For decades I had been on a trajectory toward veganism without realizing it. First I became convinced that vegetarianism made sense in a world where people were starving, since the production of animal protein is wasteful; but I still did a lot of backsliding until I started to be concerned about the welfare of the animals themselves. So I began the recommended three-step program of giving up eating "meat," that is, mammals, then birds, then fish ... except that I never got past the birds, really. So I kind of idled at being an ovolactopescevegetarian.

Then I learned about veganism, which extends the logic of ethical vegetarianism to not eating eggs or dairy, since the production of these involves just as much animal suffering and killing as does eating the animals. But I had one more hurdle in my way: the daunting prospect of having to prepare meals that were both nutritious and appetizing. I became a vegan at last when I figured out that it is all really quite simple.

Herein follows (click here) the illustrated guide to one man's easy veganism.

(In future you can just click on my picture.)

Enjoy! -- Joel Marks

Disclaimer: I am not a nutritionist, and so I am not speaking with any authority about whether the following diet is good for you (or me) or even healthy. I personally find that it "works for me," but even in my case it has only been a relatively short time. This looks like a helpful link about vegan health: click here. There is also this impressive statement from the American Dietetic Association:

It is the position of the American Dietetic Association that appropriately planned vegetarian diets, including total vegetarian or vegan diets, are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases. Well-planned vegetarian diets are appropriate for individuals during all stages of the life cycle, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, and adolescence, and for athletes. A vegetarian diet is defined as one that does not include meat (including fowl) or seafood, or products containing those foods. This article reviews the current data related to key nutrients for vegetarians including protein, n-3 fatty acids, iron, zinc, iodine, calcium, and vitamins D and B-12. A vegetarian diet can meet current recommendations for all of these nutrients. In some cases, supplements or fortified foods can provide useful amounts of important nutrients. An evidence-based review showed that vegetarian diets can be nutritionally adequate in pregnancy and result in positive maternal and infant health outcomes. The results of an evidence-based review showed that a vegetarian diet is associated with a lower risk of death from ischemic heart disease. Vegetarians also appear to have lower low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure, and lower rates of hypertension and type 2 diabetes than nonvegetarians. Furthermore, vegetarians tend to have a lower body mass index and lower overall cancer rates. Features of a vegetarian diet that may reduce risk of chronic disease include lower intakes of saturated fat and cholesterol and higher intakes of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, soy products, fiber, and phytochemicals. The variability of dietary practices among vegetarians makes individual assessment of dietary adequacy essential. In addition to assessing dietary adequacy, food and nutrition professionals can also play key roles in educating vegetarians about sources of specific nutrients, food purchase and preparation, and dietary modifications to meet their needs. ("Vegetarian Diets," Journal of the American Dietetic Association, Volume 109, Issue 7, Pages 1266-1282, July 2009)


I would like to credit my dear departed friend and colleague David Morris for championing the idea of easy marketing (that is, getting your ideas out there without worrying overmuch about the "production values").

Allan Saltzman taught me the way of relaxation.

Huibing He taught me the way of simplicity.

Many others taught me the way of veganism, who are duly recognized here.

Thanks also to my Web host, the inimitable toastworks.