Ahimsa Grove

Ahimsa Grove is a resource for vegan pagan living. It will include personal experiences and musings, recipes, shopping tips, vegan ethical and dietary considerations, and ideas for pagan practice including spells, rituals, and herbcraft.

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Earth Day Tips for Reducing our Animal Consumption

Blessings, Earthlings! In celebration of the day I wanted to share some resources and ideas. Thinking about environmental challenges that we face these days can be overwhelming. Everywhere we are hearing that we need to reduce our carbon emissions, but it can feel like individual actions are pointless when whole nations of others, let alone our own neighbors may still be refusing to do so. But there is hope. Reducing our carbon footprint and our ecological impact involves more than just how many cars are on the highway, or what factories and industries may or may not be willing to concede to. One thing that each of us has control over, that can have a surprising impact on carbon emissions, is how many animal products we consume.

If you would like a quick and easy download of information about this positive environmental impact that you can have, check out this link. It gives some quick and basic info, followed by very detailed links to practical advice for making more plant-based choices. So check out: http://www.greenyourdiet.org/


Since I just mentioned Earthlings, I will provide a link to the very well-known and popular short film by the same name. This little beauty, narrated by Joaquin Phoenix, has been credited with aiding the plant-based transition of many folks. Find it online here: http://www.nationearth.com/earthlings-1/


Lastly, I would like to re-post my own tips for some basic ways to start exploring more plant-based choices. This already appeared in an earlier blog, but hey, why should you have to scroll down? Enjoy. And blessed Earth Day.



  • Think about what you can eliminate beyond food. You could stop buying wool, silk, or other animal products. You could begin learning what cosmetic and cleaning products are certified cruelty-free. You could give up attending rodeos, circuses, and zoos.

  • Instead of thinking about what you can’t eat if you go vegan, focus on what you can. Fill your plate with plant-based foods, find what you love, and watch the animals products slowly get pushed out!

  • Do a vegan scavenger hunt. Check all your local stores for vegan products. If you use the internet, look for online vegan emporiums like “vegan essentials” or “fake meats.” New ones will pop up, all the time.

  • When it comes to dietary veganism, many people eliminate meat first. There tend to be more options available in stores and restaurants for ovo-lacto (egg and dairy eating) vegetarians. Meat substitutes are becoming very widely available due to their health profile. Be aware, however, that some meat substitutes are not vegan. Often this is because they contain eggs.

  • Experiment with non-dairy milks. Many on the market are gaining mainstream appeal due to their pleasant taste and entire lack of cholesterol.

  • Now, be brave…try some vegan cheese! Know in advance that you will like some and not others. Ask vegans for their favorite brands and recipes. There are also whole cookbooks devoted to nothing but vegan cheeses!

  • If there is one food that you can’t stand the thought of eliminating, don’t let that stall you forever. You can give up everything except ice cream, or everything except cheesy pizza, and see how you feel.

  • If social eating stresses you out, you could be vegan at home, vegetarian in the world.

  • Find local vegan meetups through www.meetup.com or other local sources. Many people who attend meetups are just getting started, or are just veg-curious.

  • Do some research and veganize your favorite foods. Whatever you love, a quick internet search will probably result in more than one recipe. You may have to try a few and tweak some things to get it the way you like. Once you have it, never let it go! That is, unless you come up with something even better.

  • Roam through the cooking section of local bookstores and look for vegan books. Online bookstores will work, too.

  • Get to know vegetables. See if there is a farmer’s market near you. Try a vegetable you have never seen before! You can ask the farmer how to use it, or search online.

  • Check for co-op health stores in your area. Co-op stores are member supported and support local farmers. When you are a member of a co-op, you are empowered to ask them to stock any vegan product that you want.

  • Go to your local major grocery store and request that they order one vegan product you have wanted to try. Once you know their process, you can do it again!

  • Be patient with yourself and with others. Practicing harmlessness means doing the best you can, in the moment. When and if you are ready, you can do more.


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Leslie earned her Master of Divinity Degree at Vanderbilt University and is a Wiccan Priestess, Ordained Interfaith and seeking ordination through the Temple of the Feminine Divine in Bangor. Her column in SageWoman, “Child of Artemis,” deals with women and our relationship with animals. Leslie considers herself a cultural worker, dealing with issues of violence and oppression as they impact humans and other species. She has worked at a rural domestic violence prevention program since 2001 and is a board member on VegME, Maine’s vegan advocacy group.  


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