Hall of Fame
Barry HorneThe Way of the Vegan
by Alex Bourke
This essay is in three parts: why I am a vegan, how you can easily turn
vegan, and finally how we will create a vegan world together.
A cow produces milk only after she has had a calf. Every year we make her
pregnant and kill her calf so that we can take her milk. After four calves we
kill and eat the cow at around seven years old, even though she should live for
twenty, because she is now less productive. 70% of beef comes from milk cows.
Beef, milk and veal are all one business, all the same bloody, animal slave
industry. It's just the same for chickens and eggs.
- "EAT DAIRY"
and no eggs, no leather, no wool. I don't eat the inside and I won't wear the
Around 50% of male meat eaters in America die of heart disease, which is
where arteries become blocked by animal fat which is solid at body temperature.
For vegetarians the figure is around 25%, with those who eat dairy products
instead of meat particularly at risk. Meat has 40% of calories from fat, but
cheese has 70%. Eggs are the richest source of cholesterol. Cheese and eggs are
as much junk food as a hamburger. Whereas plant foods like beans, grains and
vegetables, contain no cholesterol and, apart from avocados and coconut, little
saturated fat. Vegans who eat well get less than 10% of calories from fat, have
zero cholesterol intake, have blood cholesterol levels below 150, and have
virtually no heart disease. The story for cancer is similar, with the free
radicals that cause it coming from animal products and pollution, and the
anti-oxidant vitamins that destroy it being found only in plants.
Vegans get almost no food poisoning. In the United Kingdom in 1991 300,000
people caught salmonella from chicken and eggs, and 100 died. 350,000 got
campylobacter from poultry and milk. 400 got listeria from pate and soft
cheeses, of whom 100 died. 500 got E. coli from beef of whom 50 died. 5,000 got
staphylococcus from meat, cream, custard and processed foods, and 5 died. 95% of
food poisoning comes from animal products, and the rest is from
cross-contamination in the kitchen. My kitchen is vegan. I never have to
sterilise surfaces or tools or my fridge, because nothing dangerous lives
How to be Vegan
If you want to move towards a vegan diet, contact your national vegetarian or
vegan organisation, where there will surely be some vegans to help you. To get
you started, there is lots of information on the website of the
Vegan Society and they have an excellent
catalogue of books. If you find a book too much to read in English, get a copy
of their new 16 page Go Vegan guide for only �1, available from the shop on
their website. One book I highly recommend is Why Vegan
by Kath Clements, also available from the Vegan Society.
The old four food groups (meat, dairy, fruit/vegetables, grains) have been
abolished in the USA, thanks to lobbying by the
Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine,
representing 5,000 doctors using vegan diet to treat all the major western
diseases. They recommend the four new food groups which are whole grains (pasta,
rice, bread etc), pulses or legumes (peas, beans, lentils, tofu, soy milk,
tempeh, texturized vegetable protein), fruit, and vegetables, particularly green
ones for vitamin C, and dark yellow and orange vegetables for beta-carotene. Add
to this some nuts and seeds. You can read more on their website at
http://www.pcrm.org/ Unfortunately the British
government, via its Health Education Council and posters in schools, is still
promoting the incorrect old four food groups. Hopefully we can lobby to get that
An easy way to get started cooking vegan style is to go for a plate with 50%
whole grains for carbohydrate, protein and B vitamins; 25% green vegetables for
vitamins and fibre; 25% orange and yellow vegetables for beta-carotene; and a
few pulses for protein, fibre, iron and B vitamins. You'll find that a vegan
diet contains every nutrient you need including plenty of calcium and essential
linoleic and linolenic fatty acids, but without the cholesterol, saturated fat,
microbes, pesticides, hormones and antibiotics that you'll find in all animal
products, especially cheese and eggs.Let me emphasise one crucial point for you to reflect on:
All the benefits of a vegetarian diet come exclusively from its vegan
Cheese has more fat than meat and comes from the same place. Eggs have more
cholesterol than chicken and come from the same place. Neither contain any
fibre, carbohydrate, or anything that you won't find much more healthily in
Some people say that veg-eat-dairy-anism is a step on the ladder from meat
eating to veganism. At the bottom of the ladder is a lumberjack or sumo
wrestler, living on beef and Budweiser. Next is the
pesco-chicko-who-you-trying-to-kiddo-veg-eat-dairy-an. Then the
veg-eat-dairy-an. And at the top is the vegan. But if you are promoting
vegetarianism or animal rights and you still wear leather or drink milk or eat
cheese, then watch out! You may be on the ladder out of the pit of animal abuse
and self abuse, but whilst you are on the ladder you are still in fact in the
It's great that you have gone vegetarian, but don't stay there too long, run
up that ladder as fast as you can into the light of veganism, which is where all
the benefits are. If you eat 100 meals in a month, some of them are probably
already vegan. Try to increase that proportion as fast as you can. Breakfast is
an easy place to start.
Ronny and I wrote Campaign Against Cruelty an animal
activist's handbook, to help make the world vegan as fast as possible by telling
you all you need to know to set up as an independent campaigner. The entire book
is available free at
and in Italian at
(If you would like to help by translating a chapter or more into another
language, please contact us.) You can join or start a local group, have street
stalls, arrange meetings, speak in public or to groups, produce leaflets and
newsletters, get vegan food into local canteens and restaurants, organise a
demonstration, and get into the press, radio and TV. We're here to help you get
started. So, what are you waiting for?
If we are going to change the world, we must put our knowledge in a permanent
form. We must write books about every aspect of veganism, in every language. So
start writing or translating, whether it's a leaflet or an encyclopaedia.
Two of my favourite websites are:
Containing over 70 information sheets about all aspects of becoming a vegan.
- http://www.pcrm.org/ Physicians
Committee for Responsible Medicine, representing 5,000 American doctors who
got the US government to abolish the incorrect four food groups. They
successfully treat western diseases like diabetes, asthma, eczema, rheumatoid
arthritis and heart disease with a vegan diet, replacing high fat, animal
protein foods with high fibre, high carbohydrate plant foods. Let's take these
revolutionary breakthroughs in preventative medicine to the rest of the world.
It's up to all of us to speak out and write. Give people the knowledge to
take control of their lives. Make them independent, give them the personal power
to choose and prepare their own food. Give them freedom, to live totally cruelty
free, and free of disease. Think about who you would like to write for or speak
to, such as meat eaters, vegetarians, people with heart disease, recipes for
people who are already vegan, children, or produce a vegan guide to your town
for residents or just the central area for travellers.
Together we can change the world. There was a time when aeroplanes, votes for
women or no slavery seemed impossible, so what's wrong with creating a vegan
country in one generation? Nothing is impossible unless you believe it is. Today
you can start planning and preparing your contribution to world veganization.
Your work will change people's lives. It will remove their blocks to becoming a
vegetarian or vegan. It will make people free to be their true selves, living in
love with all life. There is no finer work.
If you feel isolated, I heartily recommend the book Jonathon
Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach. I won't tell you why. Just read it
and I promise you'll understand instantly. Another great story is The Emperor's New Clothes. Your work, like that of PCRM in
America, will help people to break through the greatest crime by the farming and
medical establishment against the peoples of the world, groupthink. There are
two million murders in Britain every day of animals, and at least two thirds of
the people are killed by eating them. You can do something about this genocide
against our own people by the meat and dairy industries, backed by government
subsidies. You can help people to wake up. You can become a vegan organiser and
Here are twelve steps you can take to change the world:
- Go vegetarian.
- Go vegan.
- Become a great cook. Most people don't eat food because it's healthy, but
because it looks good and tastes nice.
- Learn about nutrition.
- Learn about vegan babies. People will tell you it's ok for adults, but not
for children. Invest in copies of Vegan Nutrition by
Gill Langley and Pregnancy, Children and the Vegan
Diet by Dr Michael Klaper, both available from the Vegan Society.
- Get some more books and learn all about the animal rights and ecology
arguments for veganism. I particularly recommend The Silent
Ark by Juliet Gellatley and The Food Revolution
by John Robbins. Those steps will gain you your degree or black belt in
veganism, ready to defend yourself in any situation. Then it's time to start
- Become a campaigner.
- Join or start a local group.
- Read magazines to keep up to date.
- Tithe. This is the old system where people gave 10% of their income to the
church. If your work keeps you too busy to campaign, why not "contract out"
your campaigning by giving 1% of your income to a group you admire.
- Get skilled. Learn word processing, do a course in journalism, work as a
volunteer in a vegetarian organisation. They say the pen is mightier than the
sword, but with a computer you can really kick Ronald McDonald's butt.
- Get as much power as you can and use it for good. Become a teacher,
doctor, caterer, film maker, writer or politician. If Wales can have a
vegetarian Minister of Agriculture to help farmers change from producing sheep
to organic vegetables, why not your country?
Finally, a meditation.
Zen and the Art of Campaigning
Everything that ever was, started with a dream. Take a walk, sit or lie
quietly, reflect and dream.
When you've formulated your dream, it's time to act. Success depends on
action. Doing nothing is itself an action, and the most harmful one of all. It's
Once you have taken your first steps, the path will reveal itself to you, and
others will keep you company on it.
The only difference between success and failure is that success kept on going
till she got there. Whatever obstacles you encounter, there are others already
on the path waiting to help you in every way we can. Just ask.
You have the power to co-create a vegan world. Help others to join us on the
path of truth, respect and love for all life.
I'll see you at the celebration when the last slaughterhouse closes.
Vegetarian Guides Ltd,
PO Box 2284,
For more information on veganism send a stamp or international reply coupon
The Vegan Society, 7 Battle Rd, St Leonards-on-Sea, East Sussex TN37 7AA,
Tel: (+44) 1424 427393
Fax: (+44) 1424 717064
Viva!, 12 Queen Square, Brighton BN1 3FD, UK.
Tel: (+44) 1273 777688
Fax: (+44) 1273 776755
There is a myth that we need dairy products for calcium and protein. However
there is not one single case in the medical literature of dietary calcium
deficiency in a calorie sufficient diet. The countries with the highest
consumption of dairy products (North America, Netherlands, Britain, Scandinavia)
have the highest rates of osteoporosis, even though they consume up to 1000mg of
calcium a day, twice the amount recommended by the World Health Organisation.
Only Eskimos have a higher calcium consumption, and they in fact have the very
highest rate of osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is not a disease of calcium
deficiency, it is a disease of calcium loss caused in older people largely by
eating too much animal protein which is disposed of using calcium from the
bones. In China and Africa they eat far less animal protein and have almost no
osteoporosis. The Tutsi eat only 350mg of calcium per day yet have strong teeth
As for protein, it is virtually impossible to be deficient on a calorie
sufficient diet unless you eat a lot of sugar and alcohol. When children in
Africa got healthier after being given milk, it was not because of the milk, it
was because they were given food. We know that when Africans and Chinese switch
from their mainly vegan to a western animal diet, they get all the same diseases
as us, because of too much fat and too much animal protein.
The dairy industry tried to discredit veganism via protein and calcium. The
meat industry tried with iron, but in fact iron deficiency is no more common in
vegans than in the general population. Grains, beans and leafy green vegetables
have plenty, and the extra vitamin C in our diet helps to absorb it. Vegetarians
might like to know that cow's milk contains virtually no iron, whereas there is
plenty in beans. Veal calves are fed on just milk because the lack of iron makes
their flesh white.
Vitamin B-12 deficiency is another myth. There are only anecdotal cases of it
in vegans in the medical literature, and again it is no more common amongst
vegans than in the general population. No animal that we eat makes B-12, they
get it from bacteria in the soil that they pull up with grass, just as early
humans got it from the surface of organic vegetables or river water, or perhaps
made it in their bodies. Today if we live in a very clean environment we can get
B-12 from fermented or fortified foods or by taking a supplement.
For a comprehensive discussion of B-12 visit the
Vegan Society website
The list below is a brief selection of celebrities that to the best of our
knowledge are dietary vegans:
- Yazz, singer
- Geoff Tate, Queensryche
- Moby, DJ and record producer
- Sally Eastall, 13th in Womens Marathon,1992 Barcelona Olympics.Britain's
- Robin Gibb, Bee Gees
- Bryan Adams,singer
- Heather Small(M-People), singer
- Spice Williams, actress
- Andy Vowles, alias "mushroom",Massive Attack
- Colin Spencer, journalist,painter,playwright,author
- Crispin Mills, Kula Shaker
- Geezer Butler, Black Sabbath
- Stella McCartney, designer
- James McCartney, musician
- Wendy Turner, TV Presenter
- Benjamin Zephaniah, Rasta poet and TV scriptwriter
- Judith Shakeshaft, champion mountain biker and runner
- Mystic Meg
- Woody Harrelson, actor
- The Artist Formerly Known As Prince
- Lindsay Wagner, actress,"The Bionic Women"
- Apu, The Simpsons
- Daniel Johns, Silverchair
- Dave Scott, 5 times winner of Ironman competition,triathlete
- Drew Barrymore, actress
- Dr John Harvey Kellog, brother of the founder of the Kellogs company
- Earth Crisis, band(all vegan)
- Fiona Apple, singer
- Geoff Tate, Queensryche
- James, band(all vegan)
- Jennie Garth, 'Kelly'in Beverley Hills 90210
- Joaquin Phoenix, actor
- Judith Durham, lead singer of the Seekers
- KD Lang, singer
- Lucy Stevens, triathlete
- Pat Reeves, champion power lifter
- Paul McGann, the 8th Dr Who
- Phil Collen, Def Leppard guitarist
- Ricki Rocket, Poison
- Sinead O'Connor