Author Archives: Vegetarians of Washington

Saving Americans trillions!

Let’s save the country trillions of dollars! How you ask? By adopting a vegan diet. Here’s why.

Diet is the number one risk factor for the disease and disability burden in the United States, according to the Journal of the American Medical Association. That’s number one! According to cardiologist Dean Ornish, “More than 75% …of the annual U.S. healthcare costs (mostly sick-care costs) are from chronic diseases, which can often be prevented and even reversed by eating a plant-based diet, at a fraction of the costs – and the only side-effects are good ones.”

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New vegan menu options

Many restaurants are recognizing that they need to have tasty vegan options to appeal to those who are already vegan or vegetarian. They are also hoping to entice meat-eaters to give these options a try. The latest restaurant chains to add vegan meat substitutes include Donatos Pizza and Chipotle Mexican Grill.

Donatos Pizza is introducing Vegan Pepperoni at nearly 170 locations nationwide, including right here in the northwest. The family owned pizza brand announced the new plant-based pepperoni launch this month in partnership with the plant-based meat brand, Field Roast. It all came about from a desire for the Donatos team to find a way to help their customers achieve their New Year’s resolutions. A lot of people aspire to eat more veggies, so Donatos Pizza decided to roll out plant-based pepperoni as an easy substitute for animal-based pepperoni.

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Your dog can be vegan!

Yes, your dog can be a vegan! When it comes to diet there are three kinds of animals: carnivores that subsist on meat, such as cats, herbivores that subsist on plant foods such as horses, and omnivores that can subsist just fine on either on meat or plant foods such as dogs. Therefore, dogs can do just fine on a vegan diet and they can be even healthier than on a meat diet.

The domestication of dogs resulted in increased levels of enzymes especially designed to digest plant food and this has led to the classification of dogs as omnivores. Reinforcing this, a study looked at the effect of a vegan diet on 12 Siberian huskies involved in sprint-racing.  For 16 weeks, they fed six of them a meat-based commercial diet recommended for active dogs, and the other six a meat-free diet formulated to the same nutrient specifications.  Health checks were conducted by a veterinarian who didn’t know which diet each dog was fed. All dogs were assessed as being in excellent physical condition and none developed anemia or other detectable health problems.

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Blacks go vegan!

According to the latest research Black Americans are more likely to become vegan or vegetarian than their white counterparts. According to a Pew Research Center survey, 8% of African Americans identify as vegan or vegetarian compared to just 3% of the general population.

Many people of color say they have switched to a plant-based diet for the environment, for animal rights and for their health.  Increasingly, they realize that what they eat is important, and that they can do a lot to help avoid hospitals and keep themselves healthy by changing their diet.

Black cardiologist Kim Williams says, “I recommend a plant-based diet because I know…that plant-based diets are associated with lower rates of obesity and diabetes, high quality of life and longer life-expectancy, as well as less hypertension, dyslipidemia, peripheral artery disease, coronary disease, myocardial infarction, erectile dysfunction, heart failure, stroke and death.”

Of course there have been Black vegetarians for generations.  While Rev. Martin Luther King was not a vegetarian himself, he showed a growing concern with the plight of animals, as well as people, when he said “Never, never be afraid to do what’s right, especially if the well-being of a person or animal is at stake.” That concern blossomed into the vegan way with his wife Coretta Scott King, and also his son Dexter Scott King who said “Veganism has given me a higher level of awareness and spirituality”

Civil rights activist Rosa Parks maintained a vegetarian lifestyle until she passed away in 2005. “I have been a vegetarian for a few years. It was not hard at all to not eat meat. [Becoming a vegetarian] was something I wanted to do,” she said. Among her favorite vegetables were broccoli, greens, sweet potatoes and string beans.

Today, many famous Black Americans are good role models as vegetarians, including tennis stars Serena and Venus Williams, footballer David Carter, music promoter Russell Simmons, musicians Erykah Badu and Stevie Wonder, actress Kimberly Elise, and many more.

Actor Paul Wesley advocates for a vegan diet

Paul Wesley (full name Paweł Tomasz Wasilewski) went vegan over a decade ago, citing his compassion toward animals, and he has been a powerful advocate for avoiding animal products ever since.  He initially became known for his acting role in The Vampire Diaries, and subsequently went on to direct and then produce the series.  He has appeared in a variety of movies, including Mother’s Day, Convergence, and The Baytown Outlaws.  More recently, he joined the cast of the CBS series Tell Me a Story.

The news of his vegan diet became public when he co-hosted the Humane Society of United States’ H-Couture 2012 event, a fashion show that features vegan designers.  Since then, he has been seen attending a variety of animal-rights events hosted by Mercy for Animals and other organizations to help spread the word about veganism and the need for better treatment of animals.

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Vegan Bikers!

These bikers are out to save the animals. The Vegan Knights Motorcycle Club takes to the open road in vegan leather and big black Harley motorcycles to roll up to dive bars and gather around meatless meals to talk about veganism with any locals who will listen, for the purpose of raising money for animal sanctuaries.

Vegan Knights cofounder and tough guy Burak Sarac explains exactly what it means to be a “tough guy ” on the road and a softie in the kitchen, or at mealtime. “I’m a tough guy, but I always remember the purpose of that tough guy. It’s standing up for the voiceless and for the animals.” He goes on to explain that being tough also breaking the mold. I’m going to be tough by making the tougher choice, breaking the mold, and doing the right thing.”

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Sprinter Morgan Mitchell is vegan

Australian Morgan Mitchell went vegan at the age of 19, in 2013.  After competing in the 4×400 meters relay event at the 2015 World Championships and the 2016 Olympic Games, she switched focus to the 800 meters and rapidly improved to come in sixth in the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games (held in July 2021).

She has appeared in the media talking about the positive impacts a plant-based diet has had on her performance.  She describes what she eats each day as focused on protein-rich meals like breakfast burritos, vegan chicken salads, smoothies, burgers and Buddha bowls.

But eating vegan is more than just about health and performance.  When asked about her diet, she says: “the life of an animal and the wellbeing of the environment means more to me than any amount of money or the career path I wish to take” because the lives of the farm animals and the future of the environment depend on what we do.

Warming Soup Recipes

This is the time of year when it’s often cold and dreary outside, and there’s nothing better than a delicious bowl of soup to warm you up.  Did you know that making a pot of soup from scratch is actually very simple to do, and it’s oh, so healthy?  Try some of our recipes below and get cooking!

Pumpkin-SoupPumpkin Soup

Makes about 8 1-cup servings.

This sweet and creamy soup has just a hint of spiciness. It can also be made with puréed winter squash, yams, or sweet potatoes in place of the pumpkin. Read more

If slaughterhouses had glass walls…

Planted Foods factory in Switzerland

Paul McCartney, a former Beatle and longtime vegetarian, famously said, “If slaughterhouses had glass walls, everyone would be vegetarian.”

Although one of the most well-known quotes in the animal compassion movement, it took the team behind Planted Foods—a Swiss food tech company dedicated to ending animal suffering through tasty plant-based alternatives to meat—to run with the idea.

Convinced that the food industry needed to be more transparent about its cruelty-free ingredients and processes, Planted Foods made this quote literal by building an enormous glasshouse around their production in the heart of their Switzerland-based factory.

A slaughterhouse worker

Slaughterhouses are often miles away from urban centers, guarded by impenetrable walls and perplexing laws. To date, the primary means of drawing attention to the non-transparency of the industry has been through activists sneaking out footage of terrible conditions experienced by animals and practices the slaughterhouse workers endure.

Planted’s Co-Founder Pascal Bieri says, “Unlike the animal meat industry, we have nothing to hide.” Open, airy, and entirely transparent, their factory and ethos is a sharp contrast to the efforts of meat manufacturers to hide the harshness of their production processes from consumers.

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