Month: January 2018

Vegan Chocolate Cookies

chocolate cookies

follow link Ready in 25 minutes
Makes 24 cookies

http://littleexplorersfamilydaycare.com/2017/01/book-recommendations/ Ingredients

½ cup white sugar
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup vegan butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup flour

⅔ cup cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
2 to 3 tbsp. plant-based milk

source site Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Add white sugar, brown sugar, butter, and vanilla to a mixing bowl and cream together with an electric mixer
    Melt butter to make mixing easier.
  3. Sift flour and cocoa into your bowl and mix
  4. Add salt, baking soda, and milk to bowl and mix
    Do not worry if your mixture seems somewhat dry; that is how it is supposed to be.
  5. Shape dough into balls, and place on a cookie sheet covered in parchment paper
    If your dough is too dry to form balls when you squish it together, then add a bit more milk.
  6. Bake for 8 minutes
    About halfway through, flatten cookies with a spoon
  7. Remove from oven, let cool, and then dust with powdered sugar
  8. Serve & enjoy!

My Top Five High End Makeup Brands

blue glitter with top makeup brand text

Let me preface this list by saying that my definition of being a cruelty-free makeup brand includes being plant-based. I find it hard to consider a product that includes carmine, an ingredient used for pigment that is derived from pureed beetles, cruelty-free…but, that’s just me.

5) Sugarpill-
Status: They do not test on animals. Not completely vegan but very vegan-friendly.

Boy, do I love Sugarpill. It is such a great company for any level of makeup user. I highly recommend checking out their YouTube channel, where they swatch all their new makeup. I think Sugarpill is especially amazing because in their swatching videos they always make sure to have a model with a lighter skin tone and a darker skin tone. The quality of their makeup is also just incredible. The only downside of Sugarpill is they aren’t completely plant-based. However, under their “shop” tab, they make it very easy to find their vegan products. Also, at the bottom of every page, they tell you if the product is vegan or not with this cute, little sign:sugarpill-vegan
Overall, Sugarpill just slays me, not only with their products, but also with their freaky, feminine vibes.
Recommendations: Pretty Poison Bundle (lipstick collection). Most of their pressed eyeshadows are also vegan and to die for. I especially love: Home Sweet Home, The Inventor, Wink, and Acidberry.

4) Kat Von D –
Status: They do not test on animals. Not completely vegan (yet), but very vegan-friendly.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard of Kat Von D. I’ll be the first to admit that Kat Von D has been my idol since L.A Ink. Then she started a makeup brand which was very animal-focused, and she became my idol all over again. Aside from the fact that money spent on her products goes to someone who deeply cares about animals, the makeup is killer. Surprised? I’m not. Just as Kat is a tattoo artist, she is a true artist with makeup. Although the brand is probably best known for the pure black Tattoo Liner in Trooper and the revolutionary Shade + Light Contour Palette, there is so much more. For all the vegan options they offer, check out the #veganalert tab. I really can’t say enough good things about Kat Von D and the brand that she represents.
Recommendations: The Fawn Set or Alchemist Holographic Palette, if you’re a little more adventurous with your makeup.

3) Black Moon –
Status: They do not test on animals. Completely vegan.

This new, exciting brand is known for killer liquid lipsticks, but because they only launched in 2015, their line is not fully developed. That said, Black Moon undoubtedly represents the saying “quality over quantity”. Everything they’ve released is made with love and a passion for great makeup. The aesthetic of Black Moon is too much to handle. Everything comes with a cute space-related name, and they have fake eyelashes for every zodiac sign. How cute? Although I am not a fake lashes girl, I am seriously considering buying the Sagittarius lashes just to see.
Recommendations: Cosmic Eyedust in Cosmos and Asteroid. Liquid to Matte Lipsticks in Deranged and Dusk.

2) Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics –
Status: They do not test on animals. Completely vegan.

Undoubtedly, Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics deserves the spot of number two. I have scoured the internet for bad reviews on Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics, but there just aren’t that many and for good reason. Personally, I have loved every product I’ve tried, from their loose pigments to their lip tars. As much as I love O.C.C., however, I must warn you these are not for the faint of heart. I find that if you are a beginner to makeup, maybe this isn’t the brand that you should start with right away. All of that said, Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics is 100% plant-based and cruelty-free with an amazing range of options.
Recommendations: Lip Tars in Hush, Vintage, and Synth. Pair with Glitter & Loose Colour Trios in Deep Space and Bronze Age.  

1)Lime crime –
Status: They do not test on animals. Completely vegan.

Last but certainly not least, my number one pick: Lime Crime. For an all vegan and cruelty-free makeup brand, they have a crazy amount of selection, from their gorgeous eyeshadow palettes, such as the Venus original and the Venus 2, to their rich and vibrant hair dyes in any hair color you could imagine. Lime Crime is really a jack of all trades, and their whole brand is to die for. With their techno alien unicorn vibes, their products really inspire the colorful, holographic freak inside me.
Recommendations: Any of the Unicorn hair dyes, but currently I’m obsessed with Anime and Pony. The new Diamond Dews, which I just recently got my hands on, are breathtaking. Vision, Rose Goals, and Starlight are especially tear-worthy.

Honorable mentions:

  • Hourglass
  • Anastasia Beverly Hills – None of their products are tested on animals, but not all are vegan. Overall, ABH is great; they have very high-quality items. The highlighters and brow products are what dreams are made of. So, if you need a glow to make you look like an angel, you can’t go wrong with Anastasia Beverly Hills. On their website, check beneath “add to cart” where it will tell you if the product is vegan, using this sign:anastasia-beverly-hills-vegan
  • Milk – None of their products are tested on animals, but not all are vegan. Highly recommend their holographic sticks. Check beneath the “add to cart” where it will tell you if the product is vegan or not.
  • Ciaté – None of their products are tested on animals, but not all are vegan. Ciaté is queen when it comes to nails, but their makeup is also on the rise. Definitely a brand to watch out for. Check beneath the “add to cart” where it will tell you if the product is vegan or not.

Love these brands, or have other cruelty-free recommendations? Leave us a comment!

My Story

girl with brown cow

I spent 7 years transitioning from pescatarian to vegetarian and finally to vegan. This transition was the result of education. At 10 years old, I didn’t realize the secrets hidden behind pristinely packaged animal products, but the more I learned, the more I was able to adjust my actions to fit my morals. At first, I didn’t connect the dots between the food on my plate and the animals I loved, but as I became more educated, I was horrified by all the things that had been kept a secret from me.

I didn’t, however, cut all animal products from my diet at the flip of a switch, and I didn’t learn everything I know now overnight. I didn’t even understand or know anything about the majority of the problems within the industry until years after I first made the decision to go pescatarian, and to be completely honest, I’m still learning new things every day. There’s a quote by Maya Angelou that goes, “Do the best you can until you know better. Then, when you know better, do better.” I believe wholeheartedly that every activist should take this quote to heart. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in feeling guilty about choices you made in the past when you didn’t know any better. There are still days I get down on myself for taking such a long time to make the switch to a vegan lifestyle, but I just must remind myself that it is so much more important to look forward and realize that now that I know about the injustices going on daily, I have the power to make a difference and speak up for those who are treated so incredibly unfairly.

I’m not sure if I can pinpoint exactly when it finally clicked for me that what I thought was normal for so long, was actually wrong and completely against everything I stood for, but one of the first times I began to make the connection was at the dinner table, eating with my family. We were all sitting there on an average day, enjoying an average dinner. Without meaning any harm, my dad made a joke about how once our backyard chickens stopped laying, they’d be dinner. Of course, this shocked me. I thought, “How in the world could anyone ever even think to kill and eat my chickens?”, and that’s when it finally started to dawn on me that that was exactly what I was doing at that very moment. There was no difference between the chickens on my plate and the ones in my backyard, or my dog for that matter. They are all sentient, feeling, and innocent beings that are just as deserving of life as anyone else. From that point forward, things got clearer, and that blind eye I had turned for so long began to see the truth. It was a slow process, and while I wish I had become vegan sooner, I can’t say I regret the way things happened.

Now I know a lot more than I did before and it feels so good to recognize that with every meal I eat, the clothes I wear, and the things I buy, I’m actively making a difference. It’s easy to feel like you don’t have a voice, especially as a youth, but every dollar you spend is a vote, and even the little choices you make can have a huge impact on the world around you. We all go through life differently, but no matter what you’re fighting for, remember you have a voice and the power to stand in the way of injustice.

You have the ability to educate people and inspire others to live more compassionately, become an advocate for those without a voice, and to join a movement that is better for you, the earth, and the animals!

Justice For All

girl posing with turkey

For the 45 million turkeys that are killed for a celebratory thanksgiving feast
and the 250 million more who are killed all year round

For the 11 million calves ripped away from their mothers at birth in the dairy industry
and raised in the same industry
or killed for veal meat

For the 280 million hens confined to a life in a cage
and the 260 million male chicks who are ground up alive

For the piglets who get their tails chopped off
and are killed for people’s breakfast,

I am sorry.
I am sorry that it takes so long for change to happen
and that humans do not like to admit that they are wrong.

I am sorry that I cannot make the world go vegan
because if I could, I would in an instant.

Until you can be free, I will do everything that I can
for justice does not just apply to humans
you deserve it, too.

Sources:
https://www.farmsanctuary.org/learn/factory-farming/chickens/
https://www.farmsanctuary.org/learn/factory-farming/turkeys-used-for-meat/
https://www.farmsanctuary.org/learn/factory-farming/dairy/

After Waiting So Long

bunny kissing girls head

From preschool until late into my elementary school years, I begged my parents to no end about getting a dog or cat as a pet. I would constantly pester them about how great it would be, even resorting to making a PowerPoint presentation. I’m sure it was aggravating, but I couldn’t help it. From a very young age, I cared deeply about animals. It wasn’t until later that I started to question the food I was eating and connecting this to my love for animals.

In elementary school, I started learning about the environmental impact of the meat industry because of my school’s environmental focus. I was shocked by the information I learned, like the fact that it takes 660 gallons of water just to make one hamburger (Hallock, 2014), or that the amount of greenhouse gas emissions associated with animal agriculture accounts for a whopping 14-18% of emissions, comparable to vehicle emissions, which are estimated to be at 13.5% (Nahigyan, 2016).

This information planted the seed for my interest in going vegetarian. It seemed like a reachable goal because I had many friends who had done it successfully; even my brother was a vegetarian. For a while, I was pescatarian, but I wasn’t good at sticking to the diet change. I don’t beat myself up for this – in the society we currently live in, meat has a way of getting into many of our meals during the day, and it can be hard to avoid!

This past summer, I went on a trip to Mexico, along with a few other people from my school. Many of the people in this group were vegetarian. I got to talking with them, and they recommended the movie Earthlings, which Youth for the Voiceless member, Macy Jenks, also encouraged me to see. Watching this movie was hard, but I gained an important perspective on the kind of cruelty animals in the meat industry face. I realized there is a difference between hearing about facts and statistics surrounding this industry and actually seeing videos of so many animals who are suffering in horrific conditions. I remembered a statement my speech and debate teacher once made, “non-vegetarians will probably be on the wrong side of history,” and in that moment, I definitely believed that to be very true. I knew I could not continue to eat meat while aware of the cruelty I was supporting with every bite. So that day, I decided to go cold turkey (or maybe ‘no turkey’ is more appropriate) and stop eating meat.

What I found was that becoming vegetarian was surprisingly very easy, even easier than when I had previously tried to go pescatarian. With the support of many friends (like Macy), I found that it was fun to find the multiple tasty alternatives to food I used to eat (Tofurky for the win). I have found that I don’t experience the same sick feeling, both physically and mentally after I eat as well. I can easily say that while going vegetarian has not impacted my day-to-day eating significantly, it has changed my life in a big way for the better.

Works Cited
Hallock, Betty. “To Make a Burger, First You Need 660 Gallons of Water…” Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Times, 27 Jan. 2014, www.latimes.com/food/dailydish/la-dd-gallons-of-water-to-make-a-burger-20140124-story.html.

Nahigyan, Pierce. “How Much Does Agriculture Contribute to Global Warming?” Planet Experts, Planet Experts, 14 May 2016, www.planetexperts.com/how-much-does-agriculture-contribute-to-global-warming/.

A Young Vegan’s Journey

young youth for the voiceless member smiles brightly

Going vegan at the age of thirteen is definitely cause for concern.  At least, that’s what everyone thought… including myself at the time. Actually, everyone I know still believes it to be negative. Not the age of thirteen (even though pre-puberty would say otherwise), but veganism, especially at such an early age. Throughout my journey with food, I’ve learned that veganism is not just about omitting animal products from your diet, it is about omitting the use of animal products from your life and understanding why. I am no scientist, but I am someone who has experienced the effects of veganism in all aspects of my life, rather than just in a textbook or blog. Veganism for me has been the most intimidating yet rewarding roller-coaster I have ever decided to ride. Except this one is for the rest of my life, and it all began in elementary school.

I lost my father at a very young age so when I turned to food as a coping mechanism, it didn’t raise much of an alarm to me or my mother since it was all due to our states of mind. After going on like that for close to two years, it was no wonder that the unknown sickness that caused me to be bedridden for two months straight was simply because I was unhealthy. I was told, after being in and out of the hospital, that I was intolerant to a plethora of everyday fruits and veggies.  I can now say that I most definitely am not, which has caused some mistrust between me and modern medicine. However, above all else, this traumatizing experience was a wakeup call; I needed to get it together… at the age of twelve. That is far too young an age to take on the pressure of learning to be healthy but coming in last place when we ran the mile at school and refusing to look at photos of myself (thank you, society, for the countless body image issues you have placed into every adolescents’ head), gave me the motivation I needed.

After that, it was as if a switch had been flipped. I began running the track at my school every single day. It started as two laps and turned into twenty, preparing me to come in the top five for the last mile we would run in P.E. that year. However, as they say, “Abs are made in the kitchen”, and that is where my now years of research on healthy eating blossomed. Thanks to society yet again, my research was bombarded with things like Kim Kardashian’s latest diet. Sadly, this resulted in me confusing my body, due to the new diet I was trying out every week. I was losing weight, but that was only because I was restricting calories, which is the most concerning aspect about the typical American diet – it not only results in binge-eating or unhealthy weight loss, but also the mindset of, “eating will make me happy, but being skinny is more important”.  After dealing with this for over a year, I discovered plant-based eating; it was a savior to my body and mind. I learned very quickly that there is a strong difference between being vegan and simply not consuming animal products, and that there is a way to eat all your fruits and veggies but still never deprive yourself of a cookie. As I became healthier, my energy increased, and I was happier with my body in general, so I began to research how to delve into the plant-based lifestyle even more. I was exposed to the wonderful impacts that such a diet has on our environment and the great ethics behind it. After that, I felt I truly understood what being vegan was, and after making the gradual switch to things like purchasing cruelty-free products and using the smallest amount of plastic in my daily life as possible, I could confidently claim that I was happy, healthy, and vegan. However, this research and lifestyle has not stopped. In fact, it has developed far beyond what I could have ever imagined.

I am now in what some may call the purgatory that is high school. In this place, every teen is suffering with not knowing who they are, in every sense, including how they look. The good news is that I can truly say that after being vegan for so long, I understand the difference between being healthy and being what society wants me to be. I may not be the weight that every female at my height should be, but frankly, I feel that if we all were, that’d be quite boring. Veganism has gifted me a healthy relationship with food, which is something I wish every teenager who is suffering with their uniqueness could have. Now that I’ve been researching the beautiful impacts of a vegan lifestyle for four years, I am well educated on things ranging from perceptive morals to animal agriculture and how the human body digests different types of bananas. While some of it may be a bit amusing, I use the knowledge I have acquired over the years multiple times a day. For example, I am a participant in Speech and Debate. I wrote an entire speech on veganism, and in fierce competition, I placed first; while the debate side may frighten me, the storage of facts regarding anything related to veganism in my brain has saved me time and time again (not to mention given me many shiny trophies).  

Personally, however, the lesson I value most from veganism is the idea of equality. Us humans have this idea in our heads that since we have technology and medicine, we are superior. However, that is simply not how the world works. We are animals, just like the ones we choose to torture and/or domesticate. We may be smarter, but that doesn’t make us better, and thanks to veganism and the world it has opened up to me, those morals have affected every part of my life. Thanks to simply learning how to be healthy, I truly understand the fact that animals, humans of different skin colors, different beliefs, even different looks, are all equal (take that, society).

Veganism is a personal choice, but it is one that people dismiss simply because of a negative connotation with that word. As a young vegan, I make it my duty to be a good example because I truly believe that if I can show that a teen girl can be vegan and healthy, people may not reply with, “but I never could… and I never would”.  Educate yourself, find what works for you, what makes you healthy, and what makes you happy. Remember we are all one, and our Earth is not limitless. For all that facts have shown, we only live this life once. Make it count – go vegan.

The Vegan Decision

laughing girl outside

Growing up, the “Vegan Decision” is difficult for everyone. Wandering through the twisted path that eventually leads to adulthood is tricky and testing.

A child is forced to leave behind immaturity and foolishness and focus on what is really important. No longer a byproduct of their parents, but an individual, blossoming into their own character. Along with this development comes the ability to make decisions for themselves, based on what they believe. Depending on the parents, this transition can be difficult, frustrating, and sometimes it may seem like their child is heading down the wrong path. However, part of being an adequate parent is placing enough trust in a child to make their own decisions.

When I was 13, my best friend, Eva, and I found ourselves in my school’s cafeteria during lunch. I remember her telling me about her new diet, vegetarianism. This was the first time I had ever heard this term. As she explained what it meant, she placed her carrots and hummus neatly on the table.

A couple months later, Eva was still upholding her vegetarian diet, while munching on foreign objects like tofu-dogs and Garden Sausages. I began to do some research of my own at this time. I started by simply Googling terms like ‘vegetarian’ and ‘animal agriculture’ and discovered some alarming statistics; however, my adolescent brain still struggled to fathom what was really happening in our food industry. I saw vegetarianism as a trend, a fad, a way to comply with my friends and share something with them, while possibly maintaining a healthy diet. So, I joined Eva and began calling myself a vegetarian.

I told my parents soon after I decided to make this change. No one in my family had any sort of dietary restrictions, and to this day still do not; however, that didn’t deter me. I gave my parents my spiel, complete with my contentions (i.e. I was saving the planet and becoming immune to heart disease. Totally rational, right?).

I could tell my parents were trying to be supportive of me and my decision, yet I knew it was hard for them to be open-minded and take me seriously when they had been taught otherwise. My mom would say things like, “We’re supposed to eat meat to be healthy,” and “I only buy organic meat”; however, I stuck to my decision to steer clear from murder.

My father was concerned for me for many reasons, but mostly, he would constantly wonder how I could possibly obtain all the required vitamins, nutrients, and proteins necessary to simply survive. I was dragged to a nutritionist shortly thereafter and left the appointment with regurgitated knowledge from many websites I had read along with quite a few pamphlets.

About a year after becoming vegetarian, I began to consider veganism. A term I was familiar with, having been in the vegetarian atmosphere for quite some time. I realized I could cut out a couple more food products for the good of animals, my health, and the planet. It just made sense to make that sacrifice, so I did it. I left behind my vegetarian label and gained a new title as a vegan. It was then that my parents really became concerned with my outrageous decision-making. I was taken to a nutritionist for the second time to really make sure I wouldn’t keel over without consuming meat or dairy. I went in and left the appointment with confidence that I was doing the right thing, and that I could do it right. I was ready to start the next chapter of my life as a vegan.

Another year later, and veganism remains the best decision I’ve ever made for myself. Despite my parents’ subtle disapproval over the years, I know veganism is the right choice for me. This lifestyle has its challenges, no doubt. I was at a family dinner at my grandmother’s when she called me a nuisance for refusing to eat what she served me: steak. Sometimes, when I go to restaurants, and they mix up my order, my family tells me to just eat around the meat or just eat it this one time ‘cause it won’t hurt me. Yet it’s things like these that help me stay on track. I’m constantly reminded of how stubborn and stuck in our ways us humans are. Progress is achievable yet difficult, and change takes a long time. I mustn’t forget that people react to change in a variety of different ways, denial being one of them.

I knew when I became vegetarian that there would be challenges along the road, but that wouldn’t deter me from sticking with what I believe in and choosing to be kind and compassionate. One should never undermine themselves due to what others think or believe. It can be hard; in many ways and places, vegetarians and vegans are still pioneers.

Being bold and different is challenging, but it’s always best to stick with what you believe in and to choose to love.

List of Things Vegans Love to Hear, and What I Want to Say in Response

sheep in grassy feild
  1. Do you get enough protein?
    Surprise! Plants are packed full of protein. too.
  2. What about vitamins? Where do you get all your vitamins?
    Most vitamins stem from a healthy amount of vegetables and fruit.
  3. Humans aren’t meant to be vegan.
    When have humans ever done what they were told. For example, we walked on the moon.
  4. Our ancestors ate meat.
    Our ancestors also didn’t have electricity or flushing toilets.
  5. You’re ruining Thanksgiving/Christmas/Passover/any holiday that involves eating food.
    That’s just hurtful. My intention is obviously not to ruin holidays, but I also don’t want explosive diarrhea from milk.
  6. Is that vegan? *Asking while pointing at food, drink, shoes, clothes, makeup, etc.*
    If I am drinking/wearing/eating it, then chances are it is.
  7. Are you like one of those crazy vegans?
    Um, I don’t really know how to answer this one. Am I crazy? Little bit, yeah. Is it a result of me being vegan? Nah, I did that all on my own.
  8. Plants have feelings.
    Just no.
  9. So, do you eat like dirt and stuff?
    Obviously, that’s a yes. Who doesn’t love a good, tasty clump of dirt?
  10. Are you doing it to lose weight?
    Nope, and even if I was, this is not a question you should ask someone.
  11. Do you think you are better than me?
    Truly, I don’t. If you are a friend of mine, you know that I don’t think I’m better than anyone else. Of course it would be nice if everyone was vegan, but that is not realistic for a lot of situations. I think one of the biggest stigmas associated with veganism is that we think we’re somehow superior, but this really shouldn’t be the case. If you’re vegan for the animals or environmental reasons, you should treat everyone with compassion, not just farm animals.

A Simple How to: Eating Vegan in Restaurants

knife and fork wrapped in a yellow bow

Quick Tips

  1. Check if any dishes have a vegetarian or vegan symbol.
  2. Look for dishes that have vegetables, tofu, and/or fake meat.
  3. Remove meat, eggs, or dairy from a dish, if necessary.
  4. Look at the sides.
  5. If all else fails, ask the server.

Types of Restaurants

Thai

  • Noodle dishes without eggs and meat (usually you can get tofu instead)
  • Vegetable curry dishes

Watch out for fish paste and oyster sauce

Greek

  • Hummus, Baba Ghanoush
  • Falafel (most of the time it is vegan)
  • Sharing plates and salads without cheese

Chinese

  • Vegetable dumplings (make sure there are no eggs in the dumpling wrap)
  • Vegetable or tofu dishes
  • Vegetable or tofu soup noodle dishes (make sure there is not meat in the broth)

Japanese

  • Veggie sushi (ex. Avocado roll, cucumber roll, etc.)

Indian

  • Vegetable curries

Watch out for Cheese(paneer), Yogurt, Butter(ghee)

Italian

  • Noodles with tomato sauce (make sure they were not cooked in butter)

Mexican

  • Beans and rice (make sure they were not cooked in lard)
  • Chips and guacamole or salsa
  • Vegetable tacos and burritos (ask for no cheese)

Happy Vegan Dining!

An Activist’s Guide to The Psychology of Eating Meat

emotions and feelings

As an activist, I often consider the most effective way to get humans to acknowledge and accept all animals as sentient beings. In our society today, people have no problem identifying cats and dogs’ sentience, but when it comes to farm animals and especially fish, people have trouble recognizing their similarities to humans. Two psychological phenomena, cognitive dissonance and denial, are to blame. The theory of cognitive dissonance is often defined as an unpleasant feeling that arises when there is a conflict in someone’s established beliefs or ideas. When our established beliefs – like killing is wrong, and pets are family – conflict with our eating habits, cognitive dissonance comes into play.

Steve Loughnan, a psychologist at the University of Melbourne, is known for his research on meat-eating and cognitive dissonance, something he nicknamed “the meat paradox.” He looked at things that vegetarians and vegans value, as opposed to meat eaters’ values. Interestingly, he found some significant differences. Meat eaters have a more authoritarian tendency, and they were found to be more complacent with inequality. Loughnan also found that eating meat is more valued in men than in women, an unsurprising fact when observing society’s pressure on the masculine identity.

Another unsurprising truth came out of Loughnan’s research: when meat eaters think that an animal is less sentient, they are more willing to eat them. The job of activists is to then educate people that all animals feel pain and show significant levels of intelligence. This might help people avoid the stage of denial.

Denial, a form of repression, is an act of declaring something to be untrue, even though deep down, you know that it is true. After learning facts that conflict with your morals but are inconvenient to change, denial often occurs. Unfortunately, most people continue to deny facts about animal sentience. This common coping mechanism helps people feel better about something that conflicts with their beliefs.

To move out of the denial stage is challenging. Two primary factors are needed to accept what was previously denied: a receptive listener and a method of education that works for the listener. Willingness to act is essential for someone to actually go vegetarian or vegan.

While these psychological phenomena can make us activists upset and burnt out, it is important to remember that these common coping mechanisms also bring hope. The more we understand about the human mind, the easier it is to persuade people to consider vegetarianism or veganism, and as more and more research is done each day on coping mechanisms, we must keep in mind that we are another step closer to a vegan world.