5@5 - Give vegan cooking a chance
October 17th, 2011
05:00 PM ET
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5@5 is a daily, food-related list from chefs, writers, political pundits, musicians, actors, and all manner of opinionated people from around the globe.

What do former President Bill Clinton, Russell Simmons and Ellen DeGeneres have in common?

If you said they all steer clear of animal products, then ding ding ding, we have a winner!

From international bake sales to critically acclaimed documentaries, veganism is officially mainstream - but that doesn't mean the plant-based diet still doesn't have its skeptics. Even the most devout of vegetarians shudder at the thought of the other "v" word, pledging their allegiance to the United States of Grilled Cheese.

If nixing dairy, meat, eggs and butter still sounds just as fun as stubbing your toe or sitting next to that person on the subway, chef Chloe Coscarelli - the first vegan to win a Food Network cooking competition - is here to make her case.

Why Veganism Isn't As Terrible As It's Made Out To Be: Chloe Coscarelli

1. Less fat, more flavor
"When you replace artery-clogging saturated animal fats with plant-based ingredients, you're automatically making your dish more healthful and more flavorful. Instead of grilling a piece of meat and relying on animal fat for flavor, use a creative array of vegetables, grains, legumes, herbs, and spices to create innovative and exciting dishes. Cooking vegan is a great way to add a variety of flavors, colors, and nutrients into your diet, without busting your belt!

For example, rather than making plain ol' burgers that you could buy at any fast-food chain, I like to make 'Mexicali Sliders' that consist of savory black bean patties topped with spicy mango sauce and guacamole. The black bean patties are rich in protein, high in fiber, low-fat, and packed with flavor. Caramelized onions are the secret ingredient to these patties because they add moisture and sweetness.

And hold the mayo! My spicy mango sauce is made from mangoes and sun-dried tomatoes that make for a sweet, creamy, cholesterol-free condiment. These sliders are vibrant in color and packed with sweet, savory, and spicy flavor - the perfect low-fat easy fix for your burger cravings."

Mexicali Sliders

For the Black Bean Patties

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 small carrot, peeled and finely diced or shredded (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup water

For the Spicy Mango Sauce

  • 1 mango, peeled and cut
  • 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, whole or sliced
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 tablespoon white or apple cider vinegar
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt

For the Guacamole

  • 3 avocados, halved, pitted and peeled
  • 2 tablespoons lime or lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup salsa fresca
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 12 to 15 mini buns or dinner rolls

Cooking Directions

  1. To make the black bean patties: In a large nonstick skillet, heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium heat. Add onions and let cook until tender and slightly caramelized, about 20 minutes. Transfer onions to a large bowl. Reserve skillet for later use.
  2. Add beans, carrots, cornmeal, breadcrumbs, chili powder, salt, cilantro, and water to the bowl of onions. Use a large spoon or your hands to mash it all together. If the mixture is too dry to hold together, add more water, 1 tablespoon at a time.
  3. Using your hands, form the bean mixture into patties, to match the size of your slider buns. In the reserved nonstick skillet, heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat, and pan-fry patties about 3 minutes on each side, until lightly browned and crisp. Add more oil to the skillet as needed. Drain patties on paper towels.
  4. To make the spicy mango sauce: Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
  5. To make the guacamole: In a large bowl, mash together avocado and lime juice, then fold in salsa fresca. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. To assemble the sliders: Slice each bun in half and layer a couple teaspoons of spicy mango sauce, a black bean patty, and about a tablespoon of guacamole. If you have extra spicy mango sauce, you can use it as a dip for your fries.

2. Vegan food is safer
"You don't have to worry about cross-contamination on your cutting board when you're not working with raw meat. Also, vegan ingredients don't spoil as quickly as meat and dairy products - score!

The biggest plus? When you're baking vegan, you can lick the spoon or taste the cookie dough because there are no raw eggs in sight and no threat of salmonella."

3. Anything you can do, I can do vegan
"We've all heard the stereotype that vegan food tastes bland and boring - wrong! You can cook just about any traditional food the vegan way. Sliders and fries, macaroni and cheese, Indian curries, Mexican tacos, the list goes on. Everything can be made meat-free with simple substitutions.

For instance, instead of making tacos with shredded pork, I like to fill my tacos with shredded oyster mushrooms, which are high in protein, cancer-fighting, and have a succulent, meaty texture.

Or rather than making pizza smothered in greasy cheese, I like to top my pizza with a creamy, garlicky white bean purée that adds much more flavor and nutrients than cheese.

Want creamy decadent fettuccine Alfredo without the cream? You're in luck because it tastes even better vegan-style. Blending raw cashews with water makes a perfect cream sauce base that can be infused with garlic, herbs or spices for savory dishes."

4. Vegan cupcakes rock
"Instead of baking with eggs, which are high in cholesterol, try using vinegar. I know it sounds strange, but vinegar is a great egg replacement in baking. When combined with baking soda, vinegar binds the cupcakes together, leaving no need for eggs. This trick makes for the most delicious and moist cupcakes, and I promise you won't taste the vinegar. Because if you could, there's no way I would have won first place with my vegan cupcakes on Food Network's 'Cupcake Wars.'"

Chocolate Strawberry Shortcake Cupcakes

For the cake

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (or gluten-free all-purpose flour plus 3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup coffee, water, or coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons white or apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

For the frosting

  • 1 cup non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 to 5 tablespoons soy, almond, or rice milk

To garnish

  • 1 1/2 cups hulled and sliced fresh strawberries
  • powdered sugar

Cooking Directions

  1. To make the chocolate cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line 2 (12-cup) cupcake pans with 14 cupcake liners.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together coffee, oil, vinegar, and vanilla. Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and whisk until just combined. Do not over mix.
  3. Fill the cupcake liners about two-thirds full with batter. Bake for 16 to 18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cupcake comes out clean with a few crumbs clinging to it. Cool the cupcakes completely before frosting.
  4. To make the frosting: Using a handheld or stand mixer, beat the shortening until smooth. With the mixer running on low, add powdered sugar, vanilla, and 1 tablespoon nondairy milk at a time, as needed, until frosting reaches a spreadable consistency. You may not need to use all of the nondairy milk. Beat on high for 2 more minutes until light and fluffy.
  5. To assemble the cupcakes: Once the cupcakes are completely cooled, slice off the top 1/3 of each cupcake and slather with frosting and sliced strawberries. Place the top of the cupcake back on top and add an additional bit of frosting and sliced strawberries. Dust with powdered sugar.

5. Lipitor, be gone!
"Vegan food is naturally cholesterol-free. How awesome is that?"

Is there someone you'd like to see in the hot seat? Let us know in the comments below and if we agree, we'll do our best to chase 'em down.

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Filed under: 5@5 • Cuisines • Think • Vegan • Vegetarian

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    November 17, 2011 at 10:06 pm |
  11. Cz

    In the USA, veganism is becoming FANCIER day by day – which it SHOULD NOT. There is NOTHING FANCY about being a vegan or vegetarian. Because of all this fancy crap, VEGAN ingredients are more expensive than others. This cost makes people hate vegan foods. VEGETARIANISM / VEGANISM is all about principles AS HUMANS to live life. THAT IS IT........No hype. I still do not understand how can one love their pet animals as dear souls and eat pig, chicken, cow etc. which are raised for the SOLE PURPOSE of consumption and then KILLED brutally. CAN ANYONE EXPLAIN THIS???????

    November 13, 2011 at 10:32 pm |
    • who dat

      Can you explain to us why you won't shut the frack up?

      November 14, 2011 at 7:10 am |
      • Cz

        If you would like to open your mouth wide, why do you want others to shut their mouths?

        November 14, 2011 at 1:00 pm |
  12. Cz

    CNN just made it political by dragging in some names. VEGANISM or VEGETARIANISM is not just about food. IT IS BASED ON PRINCIPLES, WAY OF LIFE, COMPASSION by the 6-Sense-Humans towards the 5-sense Animals. You guys love to eat chicken, pigs etc. which are raised in farms. BUT the same you guys love to keep the same animals as pets!!!!! YOU RAISE CATS AND DOGS AS KIDS......VERY IRONICAL AND RIDICULOUS. A SATIRE. Some people in some parts of the world even eat cats and dogs. And they will be termed as DEMONS. Why not show the same compassion to FISH, CHICKEN, PIG, COWS, SHEEP etc. They too are like CATS AND DOGS.

    November 13, 2011 at 10:26 pm |
  13. Wookie

    I always enjoy Chloe Coscarelli's articles/videos/recipes. She shares vibrant, classy, and easy recipes. She's actually not that political – this article is a mild exception. I think vegans should stop being obnoxious and look to effective vegan 'role models' (for lack of a better word) like Chloe and Brendan Brazier. If you want to sell it, don't let the viewer know. Because meat eaters always look for an excuse to become defensive. Peace :D

    November 8, 2011 at 11:12 pm |
  14. Adam

    Ironic that she touts the vegan diet becaue of the 'negatives' of an omniviorous diet and then includes canned beans and cornmeal on her list of ingredients. Next time you are at the supermarket pick of a can of beans or a box of cornmeal and read the ingredient list.

    November 8, 2011 at 8:20 pm |
  15. shawnl

    I think the ratio of male to female vegetarians has got to be 1:10. Women just seem to naturally crave less meat than men. Most likely because of how different our bodies are. Men need more protein to build our thicker, heavier muscled bodies.

    November 7, 2011 at 3:02 am |
  16. Rima

    This was a cute article! I think you should interview Carolyn Scott-Hamilton of http://www.HealthyVoyager.com! She's got a kick ass new cookbook coming out, is a world traveler with an awesome online travel show, is a nutritionist, chef and has helped so many people who follow restricted diets live life to the fullest and tastiest!

    November 3, 2011 at 10:14 pm |
  17. Jonathan

    So it wasn't cantaloupe that caused the deadliest outbreak of food poisoning in a decade? Or it was some sort of meat based cantaloupe?

    A vegan diet is no more or less inherently healthy than any other. In fact, it's easier to be less healthy on a vegan diet, because a vegan isn't getting a complete source of protein from any one source. They have to make sure to eat the right combinations of foods to get their complete proteins. It's all about moderation. If you sit down and eat an entire cow's worth of meat in a day, you're going to be unhealthy. If you eat nothing but celery and lettuce, you're going to be unhealthy. We've evolved to eat a combination of meat, fruits, grains, and vegetables, and if you remove any of those from your diet, you're going to have to be careful to replace it with something that will give you the nutrients you would normally get.

    November 2, 2011 at 2:59 pm |
    • VegGirl

      Let me say this, ever since I went vegan I've gotten more compliments on how my skin is beautiful and glows, my nails have never been stronger and I can actually poop (weird, right?). I started transitioning into the vegan lifestyle when I was 15, was a vegan by the time I was 16. Today I'm happy and healthy as I'm about to turn 18. People think that vegans are self rightous are full of crap, I've found it's usually the other way around, meat eater force their opinions down the throats of vegans. Vegans are usually generous people that are passionate about food and willing to share it with the world.And if you really think that meat eating is the way to go look at the current state of our people, they're sickly and obese. I've lost 20 pounds since going from vegetarian to vegan. my cholesterol dropped 20 something points. I have more energy and I never cry over my meals. I enjoy food, if vegan food wasn't delicious I would never have become a vegan. And until the all those haters have tried Chole's cupcakes, you can't talk about how bad vegan food is, because I doubt you've ever had vegan food unless it was accidently vegan like fries. Putting something down before you experience it seems so juvenile, like children not wanting to eat a vegetable because it's green. My friends are always wanting me to cook or bake for them because they love to eat my food, especially my baked goods. My mom isn't vegan but she loves when I cook, she has cut down on her dairy,meat and egg consumption drastically. She didn't do it just because, she did it because she's satisfied with the food I cook and she feels so much better when her digestive system isn't trying to digest animal prodcuts. Sure it's not for everyone but if it's not it doen't affect you in anyway. So why hate? Because you're unsatisfied in your own life? Because hating gives you a satisfaction? Everyone though I believe could cut down on their meat, dairy and egg consumption. Not only for the enviroment but for their own health and waistline.

      November 3, 2011 at 11:33 pm |
      • YouShouldNo

        VegGirl, I wish I had a Vegan personal Chef at my disposal. I would definitely go Vegan. But alas, I am not equipped to do it on my own. I love beans, vegetables, fruit etc. but I do not have the knowledge to cook and eat vegan all the time. I really need someone to take care of me when it comes to cooking. Life would be so much easier. I loved your post!

        November 7, 2011 at 12:55 pm |
    • blue streak

      Food borne illness outbreaks in produce are generally traced back to cross-contamination with animal products, or improper sanitation by a factory worker.

      You are assuming that the only necessary nutrient is protein, and that it is difficult to obtain with a vegan diet. The idea of protein combining is antiquated, and both soy and quinoa are complete proteins. Of course one wouldn't be healthy eating nothing but celery and lettuce, any more than one would be healthy eating nothing but meat. I don't believe you are educated enough about a vegan diet to make conjectures about the ease of healthy eating. In fact, without all of the "convenient" fast food - an individual eating an alternate diet is forced to make mindful decisions about food, planning in advance for meals, which influences healthy food decisions.

      No one is making you vegan. I'd hazard to guess that most vegans don't care what you eat. Incorporating a meatless meal or two into your repertoire would probably be great for your health and the environment, however.

      November 4, 2011 at 12:56 pm |
      • DatGuy

        Look up the traditional inuit diet to see how eating primarily animal products affects you.

        November 8, 2011 at 11:35 pm |
  18. merm

    btw, the recipe is delicious. you know, what the post was about.

    October 31, 2011 at 3:42 pm |
  19. merm

    I like how everyone against Veganism claims there will be a sufficient drop in protein intake. If anything we over-do the protein.

    Breakfast: 5 eggs, a slab of bacon and sausage with protein fortified milk and yogurt.
    Snack: A protein shake and nuts, because hey, I need the protein.
    Lunch: Some chicken because hell, I haven't had enough protein today. Oh yeah don't skip the beans. Pile those beans on.
    Dinner: Some bloody steak, pork, lamb, whatever I can kill that will give me protein because I'm obviously suffering a defiency from not having protein at all hours of the day with fortified o.j.
    Nightime: I'll have a glass of fortified milk before sleep, it helps me stay asleep. Oh yeah and my vitamins, because, you know, I need the protein.

    October 31, 2011 at 3:41 pm |
    • Jonathan

      None of that changes the fact that vegans are removing the only source of complete proteins from their diet. The only source of complete protein is from meat. All other proteins are incomplete, so you need to make sure you have a combination of foods in your diet that give you a complete protein. If you don't you're going to be protein deficient.

      November 2, 2011 at 3:46 pm |
      • Cz

        Meat is just one of the sources of complete proteins along with certain legumes, grains, dairy like spirulina, quinoa, buckwheat, hemp milk, or a combination of foods like rice+beans etc.......SO, there are very STRICT VEGETARIANS in India, Buddhists etc. who are living and have lived longer life. SO, IT IS STUPID TO SAY meat eaters are healthier. It's just another excuse you guys have to eat bacon, chicken etc. Whereas we vegetarians or vegans are principle-based than you. And ovo-vegetarians eat EGGS which is NOT VEGETARIAN because yolks are fetuses. And Piscetarians eat FISH which is NOT VEGETARIAN because they eat fish!! FUNNY.....

        November 13, 2011 at 10:13 pm |

    The Vegan label is about image and Ego as much as it is about food.Some people need to feel superior, and claim to be more evolved or spiritual.I do not eat any meat and pretty much stick to a veggie based diet.I do eat fish when I feel like it or at a pricey restaurant.(I don't want to pay for a thrown together veggie dish) I do feel better eliminating meat, kind of lighter and a little clearer headwise. I think people should find their own level according to what they need, You have to put some time into it. You can eat meat without supporting factory farming. Maurice

    October 27, 2011 at 6:39 pm |
  21. Rafael


    October 27, 2011 at 4:06 pm |
  22. aan

    I am a vegetarian, but primarily vegan most days. I won't repeat all the dietary and health benefits, or the fun it is to cook the huge variety of vegetables that are out there once you look for them. But it's a clear fact that eating less meat (ideally no meat, I think) will help our environment. If you don't do it for yourself, do it for your children.

    October 27, 2011 at 3:41 pm |
  23. OoogaBooga

    I see recipes for all the sides but nothing about the main course. How is the vegan prepped and cooked?

    October 24, 2011 at 3:59 pm |
    • Chloe Preparation

      Start by slooooowly peeling off the outer l@yer of clothing. Head South and slooowly commence to e@t it r@w.

      October 24, 2011 at 4:50 pm |
    • krishna

      I was eating meat for almost 27 years and I became vegetarian 2 years back and never had any desire to go for meat again. The craze for meat gradually reduced and now I have no traces of desire in my tougue for meat. I became more active, energetic and also venturing into many vegetarian wonderful dishes. When i use to eat meat i use to think that there are only few tasty meat dishes in the world but after becoming vegetarian i am almost in for a surprise how many veggie tasty dishes are there.

      Apart from tremendous health benefits, consciousness improvement there are much more other valuable benefits you are deriving just by being a vegetarian. All of these are extensively documented in this below presentation. Please please take benefit from this and pass on this to your near and dear ones so they can benefit. We can all together make a difference in our lives.


      October 26, 2011 at 11:06 am |
  24. mikey

    I had a heart attack 5 mos. ago and have been researching nutrition ever since. I personally ate very little meat, no butter,and alot of veg. oils, and too much sugar. Americans have always eaten a lot of animal products, and sat. fat intake was very high. Around 1910 there was a new product on the market called CRISCO. since then america gradually changed from sat. fat to veg. fat and heart disease frequency rate rose in step with this. veg. oils should not be heated, they become toxic, and crisco was made just for cooking. Sat. fat doesn't get rancid from heat. This is the only thing I've found to explain why heart disease is more common than ever.

    October 22, 2011 at 8:55 pm |
  25. PopEye

    I eatz me Spinach and Olive Oyl.

    October 20, 2011 at 9:51 pm |
  26. carmelita

    alright i have always been interested in giving up meat but scared. what are some GREAT replacements for a burger. i love burgers. please give good websites for me to visited, thanks

    October 20, 2011 at 7:37 pm |
    • U.S. Border Patrol.gov

      This is a very good website for you. Just take your time.

      October 20, 2011 at 7:47 pm |
    • Rick

      Great replacements for a burger? There are soy burgers that taste fine, but they won't fool you into thinking it is a cow burger. I like portabella mushrooms in place of meat, but it ain't for everyone. Good luck on your search

      October 21, 2011 at 9:51 am |
    • jammin jammer


      October 21, 2011 at 10:06 am |
      • Adam

        Are you honestly saying that eating this is better better than eating a peice of humainly raised grass fed beef or a nice piece of fish? (black bean burger)

        Allergen Information:

        November 8, 2011 at 8:46 pm |
    • Vegetarian

      When I stopped eating meat, one of the things I thought would be impossible to give up would be burger. It turns out, I like black bean burgers better than a meaty burger! I do not like other types of veggie burgers though, so my recommendation would be to try out a black bean burger. Morningstar has an excellent spicy black bean burger, or if you are going out, I have found (in Texas, surprisingly) that a lot of local burger places offer veggie burgers, and quite often it's of the black bean variety.

      The first black bean burger I had made me realize that going vegetarian wasn't going to be so difficult after all.

      Good luck!!!

      October 21, 2011 at 11:31 am |
  27. Al

    I used to eat a "balanced" diet and I ended up with arthritis and skin cancer. No medicine could reverse either disease but when I went vegan both just disappeared. I have more energy than ever before and I haven't been to a doctor since I changed my diet 7 years ago. I will never go back to eating animal products.

    October 20, 2011 at 6:07 pm |
  28. HMiller

    "Nothing will benefit human health and increase the chances for survival of life on earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet." ❦❥❧—Albert Einstein

    October 20, 2011 at 2:38 pm |
    • Fonda Diques

      yeah and he's dead now

      October 20, 2011 at 2:50 pm |
      • HMiller

        Ummmm...so you didn't ...know...that people were *mortal*...?

        October 20, 2011 at 3:12 pm |
  29. HMiller

    ❦❥❧ Everyone knows that a vegetarian or vegan diet is healthier; that’s not even in question. Anyone with a middle school education—and the ability to read can tell you that.

    So that’s not the issue—the science is in—and has been for quite some time. The mere fact—one among thousands—that vegetarians live longer is really all one needs to point out, to shut down frivolous arguments.

    “If humans were physiologi¬cally designed to kill and consume dead animals the way carnivorou¬s creatures are, there could be no justifiabl¬e argument to oppose meat eating, but we are not anatomical¬ly equipped to handle the digestion of animals. “

    The Comparativ¬e Anatomy of Eating
    by Milton R. Mills, M.D.

    However, the problem is our species isn’t very bright. We do things that routinely and consistently harm our very own health and survival. Nope, we’re none too bright are we?

    –We harm our own bodies with fatty meat diets that raise our chances for every disease known to man—plus give us bad skin, makes us chubby and unattractive—and, oh cause impotence.

    Then we wreck the planet likes it’s disposable ad we can always get a new one.

    Eating Red Meat May Boost Death Risk
    Study Shows Red Meat Consumption Linked to Higher Risk of Dying From Cancer, Heart Disease
    By Kathleen Doheny
    WebMD Health News
    Reviewed by Elizabeth Klodas, MD, FACC

    Men and women who eat higher amounts of red meat and processed meat have a higher risk of dying from cancer, heart disease, and other causes compared to those who eat less, according to another recent study.

    "We found the consumption of red and processed meat is associated with a modest increase in overall mortality, as well as cancer and cardiovascular mortality in both men and women," says study researcher Rashmi Sinha, PhD, a senior investigator at the National Cancer Institute.

    Bottom line—people are going to do what they’re going to do—it’s better to accept that.

    And when they face the consequences they’ll realize that all the snarky comments they made on the internet—aren’t’ so funny anymore.

    Peace to all those who educate themselves and see the light—good luck to the rest.Truly. ❦❥❧

    "Nothing will benefit human health and increase the chances for survival of life on earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet." —Albert Einstein

    October 20, 2011 at 2:36 pm |
    • UniStudent

      Sorry, had to comment on the "we are not designed to eat meat" argument. First of all, cave people didn't eat lots of fruits, vegetables, and nuts, because they simply weren't as available and often weren't worth it as far as calories and satiety go. So, we evolved thousands of years ago eating primarily meat, with modest amounts of tubers, vegetables, insects, and foraged plants. Our mid-sized digestion tract also point to not having a primarily vegetarian diet, because if you did we would need a longer gut to maximize the nutrient extraction (mineral, protein, and other nutrient availability is generally lower in carb sources) and along time for bacteria to digest some of the cellulose for extra energy. So, lets all agree that it took us thousands of years to evolve, and we ate primarily a meat based diet for thousands of years, and have only adapted to eating a vegetable-and-grain diet since the agricultural revolution.

      If you want to argue about the benefits of a vegan diet, saying "we were born to not eat meat!" is not the way to go, scientists will shake their head at you.

      October 20, 2011 at 9:35 pm |
    • UniStudent

      Also the study you mentioned, and many of the others I'm assuming you are referencing with you generalized comments, use a flawed diet analysis that does not take many other things into account. For example, we can say that red meat consumption is linked to heart disease. Did you know that right now in America there is less red meat consumption than has ever been on record? And yet obesity and CVD increases. Also, most of your blood cholesterol does not come from the foods you eat, which is why you can still have high levels of cholesterol after adopting a vegetarian diet but lead a stressful lifestyle or consume a lot of sugar. Cholesterol is synthesized in the liver in response to insulin spikes, which you get after eating carbohydrates, particularly unrefined.

      Many studies on vegetarians are confounded because they identify just two lifestyles: "vegetarian" and "Western". While I have spent a lot of time as a vegetarian, I have spent an equal amount of time eating whole, unprocessed foods, a diet absolutely nothing like the "typical" western diet. Am I less healthy now that I have reintroduced organic meat into my diet and removed grains for the most part? No, all my digestion problems have gone away, I've lost five pounds and that bloated "skinny fat" look I had while eating vegetarian foods. So, while vegetarianism didn't work for me, I'm sure its a good time for a lot of other people. Equating meat consumption with choosing your own death is a little ridiculous though. Eating any highly processed, refined, high-carb, high-sugar diet on the other hand...that's another story.

      October 20, 2011 at 9:42 pm |
      • Megan

        Thanks Uni student for offering a well rounded argument for the previous statement, I really appreciate your intelligence on the matter. I wanted to add in some other information that might help make the vegan argument a little more solid. Vegan, very different from vegetarianism, excludes milk and other dairy products which is a huge part of the Standard American Diet. Humans are the only species on the planet that drink the milk of another species and after weaning age. The vast human population is unable to drink milk after weaning because they cannot digest lactose with the exception of some people of European descent who continue to produce the enzyme throughout their lives. Studies by Cornell Professor T. Colin Campbell have found a direct link between cancer growth and the consumption of milk because milk, a key element to the growth of mammals has nothing to sustain in a full grown adult that it usually ends up feeding cancer cells that would have normally been killed shortly after creation. Secondly, I couldn't find the study but it has been argued that part of our evolution was due to the fact that we were able to digest legumes. I'll post it as soon as I find it. I don't eat meat, but I wouldn't say that it was completely evil and I think it is a fact that as a generation, people eat way more of it than naturally intended. :}

        October 23, 2011 at 10:41 pm |
  30. Christina

    I have been vegan for a year and I have never felt better or healthierin my life. Unfortunately, it's something you can't really understand unless you do it. I didn't realize how bad I felt until I felt so good, and I attribute feeling that good to my plant based lifestyle.

    Prior to becoming vegan, I never understood it, thought it sounded crazy, etc. So, unless you have actually tried it, how you can judge it because how don't know what it is like. Almost all vegans have eaten meat, dairy and eggs at some point becoming vegan, so we can comment on it from real experience.

    So, if you want to bash veganism, why don't you try it for at least 3 months so you can accurately comment on it? Otherwise, your opinions are not really that useful.

    October 20, 2011 at 2:25 pm |
    • Bette

      Christina – You are so right on – It's like religion – you can talk and talk about it – you can drag people to church – you can tell them about God and all sorts of things – but you CAN'T make them believe – that has to come from THEM – same thing with veganism – (or vegtarianism) – just TRY IT – it is the EXPERIENCE – not what people SAY – not what you READ – it's DOING IT and EXPERIENCING it – I did and I'm happy to tell anyone who asks – I don't push it on them – but when you see a healthy, vibrant person who is at peace and serene – you WANT TO KNOW what they are doing..... :)


      October 20, 2011 at 9:08 pm |
      • Christina

        so well stated :-)

        October 20, 2011 at 9:29 pm |
    • UniStudent

      I was a vegetarian for give years, a vegan for six months, had a very different experience. I think that saying a vegetarian diet is the healthiest option for everyone can be a bit of a misnomer because food is very personal. I had a lot of digestion problems while I was eating a plant-based diet, my stomach was bloated and distended for much of the time giving me a look I call "skinny fat" that I see on some vegetarians and vegans I come across. My estrogen levels were also unusually low, which went away when I reintroduced animal protein. Now, my skin and hair are totally different, and my digestion problems have gone away since eliminating most grains and adopting a higher-fat vegetable and animal based diet. It doesn't work well with everyone!

      October 20, 2011 at 9:47 pm |
      • Christy

        Is it possible you had a food allergy? A distended stomach sounds like a food allergy having friends with food allergies. Especially if were consuming lots of wheat.

        October 21, 2011 at 10:48 pm |
    • abbyful

      Would you be willing to flip it around? Why don't you try Paleo/Primal for 3 months and see how you feel?

      October 21, 2011 at 10:56 am |
  31. abbyful

    People's health problems in America are not because of the inclusion of meat in thier diets. It's to exclusion of vegetables/fruits, the a high-carb low-fat diet, and overall junk in our food (just read the ingredient list on virtually any prepackaged food).

    October 19, 2011 at 1:11 pm |
    • UniStudent

      Yeah, it's crazy how everyone hops all over the meat, without realizing that we eat less meat than our distant ancestors ever would have, we have decreased our red meat consumption significantly in the last ten years, and our overall fat intake is continuing to decline every year, and despite it all we have obesity and diabetes that somehow get dumped on meat as the culprit. We also eat more vegetables than ever (think of how many vegetable varieties your grandparents would have in their day- whatever was in season, and not much of it). What has really changed? The massive amount of sugar in our diet, and the high levels of processing. That is the broken leg on the chair.

      October 20, 2011 at 9:50 pm |
  32. Jerv

    Cool read. I'm gonna try the Black Bean Patties. Thanks!

    October 19, 2011 at 7:46 am |
    • JainaJade@Jerv

      I have a recipe for these (in a "sausage" form) on my blog if you are interested in another recipe. They are GREAT with curry ketchup or sirachi mayonnaise

      October 20, 2011 at 2:54 pm |
      • Jerv@JJ

        Thanks for the heads up, I will check it out.

        October 20, 2011 at 3:14 pm |
  33. Ken

    I eat meat, and I make no apologies. I don't agree that a vegan or vegetarian diet in itself is healthier. What makes healthy eating, is a balanced diet. A ton of red meat is bad for you. On occasion and in moderation is healthy (B12 amongst other things). Vegetables are good too, and any meat eaters who don't fill their plates with a good mix are not eating healthy. But a strict vegetable diet isn't healthy either, sorry. You can't get enough B12 from non-animal sources to be sufficient for our bodies needs. This is biology and nature at work. Quit fighting what evolution has created and eat that next hamburger with reckless abandon.

    October 19, 2011 at 2:42 am |
    • Rick

      Ken: I agree with you. I am a vegetarian (primarily vegan) and have seen many veggies in name only. What makes a diet healthy is it's balance.

      October 19, 2011 at 5:52 am |
    • April

      B-12 is readily available in fortified cereals. The NIH website has a table of how much you need. A serving of a fortified cereal provides you with 100% RDA of B-12. So, a bowl of cereal with soy milk and a banana and I am good to go. I went vegan as an experiment. When you take the meat, dairy and eggs out of your diet – you have to replace it with more veggies, beans and fruits. I thought – if nothing else, I will have more interesting meals to eat. I didn't know I was going to lose weight and feel better with so little effort. Now, I choose a vegan diet.

      October 19, 2011 at 9:40 am |
    • Al

      Oh great. More baseless arguments to support meat eating. Please do not speak to evolution while you "recklessly abandon" one glaringly important fact: we are primates. We are not lions or wolves or raptors. A lowland gorilla grows to a few hundred pounds on a diet of mainly fruit and some plants and about 3% of "animal protein" in the form of termites and caterpillars. Also please remember many of us choose a plant based diet due to the way we inhumanely raise food animals in this country.

      October 20, 2011 at 2:42 pm |
    • noway

      B12 is NOT an animal based vitamin!! It is stored in the case of animals, that is true, but most of farmed animals get their B12 from the feed where it is artificially added. Only certain bacteria have the ability to synthesize B12, no animal or plant has the ability to do so – that is why B12 deficiency can occur in omnivores as well.

      October 24, 2011 at 11:26 am |
  34. Paul

    Those are advantages of veganism but veganism also has fairly frivolous restrictions.

    Ask yourself: Why should I not eat honey or clams, or mussels? I don't understand.

    October 18, 2011 at 7:27 pm |
    • Charlotte

      There are different sorts of veganism. The rationale behind "no honey" is the form of veganism that eschews ALL animal products. I think it's out of a dislike for exploiting the animals for our own purposes. Myself, I am not vegan and doubt I will ever become one, but I tend to eat vegan most of the time, it's just the way it falls out. Because I am always trying to curb my caloric and fat intake. So my choices end up inadvertantly vegan most of the time. But I do like milk in my coffee and once in awhile I'll use some cheese and once in a VERY rare while I will actually eat a dead animal – seafood, poultry, beef....but my body is not used to that so I usually don't feel very good afterward for about eight hours. I think the posts here saying stupid and judgemental things about vegans are very juvenile and they suggest a lack of intelligence in those posting. Why on earth do you get your panties in a wad because someone else has found an eating preference that doesn't match yours? Sounds like little Dick syndrome to me. If you haven't tried it, you have absolutely no basis for disdaining it, it just means you're an idiot.

      October 18, 2011 at 8:35 pm |
      • Charlotte

        And – Paul – this is not directed at YOU. You didn't say anything nasty or derogatory, you just asked a question. My comments about those who are so puerile are directed at THEM.

        October 18, 2011 at 8:36 pm |
      • Delta

        Charlotte, there have been childish, name-calling, my-wee-wee-is-bigger-than-yours kinds of comments posted in blogs for a very long time. Sadly vegan, vegetarian & omnivorous baggage alike hemorrhages from one thread to the next, creating animosity out of what otherwise appears to be thin air. It's fun for some and annoying to others – and it often makes for interesting reading on the nets. Why ask why? It is what it is.

        October 19, 2011 at 7:10 am |
      • Bette

        Charlotte – I tend to agree with you on most of what you said – I am a vegan (fairly recently) and feel and look and AM 100% happier and healthier – that's ME – I don't push it on anyone else – each person must decided for him/herself what is appropriate. I believe vegans don't eat ANY animal products because of what you said – it exploits animals – however, I still have not come to terms with the HONEY thing as I doubt bees are exploited ! certainly they aren't harmed in making honey – it's what they DO! I often wonder why meat eaters are SO ADAMANTLY ANGRY when they talk to or about vegetarians – why do they feel threatened? It's a CHOICE – and no one is making THEM make choices about their eating habits. I do agree that SOME plant-eaters are OVERZEALOUS and pushy – very true – but this gal is not one of them – I say – eat what you want – what makes you feel and look healthy – don't push your opinion on others and let's all live in peace & Harmony ~

        October 20, 2011 at 9:15 pm |
    • Sue

      @Paul, one reason people (both vegans and non-vegans) do not eat honey is to save the bee population, which in turn saves the human food supply because bees are of critical importance in pollination of many fruits and vegetables. Bees collect honey to feed the larvae/bee babies that are too young to leave the hive, and adult bees eat it during the winter when the flowers are all dead. So when a beekeeper takes honey, they have to replace it with something or the hive will die. Traditionally they replace it with sugar-water, but now some beekeepers use something cheaper high fructose corn syrup. Studies have shown that bees raised on refined white sugar or high fructose corn syrup are slower and weaker than wild bees raised on honey as nature intended. Bees have been disappearing, this is called colony collapse disorder. Bee Sanctuaries are now popping up where people plant lots of nectar-rich flowers, allow bees to feed the honey to their young and eat it during the winter, in hopes of bringing back the bee population that has disappeared in recent years. As far as clams and mussels, ethical vegans don't eat them because they are capable of feeling pain when killed, but I don't think this would be an issue for health-based vegans.

      October 21, 2011 at 3:42 am |
  35. Eat Vegan on $4 a Day

    Thought I'd stop in here since it was recommended by several Facebook pages. But as I scanned the comments, I saw so many angry meat eaters spewing hostile comments I probably won't be coming back here. My mom, aunt and both sisters had breast cancer, and many other diseases, mostly preventable as well. By the time I had kids, my folks were so diseased they couldn't lift my kids, let alone babysit or really know them. Having your chest cracked open for heart disease, losing a limb to diabetes or suffering the ravages of chemo are neither convenient or cheap. Preventable disease is not sustainable, no matter who pays for it. I place in 5K races for my age group, did my first marathon last year, run faster and longer than the high school girls I coach and often get mistaken for 10 or 20 years younger than I am. I didn't get all the good genes. When you understand there's no money in broccoli then you have to figure out what works for you. Blood tests don't lie. My cardiologist says I have the heart of a 21-year-old. A plant-rich diet really does save lives. A serving of beans is way cheaper than a comparable serving of the cheapest 30% hamburger meat.

    October 18, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  36. vegiebelle

    I'm a strict vegetarian . . . I only eat vegetarians

    October 18, 2011 at 3:40 pm |
    • Tati

      How old are you – 8?

      October 18, 2011 at 8:26 pm |
    • Goober Grape@Tati

      Maybe – but that was funny.

      October 19, 2011 at 6:59 am |
    • Tati

      You are right, Goober – would be funny for my 4 year old. For adults – not so much.

      October 19, 2011 at 3:44 pm |
      • Christy

        Any veggie spotlight seems to bring out the juveniles

        October 21, 2011 at 10:53 pm |
  37. Jim P.

    "The biggest plus? When you're baking vegan, you can lick the spoon or taste the cookie dough because there are no raw eggs in sight and no threat of salmonella."'

    Right, how many people recently died from tainted cantelopes? 23 deaths I beleive? That one little batch of cantelopes killed one tenth asd many people as died all year from salmonella across the entire country.

    Tainted food is tainted food. Five raw red kidney beans can give you serious vomiting and diarrhea..

    Veganism is an interesting alternativr but is no panacea for health or a replacement for sound food safety habits.

    October 18, 2011 at 3:21 pm |
    • Jenna

      Do you know where listeria (the pathogen in the cantaloupes) comes from? Animal waste, usually from factory farms. So indirectly, veganism would address that problem too. It's meat that caused the outbreak, not the produce.

      October 18, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
      • UniStudent

        Listeria actually comes from animal feces, original outbreaks in Southeast asia back in the day was from human feces that was getting in the water system. A good arguments against inefficient, poorly managed waste for large scale commercial farms, but I would warn against blaming the cows. Everything poops.

        October 20, 2011 at 9:54 pm |
    • abbyful

      I lick the spoon anyway, even if there are raw eggs. I also put a raw egg in my breakfast smoothie. The contamination rate of eggs with salmonella is 1 in 30,000; with average egg consumption, that's a chance of an individual coming across a contaminated egg once every 42 years. The "danger" of raw eggs is blown out of proporiton. (I've had food poisoning 3 times; all 3 times were from cooked food at a restaurant.)

      October 19, 2011 at 1:07 pm |
    • abbyful

      I lick the spoon anyway, even if there are raw eggs. I also put a raw egg in my breakfast smoothie. The contamination rate of eggs with salmonella is 1 in 30,000; with average egg consumption, that's a chance of an individual coming across a contaminated egg once every 42 years. The "danger" of raw eggs is greatly exaggerated. (I've had food poisoning 3 times; all 3 times were from cooked food at a restaurant.)

      October 19, 2011 at 1:23 pm |
  38. stephanie

    I am a vegetarian.. never pushed my views on anyone. my husband and daughter eat meat. i dont fix it. i am just really, really, disgusted by the look and feel of it. I made meatloaf for my husband last month, for his bday, i had to use crazy mental powers to stop thinking I was kneeding dead meat.

    October 18, 2011 at 3:14 pm |
    • Harry Pothead@Stephanie

      I eat a balanced diet.. never pushed my views on anyone. my wife and daughter are vegans. i dont fix it. i am just really, really, disgusted by the look and feel of it. I made a salad for my wife last month, for her bday, i had to use crazy mental powers to stop thinking I was kneeding listeria, e-coli, pesticides, fertilizer, poisons, etc.

      October 18, 2011 at 3:55 pm |
      • Jenna

        Not a valid response. LIsteria AND e. coli come from animal waste from factory farms. Pesticides are irrelevant if you buy organic...

        October 18, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
    • Charlotte

      You'd better avoid getting any cats, then. They are obligate carnivores and you will have to be disgusted at least twice a day if you feed them a diet that they can thrive on (meaning meat). If you deny them that food they will die (unlike a dog, which is actually an omnivore and can derive sustenance from both plant and animal products). Handling meat doesn't bother me at all, but then I have five cats and you cannot be squeamish if you share your household with five predatory carnivorous megafauna. I, however, am healthier if I don't eat much if any meat. Gotta have my morning latte, though, and I love yogurt!

      October 18, 2011 at 8:40 pm |
      • Al

        Wrong. Sorry Charlotte, vegan cat lovers are way ahead of you. Wysong Vegan Dry Dog and Cat Food. Look it up.

        October 20, 2011 at 3:54 pm |
      • No

        Vegan food for cats and ferrets is not healthy for them. Yes the bag says it is, but it's not. They are carnivores. They do not process vegetable proteins properly. All you are doing is setting them up for a shortened life and medical problems.

        If you want a vegan pet, there are many. Birds, some rodents, rabbits, a few reptiles. Pick one that's naturally a vegan instead of harming a carnivore because of your personal prejudices.

        October 20, 2011 at 4:03 pm |
      • Tati

        I would have to agree – it is cruel to make carnivore pets vegans b/c the owner is..

        October 20, 2011 at 6:26 pm |
      • Melissa

        If you are feeding cats – who are obligate carnivores – a vegan diet or promoting as such, you are being abusive to the cat. Cats need meat and need taurine, and I've seen many cats put on "healthy" vegan diets come into my vet office in horrendous shape because their owners think they know better than biology does. I've tested several of the so-called vegan cat diets. None of them are have appropriate taurine in them, and at least two claiming to have taurine had NONE in them.

        If you are feeding these items to your cat, you are actively abusing your pet. There is no other way to put this.

        If you want to eat vegan, great. Do NOT make your cat – who needs different nutrients than you – eat food that's not appropriate for his/her species.

        October 26, 2011 at 12:09 pm |
  39. Harry Pothead

    Oh pul-lease.
    Every vegan I know is a tree-hugging, bunny-humping "let's give the country back to the Indians" liberal who thinks there is nowhere else to shop except Whole Foods. You people are more annoying than religious zealots and MLM scammers combined.

    October 18, 2011 at 3:03 pm |
    • Rick

      You need to expand your sample size, Harry

      October 19, 2011 at 7:22 am |
  40. Danielle

    Wow, really? A lot of the comments on this blog just prove that a lot of people just simply cannot or are too stubborn to think critically about things. For example, is veganism unhealthy? Absolutely not, in upper level college nutrition classes (and from observation) vegans and vegetarians who monitor their diet, like any intelligent human on ANY diet should do, live longer, have a healthier appearance, have less health problems, and are usually more aware of the food they are putting in their bodies.
    Yes, veganism is a personal choice. Do some vegans try to convert meat eaters to become vegans? Sometimes. Do you not talk about the things you strongly believe in and try to sway others? I talk to people about how eating LESS meat is better for you. The major health problems that kill the most people in our nation can be attributed to an unhealthy diet. It is nearly impossible for vegans to have these health problems. So, common sense, those who are facing health issues attributed to food (diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure & so on…) can benefit in a major way from a vegan diet. In fact, it can save their life.

    TIP: Don't share your opinion unless you are educated on an issue. What your mom and dad told you is not always correct. Doing your own personal research on issues will make you a smarter person. People may actually listen to your opinions if you don't sound like a judgmental moron. Also, try to be a happier person. Happy people have open mind and are willing to explore outside their own box.

    October 18, 2011 at 2:55 pm |
    • Paul

      "Absolutely not, in upper level college nutrition classes (and from observation) vegans and vegetarians who monitor their diet, like any intelligent human on ANY diet should do, live longer, have a healthier appearance, have less health problems, and are usually more aware of the food they are putting in their bodies."

      But that should come as no surprise even if veganism was not any better than a traditional diet. The correlation could exist solely due to the fact that someone who is dedicated enough to maintain a strict diet is likely more willing and interested in maintaining their own health in other manners.

      October 18, 2011 at 7:34 pm |
      • EggNot

        But you're wrong... the peer reviewed studies are showing that it's not just about someones health conscious attitude towards life... it's about the fact that eating animals is bad for you on so many levels.

        October 20, 2011 at 2:35 pm |
  41. Captain Slapaho

    I've tried eating vegan, but he ran off of the grill while I was inside to get the barbecue sauce.

    October 18, 2011 at 2:26 pm |
  42. MaybeAgnosticMaybeNot

    She's pretty cute, but I can't help wondering if she has hairy armpits.

    October 18, 2011 at 2:22 pm |
    • Thomson

      Wow, whatta buzzkill. Her pits were the last things I was thinking about.

      October 18, 2011 at 2:28 pm |
    • Snorlax

      I was wondering what the knobs looked like under the hood, but to each their own.

      October 18, 2011 at 3:05 pm |
      • Thomson

        That's what I'm talkin' about. Maybe a nice tl!ck on the love canal, too.

        October 18, 2011 at 3:07 pm |
  43. Jaya Bhumitra

    Chloe's tips are awesome, and trust me, her recipes are amazing. I make her white bean pizza all the time and it tastes like a guilty pleasure, but there's no guilt! I also always enjoy sampling cookie batter without any fear of salmonella from eggs (I've had ecoli in the past, and I'm not risking that experience again). For a comprehensive guide to and entertaining video on egg-free baking, visit TryVeg.com.

    October 18, 2011 at 1:38 pm |
    • Soulerman

      You must be a house wife to have time to cook this $#!%. I hope you dont feed it to your hubby, if you have one. By my experience I must say men cant perform without meat in their meals, and I am talking real meat, not minced or processed fast food.

      October 18, 2011 at 2:40 pm |
      • Rick

        "By my experience I must say men cant perform without meat in their meals..."

        Maybe they just perform for you.

        I have been a veggie for 32 years, primarily vegan, and I have no problem in that area.

        October 18, 2011 at 3:15 pm |
      • Rick

        "Maybe they just can't perform for you" was the way it was meant to read

        October 18, 2011 at 3:17 pm |
      • Charlotte

        What a stupid remark. There is no difference between whole hunks of beef and minced beef (a.k.a. hamburger) chemically. If you have trouble performing then it's all in your head (the one on your neck, that is) and the problem is probably far deeper for you than just what you ate for dinner. My boyfriend is a vegetarian and he has absolutely no problems 'performing.' Maybe you should drink less alcohol, sometimes that is what causes your problem.

        October 18, 2011 at 8:45 pm |
    • Tati

      I will definitely visit the link. I like her and want to reduce if not eliminate meat from my diet. Felt better when did not eat it – physically and emotionally. I do cook from scratch about 90% of time (and work full time, one does not have to exclude the other) it is just hard to cook different things for all members of the familly – that is how I got back to eating meat.

      October 18, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
  44. Ann

    Honestly, why is everyone so afraid to try something different?

    I'm not going vegan because I like variety, and I enjoy meat dishes. However, I enjoy trying new foods and have found some vegan/vegetarian things I like. So, I'll have that once in a while. To me, it sounds like getting proper nutrition on a completely vegan diet would be too complicated, and I think I would just get sick of beans after a while.

    I also have a really difficult time imagining HONEY as a forbidden food. Yes, it'a an animal product, but I have raised honeybees, and they are not suffering. Really.

    A little of everything in moderation. By the way, if you want to try some vegetarian dishes, take a look at some of the Moosewood cookbooks. They have a lot of tasty, filling options that are not loaded with obscure or expensive ingredients. Their Moroccan stew is a favorite in our house!

    October 18, 2011 at 12:27 pm |
    • Charlotte

      Given that the healthiest diet is having meat once in awhile and vegetables/grains the rest of the time, why don't you consider rearranging your perspective. Have the meat once a week for variety and rely on the vegetarian for your basic food source. It's healthier – you get your meat treat (and believe me, it's much more special if you aren't consuming it all the time) – and you'll feel much better most of the time.

      October 18, 2011 at 8:47 pm |
  45. jillmarie

    Interesting article. I'll try the vinegar/baking soda trick. I'm vegetarian, not vegan, but that seems like a good way to cut calories in baked goods, and it will save me from using eggs or eggbeaters.
    Besides, I saw her episode of Cupcake Wars and read another article on her and her cooking style- I was impressed!

    October 18, 2011 at 12:27 pm |
    • Jaya Bhumitra

      Hey Jill, check out COK's egg-free baking brochure on TryVeg.com as well (on the right side of the page, right under the video, which you might also enjoy watching). It's totally comprehensive and gives you substitutes for whatever your egg-needs are.

      October 18, 2011 at 1:39 pm |
    • Charlotte

      I like your reasoning and approach – I have found the best way to cut calories is to avoid eating baked goods, though, LOL! At first it was a little hard to pass them by but now after a year and a half, they just don't even interest me any more (except a good kalamata olive loaf, I'd kill for one of those). The vinegar should work well, though. I do a lot of baking (I just don't eat any of it) and I know that when making pie crust, using vinegar instead of ice water will make a much more tender crust because it doesn't develop the gluten in the flour like water does. Maybe this is what's going on with the vinegar working in the cupcakes.

      October 18, 2011 at 8:50 pm |
  46. nicole A VEGAN

    It's really sad to see how ignorant people are. This article did not bash people for eating meet in any way at all. All it did was offer suggestions and information on a vegan diet. Why is it that us vegans have a bad reputation for being self righteous and arrogant yet the non vegans are the ones being the cruelest? I have never been as healthy as I am now living a vegan life style and my hair is not thinning,my nails are not brittle and yes I have lost a lot of weight but I'm at the perfect weight for my height and age. So instead of making yourselves sound stupid and ignorant, why don't you just accept the fact that different people have different beliefs.

    October 18, 2011 at 12:17 pm |
    • Soulerman

      That is because vegans/vegetarians set themselves apart from crowd every time, and state their vegan status in conversations, stressing how they are better people. Therefore vegans/vegetarians are labeled as snobs and posers. Simple psychology, nothing personal.
      As a meat eater and sportsman, I must say that I will outperform and beat any vegan/vegetarian with similar training and experience. Sport nutrition science is a cruel thing and vegans/vegetarians dont fit in there.

      October 18, 2011 at 2:47 pm |
      • Charlotte

        Oh, that's a load of hogwash, @Soulerman. You simply are over sensitive and if someone comments on being vegan (gosh, like, when there's a discussion about what restaurant to go to, maybe??) you take it as a personal affront because they ask to go someplace where they might be able to get a vegan dish, and you perceive them as being arrogant and superior-feeling. Moreover, you cannot outperform any vegetarian or vegan on the sports front, I can guarantee. You just don't know that the ones who beat you are vegans and vegetarians because unlike you, they don't feel compelled to rant about food choices.

        October 18, 2011 at 8:54 pm |
    • Rick

      "That is because vegans/vegetarians set themselves apart from crowd every time, and state their vegan status in conversations, stressing how they are better people. Therefore vegans/vegetarians are labeled as snobs and posers. Simple psychology, nothing personal.
      As a meat eater and sportsman, I must say that I will outperform and beat any vegan/vegetarian with similar training and experience. Sport nutrition science is a cruel thing and vegans/vegetarians dont fit in there."

      I don't state my dietary choices to others as a way of feeling superior. As far as the outperforming, you are a blowhard if you think that such a broad statement is accurate. Perhaps you want to compete with ultramarathon champion Scott Jurek (a vegan) on a 50 mile trail run. Or, try your luck against former Heisman Trophy winner, NFL all star and current Mixed Martial Arts competitor Herschel Walker (a vegetarian).

      October 18, 2011 at 3:36 pm |
    • Rick

      Soulerman: You stated in another post how, in your experience, men who don't eat meat cannot "perform". Are you out there trying to perform with men?

      October 18, 2011 at 3:50 pm |
      • Captain Slapaho@Rick

        Rick, I think I speak for most of the guys here when I say taht we are straight. Please take your h0m0 fantasies to an appropriate board. There are many.

        October 18, 2011 at 4:03 pm |
      • Rick

        Sorry, Captain Slappy, but I am a straight man. Soulerman said that in HIS experience, men who did not eat meat were not able to perform. I was just wondering how he got this personal experience.

        October 18, 2011 at 4:33 pm |
  47. MaybeAgnosticMaybeNot

    Many of you are claiming vegans are self righteous. I'm not vegan but I am a vegetarian. I have never tried to "convert" anyone. But I have never told someone that I was a vegetarian without that person becoming defensive. They start asking all the same cliche questions like "what do you eat?" Or they tell me how badly they want a steak, like that's going to offend me. I don't care what you do. But if your judging all vegans or vegetarians based on the actions of PETA, who even I hate, your no better than PETA is.

    October 18, 2011 at 11:34 am |
    • Charlotte

      Well said. I rarely discuss my diet with others unless the subject comes up. Lately it has come up fairly often because people want to know how I lost so much weight. I don't say I'm vegetarian or vegan, I just tell them I followed Weight Watchers. If they want more detail I point out that you can eat meat and butter and ice cream and eggs and whatever you want on the diet but I choose not to because 1) they aren't that important to me and 2) I really like other things better, and I like to eat A LOT of food. I can eat a lot more food when I just avoid the animal products for the most part, and I'm never hungry but still thin. I don't expect anyone else to eat the way I do. I feel very lucky that the man I have started seeing since a few months ago happens to be vegetarian. It certainly wasn't an issue one way or another but it makes it easy for me to cook him fantastic meals that I don't have to worry about gaining weight from!

      October 18, 2011 at 9:03 pm |
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