Meatout Mondays is our colorful weekly e-newsletter. Each issue features an easy and delicious recipe, great product ideas, health information or breaking news, and inspiration to brighten your week.

Here on the Meatout Mondays Blog we archive articles from our weekly newsletter and post helpful tips, encourage comments from readers like you, and build community.


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Dr. Michael Greger's Latest Nutrition DVD

on Wednesday, 23 April 2014. Posted in Products, Books & Media, Tips & Ideas

Dr. Michael Greger's Latest Nutrition DVD

Our friend and vegan Doctor, Michael Greger has released his newest nutrition DVD, "Latest in Clinical Nutrition, Volume 18."

Known for his hilariously witty and detailed delivery of the most recent coverage on health and nutrition, Dr. Greger has become a trusted source of all things vegan nutrition. 

"The DVDs give folks the opportunity to sneak-preview videos months [before they're officially released]," per Dr. Greger's non-profit website, The latest volume includes information about nutrition related to blood type, aging, protein myths, cancer causing truths, asthma, cholesterol, diabetes, and more.

Order your nutrition DVDs on

Nine Facts About Pigs' Intelligence

on Tuesday, 22 April 2014. Posted in Inspiration, News

Nine Facts About Pigs' Intelligence

Sociable, brave, highly intelligent, and full of personality; pigs are among the smartest land animals.  

In a recent Huffington Post article written by Ingrid Newkirk we learn that pigs can use tools, are playful and silly, have great memory, can be sneaky, prefer to control their own body temperature to suit their comfort needs, would rather be squeaky clean than dirty, risk their lives to save those they care about, and are genuinely one of the most optimistic animals on the planet. 

Hey look, it's Esther The Wonder Pig! We'd venture to guess that she's in the middle of devising a precision plan involving those pies! 

Read Ingrid's full article (and see more photos of Esther) on

Young Vegan Chef to Compete on Food Network

on Monday, 21 April 2014. Posted in Inspiration, News, Books & Media

Young Vegan Chef to Compete on Food Network

At the age of 16, shortly after becoming vegan, the young, inspired Jay Astafa took it upon himself to create a full vegan menu for his family's pizzeria, on Long Island. 

Less than four years later Jay's foodie talent continued to grow and the family restaurant was awarded  "PETA's Best Vegan Pizza." 

Just this past March Astafa was invited to compete in—and won—the annual Vegan Iron Chef competition, held in San Francisco.

Now, just 21 years old, as Jay prepares to launch his own vegan restaurant and catering company within the year his t
alent and passion for vegan cooking have not gone unnoticed. 

In addition to catering several high-end events Jay will appear and compete on tonight's episode of the Food Network's "Rewrapped" (airing at 8:30PM EDT).

Learn more about tonight's Food Network episode, on Jay's Facebook event page.

The Vegetarian Site

on Wednesday, 16 April 2014. Posted in News, Tips & Ideas

The Vegetarian Site

Stock up on vegan Easter goodies by way of The Vegetarian Site!

In addition to carrying delicious Easter products, like this vegan chocolate Easter Bunny, made by Sjaak's Organic Chocolates (available in "milk" or dark chocolate), The Vegetarian Site is a hotspot for a great variety of vegan products. 

While shopping footwear, videos, personal health care, groceries, accessories, books, and more; browse The Vegetarian Site's health and nutrition resources, vegan news items, recipes, editorials, and event listings! 

What's more, 10% of every sale made this month on goes toward vegan and animal rights causes.

Order your compassionate Easter goodies and other supplies at

EggNots - Ceramic Easter Eggs

on Tuesday, 15 April 2014. Posted in Products, Tips & Ideas

EggNots - Ceramic Easter Eggs

Seeking a compassionate alternative to traditional Easter egg hunting and decorating? EggNots has got just the thing!

These realistic, ceramic, non-perishable egg alternatives are great for dyeing, arts and crafts, gifts, displays, and home decor. 

According to their website, EggNots were "Created to bring the Easter coloring experience to children and families affected by egg allergies, as well as vegan households." 

Purchase by the dozen, or more, and enjoy an animal-free Easter!

Find product information and purchase a case today at

Vegan "Cadbury Egg" Bowls

on Monday, 14 April 2014. Posted in Recipes


Cara of Forks and Beans (a vegan food blog) has truly outdone herself with yet another incredible holiday-themed recipe! This one requires a bit of lead time so be sure to plan ahead. Your friends and family are sure to be wowed by the uniqueness of this Easter-inspired dessert. Have so much fun with it, and let us know how it goes!

White Chocolate Mousse Ingredients:
1 can coconut cream, chilled overnight in the fridge
4 Tbsp. melted vegan white chocolate, cooled completely
3 Tbsp. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Remaining "Egg" Ingredients:
1 - 9 oz bag of vegan chocolate chips (or a vegan chocolate bar), melted
6 canned apricots, cut into small circles (1 1/2" round cutter suggested)

White Chocolate Mousse Directions:
(We suggest preparing the mousse filling the night before you're planning to serve it.) 
1. In a large bowl carefully remove the coconut cream contents from the can with a spoon, leaving out the liquid on the bottom. 
2. With an electric mixer, begin to whip up the coconut cream on medium speed.
3. Add in the remaining ingredients and whip for another 2-3 minutes until light and fluffy.
4. Place into an air-tight container and chill in the fridge for 2+ hours (the longer it is chilled, the more consistent to mousse the texture becomes).

"Egg" Assembly Directions:
1. Melt bag of vegan chocolate chips. 
2. Use a small blown up, cleaned balloon to create the chocolate bowls (see step-by-step photo instructions HERE).
3. Fill the chocolate bowls with about 1/3 cup of the mousse.
4. Place apricot on top and serve!

For this and other holiday-themed vegan recipes visit


The Story of an Easter Bunny

on Sunday, 13 April 2014. Posted in Inspiration

The Story of an Easter Bunny

"Wow! Your rabbit has a really good life compared to my mom's rabbit," my friend said to me one summer afternoon. My lop, Harvey, was binkying around my living room, throwing his toys about and headbutting my friend for attention.

"What do you mean?," I asked cautiously. I was a fairly new bunny momma at the time and had just begun learning about the kinds of lives many bunnies face; particularly around Easter time.

"Well," she began, "my mom got it as an Easter present for my younger sisters but they aren't really interested anymore. It's kind of boring. It just sits there in its cage all day, but I mean... I guess it doesn't really have anything to do. I try to give it attention when I'm over there, but it doesn't act like your bunny."

I inwardly groaned and began asking her questions, none of which had an answer that sounded good for the poor bunny. "It?" I thought sadly. 

I asked if her mom would consider bringing the bun indoors to be a family member. She wasn't optimistic, but begged me to try talking to her mom anyway. I loaded up a few basic supplies (hay, good quality pellets, bun-safe treats, litter) and went with her to her mom's, a few blocks away.

My friend led me to the back porch where a little black and white rabbit was hunched in the farthest corner of a tiny wire cage. There was no soft place to rest, no toys, and in his food dish, there was only cat food. My friend went to find her mom, while I quickly dumped the cat food and replaced it with pellets and placed a handful of hay in his too-small cage. My friends mom and I introduced ourselves, and she immediately asked if I wanted the rabbit. I asked her a few questions (age, sex, name?) and the only thing I learned is that the bunny was bought at a reptile show the day before Easter and "We thought he was too cute to be snake food." I'd been planning to take Harvey to pick out a wife at a rescue in a few months, but it was clear this little one was coming home with me. I texted my husband to inform him of our new addition.

That night when I got him settled into his new temporary cage, he tore into his new food with abandon, but was reluctant to come anywhere near me. I named the little dude Jack. Over the next few months he learned to trust me, and shortly after his neuter, he and Harvey bonded to each other easily. Today, he and his bondmate are outgoing house rabbits. They spend nights in their exercise pen, but enjoy free range of two floors of the house during the day. Jack is cautious of new people and situations, but he warms up once he feels safe and he loves other animals, especially rabbits. He is quite demanding on his human, however, and is not afraid to show his disapproval when his standards are not met or meals are a moment late.

Jack enjoys a wide range of sports and activities including the high jump, competitive book eating, locating and opening treat containers, the bunny 500, litter box flipping and digging, lounging in patches of sunlight, wallet snatching and snuggling with his bunny companion. He brings a lot of joy into our family with his antics.

Rabbits are absolutely not an impulse decision, but if you're willing to do the research and give them the diet, care and space they need, and if you're ready for at least a ten year commitment, they make truly wonderful family members.

For more about why rabbits are poor Easter gifts; and to learn about their proper care, visit  

Today's post was kindly written by Jessica Kralik, who—when asked to throw something together last minute—kindly shared the story of Jack, her Easter bunny rescue. Thank you, Jessica! 

Our Hen House Vegan TV Show

on Thursday, 10 April 2014. Posted in Inspiration, News, Books & Media

Our Hen House Vegan TV Show

Featuring the talented women (Jasmin Singer and Mariann Sullivan) behind the ever popular vegan blog and podcast, Our Hen House, comes a new vegan-centric TV show!

Co-produced with Brooklyn Independent Media, Our Hen House TV " into the under-explored world of animal rights with a sense of humor, a passionate heart, and more than a few opinions on the state of animal rights," notes the show's hosts. 

They continue, "Whether you're a seasoned vegan, a part-time vegetarian, a fiery justice activist, or simply love your dog, Our Hen House TV show emboldens you to think in new directions, to question assumptions, and to sample some fabulous food along the way."

Watch the latest episode and learn more, on

New Book: How to Be Vegan

on Wednesday, 09 April 2014. Posted in Books & Media, Tips & Ideas

New Book: How to Be Vegan

How to Be Vegan: Tips, Tricks, and Strategies for Cruelty-Free Eating, Living, Dating, Decorating, and More is brought to you by former editorial director of VegNews, Elizabeth Castoria. 

Demonstrating the ease with which a vegan lifestyle can be had, Castoria spotlights everything from day-to-day events to nutrition, recipes, etiquette, travel, fashion, dating, and more. 

"With familiar ingredients and straightforward instructions...[and] presented in concise, practical easy-to-read pieces, with tips and tricks to employ in all parts of life—and filled with helpful illustrations and humorous ones too—How to Be Vegan presents a vegan lifestyle that is more accessible than ever before," notes the cover.

Learn more about the book and where to buy it on

Butler Soy Curls

on Tuesday, 08 April 2014. Posted in Products

Butler Soy Curls

Super versatile Butler Soy Curls are not only easy to flavor—using your favorite sauces or broths—but they're great for a variety of meals including sandwiches, stir fries, and fajitas. They're also great in soups and casseroles, as salad toppers, and more!

Plus, they're super easy to store. Simply keep them in the refrigerator or freezer for long lasting freshness. 

Made of delicately textured select soybeans, Butler Soy Curls have no preservatives or additives. They are non-GMO and grown without chemical pesticides. 

A vegan pantry staple, one serving of these soy curls provides ten grams of plant-based protein. And when rehydrated an 8 oz. bag equals approximately 1.5 pounds of fiber! 

Pick up a bag of Butler Soy Curls today by ordering them online from Food Fight! Grocery

Find product and nutritional information at

BBQ Soy Curls Mini Taco Bowls

on Monday, 07 April 2014. Posted in Recipes

BBQ Soy Curls Mini Taco Bowls

We're in love with this beautiful taco dish, featuring Butler Soy Curls, adapted from THIS recipe on Kristy's Keepin' It Kind blog. Kristy's version includes homemade pickled red onions (recipe HERE), as well as homemade taco shells (recipe HERE). We thought we'd keep it a little simpler since there are plenty of fun ingredients to work with as is. Have so much fun with it and enjoy sharing this scrumptious dish with friends and family this weekend!


18 oz. bag of Butler soy curls
enough vegetable broth to cover the soy curls
1/2 tsp. olive oil
1/2 white onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbs. Bragg Liquid Aminos (or soy sauce)
1 tsp. liquid smoke (optional)
1 can of organic fire-roasted tomatoes, diced
1 1/2 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. paprika
juice from 1/2 a lemon
1 Tbs. Sriracha sauce (optional)
1/3 + 1/4 cup barbecue sauce, separated
salt and pepper to taste
12 mini taco shells 
1 avocado, thinly sliced


1. Place the soy curls in a bowl and cover with warm vegetable broth. Let them rehydrate for about 5 minutes before draining. Use your hands to squeeze excess moisture from the curls. 
2. In a large saucepan heat the olive oil over medium heat. 
3. Add the onion and saute until translucent. 
4. Add the garlic and saute for about 1-2 minutes. 
5. Add the soy curls, Bragg's, and liquid smoke and mix to combine. Sautee for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking, until excess moisture has cooked away. 
6. Add the tomatoes and spices, and mix well. Let saute for about 7-8 minutes until the liquid has cooked away. 
7. Add 1/3 cup of the barbecue sauce and Sriracha and let saute for another 7-8 minutes until excess liquid has cooked away. 
8. Add salt and pepper and the remaining barbecue sauce. 
9. Fill each taco bowl with about 1/3 cup of the BBQ soy curls and top with avocado slices. Serve immediately. 

For the complete recipe (which includes adding pickled onions) visit

From Circus Heritage to Elephant Advocate: A Journey to Enlightenment

on Tuesday, 01 April 2014. Posted in Inspiration

From Circus Heritage to Elephant Advocate: A Journey to Enlightenment

It would be a lie if I didn’t say that circus abuse investigations are what led me to become vegetarian and eventually vegan.

As a descendant of The Flying Concellos, dubbed the most famous aerialist act in circus history, and grand-niece of Art Concello, former circus owner, I have grown up almost exclusively enjoying outings including the circus. My father would tell stories of days with his Aunt Mickey and Antoinette behind the stage, interacting with elephants and their trainers. I always stared at him in awe as he would let the words spill over his tongue about the beauty of such creatures. I’m sure I was not alone in wanting to run away to join the parade. As I got older my circus attending days were ending, as the smell alone would send me into a whirlwind of funny faces trying to mask it.

My very last circus was Ringling’s performance at Nassau Coliseum at the age of fifteen. I still remember seeing protesters standing at the entrance as I drove by. At eighteen, I met my now-fiancé, who has always had a love of animals. He had wanted to get involved in animal issues, but had been away at school, making him unable to do so on Long Island. Ringling and his spring break from college had suddenly collided, allowing him to do so.

In 2010, John and I attended a demonstration outside of Nassau Coliseum though I knew very little of the issue. But, what’s better than supporting your boyfriend in something he is passionate about?

That was the night everything changed.

I went home and with computer in hand, researched the circus industry from the other side. What I grew up thinking was true, that animals were loved and cared for like the dogs and cats we share our homes with, was simply not the case. Current Ringling owner Kenneth Feld has admitted in court that Ringling trainers strike their elephants with bullhooks, causing them pain, in order for them to perform. Brian French, senior elephant handler for the Blue Unit of Ringling Bros Circus has also admitted that "whatever amount of force is utilized to get the elephant to perform a behavior is appropriate," is a fair statement in regards to getting an elephant to perform. Cole Brothers, once owned by my great-uncle Art Concello when it was known as Clyde-Beatty and the Russel Bros Circus, is currently on criminal probation for pleading guilty to the Endangered Species Act (EPA). The owner, John Pugh, is currently on criminal probation for the same thing.

When speaking about circuses, one must not disregard the infamous undercover video of Tim Frisco, current head elephant trainer for Carson and Barnes (performing as Cole Bros), where he screams out "Tear that foot off. Sink it in the foot! Tear it off! Make ‘em scream!” He even states that if the trainees were “scared to hurt ‘em” they should not enter the barn.

As the facts poured in, I started to wonder what else I had been blind to and what else I had been missing. As this happened my appetite for meat and dairy dwindled. An elephant is an emotional being, just like a pig, just like a cow, just like a dog, just like me.

Julie Cappiello is Vice President, photographer and co-founder of Long Island Orchestrating for Nature (LION), an animal advocacy group in New York. Born and raised on Long Island, she studied photography at Nassau Community College and graduated in May 2013 from Sage College of Albany with her Bachelor's of Fine Arts. Julie has worked as a journalist for AOL Patch, interned for Newsday and is currently working as a contractor for Newsday's
Always a lover of animals, Julie was given the job of "animal rights activist" in her 8th grade yearbook and is now spending her life informing others of the plight of all sentient beings.

Thrive Energy Cookbook

on Thursday, 27 March 2014. Posted in Books & Media

Thrive Energy Cookbook

Created by two-time Canadian 50km Ultra Marathon Champion, Brendan Brazier, Thrive Energy Cookbook dives into Brendan's philosophy on plant-based nutrition, showcasing 150 easy, health-enhancing recipes.

An expert on how diet affects performance and how not to waste energy, Brazier explores how foods in their natural state maximizes energy and health, lowers body fat, improves sleep, and peaks conditioning and physical performance. 

thriveThrive Energy Cookbook includes the use of leafy greens, hemp seeds, quinoa, brown rice, and nuts as staples in an alkaline-forming, plant protein-packed diet regime. 

In addition to being a best selling author, Brendan Brazier is a former professional Ironman triathlete. He is the creator of the
 ZoN Thrive Fitness Program and the award winning, plant-based VEGA product line.

For more on Brendan and Thrive Energy Cookbook visit

Bee Free Honee

on Wednesday, 26 March 2014. Posted in Products

Bee Free Honee

Not to be confused with conventional or raw honey, Bee Free Honee is botanically derived, free of artificial flavoring, and made from USDA Certified Organic Michigan Apples, non-GMO Certified vegan sugar, and lemon juice.

Perfect for sweetening tea or coffee; or mixing into BBQ sauces, vinaigrettes, cakes, or granola. 

Bee Free Honnee is also a great pancake, waffle, or French toast topper. It can be used pretty much anywhere one might have traditionally used honey!

Choose from four different flavors: Ancho Chile, Mint, Chocolate, and Slippery Elm. 

Here's to letting bees be bees, thanks to Bee Free Honee!

Find product and nutritional information at

5 Easy Vegan Snacks for Workaholics

on Tuesday, 25 March 2014. Posted in Inspiration, Health, Tips & Ideas

5 Easy Vegan Snacks for Workaholics

I am a graphic designer and my work requires me to sit in front of the computer for long hours. When I am slogging away in front of the computer designing one brochure after another, often I feel tired, bored and also anxious. At times like these, I use food to ground myself. There are also times when I have to work nights to meet deadlines.

Again, I use food to help me keep going. I can’t always avoid getting into long hectic work hours where I loose my Zen state of mind and instantly look for comfort food. I know that if I were to be snacking on foods containing meat, dairy, and other processed packaged foods, I would get bloated and my skin would break out. Gluten and lactose intolerance can make me gassy… Plus feeling sleepy after a heavy snack will not help in getting the work done. This could be bad for business. So what’s the solution?

When I sense that I am in for some hectic days and nights ahead, I keep these 5 snacks prepared. Each of these takes about 30 minutes or less, mostly less, including the cooking time so while one is cooking I can start on the other. And they are easy. No culinary skills required for achieving the desired results. This kind of pre-hectic-work preparation keeps me out of weight gaining, skin breaking, and poisonous gas emitting troubles:

1. Sweet potato bries with cashew cheese
Chop sweet potatoes lengthwise so they look like fries. Toss them with some oil, salt, pepper, curry powder, cumin powder and smoked paprika. Bake them at 350° F for 20 mins. Meanwhile blend 1 cup of cashews with 2 garlic cloves, a tsp of salt and pepper. Your cashew cheese is ready. Enjoy the bries (bries because they are baked not fried) with cashew cheese. This snack gives that rich creamyish sweet and salty satisfaction + root vegetables like sweet potatoes have a grounding energy to them.

2. Krispy spicy nuts
Chomping on something crunchy wakes me up and helps keep my brain going. I think it is safe to say that sometimes when I am tied to my desk I use food to entertain me. Toss 1 cup each of cashews, pecans and almonds with a tbsp olive oil (or water) and sugar. Add a tsp each of salt, rosemary and thyme. Maybe some smoked paprika if you like. Spread on a baking sheet and bake at 350° F for 15-20 mins. I keep these around as my official work snack.

3. Maple syrup strawberries
Cut strawberries, drizzle maple syrup or agave. Boom!

4. Peanut butter and bananas
Next time you go to your local CSA or wholefoods, make sure you get some fresh roasted peanut butter and some organic bananas. Chop a banana, dip into peanut butter. I advise not to be on a client call white eating this because all they will hear is – ummooommllouummnnnummm. No. This has never happened to me.

5. Chocolate Laddoos (balls)
In a food processor, blend the following ingredients - 1 cup each of desiccated coconut, cashews, almonds, 6 pitted dates, 2 tbsp raw cacao, 2 tbsp coconut oil, 1 tbsp water and pinch of pink salt. Once everything is well chopped, shape into balls.

There you have it! My favorite, healthy, snacks for the workin' folk who - like me - enjoy snacking to help get through a busy day.

Neha has been working as a graphic designer for over 6 years, focusing on user-centered design and designing communication pieces. She graduated from Parsons, The New School for Design, New York City in 2011. Her focus is on devising interactive strategies that would produce the most memorable experiences for the end user. In addition, the healthful journey of becoming a plant-based vegan has inspired Neha to become a wellness coach. She is currently studying at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, and has created a website called The Spiritual Foodie - another step towards being a part of the nutritarian movement.

Fava, Butternut, & Couscous Bowl

on Monday, 24 March 2014. Posted in Recipes

Fava, Butternut, & Couscous Bowl

Spring is (attempting to be) in the air but it looks we still have a few cool weeks ahead of us before the heat wave arrives. Here's a great transitional seasons bowl to feed your senses! Packed with vitamin A, fiber, and plant-based protein, this light yet filling dish, created by Vegan Fling, is sure to satisfy your hunger while keeping the ache for warmer weather at bay (at least a little while longer). 


1/2 cup Israeli couscous, cooked
1 tsp. olive oil
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/2 cup shelled fava beans
1 cup butternut squash cubes, frozen
2 Tbsp. pine nuts
Lemon juice
Agave (or maple syrup)


1. Cook the couscous and set aside.
2. In a skillet heat the olive oil over medium high heat. 
3. Add the garlic and let cook until slightly browned. 
4. Add the frozen butternut squash cubes and cook for a few minutes. 
5. Add fava beans and cook until heated through and slightly browned. 
6. Add the pine nuts and toast until just browned. 
7. Place the couscous in a bowl and top with the squash and fava beans. 
8. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and toss with a little lemon juice and agave.

Find this and other great vegan recipes visit

Leilani Farm Sanctuary

on Friday, 21 March 2014. Posted in Inspiration

Leilani Farm Sanctuary

Speaking of vacations, should you find yourself headed to Maui make it a point to visit the town of Haiku and take a tour of Hawaii's only farm animal sanctuary, Leilani Farm Sanctuary!

Founder, Laurelee Blanchard left a lucrative career at a commercial real estate company to devote her life to animal rescue and humane education. She has spent years working with a number of animal rights non-profit groups - including FARM! And was named Vegan of the Year - North America in 2012 for her outstanding animal activist work. 

Formed in 2008, Leilani Farm Sanctuary is now home to about 160 animals, including goats, rabbits, ducks, pigs, chickens, deer, tortoises, and donkeys.

Learn more about Laurelee and the Sanctuary at

Vegan Vacation at Sea

on Thursday, 20 March 2014. Posted in Inspiration, News, Tips & Ideas

Vegan Vacation at Sea

Do you enjoy cruises or have you always wanted to go on one but worried about the vegan aspect of it all?

Well here's one cruise that's designed just for you! Vegan Vacation at Sea is sailing from Ft. Lauderdale on October 25th through November 1st . 

The cruise features cooking demonstrations by popular vegan chefs and authors, including Isa Chandra Moskowitz, Miyoko Schinner, Vegan Black Metal Chef, Jason Wrobel, Eco-Vegan Gal, and The Vegan Zombie crew. 

Registration fills up fast so be sure to get your tickets soon!

For more about this and other vegan cruises visit

Beyond Meat Beef-Free Crumbles

on Wednesday, 19 March 2014. Posted in Products

Beyond Meat Beef-Free Crumbles

Turn those sweet scones into fun breakfast sandwiches by adding some Beef-Free Crumbles between two halves. Maybe even throw some peas, corn, and carrots into the mix to make a custom hash featuring your new scone recipe!

Currently the only gluten- and soy-free beef-free crumble on the market, Beyond Meat's product offers all the protein with half the fat. 

Beyond Meat is a proud sponsor of FARM's campaign, where thousands of people from around the world pledge to eat animal-free on March 20th! Have you pledged yet?

Find product and nutritional information at

The Impact of Being Vegan - Brittany's Story

on Tuesday, 18 March 2014.

The Impact of Being Vegan - Brittany's Story

I’m not going to lie; going vegan may be the best choice I’ve ever made, but it didn’t come without struggle. I’m talking family and friends here. I went vegan five years ago after picking up a copy of Skinny Bitch and being moved by excerpts from Slaughterhouse: The Shocking Story of Greed by Gail Eisnitz. If you haven’t read either book, check them out because they’re magnificent. I knew that I would feel some backlash when I announced it, but I wasn’t prepared for the onslaught. Friends that I’d known for years reverted to grade school behavior and waved bacon in my face and my mother told me I’d never get enough calcium or protein in my diet (she’s a nurse no less!). Luckily, I’ve always been a strong-willed lady so I took all of these things in stride (mostly – there may or may not have been a few screaming arguments).

Fast forward five years. I have continued to live as compassionately as possible. I look back on my first [vegan] Christmas with my family and chuckle. They scoffed at my decision, made fun of my “weird” foods and refused to taste anything. However, this year all of our sides were vegan and the only animal products at the tables were the turkey and ham. This shift is important.

At first, I constantly published animal rights related articles to Facebook and got very soap-boxy on any negative comments. After awhile, I felt like I was pounding my head against a wall and still making no difference. However, that’s exactly when it happened. One of my acquaintances private messaged me saying that she had decided to try veganism and wanted help with vegan products and recipes. I was ecstatic to help her transition to an animal-free diet and felt all the better when she reported that she felt great, lost weight and planned to remain full vegan, especially after her husband joined her! I didn’t think it could get better than that…until it did.

More and more friends, or even friends of friends, have contacted me over the years to talk about veganism and get food recommendations. The pendulum is swinging in favor of veganism as its health and environmental benefits become more known in the mainstream.

Nevertheless, even with all the people I’d helped go vegan, I never anticipated anyone in my family joining me. My older brother is a flexitarian and has always been open to vegan foods, but never would give up his meat completely. Then my older sister, a nutritionist with many food allergies (corn, wheat and soy), decided to give veganism a try. Within three months, her chronic eczema was gone, she no longer felt “gut-bloat” and she even dropped a pant size without trying. My sister has always struggled with her weight so this last result cemented her dedication to veganism.

My sister is married with five children. While the entire family has not undertaken an entirely vegan diet, they do have vegan dinners and are what I like to call conveniently vegan. They do not seek out animal products but also don’t complain if their muffins are made with dairy.

Lots of vegans see this as some sort of failure, but honestly I’m just happy that they replace at least one meal a day with a vegan option. The thing is that each of these small changes makes a difference. Five years ago, my sister couldn’t fathom leaving meat off her plate but thanks to seeing me do it day in and day out, she’s had a change of heart and mind. For that, I am truly grateful.

In the end, I think it’s easy to feel discouraged in this meat-centric world. Between the McDonalds ads, steakhouse billboards and celebrity milk mustaches, it’s easy to feel like nothing is changing. However, I’m here to tell you that’s not true at all. The vegan movement has grown vastly even in the five years that I have been a part of it. Each day more people see how harmful dairy and meat is on their health and the environment and make compassionate choices. It’s the little victories that we must luxuriate in for each small change leads to another.

Sometimes the best thing you can do to convince someone to go vegan is merely to be yourself and show others how easy and wonderful it really is!


Brittany Breithaupt was born and raised in a very small town.  She moved to California to go to film school then join the film industry. She's worked at major talent agencies and production companies, but found something lacking.  Once she went vegan, she realized that her heart was in animal rights so she went to work for PETA.  Now she enjoys helping plan amazing vegan events while raising her animal family of 5 with her wife Becca.

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