyle not complicit in the violence, cruelty and killing of non-human animals.

For lots of people, this is ample reason to be vegan. To know that no-one is suffering for you is benefit enough.

If you DID want any more reasons to go vegan, I GET IT – honestly.

After all, everyone else eats animal products, it’s so normalised in this culture. Every other commercial outlet on the High/Main Street is a kebab shop, a fast food joint, a fried chicken place.

Celebrities are posing with milk moustaches and doing yoghurt commercials.

Every lummox on the planet seems to be prattling on about their love for baaayycuuhhn (when did the whole bacon reinvention start? It was old man’s food when I was growing up). Now, apparently, if you don’t guzzle bacon, you are not living life to the fullest.

Every other ad is for burgers, butter, ice cream. Where are the ads for broccoli? For walnuts? For beetroot?

On top of this, lots of energy and money is being spent trying to make meat cool.  More and more ‘gourmet’ burger (WTF?) places are opening every day. I even see this in my own neighbourhood. A ‘restaurant’ called ‘Chicken Shop,’ owned by a well-known private members club group, has just launched near my house. It has chickens on a spit, and the menu is chicken, chicken or chicken, with either chips or corn. Lots of painfully ‘cool’ types are flocking there. For chicken. And corn.

Seriously, no-one could blame you for thinking that vegan is too ‘different,’ too ‘against the grain.’

I truly get that this is not (yet) a vegan world and that you need as much motivation as possible to help you go vegan. What are the benefits? What will help you tolerate all the above shizzoula?

Well, I’ll tell you of some of them, but there are many others that you will discover for yourself too.


By avoiding animal products (and eating whole foods, of course), you have reduced your risk for heart disease and lots of cancers significantly, in fact some doctors in the field would say you are at almost zero risk of heart disease, eating this way.

You have also side- stepped diabetes, (or will be able to improve it, if you have it already), and are at lower risk for Alzheimer’s. There are a whole host of conditions that can be prevented or improved with a whole foods vegan diet, including asthma, and multiple sclerosis.


A whole-foods plant-based diet will have you glowing, radiant, and oozing sparkle. Your skin and body will be the best they’ve ever been – and if you’re exercising, sleeping and relaxing enough too – well, baby, you’ve never looked so good.

Is this a superficial incentive? Perhaps. But don’t forget; the more you look after yourself and ensure that you feel great and confident and happy, the better you can help and look after other people; the more present you will be when you spend time with them, and the more joyful your interactions will be.

The ripple out effect of YOU feeling good is immense. When you feel lethargic, depressed, achy, insecure, or worse, then you cannot be much help, or bring much joy to anyone.

Other Silly, Limiting Constructs Become Clear – And Evaporate

Another benefit is that when you realise how ridiculous the ‘certain animals are food but others are pets,’ paradigm is (and all the rest we have around how we perceive animals as ‘other’), you begin to see lots of other things clearly, and all other ridiculous paradigms crumble.

Just as you’ve realised what humans do so they can justify eating certain beings; you recognise all the other silly human constructs that abound.

You see all the boxes, compartments and pigeon holes that lots of people need in order to feel secure, or a part of something – and you don’t need them any more. This is one of the most liberating things I found, and probably my absolute favourite extra benefit!


Do you have children? Grandchildren? Just know some good kids?

After you’ve gone do you want them to live on a clean planet, full of natural wonders, with fresh air and clean water?  Well, being vegan is the best thing you can do for the planet. The livestock industry is responsible for more greenhouse gas emissions than all forms of transport combined, and is the prime cause of air and water pollution, deforestation, drought, and wildlife habitat destruction.

You CANNOT proclaim to be an environmentalist and eat meat. That would be silly. Like being a pacifist and a gun manufacturer. Or like being a nun and a porn star (!?).

World Hunger

Feeding grain to animals, to then feed the animals to humans is hardly energy or resource efficient.

Can we really justify this with so many people starving? When we know that if we all ate plant-based there would be enough food to go around, and then some? Knowing that you are not contributing to world hunger, while it may not directly benefit you, has to make you feel lighter, I’ll bet.


You will discover lots of other incredible benefits for yourself, lots of them interlinked. As Dr T. Colin Campbell says in his life-saving book, The China Study:  “Good nutrition creates health in all areas of our existence. All parts are interconnected.”

Trust me; the personal benefits of being vegan vastly outweigh being the odd one out who doesn’t eat baaaayyycuuuhnn, or not fitting in at ‘Gourmet Burger.’