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starlight
Aug 6th, 2008, 08:46 PM
Apologies if this has already been discussed, but can anyone point me to a good source of information about the history of veganism?

I'm interested in questions like how veganism came about and developed; the nature of links with other movements like vegetarianism, animal rights or religions; the different ways veganism is manifest in different cultures round the world.

eve
Aug 7th, 2008, 12:07 AM
Why not try the UK Vegan Society's free information pack?
from Donald Watson House, 21 Hylton Street, Hockley, Birmingham B18 6HJ
I'm sure you know that Donald Watson was the person who first used the description 'vegan'.

harpy
Aug 7th, 2008, 12:22 AM
Here's a couple of links to start you off, starlight:

http://www.vegansociety.com/about_us/history/

http://www.americanvegan.org/history.htm

http://www.ivu.org/history/societies/vegansocuk.html

There are some more if you Google. I know of one or two histories of vegetarianism in book form but I haven't heard of any of veganism - hmm, gap in the market? :D

Klytemnest
Aug 7th, 2008, 08:31 AM
Apologies if this has already been discussed, but can anyone point me to a good source of information about the history of veganism?

I'm interested in questions like how veganism came about and developed; the nature of links with other movements like vegetarianism, animal rights or religions; the different ways veganism is manifest in different cultures round the world.

There is a nice, concise little chapter on it in The Complete Idiot's Guide to Vegan Living. (No offense) The whole book is very informative, especially for newbie vegans like ourselves... So I recommend it.

Now, on the topic of animal rights, I think Peter Singer is probably the best author.

exec
Aug 11th, 2008, 05:05 AM
I think the first mass march towards vegan lifestyle began from when Siddharta Gautama first started preaching Buddhism around the then India. But what I read was, he wasn't very particularly steadfast in having his disciples into strict veganism although the concept of not harming the other living beings, and thus to be in harmony with them, was strongly emphasized.

And when Buddhism was brought into China, some modifications were made in such a way that taste was barely allowed in the monks' meals. Garlic(near ubiquitous in Chinese meals) and onions were not allowed so as to free oneself from attachment to this laymen realm. Apart of this, meat and anything from animals were of course not allowed.

And should you visit most of the countries in the Far East Asia, and when you first introduce yourselves as vegans(vegetarians, since the word vegan is still strange to the community), most of the time, their first impression is that, "Religion?"

Korn
Aug 11th, 2008, 10:28 AM
Some will say that vegansim started with vegetarianism, and that Krishna was the first animal rights activist, based on his love for and defense of cows circa 5000 years ago - but most Hindus aren't vegan (even if, at least some areas, the 'higher' Brahmin apparently live on an animal free diet).

Krishna lived 2500 before Buddha (http://www.veganforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=15755), who - especially in the final stage of his life clearly promoted not eating meat, and there are are also discussions going back to Buddha's days going further than just avoiding meat. The Jain religion may be the most animal protective of all religions, and I've read that Jain influence is part of the reason that Hinduism became as pro-vegetarian as it did.

I guess a main reason that people in the Western world got interested in those thoughts, was Gandhi and his influence. He became famous all over the world for what he did for India, lived on a vegan diet - but later thought it was acceptable that humans would eat unfertilized eggs, which he believed was necessary for our protein needs.

He died in 1948, which happens to be the same year vitamin B12 was identified. People living on a vegan diet before that couldn't really deal with B12 issues, because they didn't really know about the existence of B12. Maybe Gandhi thought eggs were needed for protein, but it's IMO more likely that he had seen examples of people living on a vegan diet that were low in B12.

The history behind the word vegan is simple; Donald Watson (http://www.veganforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=912) (who by the way weren't associated with any of these religions, but very likely had heard about Gandhi and Eastern philosophies/lifestyle/religion) and some friends created the word in the 1940's, and the history after that is that veganism has become a word we hear more and more often.

The British vegan Society was founded in 1944 (by Watson and friends), a Vegan Society in California was founded by Dr. Catherine Nimmo and Rubin Abramowitz in 1948, the US Vegan Society was founded by H. Jay Dinshah in 1960.




Two interesting quotes - by Gandhi and Watson:

Reporter to Gandhi: "What do you think of western civilization?" Mahatma Gandhi: "I think it would be a good idea".

Donald Watson: "We don't know the spiritual advancements that long-term veganism - over generations - would have for human life. It would be certainly a different civilisation, and the first one in the whole of our history that would truly deserve the title of being a civilisation".

eve
Aug 12th, 2008, 09:21 AM
I must admit to feeling very frustrated when I read postings or magazine articles etc that laud Gandhi. He was never a vegan and his "fasts" were not water fasts but he had fruit juices, plus, more importantly his fasts were a form of blackmail to the Brits. Also IMHO, I question his legacy - at least with the Buddha, with Jains, and with Donald Watson, there are people taking up the reins, even in a very modest way. However, Gandhi chose his life of celibacy etc, merely to prove to himself that he was pure, and that by sleeping with his virgins to demonstrate his purity, he would change the world and Hindus and Muslims would stop killing each other. I know what the Brits did in India and elsewhere, but when Gandhi was shot by a Hindu in 1948 and the Brits withdrew as promised during WWII, the Hindus and Sikhs couldn't chop up each other fast enough. Where was Gandhi's legacy then? Where is it now other than in vegan literature!

Korn
Aug 12th, 2008, 10:46 AM
I've heard these 'sleeping with virgins' story as well (apparently, it happened at least once). Personally, I'm not 'lauding' Gandhi. However, I don't think we can blame him for what happened after his death - and whether people appreciate what he did or not, it seems that he probably was the most known Indian in Western world when he lived.

The stories about proving to himself that he was 'pure' definitely don't sound good. I've even heard that he wasn't only wanting to 'prove' that he was pure, but to 'test' if he was pure. What if he wasn't? What would that virgin say with an 'unpure', old man in her bed, suddenly realizing that he wasn't 'pure'?

I've read several places that he was living on vegan diet for a while - but I trust you, Eve, more than myself here - you lived when he was alive and have probably read more about him than I have.

I do think veganism in the Western world started with vegetarianism, meaning that any famous, vegetarian Indian may have played a more or less important role in influencing the Western population towards using less animal products, because back then, the number of people who were unaware that it's possible to survive well on a meat free diet was much higher.

Having said that - some lacto-vegetarians seem to use more animal products (milk, cheese etc) than meat eaters - so who knows how all these influences actually end up in reality. At least - 'pure' or not, Gandhi was against using milk due to how the cows were treated (cow blowing (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cow_blowing) apparently was/is common even in a country with 'holy' cows) - and abstained for using milk at least for a part of his life.

He's of course more famous for what he did with the Brits than his diet, since vegetarianism is so common in India that they call what we consider 'normal' food in the West for 'Non-Vegetarian' food.

For what I know, maybe Beatles (the world's first all-vegetarian band) did more for vegetariansim - and therefore indirectly, for veganism - than Gandhi or anyone else. Then again, Beatles were also influenced by Maharishi and other Indians - which again points back to Buddhism, Jainism and Hinduism.

Gorilla
Aug 12th, 2008, 11:12 AM
At least - 'pure' or not, Gandhi was against using milk due to how the cows were treated (cow blowing (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cow_blowing) apparently was/is common even in a country with 'holy' cows) - and abstained for using milk at least for a part of his life.

i'd never heard of this 'cow blowing' before - i have no idea how that would work :confused:


For what I know, maybe Beatles (the world's first all-vegetarian band)

were they? of course i knew Paul was veggie, but i wasn't aware the others were.

Korn
Aug 12th, 2008, 11:48 AM
According to these links, they were all vegetarians:

http://www.happycow.net/famous_vegetarians.html
http://almostvegetarian.blogspot.com/2007/05/crazy-88s-or-eight-eight-people-you-may.html


Geiorge Harrison apparently became a vegetarian when they were in India in the 60s (and kept being into Indian philosophy, religion, Ringo Starr is a 'strict vegetarian' according to IMBD and other sources I've seen (except for Xmas and Bonfire night). However, I just found this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZTAsEdbI-Ys)...

http://www.catanna.com/mccartney.htm

Did you know that Ringo Starr and Yoko Ono are also vegetarians? So were John Lennon and George Harrison. And so are fellow musicians Bryan Adams, Fiona Apple, Joan Baez, Paula Cole, Elvis Costello, Bob Dylan, Peter Gabriel, Melissa Etheridge, Billy Idol, Gladys Knight, Ziggy Marley, Natalie Merchant, Olivia Newton-John, Prince, Richard Thompson, Shania Twain, Charlie Watts and Dwight Yoakam. Famous actors who've gone veggie include Woody Harrelson, Gillian Anderson, Rosanna Arquette, Alec Baldwin, Kim Basinger, Candace Bergan, Lisa Bonet, Downtown Julie Brown, Belinda Carlisle, Julie Christie, Penelope Cruz , Ted Danson, Danny De Vito, David Duchovny, Michael J. Fox, Janeane Garofalo, Richard Gere, Daryl Hannah, Mariel Hemmingway, Dustin Hoffman, Ashley Judd, Ricki Lake, Avril Lavigne, Pamela Anderson, Tobey Maguire, Steve Martin, Mary Tyler Moore, Kathy Najimy, Leonard Nimoy, Anna Paquin, Pink, Phylicia Rashad, Jerry Seinfeld, William Shatner, Ally Sheedy, Alicia Silverstone, Marina Sirtis , Courtney Thorne Smith, Julia Stiles, Eric Stoltz , Jonathan Taylor Thomas, Liv Tyler, Cicely Tyson, Lindsay Wagner, Keenan Ivory Wayens and Vanessa Williams. Famous vegetarians of the past include Leonardo da Vinci, Charles Darwin, Albert Einstein, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Albert Schweitzer, George Bernard Shaw and H.G. Wells. So GO VEGGIE! You'll be in great company :-)


"When Ringo went to Hunter Davies' for dinner one day, he warned Davies that the Beatles were vegetarians now. Davies' wife, Margaret Forster, cooked a vegetarian meal for him, but when Ringo arrived he explained that although he was vegetarian he didn't actually like vegetables and would rather have beans on toast!" [Source: "The Beatles, Football and Me" - Hunter Davies]


John Lennon apparently became both a vegetarian and into macrobiotic food, and if you combine vegetarianism with macrobiotics you get a rather strict (as in very limited) vegan diet as a result. Even though macrobiotic food isn't vegan as such, the way it's been practiced has been dominantly free from animal products.

I spoke with a British journalist around the time when the (then) new Beatles documentary was produced in the late 90s, and he told me that Beatles refused to have the documentary shown on TV channels that had TV commercial for meat.

I just found a link (http://singmyheart.blogspot.com/2007/03/you-know-that-what-you-eat-you-are.html) with some more detailed info about Beatles and how consistent their vegetarianism was, and will also post it as a separate thread.



Famous Vegetarians and Their Favorite Recipes: Lives and Lore from Buddha to the "Beatles" by Rynn Berry (Paperback - Jun 2002) (http://www.amazon.co.uk/beatles-Vegetarian-Vegan-Food-Drink-Books/s?ie=UTF8&keywords=Beatles&rh=n%3A271165%2Ck%3ABeatles&page=1)

starlight
Aug 12th, 2008, 09:31 PM
I think the first mass march towards vegan lifestyle began from when Siddharta Gautama first started preaching Buddhism around the then India. But what I read was, he wasn't very particularly steadfast in having his disciples into strict veganism although the concept of not harming the other living beings, and thus to be in harmony with them, was strongly emphasized.

And when Buddhism was brought into China, some modifications were made in such a way that taste was barely allowed in the monks' meals. Garlic(near ubiquitous in Chinese meals) and onions were not allowed so as to free oneself from attachment to this laymen realm. Apart of this, meat and anything from animals were of course not allowed.


Hi exec,

Thanks for these thoughts.

There's a great explanation of the complex relationship between Buddhism and vegetarianism at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buddhist_vegetarianism

I'm quite a fan of Shakyamuni Buddha. Although vegetarianism probably predated his (last) birth, one can easily make an argument that the spread of Buddhism throughout the east has done much to spread vegetarianism and compassion to all living beings, even if not all Buddhists are vegetarian.

starlight
Aug 12th, 2008, 10:02 PM
I must admit to feeling very frustrated when I read postings or magazine articles etc that laud Gandhi. He was never a vegan and his "fasts" were not water fasts but he had fruit juices, plus, more importantly his fasts were a form of blackmail to the Brits. Also IMHO, I question his legacy - at least with the Buddha, with Jains, and with Donald Watson, there are people taking up the reins, even in a very modest way. However, Gandhi chose his life of celibacy etc, merely to prove to himself that he was pure, and that by sleeping with his virgins to demonstrate his purity, he would change the world and Hindus and Muslims would stop killing each other. I know what the Brits did in India and elsewhere, but when Gandhi was shot by a Hindu in 1948 and the Brits withdrew as promised during WWII, the Hindus and Sikhs couldn't chop up each other fast enough. Where was Gandhi's legacy then? Where is it now other than in vegan literature!

Hi eve,

I feel you are being very hard on Ghandi.

His real legacy is about demonstrating the power of non-violence to change the world for the better - surely an important and very relevant idea in todays troubled world. It was an idea which was alive in the anti-vietnam war movement, in the nuclear disarmament movement and in the movement against the invasion of Iraq. And it is alive still.

His choices of diet and celibacy were not publicity stunts but part of his devout Hinduism - he took a "brahmacharya" vow which is similar in many ways to the vows of Buddhist monastics. To Gandhi, developing inner purity was an important precursor to making positive change in the world as expressed in the famous quote "be the change you want to see in the world".

Veganism was not part of these Hindu practices, and in fact I believe he took his vows many years before Donald Watson "invented" veganism. Surely then it is harsh to chide him for not adopting a diet that nobody else had heard of or adopted at that time?

On the contrary, I believe he deserves much credit for making positive efforts on compassionate eating in a very unenlightened age. He was a very early and active member of the vegetarian society in London, and his autobiography catalogues his desire and (failed) attempts to give up cows milk in a society where knowledge of healthy nutrition in general was rudimentary, and knowledge of healthy vegan diet was non existent.

And is it really right to blame Gandhi for the actions of others after his death?

Oh, and the David Attenborough film he inspired is pretty awesome too :)



best wishes

eve
Aug 13th, 2008, 07:42 AM
Starlight, perhaps I am hard on Gandhi, but over the years this almost worship has become irritating to me. Perhaps he did want to change the world non-violently, who knows? Though I certainly consider that he used fasting as blackmail. What made him think that he could change the whole world? I do recall the anti-vietnam movement which took many years and achieved zilch until the US realised that they had lost, and got out. Also the anti korea war movement when I used to speak on public platforms in England against the war, the nuclear disarmament and the anti iraq war. The iraq war hasn't ended yet either. As for Afghanistan, all western countries support that war. Should we all fast?

However, these movements didn't involve a guy standing up and saying he will fast until it all stops. Actually he was in London in the 1930s and stayed in the East End, where many Jewish people lived, and they asked what he thought about what was going on with the nazis and the jews in Germany, as many of his questioners had relatives out there. His response was quite cavalier, and amounted to his saying that what's happening in Germany is up to the Germans. I was a child at the time, but as Gandhi was famous, it was discussed in my extended family, and we weren't too impressed.

He may have taken a "brahmacharya" vow, but with the hinayana buddhist monks who ALL take such a vow, they don't sleep with young girls. Yes he tried to give up cows milk but gave up the attempt, when in London trying to become a barrister, he ate meat saying that perhaps it's the meat that makes the Brits so strong. He gave that up too.
I didn't see the Attenborough film - I'm very choosy about movies and books.

Starlight you say "And is it really right to blame Gandhi for the actions of others after his death?" I'm not doing that, but just pointing out that after his death and to this day, there is violence between Hindus and Muslims, and around the world between various ethnic tribes, as has happened just this week in Georgia. So I simply asked what was his legacy?

Korn
Aug 13th, 2008, 09:17 AM
Whatever Gandhi did for non-violence and vegetarianism in the Western world, I think it's important to emphasize that Gandhi wasn't associated with the vegan movement, and that his opinions are only his own. Veganism essentially boils down to a definition that can be explained in a few sentences. We don't need to defend or justify Gandhi, anyone else - or what they did/said.

I've recently learned that Gandhi said things about Hitler that could be interpreted in a much more negative way than just saying that 'what's happening in Germany is up to the Germans'. He apparently tried to play a diplomatic role, even wrote two letters to Hitler - and tried to convince him to go for a non-violent solution (before WW II), and in a typical diplomatic manner opened the letter with 'my friend'. It seems that what he did was essentially to try to contribute to the prevention of WWII, but of course, if Gandhi writes a letter to Hitler opening with "Dear.... " or "My friend.....' some people will claim that they were friends or that Hitler was particularly 'dear' to Gandhi. Some even claims that Gandhi once said that he didn't consider Hitler to be as bad as he is depicted, which probably either must have been an extreme case of diplomatic language (before the war), an altruism including absolutely everyone - or a misquote...

Gandhi talked about what the best ways to fight Nazism was, not about not fighting Nazism: "I want you to fight Nazism without arms or ... with non-violent arms."

Regarding his legacy, one can of course ask if what he did for non-violence has much of effect today - even in his own homeland.

Since he was active in the British Vegetarian Society when he lived in England, maybe his unwillingness to use meat and milk and focus on how cows are treated has inspired others to a lifestyle he didn't follow himself, a lifestyle more in tune with a non-violent message that the traditional, Indian vegetarianism was.

Donald Watson became vegetarian when he was 14 (in 1924), and founded The Vegan Society 20 years later. Gandhi was a law student in England sometimes around 1880-1890, but his impact as a promoter of non-violence was probably much stronger in the 1940s than when he was active in the local vegetarian community during his student years. The Vegan Society was founded in UK during the last few years (1944) before India became independent (in 1947, a year before Gandhi was killed), and I guess that non-violence has never been discussed more in UK than during those intense years.

I find it likely that the foundation of a vegan movement in UK at the same time as non-violence and Gandhi got all this focus isn't totally accidental - so at least theoretically, Eastern influence could have played an important role for the vegetarian and vegan movement in the Western hemisphere. Not that it really matters...


Gandhi's first letter:
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/a3/Gandhi_to_Hitler.jpg

About his second (http://koenraadelst.voiceofdharma.com/articles/fascism/gandhihitler.html) letter:


Gandhi was not that mild in judging the crimes Hitler had already committed. In particular, he criticized the already well-publicized Nazi conviction that the strong have a right to subdue the weak: "But your own writings and pronouncements and those of your friends and admirers leave no room for doubt that many of your acts are monstrous and unbecoming of human dignity, especially in the estimation of men like me who believe in human friendliness. Such are your humiliation of Czechoslovakia, the rape of Poland and the swallowing of Denmark. I am aware that your view of life regards such spoliations as virtuous acts. But we have been taught from childhood to regard them as acts degrading humanity."

Mahk
Aug 13th, 2008, 09:30 AM
Actually he was in London in the 1930s and stayed in the East End, where many Jewish people lived, and they asked what he thought about what was going on with the nazis and the jews in Germany, as many of his questioners had relatives out there. His response was quite cavalier, and amounted to his saying that what's happening in Germany is up to the Germans. I was a child at the time, but as Gandhi was famous, it was discussed in my extended family, and we weren't too impressed.
But "what was going on" in Germany as far as he would have known is that the current government seems perhaps anti-semitic. Things didn't escalate to the level of arm banding the Jews and homosexuals until 1939 and it wasn't common knowledge that the concentration camps even existed until after the war. If asked what he thought about what was going on in the US [color segregated restaurants, transportation etc ] I don't think I'd be surprised if he also would've said the same thing.
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I loved the film. "No thanks, I dined in prison" cracks me up every time.:p It really moved me. especially when he musters the strength, even after having been badly beaten, to crawl over to the fire and burn his passport [thingy] papers in protest that his people must carry them. Which amounts to arm bands really. It's a label that you are a second hand citizen.

starlight
Aug 13th, 2008, 06:47 PM
Starlight, perhaps I am hard on Gandhi, but over the years this almost worship has become irritating to me.


Hi eve,

I understand what you mean here - his life has been mythologized by many people over the years. In an age of spin and cynicism one's suspicions are bound to be aroused when something (or someone) is portrayed as being too good to be true.

In these circumstances, one has to look at the historical evidence of Gandhi's life in a careful and balanced way if one is to try and separate his real historical legacy from any positive spin.

But engaging in negative spin is surely not the best way to counter any possibility of positive spin.

Please take a look at the film - it's a good film IMO and I haven't heard any complaints about it being significantly inaccurate in its portrayal of Gandhi. Perhaps you will change your mind about Gandhi when you see him as (some) others do.


So I simply asked what was his legacy?

This feels like a negative and closed question, intent on proving his legacy is less than popularly perceived. What good comes from that line of inquiry?

I hope you will forgive me for not engaging with it further - I'm more concerned with improving my own (pitiful) contribution to the world.

eve
Aug 14th, 2008, 02:38 AM
Starlight, you say: "I hope you will forgive me for not engaging with it further - I'm more concerned with improving my own (pitiful) contribution to the world."

Me too!

starlight
Aug 14th, 2008, 07:09 PM
A supplimentary question for you learned historians of veganism ...

I'm wondering how veganism grew from its birth with Donald Watson. Has it really been by organic growth through newsletters sent out from an unassuming man in Yorkshire? Or have there been media events or other movements (animal rights?) that have brought it to the public attention?

Mahk
Aug 15th, 2008, 12:00 AM
I doubt anyone has population data for our numbers since 1948. I hate to admit it, but I would assume Peta is largely responsible for, albeit often indirectly, perhaps three quarters of our population. I challenge anyone to find an on line animal cruelty video that they didn't' have a hand in producing, for example. They are also extremely well known and well funded so their propaganda, flawed as it is, is more widely dispersed than little mom and pop outfits. This is not a plug for them. I'm just saying they are huge, rich, and powerful and therefor influential.

Korn
Aug 15th, 2008, 07:22 AM
While Peta obviously are part of the reason many people have gone vegan (at least for a while), they're also responsible for a lot of people being against both the animal rights and the vegan movement - and definitely a reason veganism isn't considered being more 'mainstream' than it is. Since they focus more on vegetarianism than on veganism, they could even be 'largely responsible' for a lot of potential vegans being lacto-vegetarians instead.

It looks like scientific, independent research confirming over and over again the link between animal products and poor health, and and - over and over again - documenting that people need to eat more plants is a relatively important part for people accepting that it's possible to survive well without animal products. Proofs (produced by non-vegans) that it's possible often counts more than opinions from people who think it's a good idea.

Since there's much more plant based 'world food' (Thai/Indian/Mexican/Middle-Eastern etc) being eaten today than it was, say 50 years ago, it's also easier to become a vegan: people know that their tastebuds don't need to suffer if they skip animal products.

There's also much more cookbooks, and some good, vegan writers, like Jo Stepaniak (http://www.vegsource.com/jo/), books like Diet for a New America, internet - and 'Suitable for vegans and vegetarians' labels on some food reminding people that veganism exists. AFAIK The Vegan Society has been instrumental in contributing to better food labeling.

People are also more focused on media and celebrities. Since many actors/athletes/artists are vegans, that helps too. Now, if some decent organization only could produce documentaries/DVDs for people who are interested in veganism but not interested enough to read a book (or just try going vegan for some weeks), we would get further... faster.

green woman
Aug 15th, 2008, 01:41 PM
Apologies if this has already been discussed, but can anyone point me to a good source of information about the history of veganism?

The 50th anniversary edition of the Vegan magazine is still available and has a good article about the beginnings of the vegan movement. It costs just 75p plus p&p from the Vegan Society.

http://www.vegansociety.com/shop/product_info.php?products_id=23&osCsid=30390d

green woman
Aug 15th, 2008, 01:47 PM
People are also more focused on media and celebrities. Since many actors/athletes/artists are vegans, that helps too. Now, if some decent organization only could produce documentaries/DVDs for people who are interested in veganism but not interested enough to read a book (or just try going vegan for some weeks), we would get further... faster.

Truth or Dairy is pretty good, I got it years ago on video and it's now available on DVD. It's presented by vegan 'celebrity' Benjamin Zephaniah.

http://www.vegansociety.com/shop/product_info.php?cPath=40&products_id=218&osCsid=30390d

Joeybee
Aug 15th, 2008, 03:35 PM
I read "Vegan stories from around the world" by Ronny Worsley et al. It is published by the vegan society. It has a few sections which talk about the history of veganism, and is a great read in general, made me proud to be vegan.

Mahk
Aug 15th, 2008, 04:25 PM
- and 'Suitable for vegans and vegetarians' labels on some food reminding people that veganism exists. AFAIK The Vegan Society has been instrumental in contributing to better food labeling.
For one country only though, England, right? I can't speak for Europe etc. but I can tell you that not a single food I buy in N. America has their approval sticker. In fact I don't even know what it looks like. Is it that green and yellow flower symbol I see at their site?

I'm not sure the "look here's proof a plant based diet is healthy" argument is a good way to convert people to veganism. It doesn't speak to why they shouldn't buy leather shoes and silk ties for example. Also I don't think that's what keeps people away anyways at all. People need to get the concept down that animals are not our slaves. A baby step approach like you suggest may or may not work, I don't know.

Do we have a poll what percentage of us vegans went through an intermediate stage of some form of vegetarianism? I'd be curious about that.

harpy
Aug 15th, 2008, 05:39 PM
Do we have a poll what percentage of us vegans went through an intermediate stage of some form of vegetarianism? I'd be curious about that.

So would I. I don't remember seeing a poll like that.