Healthy Living For All
Learning to respect Nature, the enviroment, and people of different cultures are imporant aspets to many educated
people today, not just pagans. This page is a helpful guide for those who choose to be vegetarian or vegan and raise
their child as so, as well as organic information and resources. (scroll down fto the bottom or resources)
Why do Wiccans choose to eat vegetarian or organic?
'An it harm none' refers not only to other people, but also
to yourself, animals, and the Earth. We're connected to each other at a variety of levels - spiritually, ecologically
and physically - we all should carefully weigh our actions with their consequences. While it may be totally impossible to
"harm none" when choosing what you eat, it is possible to 'harm least.'
Respect of animals:
Many wiccans (though not all) choose to be vegetarian out of a
respect for animals. Pagans strongly believe in the spirit of all living things and have respect for the feelings for
the animals. Despite what some people push, studies and experience have proven animals to be very smart, or even smarter
then humans (such as dolphins.)
While many believe eating meat is "natural" many do
not agree with the distruction caused by factory farming animals or the conditions animals are raised in today. Wiccan
beliefes run more along the reasoning that even if we were meant to eat animals the enslavment and cruel murder of animals
An animal whom cannot feed or see her own baby, cannot turn around, and never
sees the sun is far from living a "natural" life. Fishermen's nets kill 10 times
as many other animals as the fish they are hoping to catch, and problems with
stunning practices mean that many animals have their throats slit while still conscious (around 6% of cattle or 200,000 per
year). Poultry and pigs are then dipped in tanks of scalding water (to loosen feathers, bristles etc.) again while fully conscious. Many
pagans who choose to eat meat do so by purchasing from small, local farms, and eating free range/organic when possible as
these animals have had more of a life aside from a small stall or cage, as well, some of the torturus and unessecary
actions are avoided.
Respect of Nature:
Taking care of the enviroment is an important part of paganism.
The mother earth is sharing with us and it is not ours to ravage. Eating oganically grown foods help ensure a better future
for the earth. Pesticides are harsh not only on the people who apply them but to those who eat them, and are extremly
toxic to all living things. Not only do they kill off the bad insects they kill off the good ones as well reducing natural
food for many naimals. Pesticides leach into the ground killing much of what lives there, into the ground water, rivers lakes
and passing through the food chain to many animals including the ones people eat. Pesticides can kill a wide varietey of insects,
fish, amfibians, and birds while building up in larger animals as well as leaching important nutrients from the soil.
Be aware that certified organic food DOES have standards and allow differnt sort of treatments to deal with diseases and pests.
Some larger chain brands may be more aprt to squeeze through loopholes in the standards but the main point in organic
farming, is to avoid the usage of any pesticides and in reality organic farmers rarely use pesticides.
Relying on healthy strong plants as well as using alternatives such as baits, crop rotation, preditor insects (spiders and
lady bugs) migritory disruption, and many other methods, pesticides are a last resort for organic farmers.
When choosing organic food try to buy local brands as these are not marketed around the whole of the U.S. and less likely
to contain any form of pesticide as they don't need to grow as mass quantities. As well USDA organic standards allow
for loop holes with dairy products, not requiring much pasture time for cows so some organic brands (such as horizons, safeway,
wal-mart, and aurora) are factory farmed on organic feed. As well some farms are organic and simply choose not to pay the
costs to certifiy themselves. Taking a weekend trip to your local farms can be a fun learning experience and help get you
connected with what you are buying. Look on products for different descriptions (including USDA, QUI, State
Tiths/Cert, and wording such as "no hormones")
Choosing to be a vegeterian is also a healthy choice for the planet.
More land is used to rasie cattle and other animals for consumption then to grow plants. Most grain grown is not used to feed
people but to feed animals such as cattle to be raised for consumption. As the majority of American forests
having already been cut down, and a large percentage of the rainforests are currently being cut down, to raise cattle
in factory farms for food suppliers such as Mc. Donalds eating vegetarian is a healthier choice for the planet.
Fifty-five square feet of rainforest is destroyed for every quarter pound hamburger
that comes from a cleared rainforest and Over half of the water used in the United States goes to beef production. In fact,
it takes an average of 2,500 gallons of water to produce a single pound of red meat. That's as much water as a typical family
uses in a month.
Respect of Humans:
Starvation and malnutrition isn't just a factor in 3rd world
countries, many people right here in the U.S. can't even afford basic food to feed themselves or their family. With the
large amount of land and water going to raise animals for meat it makes you wonder why it's not going to humans. With the amount of water it takes to produce one pound of red meat, farmers can grow up to
one hundred pounds of grain, which makes a lot of bread, pasta, and cereal. One pound of beef can only feed four people for
one lunch, whereas one hundred pounds of grain can feed four people for a month! 1
acre yields 165 lbs of beef or 20,000 lbs of potatoes and the
UK imports £46,000,000 worth of grain from third world countries to feed their livestock. While
choosing to be vegetarian is not a quick fix cure to world hunger it is a step in the right direction.
Organic food is also often farmed on much smaller family owned farms. Buying USA organic products support local and family
owned farms, giving them decent wages. With the average farmer in debt, the price difference a farmer gets for organically
grown food gives him enough boost to not be in debt and support a family.
Vegetarian and organic food are healthier choices.
The optimal recommend diet is one low
in saturated fat, sugar, salt & with plenty of fiber - exactly what you get on a vegetarian diet. Vegetarians have 24% reduced risk of getting heart disease (the number one killer), lower blood pressure & lower
cholesterol levels. Vegetarians have a 50% reduced risk of dying of diabetes and have a 40% reduced level of cancer than
the general population (this is thought to be because they have a higher intake of vitamins A, C, & E) and 80% of
food poisoning is due to infected meat.
Organic food also
will benifit you and your child in positive ways. Studies have shown pesticides kill off many vitamins, minerals, and nutrients
found in foods. One study by the American Chemical Society showed that a small organic
orange has 30% more vitamin C then a large chemically grown orange, when the scientists were expecting the opposite.
A scientific study published in the Journal of Applied Nutrition in 1993 clearly showed that organic food is more nutritious
than conventional food. Organically and conventionally grown apples, potatoes, pears, wheat, and sweet corn were purchased
in the western suburbs of Chicago, over two years, and analysed for mineral content. The organically grown food averaged 63%
higher in calcium, 73% higher in iron, 118% higher in magnesium, 178% higher in molybdenum, 91% higher in phosphorus, 125%
higher in potassium and 60% higher in zinc. The organic food averaged 29% lower in mercury than the conventionally raised
Vegetarian and Organic Foods and your child:
Raising your child as a vegetarian and/or on organic food is a healthy
choice, Many vegetarian foods are organic and visa versa. Vegetarian/organic fed children are less likely to eat fast
food or microwave meals (partly from the lack of options). With children stateing french fries are their favorite vegetable
and U.S. children becoming increasingly obese, vegetarianism encourages healthy living and healthy eating choices.
The best part is that most vegetarian and organic prepackaged foods are free of artificial
flavors and colors, as well as preservatives. Avoiding preservatives is especially important in infants and toddlers as their
bodies are still devloping/growing and do not function the same as adults. Toddlers and infants have a hard time riding their
body of pesticides and preservatives and they often build up in children when adults can more efficiently expel them. Because
of this fact baby food manufacturers stopped putting preservatives into baby food (such as gerber jarred baby food), unfortunatly
toddler foods, as well as prepackaged foods- cereals, crackers ect. still do.
childrens eating habbits are very different, the average toddler consumes more fruits and vegetables then the average adult.
They also eat items in large quantites, while adults eat a little of this and that a baby will often only eat carrots for
dinner. And even if it doesn't have a label listing ingredients doesn't mean it's safe..non-organic raw fruits and vegetables
are treated with pesticides and preservatives to make them last longer on the trip to the grocery store and are even treated
with dyes so they look more ripe when they arrive to be sold. Eatting organic will help
your whole family avoid these. A mother eating organic foods will not risk passing persticides
to her developing infant or nursing baby.
The World Health Organisation
(who) has estimated that between 3.5-5 million people globally suffer acute pesticide poisoning every year. A University
of Washington study analyzed pesticide breakdown products (metabolites) in pre-school aged children and found that children
eating organic fruits and vegetables had concentrations of pesticide metabolites six times lower than children eating conventional
The FDA regulations of how much pesticides are safe for consumption is based on what is safe for a 20 year old
male to consume. Women and childrens bodies are much more suceptible, why does the FDA have standards that have
not been proven to be safe for women and children?
What do you need:
Common misconceptions of vegetarian diets is that people
think they are low in certain essential vitamins, which is a myth. In fact many vegetarians have higher levels of essential
vitamins and minnerals because they watch what they eat and have their reccomended serving of fruits and vegetables
a day. Meat is actually very low on the vitamin scale, most of these are found in plants, and anything found in meat
is easilly replaced. Here are commonly found foods of interest to help include in your diet, foods with really
high levels of something I have listed as a good source (though all the foods listed are good, healthy options to mix into
Iron: Iron is found in SO many foods people most people really do not realize, iron is
found in some amount in about 70% of the foods we consume. High iron foods are harder to find but throughout the day
it is easy to get the reccomended amount. When consuming high iron foods or supplements you may want to avoid dairy prducts
as calcium and iron work as opposites and slow absorption down.
Iron is found in different levels in:
beans (chick, kidney, pinto, etc- good souce)
Spinach (good source)
Cereals (good scouce)
Unsulphered blackstrap mollassas (good source, however Non-backstrap mollassas has significantly
lower levels of iron)
Frozen mixed fruits and mixed vegetables (such as green beens but not carrots)
Bagels (depending on brand)
Brown rice (good source)
vitamin water (good source- a healthy alternative to soda pop)
Purple grape juice
noodles/pasta (pasta is enriched with certain vitamins and iron)
many premade veggie foods (such as chik patties, veggie dogs and burgers-good source)
Natual peanut butter
Sweet Potatoes/Yams (good source)
Various types of crackers
Tofu (good source)
and so much more.
cereals (good source)
Vitamin water (good source)
Some premade veggie foods (such as chik patties, veggie dogs, and burgers)
Eggs (brands such as egglands best are good sources)
Spirulina, (an algae) nori,(a seaweed) and miso (found in various drinks
and foods, especially asian)
nutritional yeast (good source)
fortified soy milk (good source)
Some vitamin B12 appears to be found in organically grown plants, but in extremely small amounts.
Soy and ALL soy products (including premade veggie foods like burgers and veggie dogs and tofu-
eggs (good source)
Whole wheat bread
beans (kidney, pinto, ect.- good source)
Asparagus (good source)
Bamboo shoots (good source)
Broccoli (good source)
Cauliflower (good source)
Spinach (good source)
and much more.
Calcium: Calcium is is a mineral, it is found in chalk, rocks, bones, milk, seashells
and plants as well. While calcium is found in dairy products it is a large misconception that dairy is a great source
of calcium. (A nice marketing ploy to make money though) Unfortunatly protien significantly slows and blocks the absorption
of calcium. Dairy products are so high in protein that very little calcium is absorbed at all hence why I recomend dairy
but not as your primary source.
You can find calcium in:
Calcium juice (good source)
Asparagus (good source)
tofu (good source)
Rutabagas (good source)
and many more.
Choosing a Multi-Vitamin
Weather or not you are vegetarian many people take multi-vitamins to supplement their diet,
in todays busy age where most meals are cooked in a microwave instead of on a stove and fresh fruits and veggies are often
rejected for candy or chips multi-vitamins are important. When choosing a multi-vitamin be sure to read the label to look
for the essential vitamins you need, plus minnerals. Look for the source of the vitamins, vitamins derived from natural
sources are more easily absorbed then synthetic ones, as well liquid vitamins are also more easily absorbed by the body and
avoid having to choke down over sized pills.
Be sure what you need, many multi-vitamins advertised as womens/mens/childrens vitamins
specify on a small group of vitamins and don't cover the wide range basic multi-vitamins do. If you arn't sure which
vitamin to choose go for a general vitamin that covers the widest range of vitamins, minerals and other essential nutrients.
Also sometimes a vitamin will offer 2 options: 1 will have iron but less B vitamins and no B-12, the other would have
lots of B vitamins including B12 but no Iron. If you are low in iron be sure to choose the iron vitamin, however if you are
unsure choose the vitamin with the B12. Iron is found in many more foods and easier to add into your diet then B12 is, as
well a human can over dose on iron as it can build up in your body.
Read the label and look to see if they are capsuals, chewables, gummies, or gel tabs (such as
vitamin E often comes in) gel tabs and gummies always have geletain, usually made out of animal products. Many labels will specify
what the gel tabs are derived from or if the are vegetarian safe as some are, when in doubt avoid them as most are geletain.
But even chewable multi-vitamins sometiems ave geletain so read the labels carefully. As well look for the sweetener source.
Even adult vitamins are sweetened usually and will contain artificial sweeteners which you may choose to avoid. Reading labels,
shoping at natural food stores, or choosing a liquid vitamin will help you avoid any unwanted ingredients.
Aldo applesauce, much ado about aldo, aldo peanut butter,
aldo ice cream: Johanna hurwitz. series about a vegetarian boy in new your who moves to a small town school where
people think he is weird.
I Eat Vegetables: Hannah Tofts. A very simple book
for small children with large colour photos of different vegetables.
Twas The Night Before Thanksgiving: Dave Pilkey.
story of eight school children who rescue eight turkeys from Farmer Mack Nugget on Thanks-giving
Herb the Vegetarian Dragon: Jules
Bass and Debbie Harter. Herb stands out from his fellow carnivorous dragons by being a vegetarian! He brings peace to the
forest of Nogard where dragons and people learn live together in harmony (also see cooking with hernb the vegetarian
dragon by the same author)
Farmer Duck: MARTIN
WADDELL. A poor duck is overworked by a lazy farmer until the duck's farm friends revolt against the exploitative
(also see his other books the pig in the pond, Can't
You Sleep, Little Bear, and Can't You Sleep, Little Bear which encourage being unique, understanding, and good family
Baa humbug! A sheep with a mind of
his own: Mike Jolley and Deborah Allwright a story of a sheep who is not afraid to be different. He doesn't
like sheep dip or being sheared and saves his friends from becoming lamb chops!
Cows Are Vegetarians
by Ann Bradley. The first book written for vegetarian kids that demonstrates through easy to understand language the powerful
and positive reasons for being a vegetarian. It explores the choice to become a vegetarian and how this choice has an effect
on the environment, the animals, and health.
A Turkey for Thanksgiving:
Eve Bunting. Mrs. moose wants a turkey for thanksgiving dinner so mr. moose sets out to find one. They find Turkey hiding
in his nest, surrounded by signs that discourage visitors. Mr. Moose consoles the terrified bird who is thrilled
to discover that Mrs. Moose wants him at her table, not on it.
The Organic Adventures
of Tucker the Tomato: Rey Ortega the story of a darling young tomato who falls off an organic produce truck and tries
to find his way back to his friends at a natural foods store. Along his journey, he learns about the differences between himself
and conventional tomatoes. Printed with no animal products.
Benji Bean Sprout: Sarah
Rudy. A story about benji a vegetarian as he trys to understand why he's different and help his peers understand also.
She’s Wearing a Dead Bird on Her Head!:
Kathryn Lasky; A children’s version of the true story of the two women that founded the Massachusetts Audubon Society
in 1896. Minna and Harriet are appalled by the use of birds as fashion for ladies’ hats and set out to change things. Minna
and Harriet make it clear that no bird should be killed, including for sport and for food.
To Market, To Market: Anne Miranda;
A play on the traditional nursery rhyme about going to the market "to buy a fat pig." In this story, a elderly woman
makes repeated trips out shopping returning each time with what is usually a "food animal." The animals make themselves at
home then the woman and animals return to the grocery store to buy lots of vegetables for soup.
The Deer in the Wood: Laura Ingalls
Wilder; Adapted from the Little House series. Pa explains to Laura and Mary why he couldn't kill the deer when he went
into the woods to bring home meat for supper. A very gentle book for even the very young, as Laura and Mary say, "I'm glad
you didn't shoot them. We can have bread and butter!"
Deliverance of the Dancing Bears:by
Elizabeth Stanley. set in Turkey where, historically, bears were made to "dance" in the town square for coins. A dancing
bear spends her days dreaming of being able to fish in the streams and cuddle with her cubs, while a noble peasant hopes to
free bears such as her.
Bob and Shirley: Harriet Ziefert.
Based on the true story of two lobsters who were returned to the sea after people protested the sale of these especially large
lobsters. The story describes how Bob and Shirley were caught by fishermen, transported to a seafood shop, but ultimately
put into a display tank because of their large size.
Victor, the Vegetarian: Saving the Little
Lambs: Radha Vignola; the story of a boy on a farm realizing that the animals he loves are ultimately destined for
the dinner table. He runs away with his two favorite lambs so that his father won't turn them into pork chops.
(also see more books by this author in this series
such as Victor's Picnic with the Vegetarian Animals)
The Lady and the Spider: Faith
McNulty. A tale of a compasionate woman, a head of lettuce, and the spider who inhabits it.
Serendipity: Stephen Cosgrove;
Story of an aquatic, dragon-type creature, who goes in search of "what she is." On the way She encounters a trapped
dolphin, Ocean pollution and more as she protects the sea.
The Gnats of Knotty Pine: Bill
Peet. A clever tale of how on the first day of hunting season the gnats foil the hunters attempts. After being scoffed at
by all the larger animals, the gnats prove that in numbers that have the power to make a change.
Crocodile Smile (book and tape):
Sarah Weeks. Songs from the animals point of view.
Hunter and His Dog: Brian Wildsmith. A hunter learns compassion with the help of his dog. (also
see this authors other books like If I Were You, about animals in the zoo who want to be free.)
Circuses.com will send you a free comic book about elephants in the circus.
FOR TEENS & ADULTS
Organic Baby and
Toddler Cookbook - Lizzie Van
The pig who sang to the
moon and When elephants weep: Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson insight into the feelings of farm animals
and wild animals and the life they lead.
Slaughterhouse: The Shocking Story of Greed, Neglect, and Inhumane
Treatment Inside the U.S. Meat Industry - Gail A. Eisnitz
The Food Revolution: How Your Diet Can Help Save Your Life and
Our World - John Robbins
The Parrot's Lament : And Other True Tales of Animal Intrigue,
Intelligence, and Ingenuity - Eugene Linden Also see his other book The Octopus and the Orangutan.
Among Meat Eaters: The Vegetarian's Survival Handbook - Carol J. Adams
MAD COWBOY: Plain Truth from the
Cattle Rancher Who Won't Eat Meat - Howard F. Lyman
Animal Equality : Language and Liberation
- Joan Dunayer
Animal Farm - George Orwell 1984
Meatless meals for working people - Debra Wesserman.
Quick veggie meals for busy people.
Crafts, games and toys.
- Make and color your own book about why not to eat meat. Especially
good for toddlers who don't understand complicated reasons. Use happy/sad faces, speak about emotions, and loving animals.
- buy fruit and vegetable puzzles. these are relativaly easy to find
and also encourages acceptance of a varriety of foods.
- Mellissa and Doug 'cutting food box' & 'play food set' contains
fruits, veggies, and grains. all wodden and cuttable with velcro.
- Many other companies make veggie/fruit toy food sets only also such
- fruit scented markers make coloring fun.
- Buy puppets or stuffed toy cows, pigs, sheep, and chicken along
with the teddy bear.
- Mommy & Me Pots of Fun. Mommy and
me brand toys for infants, Toy soup bowl and cup for infants with radish, cabage, and carrots.
- Kind Kids flashcards: Flashcards full of animal facts from ants
to chickens. Avalible at PETA's website
- Food from game (especially nice for city children) Get a piece of
posterboard and draw a farm/outdoor setting. Such as vines, trees, bushes, and dirt. then on cunstruction paper cut out fruits
ond veggies. Put double sided tape on the back of them and have children stick them onto where they grow (aka grapes on vines
potatoes in the dirt)
- Zoobooks are great books with animals from around the world and intruging facts about
Videos, Games, and Music
Shark tale (on dvd) from dreamworks
entertainment, featuring the voices of jack black and will smith this is a story of a fish and his vegetarian shark friend.
The shark saves fellow sea life and convinces his family its ok to be different.
Babe: the story of a pig who is saved from the chopping block and proves the he (and
the other animals) are really smart
Chicken run: when they realize they are destened for dinner, mrs. tweeds chickens decide
Open Season: All Fur One and One Fur All: This will be in theaters soon. ABout a bear and a
deer who unite the forest to chase off the hunters.
Baby gourmet-The first course. For infants: animals, children, and puppets introduce your
little one to a wide range of fruits, veggies and some dairy set to classical music. (first course only is vegetarian safe)
'Apples and Oranges' by Bob Pyle. A musical CD for children with songs about factory farming,
seaweed, mangos, pigs and other 'gentle creatures', in a animal rights and healthy eatting songs.
Charlottes web (book and video) a little girl who befriends a pig and a pig who befriends
The animal train-an animated cartoon based on the book 'Hey! get off our train'. about
a boy and his dog who rescue endangered animals from pollution and hunters.
- also tune into vegtv for recipies on your tv box.
Whiplash: for PS2 (you and your buddy just broke free from your cage and escape from the
lab..except you are chained together)
Steer Maddness: computer game. Steer who escapes the slaughter must rescue others.
Potato Head Saves Veggie Valley: computer game. Veggie valley is having a drought, Mr. potato head and his daughter
go to the vegetable fair to collect a cloud. not vegan (as it has cream pies) but no animal products, and they even teach
not to step on bugs.
Harvest Moon: playstation, nintendo and game cube. You inherit a farm and must help it
grow, choose only to grow vegetables or add sheep for wool and chickens and cows for milk or eggs. Choose weather to farm
the old fashioned way or upgrade to newer ways. Start a family and teach them to farm also. (not you do have the option to
go fishing in this game but this is only an option)
Healthy Cooking Options
To get the most of what you eat and ensure lots of vitamins and minerals
try these options when cooking.
Eat vegetables raw or steam them if you must cook them
Use and buy whole grains, such as whole wheat bread, whole
wheat crackers or bran muffins. Be sure to look for "WHOLE" wheat as the main ingredient, not just wheat. lots of wheat
breads ad white wheat flour as filler instead of whole wheat.
Use applesauce in cookies or other baked goods
Use dark lettuces instead of iceburg lettuce, also try adding
spinach and dandelion greens.
Leave the peels on. If you buy organic you mostly don't have
to worry about peeling your fruits or veggies, simply wash them off and cook/eat them. The peel conains a lot more vitamins
Eat the seeds. The seeds of fruits and veggies actually have
more vitamins and minerals then any other part (after all it is the part that is going to spring new life) some seeds we can
eat, such as sunflower seeds, tomatoes or grapes, others are body cannot digest in its solid form. Try grinding up seeds (such
as apple seeds) in a spice grinder or profesional strength blender. Add them immedietly to soups, smoothies or sprinkle on
salads with seasonings.
Use Molasses instead of sugar. (you may need to add more, be
sure to taste it)
Add Avacado throw it in salads, put it on sandwiches, make
it into a dip.
Mash Rutabegas instead of potatoes or mash them in with your potatoes.
Cook with olive oil: Olive oil, is one of the healthiest
oils and easiest to cook with. It supplies healthy unsaturated fat we need, its rich in anti-oxidants, and
unlike "Canola oil" it is made with high quality ingredients. Canola oil is actually made from extremly low grade cottonseed
or rapeseed oils which barley pass as consumable for humans. Rapeseed oil was invented and used for many years in manufacturing
or fuels and lubricants, it has hydrogenated fats and it is very
high in sulphur.
Method Cleaning products: all natural, no harmful fumes, biodegradable, not tested on animals/no animal products,
avalible at target and bed, bath and beyond stores.
Earth Friendly Products: Dish soap, laundry detergent, floor cleaners, animal care products, and more.
biodgradable, not tested on animals/no animal ingredients.
*For more vegan cleaning and beauty products see the resources