April 27th, 2011
06:00 AM ET
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World Vegetarian And Vegan News announced on April 1 that the upcoming royal wedding would be entirely free of animal products due to cultural, health and environmental concerns.

“Celebrity vegan cook Sarah Kramer is being brought over from Canada to advise on ingredients for the reworked royal wedding cake,” the post said.

The report was, of course, just an April Fools’ Day hoax. While Kramer won’t be crafting an egg-free, dairy-free cake for Prince William and Kate Middleton this coming weekend, she will be taking part in the in the third annual Worldwide Vegan Bake Sale along with more than 140 groups across six continents from April 23 through May 1.

“My favorite thing in the world is to watch someone who isn’t vegan eat a vegan cookie and watch their eyes open,” Kramer says. “I’m changing people’s minds one tummy at a time.”

In the 1990s she helped put together a zine that would eventually become “How It All Vegan,” a cookbook that has sold over a quarter-million copies. But deliberately avoiding all animal products was still a foreign concept to many people.

“You had to go on a bus tour across town to some back alley to try and find soy milk,” she says laughing. “But now it couldn’t be easier to be vegan.”

These days, the vegan diet has no shortage of mainstream exposure. Former President Bill Clinton told CNN's Wolf Blitzer in 2010 that he had adopted a plant-based diet in an attempt to reverse his heart disease. Talk show hosts Oprah Winfrey and Martha Stewart both recently aired vegan episodes.

Skeptics might assume vegan desserts can’t compete with their dairy and egg-laden counterparts. But last summer Chloe Coscarelli became the first vegan to win a cooking competition on Food Network, taking top prize on “Cupcake Wars.” Doron Petersan of D.C.’s Sticky Fingers Bakery secured another vegan victory on the show in March.

“I think vegan baking is finally getting the respect and recognition it deserves,” Petersan says. “When done well it’s just as good if not better than traditional baked goods.”

Vegan baking has come a long way since its start as part of a more health-conscious movement in the ‘70s, says Melisser Elliott, author of “The Vegan Girl’s Guide to Life.” It’s not all sawdust cookies and date bars.

“Over the years it has gotten a lot more decadent,” she says. “People are really going for it and trying to veganize things that people didn’t think were possible.”

As one of the organizers of the first vegan bake sale in Vienna, Austria, Elliott says she’s appealing to people’s taste buds rather than touting the health benefits of a plant-based diet.

Gary Loewenthal, director of the Worldwide Vegan Bake Sale, also sees the global event as a way to show people that eating vegan food doesn’t have to mean sacrificing flavor.

“People are afraid of having to give up their favorite desserts,” he says. “At a vegan bake sale we can show them that they don’t need to have that fear.”

Vegan baking staples can now be found on the shelves of most supermarkets. Cow’s milk can be switched out for non-dairy alternatives like almond or soy milk, and a vegan margarine or vegetable oil can take the place of butter.

Replacing eggs can be trickier and depends on their role in the recipe, but common substitutions include ground flax seeds, silken tofu, blended bananas, and a mixture of vinegar and baking soda.

Best-selling cookbook author Isa Chandra Moskowitz has been experimenting with vegan baking since she embraced the diet in 1989 and says it has become a lot more accessible since then.

“I hope that after a while it stops being this thing where we’re replacing eggs and dairy and we’re just naturally working with vegan ingredients,” she says. “And I think that’s happening.”

iReport by Isa Chandra Moskowitz: If Bake Sales Are Outlawed Only Outlaws Will Have Bake Sales

Moskowitz runs the popular vegan cooking website “Post Punk Kitchen” and helped put together a bake sale in Omaha, Nebraska, earlier this month. The event raised more than $3,000 for Japan disaster relief.

“For me the bake sale is a holiday and it’s a celebration,” says Moskowitz, who recently tweeted that the Worldwide Vegan Bake Sale is one of her favorite times of the year. “And at the same time it’s raising money for a worthy cause.”

And that's an idea fit for royalty.

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Filed under: Baked Goods • iReport • Make • Recipes • Vegan • Vegetarian

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soundoff (182 Responses)
  1. Ligia Terinoni

    Sometimes I contemplate if folks truly take time to write something original, or are they only just dishing out words to fill a site. This certainly doesn't fit that mold. Thank you for taking the time to write with awareness. Once In A While I look at a page and question whether they even proofread it.Fantastic work with this article.

    November 17, 2011 at 3:45 pm |
  2. Diane

    there's tons of vegan options for baking, cookies are great but cheezecake is better!
    vegan cheezecake: http://www.fourgreensteps.com/community/recipes/dessertsagoodies/vegan-cheesecake

    June 7, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
  3. Yolana

    I've been a vegan for 4 years now and I gotta say, it's been tough at times, but the recipes I have found online have made it so much easier for me! I've done a lot of research over the years and I always end up back at the same site. They have a ton of not only vegan, but vegetarian recipes too!
    Check it out: http://www.fourgreensteps.com/community/recipes

    May 27, 2011 at 10:08 am |
  4. abbyful

    If you want to be vegan, fine, that is your choice.

    I hate when people try to convince me to be vegan with "oooh, the poor animals". Both for health and moral reasons, I eat meat. I grew up on a farm and in a farming/ranching community. Yes, I know where my food comes from, much better than you do in fact! That goes for both crops and livestock. I choose to include meat in my healthy, balanced, omnivorous diet; and no I don't feel guilty for doing so. I suggest that those individuals that can't mind their own business and try to tell me what I should be eating go spend a year on a farm (independent farmer that raises both crops and livestock), it would be a huge eye-opener.

    May 3, 2011 at 6:04 pm |
  5. liam1234

    If you want it really green, please check http://www.fourgreensteps.com/marketplace/, it is the largest green website in the world.

    May 3, 2011 at 2:31 pm |
  6. Jade

    To those who would call a vegan a "retard" for having denied themselves the pleasure of eating meat:
    1. Using such terminology, you expose your creativity, or lack thereof, in the art of insulting. It can be so much fun, but it seems you'd rather go the intellectually bereft way and deny those of us with a sense of humor our laugh. Furthermore, to say such a thing implies obvious superiority to those you just insulted, and is thus condescending. Although that was obviously your intention, you seem not to have thought all this through.
    2. In saying a vegan denies him/herself the pleasure of consuming meat, you expose your ignorance in the most extreme fashion, having earlier referred to them as "retards". If this is indeed your reason, it serves only to show your likely lack of insight, as one of the founding ideas of not eating meat is not to "deny" oneself such flavors, but to imitate it so as to avoid the suffering of an animal who need not do so on our behalf. Many still enjoy the taste of meat, but do not consume it for this very reason.
    3. You've posted this on a story about a vegan bake sale for the earthquake in Japan. If you'd had a better idea of what to do, you'd likely be doing it instead of posting obvious anti-veganism pseudo-propaganda where it would previously have been possible to have a stimulating intellectual discussion.
    4. Through of all this, you have more than likely exhibited your comparative retardation to those you have just labeled "retarded". Have fun with that.

    April 28, 2011 at 11:38 pm |
    • LMFAO

      You are so retarded you dont even realize it

      " Furthermore, to say such a thing implies obvious superiority to those you just insulted, and is thus condescending. "

      Sorry retard but I call em like i see em – IT'S A MORAL CHOICE

      April 29, 2011 at 10:50 am |
  7. MeatToVeggies

    Eating meat isn't a bad thing. But the issue is how these animals are treated. I am a vegetarian, and have been for one month now. I think it necessary to consume meat, but not if that meat has come from abused animals. And it is very difficult to be able to know if that animals from where you get your meat, has been treated fairly or not.

    It is disrespectful to tell someone they are bad and wrong for eating meat. I also think it is disrespectful for telling someone that eating veggies/meat replacements all the time is wrong. You can only give them the facts, and let them make the choice.

    April 28, 2011 at 10:37 pm |
  8. just sayin

    i am 34 and did not meat other than the occasional seafood from 18 to 32 years... when i was 29 i went vegan in my diet for several months and i have to say it was the healthiest time of my life probably. i without trying lost weight and felt great. however, it is really hard for me to do without cheese and yogurt even though i am Mediterranean and have never suffered from a lack of dishes otherwise.
    on the flip side i have occasionally started eating red meat the past couple of years and it has helped me with certain health conditions that i have (high prolactin, missing periods etc.). i still cannot morally justify eating meat as it is very hard/expensive to get fair meat.
    i think it comes down to making conscious choices, there is no doubt that a highly vegan diet is absolutely healthier but everyone's metabolism is different and i now believe that some people may need meat more than others. i find milk (which i love) to be more strange to be honest, humans are the only species that drink another being's babyfood. and it is just weird... the main problem is really the meat/dairy producing industry... for one the torture animals go through is really unjustifiable, but also eating something from a source like that cannot really do you good...
    if you have to eat meat, and use dairy products, try to at least get the natural, organic, humane products...
    my grandmother had a couple of cows that were like pets to her, and she milked them with love and made butter and yogurt from that milk... these were happy cows that spent most of their life grazing and wandering.
    i still do think there is always some cruelty even in the most humane way of eating animal products but if you have to at least do the least bit of damage.

    April 28, 2011 at 3:05 pm |
    • wow

      you claim veganism is definatly healthier and in the same post mention health issues remedied by eating meat.If you miss a period thats your bodies way of telling you you have a serious nutrient shortage , to the point where pregnancy is out of the question. just think about that.

      April 28, 2011 at 6:37 pm |
      • mimi

        I know!!! This is so funny. I'm in the health field and I can't tell you how many times I've heard friends tell me they stopped being vegan because they were having serious issues like not having periods and being cold all the time!

        April 29, 2011 at 8:35 am |
      • just sayin

        yes, i'm saying it was the healthiest time of my life probably because it made me stop all the dairy i used to consume... i did not say it is the healthiest diet for all if you read again. a little veganism would help all.

        April 29, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
      • no,

        you just said you had to stop for what most people would classify as health reasons. the second you did stop,logic would dictate ,you were already a little bit healthier. Therefore it could NOT have been the happiest time in your life

        April 30, 2011 at 11:51 am |
  9. JBJingles

    I understand the vegan point of view of treating animals humanely, etc. But what about the meats from "free range", organic fed, etc. What is the beef (pun intended) with that meat source?? Just curious.

    April 28, 2011 at 11:37 am |
  10. mimi

    I've purchased the vegan cupcake cookbook, and have experimented with vegan baking, and it does taste great. But I don't think it's necessarily healthier to always leave out eggs for example, you miss out on plenty of great protein and vitamins. And if you make sure to buy farm fresh, organic eggs that you know come from humane conditions, it's not hurting animals or the environment. (I would still use soy or almond milk however over cow's milk). It's been repeatedly shown that vegetarians fare better than meat-eaters OR vegans.

    April 28, 2011 at 10:52 am |
    • Ashleigh

      "repeatedly shown" misinformation. Non-vegans are just as susceptible as vegans to the possibility of being nutrient-deficient in some way. Anyone who consumes enough nutrients will not be nutrient-deficient, regardless of their diet. It's not rocket science.

      April 28, 2011 at 11:17 am |
      • spelling names right isnt rocket science either

        but your mother still dropped the ball on that one

        April 28, 2011 at 11:30 am |
      • mimi

        Science is misinformation? In that case we can all argue to no end with nothing to back it up, and all stay stuck with our same baseless opinions. I know everyone is susceptible to being nutritent-deficient in some way – that was not my point. The point is that, generally speaking (this is what statistics tell us, it's not a personal attack it's just math), it is much easier for a vegan to be nutrient deficient than vegetarians because they do not come by complete sources of these nutrients, in an easily absorbed form, as often as others. Now I'm sure anyone with lots of time and income on their hand can devise a great diet that IS complete. It's just that for most people out there, time is limited and taken up by other important things besides food and counting up nutrients. So in the end, their vegan diet does not end up as perfect as they intended, and as a result, they are less healthy. Whereas a vegetarian can rather easily pick up organic eggs and be done with it in a day, instead of going to Whole Foods and spending their whole paycheck on a precisely-planned-out-and-measured mountain of various veggies and fruits.

        April 29, 2011 at 1:25 am |
  11. Vasu Murti

    In October 2007, I spent a weekend with a heavenly and heaven-sent woman, kind enough to visit me here in the San Francisco Bay Area. We were matched online through e-harmony.com the previous September.

    During our time together, I didn’t force the issue of animal rights on her, either, but I did treat her to meals only at vegan restaurants here in the SF Bay Area, and took her to a book-signing event, where she voluntarily purchased (yes, she seemed genuinely interested in the subject!) a copy of Colleen Patrick-Goudreau’s first cookbook, The Joy of Vegan Baking.

    Upon returning to Vancouver, WA, she e-mailed me, saying:

    ”I miss you already.

    "I forgot to steal one of your shirts!

    ”I will talk to you soon.

    "And I won’t eat meat.”

    To which, I replied, ”You’re a girl after my own heart!” I later sent her two younger daughters a book aimed at tweens, asking, Should We Eat Animals: What Do You Think?, discussing the ethics of raising animals for food.

    I don’t think I’m being a ”self-righteous vegetarian,” here, either. I think the problem lies with the pro-life side, which refuses to even discuss animal rights and vegetarianism as sanctity-of-life issues!

    April 28, 2011 at 2:37 am |
    • Snowbunny

      You should start a cult. Just sayin'.

      April 28, 2011 at 10:14 am |
    • Stargazer

      "Upon returning to Vancouver, WA, she e-mailed me, saying:
      ”I miss you already.
      "I forgot to steal one of your shirts!
      ”I will talk to you soon.
      "And I won’t eat meat.”
      To which, I replied, ”You’re a girl after my own heart!”


      April 28, 2011 at 11:02 am |
      • RichardHead

        Obviously,she did not beat your meat before placing it on the grill!

        April 28, 2011 at 11:05 am |
  12. Glenna

    I went vegan to lower cholesterol. It went from 232 to 182!! I still eat meat on occasion, but primarily vegan. have some delicious recipes. And I'm not a nut case! just health conscious

    April 28, 2011 at 1:50 am |
  13. Sweet Cream Buttah

    Vegan baking tastes like chalk. Cookies without BUTTER just don't work.

    April 28, 2011 at 1:33 am |
    • Ashleigh

      You've obviously had some bad cookies. Ever had a crappy non-vegan meal? Did you vow to never again eat that meal & leave comments in posts about it? Or did you chalk it up to "well THAT sucked, better luck next time" ?? (<I'm betting it's the latter).

      April 28, 2011 at 11:21 am |
  14. former_vegan

    I guess my whole thing with the "stomach flu" was mainly speaking to raw foodism. If a raw foodist had the stomach flu, i would hope that they wouldn't continue to only eat raw vegetables while they are sick as opposed to, say, a bland piece of toast that might be easier on their stomach. I guess my whole point is that a person should listen to the wisdom of their bodies and choose their foods based on what will allow them to function at an optimum level of health. And what makes them feel at an optimum level of health could change over time. So, my point is: we shouldnt judge eachother. Diet is very personal and individual. If you are a vegan, bravo. It is a wonderful, compassionate choice.

    April 28, 2011 at 1:27 am |
    • Rob

      Gotcha, I understand what you mean. I became vegan about 3 years ago, and it has evolved as the years pass as I learn more about certain things. At first I was indifferent about people eating meat and would go to restaurants with friends who ate meat and would drink water and sit and talk, now I find it difficult to watch people eat meat simply because with every piece of meat I see, I imagine the type of cruelty that the animal most likely went through. While it is a personal choice for everyone, the only thing I try to encourage people to do is understand where their food comes from. I really get upset when someone asks why I am vegan, and asks for details on things that occur to animals and then someone else around us gets upset and says "I don't want to hear about that", yet they continue to eat that animal. If you know that an animal suffered, yet don't want to hear about it, I don't think you should eat that animal. If you know it suffered, and are okay with the fact it suffered, then fine, eat it if you choose, but don't be ignorant about it just because it makes you sleep better... (by you, I don't mean you personally, but people in general) The ignorance thing persists in all aspects of our culture whether it be food, politics, the environment, etc... it's just an overall issue I have with people, but effects me more when it causes pain on something that has no control over the pain that is inflicted upon it. When someone hurts another person (lets exclude children or handicapped for arguments sake), the person being hurt can at least reason why they are being hurt (whether the other person is a jerk, etc), but an animal doesn't understand.. it just feels pain, but doesn't know why this person is hurting it.. whether it be dairy farmers shocking/stabbing the cow to force it to stand, etc... that's where it really effects me.. the fact that the animal is just doing what an animal does, and we hurt it because it isn't doing what we want it to do.. it could be chickens/turkeys not walking fast enough into their cage/pen, so we kick... cows sitting down so we stab them to force them to stand... it all really just reflects on humans inability to feel compassion towards other living things unless it is a household pet like a cat or dog... I could go on and on... but it's late and I need to sleep :)

      April 28, 2011 at 2:12 am |
  15. former_vegan

    Yep, I think we can agree that a vegan who eats only locally grown produce is a good ideal to strive for. Sadly, not everyone's physiologys can handle veganism, althought I used to believe that this wasn't the case and would try to convince everyone I spoke to to become vegan. Some people do wonderfully on even a poorly planned vegan diet, other people do horribly on even an optimally planned vegan diet. We all have unique nutritional needs determined largely by genetics (people of Indian, Mediterranean, and Greek descent tend to do better on vegan diets, for example) and these needs change on a day-today basis and also throughout our lives. Think of pregnancy. Think of when you're training for a marathon. Think of when you have the stomach flu. To apply something as static as "ism" to something as dynamic as the human body seems a bit absurd. We have to work with our bodies, and go with the flow so to speak. Look at Natalie Portman.

    April 28, 2011 at 1:06 am |
    • Rob

      I'm not really sure why a person with the stomach flu needs meat and dairy, you just need to drink plenty of fluids and ride it out... or use things like zinc, lysine, etc that boost your immune system. Regarding marathons, there are lots of athletes that are vegans and do just fine regarding muscle tone and strength training... I am not too familiar with pregnancy and vegan diets to speak in defense or against it, so I won't... I will say, though, that naturally, humans didn't "start" on an omnivore diet... only after we gained the skills of hunting did we adopt eating animals and the human race was still populating prior to the skill of hunting, so if eating your necessary vitamins/nutrients through fruit, vegetables, legumes, nuts, etc... I do not see any added need for animal products... I would be interested in some actual info/data on the topic though since I am no expert...

      April 28, 2011 at 1:15 am |
      • just stop

        everything you have posted is absurd. Chimps hunt with spears, therefore our chimp-like ancestors most likely did as well. Not only did we start as omnivores we were likely omnivores before we were human

        April 28, 2011 at 11:26 am |
  16. Troy from S'port

    I have nothing against making healthier food choices. But I am opposed to all religions and vegetarianism is a religion. Like all other religions nearly 70% of it's adherents are female who have to look to outside sources to find a sense of worth. And honestly, as a carnivore I have a much healthier diet than most vegans if the are cooking food as show above on a regular basis. I eat red meat about once a week or less. I don't keep eggs in the fridge but end up having to run to the store if I'm cooking a recipe that calls for them and that's maybe once every couple of months. I love milk and will not use any substitutes for it. Don't use much butter for cooking but when I do it's real butter....much healthier and more digestible than margarine (even vegan approved margarine). IMy meat intake is about 2/3rd's chicken 1/3rd fish.

    April 28, 2011 at 12:57 am |
  17. former_vegan

    Not to be preachy, just sayin'. Eat local. Being a vegan is not a "get out of jail free" card. You still need to be conscious of your actions and think critically about what you're eating and where it comes from.

    April 28, 2011 at 12:43 am |
  18. former_vegan

    The whole "Veganism will save the planet" idea is a bit simplistic and short sighted. I used to be vegan (and before that, a vegetarian for many years). The truth is, no matter what your diet, the key is to eat locally. If your diet consists of locally grown vegetables, than bravo. However, if your diet consists of "Tofutti cuties" and the like, then sadly you are feading into the factory farming, government-subsidized machine as much as any meat eater. To produce the vegan foods that I used to consider so cruelty-free; modern, industrialized agriculture forces land to grow crops that are alien and unnatural to it, robs the planet of its resources, destroys whole eco-systems, and wipes out entire species of plants and animals.

    April 28, 2011 at 12:41 am |
    • Rob

      I understand what you're saying, and I don't completely disagree. However, I will say that eating "tofutti cuties" is STILL not as damaging as consuming a meat-based diet, which most of the grown corn and soy goes to anyway. Obviously, locally grown is better than not, but eating non-gmo soy based foods that aren't local, isn't worse than eating a hamburger patty from mcdonalds that was from a suffering, tortured cow that was also fed gmo corn, pumped full of antibiotics and hormones. So while I understand what you're trying to say, eating meat doesn't not rob the planet of it's resources, destroying whole eco-systems, etc... eating meat still comes out worse no matter how you try to spin it.. people often forget that almost all of our corn and soy that is grown goes to feeding all the slaughtered animals, only a small portion of it is actually eaten by people.

      April 28, 2011 at 12:47 am |
    • Vasu Murti

      Veganism Is Direct Action!

      "A diet that can lead to heart attacks, cancer, and numerous other diseases cannot be a natural diet," writes Keith Akers in A Vegetarian Sourcebook (1983). "A diet that pillages our resources of land, water, forests, and energy cannot be a natural diet. A diet that causes the unnecessary suffering and death of billions of animals each year cannot be a natural diet."

      I understand there are conservative Christians who fear vegetarianism...which is kind of like being afraid of nonsmoking, nondrinking, or recycling. Ronald J. Sider of Evangelicals for Social Action, in his 1977 book, Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger, pointed out that 220 million Americans were eating enough food (largely because of the high consumption of grain fed to livestock) to feed over one billion people in the poorer countries.

      A pamphlet put out by Compassion Over Killing says raising animals for food is one of the leading causes of both pollution and resource depletion today. According to a recent United Nations report, Livestock's Long Shadow, raising chickens, turkeys, pigs, and other animals for food causes more greenhouse gas emissions than all the cars, trucks and other forms of transportation combined.

      Researchers from the University of Chicago similarly concluded that a vegetarian diet is the most energy efficient, and the average American does more to reduce global warming emissions by not eating animal products than by switching to a hybrid car.

      "Livestock are one of the most significant contributors to today's most serious environmental problems. Urgent action is required to remedy the situation."

      –Union Nations' Food and Agriculture Association

      Nearly 75% of the grain grown and 50% of the water consumed in the U.S. are used by the meat industry. (Audubon Society)

      Over 260 million acres of U.S. forest have been cleared to grow grain for livestock. (Greenpeace)

      It takes nearly one gallon of fossil fuel and 5,200 gallons of water to produce just one pound of conventionally fed beef. (Mother Jones)

      Farmed animals produce an estimated 1.4 billion tons of fecal waste each year in the U.S. Much of this untreated waste pollutes the land and water.

      The following points and facts are excerpted from Please Don't Eat the Animals (2007) by the mother-daughter writing team of Jennifer Horsman and Jaime Flowers:

      "A reduction in beef and other meat consumption is the most potent single act you can take to halt the destruction of our environment and preserve our natural resources. Our choices do matter: What's healthiest for each of us personally is also healthiest for the life support system of our precious, but wounded planet."

      –John Robbins, author, Diet for a New America, and President, EarthSave Foundation

      One study puts animal waste in the United States to between 2.4 trillion to 3.9 trillion pounds per year. The United states produces 15,000 pounds of manure per person. This is 130 times the amount of waste produced by the entire human population of the United States.

      A 1,000-cow dairy can produce approximately 120,000 pounds of waste per day. This is the functional equivalent of the amount of sanitary waste produced by a city of 20,000 people.

      Factory farm pollution is the primary source of damage to coastal waters in North and South America, Europe, and Asia. Scientists report that over sixty percent of the coastal waters in the United States are moderately to severely degraded from factory farm nutrient pollution. This pollution creates oxygen-depleted dead zones, which are huge areas of ocean devoid of aquatic life.

      Meat production causes deforestation, which then contributes to global warming. Trees convert carbon dioxide into oxygen, and the destruction of forests around the globe to make room for grazing cattle furthers the greenhouse effect. The Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations reports that the annual rate of tropical deforestation has increased from nine million hectares in 1980 to 16.8 million hectares in 1990, and unfortunately, this destruction has accelerated since then. By 1994, a staggering 200 million hectares of rainforest had been destroyed in South America just for cattle.

      "The impact of countless hooves and mouths over the years has done more to alter the type of vegetation and land forms of the West than all the water projects, strip mines, power plants, freeways, and sub-division developments combined."

      –Philip Fradkin, in Audubon, National Audubon Society, New York

      Agricultural meat production generates air pollution. As manure decomposes, it releases over 400 volatile organic compounds, many of which are extremely harmful to human health. Nitrogen, a major by-product of animal wastes, changes to ammonia as it escapes into the air, and this is a major source of acid rain. Worldwide, livestock produce over 30 million tons of ammonia. Hydrogen sulfide, another chemical released from animal waste, can cause irreversible neurological damage, even at low levels.

      The World Conservation Union lists over 1,000 different fish species that are threatened or endangered. According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimate, over 60 percent of the world's fish species are either fully exploited or depleted. Commercial fish populations of cod, hake, haddock, and flounder have fallen by as much as 95 percent in the north Atlantic.

      Livestock production affects a startling 70 to 85 percent of the land area of the United States, United Kingdom, and the European Union. That includes the public and private rangeland used for grazing, as well as the land used to produce the crops that feed the animals. By comparison, urbanization only affects 3 percent of the United States land area, slightly larger for the European Union and the United Kingdom. Meat production consumes the world's land resources.

      Half of all fresh water worldwide is used for thirsty livestock. Producing eight ounces of beef requires an unimaginable 25,000 liters of water, or the water necessary for one pound of steak equals the water consumption of the average household for a year.

      The United States government spends $10 million each year to kill an estimated 100,000 wild animals, including coyotes, foxes, bobcats, badgers, bears, and mountain lions just to placate ranchers who don't want these animals killing their livestock. The cost far outweighs the damage to livestock that these predators cause.

      The Worldwatch Institute estimates one pound of steak from a steer raised in a feedlot costs: five pounds of grain, a whopping 2,500 gallons of water, the energy equivalent of a gallon of gasoline, and about 34 pounds of topsoil.

      Thirty-three percent of our nation's raw materials and fossil fuels go into livestock destined for slaughter. In a vegan economy, only two percent of our resources will go to the production of food.

      "It seems disingenuous for the intellectual elite of the first world to dwell on the subject of too many babies being born in the second- and third-world nations while virtually ignoring the overpopulation of cattle and the realities of a food chain that robs the poor of sustenance to feed the rich a steady diet of grain-fed meat."

      -Jeremy Rifkin, pro-life AND pro-animal author, Beyond Beef: The Rise and Fall of the Cattle Culture, and president of the Greenhouse Crisis Foundation

      According to the editors of World Watch, July/August 2004: "The human appetite for animal flesh is a driving force behind virtually every major category of environmental damage now threatening the human future–deforestization, topsoil erosion, fresh water scarcity, air and water pollution, climate change, biodiversity loss, social injustice, the destabilization of communities and the spread of disease."

      Brother David Steindl-Rast, a Benedictine monk, similarly says in the February 1995 issue of Harmony: Voices for a Just Future (a peace and justice periodical on the relgious Left): "...the survival of our planet depends on our sense of belonging–to all other humans, to dolphins caught in dragnets to pigs and chickens and calves raised in animal concentration camps, to redwoods and rainforests, to kelp beds in our oceans, and to the ozone layer."

      Les Brown of the Overseas Development Council calculates that if Americans reduced their meat consumption by only ten percent per year, it would free at least twelve million tons of grain for human consumption–or enough to feed sixty million people.

      The number of animals killed for food in the United States is nearly 75 times larger than the number of animals killed in laboratories, 30 times larger than the number killed by hunters and trappers, and 500 times larger than the number of animals killed in animal pounds.

      People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is challenging those who think they can still be "meat-eating environmentalists" to go veg, if they really care about the planet.

      peta2 is now the largest youth movement of any social change organization in the world.

      peta2 has 267,000 friends on MySpace and 91,000 Facebook fans.

      A few years ago, PETA was the top-ranked charity when a poll asked teenagers what nonprofit group they would most want to work for. PETA won by more than a 2 to 1 margin over the second place finisher, The American Red Cross, with more votes than the Red Cross and Habitat for Humanity combined.

      “If anyone wants to save the planet,” says Paul McCartney in an interview with PETA's Animal Times magazine from 2001, “all they have to do is stop eating meat. That’s the single most important thing you could do. It’s staggering when you think about it. Vegetarianism takes care of so many things in one shot: ecology, famine, cruelty. Let’s do it! Linda was right. Going veggie is the single best idea for the new century.”

      April 28, 2011 at 2:48 am |
      • Snowbunny

        Holy balls.

        April 28, 2011 at 10:12 am |
      • I call BS on your eco- reasoning guys

        1)vasu go back to salon from whence you came, its really not fair of you to be an obnoxious spam prodicer on multiple websites

        2) farm waste from animals will be an important resource (and maybegreen fuel) in the future

        April 28, 2011 at 11:21 am |
  19. save-the-plants!

    Do vegans realize that plants ARE ALIVE?

    April 28, 2011 at 12:02 am |
    • Rob

      that's one of the most annoying comments people come up with when trying to prove vegans are somehow hypocritical. Plants and animals are very different things. Plants have no central nervous system, therefore cannot feel sensations like pain, depression, etc. That chicken, cow, lamb, milk, etc that you ate was kicked, stabbed, punched, tossed around like it was nothing. Sometimes had urine from the people that were "caring" for it in it's food.... That cow that gave you your morning milk was stabbed or shocked to force it to remain standing, even though it was too tired to stand, so that the machine it was hooked up to could continue extracting milk... it's disgusting the disregard people have for the suffering other animals go through for your food. And to all the religious nuts that say Jesus ate this and drank wine, who cares? First of all, how do you know? Because the bible said so, please. Secondly, they weren't abusing animals back then, they weren't shocking them and kicking them... it wasn't all about how many animals can we push through the production line today.. it was about eating what you needed... that is something we don't do today, so stop comparing two very different situations.

      April 28, 2011 at 12:28 am |
  20. bobson

    Isn't America great? We are so rich and prosperous as a people that many don't eat meat by choice. There are no vegans in Ethopia or other countries where people are starving.

    April 28, 2011 at 12:01 am |
    • Rob

      what's your point? shouldn't eating plants be less expensive than eating meat? How much does it cost to feed lettuce? Water and sunlight... what does it cost to feed a cow? corn/grains (that they shouldn't be eating), water, "shelter", slaughtering, skinning, separating parts, mashing together unusable parts to make "ground beef" for hamburgers, etc etc.... Doesn't it make you wonder why a hamburger at mcdonalds is 39 cents while one big tomato can cost over 3 dollars? Doesn't that make you question what kind of crap you're truly eating?

      April 28, 2011 at 12:33 am |
    • Rob

      Another little tidbit for ya, genius 80% of corn grown in the United States is used solely for feeding the animals that we end up slaughtering. So a more appropriate quote from you should be "Isn't america great, we are so rich and prosperous we can afford to feed the 10 billion animals that we slaughter for food every year" Think about how many people that 80% of corn would feed.

      April 28, 2011 at 12:41 am |
      • because

        all that corn hitting the market at once would be great for the farmers and our bodies!

        April 28, 2011 at 11:16 am |
  21. Elder John

    I have just started to become a vegan. Man's original diet was vegan from the Garden of Eden. Those planning on going to heaven why not get ready now?. The diet will be vegan! Adam lived over 900 years but meat eating was added to the diet after the world-wide flood. Many Seventh-day Adventists are vegan and they live an average 8-10 years longer then the general public and with must less diseases. The quality of life is important and phyiscal exercise is a must.

    April 27, 2011 at 11:26 pm |
    • bobson

      Isn't America great? We are so rich and prosperous as a people that many don't eat meat by choice. There are no vegans in Ethopia or other countries where people are starving.

      April 28, 2011 at 12:00 am |
  22. Tina C

    Liz Lovely vegan cookies are fantastic. And organic/fair trade. Good stuff.

    April 27, 2011 at 11:10 pm |
  23. Snowflake Laskara

    Some of the best cookies I've ever eaten were Vegan O'Brian cookies. If you're in the New York area, it is worth seeking out Vegan O'Brian baked goods.

    April 27, 2011 at 11:05 pm |
    • Snowflake Laskara

      Oops, they're spelled Vegan O'Brien. My mistake. They're even more delicious when spelled correctly: Vegan O'Brien. Yum.

      April 27, 2011 at 11:07 pm |
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