Raw Vegan for the animals, for the planet, for yourself

What is Raw Veganism?

Raw veganism is the combination of a vegan lifestyle with a raw food diet. Raw vegans aims to avoid animal suffering, reduce environmental impact, and optimize health. A raw vegan avoids all animal products, toxic chemicals, and processed foods.

When you embrace a raw vegan lifestyle, you’re not just just eating food – you’re nourishing your whole body, mind, and spirit. The earth provides us with everything we need to thrive!

How Does It Help?

Modern farming practices are not only cruel, but they take a heavy toll on the environment too. Industrial farming produces a significant amount of greenhouse gasses,[13] as well as toxic runoff that ends up in our food and drinking water.[12] This also leads to rapid soil erosion and degradation. Most agricultural land loses viable soil at a rate of 13-40 tons/ha/year.[18] Farming takes up a lot of resources. The U.S. meat industry maintains about 9 billion livestock per year. That’s roughly 5x the number of humans. Farming takes up 50% of U.S. landmass, uses 80% of fresh water, and 17% of the country’s fossil fuel energy.[17]

According to the author of Counting Animals“a vegetarian saves between 371 and 582 animals per year.” And The Vegan Calculator claims that “Each day, a person who eats a vegan diet saves 1,100 gallons of water, 45 pounds of grain, 30 sq ft of forest, 20 lbs CO2 equivalent, and one animal life.”

What are the benefits?

  • Not participating in the torture of innocent animals
  • Reduced environmental impact
  • Easy, natural weight loss or healthy weight management
  • Eliminate unhealthy food cravings
  • Improved digestion
  • Preventing or treating constipation
  • Preventing or treating nutrient deficiencies
  • Preventing or treating allergies and chronic illness
  • Boosted immunity
  • Improved brain health
  • Elevated mood
  • Mental clarity
  • Reduced inflammation and bloating
  • Lower cholesterol
  • Improved heart and cardiovascular health
  • Decreased risk of diseases like cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, heart attack, and stroke
  • Increased energy
  • Clearer skin
  • Youthful appearance
  • Regulating menstrual cycle
  • Improved reproductive health
  • Hormonal balance

Don't We Need Meat?

No! Meat and dairy, along with highly processed foods,[5] contribute to many of the world’s largest health epidemics, such as diabetes,[6] heart disease, and cancer.[7][8] Fortunately, this damage can be avoided and even reversed by simply eating an organic, well balanced, plant based diet.[9][10][11]

Although animal food sources allowed humans to survive and adapt in the past,[1][2][3] our bodies are still perfectly designed to extract all of our nutrients from plants.[2][3][4] There’s no need for us to harm animals anymore.

Don't We Need Cooking?

Chemically altering food by cooking and processing can reduce or eliminate its natural proteins, vitamins, antioxidants, digestive enzymes, and other nutrients.[20] Cooking also breaks down fiber. Fiber is important for a lot of reasons, like digestive and cardiovascular health, maintaining good gut bacteria, lowering cholesterol, managing weight, and controlling blood sugar.

What do raw vegans eat?

Raw vegan food is any food that comes from the earth and has not been chemically altered. The diet consists of fresh, frozen, or dried raw fruits and vegetables; nuts and seeds; and sprouted grains.  Some kitchen appliances, like blenders and dehydrators, may be used. Food may be warmed up to 115 degrees Fahrenheit, after which point the valuable nutrients may be destroyed by the heat.

Common Foods to Avoid:

  • Processed food
  • Cooked food
  • Refined sugar, flour, and oil
  • Table salt
  • Caffeine
  • Alcohol

Each raw foodist has his or her own set of preferences. Some may choose to avoid or include certain foods. Some eat only raw food, while others (like myself) may incorporate cooked food in their diet.

How Do I Get Started?

If you’re interested in trying raw veganism for yourself, you can start by stocking up on fresh fruits and vegetables. Remember that the key to success with a raw diet is eating a wide variety and abundance of fruits and vegetables! They will be the main staples of your diet, and you need to eat a lot of them to meet your daily nutritional needs. If you don’t already eat a lot of raw vegetables, you’ll want to add them to your diet little by little. This will help your body build up digestive enzymes and balance gut flora gradually. In addition to fruits and vegetables, you’ll want to stock up on nuts and seeds too. Some nuts, seeds, and grains need to be sprouted before they can be eaten. Check out my page on raw vegan pantry staples for more ideas. You can also check out my recommendations for helpful kitchen appliances. Start enjoying the benefits of raw veganism today!

Citations
  1. Gerbault Pascale, Liebert Anke, Itan Yuval, Powell Adam, Currat Mathias, Burger Joachim, Swallow Dallas M. ,and Thomas Mark G. Evolution of lactase persistence: an example of human niche construction. 366. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences.doi:10.1098/rstb.2010.0268.
  2. George J. Armelagos (2014) Brain Evolution, the Determinates of Food Choice, and the Omnivore’s Dilemma. Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, 54:10, 1330-1341, doi: 10.1080/10408398.2011.635817.
  3. Hladik, C.M. & Pasquet, P. The human adaptations to meat eating: a reappraisal. Human Evolution. (2002) 17: 199. doi:10.1007/BF02436371.
  4. Position of the American Dietetic Association: Vegetarian Diets. (2009). Journal of the AMERICAN DIETETIC ASSOCIATION, 109(7), 1266-1282. doi:10.1016/j.jada.2009.05.027.
  5. Monteiro, C., Levy, R., Claro, R., De Castro, I., & Cannon, G. (2010). Increasing consumption of ultra-processed foods and likely impact on human health: Evidence from Brazil. Public Health Nutrition, 14(1), 5-13. doi:10.1017/S1368980010003241.
  6. do Rosario, V. A., Fernandes, R., & Trindade, E. B. (2016). Vegetarian diets and gut microbiota: important shifts in markers of metabolism and cardiovascular disease. Nutrition Reviews, 7, 444–454. doi:10.1093/nutrit/nuw012.
  7. West R. (1994). Risk of death in meat and non-meat eaters. BMJ (Clinical research ed.), 309(6959), 955, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2541133.
  8. Tappel, A. (2007). Heme of consumed red meat can act as a catalyst of oxidative damage and could initiate colon, breast and prostate cancers, heart disease and other diseases. Medical Hypotheses, 68(3), 562-564. doi:10.1016/j.mehy.2006.08.025.
  9. C. B., MD, G. G., MD, J. D., MCS, M. G., MD, PHD, & M. F., MD. (2014). A way to reverse CAD? The Journal of Family Practice, 63(7), 356-364. http://dresselstyn.com/JFP_06307_Article1.pdf.
  10. Glick-Bauer, M., & Yeh, M. C. (2014). The health advantage of a vegan diet: exploring the gut microbiota connection. Nutrients6(11), 4822–4838. doi:10.3390/nu6114822.
  11. Popkin, B.M. Curr Diab Rep (2015) 15: 64. Nutrition Transition and the Global Diabetes Epidemic. doi:10.1007/s11892-015-0631-4.
  12. P.S. Hooda, A.C. Edwards, H.A. Anderson, A. Miller. (2000). A review of water quality concerns in livestock farming areas. Science of the Total Environment, 250(1-3), 143-167. doi:10.1016/S0048-9697(00)00373-9.
  13. J.P. Lesschen, M. van den Berg, H.J. Westhoek, H.P. Witzke, O. Oenema. (2011). Greenhouse gas emission profiles of European livestock sectors. Animal Feed Science and Technology, 166–167. 16-28. doi:10.1016/j.anifeedsci.2011.04.058.
  14. Erickson MC, Doyle MP. (2012). PLANT FOOD SAFETY ISSUES: LINKING PRODUCTION AGRICULTURE WITH ONE HEALTH. Institute of Medicine (US). Improving Food Safety Through a One Health Approach: Workshop Summary. National Academies Press (US); A3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK114507/.
  15. Bugianesi, R., Salucci, M., Leonardi, C. et al. (2004). Effect of domestic cooking on human bioavailability of naringenin, chlorogenic acid, lycopene and β-carotene in cherry tomatoes. European Journal of  Nutrition, 43(6), 360-366. doi:10.1007/s00394-004-0483-1.
  16. Yang, RY.; Tsou, SCS. (2006). Enhancing Iron Bioavailability of Vegetables through Proper Preparation−Principles and Applications. Journal of International cooperation. 107-109. http://www.moringanews.org/documents/ironD.pdf.
  17. Pimentel, D.;M. (2003). Sustainability of meat-based and plant-based diets and the environment. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 78(3). 660S–663S. https://doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/78.3.660S.
  18. Pimentel, D. & Kounang, N. (1998). Ecology of Soil Erosion in Ecosystems. Ecosystems. 1(5). 416-426. https://doi.org/10.1007/s100219900035.
  19. Wakabayashi, Keiji, et al. (1992). Food-Derived Mutagens and Carcinogens. American Association for Cancer Research. cancerres.aacrjournals.org/content/52/7_Supplement/2092s.short.
  20. Rickman, J., Barrett, D., Bruhn, C. (2007). Nutritional comparison of fresh, frozen, and canned fruits and vegetables. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture. 87. 930-944. http://ucce.ucdavis.edu/files/datastore/234-779.pdf.
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