Plant Shift

love ♥ living ♥ vegan

Following a plant-based or vegan lifestyle, is about food, drink, clothes, shoes, body treatments, hair products and more. 

It's a conscious decision to think, walk and possibly, talk a better lifestyle. 

I support individuals who are thinking about making the shift, as well as, those who have already begun their plant-based journey.

Filtering by Tag: fish

Organising a training day and ensuring that all dietary requirements are catered for

Is there anything hugely difficult about organising an event if the venue provides catering?

I used to do some work for a local branch of the National Union of Teachers and one of the roles included organising training events. We provided a meal during training days and snacks for other events, such as, meetings after school.

To ensure that everyone was catered for, and so we were aware of allergies, I'd ask those who registered, if they had any dietary requirements. Unfortunately, sometimes I'd wished I hadn't!

Read More

How I define a vegan diet

Why is it helpful to have a definition of what veganism?

I wrote this definition to create a tool to communicate what you are willing to consume, so that it's easier on you and others.

Confusion about the many terms regarding what people eat

There are loads of different terms for people to remember.

- Those who eat fish but no other meat of any sort are Pescetarians.
- If you eat chicken and no other meat, you're a Pollo vegetarian.
- If someone says they are vegan but they eat meat, fish, honey, eggs etc. i.e. the only thing they have excluded from their diet is dairy; they are not vegan. They fall under the dairy-free category.

The definition of a vegan diet

A vegan diet includes any item that has not come from a living being e.g. an animal or insect. Examples of excluded foods are honey, eggs, fish, meat and products using the milk from an animal e.g. cream, milk, cheese, yogurt, butter etc. Vegan foods include vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, pulses and grains. Alternatives to dairy products can be made from oats, rice, soya or nuts.

A tool to help illustrate what vegans eat

A friend of mine made a chart to show the differences between what a vegan would eat and what a 'pure' vegetarian would eat. I hope you find it helpful.

Related posts

Why vegans don't consume honey
Why don't vegans eat eggs?

"The soul is the same in all living creatures, although the body of each is different."

Won't vegans become ill if they don't eat animal products?

I am a little person and I've been quite fragile after being involved in a few car accidents. So...when I shifted to a plant-based diet, my family were worried that I'd get ill because I wouldn't get getting what I needed from what I ate. Over 5 years on, I feel better than before and I am not lacking in anything. I even have blood tests to prove it! :)

It's worth reading what Gary L. Francione & Anna Charlton have to say about vegans and the need for animal products.

But…I heard about someone who became ill after eating no animal foods.

And what about all of the people you know who ate animal products and have developed cancer, heart disease, etc.?

This “But” is yet another attempt to characterize consuming animal products not as a matter of pleasure but one of physical necessity. As we mentioned earlier, even traditionally conservative organizations, such as the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, formerly the American Dietetic Association, agree that an “appropriately planned” vegan diet can be completely healthy. And there is no evidence to the contrary.

It is, of course, possible to get ill eating only plants just as it’s possible (and more likely, actually) to get ill eating animal products. Although some vitamin B-12 is made by bacteria in the human body, not enough is reliably made for our needs and the unhealthy habits that humans have prevent maximum production and absorption of the endogenous B-12. Therefore, it is necessary to supplement B-12 from external sources whether you consume a vegan diet or a diet of animal foods. So all humans need to get their B-12 from somewhere outside their bodies. We get our vitamin B-12 from yeast; omnivores get theirs from meat. But all B-12 comes from bacteria — whether it is found in the gut of ruminating animals who get it from fermenting plant material in their hindgut, or in certain strains of nutritional yeast. So if you adopt a vegan diet but don’t consume an alternative source of B-12, such as yeast, yes, you may get ill. But there are plenty of people who have B-12 deficiencies despite their consumption of animal foods.

How about DHA and EPA, the long-chain fatty acids that aren’t found in plant foods and that people eat fish to get? Most people can convert the short-chain fatty acids found in chia seeds, walnuts, dark leafy greens, and canola oil into long-chain fatty acids. Or you can get long-chain DHA and EPA directly from the source that fish get it—algae. There are now many DHA/EPA supplements that are algae derived.

Occasionally, one hears about a parent prosecuted for manslaughter because their child died on a “vegan” diet. But when the facts are revealed, we learn that the parents had fed the child only iceberg lettuce (or something similar) and nothing else for some extended period of time. If the parents fed the child nothing but steak three times a day for an extended period, the child would also become ill. But no one would say that the child died or became ill from eating meat. They would say that the parents engaged in abuse by feeding the child an inadequate diet. The same is true of a diet consisting only of lettuce. That’s not a vegan diet; it’s a ridiculously inadequate diet.

In the 30 years that we have been vegans, we have heard of a number of people who supposedly became ill while on a vegan diet. An inadequate vegan diet will make you ill because it is inadequate and not because it is plant-based. Eat nothing but celery and soy yoghurt and you will not feel very energetic. Surprise, surprise.

We have also encountered people who say that their bodies “tell them” that they must eat meat or fish or chicken or dairy or whatever. But such assertions are really no different than saying, “I like the taste of meat (or whatever).” In other words, they are assertions about palate pleasure and nothing more. A related issue is the “need” to eat meat or other animal products based on blood type. The so-called “blood type diet” has been debunked as junk science.

An exploration and rejection of the various excuses — the “Buts” — that keep us eating animal foods.

"Whoever acquires knowledge but does not practice it, is like one who ploughs a field but does not sow it." Anonymous

What are the ethical reasons for following a vegan diet?

One of the things that I've found interesting whilst on this journey, shifting from a vegetarian diet to vegan one, is the variety of reasons that exist for doing so. Some of these reasons include, to heal or save the environment, to feel healthier, to cure bodily conditions, to pacify the effect of allergies and ethics. This video discusses the ethical reasons for following a plant-based diet.

Read More

Can you use this chart to help others understand what you eat better?

Have you ever got frustrated with others not understanding what you can/can't/will/won't eat?

I recall someone telling me she was vegetarian but she ate fish. She is actually categorised as a Pescetarian!

I remember another person saying he was vegetarian but ate chicken. He is actually a Pollo vegetarian.

Then there are those who have said they're vegan but they eat meat, fish, honey, eggs etc. The only thing they have excluded from their diet is dairy. This group of people would fall under the dairy-free category.

A friend of mine created this after being repeatedly asked if he would eat fish after he told them he followed a vegan diet.

I hope it can help you in some way.

"I became a vegan the day I watched a video of a calf being born on a factory farm. The baby was dragged away from his mother before he hit the ground. The helpless calf strained its head backwards to find his mother. The mother bolted after her son and exploded into a rage when the rancher slammed the gate on her. She wailed the saddest noise I’d ever heard an animal make, and then thrashed and ...dug into the ground, burying her face in the muddy placenta. I had no idea what was happening respecting brain chemistry, animal instinct, or whatever. I just knew that this was deeply wrong. I just knew that such suffering could never be worth the taste of milk and veal. I empathized with the cow and the calf and, in so doing, my life changed."
James McWilliams

1000 year old poem about veganism

This poem defines a vegan diet.

I No Longer Steal From Nature

You are diseased in understanding and religion. Come to me, that you may hear something of sound truth.

Do not unjustly eat fish the water has given up, And do not desire as food the flesh of slaughtered animals, Or the white milk of mothers who intended its pure draught for their young, not noble ladies.

And do not grieve the unsuspecting birds by taking eggs; for injustice is the worst of crimes.

And spare the honey which the bees get industriously from the flowers of fragrant plants; For they did not store it that it might belong to others, Nor did they gather it for bounty and gifts.

I washed my hands of all this; and wish that I Perceived my way before my hair went gray!

Al-Ma’arri (973-1057), Baghdad (modern Iraq)

Source - Beautiful Vegan

Related content 

How I define a vegan diet

"Veganism is not about giving anything up or losing anything; it is about gaining the peace within yourself that comes from embracing non-violence and refusing to participate in the exploitation of the vulnerable"
Gary L. Francione