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What is a Vegetarian?

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Student Vegetarian Handbook
The Inner Art of Vegetarianism : Spiritual Practices for Body The Inner Art of Vegetarianism : Spiritual Practices for Body by Carol J. Adams

In her beautifully composed and thoughtful new book, author and activist Carol Adams explores the inner life of spiritual growth with the outer life of practical compassion. She shows how the reasons for becoming a vegetarian (to promote health, care for other animals, and express concern for the environment) are deeply wedded to spiritual practice.

Adams reveals how the practice of creating mindfulness and disciplining the midn meshes with becoming an activist for nonviolence, and shows how in our busy and stressed-out world it is essential to sustain and replenish the soul through spiritual discipline. Adams discusses breath awareness, meditation, yoga, journaling, and dream work as examples of how to keep true to yourself and your beliefs, maintain your mental equilibrium, and prepare truly delicious meals with thoughtfulness and care. This is an essential book for all those who wish to have their soul nourished and follow the spiritual path of vegetarianism.

How to encounter vegetarianism as a spiritual practice.
"I practice yoga, meditate, and am also a social activist. The Inner Art of Vegetarianism is my exploration of the deep interconnection between these spiritual practices and my Veganism, which come together for me as "spiritual vegetarianism." In the Inner Art of Vegetarianism, I tell my own story and the spiritual lessons I learned as I tried to introduce new practices into my life. Then I explore how vegetarianism is meditation in action, as it, like meditation, involves placing attention and not being distracted. It discusses the way that many spiritual practices enable one to be a vegetarian, and the way that vegetarianism enacts spiritual insights about embracing the "nowness" of life, the interconnectedness of all life, and ahimsa, or nonharming. The book represents a dialogue between spirituality and vegetarianism. It is for spiritual practitioners who have wanted to engage with vegetarianism at a spiritual and practical level, and for vegetarians and animal activists who want to bring other spiritual practices into their lives. It has several meditations, yoga poses, and journal-keeping exercises. The Inner Art of Vegetarianism invites people, wherever they are in their paths, into a deeply spiritual, deeply rewarding, daily practice of living a life that honors connections." -- The author, Carol J. Adams , July 24, 2000

"Carol Adams explores the inner life of spiritual growth with the outer life of practical compassion. She examines the reasons why becoming a vegetarian is deeply wedded to spiritual practice. Adams shows how the practice of creating mindfulness and disciplining the mind meshes with becoming an activist for nonviolence, and reveals how in our busy and stressed-out world it is essential to sustain and replenish the soul through spiritual discipline. This is an empowering book for all those who wish to have their soul nourished and follow the spiritual path of vegetarianism." -- The publisher, Martin Rowe , August 11, 2000
An exploration of the spiritual path of vegetarianism

About the Author
Carol J. Adams is the author of the groundbreaking "The Sexual Politics of Meat: A Feminist-Vegetarian Critical Theory", now in its 10th anniversary edition, and "Neither Man nor Beast: Feminism and the Defense of Animals". She is an activist, yoga practitioner, and cook, and is finishing a book on living among meat eaters.

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What is a Vegetarian?
A vegetarian doesn't eat any dead animals or bits taken from them. That means no meat, poultry (chicken, turkey etc), fish or other water animals (prawns, crabs etc) or yukky things such as gelatin and animal fat. A vegan doesn't eat any animal products including eggs or dairy (e.g. milk, cheese, butter). 


What is Gelatin?
Gelatin is used to gel some sweets, jelly, yogurts and other products. It's made from boiling bones, hooves and horns of pigs, cows and horses. Check the ingredients lists if you want to avoid it. If you see the words "guar gum" or "agar agar", you're on safe ground - these are the veggie alternatives to gelatin. 


What is Animal Fat?
Animal fat is just that - the fat from the bodies of dead animals. It's boiled off the skin and used in some biscuits, margarine, cake, soups and other things. Suet is the fat taken from around an animal's kidneys. 

Fortunately, animal fat and suet are seen as unhealthy and loads of products now only use vegetable fats - again just look at the ingredients.


Replacing Butter
Replacing butter is easy. Practically all supermarkets sell an own brand vegan margarine. As for ready-made pastry, Jus-Roll is excellent and in the chiller cabinet of most supermarkets. 


Replacing Milk
Replace cow's milk with soy milk. It is available from almost all supermarkets and certainly all health food shops. (The makes of Soya milk taste very different from one another, so if you don't like one, try another. The supermarket own brands and Provamel (the ones sweetened with apple juice) are good. Use Soya milk on your cereals, in tea, coffee and milk shakes just as you would cow's milk.

Check out this website: 

bulletSimply Soy - A Variety of Choices -- Includes good basic information on soy products, some vegan recipes included.


Replacing Cheese
You can buy vegan hard cheeses as well - ask your health shop to sell Bute Island Foods 'Scheese' - there are several types such as Cheddar, Cheshire, Edam, Gouda, Mozzarella and Stilton. For main meals such as pizzas, just put extra tomato puree on the base and miss out the cheese - it tastes great. 

Missing cheese is usually the main concern of people going vegan. Don't worry, you can buy some brill vegan cheeses, but they're not sold in supermarkets - yet. Ask your health food shop to stock 'Better than cream cheese' - these are tubs of soft cheese (plain, or with added herbs or garlic) and you won't be able to tell the difference from soft cheeses made from cow's milk. 


Replacing Ice Cream
There are several makes of vegan ice cream, sold in some supermarkets, but definitely at the health food stores in your town.


Green Market Place

This eco-friendly superstore has everything you need for green, healthy living.  

For example:

What is a Vegan?
Find out about the radically ethical stance on vegetarianism.


Vegetarian Resources

Annotated links to hundreds of resource sites on vegetarianism, veganism, healthy recipes, and more.


Animal Rights

Resources on Animal rights, animal experimentation, endangered animals and more.


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