There’s no such thing as a stupid question?

As a wannabe vegan, I strive to be tolerant of others who may not be as aware of what it means to be vegan as I do. In fact, I do everything I can to help people become more informed – if they want to be. But sometimes the questions can be a bit ridiculous and it can be difficult to maintain a demeanor that exemplifies the compassionate, loving person I strive to be.

Of course, I am not the only one that suffers from this and I was pleasantly surprised to find the following video that addresses just such a dilemma…

Although he takes it to the extreme, sometimes it DOES feel like the endless questions and scenarios presented distract from the original topic at hand and degenerate the conversation into an endless game of “What if…?” that could eventually get pretty ugly if both sides decide to defend their opposing opinions.

So what should a wannabe vegan do when this happens? Here are three suggestions that have worked for me in the past:

  1. First, take a deep breath, stay calm and remind yourself this is a great opportunity to be a good example of a compassionate person.
  2. Acknowledge their questions and try to understand the belief behind their reaction. For example, “Wow. You seem to be really interested in veganism. Why is that?”
  3. State your intention for the conversation and divert their attention to the original topic. For example, “Nancy, I’m happy to answer your questions about being vegan anytime but I asked you to lunch today because I wanted to hear about your trip to Japan. How was it? Did you have a fabulous time?”

Have you ever encountered the ‘endless question’ scenario? How did you handle it?

Please share below. I’d love to hear from you!


Are you ready to make your own decisions?

I just read that Venus Williams has adopted a raw vegan diet. My first reaction was, “Woo hoo! Thank goodness there will be more examples in the mainstream media of people taking responsibility for their own health.” But as I read articles, blog posts and comments about it, I started thinking. Why does it take a celebrity or someone in the public eye to convince us that something might be good (or bad) for our health. Why don’t we evaluate what works best based on what WE are feeling, what works personally for US?

I think a lot of people are slow to embrace veganism because of peer pressure to eat a ‘typical’ diet and not stand out from the rest of the group. I also think people have a basic need to feel loved and connected to the world. These needs are also at the basis of our fixation on celebrities because they DO stand out and try things some people are afraid to try on their own.

So when a celebrity decides to go vegan (and then decides it doesn’t work for them, in some circumstances), their followers who may have decided to try it too all take the same ride but without the long term benefit. The fans weren’t doing it for themselves. They weren’t evaluating based on what they felt or personally thought. They just blindly followed someone else.

To me, blind obedience, in whatever form it takes, is pretty freakin’ scary and is what got us into the massive messes that surround us now.

So, I loudly applaud Venus and anyone else for taking action to improve their health. Not because they are chose veganism, but because they evaluated, investigated and formed their OWN opinions about what is right for them.

What do you think?


Vegan Bodybuilding and Fitness Book Review – Part I

Robert Cheeke recently sent me a copy of his book Vegan Bodybuilding & Fitness and requested that I review it. Even though I am not a professional bodybuilder, I was thrilled to learn more so that I could create a more muscular and healthier body of my own – all on a plant-based diet.

Since the book is 317 pages, I decided that I would do the review in sections. This post is my impression of the beginning sections of the book and Chapter 1.

Robert’s book and cover includes pictures of himself from age 10 to age 29 intermingled with pictures of animals, which are referenced throughout the text. He humbly begins the book with a dedication and acknowledgments, which I thought was a very positive beginning.

In his About the Author section he gives an overview of his life up to this point and what drives him every day to do what he is doing. I especially like his attitude as reflected in this quote:

“My vision is to be right more than wrong, happy more than sad, nice more than mean, caring more than apathetic, and to live without limits.”

The Introduction explains his professional background and how the book came into being. It is encouraging to see that although the book was delayed, Robert was not put off and followed through with his commitment to the original goal of sharing his knowledge in book form.

The first Chapter, Why Vegan?, in addition to a general overview of veganism, describes in more detail Robert’s childhood, his progression into veganism and eventually into bodybuilding. It is all very personal, heartfelt and sincere.

He is definitely a man on a mission and I am confident he will reach his many goals.

I look forward to reading Chapter 2 and reviewing it in a future post.

3 Vegan Organizations That Make a Difference

As a follow-up to my last post, I thought I would give you more information on organizations that are vegan-specific. The following vegan organization are making a huge difference in everyone’s awareness of the issues and what they can do to make a positive difference:

Vegan Action
They are dedicated to helping animals, the environment, and human health by educating the public about the benefits of a vegan lifestyle and encouraging the spread of vegan food options through their public outreach campaigns.

Over the past 10 years they have introduced a logo to certify vegan products with the Vegan Certification Campaign, began a campaign to introduce humane organizations to veganism with the Humane Outreach Campaign, brought vegan food into schools nationwide with the Dorm Food Campaign, and shared the compelling ideas behind veganism with thousands of people through the McVegan Campaign.

Vegan Outreach
They are working to expose and end cruelty to animals through the widespread distribution of their illustrated booklets Why Vegan?, Even If You Like Meat, and Compassionate Choices, along with their follow-up Guide to Cruelty-Free Eating.

As a Vegan Outreach activist, anyone, anywhere, in any situation can be the best possible spokesperson for the animals. Their booklets have been distributed by many individuals and organizations, from middle school students to animal advocacy organizations.

The Vegan Society
They are an educational charity that provides information and guidance on various aspects of veganism, including to new and potential vegans, caterers, health care professionals, educators and the media.

They aim to make veganism an easily adopted and widely recognized approach to reducing animal and human suffering and environmental damage by means of meaningful, peaceful and factual dialogue with individuals and organizations.

Are you an proactive vegan? I would love to hear your comments on the blog, on Facebook or on Twitter.