There seems to be a lot of confusion over the term "vegan" vs the term "whole food, plant based" when talking about diets that exclude meat, fish, eggs, dairy products and all other foods that are derived from animals. You can be "whole food, plant based" and not be a "vegan", and vice versa. But you can also be both, I guess that's a whole food vegan?
In 1951, The Vegan Society, in the UK, published its definition of veganism as "the doctrine that man should live without exploiting animals". This doctorine is followed in every aspect of a vegan's life, in the food that is eaten, the clothes that are worn, the products that are used, plus advocating for the compassionate treatment of animals in the world around us.
There is growing scientific evidence that vegan diets that consist of whole unprocessed foods can prevent, arrest and even reverse many common diseases. Forks Over Knives, made in 2011, helped popularize such a diet, in the movie they called it a "whole food, plant based diet". The movie was completely focused on only the health benefits of this diet and thought the use of the term "vegan" would distract from their objective and they avoided using it. In the early 1980's Professor Emeritus of Nutritional Biochemistry at Cornell University, T. Colin Campbell, PhD originally coined the term "plant based" when he was with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the USA, a little later he re-termed it "whole food,plant based". So the term "whole food, plant based" has its roots in nutritional science.
To some it up, you can be a "vegan" and be still be eating a ton of refined, processed vegan foods, so it's not necessarily a healthy diet. You can also be on a "whole foods plant based diet" for health reasons and you still might be buying leather clothing. Plus it doesn't end there, people may also eat such diets for reasons like religion, culture or environment.
I happened to see the documentary Forks Over Knives at a time when health was a major issue in my family. This movie triggered a lifestyle change that I will continue the rest of my life. In this video below the filmmakers discuss the documentary.
This is a 30 minute film from 2010 by Environment Films, made in association with The Vegan Society, in the UK. It is a fast paced upbeat look at high end vegan restaurants, athletics, nutrition, crop diversity and organic stockfree (animal free) crop growing. Plus, it also covers the not so upbeat issues of the cruelty of factory farming and the impacts of animal agriculture on the environment.
John Mcdougall MD believes the healthiest, most satisfying diets are those based on starches like whole grains and beans, plus starchy vegetables like potatoes, pumpkin, squash, zucchini and yams, with the addition of non-starchy vegetables and fruits for added nutrition. This is a low fat whole food plant based vegan diet, it avoids added salt, sugar and oil, he calls it the Starch Solution. This 75 minute presentation was done in collaboration with vegsource.com.
In this 1 hour, 22 minute presentation by Michael Greger MD of the ad free, nonprofit website NutritionFacts.org he speaks about the issues he writes about in his NY Times Best Seller "HOW NOT TO DIE". In the video he shows scientific evidence that whole food plant based (vegan) diets can play a role in preventing, arresting and reversing the 15 leading causes of premature death. The presentation was filmed at Dr. McDougall’s Health and Medical Center.
In this 1 hour, 18 minute presentation, Milton Mills, M.D., compares the behavior, instincts, anatomy and physiology of carnivores vs herbivores. Buy making this comparison he is able to make the argument that humans are herbivores. The presentation was filmed at Dr. McDougall’s Health and Medical Center.
Below is a video of David J.A. Jenkins, M.D., Ph.D., D.Sc., Professor and Canada Research Chair in Nutrition and Metabolism, Dept. of Medicine and Nutritional Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto. He pioneered the “glycemic index" and is a self-proclaimed vegan. In this video he talks about studying the benefits of slow release carbohydrates on diabetes and other health issues. Slow release carbohydrates generally are whole, unrefined, or minimally refined plant based foods, they have no added sugars of any kind and tend to be high in fiber.
In this 11 minute clip taken from one of Michael Klaper MD's presentations he talks about the negative effects of consuming salt, sugar and fat. He tells us why saturated animal fats and why processed, isolated vegetable oils, even so called healthy ones like olive oil are bad for us.
This is a 59 minute presentation by Janice Stanger Ph.D., author of the The Perfect Formula Diet, it was made at the Vegetarian Society of Hawaii. In the video she talks about protein's composition, how it's made, where we get it and why we need it. She also talks about the myths about it and the negative effects of consuming the wrong amount and the wrong kinds.
Douglas Lisle, PhD of TrueNorth Health Center is co-author of the book The Pleasure Trap and also appeared in the documentary Forks Over Knives. He received his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from The University of Virginia, and was appointed Lecturer in Psychology at Stanford University. In this 17 minute presentation he talks about what he calls The Pleasure Trap and how it is responsable for many of our unhealthy dietary habits.
Chef AJ is a culinary instructor, she is author of the book Unprocessed: How to Achieve Vibrant Health and Your Ideal Weight, and she is also the creator of The Ultimate Weight Loss Program. She strictly adheres to a low fat whole food plant based vegan diet, and avoids added salt, sugar and oil. In this one hour demonstration she shows how to make six recipes, it takes place at the Vegetarian Society of Hawaii.
This is a 30 minute video made in 1976 by The Vegan Society. They are the oldest vegan society in the world, founded in 1944, in the UK, and they are the ones who originally coined the term "vegan".
Noam Mohr is a physicist at Queens College with degrees from Yale University and the University of Pennsylvania. He has worked on global warming campaigns for the U.S. Public Interest Research Group and EarthSave International publishing a number of reports on global warming. People do not realize that the livestock industry has a huge impact on global warming. In the video below physicist Noam Mohr talks about some of these effects.
This short clip is from the documentary A Delicate Balance: The Truth, you can see the whole movie elsewhere on this page.
Vegan: Everyday Stories is the everyday stories of a cattle rancher's wife who turns their cattle ranch into a farm animal sanctuary, an 8-year-old girl who has influenced her family to turn vegan, an ultramarathon runner who has overcome addiction and hardship through the compassion of veganism and a food truck owner cooking only vegan meals.
In A Delicate Balance: The Truth, experts from many of the worlds leading institutions discuss how the consumption of animal products adversely effects our health and the enviroment. Appearing in the documentary: Neal Barnard, Peter Singer, Tom Lyons, Noam Mohr, John A McDougall, David Pimentel, Caldwell Esselstyn Jr, T Colin Campbell, Maneka Gandhi, Howard F. Lyman, Walter C. Willett, Michael Greger.
Got the facts on Milk? The Milk Documentary, Directed and Produced by Shira Lane, is a fast paced, funny feature length movie. It talks about the myths about dairy, plus the serious health problems it can cause, the environmental issues, the ethical issues, also the funding, marketing and politics behind its promotion.
Howard Lyman the "Mad Cowboy" was a fourth-generation dairy farmer and cattle rancher from Montana. Today he is an ethical vegan who promotes nutrition and organic farming. This documentary tells his story.
…the raw food movement owes much to Dr. Aris LaTham, a native of Panama. He is considered to be the father of gourmet ethical raw foods cuisine in America. Dr. LaTham debuted his raw food creations in 1979, when he started Sunfired Foods, a live food company in Harlem, New York. In the years since, he has trained thousands of raw food chefs and added innumerable recipes to his repertoire.
I Like It RAW is a documentary by filmmaker Dana Giesbrecht. In the movie she helps 5 meat-eating people from Edmonton, Alberta go fully RAW for 30 days in an attempt to manage various health problems. Canada's province of Alberta, with its oil, cattle, rodeos, and it's country music industry has been called “the Texas of Canada", so this way of eating really contrasts the mainstream in the province.
Georges Laraque had a 13 year National Hockey League (NHL) career, from 1997 to 2010, he became a vegan in 2009. He played for the Edmonton Oilers, Phoenix Coyotes, Pittsburgh Penguins, and Montreal Canadiens. In 2010 he became deputy leader of the Green Party of Canada, he kept that position until 2013. In this video he talks about veganism.
Veganism seems to be growing by leaps and bounds recently and Toronto has a thriving vegan culture. In the video below VegNews in collaboration with Our Hen House show us just a few of the vegan restaurants in Toronto. These restaurants have made a great commitment to compassionate living and their food probably tastes great, but I made this website to talk about the health benefits of an unprocessed whole foods vegan diet. So I just wanted to say that in my unprofessional opinion I don't think people should eat like this too often, but I know sometimes you have to live it up.
The Toronto Vegetarian Food Bank (TVFB) provides vegan-friendly food, 50% of which are whole foods to people in need that are vegan, vegetarian or are actively transitioning to such diets.
HappyCow's Compassionate Healthy Eating Guide - The definitive vegetarian dining guide and health food store directory serving the worldwide web since 1999. Provides peer reviews as well as a lively online community, veg recipes, travel and health info, free newsletter, and much more.
The Vegetarian Resource Group (VRG) is a non-profit organization dedicated to educating the public on vegetarianism and veganism and the interrelated issues of health, nutrition, ecology, ethics, and world hunger. In addition to publishing the Vegetarian Journal, VRG produces and sells cookbooks, other books, pamphlets, and article reprints.
HealthLinks.net - The Vegan/Vegetarian part of their directory contains hundreds of links to vegan websites and resources.