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What is a vegan?
A vegan (pronounced Vee-g'n) is someone who does
not eat any meat, poultry, fish, dairy products (milk, young
person s
butter, cheese, cream etc), eggs, honey or any other
animal derived by-products such as gelatine and whey.
They also usually avoid wearing leather, suede, wool and
silk - as these have all been obtained from animals or guide to
insects - and generally avoid toiletries, cosmetics and
cleaning products that have been tested on animals or veganism
contain animal based ingredients. Instead,
choose from thousands of animal-free
foods and products.
There are roughly 300,000 vegans in the UK.
A4 paper for each bird and are given no natural light
”Why vegan?”Good question! People or bedding. The birds often attack each other out of
frustration from being in such an
choose to go vegan for: unnatural environment, which is not
surprising really!
The Animals
In a lifetime a meat-eater will, The slaughter itself is a stressful
on average, chomp their way experience for the animals and many
through over FIVE THOUSAND creatures suffer a slow and painful
animals!* By switching to a death when they are not
plant based diet, not only will properly stunned before
you stop contributing to this being killed.
mass slaughter of creatures, but you will also save
those animals from a lifetime of suffering. “Thats Terrible! But
* A recent study by Viva! suggests this figure could be as high as surely eating fish is
11,000! OK as they swim free
Factory Farming
in the sea and we need
Factory farming provides little or no
Omega 3?”
thought for the wellbeing or comfort
of the animals and birds who are Nope! The single greatest
bred to grow as big as possible as threat to sea life is over-fishing. Farmed fish are not
quickly as possible. The farmers keep the solution either as they consume large amounts
down costs by not providing of wild fish: 1 kg of farmed fish will be fed with up
anywhere near enough space or care to 5 kg of wild fish! i And, these days, sea fish are full
needed by the animals. Chickens of nasty pollutants like PCBs, dioxins and mercury.
raised for meat, for example, are Since omega-3 is also found in plant sources such
squished into giant sheds with only as flax oil, there really is no excuse for that fishy
an area about the size of a piece of nonsense!
“So should I “And eggs?”
Most laying hens are kept
become a
vegetarian to in cages so small they can't
help prevent even stretch their wings,
peck or scratch the ground.
These poor birds are sent
this cruelty?”
to slaughter after a year of
egg production when their
Cutting meat and fish out of your diet is a great
yield drops. New chicks are
step in the right direction, but dairy cows (who
bred to replace the hens
produce milk) are not given any easier lives than
but only the females will
ones bred for meat. Like humans, cows only
go on to lay eggs, so at just
lactate (produce milk) after giving birth and so are
a day old the 'useless' male
kept in a constant cycle of pregnancy and
chicks are either gassed to
lactation. The calves that should be drinking the
death or minced alive.
cow's milk are taken away from their mothers
almost immediately: the males are killed straight
away or transported abroad to be fattened up and If a person stops eating meat but
killed for the veal market.
continues to eat dairy produce and
In addition, dairy cows have been bred to produce eggs, they still contribute to the
10 times more milk than their udders (that's cow demand for food products that cause
this immense suffering.
boobs to you!) are designed to hold, placing
enormous strain on their bodies until the day
when their milk yield drops and they are sent to

Go Vegan!

To provide enough food
“ But organic and/or free range meat to feed the animals
eggs and dairy products dont cause eaten by humans, rich
countries in the West
chop down large areas
sufferingdo they? ”
People who are sickened by the cruelty of factory of rainforest to grow
farming sometimes think that free range or organic feed crops. A lot of
produce is the answer. Sadly, it is not. Male people blame veggies
offspring in the dairy and egg industries are equally and vegans for the
worthless and share the same fate as those who are deforestation caused by
reared the ‘regular’ way. There is no system of farm soya cultivation, but
production that does not involve the exploitation about 90% of soya
and suffering of animals. protein is actually used
For more in-depth information about the
to feed animals that will
exploitation of animals, check out: end up on the plates of meat eaters!
For more info
The Vegan Society Shop also stocks books on animal
rights issues. read our free
'Eating the
The Planet Health
Unfortunately, not many people know For some reason vegans have
that a varied vegan diet uses half the been stereotyped as being an
amount of land used to produce a unhealthy lot, but a varied
vegetarian diet and one fifth of the vegan diet provides all the
amount used for a typical meat-based nutrients we need for a
healthy life. Plant based food
diet ii.
is higher in fibre and lower in

Plant based diets also require less water: e.g. to People
produce 1kg of wheat requires 120 litres of water, So now your brilliant brain is probably doing the
while 1 kg of beef requires 3,700 litres! iii maths, leaving you with the question: 'If producing
meat, eggs and dairy products consumes so much
And don’t forget that all the farts and poo produced land, crops and water, is there enough left over for
by the 45 million everyone to eat?' Sadly the answer is 'no'. Farmers
sheep and cattle in less developed countries such as Ethiopia are
that are reared for driven into poverty by using their best land for
the meat and dairy growing crops to export to the West as farm animal
industries in the UK feed instead of using it to feed their families.
alone soon add up iv.
Methane (the gas in
those nasty farts) is
So there you have it - when
one of the main
gases contributing
to global warming. it's all down in black and
white it suddenly seems that
the question shouldn’t actually

be: 'why vegan?' but instead:

saturated fat than meat, eggs


and dairy products, which
means that a well-planned
vegan diet can also decrease
your chances of getting heart
disease, diabetes and some
cancers such as colon cancer.

“I want to go  Milk: soya, rice, almond and
vegan but what oat ‘milks’
 Burgers, sausages, bacon, fish-
on earth can I less fingers etc: Redwood
eat?” or Fry’s fake meat products
Another cliché about  Chocolate: Organica (‘milk’
vegans is that they and white chocolate), Plamil,
falafel and hummus), Green and Blacks, Booja Booja
suddenly lose their
beans (chilli non-carne  Sweets: Trebor Softmints,
taste buds and chow
or bean burgers) or Bassetts Pear Drops. The Vegan
down on food that is
tasty tofu. But if this is Society sells vegan Gummi Bears. Buy vegan
neither healthy nor
all a bit alien and marshmallows from
yummy. Fortunately,
'healthy' to you then  Hard Cheese and Cream Cheese: Redwood's
not only is vegan food
you will be happy to super-melting Cheezly or vegan ‘cream cheeses’
good for you, but it also
know that you can get e.g Sheese or Tofutti
tastes great and looks
vegan alternatives for  Cream: pouring cream from Alpro; Soyatoo
lush! There are loads of
all your favourite foods. vegan whipping or squirty ‘cream’
gorgeous dishes that
Here are just a few  Custard: readymade e.g. Alpro or make your
can be made with
examples:  own with Bird’s custard powder and soya ‘milk’
things like lentils
(lovely dhal curry),  Ice-cream: Tofutti, B’Nice, Oatly , Swedish Glace
chickpeas (scrummy  Yoghurt: Alpro, Sojasun (natural or fruit)
 Mayo: Plamil vegan mayo
 Margarine: Pure, Suma, White Flora spread
 Biscuits: most Bourbon biscuits, McVitie's
The Vegan Society's guide 'The Animal Free Ginger Nuts, Crawford’s Jam Rings, Hobnobs
Shopper' lists thousands of vegan products  Crisps: Golden Wonder: Pickled Onion, Salt
that can be found in supermarkets and health & Vinegar; Wheat Crunchies: Worcester Sauce
food stores such as Holland and Barrett. Flavour; many Kettle Chips flavours

and toast. Or, for a special treat,
how about pancakes? They’re easy
”So how do I cook vegan?”
to make without eggs or dairy milk.
The Vegan Society sells lots of cook
books to get you started. We also
have recipes on our website:
/recipes/ and there are loads of
other vegan recipes on the net. Just
do a search and get cookin'!

There are heaps of vegan choices
for brekkie: cereal
and fortified soya
‘milk’, wholemeal Top Tip
toast with dairy- If you don't feel that you can go 100% vegan straight
free margarine and away then take it gradually by cutting out non-vegan
Marmite or nut foods bit by bit. If you are already veggie then start
butter/tahini; replacing the dairy foods and eggs with the vegan alter-
porridge with soya natives we have listed in this booklet. Perhaps aim for
or rice ‘milk’, apple, one vegan day a week and increase when you feel
cinnamon and chopped nuts. Fancy comfortable. If you are going to be cutting out meat
a fry up? Serve grilled or fried too, then try the range of meat alternatives available.
tomatoes and mushrooms with Once you get going you'll be surprised
baked beans, vegan bacon rashers,
vegan sausages, scrambled tofu at how great vegan food can be!

Lunch box ideas Here are some For loads more lunch box ideas checkout
sandwich suggestions to get you
started - you will soon come up with
your own favourites!

 Hummous (chickpea dip - found in

Dinner It's easy peasy to
most supermarkets) and salad. veganise your old favourite
 Vegan cheese and pickle with dishes with all the meat and
tomato and lettuce. dairy substitutes around. Here's
 Vegan bacon, lettuce, tomato. one to get you started.
 Vegan pâté and grated carrot. 
 Peanut butter and banana.

Pudding! So many puds either are vegan or can

Chuck in a bag of nibble sized veggies be made vegan. Vegan pies and crumbles can be
such as cherry tomatoes and baby bought or made and served with dairy-free ice
carrots (or carrot sticks) for a cream, cream or custard. Vegan cakes are easy to
colourful crunch. Add a small carton make and you can even make vegan jelly!
of soya yoghurt/dessert or some
vegan cake or a flapjack to your box
and you'll have a lunch that will
make your mates beg you for some!
(Don't forget to take some fruit or
nuts to munch on in your breaks! )

Alternatives to sandwiches include vegan pies

or pasties; pasta, bean or rice salads; soup.

 Soya mince, veggie mince or TVP mince (not
Quorn™ as it contains egg). Rehydrate the
mince according to the packet (if necessary).
 Fresh basil - 10 leaves (optional)
 Vegan cheese (preferably the melting variety)

How to make it:

1. Heat the oil in a frying pan on a medium heat.
Add the onion and fry for a minute or two then add
the garlic.
2. Add the courgette, mushrooms and peppers and
fry gently for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
Stir in the tomatoes and continue to stir until the
Spaghetti Veganese topped with mixture begins to simmer.
grated vegan cheese 3. Now stir in the soya, veggie or TVP
(serves 4) mince and leave to simmer - stirring occa-
Ingredients: 4. Prepare a large pan of boiling water and
 About 400g of spaghetti (check it doesn't drop in the spaghetti (break it in half if you
contain egg) have to, rather than risk scalding your
 2 tbsp olive oil hands). Boil until tender and then drain.
 1 onion, peeled and chopped 5. Place the drained spaghetti on the
 1 clove of garlic, peeled and crushed plates and spoon on the veganese sauce.
 1 courgette, chopped Sprinkle with grated vegan cheese and
 6 medium-sized mushrooms, sliced garnish with a leaf of basil.
 1 red pepper, chopped
 1 yellow pepper, chopped This sauce is also great on baked
 1 tin of tomatoes potatoes or topped with mash as
shepherd’s pie!

Eating Take a look at 'Vegetarian Britain' published by
Vegetarian Guides (available from the Vegan
Society) to find out where the vegan-friendly
places are in your area.
As a guest
If you are School/college/university meals
invited If there are no vegan options at your
over to eat school/college/uni then ask your head teacher,
with non- cook or their caterers if they would be able to
vegans do make sure that you let your host(ess) provide some. Ask us for our 'Make your
know well in advance. Find out what they are school/college vegan-friendly' information pack
having to eat and give them a recipe for a vegan and vegan catering booklet.
version or bring something with you to share.

Public places
Meals like baked
potato (ask for Top Tip
dairy-free marg!) When out and about or travelling by train etc vegan
with hummous munchies and meals may be hard to find. Spare
and salad or baked yourself learning the hard and hungry way: be
beans should be prepared and take some food with you! Look at our
easy to find. Ethnic packed lunch suggestions and stock up on snacks
restaurants such like cereal bars, flapjacks, nuts and dried fruit, fresh
as Indian (ask fruit, crackers or crispbread - they can be real life
them to use savers!
vegetable oil rather
than butter ghee), Chinese, Thai (ask for no fish
sauce), Lebanese and Turkish are also a good bet!

Eating at home Vegan athletes include: Carl Lewis winner of 9
Olympic gold medals Pat Reeves world power-lifting
If your folks are not very supportive of your
champion Scott Jurek 2005 and 2006 winner of
decision to go vegan, one of the best ways to
convince them is to show them that vegan food is Badwater Ultramarathon (‘the toughest footrace on earth’)
very tasty and very good for you. Happily there are James Southwood British savate (French kickboxing)
loads of great dishes that you can
cook to prove them wrong! And champion Brendan Brazier 2003 and
you don't have to eat completely 2006 Canadian 50km Ultra
different meals from the rest of
your family - just adapt a dish that Marathon champion and

fits in with theirs. For example, if Ironman triathlete Sally

they are having Spaghetti
Eastall Olympic
Bolognese, then use the recipe on
page 9 to make a tasty marathon runner
veganese sauce to have Robert Cheeke
with the pasta.
bodybuilder Fiona Oakes

marathon runner Robbie

Hazeley bodybuilder Isis

“Can I still play
sports if I am a
Clegg-Vinell 2005 British
gymnastics champion
You bet! Far from being
'weedy weaklings' there are For diet and training tips check out:
loads of sporty vegans out
there who credit their wins
to the healthy vegan diet.

Where do I get my?” (for growth,
maintaining tissues and
Vitamin B12 (for healthy making hormones). The
idea that it is difficult to
blood and nerve function). B12 get enough protein
comes from bacteria found in from vegan foods is just
the soil so most captive farm so not true! The average
animals are given B12 supple- person needs just 10-15% of the calories they
ments in their food. Make sure consume to be protein. Wheat, oats and many nuts
you have a reliable source of and seeds contain about 15% protein by calories,
vitamin B12 by eating foods such as fortified soya while most beans and many vegetables contain
‘milk’ or yeast extract (e.g. Marmite) - check the over 25% of calories as protein. Eat a good
label as amounts vary - or take a supplement such variety of soya products, bread, pasta, nuts, seeds
as VEG1. and beans every day.

Vitamin D (helps absorb calcium and regulates Calcium (for healthy bones). Good sources
the formation of bone). When your skin has include tahini (sesame paste), almonds, green
enough sunlight, your body can create vitamin D, leafy vegetables, fortified soya milk and calcium-
but in winter and when sun exposure is limited set tofu.
you will need to get it from your diet. Eat food that
has been fortified with vitamin D2 (e.g. some soya
‘milks’, margarines, breakfast cereals) or take a
Top Tip The Vegan Society's supplement
supplement such as VEG1. Beware vitamin D3 is VEG1 is a convenient source of vitamin B12, vitamin D,
aninimal-derived! iodine and selenium at a very low cost: just £4.99 for three

Essential Fatty Acids (omega-3) (these grains (including wholemeal bread), nuts, green
are the 'good' fats that support the cardiovascular, leafy vegetables, seeds and pulses. Iron is best
reproductive, immune, and nervous systems). absorbed with vitamin C rich foods, e.g. orange
People may tell you that you need the omega-3s juice.
found in fish to stay healthy, but they are also
found in flax seed (linseed), hemp seed, rape seed
(canola) oil, and walnuts. Just one teaspoon of To get the most out of your vegan food
flax seed oil or one tablespoon of crushed eat a varied diet including plenty of
flax seeds every day will supply you with brightly coloured fruit and vegetables
enough omega-3. and avoid highly processed foods,
especially hydrogenated fats, and
sugary or salty snacks.
(acts as an
antioxidant, good for your
immune system). A Brazil
nut a day is a good source of For more in-depth information on
selenium or take a supplement vegan nutrition check out
such as VEG1.
or read our free booklet 'Plant Based Nutrition'.
Iodine (vital for good function of thyroid gland
(in your neck) which produces hormones). Vegans
can get iodine from some seaweeds such as kelp
(kombu) or from a supplement like VEG1. It’s not
just vegans who need iodine supplements – British
meat eaters get it from eating farmed animals
whose food has had iodine added to it.

Iron (formation of blood). Good plant sources

include dried fruits e.g. raisins and apricots, whole

Being vegan does
Listed below are a few online shops where
“What to
not stop at what
wear on you put in your you can find some brilliant vegan things.
body. What you put (bath, hair and skin products)
my face
on your body needs
body a bit of thought too (shoes and accessories)
feet and as animal products (make-up and more)
seem to find their (shoes and clothes)
way into the most (shoes, bags, wallets,
unlikely places!
guitar straps, watch straps, sporrans)
Make-up and Toiletries (toiletries, make-
Many cosmetics and toiletries have been needlessly up and hair products, including hair dyes)
tested on animals and often contain ingredients (books, sweets,
like beeswax, lanolin (from wool), silk, animal fat vegan condoms, t-shirts)
or slaughterhouse by-products. Blurgh! Who wants (food, toiletries, cosmetics)
to put that on their skin? (vegan shoes)
Most good health food stores sell vegan
toiletries. Look out for the Vegan
Society symbol or take a look in the
'Animal Free Shopper' for cruelty-free
Check out for more info
on animal testing.
Clothes and shoes
Many shoes, jackets, belts and bags are made from
leather, suede or silk. Happily for us - as well as for
the animals - there are cruelty-free options.

Reactions from Help ‘vegucate’ others about veganism:
your friends and Become a school representative and put
family. . . up a display in your library; organise a vegan

Hopefully, people will week with vegan info and food samples; give a
be supportive of your presentation or two! Request our CD Rom for
decision to go vegan,
but if they do give you a
schools to help educate your classmates.
hard time then here are Start a college/school or local group. Check
a few tips: out for news and inspiration!
Arm yourself with knowledge: it will give you Visit for loads of
confidence to stand up for your decision and information or contact us for leaflets and
prove that it’s not just a 'phase'. Tell people the
facts, but don't preach - it will just make them booklets.
angry or switch off.

Cook your own food: to save your parents time. If

you do not rely on ready-made foods then your
food may even be cheaper than theirs! Go food
shopping with your parents to help check labels
and show them where to find vegan products.

Make contact with other vegans! Check out Look in The Vegan
magazine to find your local Youth Contact.

About membership form Name:
the Vegan
Please tick box if you are a dietary Address:
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membership number is: Tel:
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lifestyle and or capital gains tax equal to the amount
related issues, and the Society reclaims.
has been My income is less than £8000 per year membership fees
promoting the and I qualify for the low income £ £7 Youth (under 18 years)
benefits of discount of 33%.* £ £21 Individual
veganism for £ *Less £7 low income discount if applicable
people, animals I wish to enrol other members of my £ **£7 per additional household member
and the environ- household for an additional £7 each. ** £ £350 Life
ment for more
Please provide full names of additonal members £ £5 Memorandum & Articles of Association
(and specify if dietary vegan and/or under 18) on
than 60 years. a seperate piece of paper.
£ +£5 Europe / +£7 Rest of World
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Please send your completed £ Total
form to:
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