• I remind everyone
      that Vodka is made
      of Vegan stuff &
      filtered of all bull.

      ~ Alex Nodopaka

      Going on vacation cause you're going vegan (Photo - Pixabay).

      Going on vacation cause you’re going vegan (Photo – Pixabay).

      There was a time not so long ago you would hear the word “vegan” and it would conjure up images of boring salads, animal rights activists, and Birkenstocks (although most Birkenstocks are actually made out of leather). However, more and more people are now choosing a vegan lifestyle and it’s becoming cool to be vegan.

      By Jackie Poles Ran

      A 2012 Gallop poll reported that 2% of the US population actually identify themselves as vegan and it’s becoming a much more mainstream lifestyle. Celebrities and athletes are going vegan and so are former Presidents. Why the sudden change of heart towards veganism?

      Dairy cows (Photo - en.wikipedia.org).

      Dairy cows (Photo – en.wikipedia.org).

      1- The Environment

      With signs of global warming all around us, people are becoming more aware of how their choices are affecting the environment. We are recycling, composting, driving hybrids and electric cars, using more efficient light bulbs, and buying local from farmers markets. Animal agriculture remains one of the globe’s primary contributors of human-caused greenhouse gas, so going vegan is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint.

      • Do you know what one of the largest contributors to greenhouse gases is? A 2012 assessment by the FAO (The UN Food and Agriculture Organization) found that farms breeding chickens, pigs, and cows for meat and dairy products, produced a disconcerting 14.6% of global greenhouse gas emissions. That’s more than the worlds global transport (automobiles, planes, etc.) which contribute 13% of our global greenhouse gas emissions.*
      Vegan meal. (Photo - Jackie Horrick).

      Vegan meal. (Photo – Jackie Horrick).

      2- Great Food

      Vegan Food has come a long way. You can pretty much get anything you want “veganized” these days. Restaurants are catering to vegan diners more than ever before. Many of them offer vegan menus and much of the time, the vegan selections are more interesting and more tasty than the meat and potatoes that most restaurants serve. They use cashews to make cream sauces, coconut milk to make decadent ice creams, and vegetable proteins to make burgers, “chicken”, and “bacon”.

      • We have no shortage of great vegan restaurants here in the Pasadena area. Also, many pizza places offer vegan cheese, you just have to ask and most restaurants have vegan options on their menu.
      Clover (Photo - Jackie Horrick).

      Clover (Photo – Jackie Horrick).

      3- The Animals

      One of the best things about being vegan is that you know you are doing your part to make the world a better place for the animals. I became vegetarian as a child when I made the connection that the animals on my plate were the same animals that I loved and cared for. I’ve never looked back. Animals feel pain and want to live just as much as we do. Vegans avoid food and consumer products that are tested on or contain animal derived ingredients.

      • People are often surprised when they find out that my dog, Clover, was a rescue from an animal research laboratory. She is a Beagle with the sweetest manner (unfortunately, that is one of the reasons they use them in the lab; it’s their forgiving nature). She lived in a cage for 2.5 years before Beagle Freedom Project rescued her. She still has nightmares and wakes up yelping almost every night, but I know she loves her life outside the lab and I feel so lucky to have her in mine.
      Bean Sprouts (Photo - Jackie Horrick).

      Bean Sprouts (Photo – Jackie Horrick).

      4- Your Health

      Vegans eat everything except for Meat, Dairy, and Eggs. They eat vegetables, fruit, beans, grains, legumes, nuts, chocolate, pasta, and so on. There is no limit to all the healthy food vegans eat. Despite the myth, it’s not difficult to get enough protein on a vegan diet as long as you are eating a variety of food. There is plenty of protein in plant foods and there are many elite athletes that eat vegan diets and thrive.

      • There are many health benefits to a vegan diet which include a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes. Vegans tend to have a lower Body Mass Index (BMI), more energy, and a longer lifespan.
      Vegan pizza (Photo - Jackie Horrick).

      Vegan pizza (Photo – Jackie Horrick).

      5- You Just Feel Good

      There are so many reasons you will just feel better being vegan. You can rest easy knowing you are doing your part for the animals. Your body feels good because you are eating healthy food that digests well and doesn’t weigh you down. You look great because you have healthy skin, hair and nails. You are contributing less of a carbon footprint and are doing a great service for the environment. Last, but not least, you are enjoying great tasting food. How could you not feel good?

      Going Vegan

      If you would like more information about going vegan, there are many resources online. Here are just a few:


      Jackie Poles Ran is Director of Product Development for a vegan food company and lives in Pasadena with her two adopted dogs, Clover and Annie.

      *Data from theguardian

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      1. Uzi says:

        Great. Love to Clover.
        Sounds good !!!

      2. Stephen Maxwell says:

        We recently discovered the vegan egg white substitute aquafaba: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/11/dining/aquafaba-vegan-egg-substitute.html. Remarkably similar.

        • Jackie Poles Ran says:

          Yes! Aquafaba is awesome! It’s a game changer when it comes to making meringues. Food ingredients have come such a long way. I work for a vegan food company that also makes product called the VeganEgg. Works great for a scramble or omelette. 🙂 Being vegan is easier now than ever!

      3. Alex Nodopaka says:

        I remind everyone
        that Vodka is made
        of Vegan stuff &
        filtered of all bull.

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