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It’s a scary world we live in.

It’s scary because instead of learning how to help their neighbors and the satisfaction of manual labor, young adults are obsessing over money and fighting for top ranks in YouTube, the Kindle store, and on blogs.

It’s scary because Internet anonymity makes it easier than ever to blast other people with strong opinions  – and not have to listen to the other side, thereby learning to be more compassionate and less judgmental.

It’s scary because of how religion has become a stumbling block to people knowing their Creator…including most of the people who claim a relationship with God.

It’s scary because only a relative handful of wealthy Westerners regularly help poor people with food or money. An even smaller number actually spend at least part of their lives in the trenches with the poor.

It’s scary because young people think they know better than their elders, and refuse their wisdom.

It’s scary because so many things that have become part of mainstream culture and so considered “normal”, even “good”, actually yank people’s freedom away from them.

It’s scary because the U.S. military has decided to play God, filling the air we breathe with toxins in an attempt to modify the weather.

It’s scary because of the persistent, insidious double-standard between men and women that should have been abolished long ago.

It’s scary because people think you have to kill animals in order to get enough protein to be healthy.

It’s scary because the food and drug corporations care more about their bottom lines than about people’s health.

It’s scary because many people don’t know that sex trafficking actually exists in the United States.

It’s scary because many people don’t know that most bananas are grown by slaves.

It’s scary because people regularly blame genetics, rather than diet and lifestyle, for their diseases.

This world is full of war, abuse, selfishness, indifference, injustice, and disease. But that’s not why I am frightened for our planet’s future. I am frightened because so many of the people who could fight for  justice – along with the rights of all animals, including “human” animals – do nothing.

They have the money. They have the resources. They could contact the right people.

But they are either tired, indifferent, or ignorant.

Thus, this blog…and my YouTube channel

I have been all three on some level for much of my life – although not necessarily all at once. That was even after having developed a passion, as a young person, to help sexually abused women and the poor. Like most people who will read this article, the stress and pressures of the conventional, mainstream life got in my way.

No more. As I set up this blog, I am in late forties, and I am determined to pick up the cause that God planted in my heart so many years ago. The cause for health and freedom for humanity.

Yes, I am a vegan, and yes, that means that I believe that using animals for nutrients and products that we can easily obtain by other means is not ethical. But there are plenty of other bloggers and YouTubers out there decrying the abuses of factory farms, and otherwise standing up for animal rights.

Besides, my personal passion is for the “human” animals, particularly women and children, and the poor in general. I have decided, in the autumn of my life, to become a vegan human rights activist.

The purpose of this blog, and my YouTube channel

My goal is threefold: first, to educate as many people as I can about the various kinds of human injustices, the many breeches to life and freedom that occur in our world thanks to the wealthy who continually vie for more money and power. Second, I hope to motivate my blog readers and YouTube viewers to take up the cause with me, to reach into their wallets and help charitable organizations to fight for human rights.

Your next steps

  1.  If you are not already vegan, consider joining the movement. Watch this video, and read this article and this one to learn why (and why there is no such thing as “humanely raised” meat).
  2. Subscribe to my YouTube channel – and watch every video that I produce. Also, if you watch any streaming ads that come on before or during the video, the money I get from the ads helps to pay for my online overhead.
  3. Subscribe to this blog by filling in the form at the top of the sidebar. I personally do not get your e-mail when you do thisit is only a way to subscribe to the blog’s feed and get updates automatically sent to your inbox.
  4. Share this article with everyone you know.

Thank you, and see you soon. 🙂

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Today I want to share three nutrition books that I wish had been around when I first went vegan. If they had, and I had bought and read them, I probably would never have strayed from that healthy eating path. Yes, I have embarked upon a vegan diet twice before, and eventually quit both times. And it isn’t just me. There are many former vegans out there, and many of them are like I was, wishing they could have made the diet work but continuing to eat animal products because they feel better that way.

That’s not because there is something inherently wrong with a vegan diet. It’s because people lack the knowledge to A, tweak the diet in a way that suits their biochemical, and B, people lack the nutritional knowledge they need to thrive on a vegan diet.

The fact is, there are many long-term vegans out there, and many more people than ever who have transitioned to a vegan diet in the past few years – even transitioned their family into that eating lifestyle – who feel great. One of the reasons is that during the past twenty years to thirty years, nutrition scientists finally know enough about nutrition that health experts have been able to figure out how to craft a diet free of animal products that provides all the macronutrients and micronutrients that the human body needs.

First book: The World’s Healthiest Foods

Probably the best book out there that focuses on the nutrition of various foods, using these findings, is The World’s Healthiest Foods by George Mateljan. You really don’t need the book nowadays; all of the information that is in his book, and more, is at his website whfoods.com. Website or book, it is my go-to for finding out the nutrients in a certain food, what foods are high in specific nutrients, the function of any particular nutrient in the body, and the symptoms that commonly manifest when there is a deficiency in that nutrient.

It helps me on occasions when I hear someone claim that you can live on bananas. I flip to the page that contains the nutritional information about bananas and find that you would have to eat more than 5,000 calories worth of the fruit every day to meet the entire spectrum of your nutritional needs. The book came in real handy recently  when I needed to find vegan food sources for zinc besides grains (that would be sunflower, sesame, and pumpkin seeds, by the way).

The book does not list every single food that there is, but the top 100 foods that are both nutritionally dense and easily found at most any grocery store. It is not a vegan book, including nutrition information on a variety of animal products, but that is no reason to shun it. Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water. Remember you can save yourself a hefty chunk of change and simply peruse the website at whfoods.com.

Second book: Vegan For Life

The other two books that I believe should be on every vegan’s bookshelf, whether literal or digital, are strictly about vegan nutrition. Vegan for Life was written by two vegan registered dieticians, Jack Norris and Virginia Messina. While I don’t agree with everything they say in the book, it is a great resource for any vegan who wants to get grounded in the foundation of healthy vegan eating, from where to get the various nutrients that vegans often become deficient in, to compelling evidence that most nutritional research has supported the healthfulness of a plant-based diet.

I said a moment ago that I don’t agree with everything the authors say. My main criticism of the book is that they imply that to eat a whole-foods vegan diet is difficult, and if you want people who are currently eating meat to be more open to veganism you need to let them eat convenience foods – as long as, of course, some of those foods are fortified with vitamins B12 and D. I’ll talk more about whole foods veganism in a future post, but right now, suffice to say that eating a whole foods diet, whether it includes animal products or not, is not rocket science and does not need to take a lot of time out of your day. Vegan cheeses, fake meats, and fortified dried cereals are never good substitutes for real food.

The third book: Raw Food Nutrition Handbook

The third book I want to recommend, although written for raw food enthusiasts, can be helpful to anyone who wants to be healthy on a vegan diet. The title is Raw Food Nutrition Handbook by chiropractor and very long-term raw foodist, Karin Dina. The reason I want you to consider reading this book even if you have every intention of eating mostly cooked food is twofold. First, whereas the previous book, Vegan for Life, only focuses on a few micronutrients, Dr. Dina’s book goes through all of the known vitamins and minerals, as well as some of the known phytonutrients. She explains what they do in the body, and how to best get them on a vegan diet, particularly, of course, a raw vegan diet. For each nutrient, she also compares how much of it various fruits and vegetables contain.

One of the most fun parts of the book is the section on protein, which was actually written by her husband, Rick. In that chapter he proves that a nutritionally-balanced raw vegan diet (or a whole foods vegan diet in general)is actually superior in protein and amino acid content compared to the World Health Organization recommendations. If you are often asked the question, “Where do you get your protein?”, this book will give you an abundance of ammunition against the idea that meat provides the “best” protein.

The author busts other myths as well, such as, “It’s hard to get enough iron on a vegan diet,” the theory of food combining, and the idea that plant enzymes help with human digestion.

I also appreciate that Dr. Dina expresses her belief that not everybody should shoot for a 100% raw vegan diet, and provides menu samples for several versions of a raw vegan diet, including one that is 80% raw and 20% cooked.

My only real issue with the book is that it implies that you cannot be healthy on a raw vegan diet unless you consume more than ten cups of raw greens per day. She seems to be a purist, not allowing for the use of whole-food supplements or raw green powders. She doesn’t allow for the possibility of a diet that consists of more than 15% fat, thereby excluding seeds as a source of minerals.

On the other hand, unlike many raw food book authors, she does admit that for many people, some types of greens are difficult to digest when raw and are therefore better consumed steamed for five minutes.

Of the three books, I can’t really point to one as my favorite. Being a raw foodist myself (80%), and believing in the power of a whole foods diet, I prefer Raw Nutrition Handbook to Vegan For Life. But both are great resources for would-be long-term vegans, raw or not. And The World’s Healthiest Foods is a no-brainer for anyone serious about their health.

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I am an American through-and-through. I’ve been called to jury duty probably a half dozen times in my adult life, and served twice. I’ve only been to Europe for a total of five weeks in my entire life.

But right now, I’m a whole lot happier with Antonio Tajani, the Italian president of the European Union, than I am with Donald Trump. Why? First, watch the following video.

Why I like Tajani

Oh, yeah. Go, Poland! Seriously. Seriously? When I heard this on a podcast that comes out of Spain, I was shocked. Not shocked that a man exists who still thinks like this – heaven help me, I live in the “good ol’ boy” South – but shocked that a man who thinks like this was elected to be a representative in the European Union.

To serve alongside many women representatives.

In the future on this blog, I will talk in much more detail about the suppression of women, the double standard, and other related feminist issues. For right now, let it be known that if something tragic were happen to Janusz Korwin-Mikke’s private parts, I would not feel one bit sorry for him. Not. A. Bit.

A few days later, on the same Spanish podcast, I heard Tajani announce his decision about Korwin-Mikke’s male chauvinist pig remarks. You can hear him say it for yourself in the video below, but basically, he said that Korwin-Mikke was going to be suspended from his position and fined.

Why Trump’s billions don’t amount to anything in my mind

Trump cares more about money than about human rights. That shouldn’t surprise anybody, really. Donald Trump has become analogous with raking in the dough, both in the United States and overseas.

But I suppose I am not alone in my Pollyanna hope that perhaps being elected President would help him have a bit of a broader view of the world.

It hasn’t. Since Jimmy Carter’s push to improve the human condition abroad while he was President, Trump is the first Head Dude to blatantly disregard human rights issues overseas. He didn’t even show up at the Inter-American Commission On Human Rights this year.

Let China treat their employees in any deplorable way they want, as long as we can somehow eek out more money from them via trade agreements and political dog-and-pony shows. Let children continue to be allowed to mine for gold and cobalt in African countries. Cheap labor for cheap goods, so we can have as many of them as we want. It’s the American way!

The least Trump can do is overturn the individual mandate in Obamacare. But as much as I want him to do that, even if he does, if he continues to consider money more important than people, I will continue to like the president of the E.U. better.

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Advocates of Raw Veganism, a diet where nothing is consumed except uncooked raw plant foods, claim that it is the healthiest diet. Is it?

First, we need to define what the healthiest diet would do for somebody. In many people’s minds, including mine, the healthiest diet would reduce incidences of colds and flus to almost nothing, dramatically decrease the risk of developing chronic or degenerative diseases, and, barring tragic accidents, allow anyone following the diet to live until at least the age of 100 with mind and body still intact.

With that in mind, let me play the devil’s advocate and look at a couple of the earliest raw foodists. If you are already into raw food veganism, you have undoubtedly heard of Ann Wigmore, one of the great pioneers in the raw food movement. She died at age eighty-five.

Then there is T.C. Fry. Heard of him? He is the pioneer in the fruitarian movement. He died at age 69 from a blood clot.

Doesn’t sound like a great track record, right? In fact, raw food skeptics use those kinds of stories to illustrate how unhealthy a 100% raw food diet is.

Well, what if I told you that Ann Wigmore died from smoke inhalation when her health institute caught fire? And that after being told by doctors that they didn’t expect him to live very long, T.C. Fry healed himself from a bad heart, obesity, and several other conditions of ill health in his mid-forties by going on a high-fruit, raw diet? Seems like his diet did a good bit for his body, which maybe could never fully recover from his previous illnesses. Not only that, but people who were close to him revealed post-mortem that he sometimes fell back into eating the standard Western diet.

Then there is the fact that until very recently, there has been very little information about how to be a healthy vegan, let alone a healthy raw vegan.

But even though there is much better information available now, and easily available via the Internet, most people who try a 100% raw food diet eventually quit. How can any diet with such high recidivism be truly healthy? Well, there are several possible reasons that people leave the eating lifestyle.

Number one, the purist gurus argue that you can get all the nutrition you need on a raw vegan diet…no matter what you diet consists of. Want to eat bananas all day? No problem! You’ll get all the vitamins and minerals your body needs without taking any supplements.

In other words, they completely ignore what is known about the human body’s nutritional needs as well as the widely varying range of nutrients in different foods. If you want to be healthy on any kind of diet, you need to provide your body with all the macronutrients and micronutrients that it needs on a daily basis. But many people believe the gurus, then when they start to feel not so great they come to believe that raw veganism is the problem, and quit.

Then there is the whole vitamin B12 issue. I am going to dedicate an entire video to that completely, but right now I am going to say this: any kind of vegan (and many non-vegans, as well, when it comes down to it) needs to take a B12 supplement.

For an entire year, I consumed nothing but raw fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. One year, then I began adding meat back into my diet. Why? Six months into the gig, I started developing symptoms of Alzheimer’s. Six months. I trudged on for another six months, and when the struggle to think of basic, everyday words only got worse, I added meat back into my diet and my mind started working again. I didn’t know it then, but I had developed a B12 deficiency.

And I’m not the only one. Author and former raw vegan Susan Schenck went for six years before her memory had fallen apart to the point that she went back to eating animal products. All because she was led to believe that she could get all the B12 she needed on a raw vegan diet.

So purists gurus with no background in nutrition screwing up other people’s lives with their misinformation is one reason people leave 100% raw veganism. A second reason is fiber. If you eat a 100% raw food diet, you are not allowed to cook even the tough, fibrous leafy green vegetables. This is fine if you have a strong digestive system as some raw food YouTubers seem to have, being able to chew and swallow several pounds of dark, leafy greens at one sitting. Of course, you need a of time to be able to chew food like that properly in order to get the nutrition out of it.

But what if your digestive system doesn’t handle that much fiber very well? Or what if you simply don’t want to spend hours of your life every day chewing raw kale and raw Swiss chard?

The glib, common answer is to drink green smoothies. Sure, using a high-speed blender will break down the fiber to the extent that most people can handle it. But frankly, to put enough greens in a smoothie to get enough of the vitamins and minerals you need to have optimum health on a raw vegan diet, you have to force yourself to get used to some pretty strong tastes. Give me three cups of steamed kale with coconut oil and a sprinkling of salt over a banana-kale smoothie any day. And I’m speaking as a person who made herself to drink two dark, leafy green smoothies every day for a year.

But most people aren’t as strong-willed as I am. Most people who jump aboard the raw veganism bandwagon eat what tastes good to them, not what will provide them the nutrition they need. The third reason people leave 100% raw foodism is related. If you allowed yourself some cooked whole grains and/or cooked beans, you wouldn’t have to work so hard to get your nutrition from vegetables and seeds. Seeds are not evil in and of themselves, but raw foodists who tend to avoid the dark, leafy greens end up eating too much fat in the form of nuts and seeds to get their nutrition. If they included a cup or two of whole grains in their daily diet, along with a cup of sprouted and cooked beans, they would not have to work nearly as hard (or spend nearly as much money) to get the nutrition they need.

Bottom line: most people who become 100% raw do not stay 100% raw because the diet eventually fails them. That is not because the diet is inherently unhealthy or inferior to any other kind of diet. That is because the would-be raw food enthusiasts either don’t know how to get all the nutrition they need, or their body does not allow them to eat certain nutrient-dense foods, such as broccoli or collard greens, raw. Or, they try to follow a type of raw diet that goes against their biochemical needs and instead of trying to tweak it, they give up.

The answer to the first issue is obvious: get educated! Read The Raw Food Nutrition Handbook by Karin Dina. The answer to the second: don’t be a purist! If you need to eat some cooked brown rice to keep your blood sugar levels stable or because you can’t afford to eat fruit all day, or if you’re like me and cannot eat more than a handful of raw broccoli without gagging, then by all means, cook the food that you need to cook! As for the third issue, being ignorant of your biochemical needs, well, learn to listen to your body rather than the gurus who say that THEIR way is the only way.

But let’s go back to 100% raw vegan. Is it the healthiest diet? Followers of this eating lifestyle say that it is the way the original humans ate, so yes, it must be. While there is no scientific proof that nutrient-dense 100% raw veganism is superior to any other diet, many studies have born out the fact that eating plant foods in their raw states generally provides superior nutrition to produce that has been cooked. Long-term raw foodists who eat according to their individual biochemical needs report having more energy, improved sleep, and fewer viruses than they used to when they ate mostly cooked food. My opinion is that,  assuming that you are taking a B12 supplement and consuming enough dark, leafy greens in whatever form suits you to get the minerals you need, a 100% raw vegan diet could be the healthiest type for many people.

What if you don’t want to, or cannot, eat 100% raw? Remember that the preponderance of studies points to a whole-foods vegan diet as being the healthiest, whether raw or cooked. So if you are craving a quinoa and chickpea curry meal, or minestrone soup with whole grain bread; if you can’t stand green smoothies and can’t digest the dark, leafy greens without cooking them; I give you permission to get out your saucepan, get out your skillet, and cook to your heart’s delight. Just be sure you’re getting the nutrition you need.

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There are two main camps of health-conscious people. One insists that you cannot be healthy without consuming at least some animal products every day. The other insists that including animal products in your diet, especially the non-swimming animals, will eventually take a toll on your health. Is it any wonder people are confused about what constitutes a truly healthy diet?

Let me bring some clarification to the table by giving you some direct quotes from the book Vegan For Life by Jack Norris and Virginia Messina. Quote number one: “One analysis of five large studies showed that the risk of dying from heart disease was 24% lower for vegetarians compared with meat-eaters.” End quote.

If you hang out with the Paleo or Weston A. Price crowd for any length of time, you’ll hear claims that eating foods high in cholesterol can actually help to bring your blood cholesterol down. Besides the fact that that doesn’t even make sense, the numbers tell a different story. The National Cholesterol Education Program has found that both the total cholesterol and the levels of LDL cholesterol are notably lower for vegans than even for pescatarians, or people who consume a plant-based diet that includes fish and seafood. Omnivores, on the other hand, have the highest levels of total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol. And research bears out the fact that the lower your blood cholesterol level, the lower your rate of developing heart disease.

Study after study about high blood pressure has shown that vegans who eat healthy foods (as opposed to junk food vegans) have lower blood pressure and a greatly reduced risk of developing hypertension than meat-eaters. Research also reveals that people who refrain from consuming animal products have an overall lower body mass index than even semi-vegetarians, not to mention daily consumers of meat.

In addition, a recent study of Seventh Day Adventists shows that, and here I quote from the book again, “vegans were less than half as likely to have diabetes when compared with meat eaters.” End quote.

Vegans are less likely than meat-eaters to develop gallstones, renal stones, or intestinal problems. And vegetarians – not necessarily vegans – are less likely to develop dementia as they age.

What about cancer? For decades, vegans have enjoyed blaming the disease on meat. But is there hard evidence of that fact? Nope. Another quote from Vegan For Life: “A few studies have found that vegetarians have lower cancer rates compared to omnivores, but most haven’t shown any difference between the two groups.” End quote.

But don’t start celebrating yet, you Paleo and traditional foods eaters. Red and processed meats have been linked to a higher risk for colon and stomach cancer. Some studies suggest that teenage girls who eat meat have a higher risk of developing breast cancer later in life.

Although definitive evidence that vegans are much less likely to develop cancer than non-vegans has yet to be found, cancer experts have come to the conclusion that eating more fruits and vegetables and reducing animal fat in your diet are major elements that protect against the disease. Health-conscious vegans already have the advantage here.

In general, then, it would seem that a vegan diet – a <i>healthy, nutrient-dense vegan diet, that is – is, indeed, superior to a diet that includes any kind of animal products. But while I am convinced of the health benefits of replacing animal products with nutritious plant foods, and myself consume a vegan diet, I need to play devil’s advocate for a minute. I think it’s safe to say that most vegans are health-conscious people, and so do not consume much processed food. It’s also safe to say that most people who eat meat and eggs and drink milk are not all that health-conscious. I say that based on my own observations. Paleo and Weston A. Price enthusiasts, who tend to avoid processed foods and aim to eat more nutrient-dense foods than average, do not constitute the majority of the meat-eating population.

So, that leaves a huge, important question: all those studies that show that vegans have healthier hearts and a lower risk for a variety of diseases, is it really because they don’t eat meat, or is it because most meat-eaters eat potato chips instead of apples and canned corn instead of leafy green vegetables? In other words, could it be that the difference is not whether or not meat is in the diet, but whether or not the rest of the diet is healthy and nutrient-dense? Now, that’s a game changer.

Except for that one guy who sent Paleo diet guru Robb Wolf an e-mail which Wolf read on his podcast. Basically, the e-mailer said, “I’m doing everything right, not eating grains or processed foods and eating several pounds of meat a day. But I just got my blood work done and my cholesterol levels are through the roof!” Robb Wolf, I am sad to say and to the detriment of his deceived listener, blew the whole thing off. Other meat advocates would laugh it off, saying, “It was just that one guy.”

No, it wasn’t. There is nothing new under the sun, and if a high meat, high-cholesterol, high-saturated fat diet deteriorates the health of one person, it is deteriorating the health of many. Not all, necessarily, but enough. Too many. And the scary thing is, many people who get enthusiastic about a particular kind of eating lifestyle will never bother to have their blood work done because the guru said it was healthy, so it must be true.

Still, what are we to do with the question of whether eating meat per se is the cause of heart disease and other conditions of ill health? Is veganism the healthiest diet, or not?

Ethics aside, my personal opinion is that if you otherwise eat a nutrient-dense diet and choose to eat a few eggs a week or three ounces of lean meat a day, your body can probably handle it. The key is getting all the nutrition your body needs, and to do that you have to make sure you leave room for an abundance of nutrient-dense foods. The Paleo and Weston A. Price people can talk until they’re blue in the face, but the fact is that most meat-eaters, health conscious or not, are going to eat the not-nutrient-dense muscle meat most, if not all of the time, and avoid the nutritious organ meat like the plague.

As to determining the healthiest diet, it will be one which greatly lowers the risk of developing all manner of disease. For the moment, all we have to go on are imperfect studies (because no study is flawless), and the studies are on the side of not just a plant-based, but a vegan diet.

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Is MLM vegan? That’s a crazy question, isn’t it? But it is a pertinent one to those of us who claim to respect and have compassion for all life.

What is MLM?

There is a small chance that somebody who decides to read this article doesn’t know what MLM is. Multi-level marketing – also known as “network marketing” – is a business model in which a parent company signs up distributors (a euphemism for “sales person”) to talk about their products or services with the people that they know. Distributors are encouraged to “build a business”; i.e., get some of the people they know to sign up as distributors, who are to get some of the people they know to sign up as distributors, and so on, until the original distributor ends up with a large matrix of people underneath him.

In theory, everyone in that matrix is supposed to purchase a certain amount of product each month, and the distributor earns between three and ten percent of the monthly sales on his matrix. If that happened, this would mean a monthly passive income of thousands, even tens of thousands, of dollars.

Could it really be that easy?

In the following video, and then in the text below, I explain why “building a business” in MLM is not only NOT easy (and not really your own business!), but also why this business model is not vegan.

Before you go on, I need you to understand that I speak from personal experience. Having been part of one MLM company or another for at least eight years of my life, I have seen and heard firsthand the things I talk about in the video, and write about below.

(Please click on the video so that you can get to the YouTube page so you can share it with your online network.)

The veganism movement is promote respect and compassion for ALL animals – including the human ones! So, how does MLM disrespect people? Why is multi-level marketing not a vegan business model? Let me count the ways.

First way MLM isn’t vegan: Joining an MLM company is akin to enslaving yourself.

Contrary to what many MLM companies say outright in their “opportunity videos”, when you join one you do not own your own business. You become a distributor for the company, a pawn to help them make more money.

In other words, you put yourself in a place of being dominated, and this is wrong. Human beings are not supposed to dominate other human beings.

But let’s say you don’t mind working for another person, as long as you get your dues. Well, what happens when the company goes bankrupt? You say, “What are the chances of that happening?”

Uh, something like 90%! Most MLM companies don’t make it to the fifth year mark.

That said, don’t let longevity fool you. The very first MLM company I joined continually bragged about how they’d been in business for fifteen years, so they weren’t going anywhere. Two years later, POW! the company went bankrupt. And all the distributors who had a sizable matrix lost a lot of income. (I was already out of the company by that time and had only ever sponsored one person, so it didn’t hurt me one bit. It was the beginning of my skepticism toward the industry, however.)

Another problem with enslaving yourself to an MLM company is that if Corporate decides keeping track of matrices and commissions and bonuses is too much of a headache, it might wake up one morning and tell all their distributors that they are no longer distributors, but affiliates. This is as bad as bankruptcy, because the distributors lose their matrices the same as if the company had gone bankrupt.

Being a slave is not vegan. Therefore, joining an MLM company is not vegan.

Second way MLM isn’t vegan: Many company leaders lie.

I already mentioned one lie MLM companies perpetuate, that you are in business for yourself under the parent company. I don’t care how the I.R.S. treats your income; it’s not really your own business.

A second lie – almost exclusive to the nutrition and health-food companies – is, “Our products are the best!”

Baloney.

Most of the nutritional companies put junk ingredients in their products. That’s beside the fact that many – if not most – sell non-vegan products, whey protein being one of the most prominent.

In addition, you can go online or to most any health food store and find an equivalent product (perhaps with fewer junk ingredients) that will be less expensive. Because, obviously, MLM companies have to jack up their prices in order to pay out commissions and bonuses.

A third lie often heard in MLM circles: “You NEED our product.”

Let’s say they’re hawking an anti-oxidant juice and multi-nutrient capsules. So, eat at least seven servings of fruits and vegetables a day and take a (much less expensive) whole foods-based multi that you can buy from Amazon. You will get the anti-oxidants and nutrition you need without purchasing the MLM company’s product.

So, MLM company leaders lie. This is neither respectful nor compassionate, therefore not vegan.

Third way MLM isn’t vegan: The companies use deception and manipulation to grow their businesses.

I’ve already touched on one way in which MLM companies deceive: how they talk up their products. A second way is the emotional manipulation they use in their opportunity videos. They are purposely written and produced to make you number one, feel excited about the possibility of making money, and number two, make you feel left out for not already being a part of it. They manipulate you emotionally, in part, by deceiving you into thinking that “all you have to do” is sponsor three (or five or however many) people, and help them sponsor some people. In other words, they imply that building a business is easy.

Which it most certainly is not.

But that’s not the worst of it. The worst of it may be the way MLM companies train their distributors to approach other people about the product and business. Besides brainwashing them with the “we have the best” motto, they train them to manipulate conversations to their advantage.

Or, should I say, to the parent company’s advantage.

They train distributors not to answer questions directly, but to answer a question with a question. This is evasive, and evasiveness is always a ploy to either deceive, manipulate, or both.

They train distributors to take control of conversations so that they lead their friends, family, and acquaintances to talking about their finances or health challenges. Some companies teach their distributors to memorize scripts, that go something like this:

“I’m looking for five people who want to retire in two to five years. Do you know anybody?”

“I saw something the other day I’d really like your opinion about. Can you get online about seven o’clock, and I’ll call you and show you the video?”

And you’re not allowed to answer logical questions like, “Well, can you just give me the URL?” or, “What is this about, exactly?”

No. You’re supposed to lead them to the company’s emotionally manipulative video so that they will feel pressure to join.

Deceiving and manipulation go well beyond disrespect. They are not vegan ways to behave.

Fourth way that MLM isn’t vegan: unethical company practices.

Many MLMs use unrecyclable/non-biodegradable packing material to ship their products. They get their products from manufacturers that waste water, energy, and other natural resources; and which cause pollution.

And the unethical practices are not limited to the impact on the environment. Some companies carry products whose ingredients were derived, in part, by the help of slave labor or child labor.

You could sling any of those accusations, unfortunately, at a wide variety of companies, not just MLM. But why enslave yourself to an organization like that if you don’t have to?

To be unethical is to not think of the good of others, which is neither respectful nor compassionate. Therefore, MLM is not vegan.

Your next steps

  1. If you are already part of an MLM, think about my words and reasoning carefully and then follow your heart.
  2. I count on my blog readers and YouTube viewers to help me spread the information about how to make this world a friendlier, healthier, more compassionate place to live. So please share this post and/or the video with your online network (the share bar below makes it easy).
  3. Finally, if you have not yet done so, click here to subscribe to my Vegan Goodness YouTube channel so that you can get educated – and help others get educated – on how they can help their fellow humans live a healthier, freer life.
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