Saturday, October 21, 2017

Petition to the Government of Canada Regarding Food Policy

Recently I found out about a new petition that was posted on the Parliament of Canada’s E-petitions website. The petition, which is being sponsored by Liberal MP Nathaniel Erskine-Smith, is calling for all public canteens under federal jurisdiction to serve a vegan option (and for the federal government to work with the provinces and territories to implement this law at their levels, as well).

The main part of the petition reads, “We, the undersigned, citizens of Canada, call upon the Government of Canada to require public canteens under federal jurisdiction to provide a vegan option, and to raise this issue and work with provincial and territorial counterparts to require the same at all levels of government.”

Judging by the way that the petition is worded, it sounds like, if the petition becomes law, this could lead to hospitals, schools, universities, colleges, prisons, and other public institutions to be required to serve a vegan option. This would be a win for people who live a vegan lifestyle, for, as a matter of human rights, it is essential that vegans have access to vegan food.

Furthermore, this would help encourage more people to eat a vegan diet, and it could help to indirectly raise awareness about veganism and to help people realize what vegan food actually is.
In March 2017, Portugal passed a law requiring all public canteens (at hospitals, schools, prisons, etc.) to serve a vegan option. Canada needs a law like this, too!

Canadian citizens are able to sign the petition and read more about it here. The petition is open until November 29, 2017, at 2:32 p.m. EDT.
Photo copyright Carolyn H. 2017

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

World Vegan Day is November 1st!

World Vegan Day takes place every year on November 1st, and the entire month of November is World Vegan Month.

The annual celebration started in 1994 on the 50-year anniversary of the first meeting of the Vegan Society in the UK, which took place some time in early November 1944.

According to the Vegan Society’s website, “In a natural progression, World Vegan Day evolved into World Vegan Week and now, what we celebrate as World Vegan Month, where vegans and veganism is celebrated in workplaces, shops, restaurants and in homes all over the world.”

In November 2017, to commemorate World Vegan Month, the Vegan Society will be releasing a new app called VNutrition, which helps people achieve their nutrition goals on a vegan diet. They also will be launching a new campaign called “Vegans on the Go”, which will aim to get more retailers to serve on-to-go vegan lunches. You can check out the World Vegan Month webpage here; here is their Facebook Page.
Of course, every day is a good day to advocate for a vegan lifestyle, but this special day is an especially useful opportunity to raise awareness about the “why’s” and “how’s” of going vegan, as well as to celebrate the lifestyle and those who follow it!

Here are some ideas of ways we can make a difference on World Vegan Day and throughout the month of November:

1) Obviously, if you aren’t already vegan, please go vegan. You can take The Vegan Society’s 30-day Vegan Pledge to help you go vegan as quickly as possible!

2) Share the Vegan Pledge with your friends and family, on your blog, and/or on social media.

3) On November 1st, why not wish the people in your life a happy World Vegan Day? It may help spark conversations that could lead them to consider going vegan.

4) On social media and/or your blog, share something related to veganism and/or World Vegan Day. For example, you could share your own story of why you went vegan; a picture of a vegan meal you made; a link to the Vegan Society’s website; a vegan recipe; or even just a quick post saying “Happy World Vegan Day!”

5) Host a vegan meal or potluck for family, friends, and/or your local community. If it’s a potluck and not everyone attending is already vegan, make sure that everyone knows to avoid using any animal-derived ingredients in the food they bring; it can be helpful to ask people to bring an ingredients list.

6) Perhaps you could go leafleting, and wish passersby a happy World Vegan Day!

7) With your local vegan or vegetarian association, you could even help organize a talk from a vegan speaker or a vegan-related movie screening.

8) Bring vegan food to work or school, and share it with your peers. J You could just casually share it with them, or you could set up a table in a busy place where people can take the free vegan food and literature on veganism.

9) Try to get World Vegan Day or World Vegan Month recognized by your school or workplace. They could introduce a vegan menu in the cafeteria starting in November, for example (if there isn’t enough time for them to plan out a complete vegan menu in time for World Vegan Day, they can still start working on it by November).

10) If you’re a writer, write a letter to the editor, Op-Ed, or vegan recipe and submit it to a newspaper or magazine.
Have a great World Vegan Day and Month!

Published on Elephant Journal website: "Healthy Vegan Breakfast Ideas to Start the Day off Right"

I recently wrote an article that has been published on the Elephant Journal website. The article is titled "Healthy Vegan Breakfast Ideas to Start the Day off Right"; I hope it helps encourage people to go vegan!

Friday, September 29, 2017

October 1st is World Vegetarian Day!

If you truly care about animals, then you already believe in the principles of vegetarianism/veganism. It's as simple as that!

With that in mind, let me introduce you all to World Vegetarian Day, which is on October 1st. Actually, the entire month of October is World Vegetarian Month, so if you're reading this a little later than October 1st, there's still time to mark the occasion (and if you're reading this after October has already passed, mark your calendar for next October)!

World Vegetarian Day takes place annually. It was created by the North American Vegetarian Society (NAVS) in 1977, and in 1978, the day was endorsed by the International Vegetarian Union (IVU).

Image from

Here are some things that you can do to make a difference for World Vegetarian Day and Month:

1) If you haven't gone vegetarian yet, please do so now! You can take the Veg Pledge on the North American Vegetarian Society's website.

2) Spread the word about World Vegetarian Day and World Vegetarian Month on your social media accounts with friends and family. You could post a link to the Veg Pledge, as well as vegan recipes, pictures of vegan food, and your personal story of going vegetarian/vegan.

3) Wish people in your life a Happy World Vegetarian Day and World Vegetarian Month! Whether you're at work, at school, or somewhere else, it can be a good conversation starter.

4) Try leafleting, blogging, protesting, or another activity to promote veganism.

5) Host a World Vegetarian Day meal for family and friends (or co-workers, or classmates), or hold a potluck! (Just make sure everyone knows that the food that they bring has to be free from animal products.)

We can all make a difference to create a better world for animals. I hope you find these ideas useful!

World Vegan Day is going to take place in November, so that's another month to get particularly excited about! In upcoming posts, I will be writing about World Vegan Day and World Vegan Month.

Have a nice day!

Thursday, September 14, 2017

The Guardian's Editorial About Veganism

Recently an editorial entitled “The Guardian view on veganism: high in moral fibre” was published on The Guardian’s website. The editorial piece pointed out that vegans often are unfairly mocked by meat-eaters, and it said that “the diet does do the world good and if vegans provoke their friends into going vegan too, so much the better.” The writer began the piece by commenting on the recent statements of UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn (who is already a vegetarian) about how he is shifting towards eating more vegan food (although it is unclear whether or not he is actually going to go vegan).

Some environmental and health benefits of veganism were mentioned in the editorial, but animal ethics were not. Although it would have been nice to hear more about the animal-ethics reasons to go vegan, it was overall very encouraging to see the editor of a major news outlet writing in defense of veganism. Our movement is clearly doing something right!

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Ethics and Pets on CBC Radio One

This morning on a radio show called The Current on CBC Radio One, Anna Maria Tremonti interviewed Gary Francione, Stanley Coren, and Jessica Pierce about their differing views on the ethical issues surrounding pet ownership. It was a very interesting discussion-- you can listen to it and/or read the accompanying article here.

Have a nice day!

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Public History Assignment

Hi everyone,

I have recently written a blog post on Vegan Forget-Me-Nots, as an assignment for school. Similarly to a previous blog post I did on Vegan Forget-Me-Nots, it's about the Earthlings March that took place in Ottawa last year, but this new post is written from a history student's perspective. If you're interested in reading it, you can find it here.

And, if you want to sign up to receive e-mail updates from either this blog or my other one, you can do so by going to the blog you want to follow, entering your e-mail address in the right-hand sidebar under "Follow by Email", and clicking "Submit".

Have a nice day!

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Our Voices Are Being Heard!

Health Canada has proposed new dietary recommendations for Canadians, recommending a shift to more plant-based eating! You can learn more (and find out how to get involved) in my blog post on Vegan-Forget-Me-Nots at
Thank you for caring!

Monday, March 27, 2017

6 Ways to Distribute Vegan/Animal Rights Literature (besides leafleting)

Leafleting is a good way to get the vegan/animal rights message to people who otherwise might not see it. However, to those vegans who might not want to stand on a street corner and hand out literature to strangers, there are still other ways you can spread vegan/animal rights literature! Here are some ideas:

1. Place some brochures for your local vegan association, or some Vegan Starter Kit booklets, in the rack of free magazines and newspapers at your local grocery store. When people are grocery shopping, they are already thinking about food, and will probably be more likely to pick up a vegan starter guide than they would be at other times.
2. Place some leaflets, booklets, or brochures around your school or at your workplace.
3. Go to your local health food stores, eco-friendly stores, and other like-minded shops and ask if they will set out brochures for your local vegan association at the cash register. Now that veganism is becoming increasingly mainstream, you may find them very willing—or even eager—to see your literature!
4. Stop by the local library or community centre and ask if they will set out the literature.
5. Put up “Go Vegan” posters on telephone poles around your city.
6. Bring booklets, leaflets, and other literature with you when you go out—you never know when you’ll run into someone who might want some vegan/animal rights information!
PETA's Vegan Starter Kits can be ordered for free by activists who wish to distribute them. Just e-mail PETA to let them know how many you'd like, and they are likely to send you the amount you want!

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Ten Things You Can Do To Help Animals Today

  1. Print out posters advocating for veganism, and put them up on telephone poles and public bulletin boards around your city or University campus. Make sure to be aware of your local postering laws first! You can find printable posters online, or make your own, or order some for free from an animal rights organization.*
  2. Order some leaflets promoting veganism* (or print them off your computer-- have you seen the ones I've designed?). Once you have your leaflets, hand them out to passersby on a busy street corner!
  3. Write a letter to a local grocery store, restaurant, or cafeteria asking them for more vegan options. Remember to give them specific examples of vegan foods that will be used instead of animal products! One thing you could ask for is the new VeganEgg, for example.
  4. Bake vegan treats and give them to your co-workers, classmates, friends, and/or family. Don't forget to tell them that it's vegan!
  5. Order some animal rights stickers to stick on your laptop, wallet, or water bottle.* When you take these items into a public place, people who see them will be reminded of the animal rights and vegan ethic.
  6. Write a Letter to the Editor or an Op-Ed on a recent vegan-related or animal-related issue, particularly if it's something about which the newspaper has recently published a story. Even if your letter doesn't get published, the newspaper staff will still see it and may be influenced by your message in some way.
  7. Get some sidewalk chalk and write pro-vegan messages on the pavement outside (in places where it's legal to do so, of course). Bonus: if you take a photograph of your chalk creation, you can send it in to Vegan Chalk Challenge and they'll post it on their Facebook Page!
  8. Put together a little booklet of your favourite vegan recipes to give to family and friends. Alternatively, you could make the recipes into an e-book, and then send the e-book to people by e-mail and/or post it on Facebook! Bonus: include photographs of the foods in your booklet!
  9. Send a nice note or e-mail to your favourite vegan activists to thank them for the work they do. A thank-you letter can really make someone's day, and encourage them to keep working for animal rights.
  10. The ideas I've given above are just a few ways to inject some activism into your everyday life, but there are also more long-term projects that you can do to help animals. If you have the time and energy for long-term activist projects, why not take some time out of your day today to brainstorm about how to combine your talents, skills, and interests for animal rights? For example, you may wish to start a blog, host a podcast, give presentations at local schools, write a book, start a vegan business or organization, or run vegan cooking classes.

* PETA sends free literature out to activist in North America. Their literature can be seen in their online store. Just send them an e-mail and tell them how many of which materials you'd like, and they will most likely send them to you for free! I'm not a fan of PETA, but some of their literature can be useful to activists, especially since they send it to you for free. I'd recommend their Vegan Starter Kits in particular; in terms of posters, they have these ones; and here are some stickers (for students, for kids, and for everyone) that you could order!
If you'd rather avoid using materials from PETA or if you live outside of North America, there are other organizations that send out free literature in some parts of the world. I prefer PETA's Vegan Starter Kits because they advocate for veganism (and not "flexitarianism"), and because their Vegan Starter Kits are so comprehensive and colourful.

If you're really keen to dive into animal rights activism, you could try doing one of these things every day for ten days! Or, just pick and choose from this list whichever activities you'd like to try. Thank you for working to create a kinder, and more just, world.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

2017 Animal Rights and Vegan Conferences!

Every year, several conferences and events for vegan/animal rights activists take place across North America and around the world. These events can provide a forum for activists to network, learn about issues and advocacy strategies, and be inspired to make a difference! Below is a list of some of the animal-rights-related conferences that will be held in 2017. Please note that this is not a complete list, and, as I haven’t been to any of these events in previous years, I can’t say which ones are the best/most worthwhile to attend!

Animal Rights National Conference 2017: According to this conference’s website, the Animal Rights National Conference is the largest and longest-running animal rights gathering—the first one was held in 1981! It is organized by the Farm Animal Rights Movement (FARM). If you can go to only one conference this year, consider making this the one you go to. Here’s what they say you can expect:

The Animal Rights National Conference is designed for people who wish to improve their animal advocacy skills or simply to network with other animal activists. The Conference offers a number of educational and networking opportunities, including:
  • Sessions on animal advocacy, organizing, tactics, and issues
  • More than 100 speakers from 60 organizations
  • Eyewitness reports on key campaigns
  • 100+ free exhibits
  • Video premieres
  • Newcomer Orientation
  • Nightly networking receptions
  • Awards Banquet on Saturday evening
  • Closing celebration on Sunday evening
  • Post-conference protests on Monday”
When: August 3 – 6
Where: Alexandria, Vermont (just outside of Washington, DC), USA

Vegetarian SummerFest 2017: This is an annual vegan festival and conference. The 2016 conference was jam-packed with world-renowned vegan speakers, cooking classes, fitness classes, vendors, and more!
When: July 5-9, 2017
Where: last year it took place in Pennsylvania.

International Animal Rights Conference: This conference took place in Luxembourg in September 2016. Their website does not yet mention if there is going to be a 2017 conference, but I speculate it is likely that there will be, as they have had six of these conferences to date.

International Animal Rights Conference 2016 in Luxembourg


Conscious Eating 2017 Conference: This conference, hosted by United Poultry Concerns and Berkeley Organization for Animal Advocacy, will focus on the ethics of eating and the role that religions play in the issue of animal liberation.
When: Saturday, March 11, 2017, 10am-6pm
Where: Berkeley, California, USA
Cost: $15/person (free for students)

The Anti-Fur Society Vegan Conference: This conference is focused on promoting vegan alternatives to fur in clothing.
When: Saturday, April 8, 2017
Where: Manhattan, New York, USA

Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine "Food For Life" Training: Interested in getting certified by PCRM to teach healthy vegan cooking in your community? Anyone interested in this can register to attend the next training! This isn't a conference, but I've included it because vegan activists may be interested in it anyway.
When: Wednesday, May 3 - Friday, May 5, 2017
Where: Washington, DC, USA

Your local VegFest: Don't forget to find out when your local VegFest will be taking place this year!

There's also:
There is also an animal welfare conference taking place in Ottawa, ON, Canada in 2017. It doesn't look like it's related to animal rights at all, but if you live in Ottawa, it might be good to bring your vegan voice to that conference, to raise awareness! 

The events that I've listed above are the ones that I believe are the most relevant, but you can find a list of some other events at, and a list of some major vegan festivals at

Saturday, February 4, 2017

February Issue of "alive" Magazine is About Being Vegan!

Alive magazine is a Canadian magazine that is supported in part by the Natural Health Products industry. It is available for free in health food stores across Canada, and I used to read it.

I stopped reading alive magazine about a year ago, as I found it disturbing that they had so many animal products in their recipes.

However, today I went to my local health food store and saw the latest issue of alive on the counter. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that this month's issue of alive is all about "Being Vegan"! The Guest Editor is Brendan Brazier, a vegan Ironman triathlete, author, and co-founder of the "Vega" health products. And so, for the first time in about a year, I picked up a new copy of the magazine.

Unfortunately, there are still non-vegan advertisements in this issue of the magazine, and I am not going to go back to reading their magazine on a regular basis unless they stop including dead animals in their recipes, but I find it heartening to see that veganism is entering the mainstream more and more.

This issue has tips about vegan substitutions when baking, provides lots of vegan recipes, and includes stories about vegans.

Keep speaking up for the animals, everyone-- I think the logic of veganism is being heard with a greater intensity every year. :)