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Republican Vegans: Eating Rogue

Written by PETA | March 5, 2010
makelessnoise / CC by 2.0

Who’s putting the party into “Republican Party”? Vegans! Rich Karlgaard—publisher of Forbes magazine—recently explained his mostly vegan diet on The Huffington Post, attributing his healthy and lively existence to his compassionate food choices. Karlgaard is proof that kindness knows no party lines. Whether you’re conservative or liberal, granola-crunching or pizza-munching, concrete-loving or tree-hugging, all vegans have something in common: concern for their own lives, the lives of animals, and the environment.

So now we’re calling on you, Republican vegans. We want to hear your stories! Tell us what made you choose to eat humanely and how it’s changed your life for the better.

Written by Logan Scherer

Commenting is closed.
  • profwatson says:

    I am a vegan-vegetarian for purely health reasons. Sometimes I do go off the wagon. But as the Swami said, it is the goal. Smart people with self discipline become vegan, like former President Clinton. Being a vegan-vegetarian for health reasons is not a political issue, it is a matter of intelligence, as Darwin said, the survival of the smartest.

  • Joe Rocker says:

    I was checking into veganism for health reasons and found out about the brutality of corporate farms in America. Now I am a vegan not just for health, but for ethical reasons.

  • Jose says:

    I am a conservative and a vegan and have been since the mid 90s. We exist! If you are on Twitter join our crew using the hashtag #tofupartypatriots.

  • Aimee says:

    PETA, i am glad to finally see you post something that doesn’t slam Republicans. Yay for open mindedness! I am an independent but have voted Republican for the past 10 years or so. I have been vegan for over 15 years. Being vegan does not equate being Liberal. Thanks for letting us conservatives feel welcome to the world of animal rights.

  • beatle says:

    I a very conservative person, and I just adopted a vegan diet two weeks ago. I would say this, let’s not let silly politics get in the way of a good thing. Vegans unite!

  • Christie Arnold says:

    I am a moderate Republican who is vegan. I became vegan for health reasons and then it moved to include ethical reasons as well. It really drives me crazy the Republicans and Democrats seem to feel like they have to behave, look, and feel a certain way. I lean more to the right on many issues, yet I find myself with the left on many other issues. It seems so ridiculous. Why can’t people think for themselves? I see many people on the left rejecting intelligent ideas just because they seem too “Republican”, and I see the same thing on the other side. I think too many people are closed minded in every area. I love it when I see people breaking barriers, and bucking the “norm”.

  • Anna says:

    I had been a lacto-ovo vegetarian since 1983, and recently have decided to go vegan. I’ve also been a committed conservative since 1977. I come from a family of moderate Democrats, and my sister and I were the first Republicans in our family. While still remaining a registered Republican, I am at this point more of a conservative Independent, and a paleo-conservative as opposed to a neo-con. I consider myself to be aligned with conservatives such as Michael Savage, who once gave up a college scholarship rather than experiment on animals. I am very far to the right (as Savage is).

  • Nicholas says:

    Is there such a thing?

    Recently a fugitive animal rights activist charged with bombing two California offices made news headlines. 31-year old Daniel Andreas San Diego of Berkeley, California became the first domestic terrorist named to the FBI’s list of “Most Wanted” terror suspects.

    Law enforcement officials and Homeland Security describe San Diego as a strict vegan who possesses a 9mm handgun. On his abdomen, he has tattooed images of burning and collapsing buildings- most likely representing his extremist outlook and personality to do harm to others who disagree with him.

    Which prompted me to ask myself a few questions: Is there a common personality type amongst vegetarians and vegans? Are they all crazed radicals with an agenda of terrorism toward anyone who doesn’t hug a puppy every day? Do they all engage in a (some would say) peculiar lifestyle through means of their choice in diet, and seemingly unnatural love of animals?

    So, this got me to thinking about the common perception (or perhaps misconception) that all vegetarians are tree-hugging, limp-wristed, granola-munching, pot-smoking hippies, who would rather cut off an arm or leg than consider themselves even slightly conservative. There are common personality patterns, to be sure, but not all stereo-types are accurate. Case in point: Daniel Andreas San Diego.

    So, because of San Diego, do all vegetarians have alternative and/or terrorist leanings? After all, they say that Hitler was a vegetarian… so, does that mean all vegetarians are predisposed to support fascist dictatorships and wear trendy brown uniforms? For that matter, do all conservatives have terrorist leanings because of recent warnings sent out by Homeland Security? Are all vegans or animal activists liberals? Are all republicans hunters who bomb abortion clinics? Take this example; for all intents and purposes, liberals typically do not endorse the Second Amendment as heartily as conservatives, but didn’t San Diego own a 9mm?

    I will say this much: Sure, the largest majority of folks on both sides are in fact in keeping to their respective stereotypes, but not all of them. Some flat out defy the gravity and seeming logic of their individual party’s platforms or typical trappings in order to become their own person.

    Take me for example. I am not on Homeland Security’s radar (that I know of yet!)… but I am not the ‘norm’ either. I am a proud red-blooded, flag-waving American living in the great South West corner of this country, who has been a vegetarian now for some 18 years and counting.

    When you think of vegetarians and animal rights, most people automatically think of the political left which is usually associated with animal activism, legislation and environmentalism. But, this is not entirely justified. On the conservative front you can just as easily find animal advocates (though, perhaps not as many). Heck, we all like our pets, right… conservative or not?!

    I am indeed the elusive “Redneck Vegetarian” you’ve only heard about! The one that lives with the Yeti in the backwoods of Utah somewhere with his stockpile of food, rifles, and womens! Okay so that may be an exaggeration… I don’t know any Yeti personally. But I do know a guy who knows a guy…

    Still, whether you are currently a vegetarian or vegan who is feeling a bit left out of the conservative revival because you are the way you are, have health problems that preclude you from eating too much red meat, have always been a bit curious and would like to try something new, or simply have that annoying daughter who drives a VW van to her drum circle every Thursday night at that book store down the street; who is tattooed from head to toe with secret vegan symbols you and the misses will never understand, and who berates Uncle Irman every Thanksgiving for killing ‘that defenseless turkey in cold blood’ for the family to consume like they consumed her freedom and would like to understand her better… then, maybe we’re not alone!

    After all, it’s a big world out there with lots to offer us all—every one of us, and it would be a shame to only eat a hand full of things our whole entire lives long… so, pig out, and have fun while you’re doing it!


    Nicholas Meyeres

    … If you agree, join us on Facebook!

  • frank says:

    I’m a lifelong conservative and a vegetarian of over 5 years. It’s safe to say that my commitment has increased over that time. My politics have always revered individual rights and personal autonomy. My epiphany was the realization that animals too are individuals. That all of the ostensible delineations between them and humans were but rationalizations to justify brutality and enslavement. So much like the rationale liberals often employ to demonize those with whom they disagree rather than engaging in reasoned debate.

  • Alexa says:

    Rex’s mom said she thinks Palin is horrible and Democrats are 100times better. Well I disagree. Considering the context of Palin’s wild Alaskan background and having actually visited Alaska I can understand how she is for hunting of wild animals even though I don’t personally agree with hunting. What I actaully cannot and do not understand is how in the context of the lives of blue state and other liberal Democrats who don’t live in the wild have access and numerous options to meat free food they can consume meat requiring millions and millions of animals tortured and suffered from factory farm systems. I find it totally hypocritical that these liberals bash Sarah Palin for hunting of wild animals that at least lived a natural wild life while at the same time turn on their blinders when it comes to their own much much more cruel custom of eating antibiotics hormone infested factory farm raised animals. Last I know mooses and caribous are subject to the hellish conditions of factory farms. It is also absolutely hypocritcal how these liberals based her for aerial wolf hunting not something I condone while they consume millions and millions of fish caught by GPS line fishing. How are the 2 things different pray tell? Both are to me ghastly acts. However Palin herself has never hunted wolves. OTOH many many liberals consume the fish caught by GPS tracking and line fishing. Anyway I look at it as a vegetarian myself I cannot see how meateating liberals who rile against Palin are themselves any better. If anything I think they’re worse. Palin at least has the gall to skin her own animals. She talks of hunting as a mode of survival in the tough terrain of Alaska. What excuse do meateating citydwelling liberals and Democrats have? Purchasing neatly packaged meat that someone else slaughter in places that can’t be seen. Out of sight out of mind? Oh yeah I’ve heard from quite a handful of liberal friends who tells me not to tell them about gruesome slaughterhouse and animal farm practices. They love meat they said and they don’t want to know. Please tell me how are Democrats better in this sense?

  • Tess says:

    I have been vegan for over 3 years mostly vegetarian before that. I am a Reagan conservative prolife and traditional Catholic. For me these choices blend seamlessly with my veganism a belief in conserving our environment using reasonable measures that will not compromise our national security exposing and eliminating animal cruelty worldwide especially in the area of factory farming and preserving the sanctity of ALL life.

  • Peach says:

    I’m vegetarian not vegan. Hopefully I’ll be able to transition into vegan someday but right now I’m happy where I am. Watching Food Inc. really changed my life and gave me a whole new perspective on the way our food industry works. Do I like how corporations make food cheap? I’ll admit I do. What irks me are the unhealthy methods used to do so. Looking at all those animals pumped full of hormones and antibiotics and left in such cramped enclosures to the point where they’re full of sores diseases does not sit well with me. I don’t eat wilted produce. Why should I have to put up with diseased animals for food? I’m not asking the corporations to give every cow in America a massage and a trip to a bovine day spa. All I want are well raised livestock that are wholesome and healthy by the time they make it to slaughter. So call my reasons selfish but ethical treatment of livestock means healthier food. As for the benefits I can say there’s many. I’ve learned to explore new foods I probably never would’ve eaten before and my cooking repertoire has gotten much healthier. Also my blood pressure is now at a healthy 10068 down from 13090 and I’ve lost and kept off 10 lbs. And since diabetes runs in my family I think my selfishness is doing my body a huge favor in the long term.

  • Sierra says:

    I’m 16 years old vegan and although I don’t have the right to vote yet I agree with most of the conservative ways. My step father claims veganism is a “strictly liberal” life style but I’d like to prove him wrong! I believe that your poilitcal views has nothing to do with how much you care about your own health animal’s health and the health of our planet.

  • Leslie says:

    At the age of 12 I became both vegetarian and Republican. I was raised in an apolitical animal loving but not vegetarian household. The political and animal rights worlds were something I found on my own. By 22 I was vegan and have continued to be for over 10 years. I see most Democratic policies as impractical and unrealistic they just don’t make sense to me. Similarily how animals are treated just does not make sense to me either. People always find it fascinating that I am a socially conservative Republican vegan but those who know me well understand that they complement each other and are a product of my life. To be honest I have a difficult time seeing the connection between veganism and the Democratic Party.

  • thah says:

    I am a right leaning independent but have always been hard core about about animal welfare and animal rights. I WILL look like a fool if need be to help an animal. I have worked with liberal democrats one who told me verbatim when they learned I am vegan that they ” have seen the videos but I gotta have my steak”.

  • Taiya says:

    Wow. I am recently vegan and relishing the freedom provided by PETA and other vegan and vegan site. I feel great! I can handle the mockery from coworkers friends family but I can’t handle the environmental and ethical mockery the agricultural industrial complex. Go Vegans! Thanks for paving the way!

  • Liz Kings says:

    I have been vegetarian for 25 years and vegan for 12. I drive a diesel car that runs on biodiesel I recycle obsessively and have been arrested for direct action at animal rights protests. I have also been a Republican for my whoel life because I believe in fiscal responsibility and I don’t believe in cradle to the grave government. My husband is also vegan and also Republican. Matthew Scully special assistant to President Bush and also his speech writer wrote the book Dominion and is a vegan. I personally know quit a few conservative vegetarianvegans and I think its a shame when the animal rights community makes conservatives feel unwelcome by turning the movement into a political matter instead of welcoming anyone and everyone who wants to help end the suffering of animals everywhere no matter what their political leanings.

  • kyla says:

    I’m 15 and I’ve always loved animals so for a project i was doing it on animal cruelty and looked for research on peta. When I saw what they actually did to the factory farmed animals i became vegan just like that. And it was actually easy than 3 months later I was able to do my project without being a total hypocrate

  • Rex's Mom says:

    John says that he found that Democrats are less willing to support humane treatment of animals lately. Compared to Republicans like Sarah Palin who not only kills moose bear and caribou she is also in favor of killing wolves from airplanes the Democrats as a whole are 100 times more compassionate than Palin could ever be. God help all animals if she ever became president. However I do wish President Obama would put wolves back on the endangered species list which his Interior Secretary Ken Salazar left a Bush Administration antiwolf agenda in place.

  • John says:

    I consider myself an independent but I guess many would call me a Republican. I am a fiscal conservative but animal abuse is NOT TOLERABLE to me. And making money from animal abuse is NOT ok or right in any way. I vote free market when it comes to inanimate objects but living creatures are not things. They suffer and feel pain. But I think that being humane transcends party lines. However I hope that more Republican leaders listen to the growing numbers of humane Republicans. I have actually found Democrats less willing to support humane treatment of animals lately. As for a vegan diet all I can say is that I am fit trim healthy and people think I’m 15 years younger than I am!! I’m a busy person and I need to be physically and mentally in top form. Veganism gives me that.

  • Beth says:

    My dad is a vegetarian and so is my friend at work. We are all conservatives transitioning to a mostly vegan diet. All of us are for carryconceal handgun rights but do not support hunting.

  • rachelle says:

    like julia i am also a vegetarian. i want to be a vegan but unfortunatly my mom won’t let me i have to do some convincing. anyways….it was all about becoming aware and educated about animal suffering. i was shocked and devestated. so i’m totally happy being meatfree.

  • Brien Comerford says:

    A few million conservative Seventh Day Adventists are also ethical vegetarains.

  • Valerie says:

    I too am a vegetarian looking to transition to veganism. I stopped eating meat when I was 18. I had started feeling guilty about eating meat because I didn’t feel that any life should have to be lost for me to be nourished. The last meat I ate was a friend chicken leg. It took me over 30 minutes to eat it because I felt so guilty. I barely finished it and when I did I felt horrible about it. I vowed then and there that I would never eat another piece of meat again. I’m getting ready to turn 26 and I love what these last few years as a vegetarian have done for my health. Heart disease cancer diabetes and several other diseases run on both sides of my family. My doctor told me that by becoming veggie I had made the best health decision possible for myself especially given my family history. I feel so much healthier now than I did when I was eating meat. I don’t look at meat the same anymore. I used to see a piece of meat and not be bothered by it. Now every time I see meat I can’t help but see a poor mutilated dead body. Seeing someone eat meat is actually starting to bother me now. I look forward to making the switch to veganism soon even though stores around my area will not be helpful with my decision and I’ll have to order a lot of food online. Vegans are the most compassionate people to have made such as selfless choice. I look forward to joining them very soon.

  • Ashley says:

    I have been a vegetarian for 16 years and a vegan for 2…and a Republican for as long as I have been interested in politics. I think this article is wonderful. There is no reason that someone who values financial conservatism and limited government can’t also value animal rights. To say that it is contradictory would be to assume that individuals who align with a certain party must tow the party line on every issue which is simply untrue.

  • Julia says:

    Right now I am actually a vegetarian but in the near future I plan to transition to veganism. I am definitely a conservative and enjoy conserving the resources that I use. What made me switch to vegetarianism was pop culture. All over I was watching and reading about animal cruelty and how simple it was to transition to eating no meat. So I did it and I have never felt better. Now I am truly convinced that vegans are the most selfless living beings and I have so much respect for them!

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