Vegan Deli

Vegan Deli  by Jo Stepaniak

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Raising Vegetarian Children
by Jo Stepaniak, M.S.Ed., & Vesanto Melina M.S., R.D.

Raising Vegetarian Children

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Do you have questions about being vegan? Send them to Jo using this easy form. She would be happy to address your individual concerns as well as general inquiries about vegan ethics, philosophy, practical applications, and living compassionately. Jo cannot respond to questions about nutrition or answer questions that have already been addressed in the Archives

Jo will make every attempt to answer each question personally, however, due to her schedule, this may not be possible. If a reply is forthcoming, it could take up to a few weeks, so please be patient. It is also possible that your question will be answered directly in the "Ask Jo!" column rather than an individual response.

If you'd like to view previous questions Jo has answered, visit the Ask Jo! Archives.

Animals Products in Plastic?

question.gif - 1.4 K I recently read a meat industry piece that claimed that plastics are produced in part from animal by-products. If this is true, it leaves me wondering about polyester, vinyl, and other animal fabric substitutes. Could you shed some light on this please?

answer.gif - 1.3 K Plastics refer to any group of synthetic or natural organic materials that can be molded, cast, extruded, drawn, or laminated into films, filaments, or objects. The production of various plastics entails a complex chemical process that typically includes petroleum along with many types of resins, resinoids, polymers, cellulose derivatives, proteins, and casein materials. Casein, a regenerated protein derived from cow's milk, may be combined with formaldehyde to form casein-formaldehyde. It may also be combined with renin, an enzyme obtained from the stomach lining of animals, to create rennet-casein.

These animal by-products are not used in the manufacture of all plastics and, when viewed as a percentage of the whole, they comprise an infinitesimal part of the constituents used in the overall production of plastics. The financial bearing these by-products have on the animal slaughter industries is negligible and inconsequential. In addition, it would be virtually impossible to participate in modern life without encountering some commodity that contains at least a modicum of animal products or derivatives.

Because there are no perfect alternatives for every animal-based item, vegans must choose to tread as lightly as possible by selecting the most compassionate choices available. The amount of animal ingredients used in some plastics is trifling when compared with true animal commodities, such as leather, wool, or down, which directly fuel the continual slaughter of animals. After a while, it becomes exhausting and nonsensical to dissect the microscopic elements of our lives and rifle through every last belonging in search of the elusive animal ingredient. What would be the point? Purity? Consonance? Moral righteousness?

As vegans, we must confront the fact that our world, our options, and even our own actions are fallible. As much as we may want to be fastidious in our elimination of animal-based commodities, there are realistic considerations that make this impractical. From the perspective of compassion, economic impact, and the ability to inspire change and create a demand for genuinely humane products, our present-day substitutes, despite their drawbacks, are far superior to commodities that represent obvious suffering and death.




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Vegan Vittles:
Second Helpings

Vegan Vittles: Second Helpings by Jo Stepaniak

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The Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook

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Review by Dan Balogh

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The Food Allergy
Survival Guide

The Food Allergy Survival Guide

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