Friday, 14 October 2011

Help a Grasshopper out!

You might have noticed things have been a bit slow around here. To an extent I'm fine with that - the information that's already here (including the blogroll) is useful to newbie vegans regardless of whether I add anything else, so there's no point adding extra froth unless I think of something good. However, I'm also aware that this blog is largely reliant on my perspective on going vegan. So I'm opening up the floor a bit and asking readers to share their new vegan stories - anyone up for it?

It doesn't matter if you are a current grasshopper or a seasoned old lag - your vegan wisdom can still be useful to a newcomer. One of my favourite vegan/animal rights role models has personal memories of the vegetarian rationing provisions in World War 2, but I have still learned a lot from her. Don't worry if you didn't have the smoothest transition to veganism - you could be helping other people in a similar position.

Some questions that might help (not a prescriptive list/structure!):
What inspired you to go vegetarian? What inspired you to go vegan? Was there a gap between the two?
What was the hardest part of going vegan? How did you get around it?
What stage of life were you at when you went vegan?
How did the people around you react?
What are the main features of your life, other than veganism?
What are your favourite foods as a vegan?

Stories can be emailed to I'll come up with a posting schedule when I see how many I get. I reserve the right to edit for spelling and so on if necessary, because I'm a pedantic git. Longer stories may be divided into more than one installment. I'm happy to link to your own blog if you include the URL. I can't currently upload photos - I'll let you know when that changes. Stories shouldn't advocate illegal activity - I take no issue with what you do elsewhere, but this isn't the space for it. Insulting people who are less far along the vegan path than you is also a no-no for this blog.

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Another useful post for newbies

JL's tips for new vegans JL is a fitness enthusiast who went vegan and stopped chasing skinny. She blogs here.

Friday, 26 August 2011

Beating the addiction

Bob Torres on quitting cheese.

The fabric of life and death

If you're transitioning from being a dietary vegan* to a full vegan, I'm aware this may only be the second post here that interests you. So I'll take the chance to say kudos for making that step.

Now, your wardrobe is harder to overhaul than the kitchen or the bathroom. You buy clothes to be at least semi-permanent. I'm not saying anyone needs to bin** the non-vegan parts of their wardrobe right away, although you may prefer to, especially if you can afford to replace the more vital bits. However, if you're being publicly vegan (whether standing behind an animal rights stall or eating a different lunch from your colleagues) then be prepared to explain (to vegans or non-vegans - the former will probably accept that you're a newbie, the latter may take more effort) why you're doing so while wearing leather shoes or a wool jumper. (Fur and silk are less excusable, unless you live in the Arctic these are luxury items rather than staples)

So here goes:

Why fur sucks
-Duh, it's a dead animal's skin
-Animals are generally killed purely for their fur
-Wild-caught fur comes from animals caught in a variety of inhumane traps and often left for days before being bludgeoned to death.
-Fur farms are factory farms, and the normal method of killing is anal electrocution. Niiice...
The good news - the high street is full of decent fakes, if you like that sort of thing. (Check the label carefully though) Other fabrics, such as polar fleece, are just as efficient at keeping you warm.

Why leather sucks
-It's a dead animal's skin
-The leather industry is linked to the meat industry, but is big business in it's own right - even if being a 'by-product' made it ok, that happens not to be true
-Much of the cheaper leather available comes from India, cows are herded long distances to the few provinces where it is legal to slaughter them and treated horribly in the process, and the provinces that allow the killing of cows don't have great animal welfare laws governing this.
-And slaughter in the UK is pretty horrible too, as you may have gathered if you've already quit eating meat.
The good news: leather is pretty easy to replace - non-leather shoes tend to be cheaper.

Why wool sucks
-A fair bit of it comes from dead sheep after slaughter
-Merino sheep are bred to have wrinkled skin and thick wool, meaning that they get skin problems especially in extreme heat
-The wool industry is tied in with the meat industry - yes, sometimes you'll come across a family who occasionally shear their 'pet' sheep who live as part of the family the rest of the time and never get overbred or slaughtered. These are more common than unicorns but I'd venture that they are rarer than otters.
-And also there's that pesky animal use issue - think about your reasons for going vegan, and consider whether it's ever ok for animals to be used for human ends. If we're after full liberation, then why perpetuate this form of use?
The good news - there are plenty of other fabrics out there to wear and to knit with. Come and look at my a) winter wardrobe and b) yarn stash for evidence.

Why silk sucks
-Silkworms get boiled to death for their coccoons
-For a product that is basically a luxury
-Need I go on?

*Veganish, strict vegetarian, vegitan/vegetan (sounds like fake leather imo), insert preferred phrase here - but don't start tearing each other's hair out over who is more vegan!
**Or give to charity, or bury in the garden, depending on your views on it staying in use...

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Tricky questions

The Vegan Society (UK) now has an FAQs and tricky questions page on their website, dealing with pretty much any aspect of being a vegan. Also, if you like them on Facebook you get regular chances to throw your own tricky questions at Amanda, the society's head of media and public relations.

Friday, 12 August 2011

Vegans at work!

I say 'at work', but I also found these strategies useful when attending university as a student, and in many other circumstances where I had to be away from my own kitchen for long periods of time. Now, maybe you're chronically lucky and your canteen makes a conscious effort to have a clearly-labelled vegan option each day. Or maybe you're a little bit lucky and can put a meal together from side orders and get something proper one or two days out of five to vary the monotony. That's great - one day we will all be there,* but until that point here are a few tips for those who aren't so lucky. This includes me.

Tip 1: Packed lunch. If you have access to a microwave you're motoring - just stick a portion of leftovers in a microwavable tub to take in with you. Otherwise, you may end up brown-bagging it with sandwiches. Vary the fillings and types of bread you use, otherwise you'll get bored. Dress sandwich lunches up with carrot and celery sticks, soy desserts and fruit juice. Another cold lunch option is salad - by which I don't mean limp iceberg lettuce, I mean actual food. Tabbouleh, couscous and quinoa are great for this. Add chopped cucumber and tomato, maybe some grated carrot, plus beans for a protein shot. I've also been known to take in protein bars, flapjacks, sosmix rolls and bits of homemade apple pie. Oh, and there was the sushi-sans-seaweed episode, which may not have been my finest lunch hour** but did the trick of varying things a bit and using up leftovers. (See the packed lunch entries here for ideas, if you need any)

Tip 2: Snack. I don't mean gorge on crisps, that won't keep you full for long. Keep fruit, raw veg or nuts to hand to nibble on through the day. (Unless you work in a cleanroom or other environment where it's inappropriate to eat) These should keep you in energy even if your lunch is just sandwiches.

Tip 3: Establish what you can get. Even if the only vegan things in your canteen are plain crisps and overpriced apples, you may find these useful someday. The flapjack tends to be a standard - many of these are vegan, but not all, so you'll need to check the ingredients.

Tip 4: Lobby. Politely request that the canteen stock more vegan items. Ask any other vegans, vegetarians, people with dairy allergies, etc to do the same. Frame it as a good business move on their part. Play the meat-free Monday card if you think that'll be helpful. Raise the health issue. It's not the best tactic for convincing people to go vegan***, but in this instance it could be useful.

What are your favourite packups? Any successes in veganising your canteen? Answers on a postcard, or alterntively in the comments.

*In fact, one day all the canteens will be totally vegan :-D
**Not as bad as the cold latkes. Or the cold soy mince and cabbage, eaten that way because the staff microwave got too filthy to use safely. Trial and error folks...
***Or rather it doesn't do a good job of convincing people to stay vegan once they realise that we have the same potential to consume fat and empty carbs as anyone else.

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Food staples

Having just published a post discussing how veganism is not all about food, I'm now going to do another long (and maybe not so interesting to those of you who already have these things sorted) post on - you guessed it - food. It may appear to some that I'm feeding - pun totally intended - the idea that vegans are obsessed with food.* However, this is (as I've said before) the main area where most people will feel the difference.** Readymeals, for example, are a whole lot harder to get as a vegan than a vegetarian - this means cooking for yourself more. It might take more effort if you're used to heating something up, but it will also save you money. Swings and roundabouts.

Vegetables - you know your favourites and what you can afford/store. Fresh stuff can't be kept for that long, so it's worth having a few frozen and tinned things around. I normally have frozen spinach (for curries and pasta sauces) and peas (curries and a side dish for burgers or roast things) and tinned sweetcorn (for chowder or an extra chilli ingredient).

Beans - either dried (and soaked, boiled and frozen) or tinned. (I think you can buy frozen ones now, but haven't explored that avenue yet) Standards chez Duck are kidney beans, chickpeas, blackeyed beans and the tins of mixed bean 'salad'. These are pretty versatile and encompass many options for chillis, curries, salads, homemade burgers - you get the idea. Don't forget to recycle the tins! ;)

Dried things - beans (if you're ok soaking them), lentils, split peas (need soaking overnight before use), soup mix (to bulk out stews and casseroles), stuffing mix (part of a roast dinner), rice, couscous, pasta.

Tins - veg (as above), beans (as above), baked beans, mushy peas (if you like them)

Frozen - veg (as above), chips, burgers - not the healthiest, but sometimes you need something quick. The freezer is also useful for storing leftovers.

Jars - yeast extract (e.g. Marmite - a bit of extra flavour and b12), pasta sauce (more are vegan than you might think) - and hang on to the glass jars because they're useful reusable storage.

Flavouring - start with chilli powder, cumin and mixed herbs and go from there.

Baking things - flour and margarine (and water, but I'm assuming you have this on tap) are the basics if you just want to make pastry. For bread you need yeast (and preferably sugar and salt). Cakes require sugar and baking powder and a proper recipe - that's the only thing I haven't been able to ad lib on!

It's worth having a few meals in mind when you do a big shop (or get a delivery - worth thinking about if you don't have a car). This way you can take stock of what you have already, how useful it will be in the next few days and what you need to add to it in order to get everything to fit together. It also means that you know you are going to use all the fresh bits before they go off! You can get some great bargains with short-dated veg, but careful of buying anything that you aren't sure fits with what you want to eat in the next couple of days - if it goes off before you use it then it's a false economy...

*Personally I kind of am, but so are many omnis - and at least I indulge the obsession without eating whole baby birds or other animal products acquired in more-than-averagely horrible ways. That's a good thing in my opinion, as it helps to counteract the other false assumption doing the rounds that vegans are completely anti getting pleasure from food or indeed anywhere else. Rant over. ;)
**The exceptions being dietary vegans who are transitioning to full veganism. Bear with me, there'll be more about that soon.

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Bathroom business

This blog, like my other one, talks about food a lot. That's partly because I like food, but also because when you go vegan your diet is the first place you will notice a big change. Even from being vegetarian, it's a massive jump - vegetarian is pretty convenient these days, vegan involves a bit more adjustment of your lifestyle. But of course veganism is about more than a diet, so there will sometimes be posts here that reflect that. This is one of those.

Of the steps towards a fully vegan life, your diet will probably be the first and the biggest. The second will probably involve wanting what you put on your body to be as vegan as what you put in it - that is, you'll feel the need to veganise your bathroom products. There are two elements here: animal testing and animal ingredients. Animal testing is pretty easy to avoid. Animal ingredients are harder to avoid - you'll either need to learn some of the major nasties or rely on companies' labelling. The recommendations below are all for stores and companies I've used a reasonable range of products from - they are based on the preferences of a person in the UK with a restricted budget and no real allergies. The BUAV, NatureWatch and PETA should be able to give you more information.

Superdrug: This is my usual go-to shop for toiletries. Their own-label ranges aren't tested on animals - in the last few years they ditched the rolling rule policy for a fixed cut-off date and acquired the BUAV leaping bunny seal of approval. They have a wide range of own-brand products, including some cosmetics (which are a seperate post). The vegetarian/vegan labelling policy hasn't quite spread to everything they make, but has covered more ranges since being introduced a few years ago. Personal favourites are the Vitamin E and Natural High skincare ranges, and the little jewel-toned handwashes. My other half has been using the fruity shower gels, which have been on a ridiculously cheap special offer.

The Co-Op: As far as I know this is the only supermarket to have the BUAV leaping bunny. They also highlight any animal ingredients in their products, or (better still) the absence of these. They don't do a very wide range, but they have all the basics (shampoo, shower gel, deodorant and so on) and these are pretty good value for money. As an added bonus many branches have vegan doughnuts. (although not my branch, *SULK*)

Tesco: they are no good on vegan labelling or on generating a list of vegan products. But if you're a bit savvy about ingredients, they have a pretty good animal testing policy and you could probably restock on bathroom basics for under a tenner.

Lush: great if you like perfumed things, hellish if you don't. I'm in the first camp so this is where I go for a bit of a treat. Supplier boycott policy on animal testing, all products are vegetarian, vegan ones are marked with the Vegan Society sunflower. Most cities now seem to have a branch - Stirling finally got one just before Christmas 2010 - but if you can't get to a store you can shop there online.

Nakd: they make shower and bath stuff, skincare and hair products. Most of the range seems to be ok apart from one or two things with honey. No animal testing. Medium price range - £3-6 per product. Available in Superdrug and Boots.

Mitchums: a deodorant line made by Revlon. Ingredients were vegan last time I checked. No animal testing - Revlon knocked that one on the head in the 80s, one of the first major successes on that front. This is hardcore antiperspirant, your mileage may vary on whether you want that. Personally I like it.

Samy: largely vegan and paraben-free range of hair products available from Superdrug. A bit pricey - average £5/6 per bottle - but often on special offer. I use the volume products and have been generally impressed by them.

Original Source: a bit of a funny one. Their parent company, Cussons, is nothing to write home about on the vegan front. However, the Original Source range itself has the Vegan Society trademark, because that depends on what specific entities do rather than what they're connected to. Not my favourite, but I'm including it so you can make up your own mind. (Having said that, my other half has quite a few of their things, and I've appropriated his almond and coconut shampoo for leg-shaving purposes because it smells nice and moisturises as well as making foam. Undecided as to whether I'd buy more though.)

This isn't a definitive range, but hopefully there's enough there to get you started!

Sunday, 31 July 2011

Veganicity for the very young

I can't give any experience-based advice on raising vegan children, as I have yet to produce any minature grasshoppers. However, as I do plan to do this in the future and have been looking for information, I can tell you about some blogs and websites that might be useful.

Our Vegan Pregnancy - this couple don't update a whole lot any more because they're busy raising the twin boys who resulted from the eponymous pregnancy. But the archives are still there.
Baby Steps Vegan didn't intend for her children to join her vegan journey, but they seem to have done so. Read her blog to find out what she feeds them and how she deals with potentially awkward situations.
The Vegan Society's parenting page has links to various resources.
ActiVeg has a similar page, inspired by Sophie's own experience raising two healthy vegan daughters.

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

The Joy of Pot

No, I haven't been sharing a Yoda bong with the Meatless Monday Unicorn - I'm very much of the opinion that (at least in my own life) pot is for cooking not smoking*. And that sort of pot, I am happy to push at impressionable newcomers to veganism. Raw foodists can probably ignore this post - for everyone else, even if you live alone with one gas burner**, this piece of equipment will make things a lot easier.

Of course, you may have been cooking for yourself for years, be used to making meals from scratch and just want to veganise that process. (In which case stay tuned or check out the recipes at Increasing Veganicity.) But if weaning yourself off readymeals and cooking after a long day or in less-than-optimal kitchen situations (e.g. shared housing where use of the stove is difficult at peak times) is your main stumbling block, a stockpot might be just what you need. If you can't or don't want to spend too much money at first, there are plenty of cheap options out there at the smaller end of the scale. Mine is a fairly standard one from Poundstretcher, and can produce up to ten helpings of chilli at a pinch. (If you want to go larger you might need to find a more specialist store - I want to get a bigger one at some point so can report back on findings when that happens!)

The main purpose of a large pot, unless you have a pretty large household, is to spread the load a bit by making double/triple/whatever quantities at one meal. The extra veg chopping can make it take a bit longer that day, but every extra helping is another meal you don't have to worry about. I nearly always make chilli with the intention of refrigerating it (in the stockpot) overnight and having it two days in a row - the prep happens on one day, the potwashing on the other! I usually do the same with curry, stew (mostly in the winter) and any other meal of a similar consistency.

If you're more ambitious and have sufficient freezer space, it is worth making even more so you can stick a couple of helpings in the freezer as a homemade readymeal. (This is also worth doing for non-stockpot meals such as lasagne, moussaka and homemade pizza - my motto is that if it takes extra faff to make it can also stretch to an extra meal or two!)

A bigger pan also means you have more capacity for soaking and boiling beans - in some places this can work out cheaper than buying them tinned, and is certainly easier in terms of getting beans home from the shop, but it would be a major time-consuming hassle to do every time you wanted a small quantity. If you have a fridge you can do a couple of extra helpings - store them in water, salted if they'll be hanging around for a while, in a tightly-closed screwtop jar - while a freezer allows you to do a bag or two at once. When I lived alone I froze single portions in empty (Alpro in case you're interested) yogurt pots - now a margarine tub makes more sense.

Just to balance things out, I'd suggest that a single person or couple keep a 'milk pan'*** around the place - one of these holds enough rice for two people to have about one and a half helpings. They don't come with lids, but a side plate does the job ok. Erzatz, me?

*Paprika categorically IS for smoking, I love the stuff!
**Let's assume that relationship is platonic, for the sake of everyone's sanity...
***That's what they're sold as. Mine sometimes gets soy milk in, if I want white sauce. Better names on a postcard please ;)

Monday, 27 June 2011

Thoughts on Vegan Freak

Vegan Freak by Bob and Jenna Torres is the first 'new' vegan book I've read in quite a while, the combination of very little money, regular access to the internet and already knowing the basic facts has meant I haven't really made much effort to seek such things out. But - several years late - I decided I'd see what the fuss was about.

I have to admit I wasn't expecting to like this one as much as I did. I used to hang out on the Vegan Freak forums and didn't have a hugely happy experience there. There were a lot of cool people, but also quite a few who, well, I'm sure they're good people and their hearts are in the right place but we did not take the same approach to vegan advocacy or practice. In any other forum people get dissed for getting drunk, eating cheese and needing hand-holding. In that one admitting to making and feeling repentant about a mistake got the same reaction. Many new vegans need advice on getting their significant other on side, if they asked for that there you could guarantee multiple 'dump him/her' type responses. (Disclaimer, I was either single or dating a vegan at that point, so I'm not being sore from getting this response myself) I'd recommend it to an existing vegan or a new one with a thick skin, not to anyone easily offended. Personally I have my doubts about that sort of approach, even in terms of its effectiveness as a means to encourage people to go vegan. (Ok, being entirely fair, I also stopped hanging out there as much because a regular had an avatar that referenced one of my few phobias, that's nobody's issue but mine.)

In the light of this, the book was a pleasant surprise. Sure it pushed the hard line on veganism, but that's a good thing when done in a constructive way. The Torres' gave a lot of measured advice on how to talk about veganism in what contexts - don't preach or get gory over dinner with omni family, talk about it calmly another time, stick to your guns *without* creating a major row. (I know, and Bob and Jenna may also know, that not everyone can do this - there will be some contexts where no approach will entirely avoid aggro - I'm afraid the only solution there is probably to stick it out until the problem starts to fade. Eventually it will. Or if the aggressor isn't in your immediate family or your favourite person evah apart from this they might fade out instead.) There is a bit of goriness, just to fill the reader in (or provide a reminder of) why to go vegan, but the focus is generally on how/why it is wrong to *use* animals rather than why particularly egregious abuses are wrong. (We all know the latter anyway, you can eat meat four times a day and still think some things are wrong, so it isn't always the best hook to use for veganism specifically) There's a lot on why people become ex-vegans, which I found useful in trying to understand the most recent crop, and also how to avoid becoming one yourself.

There are a lot of books out there on either why or how to go vegan. This is probably the best I've seen at combining the two.

(Originally posted at Increasing Veganicity)

Sunday, 26 June 2011

Tips for a drunk vegan - eating isn't cheating!

A frequent bugbear of longer-standing vegans hanging out in unmoderated online spaces is the new-ish vegan who posts about how they wound up eating cheese (or 'worse') when drunk. Now, it is annoying when someone does this (especially repeatedly) then asks for sympathy - dude, unless someone tricked you into eating it, you are not the victim here! On the other hand, I've often thought that getting too harsh might put a newbie off trying again to stay vegan. If someone tries again, makes a few mistakes in their first year or so then stays vegan their whole life, it's better than being perfect for a couple of months then burning out and becoming an ex-vegan. They may be like me and become an ex-ex-vegan, but that has its own problems. And it is my ex-ex-vegan phase that I'm drawing from here - during that phase, I did occasionally get drunk and eat cheese, usually pizza. I didn't need my hand held, I did (as it turned out) need my hayfever meds due to mild throat swelling - yeah that improves a hangover no end - but I did come up with a practical strategy for not doing that anymore. So here goes:

Drink with vegans (mine's a Sam Smith's wheatbeer if you're offering) - then the temptation won't be there.
Drink with non-vegans who respect your veganism - then the only problem is your willpower not peer pressure.
Eat properly before you go out - something with fat and carbs to absorb the booze.
If you're going to a house party, take vegan pizza. Vegan pizza is always a good thing. Make sure there's enough in case other people eat it too. (there's a high chance they will!) Couscous and rice salads are also good alcohol absorbers.
Hang out in pubs where you can get something to eat, even if it is just chips or plain crisps. This will put something fatty and carby into the liquid contents of your stomach.
Eventually, your brain will reset itself into thinking non-vegan stuff isn't food. This takes longer than one evening, hence the tips.

Bottoms up... ;)

(Originally posted at Increasing Veganicity)

Saturday, 25 June 2011

For the vegan in your life and the life in your vegan

I have no idea whether anyone reading this blog fits the demographic I have in mind - those who aren't vegan, may or may not be interested in veganism for themselves, but have one or more vegan friends they want to do stuff with without hassle. (Of course if you're vegan and agree with this list it could be something to refer your friends to!)

Anyway, here are a few hints for being a friend to a vegan:
-Give their favourite cafe a try - if someone has been vegan for any length of time they will have some good ideas of where to go.
-If you're going for a meal, be prepared to check the menus of a few different places - there are some really good vegan options out there, but sometimes they need looking for.
-Vegan food is food everyone can eat, vegetarian food is food *almost* anyone can eat, so don't get too scared by the prospect of going in a vegan or vegetarian cafe.
-Likewise, don't be scared if your vegan friend invites you over to dinner. You can guess that at least we don't bite. Of course I can't guarantee that they are a good cook, but veganism certainly doesn't guarantee that they are not!
-You may have questions about the whys and hows of veganism, especially if this friend is the first vegan you've got to know well. It is fine to ask questions. Try to do it constructively and not get upset at the answers. Mealtimes aren't the best place for these discussions. Dialogue is cool, a fight isn't.
-If you're cooking at home, you don't have to make everything vegan (although you may like to) - however your friend might feel singled out if they are limited to a plate of lettuce. The 'net is full of vegan recipe sites - you can find a few in the sidebar here. There are a fair few recipe ideas on this blog, just click the tag marked 'food'. You may also find Activeg's Special Guests useful. The Co-op is the best UK supermarket for labelling of vegan alcohol, followed by Sainsbury's - Tesco is ok but you have to make do by spotting vegetarian wines that don't list egg or milk as allergens. (NB if you aren't the one who cooks in your house, let your significant other/roommate/parent know ahead of time that there will be a vegan there!)
-New vegans can sometimes be a bit like newborn vampires in their enthusiasm for vegangelising, this is generally motivated by genuine compassion for animals and a desire for a better world, so try not to let it get to you. Although if you do feel inspired to go vegan, that's a very good thing indeed. ;)

(Originally posted at Increasing Veganicity)

Friday, 24 June 2011

Finding other vegans

Going and staying vegan can be rather daunting if you don't know any other vegans, if the vegetarians in your social group (assuming there are any) are already seen as scary militants (particularly if they don't like that position being challenged by someone doing more!), if you mostly know 'vegans' who cheat regularly using tenuous excuses, if you love your friends dearly but feel the absence of that particular common factor... you get the idea. It can be positively isolating if the people you hang out with are openly hostile and threatened by the prospect of eating anywhere that even has a vegan option - I hope that's the case for waaaay fewer people than it was in the past, but I hear enough stories that suggest the phenomenon hasn't died out quite yet. Anyway, more friends is always a good thing right? And I can say from experience that having more vegan friends makes it a whole lot easier to be vegan yourself. So here's some places to start looking!

There are vegan Meetup groups across the world, just type in your post/zip code to see where your nearest one is. I'd never used Meetup until my last big move, it's been a great way to get to know people.

If you don't quite feel like turning up to a cafe to meet a bunch of people you don't (yet) know - or don't have a local group - you can gear yourself up by getting to know other vegans online. My favourite places are Vegan Lounge and Vegan Forum.

The Vegan Society and ActiVeg both maintain databases of local groups and contacts. The Veggies Directory, meanwhile, is a treasure trove for all things vegan, animal rights, etc that you might want or need to look up.

And of course you can comment here, click through to other blogs, and maybe start your own... ;)

(Originally posted at Increasing Veganicity)