Many of the harms inflicted on animals involve complicated systems over which we have no direct control. But most of us do have control over what goes in our mouths, what we wear, and which products and services we purchase.
By eating and shopping compassionately, we can help animals starting right now. Here are some vegan eateries and businesses close by.
Tips for Eating Vegan
Q: What are some easy vegan meals if I don’t want to cook?
Eating whole foods — such as fresh produce, grains, and legumes — is promoted as the healthiest diet, but sometimes you just need something quick.
We asked a few NHARL members to share their favorite quick and easy vegan meals:
Lydia says: My go-to easy vegan meal is Imagine’s Organic Sweet Pea Soup or one of Gardein’s plant-based canned soups along with some crusty bread.
Pasta is also easy and satisfying. To easily make it more filling and nutritious, throw some broccoli or spinach (fresh if you have it, but canned or frozen vegetables are better than no vegetables at all) in the pot a couple minutes before the pasta is done. The vegetables will cook along with the pasta, and there will be only one pot to clean!
Elizabeth says: One approach to easy, quick meals is to cook a lot of something in advance. At the beginning of the week, I might bake a whole pan of sweet potatoes, for example. Then I have something I can quickly microwave when I want to throw a meal together.
Japanese sweet potatoes (purple skin) are especially delicious. You can even eat them cold for a nutritious on-the-run snack.
Emma says: Since I have young kids and also work, I tend to keep a lot of prepared foods on hand for quick meals. One of my kids’ favorite meals is Gardein crispy tenders with veggie or sweet potato fries.
Other combos my kids like include:
- Lightlife Smart Dogs with Annie’s Vegan Mac (boxed or frozen)
- Sandwiches with Tofurkey Deli Slices, Violife cheddar slices, and Vegenaise
- Spaghetti and Gardein meatballs
- Nasoya Tofu Vegetable Dumplings
- Daiya frozen pizza
Joanne says: We are big fans of avocados. During the COVID-19 pandemic when we made as few trips to the grocery store as possible, we learned that avocados can be stored in the refrigerator to slow ripening.
When I want a quick meal made with fresh ingredients, I make 15-Minute Creamy Avocado Pasta (from Oh She Glows).
Q: Isn’t a vegan diet expensive?
It doesn’t have to be. Certain vegan foods are expensive, but the basic, whole foods that are best for us — such as grains and legumes — tend to be quite affordable.
One reason that vegan alternatives are more expensive than the animal products they replace is because the meat, dairy, and egg industries are subsidized by the government. As more doctors and consumers come to recognize that animal products are not only dietarily unnecessary but also shown to be detrimental to health, our system of underwriting the animal agriculture industry is facing challenge.
Q: Can eating vegan really help the Earth?
Yes, it really can. Environmental organizations state that a shift toward animal-free diets is one of the most important actions we can take to reduce climate destruction, deforestation, and species extinction.
The EcoFood Guide is a colorful, user-friendly resource that explains the climate benefits of vegan food choices, along with helpful tips, recipes, statistics, and food swaps.
Q: Can dogs be vegan?
Yes they can. While it’s commonly believed that dogs are carnivores like their wolf ancestors, meaning that they must eat meat to survive, this is incorrect. Canine digestive systems are quite capable of digesting and deriving nutrients from fruits and vegetables.
Take a look at our brochure — Can Dogs Be Vegan — to learn about the surprising benefits of a plant-based diet for your dog. (New Hampshire Animal Rights League does understand that “vegan” is not a diet but rather a lifestyle based on ethics. We use the word here only because its dietary meaning is so well understood.)
“Did you know that a quarter of all the meat consumed in the United States is eaten by our pets? That’s equivalent to the amount devoured by 26 million Americans…” — The Clean Pet Food Revolution: How Better Pet Food Will Change the World