why i am vegan

I would first like to thank every single one of you that commented on my last post.   You guys gave me so many great ideas and support, I was really overwhelmed by it.  There is one thing I would really like to clear up now.  There is a misconception out there that I am really nice.  I'm really not.  This just tells me that I need to write more from my heart.  I hope not to offend anyone or scare you off.  We'll see how it goes.

So on to today's important post.  Probably the most important post I will ever write.  It's really not important how I came to be a vegan although I will tell you that.   What is important is that I am a vegan and I hope with all my heart that you would consider becoming one too.  My daughter-in-law, Mo, a lifetime vegetarian is the one who suggested I see the movie Earthlings, aka The Vegan Maker.  This movie started out as a public service announcement on pet spaying but six years later became a film.  Narrated by Joaquin Phoenix, this movie uncovers the horrific, filthy, criminal acts performed on animals every minute of every day in order for us to eat and be fashionable.  I will tell you that it quite simply changed my life.  I know most of you will not watch the trailer because you can't stand to see people being mean to animals.  But this movie is true and it's real life so not watching it doesn't make it go away.  I dare you to watch it.  Since most of you won't, I'm going to tell you about a scene that just kills me on a personal level.  There is a scene in the movie where calf's are being skinned alive.  Yes that's right, skinned alive.  People do this because it's easier and the hide stays intact better.  The camera looks directly into the poor animals eyes and it is heartbreaking.  It is then tossed into a dumpster full of other skinned calf's where it will take them approximately 5 minutes to die.  I have a ottoman in the center of my living room that is covered in leather.  This kills me.   To those that say "I only buy organic, grass fed beef/chicken."  Is that better?  If you pamper a cow or chicken every day, feed it well, kiss it even, and then one day kill it so you can eat it, is that right?  Just because you can kill something doesn't mean you should or that it is right.  The cruelty issue is just the tip of the iceberg.  What about the filthy, disease infected slaughterhouses that put meat on your table every night?  What about the ravages of factory farming on the earth?  What about the health problems linked to eating animal products?  My own sister has been having heart problems for the last few years.  She recently wound up having two heart procedures to help her heart.  I begged her to try a vegan diet for just one month.  She did and in just one month she lost 20 lbs and her cholesterol level went from 220 to 122.  A month later and she has since lost another 10 lbs and is off all her cholesterol medicine and her doctor thinks within a month she will be off all heart meds.   So health reasons alone are a good enough reason to stop eating animal products but there's more!  What about improved digestion?  What about beautiful skin?   What about the idea of living a peaceful compassionate life.  It really makes a difference in the way you look at the world when you know that not one living thing (excluding husbands/children/stupid people) suffered for you today .  I know this has turned into a rant and I'm sorry about that but I'm not sorry if it changes just one person's mind.  Remember this is not the movie, just the trailer for it.  I would say sit back and enjoy but that is impossible.  Please, take my dare and change your life and that of your families right now.


  1. I know. I am too wimpy to watch it. I could not bear it. I could not even read your worded excerpt. But I do hate the way that the animals "livestock" are treated. They are living creatures and deserve to be treated as such. Humanely.
    Thank you for the post.

  2. Wow, Janet, what a powerful post. I haven't watched the movie yet; however, I've been toying with the idea of becoming vegan for awhile, and this will likely put me over the edge.

    I also just read your previous post on your blogging slump. I totally understand how you feel. Sometimes it's just a matter of being inspired by a cause (like veganism), and knowing that your writing can change the world for the better. I agree with the other commenters that it can be good to take a break (and August is a great time to do it!). But I hope you'll continue writing, as I (like so many others) really enjoy your wit, personality, and sense of style. :-)

  3. Bravo. I'm so glad you wrote this. I hope your readers take your advice. I am a vegetarian at the moment, but I certainly have been vegan at times and could be again. Thank you for reminding us what is happening daily to our animal friends.


  4. To sound like a kook.. my eyes teared up when I saw your post! Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Janet, have you read the book "Why We Love Dogs-Eat Pigs and Wear Cows" by Melanie Joy? Got from library yesterday, could not put down. Discusses Carnism - why people are so disconnected on this issue. What you have done here today (as the book describes) is BEARING WITNESS- "it takes courage to refuse to follow the path of least resistance".

    For me in Earthlings it was the dog/garbage truck. I concur I dare people to watch. I am a better person because I watched this documentary. I do not live a life of denial anymore, I feel a sense of freedom.

    "Neutrality helps the oppressor,never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented" -Elie Wiesel

    sorry so long.. this issue touches me deeply

    take care.

  5. amy - you could have written this post more elegantly than i. i am a brute.


  6. I can't watch; just can't. I'm wimp, I admit it.

    What do you mean when you say you're not nice?


  7. Janet,
    I applaud you for coming back so quickly with a post on a subject that I know is extremely passionate to you. And, you’re right; I’ve tried three times to make it though the “Earthlings” trailer and I can’t take more than 20 seconds. While I don’t think there’s too many people that would disagree with you, this takes a mindshift that might take more than one post. It will be extremely difficult for the wife and mother reading this to tell her husband and kids that we’re having Tofu McNuggets for dinner from now on. America’s hunger for cheap meat drives the abuse of animals. Maybe some advice on one small change we can make this week will move everyone in a better direction together. Maybe this is your new mission.

  8. sue - what i mean is that in real life i'm quite forward. i tell the truth as i see it and i often censor myself while writing this blog so i don't offend everyone. but i realize this now and am going to work on it.

  9. steve - i suppose people could just start by cutting back on the frequency and amounts of meat they eat. start experimenting with tofu and beans and rice, etc. when i make up my mind to do something i just do it. but i realize that easing into something is probably more reasonable for others. that's why this movie is so powerful and is nicknamed the vegan maker. if you have any ideas, please share.

  10. Hi Janet. Loved this post. I was a vegan for one month, and then slipped. But now I'm back on the vegan train!!!!! I will definitely rent that movie. Also, have you seen the documentary Food Inc? That is another good one to watch. And this way off the topic of animal products, but there is also a documentary called Tapped about bottled water. I haven't bought bottled water ever since watching it and have invested in only stainless steel containers. I am glad you posted about being vegan. I whole-heartedly agree with everything you say! Would love move vegan recipes from you when you have time to post them.



  11. I am not a vegan, but eat very few animal products. Part of the reason is that I have the impression ones vegan diet needs careful planning to get all the nutrients. Is there a particular book or website that you recommend, diet wise? And PS - I love your banner, it has a such a happy feel, please dont change it.

  12. Janet.

    You are a kindred spirit. I was raised vegetarian, but for health reasons, not for animal rights. so I will admit that always being vegetarian, I do not know the difference. But, something happened to me a few months after I adopted my first dog about 4 years ago. I had always owned pets, cats and dogs, but this was the first creature that was 100% entrusted into my care. He changed my world and I fell so deeply in love with my dog that it literally changed my entire outlook on animals of all shapes and sizes. I became involved and passionate about animal rescue and puppy mills, as well as having my eyes widely opened to the plight of factory farm animals. In my opinion, it has to be one of the most deeply evil secrets of our society. Friend after friend cringe as they think about cows being slaughtered, but they do not want to see or think about these "gross" things and films like Food, Inc barely touch the tip of the iceberg. Mostly I hear from friends and family that they are now buying more expensive meat at Whole Foods, but what always blows me away is - animals are STILL being slaughtered, whether they are "organic" or not. I realize that most people do not care enough about animals to really take a look at how barbaric raising living, breathing, feeling beings for food truly is, but I suppose I'm always amazed that more people do not choose to see the true horrors of factory farms, egg laying factories, and even the horrific abuse that goes on in dairies. I think I'll link to your blog because I feel so amazingly strongly about this.


  13. Hey, First, I love your blog.
    I am going to attempt to try a "no buying what you don't need" for a period of time. I think I'll start with 3 months. Thanks for the inspiration and please keep blogging about it... I'll need it!
    along with the spending freeze a good de-cluttering is in order, thanks for all the good information. I will look in my closet now and remember the rule of keeping an item. Am I the only one who feels "heavy" with all this junk around?
    how about some easy guidelines on being a vegan? I already eat very little meat but, get confused on the whole vegetarian process. Is there anyone else who gets confused?
    Hope you have a great day, we are having a major heatwave here in Southwest Georgia!

  14. grace - thank you and i am going to make it a point to post more easy recipes.

    anon - thank you for your comment and my first recommendation would be for you to run and get skinny bitch and skinny bitch in the kitch. they are funny and dispel many myths behind veganism.

    julie - i think it would be amazing to if we could somehow use our blogging powers to link everyone on this issue. you mentioned something that i absently left out of the post and that is the deep concern people have for their pets yet will sit down and eat a steak. there is a def disconnect out there. so i hope you cover that in your post.


  15. Hey Lady,
    From one vegan to another, I couldn't have written it better myself! I would be astounded if anyone watched Earthlings and did not stop eating meat IMMEDIATELY. I started off as a vegetarian but now eat no dairy or eggs as well and I have not purchased any leather, animal products or items tested on animals for years. It's something you have to be passionate about and need to aware of it at all times. For me, it was the very last scene with the cow. I wish it were a bigger concern for more people...but perhaps your words may change some views.....

    Sarah :)

  16. Hi J,

    You can't fool me. I know you are actually very nice.

    Meanwhile I'm never going to become a vegan, it's not for me, but I support you commitment to the cause.

    Take care x

  17. Dear Janet. I was just thinking, why don't you get rid of the footstool, and paint your house white. It seems to be what is in your heart. Thank you for all the inspiration. Take care, and hugs

  18. Great post and great comments. I know I could never watch the film as I'm easily upset and would be traumatised indefinitely. I need no convincing that the world needs to be nicer to animals - I've been veg for well over half my life and a keen supporter of animal rights.
    I'd be keen for recipe posts.
    Best wishes,

  19. So the passion has returned, so go forth!--oh by the way who said you were nice.

  20. domestic bliss - i promise to start posting on easy recipes and the simplicity of the whole thing.

    sarah - it was instant for me too.

    ff - anyone who has a pic of meat on their sidebar is a meatlover for life, i realize that.

    anon - i love the way you think!

    sarah b - i am keen on posting recipes too. i just didn't know anyone wanted them. now i know better.

    has anyone watched the trailer yet?????

  21. I´m not a vegan, only a lacto-vegetarian and for just the same reasons you have written about.I have not seen the film, but your description is about things I know and am horrified of. Being a vegan- you don´t use leather in any form, right? No leather shoes, bags? I admit having those in my closet. A very difficult thing to find replacement for other kind of shoes to be worn here in the north for winter. Oh, once again I am totally shaken about this post of your´s. An important post.

  22. metscan - i do still have leather shoes/bags purchased in the past. i no longer buy new ones. it seems like such a colossol waste of a life to throw my old ones away so i keep them. i admire your conviction. maybe you can spread the word on your blog too.

  23. Great post. I became a vegetarian at 15 for exactly those reasons and remained one for 13 years. I was ovo-lacto so I did eat eggs and milk but did not touch an ounce of meat in 13 years. I was dated a chef when I was 28 and he loved french cuisine. I missed turkey and he made a beautiful turkey for Christmas and I slowly started eating meat again. For almost a year I had digestive problems after restarting, constant stomach aches as I grew accustomed to the new bacteria, etc. I suppose.

    Anyway, I am thinking now about becoming vegetarian again. Since David does all the cooking and gets home much earlier than me, I think it will be harder for me to get my protein if I just stop cold turkey and don't do meal planning with him to get my complete proteins. I used to LIVE on beans and grains and vegetables and spices. I think I will slowly start making more bean and grain dishes to get my full proteins, start taking protein powder if I have to and just stop eating meat at supper...have been considering this for a while, so thanks for the push. Honestly I will not miss it. I do love pork and turkey but having seen similar movies it makes my heart ache. I think my furry friends are worth it.

    Heading in this direction again!! xo Terri

  24. My god, that movie preview looks devastating. This movie looks very very hard but necessary. Wow.


  25. I love you. :) You are a kindred spirit.

  26. Hi Janet,

    We are trying to get away from eating meat as much as possible. We eat vegetarian/tofu or salmon probably 5 out of 7 nights a week. I haven't bought red meat in a year I think... and then I was shocked to learn that chicken has as much cholesterol as red meat! No wonder my husband's cholesterol wasn't dropping much! So needless to say we are eating less of that as well. I did buy Vegan with a Vengeance recently so I am trying to do better...honest!
    I taped Food Inc. and we haven't watched it yet but plan on it very soon.

    Linda S.

  27. Janet,
    I am happy to see you finding your voice. You sound very powerful; good for you!

    I, too, agree that I'm still going to think you are really (too) nice! Annon. beat me to it, but my first thought was about you worrying about your neighbors not wanting you to change your house color! Because that whole thing... I don't even come close to getting, but that's because "nice" isn't a common adjective for me;)! I'm not sure what the footstool message means, but I thought it funny someone else had my first thought too.

    I read your last post a couple of times, and since we've discussed this I was trying to come up with something thoughtful. But since (as you know;) I struggle with that delete button often myself I had nothing! I just enjoyed reading all of the wonderful suggestions given to you!
    I like this new you Janet!
    Stay strong, and carry on!!

  28. I can't take up the dare Janet because I have viewed similar clips, photos and read articles in the past and the images are haunting and nightmarish.
    About 10yrs ago my family became vegetarians for six months until my daughter and I became unwell, not enough protein in our diet. Hubby and son were fine. So in a nutshell meat was reintroduced to our diet.
    Inspired by your blog several weeks ago I made an informal decision to cut down on our meat intake. I'm with other commenters who say it's confusing regarding supplements and as I have intolerances to soy and legumes well, it ain't easy. Many protein shakes contain soy.
    Any info and suggestions for folk like me that need to coax their digestive systems along would be appreciated and still be able to meet protein requirements.
    Looking forward to more posts!

  29. I had tears streaming down my face within seconds of starting to watch the trailer. I know I'm not strong enough to sit through an entire movie. I mainly eat vegetarian anyway, though if I am invited out I don't make a fuss. I think I'll be a bit more stringent from now on.

  30. i will not become a vegan, having seen way too many pale faces in the bio-organic-department stores. I often felt sorry for the kids, they definitely missed some nutrients. Diary-products provide those easily. And, even worse: I even feel the need for meat somedays. If I don't eat it, I feel weak.
    There is a movie similar to Earthlings, made by an Austrian countryman:
    Our daily bread.
    It showed hen-farmers, walking over the thousands of little hens, many sick, not able to walk anymore, never seeing daylight. When they hatch out of the egg they are being checked, if male or female and the "wrong" ones get dumped. the good ones get shot through a sort of muzzle (!) into boxes. I would never even throw an apple like they throw the just hatched hens. Of course the film also shows cows and pigs being tortured. Many left the theatre after only a few minutes.
    Having seen this film I decided to buy only chicken from animals that had a life, breathed air, picked grains at daylight, en plein air, in the sun and had a chance to clean their feathers in the soil when they feel the need to rub their wings in the soil. They did not just live for the discount-box at the supermarket.
    I am glad bio-organic food including bio-organic meat is available today and that battery hens will be completely forbidden in the EC by 2012. I have to admit, I held a chicken drumstick in my hand, from a hen which had lived under appripiate conditions and while holding it in my hands I literally could feel the good moments the hen experienced, the soil where it ran around with its fellows. It even made me feel good. It felt like a good energy, not evil meat.
    Friends of mine are vegetarien, by principle bt they buy meat to feed their cat.

  31. An amazing post Janet and very moving. I freely admit that I know I would not be able to it through that movie - your description of the trailer was enough to shock me and make me sit up and think.
    We do have about 2 to 3 vegetarian meals per week but could I be totally vegetarian I wonder ?
    Please don't give up your blog. Read your last post and I know what you mean though about being in a slump.... I am coming up to a year doing the blog and the thoughts have gone through my head too - should I give up...? But I would miss you all so much and the inter-reaction with everyone all over the world. x

  32. Wow. I take a day away and come home to this passionate post.

    Indeed you have found your voice. Being honest and sharing your firm beliefs and commitments doesn't mean you aren't nice, it means you are strong and focused on your cause.

    Clearly we all don't have to dwell in the land of pretty make believe here. I try to share what is really going on in m life and always feel I have let a little bit go every time I write the truth.

    You have rocked my world, will you change my eating world? I don't know yet. I'm too afraid to watch the trailer.

    I'll let you know when i get the courage to change. xoxo Jane

  33. Isn't it odd how difficult it is to, "Be who you are.". Yet, once begun, it's not difficult it's imperative.

    Garde & Be Well, XO Tara

  34. Yeah Janet! You've put quite a challenge out there.I don't know if I can convert myself and my family completely but we'll start with small changes. Please post more about how to make swaps and recipes.

    Soft spoken doesn't equal nice. You are nice!


  35. I watched it and I am not only STUNNED but SPEECHLESS! Thank you for opening my eyes. I wonder about the people capable of doing that to animals and calling it their "job"

  36. Yes, I did watch it...
    It has been on my mind all day, ever since...not just the animals slaughtered for meat eating, it was the innocents that got me the most actually, the dog, the elephant, animals that should have been left in the wild.
    As a mother, I dont know what is more tragic and despairing to watch...these creatures that have been treated cruelly and are dying for the sake of food ...or footage of babies that are dying in their mothers arms in countries where there is not enough food............I know the human race has a lot to answer for about animal cruelty, but it also has a lot to answer for , for being cruel to its own kind as well..........

  37. paula - i want to address your first sentence that you won't become vegan b/c you've seen too many pale faces in the health food store. the implication you make is that to be vegan is to be unhealthy and it's actually quite the opposite. humans were not designed to eat meat. our long intestines were made for a plant-based diet. not for slow processing food like meat. also, i bet that chicken would respectfully disagree with the energy you felt while eating it. i'm sure it would rather still be in the fresh air and sunshine happily pecking away with it's family.

  38. Janet,

    I read your post yesterday and had to sleep on it before I wrote to you. I am such a wuss, I couldn't even consider watching the video. Your written description of the calves was enough.

    My husband, Bill, went for a treadmill test ordered by his cardiologist yesterday and the doctor told him to go vegetarian for his health, specifically his heart.

    Bill is a huge meat eater - burgers, salami, ribs - but hearing that he needs to give it up from a heart doctor opened his eyes and mine that it's time to cut back - way back - on meats.

    We are going to take it slowly, one step at a time - I think that way it will stick. First step: no more red meat. Period. And I am reviving Meatless Mondays.

    I believe things happen in tandem for a reason. It's no coincidence that you wrote and I read your post the same day my husband got that advice from his doctor. The signs are everywhere!
    Thank you, Janet, for writing this post.

    Oh, and about your blog, I'm selfish and want you to keep writing....I know there is some great material in that head of yours that we all need and want to know.


  39. Dear Janet,
    I so admire your passion and devotion to help end the cruel suffering of all those poor helpless animals. My introduction to the cruelty of animals started back in high school when our biology teacher showed a video of how animals are used in labs. His point wasn't the cruelty that the animals endured but I will never forget the footage I saw on how they used a rabbit to test skin products. It was tragically sad but seeing it gave me a true understanding and respect for products that adhered to 'animal free testing.'
    I think the visual documentation of animal cruelty (in all its forms) is something that's necessary to communicate the true horrors of what these helpless animals go through.
    Thanks for sharing. Trina

  40. adrienne - my sis informed me last night that she is off all meds now. if your husband is just beginning this journed into heart meds he will soon understand that they have horrible side effects. to never get on them is the goal. start any way you feel comfortable but my sis went cold turkey so to speak. eliminated all animal products and i've never known a meat eater that loved steak more than she did. there is hope and it is possible.

    to everyone else - i will start posting foods/recipes that i eat daily. and i don't rely on processed foods at all. allegra, i hear you about skinny bitch. i think it's a good starting point for people but fresh is better.

  41. Wow. Excellent post. Very thought provoking. I did not watch the video. As a vegetarian and mother of a vegan I'm pretty familiar with the atrocities and can't bear to see that again, but I thank you for opening eyes and bringing up the subject. I've been a firm believer if more people knew where their food came from and how it's treated, they would eat differently. More thoughtfully and more healthful. Even though I've been vegetarian for many years, I still find being vegan confusing, as others have mentioned. There are animal products in things that you would never guess - so I do think any recipes you could provide would be great! I made your green chili soup recipe several times and it was really wonderful (I'll make it again once it cools down around here!). Oh, and one more thing - I do eat eggs occasionally, but only because I know where they come from - a friend of mine keeps 4 chickens as pets with no rooster, so she often has more eggs than she knows what to do with. I know those chickens are treated very well and are happy and healthy! Sorry for the length of this - obviously a great topic for discussion!

  42. karin - thanks for your input. i have a friend that raises a few chickens and assures me she will not destroy them when they are done laying. she plans to keep them as pets and i think that is sweet. i have only had a few eggs this year. i am going to try and address as many issues as i can regarding switching and converting diets to more humane ones.

  43. janet, good point with the happily pecking!
    maybe you could explain why you chose not to live as a vegetarian. I admit, it is the vegan-diet I somehow suspect. I never noticed the anemic faces in my vegetarian's friends. Maybe you like to post if you take any supplements or how you manage to keep up with the essential B12?
    Yes, humans were not designed to eat meat. We were not designed to sit 8hrs per day and stare into a monitor inside buildings which make us sick. And: we were designed to communicate face to face ...

    I have the feeling, you found something you want to blog about. I am looking forward to reading the postings to come!

  44. hi paula,

    i am a vegan b/c i don't want to use/abuse any animal in order for me to eat. dairy farms are atrocious here in the united states. animals are not treated humanely. so i choose to not eat any animal products whatsoever. maybe your vegetarian friends have a healthier lifestyle than your other friends. maybe your vegan friends don't eat that well. i do take a multivitamin when i remember to. i hope this answers some of your questions. you can email me if you would like. janetkorff@gmail.com

  45. J

    You have inspired people with your passion -well done. At brunch today I asked my girlfriends if they thought I could be vegan or vegetarian. One of my friends is a vegetarian already, not for animal rights issues just because she was raised that way. They thought I could try vegetarianism but would not be so good as a vegan....Janet what's your stance on varmints like rats? I never feel bad sending them to their maker. Ditto cockroaches, silverfish and can toads.

    I'm off to watch your video now xxx

  46. Ok, watched the trailer and I will watch the entire doco later this weekend.

    It's not going to stop me eating meat or wearing leather shoes I'm afraid. There did seem to be some very cruel images -is this video showing mainstream American farming practices or is it from various places around the world?

    I've grown up in an environment where I've been exposed to people raising, slaughtering and butchering their own meat, fishing and eating their catch etc so I am not horrified or revolted by it.

    But I support an indicidual's right to choose.

    Really enjoying the blog J. Take care x

  47. kirstin - what am i going to do with you? you crack me up beyond measure. my stance on varmits such as rats! where do you come up with this stuff!

    i'm sorry the movie did not revolt you as much as chipped nailpolish does!


  48. Janet- this is just how I speak in real life! Really! One day I am sure we will meet in real life and have a good laugh together! My accent will amuse you no end! But I'm thinking the venue should be the USA not Australia where they are no vegan places for you to eat and everything is so expensive. Mr FF was just telling me he has a vegan colleague and eating in restaurants in Australia is a nightmare for her - she basically can only have the plain vegetables etc. Maybe one day there will be more vegan options -I hope so.

  49. I became a vegetarian back in the early 80s after seeing the "Animals' film narrated by Julie Christie. After seeing the suffering inflicted on animals in that film it was impossible to not change my diet. I always feel a little uncomfortable when I wear leather (I love fashion so it's hard to give up) but I would ideally like to be vegan. It does make eating out and travelling difficult though.
    A thought provoking post.

    Louise xx

  50. Hi Janet - My hat is off to you for taking a stand and posting about something that means so much to you. I cannot watch the trailer as your description was horrifying enough. I am an animal and pet lover too, although not vegan or vegetarian so that does cause some conflicting feelings for me sometimes. There are some meats I will not eat, based on what I know about how the animals are treated and slaughtered. You've given all of us a lot to think about.


  51. kirstin - i cannot wait for the day we meet.

    l&l - you are right about eating out. even here it can be difficult.

    deborah - if you could bring yourself to watch the trailer i think you would be a vegan instantly. i know how much you love your cats. in fact i almost put that beautiful pic of of bailey at the top of this post.

  52. Wonderful post! I've been a vegetarian for years, my daughter since she was 7 who now at 25 is vegan and leading me in the same direction. We've been eating a mostly raw diet this Summer and it has been fantastic! Loved all the quotes on your blog too & will jot them down :-)
    Looking forward to reading through your blog!

  53. wow. I haven't eaten red meat in over 25 years. Driving north on highway 5, passing Harris Ranch, seeing the cattle crammed in pens- that was more than enough. However I still eat chicken, dairy, and fish. Would you tell me why I shouldn't? I don't want to watch that film. Another thing I am guilty of- I bought a dog- from a lady who is not a breeder but has two dogs (grandma and mother to mine) and lets her dog have one litter every two years. He's a Cavalier King Charles and his beauty and personality delight me every moment of the day. Yet I know I should have "rescued" like my other dog. So many animals in need of rescue. That's my confession. Tell me about the chickens and the fish.... xo,jools

  54. jools - please watch the video. it says in 2 minutes what would take me pages to say. you think they cram cattle into pens? chickens have it way worse. and the e-coli in poultry houses is alarming to say the least. do you notice that 25 years ago a chicken breast was a relatively small body part? now they are huge. a chicken today reaches full growth in just 39 days! i just believe it is cruel to harm let alone kill any animal for my food. i've heard that "catch & release" fishing is one of the most cruel sports out there. imagine stuffing your mouth and nose full of cotton and being forced to run around your block 2 or 3 times. this is a similar experience that fish go through will being caught. watch the video then make a decision.

  55. I can't wait to watch it either. Despite what you say I have several very nice emails from you and I know you speak from the heart - this post was all about that. Thanks for hangin' in there.

  56. Thank you for telling it like it is! I am a vegetarian, I eat some shrimp, and cheese. I read Skinny Bitch and that changed my life. I am so sick and tired of the crap I get from people who do eat meat that I just avoid the subject anymore. I am sick of feeling like I have to defend my decision to eat what I want. I'm glad I am not alone, Marcia

  57. dear janet, I just returned from a garden party and wanted to share in insight as a comment (however thank you for offering your mail!). We exchanged experiences on blogging and agreed on the fact that we, German-speaking and -thinking peopl, bring an aggressive tone to disussions way too quickly. We provoke, polarize and even attack out of the blue in a way which is unfamiliar to english speaking people when they comment. In german blogs and forums comments lead to disussions which often end in "flamings". Tonight we could not figure out why it is like that. Hopefully will be able to catch a bit of the spirit of the Anglo-Saxon, English-speaking world when it comes to exchanging opinions! ... the sooner the better!

  58. dearest paula,

    no need to worry about offending me. i'm a very upfront, confrontational person myself and have to be careful the way i word things also. your questions and opinions are important to me b/c you say things that others are just thinking. so please do not censor yourself. it's through sharing that we all learn.

  59. I've been a vegetarian for 12 years, since I passed a "pig truck" on the highway. Those sweet faces and cute little snouts sticking out at me was too much to bear. I still think about it. I have never looked back although my vegan attempts have been unsuccessful. My daughter, who is almost 4, is being raised veggie and it's sometimes hard. People are so openly critical and opinionated. Still, I wish I could be as "pure" as her. I pass chicken trucks now and, even already being a vegetarian, it makes me cry. For the life of me, I don't understand how it doesn't upset everyone. This is a sensitive topic and I admire you for being so open. I really enjoy your blog (no materialism at all compared to others) and I hope writing about this passion will break your "rut". I'm a true fan! Look forward to your recipes, etc.

  60. I am working up to watching the video. I have been an on again, off again vegetarian for years but your description of the calves has made me wake up. I signed a pledge to be vegan for 30 days and plan to continue forever with the exception of home grown eggs from properly treated hens occasionally. My son has been vegetarian for 21 years, is in the best of health with a 108 cholesterol level.

    Every animal has a distinct personality as people do. We see this with our dogs and cats. Isn't is a horrible shame we turn our heads when it comes to farm animals? Cows are very gentle animals, pigs have higher IQ's than dogs and chickens (hens) are sweet and very loving.

    I think your blog is wonderful and I look forward to your vegan recipes.

    Bless you,

  61. audrey - i have a friend who had a similar experience driving behind a truck taking cows to slaughter. she said their big round eyes looked terrified. i hope i'm able to help you make the leap to being a vegan.

    anon - please get the strength to watch the trailer it will change your life for longer than 30 days, i promise.

  62. I would never buy battery chooks or eggs. In Australia free range chooks and eggs are prohibitively 'spensive but I don't care- my Mum used to have chooks that were formerly battery hens and their feathers never grew back! Never!

    In Australia there is a very strong anti-fur movement, we are pro our pets, and it is dangerous and frowned upon to wear fur and it is "ok" to consume battery chooks and eggs-why? chooks have an image problem-People say "oooh look at the little lamb! Look at the little puppy!" but no one says this about old hens! Anyway, if you read my blog you know I love my meat but you should also know I've been raised by a woman who is like A VERITABLE Dr Doolittle- my Mum LIVES for her animals. She treats them like babies. Her doggy was rescued form a family with a disabled child who rejected him because he was too boisterous. But we (well not me anymore) are also rural folk who love our meat. I feel that eating meat can co-exist happily with a concern for how animals are raised.

    Janet, it's all good and well to be devoted to animals but I'd be fascinated to hear your reader's views on sweat shop produced clothing. Some of the staunchest animal rights people I know are really comfortable wearing clothes produced by an underpaid 12 year old who sleeps under her sewing machine in China. Having seen personally a Chinese sweatshop, I find this disturbing. The BBC's Blood Sweat and Tshirts is a good doco to watch. It's set in China. Grment workers and tailors who serve the Western Market are treated like Slaves.

    Can I just say I am loving your new From the Heart Blog?

    Today in the paper they showed what you could buy for $550k where I live (a run down depressing home miles from anywhere) and compared it to what you could buy in the USA (a stunning 5 bedroom house with 2 bathrooms and a large garden). I wish I'd cut it out to send you- so topical to our recent chats.

    I looked at my supermarket today for vegan egg and butter substitute-NOTHING! God only knows what other vegans round these here parts are doing.

    Keep up the Good Work J. xxxx

  63. I find it predictable that so many are fearful of veganism and to watch the trailer of this documentary. Even if you don't want to know or can't watch -you are still participating in the violence and pain. Just because you are not physically doing the infliction of pain and violence, you really are in a sense. Every time meat is purchased you are giving money for someone else to do it for you.

  64. kirstin - sweatshops? don't you think i have my hands full here trying to convince people like YOU to change:)their eating habits? i agree with you that slave labor is awful.

  65. THANK YOU, THANK YOU for posting this information!!! There are too many people in complete denial about this & I am one of them sometimes (I eat organic chicken). This post is making me rethink my ideas on vegetarianism. This may just be what I need to make the change.

  66. I just watched the trailer. I will never, never, never eat meat again. How can humans be so cruel?

  67. thank you betty. please spread the word.

  68. I am so glad you posted this. Like you said, not watching it does not make it go away. I think most of us would like to stick our head in the sand and pretend not to know or care what happened to the animals in order for us to be able to eat meat, have leather and so on. I am not a vegan, but I am a vegetarian. I would love to adopt the vegan lifestyle.

    Perhaps you could follow up with a post with some tips on making the adjustment? I love cheese, for example. I'd love to hear how you make do when you go out to restaurants, dinner parties, etc. with your diet.

    Thanks again for writing this! Very interesting and very important post.

  69. I wasn't going to comment on this post but I will. I totally agree with you that animals are being treated in a cruel way so we may eat. But that is because some 'humans' have no regard for how a job should be done. Instead of killing animals in a humane way they opt for the cheap and easy way of doing it. They will have a lot to answer for. I am not a vegetarian nor will do I think I ever will be. I can see the benefits of being a vegetarian. A diet full of fruit and veg is very healthy. Whether you become a vegan for health reasons or for the sake of saving the animals, animals will still be killed. Do you eat fish? That is cruel too then isn't it? Look, I believe that everyone is entitled to believe in what they want and I respect your and everyone elses opinion. We are lucky to be free to make choices. There was something you said in one of your comments that sparked me to post this comment.. you said we were not designed to eat meat.. yet, if you believe in God and look in your bible in Levictus, you will find writings about what God says we should and shouldn't eat. I think it's not that we shouldn't eat meat .. it's what KIND of meat we are meant to eat. Do you know we shouldn't eat pork. Do you know that we should only eat fish with scales and fins.. no shrimp, mussels or calamari! Yes it's all written in there! A complete guide by the Master, Creator of our bodies, of what we should and shouldn't eat. I actually wrote a post on this about 3 wks ago but didn't have the guts to publish it. I may do that now. I think lots of people are getting sick because they are eating the wrong types of food and over indulging. Not everything on this earth was meant to be eaten by humans, but certain foods, including certain meats is ok. Yes, again I say that being cruel to animals is totally unacceptable.. so is abusing children, yet I hear so many stories of this happening my heart literally breaks. take care, Maryann ps don't stop writing your blog.. I have always enjoyed reading it and look forward to reading many more..

  70. I just found your blog through Slim Paley who is one of the first blogs I check, just to brighten my day. I am not a vegan, but I STOPPED eating meat on a cross country trip through TX! I had an epiphany right on the road out of Amarillo TX when a cattle truck (open slats) drove by filled to brimming with cows. Guess where they were going? There was a moment when one struggling fallen over cow looked at me and I thought I would cry. I said to my husband, "I promise I will not eat that cow and I will never eat another cow ever again." Before that I would never eat veal (the Mother cows cry when separated from their babies. ANd I never ate lamb. My mantra was - Don't eat anything you would pet - my mantra is getting wider and louder. great blog!

  71. marion-dee - i do not think it is possible to "humanely" kill an animal for food. that's why i don't eat any animal or any animal by-products.

    jayne - thank you for visiting from slim's place. i adore her and i know you must have exquisite taste if you read her blog. so welcome. i love your story and i've heard that happening to others before. it's the eyes. the eyes are so sad.

  72. What a wonderful post, I cried. I couldn't watch the movie, I am not strong enough for that. I have been slowly cutting out meat from my diet. I actually want to know, how to overcome the overwhelming urges to eat meat. It doesn't happen all that often, but when I get the craving I can't not eat it. Any suggestions?

  73. leah - you answered your own question. you said you couldn't watch the trailer, but still have overwhelming urges to eat meat. force yourself to watch the trailer and those urges will vanish. i promise.

  74. I agree the urges WILL go away. I watched this video with my 14 year old daughter Kendrick, she tossed the idea around a few months ago that she wanted to be a vegitarian. It was more of a attention thing at that point, it lasted about a week. She asked why Auntie Rhonda was a vegitarian? (since Rhonda was 9 and currently 38) I told her it was because of the curelty to animals. A fourteen year old can only visulize this subject so far. When I was reading your blog I came across this post and we both sat down and watched the whole movie..... We both gasped through most of it and were very sadened by what we were seeing. This IS truly what is going on and what we choose to put on our tables in "celebrating" the end of our day as a family. No more! I am haunted but at the same time blessed by this footage...This truly resinates with me and my quest and urgency to live a cuelty-free lifestyles is in full swing. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

  75. karen - i am touched by your comment. the disconnect that we have between the cruelty to plate is what needs to change. and you explained it so well. your life is about to change in many dramatic ways. and to think your daughter is doing this so young, now i'm the inspired one! tell your daughter that i think she is amazing.

  76. You were hoping to change minds and you changed mine.

    I've been a vegetarian for 20 years. I was a near-vegan for a while, but gradually slipped back to eating dairy and wearing more leather than I used to.

    I'd relaxed my views on leather because I figured it was a waste product of meat, and I felt like we might as well use the skins rather than just trashing them.

    And dairy-- well I'm lactose intolerant, but I keep eating it despite what it does to my skin and my digestion. It's an addiction.

    The calf story totally changes what I thought I knew about leather.

    It also reminded me that calves are a product of the dairy industry and that I MUST stop supporting that industry.

    Thanks, I needed to read this.

  77. P.S. It was the cattle trucks that turned me into a vegetarian too. I used to commute to work nights and that's when most of the cattle are transported.

  78. I just found you, and have already forgotten how I got here.

    My wife and I stopped eating mammals and fowl 3 years ago; we still eat fish and dairy. I've just switched to soy milk, and like it better for most uses. Someday, slowly but surely, we'll get there.

    I'd been feeling guilty about eating animals for a looooong time, but - like Julie (above) it was my relationship with my dog, my canine soulmate, that sealed the deal for me. He changed everything about my life, even my line of work.

    I forced myself to watch videos, and read vivid descriptions of the unspeakable horrors of factory farming - Now I can't even see a cattle or pig truck without feeling slightly hysterical, sick and mad and on the verge of tears and like I want to just start screaming and run the truck off the road (hysterical and rational don't exactly go hand-in-hand!)

    I've had enough of those images to last a lifetime, so i'm skipping the trailer and certainly the film, but I am SO pleased that your post got the reactions it did. This is how change begins.

    You mentioned somewhere up there that it would be cool to do a linkup of vegetarian/vegan posts. If you decide to go ahead with that I'd love to participate. I've only ever seen those "linky" posts for things like crafts and makeovers and such. This would actually be meaningful...

    Ok, well, since I'm not saying anything original here, I'll stop. I really just wanted to add my voice to the "yeas" -


  79. ms m - i apologize for not answering sooner. thank you for your story. i think all the antibiotics/hormones in dairy is what wreaks the most havoc in our skins. at least that's what i see in my skincare profession. i am so happy you are willing to change.

  80. susan - not sure if this is susan or susan's husband but i'm so glad you found me and shared your story. i would love to do a link-up type party. sadly i don't know how. do you? i think there are others out there that would participate. we need to spread the word. for every person that stops eating meat, it's estimated that 100 animals lives are spared each year. that adds up. feel free to email me re the link party if you are interested.

  81. So glad I went back and found this post Janet. My husband and I have been eating vegan for several months now and have never felt better. Watching Food Inc. did it for us. I have wanted to watch Earthlings, but just can't bring myself to do it. I don't need to be convinced of the horror out there, but I need to suck it up and watch it, just to remind my myself to stay the course with this lifestyle--however, we are loving it and it is easy to do! Love your blog, and be sure to check out Alicia Silverstone's blog "The Kind Life". She and her book "The Kind Diet" really inspired us, I guess because she figured all of this out at such a young age! Cheers!

  82. Oh boy, I wish I could still be vegan. I did it for a year and a half and really liked it, but my body HATES all forms of carbohydrates, so I had to stop eventually. The diet doesn't work for everybody, unfortunately, and it made me very sick. But I envy the people it does work for, because I don't like having to eat animals to live! More power to you!

  83. oh this makes me truely bawl my eyes out. I have been vegetarian for 3 and a half years and my husband too. I posted this to my fb. i hate that some people just close their eyes to this cruelty! and you are right it is way healthier to be vegan. I do not drink milk, but still eat cheese occasionally, i guess i'm just as bad as those others out there that say they cannot be vegan, but i am going to start today not eating any animal by products. you just kinda go on with your day to day life and forget about what's REALLY going on in the world and how we as people should REALLY eat, which is a healthy diet that doesn't harm animals. it's better for us too! it's sad because you know there will still be those evil people out there that just want to be mean to animals, they are evil! but we can at least outlaw all the things that they are doing!!

  84. I did not want to say too much on your most recent post about roses. But about Earthlings - I watched the entire movie. I agree with one of the other people who posted - the dog in the garbage truck really got to me - as the fox at the end after being skinned. Yes, I cried through out the movie. I have seen things about slaughter before, and I have gone without meat after seeing them but always went back. I think this movie did it for me. I look at my dogs who I love so much and I think - are they not any different from a calf or a pig? I think it is the fact that they all feel pain regardless of the level of intelligence, and we can do something about it. I probably will not be all out vegan, but most definitely vegetarian for now. I love your blog and we have many, many things in common. So glad to have stumbled upon you. Know that you HAVE made an impact on someone. Lana www.lifeatwildberrycottage.com

  85. I like reading blogs by fellow vegans. None of my friends are vegans, and only one is a vegetarian, so it gets lonely sometimes. I live in an area where vegan and vegetarian restaurants are almost nonexistent, so websites are often the only way to interact with like minded people. Keep up the good work promoting a vegan life style.

  86. yep, we have to stick together and spread the good word!

  87. This is an updated post to the last one that I left. I want to thank you for opening my eyes. I am now a full-fledged vegan. I did not think it was possible to give up dairy and eggs but I have found many substitutes (Tofutti) and I have never been happier. I now know that I am not contributing to the pain and violence of this world. I am having lots of fun trying new recipes, sometimes they work, sometimes not, but I am learning, learning. I just wanted to let you know that you have changed at least one person, and I hope someday I will have the honor of returning the favour to someone else. The world needs more kind people like you. Thank you from your ever-grateful blog friend, Lana.

  88. This makes me cry...Oh the evil in the world...Thanks for helping to enlighten people on what is going on. God has been dealing with me on some of this, thank you. This post makes me want to light a match to my leather coat, I had no idea. What has happened to us?

    God bless you, I enjoy your blog.

  89. Part of the problem of vegan with most people in my view is they think they will be stuck eating vegetables or expensive pre made frozen vegan items. They need to be taught to think outside the box at foods they already eat that can be easily be tweeted to make it vegan. Think of rice or pasta dishes, vegetable casseroles, bean, and fruits as well. And nut milks and nut butters. Am 90% began with the 10% being vegetarian.

  90. Janet,

    I have been reading your blog for a long time but just joined. I was wondering how you felt about leather. Glad you clarified that. I love the thrifting, the recipes, the general peacefulness of this blog.

    I became vegan after a trip to the doctor at the beginning of this year. I had injured my knee 6 years ago and lost my job and insurance. I gradually gained weight but didn't really keep up with how much. At the urgent care, I had visited them 2 years before and saw a weight gain of 40 lbs in 2 years. Yikes. So much weight on my knee! I went to the Engine 2 Diet site right away and haven't looked back. I am happy to say I am down the 40 lbs, plus a few more.

    I saw your link to Forks over Knives and the cast includes Caldwell Blakeman Esselstyn Jr., M.D.

    I enjoyed the movie and it is what led me to Rip Esselstyn and the Engine 2 Diet. It was actually very easy because I wasn't a big meat eater to begin with.

    Warm holiday wishes.


kindness is never out of style.

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