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The Vegan Bucket List

Written by Ashley Palmer | August 11, 2011

As you can imagine, around the PETA office, I’m always hearing about the latest and greatest vegan events, experiences, and food. It’s hard to make time for it all, but here at PETA, you don’t have to twist our arm to do that research for you. 😉 Here are some “bucket list” items straight from the people who seem to have done and seen it all:

1.  Master a vegan recipe and make it your own.

My husband grew up eating huge servings of scrambled eggs every weekend morning. We’re talking six cholesterol bombs in one meal. Needless to say, I had quite the challenge to find a vegan replacement for his favorite dish. After many failed attempts in the kitchen, I finally created my very own tofu scramble recipe. Two years later, it’s still his favorite dish, and we eat it every weekend morning. Sometimes foods are more about rituals than anything else, and now we have a tradition of our own.

2. Put your First Amendment rights to good use and take part in a PETA demonstration.

When it comes to speaking up for animals, nothing quite compares to the experience of standing on the front lines. My very first demonstration was in PETA’s hometown of Norfolk, Virginia. We were protesting Ringling Bros. and its cruel training methods. Standing on the sidewalk and talking to passersby about how baby elephants are torn away from their mothers and violently trained with ropes, bullhooks, and electric prods gave me a renewed sense of why I got involved with animal rights in the first place.

3. Visit an animal sanctuary with a nonvegan friend or family member.

If you’ve got a friend who just refuses to watch another one of your “sick videos” but still continues to eat meat, this is the event for you. Far too often, we are sucked into seeing animals only for what they’re capable of offering humans: meat, eggs, milk, etc. When you visit an animal sanctuary, you see firsthand what animals are really capable of offering. They form strong bonds, they play, and they rely on us to keep them safe. You—and your guest—will never view animals the same way again.

4. Adopt a companion animal from an open-admission shelter.

If you have the time, money, and energy, please consider adopting one of the millions of animals who desperately need a forever home. Whether you’re looking for a cat, a dog, a rabbit, a bird, or even a hamster, chances are there is an animal just right for you at your local shelter. The unique bond that is created when you save an animal’s life is indescribable, and you’ll change their life just as much as they’ll change yours.

5. Inspire someone else to go vegetarian or vegan.

This is the grand finale. You know you’ve made it once the people in your life start taking notice and start altering their habits accordingly. I’m not talking all or nothing here—every meal helps. If you can inspire your dad to try Meatless Mondays—or your mom to have a veggie burger at the family cookout instead of a beef burger—you’ve won. This is a huge victory for animals, and you deserve a pat on the back. Go you!

Did we forget something? Let us know what you hope to do before you “kick the bucket” by leaving a comment below.

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  • Amber says:

    My parents were vegetarian when I was born so they brought me up on that diet until I was old enough to question it. They told me why they were vegetarian and why they thought it was the right thing to do but that I didn’t have to do it if I didn’t want, and then asked me if I still wanted to be a vegetarian. I was only four, but I told them I wanted to stay with being a veggie. Now I am 18 and have decided to become a vegan after realising the treatment of animals in the dairy industry – I felt like a hypocrite, saying that I was a vegetarian because I opposed mal treatment of animals, and then would drink milk and eat cheese.

    I feel wonderful without any animal products in my diet, and am so much healthier now than I was six months ago. Being a vegan isn’t as difficult as it is made out to be. Happiness and greater health is no price to pay for knowing that haven’t caused distress to any animals, and never will again 🙂

  • judy stevens says:

    I am 65 and have had a big problem with weight I am trying veg.and hope to get some off I can’t exercise cause I have bad new this site is great I love my animals thk

  • Sue says:

    I have been a vegetarian since I turned 16 and am now 45 Yes I do not mind admiting my real age because I still get asked for ID to buy wine in bars as well as package stores I credit my veggie diet for my youthfull apperance and yes sadly I do smoke so I should look older and probably would if I was a meat eater, also there is virtualy no recipie that requires meat that can not be recreated with TVP ( Textured vegetable protien) I have made everything from meatless loaf and meatless balls to faux beef stew, I have never had a complaint nor any left overs even the meat eaters not only like it but most can’t tell the diffrence.

  • kicki says:

    vegetarians in 22 år.Vegan the last 4 years.
    Love it, would never change and eat something other than vegan food today.

  • Desiree says:

    A few days after Independence day I saw a video about how animals are killed and I couldn’t stand to finish it, and after that I thought that if I couldn’t watch how meat is pre-pared, why should I eat it? I’m only 13 and I don’t really have that much say in what I do, but I asked my dad if I could be a vegetarian and he agreed. I’ve been a vegetarian for about a month and a half now and I’m really enjoying it

  • Karli says:

    Okay, so I’d really love to get my sister into vegetarianism(she already likes veggie burgers over beef!), but she says she doesn’t like faux-meat. That and she likes bacon too much. She really does seem open to the idea, though. Any tips?

  • D says:

    Here’s another place for vegan athlete info:

  • cindy lievesley says:

    I am trying to go vegan but as i bodybuilder i find it so hard since i like my eggs whites and chicken. any suggestions???

  • Tara says:

    @Suzanne….”You don’t have to be a Doctor to save a life, be a Vegetarian”. I LOVE THIS!!! Thanks for posting!

  • Hungry for recipe says:

    #1 I wish she would have shared her recipe for Tofu scrambele. Would love to try it.

  • Jeanne in France says:

    This one is for Janet. With the following link you can download the first chapter of Vegetarian Cats and Dogs (it used to be Cats and Dogs go Vegetarian). I’m not doing it with my cats because they are just too finicky. Just won’t try anything other than the usual. But I did know a gentleman in England once who fed his cats meals made according to this book, served on a beautiful tray, with a rose in a little vase. How’s that for class?
    Never forget the Taurine! That’s the one amino-acid they cannot live without and they need to get either as a complement or from eggs.

  • Autumn says:

    Yay! Ive already done three!

  • Linda says:

    When I tuned 50 I took a good look at myself and wasn’t happy with what I saw. I easily switched to vegetarian and after a year at 51 went the distance and am now vegan. Its the best way to celebrate a birthday!!

  • Lauren says:

    how do I find an animal sanctuary near me?

  • paula says:

    paul newman’s organic cat food is the best ,mix it with rice and grain ,this is a comment for the lady with animals who needs to go vegan .try to get a bread company where you can buy trays of fresh but old bread ,and a local grocery store that gives away old fruit .not spoiled meat!

  • COURTNEY says:

    Turned veggie a few months back and love it ! Wouldn’t change my decision for anything ! Only problem is, is that I am the only vegetarian I know :-/

  • Janet Radford says:

    I have been providing dogs and cats a home for 15 yrs.- now it is hard for me-as i am not able as i once was. I would like my animals to be vegetarian , also – but don’t know how. Please help

  • kathy says:

    #4 is a cute picture but it kind of looks like the cat is not into it at all 😛

  • Suzanne says:

    My best friend and I are Vegan. Every boyfriend I’ve had became at least a Vegetarian, one a Vegan. Just by osmosis…not force. It’s wonderful when someone wants to be like you because they see it’s a better way to be. 30 years ago my friend said to me “You can’t go around telling everyone how much you love animals, and then eat them” She was right. We both have a bumper sticker that she made up, “You don’t have to be a Doctor to save a life, be a Vegetarian”. Several People have asked me for one 🙂

  • Karen says:

    #1—–Never wear anyone else’s skin!!!
    #2—–Attract bees and wild birds to your yard by certain flowering plants! Great for the enviorment, too!
    #3——Love love love all creatures great or small!!!!! 🙂

  • Diane Dimperio says:

    I have just returned to the Vegan world, so I have only a couple Vegan friends, thanks to PETA. One thing I started doing was, when PETA posts recipes for holiday, take for instance Father’s Day Brunch, I invited by FB friends to a Vegan Fathers Day Brunch; no one responded, but I know they will….I may get some friends at first who have nothing to do. It’s funny, because I wasn’t even prepared, but vegan food is so easy…really….and it doesn’t stink. The next holiday for my invited will be Labor Day!