The vegan lifestyle isn't just about eating only plants, it's about excluding all use of animals for clothing, what you clean your home with, what you use on your body, and so on. Here's a couple of links for tips on how to get started:
In The Kitchen
Where your money goes for food is one of the most important ways to live compassionately. We can't live without food, but we can live while letting others do the same.
- Farmer's Markets are a wonderful way to not only shop for produce, but support locally. Get a jump start on Saturday morning, take a look around and ask questions. Don't forget your reusable bags!
- Grocery stores typically have an abundance of produce, accidentally vegan foods and if you live next to a natural foods store (like Whole Foods, Natural Grocers, Sprouts or other local stores), ask about vegan/vegetarian sections.
- Online grocery stores, like Door to Door Organics are an option if your stores do not have an abundance of produce or vegan foods or substitution items.
For more detailed information on where and how to shop, click here.
Click here for a long list of great vegan cookbooks. Any of these can be found on Amazon or also check the Half-Priced Books website.
veganomicon by Moskowitz and Romero
This book is a staple in a lot of vegan kitchens. It has a ton of recipes to keep you busy in the kitchen for ages. It's considered the Holy Grail of vegan cookbooks and if there was one cookbook to have, this is it. The only thing is the lack of pictures (I like pictures).
thug kitchen by davis and holloway
This book isn't for the faint of heart. When you open it up, you'll know why it's called Thug Kitchen. It's very colourful, has great imagery and the recipes are easy enough that anyone can make them.
the 30 minute vegan by reinfeld and murray
If you don't have a lot of time to cook, this book contains over 175 recipes that can be made in 30 minutes or less. Many of the recipes can also be made portable if you're on the go.
my sweet vegan by Hannah Kaminksy
This cookbook is dedicated soley to the sweet tooth. Cupcakes, bars, cakes, cookies... you name it! With full-colour pictures, you'll wonder if these could really be vegan. Baking without eggs and dairy? You bet!
Recipes on the web
For a great list of vegan recipe blogs/websites, click here.
- Vegan Richa :: TONS of recipes to suit any palate.
- Plant-Based on a Budget :: Great recipes for those trying to save a buck or two.
- Vegan on a Budget :: Another great reference for saving the most of everything.
- Minimalist Baker :: For people who like to use minimal ingredients and simple recipes. Not all are vegan, but there are lots labeled as vegan and also gluten-free.
Wardrobe & Bathroom
It's easy to keep ourselves looking sharp without hurting others. Using animals for such products is not only unnecessary, but harmful.
cosmetics & personal care
Animals don't need to wear makeup and they don't need to be tested for it. So, why use them? Many Leaping Bunny certified cosmetics and personal care items that don't use or test on animals can be found at almost any drug store, like Walgreens or CVS, and retail stores like Target and Wal-Mart.
Click here for where and how to stock your cosmetics and personal care items the cruelty-free way.
what to & not to wear
Wearing cruelty-free clothing is as easy as choosing not to wear leather, down, wool, fur and suede. There are plenty of man-made alternatives for any of these and can be found almost anywhere. Regular shoe stores, like DSW Shoe Warehouse and Famous Footwear, carry faux versions of any animal-based product counterpart. Animals need their skin and fur more than we do.
For clothing, click here.
Making the Connection
For too long now, certain species of animals have been considered a necessary component for human use. Our parents teach us at a young age to love animals and treat them with kindness, but what about the one's on your plates? Or the ones used to make your shoes? What about the ones in the lining of your winter coat? We love our companion animals, but eat others.
Speciesism is the idea that one is considered inferior based on species. Dogs and cats are companions but cows and pigs are food. This concept stems from the same ego that tells people some are considered inferior based on race or gender or sexual orientation. Compassion should include all life, regardless of species.
It's been said that the reason these animals are bred for human use is because they are unintelligent, feel no emotions and are mindless beings, but that couldn't be further from the truth. The below videos illustrate just how intelligent these animals are how much they can love.