something vegan - NEWS and thoughts from rancho vegano

got spinach? 

Spinach is a leafy green vegetable that has been recognized for its nutritional benefits for centuries. It is an excellent source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that can improve health and protect against a variety of diseases. In this blog, we will explore the nutritional benefits of spinach and why it should be a part of your daily diet.

High in Nutrients

Low in Calories

Rich in Antioxidants

Good for Heart Health

May Reduce the Risk of Cancer

May Improve Eye Health


Spinach is a versatile and nutrient-rich vegetable that offers many health benefits. Whether eaten raw in salads or cooked in soups and stews, spinach is an excellent addition to any diet. Its low-calorie count, high nutrient content, and potential health benefits make it a valuable component of a healthy lifestyle. Incorporate spinach into your meals today and enjoy its many nutritional benefits.

earth day - april 22!

Earth Day is celebrated annually on April 22nd to raise awareness about the importance of protecting our planet and its natural resources. As a vegan, you may already know that adopting a plant-based diet is one of the most effective ways to reduce your impact on the environment. In this blog post, we will explore some of the ways in which vegans can celebrate Earth Day and contribute to a more sustainable future.

Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

Animal agriculture is one of the leading causes of greenhouse gas emissions, deforestation, and water pollution. By adopting a plant-based diet, you can significantly reduce your carbon footprint and help to mitigate the effects of climate change. Studies have shown that a vegan diet can reduce your carbon footprint by up to 73%.

Support Local Farmers

Buying local, seasonal, and organic produce is not only good for your health but also for the environment. By supporting local farmers, you reduce the carbon emissions associated with transportation and support sustainable agriculture practices. You can also reduce waste by buying in bulk or bringing your reusable bags and containers to the farmers' market.

Reduce Food Waste

Food waste is a significant contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. When food waste is sent to landfills, it produces methane, a potent greenhouse gas that is 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide. As a vegan, you can reduce your food waste by planning your meals, buying only what you need, and using up leftovers creatively.

Reduce Plastic Waste

Plastic pollution is a growing concern for the environment. As a vegan, you can reduce your plastic waste by choosing products that are packaged in eco-friendly materials, bringing your reusable bags and containers to the grocery store, and avoiding single-use plastics such as straws, plastic cutlery, and water bottles.

Participate in Environmental Activities

Earth Day is a great opportunity to participate in environmental activities such as cleanups, tree planting, and community gardens. You can also educate others about the benefits of a plant-based diet and encourage them to adopt more sustainable practices.

In conclusion, Earth Day is a time to reflect on the impact that our actions have on the environment and to take steps to reduce our footprint. As a vegan, you can celebrate Earth Day by reducing your carbon footprint, supporting local farmers, reducing food and plastic waste, and participating in environmental activities. Let's work together to create a more sustainable future for ourselves and future generations.

Vegan Passover and easter

As we approach the holy celebrations of Passover in Judaism and Easter in Christianity, let's take a brief look at how these two religions view veganism. 


Judaism has a rich history and tradition that values the sanctity of all life and the importance of ethical treatment of animals. As such, many Jews are drawn to veganism as a way to live in accordance with their values and ethics.

The concept of tza’ar ba’alei chayim, or the prohibition of causing unnecessary harm to animals, is a core principle in Judaism. This principle is rooted in the idea that all living beings are sacred and deserve respect and compassion (Grossman, 2019). Many Jewish scholars argue that the consumption of animal products conflicts with this principle and that a vegan diet aligns better with Jewish values (Roth, 2011).

In addition to ethical concerns, there are also practical reasons why a vegan diet might be more compatible with Jewish practices. For example, keeping kosher can be easier with a vegan diet since there is no need to separate meat and dairy or to avoid non-kosher animals. Moreover, veganism can also be seen as a way to reduce one's environmental impact, which is another important value in Jewish tradition (Shamir, 2020).

Some several Jewish organizations and communities promote veganism as a way to live in accordance with Jewish values. For example, the Jewish Vegetarians of North America (JVNA) is a non-profit organization that advocates for veganism and animal rights within the Jewish community (Jewish Vegetarians of North America, n.d.). Additionally, some Jewish communities have started to offer vegan options at events and meals to accommodate members who follow a vegan lifestyle.


Christianity also has a history of advocating for a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle. Some Christians believe that vegetarianism is a way to show compassion and love for all of God's creation. In the Bible, the Book of Genesis describes the original diet of humans as one based on plants and seeds. However, Christianity and veganism have a complex relationship that has been debated for centuries. Some Christians believe that humans have been given dominion over animals and are therefore allowed to use them for food and other purposes. However, others believe in the principles of compassion and stewardship, which include treating animals with respect and avoiding unnecessary harm.

In recent years, there has been an increasing number of Christian voices advocating for a plant-based lifestyle. Many cite the biblical teachings of kindness and compassion towards all of God's creatures, including animals. Some Christian denominations, such as Seventh-day Adventists, have embraced vegetarian and vegan diets as a means of improving health and promoting ethical values.

There are also Christian organizations that promote veganism and animal rights, such as the Christian Vegetarian Association and the Humane Society of the United States' Faith Outreach Program. These groups work to raise awareness of the ethical and environmental implications of animal agriculture and promote a compassionate, plant-based lifestyle as a means of living out Christian values.

One notable figure in the intersection of Christianity and veganism is theologian and author Matthew Scully, who wrote the influential book "Dominion: The Power of Man, the Suffering of Animals, and the Call to Mercy." Scully argues that the Bible promotes a message of compassion and mercy towards all creatures, and that this message is in conflict with the practices of factory farming and animal exploitation.

While Christianity and veganism may not always seem to go hand in hand, there is a growing movement of Christians who are embracing a plant-based lifestyle as a means of living out their faith and promoting ethical values. By promoting compassion towards animals and caring for the environment, Christians can work towards a more just and sustainable world.

Seventh-day Adventists are a religious group known for their focus on healthy living, which includes a predominantly plant-based diet. A significant number of Seventh-day Adventists follow a vegan or vegetarian diet, with some estimates suggesting up to 50% of the community adheres to a plant-based lifestyle.

One of the reasons for this is the church's emphasis on health and wellness. The Seventh-day Adventist Church encourages its members to take care of their bodies as a reflection of their faith and to promote longevity and quality of life. The church also operates several hospitals and clinics that promote plant-based diets as part of a healthy lifestyle.

Seventh-day Adventists also have a unique interpretation of the Bible, which has led to the promotion of vegetarian and vegan diets. They interpret the book of Genesis as stating that humans were originally intended to eat a plant-based diet and that meat-eating was only introduced after the flood. Additionally, they believe that consuming animal products can lead to poor health and disease and that a plant-based diet aligns more with their faith and values.

Studies have shown that Seventh-day Adventists who follow a vegan or vegetarian diet have lower rates of chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancer (5). This is likely due to the high intake of plant-based foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes, which are rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

Seventh-day Adventists have a long tradition of promoting healthy living and plant-based diets. Their emphasis on wellness and unique interpretation of the Bible has led to many members adopting vegan and vegetarian lifestyles. Studies have shown that this dietary choice may contribute to improved health outcomes for this population.

Got vegan candy?

Holidays are synonymous with sweet treats, particularly candy. However, for those who follow a plant-based or vegan lifestyle, finding suitable candy options can be a challenge. Thankfully, there are now plenty of delicious and indulgent plant-based and vegan alternatives to traditional candy available, making it easier than ever to enjoy these holidays without compromising on your dietary choices.

One popular plant-based candy brand is Unreal Candy. Their products are made without artificial flavors, preservatives, or colors and are non-GMO verified. Their peanut butter cups and dark chocolate coconut bars are particularly popular, and they even offer a vegan version of their classic milk chocolate gems.

Another option is YumEarth, a brand that is entirely free from common allergens such as dairy, nuts, and soy. They offer a range of fruity and sour gummy candies, as well as lollipops, all made with real fruit juice and organic ingredients.

For those looking for something more indulgent, vegan chocolate is always available. Many mainstream brands now offer vegan options, such as Lindt's 70% dark chocolate bar or Cadbury's Bournville dark chocolate. However, there are also many specialist vegan chocolate brands, such as Booja-Booja and Ombar, that offer an indulgent and ethical alternative to traditional chocolate.

If you're looking for something a little more homemade, there are plenty of recipes available online for vegan and plant-based candy. For example, you could try making your own chocolate truffles using coconut cream and dairy-free chocolate, or make a batch of vegan caramel using dates and coconut milk.

It's important to remember that just because a candy is plant-based or vegan, it doesn't necessarily mean that it's healthy. Many vegan candies are still high in sugar and should be consumed in moderation as part of a balanced diet.

islam, ramadan, and veganism

It's the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, where people fast from sunrise to sunset for a whole month. Ramadan ends with the Eid al-Fitr celebration. Traditional Eid desserts include sweet vermicelli and baklava, which can be made vegan using plant-based butter and omitting eggs.

Islam is a religion that emphasizes compassion and respect for all living beings, including animals. As such, many Muslims are drawn to veganism as a way to live in accordance with their values and ethics.

The concept of tayyib, or purity and wholesomeness, is a core principle in Islam that extends to the treatment of animals (Al-Hafiz, 2014). The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was known to be compassionate toward animals and spoke out against their mistreatment (Al-Hafiz, 2014). Furthermore, Islam encourages Muslims to be mindful of their actions' environmental impact and act as stewards of the Earth (Rizvi, 2019).

While there is no specific requirement in Islamic law for Muslims to be vegan, several Islamic scholars argue that a vegan diet aligns with Islamic values. For example, Dr. Omer M. Mozaffar argues that a vegan diet is more compatible with Islamic values of compassion and environmental stewardship (Mozaffar, 2019). Moreover, some Muslim communities worldwide have started to promote veganism as a way to live per Islamic values.

Several Muslim organizations and communities promote veganism as a way to live following Islamic values. For example, the Muslim Vegan Community (MVC) is a non-profit organization that aims to educate Muslims about the benefits of a vegan lifestyle and to promote plant-based eating within the Muslim community (Muslim Vegan Community, n.d.). Additionally, some Muslim communities have started to offer vegan options at events and meals to accommodate members who follow a vegan lifestyle.

In conclusion, veganism is a way to live in accordance with Islamic values of compassion, environmental stewardship, and purity. While there is no consensus within the Muslim community on the compatibility of veganism with Islamic dietary laws, the ethical and environmental arguments for veganism have gained traction among some Muslim scholars and communities.

the benefits of eating cruciferous vegetables

Cruciferous vegetables are a group of vegetables that are named after their cross-shaped flowers. They include popular vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, and kale. These vegetables are not only delicious but also packed with essential nutrients that offer several health benefits. In this blog post, we will discuss some of the benefits of eating cruciferous vegetables.

High in nutrients

Cancer-fighting properties

Heart health


Digestive health

In conclusion, cruciferous vegetables are a delicious and nutritious addition to any diet. With their high nutrient content, cancer-fighting properties, heart health benefits, anti-inflammatory properties, and positive effects on digestive health, there are plenty of reasons to include these vegetables in your meals. So the next time you're at the grocery store, be sure to stock up on some broccoli, cauliflower, or Brussels sprouts and reap the benefits of these fantastic vegetables.

Need some ideas on how to incorporate cruciferous vegetables into your diet? Drop us a line at

vegetarian? you need to read this...

Like us, I’m sure all of you care about the state of animal agriculture and the abuse that happens within it. You want to prevent animals from suffering from miserable living conditions, unnecessary torture, and barbaric deaths. For 18 years, I was a vegetarian and believed that my food choice directly helped prevent animal suffering but the research I conducted into dairy and egg farming convinced me that I was actually contributing to the suffering of animals rather than preventing it. As a result, I became vegan in 2010 and I now know that I truly am not contributing to the misery of innocent animals.

Unlike vegetarianism, following a vegan lifestyle directly reduces the unnecessary suffering and slaughter of millions of animals each year. In order to show you that following a vegetarian lifestyle still contributes to animal suffering, I’ll explain how many animals are needlessly abused and slaughtered each year just to put dairy and eggs on your table.

Dairy farming causes billions of animals to suffer inhumane living conditions, regular abuse, and barbaric slaughter. Since dairy and egg farming is about profit, farmers wish to produce animal products as quickly and cheaply as possible. This leads to cramped living conditions, low-quality food, and high use of antibiotics to prevent infection since most animals have to stand in several inches of their own feces and that of other animals around them.

PETA (“The dairy industry”) states that dairy cows are artificially inseminated every year and have their calves taken away from them within a day of their birth. This causes severe distress to both mother and calf. Male calves are housed in cramped crates and fattened up to be slaughtered for veal, and female calves are raised to suffer the same fate as their mothers. Males are slaughtered after only a few months of life. Dairy cows are milked by machine at least twice a day and, due to the use of drugs to stimulate milk production, many cows suffer from mastitis, a painful infection of the udder. These growth hormones are banned in Europe and Canada due to the concerns for animal welfare and their negative effect on human health when ingested. 50 percent of dairy cows are lame due to standing on concrete floors due to their confinement. Cows naturally live to be 20 years old but dairy cows are usually slaughtered after five years due to their body’s inability to maintain the level of milk production demanded by the agricultural industry (“The dairy industry”). What about the claims that cattle are grass-fed? Surely, that means that the animals are taken better care of. Sadly, the term “grass-fed” is nothing but a marketing ploy according to the American Grassfed Association (“Other labels in meat packaging”). Forget any image that you may have of happy cows wandering the green pastures and grazing all day. Grass-fed cattle are still kept in the same unnatural, inhumane conditions as other farm animals; they’re simply fed grass instead of grain and even that claim is suspect because the USDA does not verify such claims and trusts each farm to self-report (“Other labels in meat packaging”).

The egg industry is, perhaps, even worse. PETA (“The egg industry”) highlights that over 300 million chickens are used in egg production each year, most of which only live for two years and are kept in horrific conditions. Hens usually have their beaks cut off to with a burning hot blade within hours of their birth. Pain relief is not provided and hens frequently are unable to eat and drink properly following this mutilation, which means that they suffer hunger and dehydration throughout their life. Battery hens are usually kept in groups of 10 in a cage no bigger than 18 by 24 inches. So called free-range chickens are no better off. Despite the image portrayed by the words, free range chickens are simply not kept in cages. They are still kept in crowded and cramped conditions. Hens are unable to open their wings and they’re forced to stand in each other’s feces (“The organic and ‘free range’ myth”). Many battery and free-range chickens die as a result and the dead body may remain in the cramped area for days. Egg production is stimulated with the manipulation of light and by using calorie-restricted feed. Although a chicken’s natural lifespan is ten years, most farmed hens typically die or are slaughtered after only two years due their body’s inability to maintain egg production at commercial levels. Female chicks are raised to produce more eggs while male chicks are killed shortly after hatching (“The egg industry”).

The USDA states that a staggering 10 billion land animals are slaughtered each year in this country (“Annual U.S. animal death stats”). Slaughterhouses are about maximizing profits so slaughter is often sloppy. Animals are meant to be rendered unconscious before slaughter but this does not happen often. Cows are usually fully conscious and afraid as they are strung upside down by a hind leg and have their throats slit. Chickens are beheaded by machinery, which often fails to sever the head completely, so chickens die drowning in their own blood, and live male chicks are thrown into grinders. Slaughterhouses operate on supply and demand and as long as the demand for meat continues, animal abuse and horrific slaughter conditions will continue. Of the 10 billion animals slaughtered each year, 39 million are dairy cows and male calves and 450 million are chickens and chicks (“Factory farms”). If vegetarians became vegan, we’d vastly reduce the number of these unnecessary horrific deaths.

Unlike vegetarianism, following a vegan lifestyle does directly reduce the unnecessary suffering and slaughter of millions of animals each year. With approximately 500 million animals slaughtered for dairy and egg production each year in the United States alone, we each can truly make a difference by choosing not to consume these products. With a wide variety of non-dairy milks and egg replacements being available at almost every supermarket these days, there’s no reason to perpetuate animal cruelty. I want to know that I prevented the misery and death of thousands of sentient beings throughout my lifetime. If you want the same, there’s one simple solution. Go vegan!



Works Cited

“Annual U.S. animal death stats.” Accessed 27 Jul. 2019.

“Factory farms”. Accessed 27 Jul. 2019.

“Other labels in meat packaging”. PETA. Accessed 5 Aug. 2019.

“The dairy industry.” PETA. Accessed 27 Jul. 2019.

“The egg industry”. PETA. Accessed 27 Jul. 2019.

“The organic and ‘free range’ myth”. PETA. Accessed 5 Aug. 2019.





January's vegaventure hunt - will you win the grand prize worth $800?

Welcome to Veganuary and the Vegavenger Hunt! Organized by the Vegan Life Shop. Veganuary is a time when many people are trying veganism, but veganism is far more than a diet; it’s a lifestyle. The Vegavenger Hunt seeks to draw attention to veganism beyond food by encouraging people to visit multiple vegan business websites, explore what those businesses offer, and have a chance of winning a grand prize in the process.

We're vegan because we care about animals, our health, and the environment. We’re committed to the Earth, and we're glad you are too. There are many steps we can take towards a more plant-based or vegan lifestyle, but it can be confusing. We can help! Did you know that we offer vegan lifestyle coaching, as well as a vegan bed and breakfast? Check out the Plant-based Coaching page of our website for more details.  

Did you know our favorite number is 22? You’ll need that number to enter the amazing Vegavenger Hunt! To enter, be sure to visit all the participating businesses and add up all those numbers. Then email the total number back to the address provided on The Vegan Life Shop website before noon eastern time on January 31, and you’ll be entered to win! Good luck!


Colin & Roy

new year resolutions?

Many of us make promises to ourselves that this year will be different from the last; we’ll finally shed that weight, we’ll increase our activity level, we’ll get out of debt, we’ll find a better job, or we’ll travel to that resort in an exotic location we’ve been dreaming about for decades. Enter the most famous animal of the new year – the Resolution!

The problem with resolutions is that although they’re well-intentioned, they’re rarely effective. They tend to be nebulous and wishy-washy ideas at best, and most resolutions have fallen by the wayside by mid-February, a mere six weeks into the year. Ask anyone who works in a gym or fitness setting – membership and facility use is booming in January, but by the end of February, it’s back to pre-holiday levels. Where did all those resolution-fueled folks go?

Why do resolutions tend to fail us? Firstly, they use an arbitrary date on the calendar to start making changes. We think, “I’ll start that next week, “ or, “I’ll start that on the first of the month.” The danger with this approach is that it’s super easy to get sidetracked and think, “Oh well, I missed that start date, so I’ll start again next week!”  There’s no real deadline. Secondly, resolutions lack substance, detail, and accountability; they’re overly general.

So this year, we invite you to try something new. Instead of setting resolutions, let’s set goals! Goals are specific, detailed, have deadlines, and hold you accountable. SMART goals tend to be the best way to plan. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-bound.  

Compare these two ideas:

Resolution = I’m going to lose weight!

SMART goal = I will lose 15lbs by the end of July 2023. I will do this by shedding half a pound a week by not exceeding 2000 calories a day and by exercising three times a week.

See the difference? The resolution is overly general, the SMART goal is specific, outlines how you’ll achieve realistically, and includes a specific deadline. 

Another example might be:

Resolution = I will workout more!

SMART goal = I will keep a gym bag in my car so I can hit the gym on my way home from work on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays each week. I will undertake 20 minutes of resistance training and 20 minutes of cardio each time I go to the gym.

Being as specific as possible helps envision a plan that’s realistic for your life. Posting that goal on social media allows others to hold you accountable. “Hey, I saw your SMART goal on Facebook about working out more – that’s awesome! Did you hit the gym three days this week?” Gulp! Wow, so my friends and family now know what my plan is, and they’re going to help keep me honest and accountable.

Resolutions are a great idea, but that’s often all they turn out to be. Try turning that idea into a practical SMART goal, share it with friends and family, and you’re more likely to achieve it. Just don’t forget to write that goal about eating more plant-based foods this year, OK?


Colin & Roy