BEST VEGAN RESOURCES: 2017
By Ryder Meehan
More people are choosing a vegan, (as close as possible to) cruelty-free lifestyle than ever before, and that trend is expected to grow even more sharply in 2017. Google searches for “vegan” are on the rise, Millennials are leading vegan diet adoption, and some data shows a 60% rise in veg food and drink. With this momentum, how much more can we accomplish in 2017?!
There are so many advocates promoting the vegan movement, including incredible organizations, news sites, bloggers, and celebrities that are spreading awareness for this important cause. While there are countless incredible contributors to the movement, we’ve created a list of some of those that you will definitely want to get to know and follow this year if you haven’t already:
ANIMAL RIGHTS ORGANIZATIONS
Compassion Over Killing - Since 1995, COK has served as an unwavering force bringing about positive changes for animals. Their Hormel Hell video went viral with over 1.6 million views, and they helped to pass Question 3, an historic Massachusetts law aimed at improving farm animals’ lives. Question 3 ends the confinement of calves and pigs in crates and hens in battery cages in MA. See more COK 2016 highlights.
- PETA - People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is the largest animal rights organization in the world, with more than 5 million members and supporters, so this list wouldn’t be complete without them! PETA works through public education, cruelty investigations, research, animal rescue, legislation, special events, celebrity involvement, and protest campaigns. Currently they have over 4.7 million Facebook fans and 748K Twitter followers. In 2016, PETA campaigned to successfully end the SeaWorld orca-breeding program and stop Ringing Bros Circus from using elephants. Most recently, in a landmark case following the release of a PETA exposé, six shearers were charged with cruelty to animals for the first time in history.
Free from Harm promotes farmed animal rescue, education and advocacy through an incredible resource library. Free from Harm researches and publishes articles on all the positive benefits of veganism including health, environmental, world hunger, wildlife protection and of course animal compassion. They seek to transform society's attitudes about violence and oppression by leveraging the most powerful tool we have: our forks. 99% of our harm to animals can be eliminated just by evolving our food choices.
- The Microsanctuary Movement is an initiative to help vegans rescue and care for farmed animals. It centers on a radical revisioning of “sanctuary” on a grassroots level, with the goal being to inspire and empower more people to use whatever resources they have available right now to provide safe, nurturing homes to non-humans who are typically seen only as commodities. The Microsanctuary Movement is creating a revolution in how humans see and interact with farmed animals. As more “microsancuaries” pop-up, more and more people are able to understand how animals are living being with personalities; that goes a long way in helping more to understand the importance of the animal rights movement.
- Last Chance for Animals is dedicated to eliminating animal exploitation through education, investigations, legislation, and media attention. Since 1984 this group has influenced major changes for animal liberation. In 2016, Last Chance for animals helped end elephant abuse in circuses, protected mountain gorillas, blocked the use of cats and dogs in animal testing and more wins for the animal rights movement!
- Oh She Glows was one of the first all vegan food bloggers and still reigns as one of the most followed (over 1 million!), putting out banging recipes even after all these years (since 2008). Beyond recipes, find daily inspirations, Vegan 101 advice, lifestyle writing and her incredible new app.
- Kimberly Snyder is the author of The Beauty Detox books (NY Times Bestseller) and nutritionist to many Hollywood celebrities. She has been featured in nearly every national publication and TV morning show as a health expert and her Glowing Green Smoothie is epic. Kimberly was also recently featured in What the Health, an amazing new documentary to check out.
- Vegan Street conveys the sense of community and spirit of optimism their founders, Marla Rose and John Beske, felt about compassionate living. Through combining their convictions about veganism with their passions for writing, communications and the arts, they began to carve out their perfect vehicle to express it with -- VeganStreet.com. Vegan Street publishes original content daily including interviews, reviews, essays and news stories. Their Facebook page is amazing too, we particularly enjoy the Troll Comment of the Week.
- Vegan Yack Attack starts our list off for her incredible recipes both indulgent and healthy as well as great restaurant reviews, specialty drink ideas and more. The creator, Jackie Sobon, is most known for her cookbook “Vegan Bowl Attack,” which is a must-own for every kitchen. The book is so popular in fact, that Jackie is currently on a US book tour. Check dates to meet her in person!
- The Non-Human Rights Project Blog is the only civil rights organization in the United States working to achieve actual LEGAL rights for members of species other than our own. Their mission is to change the legal status of appropriate nonhuman animals from mere “things,” which lack the capacity to possess any legal right, to “persons,” who possess such fundamental rights as bodily integrity and bodily liberty. Their blog offers legal updates, progress reports, stories, news and more.
- Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret is a groundbreaking, feature-length environmental documentary uncovering the most destructive industry facing the planet today – and investigates why the world’s leading environmental organizations are too afraid to talk about it. Animal agriculture is the leading cause of deforestation, water consumption and pollution, is responsible for more greenhouse gases than the transportation industry, and is a primary driver of rainforest destruction, species extinction, habitat loss, topsoil erosion, ocean “dead zones,” and virtually every other environmental ill. Yet it goes on, almost entirely unchallenged.
Food, Inc. lifts the veil on our nation’s food industry, exposing the highly mechanized underbelly that has been hidden from the American consumer with the consent of our government’s regulatory agencies, USDA and FDA. Our nation’s food supply is now controlled by a handful of corporations that put profit ahead of consumer health, the livelihood of the American farmer, the safety of workers and our own environment. Due to our food choices, many Americans are riddled with widespread obesity, particularly among children, and an epidemic level of diabetes among adults.
Earthlings, though hard to watch, is arguably the documentary that ignited the vegan movement the last 10 years. This is a film about humankind's total dependence on animals for economic purposes. Presented in five chapters (pets, food, clothing, entertainment and scientific research) the film is narrated by Joaquin Phoenix, featuring music by Moby.
Forks Over Knives takes a look at the way we eat. Most of the degenerative diseases that affect us can be controlled or reversed by eliminating animal-based and processed foods from our diets. The film follows the journeys of a pair of researchers, Dr. T. Colin Campbell and Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn.
Vegan: Everyday Stories is a feature-length documentary that explores the lives of four remarkably different people who share a common thread – they’re all vegan. The movie traces the personal journeys of an ultramarathon runner who has overcome addiction to compete in one hundred mile races, a cattle rancher’s wife who creates the first cattle ranch turned farmed animal sanctuary in Texas, a food truck owner cooking up knee-buckling plant-based foods, and an 8-year-old girl who convinces her family of six to go vegan.
VeganEgg by Follow Your Heart is a vegan egg replacement that goes where other egg replacers simply don’t. Bake cookies, muffins, cakes, and even cook up fluffy scrambled “eggs” and omelets! Plant-based, healthy and freaking yummy.
Miyoko’s Kitchen Fresh VeganMozz: just like traditional mozzarella di bufalo, this cashew-based vegan version is the perfect answer for everything from pizzas (melts and browns like a boss), to caprese salad, to paninis. Creamy, smooth, and with just the perfect amount of springiness.
The Beyond Burger by Beyond Meat, though currently in a limited release, is unlike any veggie burger you’ve ever had because it’s not made like any veggie burger you’ve ever had. Beyond Meat’s belief is that the best way to get people to eat less meat is by giving them what they love–in this case, a juicy delicious burger – without so many of the health, sustainability, and animal welfare downsides of a traditional animal-based burger.
Seaweed by The Ocean: yep, just regular old edible seaweed. Humans have been eating it for ages, but it’s trending in 2017. We’re talking seaweed soup, dried seaweed, seaweed grapes, seaweed cakes and a lot more. Get on the bandwagon!
Trader Joe’s Tempura Cauliflower: as part of their latest rollout of delightful vegan options. First, if you haven’t tried making tempura cauliflower at home yet, do! It’s an amazing substitute for buffalo-style snacks. If you want something quick, then Trader Joe’s does a nice job of making a frozen version with big, juicy florets and a quite spicy sauce.
Russell Simmons has been vegan since 1999 and advocates Ahimsa and veganism, citing animal rights along with the environmental and health benefits. Simmons is a supporter of Farm Sanctuary, an organization working to end cruelty to farm animals. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals awarded him with the 2001 PETA Humanitarian Award and the 2011 Person of the Year Award.
Shaun Monson is best known for his groundbreaking 2005 documentary, Earthlings, and the 2015 follow up, Unity. Shaun continues to expose truths and deceptions holding back animal liberation with his powerful films. The third film in his trilogy, Being, is expected to release in 2017.
Alicia Silverstone has been a prominent vegan figure and activist for years. She uses her public popularity to help promote a vegan lifestyle, as well as awareness of animal cruelty. Her activist activities are seen on her Broadway shows, on talk shows including Oprah, through her book The Kind Life, and on the Internet frontier.
Joaquin Phoenix has been a vegan since age three, but he's also responsible for converting many of us over to veganism with his powerful narration of the documentary film Earthlings.
Woody Harrelson continues to push the animal rights movement through speaking out and promoting vegan businesses. Woody says “really my message is simple. It's a message of compassion in this world that is spinning madly out of control. We have to realize that we're all related. We have to try to live harmoniously”.
We want to hear from you! Tell us who you would add to this list in the comments below.
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