A Healthy and Compassionate Life!
Articles Reflecting a Vegan Lifestyle From All-Creatures.org

Vegan lifestyle articles that discuss ways of living in peace with humans, animals, and the environment.

FROM Laura Barlow, VegansMakeADifference.com
August 2020

Focusing on helping animals, protecting our environment and living a healthy and compassionate life!

Laura Barlow

I made a decision at fifteen that would change the course of my life. After viewing undercover footage from factory farms and slaughterhouses, I decided to go vegan. I was a lifelong animal lover and it felt wrong to support any industry that profited from their exploitation. I also became active in the movement to educate others about the benefits of a vegan lifestyle. Through Rhode Island Vegan Awareness, I was able to advocate for what I believed in. Rhode Island Vegan Awareness is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to advocating veganism for a more peaceful and just world for all life. We actively work to inspire justice and true respect for other species and the earth, educate the public with critical information and support the local community. Rhode Island Vegan Awareness is completely volunteer-driven.

At this point in 2019, I have spent twenty years living a vegan lifestyle, organizing events, passing out free vegan food, helping people transition to a vegan lifestyle and coming up with creative ways to raise vegan awareness. It has been both rewarding and challenging, however, I would not change a thing. Going vegan and dedicating my life to vegan awareness is the best decision I have ever made. I have seen the growth of veganism and am proud to be a part of the movement towards a healthier and more compassionate world. In this essay, I would like to provide inspiration and tips to those who are interested in transitioning to a vegan lifestyle.

More people are making the switch to a vegan lifestyle that is healthier for themselves, our planet, and our fellow earthlings. Veganism is one of the fastest growing lifestyles in the world. People go vegan for different reasons including benefits to personal health, our environment and animals. A healthy vegan diet can help you fight the leading causes of disease such as cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. Animal agriculture is the greatest contributor to deforestation, land usage, species extinction, ocean dead zones, water consumption, and global warming.

Our society treats animals like commodities, beings on an assembly line existing solely for profit. Humans slaughter animals at an unconscionable rate. Over 68 billion farmed animals are killed every year with no regard for their life or treatment. We unnaturally pump these animals with hormones, chemicals and confine them in tiny, filthy cages. We cut off their body parts while they are fully alert, scald them alive in boiling water, rip their babies from them at birth and often dismember them while they are fully conscious. It is very hard to comprehend the cruelty we inflict on animals because it is hidden from us and masked with propaganda and advertising. Connecting to animals and expanding your circle of compassion is one of the most beautiful things a human being can do. If you still consume animal products please take some time to watch the film, Earthlings.

It is an amazing time to make a choice to live a compassionate and healthier life! Setting a goal of living a vegan lifestyle is a great way to help you achieve this. When transitioning to a vegan lifestyle, always remember to practice compassion and patience with yourself. Although most lifestyle changes can seem daunting at first, over time they become very easy. This could not be more true than about the vegan lifestyle. Community and support are both key to success with any lifestyle change. There are many great resources to help you. One example is Challenge 22, an excellent program that offers a free 22-day vegan challenge. By signing up for Challenge 22, you will receive recipes and personal guidance.

Transitioning to a vegan lifestyle can be easy and fun. Start by making easy swaps in the kitchen. You can easily replace cow’s milk with a variety of plant-based options including almond, coconut, hemp, oat, rice and soy milk. Try a variety to find your favorite. It is also very easy to replace eggs in your cooking, baking and scrambles. The following are a few easy egg swaps. Here are a few examples of easy egg replacers for baking: 1/2 mashed banana, 1/4 cup applesauce, 1/4 cup silken tofu, 1 TBSP ground flax seeds mixed with 3 TBSP warm water or 1 TBSP chia seeds mixed with 1/3 cup warm water. All of these options work great or you could purchase a commercial egg replacer such as Ener-G Egg Replacer. Scrambled eggs are also easily replaced with a delicious tofu scramble or by purchasing Just Egg.

When it comes to cheese, your vegan options are endless. Experiment with using nutritional yeast in your recipes or sprinkle it on top of your favorite foods for an added cheesy flavor and nutritional boost. Buy a commercial cheese or make your own. Vegan cheese brands include but are not limited to: Follow Your Heart, Miyoko’s Creamery, Daiya, Chao, Treeline, Kite Hill, Go Veggie, Violife, Punk Rawk Labs and Heidi Ho. Use Google to find delicious vegan cheese recipes made from cashews or veggies.

Many of the items you have in your kitchen have a vegan version that is available at most supermarkets. These items include, but are not limited to: ice cream, yogurt, butter, coffee creamer, cream cheese and sour cream. There is even delicious vegan mayonnaise. My personal favorite is Vegenaise by Follow your Heart. Look for brands such as Beyond Meat (burgers & sausages) and Gardein (chick’n, burgers, beefless crumbles, fishless filets and more) to help you in your transition.

Get creative in the kitchen. Try making homemade veggie burgers, lentil loaf, falafel or meatless meatballs. One Green Planet is an excellent website for finding delicious vegan recipes. Try buffalo cauliflower for a tasty and compassionate treat. Throw together a quick chickpea “tuna” salad recipe from the Happy Herbivore using chickpeas, celery, relish, onion powder, nutritional yeast, soy sauce and vegan mayo.

There has never been a better time to make the decision to go vegan. Replace your favorite kitchen staples with a vegan version. Stop by your local grocery store and try something new. Search online for exciting new recipes. Visit a local vegan-friendly restaurant. Vegan options are everywhere! Keep in mind that a healthy vegan diet includes a large variety of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds. Your options are endless. Always focus on your why and the how will fall into place. Focus on helping animals, protecting our environment and living a healthy and compassionate life!

President, Rhode Island VeganAwareness.org
Elite Miss Rhode Island 2019
Instagram: rivegan

Vegans Make A Difference is here to give vegans a voice! In STORIES, vegans relate why their choice became one of the most powerful decisions of their lives, rooted in the philosophy of compassionate living. They give touching and heartfelt testimonials of why we must expand the circle of compassion to our non-human friends, celebrating each and every one of them as unique and beautiful individuals.

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