What is veganism?

Veganism is much more than a diet, it’s a lifestyle. It is a guiding principle behind how we make our choices. Veganism is a way of life in which animal products, and the use of animals in industry and otherwise, are avoided in the consciousness that animal suffering of any kind should not be supported. We, as vegans, would go so far to say that it is an active non-political effort to create a more inclusive social justice paradigm.

Veganism, at its core, is about minimizing suffering and reducing our environmental impact, because all of us, animals included, need this planet to be healthy in order to survive. Some vegans apply their concern for the environment when using their purchasing power. If you say you are vegan, at the very least, you should not use or buy products where animal products have been used in production.

Being vegan is not difficult, despite what some people may say. If you are just starting out, there are many vegan companies out there to choose replacement or transitional products from, such as faux meats and cheeses. You’ll have no problem eating similarly to how you did before, and you will support a more fair and healthful way of life. If you are a person who grows much of your own food, as you may already know, you can grow almost anything you need yourself. Beans of many varieties can be fun to grow and dry if you have the space.

Don’t be fooled by those who define a locavore diet as being non-vegan. Being a vegan locavore is more than possible, as we all know at Peace Ridge Sanctuary. There are a few exceptions to the locavore diet though, like rice, which is not grown locally in the Northeast. Here in Maine, many folks are jumping on the “kill it yourself” or “buy killed locally” bandwagon, which the locavore movement has touted as being necessary. Unfortunately, it seems this is more a consequence of the newly popularized and somewhat narrow-minded version of living back to the land, or homesteading. The consumption of animal protein is not only unnecessary for all of us (as documented in thousands of well researched medical investigations), but it is also unarguably linked to an array of medical conditions. We won’t even go into it here, because all you have to do is Google the topic and you’ll find literally thousands of research-based examples to back this up.

There is a lot of information out there for people who want to “go vegan,” and a great educational website about the nitty-gritty of doing so is Vegan Outreach.

So stop thinking about it and just go vegan! It will have a much more positive effect on your health and the health of the world around you than any other change you could make.