Vegan Experiences: An Interview with Ali Dark

[Editor's Note: This is the finial installment in a month-long series on the benefits of being vegetarian, approaching vegetarian eating from a family perspective and insights/perspectives from other vegetarians and vegans. Read Part 1: A Family Guide to Vegetarian Eating, Part 2: Vegetarian Recipes That Keep Them Coming Back for More, or Part 3: Vegetarian Experiences -- An Interview with Courtney Carver. The series concludes with an thought-provoking interview with Ali of, who shares his passion and experiences with being vegan.]


If you don’t know Ali Dark, you should.

I stumbled across Ali shortly after launching The New Pursuit and have been a fan ever since. His deep insights, convictions and wisdom come through loud and clear at his blog,, where as he puts it, he works to “create abundance through simplicity and empower you to bring positive change to your life and create heaven on earth.”

Over the past few months we’ve become friends, sharing ideas, thoughts and aspirations of change and how to turn it into action.

One of Ali’s passions — and that word might not do it justice — is his vegan lifestyle and the promise that such a lifestyle can hold for righting many of the ills in the world. With that in mind, I asked him to share with TNP readers some of his experiences and thoughts. In classic Ali fashion he came back with a video response. Look below the video for a complete listing of all the resources he mentions.

(If you’re receiving this post via RSS or email, click the post title to come direct to The New Pursuit to view the video.)



References & Resources Mentioned by Ali

Research and Information

Groundbreaking UN report on livestock and the environment: FAO “Livestock’s Long Shadow” (2006)

Building on the 2006 UN report, concluding livestock contribute more than half of GHG, and making real and useful suggestions (replace meat in our diets): WorldWatch: “Livestock and Climate Change” (2009) and Deforestation in the Amazon: Greenpeace: “Amazon Cattle Footprint” (a Mongaby summary)

The Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine (

The impact of meat and dairy production (by Paul Mahony from Victoria Australia):  Key Impacts of Livestock on the Environment and Environmental Impacts of Animal Agriculture (2)


Blogging and Community Links:

Become a part of the Veg Coach Community

Sign up for November’s blogging carnival (Green Your Plate, COP16 2010 campaign)

Recipe Links:


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9 Responses to “Vegan Experiences: An Interview with Ali Dark”
  1. Proud vegetarian and supporter of this vision. My theory has always been – why eat animals when we don’t have to?

  2. Sandi Amorim says:

    I became vegetarian as an experiment because I thought it would be healthier. In the 15 years since, my iron deficiency disappeared, I lost weight and I have more energy than ever. I’ve often been curious about becoming vegan, but it’s seemed more difficult. You’re now making me even more curious to experiment yet again. Thanks Bill and Ali for a great post!

  3. Ali Dark says:

    Hi Sandi. You may be interested to know that many vegetarians’ iron levels go up when becoming vegan! It seems harder… but next time you order pizza, try one without cheese. Or if the pizza restaurant that does a delish soy cheese. You guys in the states are so lucky to have Daiya cheese. … but I’m just assuming you like Pizza (it’s not racial profiling.. I assume everyone loves pizza).

    Anyway my point was (before the thought of pizza distracted me) that if you’re not fussy about what kitchen your food is prepared in, there are still so many options when eating out.

    And really, milk barely needs to be replaced in a diet. It really has next to nothing for people. You can get what milk’s got so easily elsewhere. It’s just that it performs an almost ‘aesthetic’ function – white coffee…

    Oh, and while I’m at it, visit a vegan bakery. You’ve got many in the states I believe. Or your hearest Loving Hut . You’ll soon discover that cakes and muffins don’t need egg or milk either!


  4. Bill Gerlach says:

    Thanks for stopping by, Nathan, and lending the support! In reading through some of the research that Ali shared — especially the shocking data around depletion of the Amazon (for beef!) it is mind boggling how we as a species can continue this trend.

  5. Nah, thank you for bringing this to light. The world needs more visionaries such as you and Ali.

  6. Bill Gerlach says:

    Thanks, Sandi. Wow, 15 years! I have some catching up to do with that but I can’t imagine ever reverting back to a non-vegetarian diet. I thought about moving to full vegan side of things but right now it just won’t work with the rest of the family. I’ll have to pick and choose pockets here and there. It’s about maintaining that rationale balance of all things. Be well!

  7. Ali Dark says:

    Hi Bill and Sandi

    The most progress I’ve made with things in life I wanted to acheive but felt were inconvenient or difficult was when I took it easy, but kept it in mind.

    For example, with smoking… I knew form the age of 17 that I would give up smokign one day, but it wasn’t until the age of 22 I finally put out my last smoke half-way through. For two years prior to that I kept the thought and goal of cutting down and giving up in my head, gradually weening myself off the habit so that one day, it just fell off all by it’s own.

    I think there are a number of environmental imperatives to consider – which dairy really do contribute to… and of course there are the horror-movie existences of veal calves (basically any male born to a dairy cow) – so I can only encourage you, but at the same time, sometimes habits are like pendulums, if you push too hard they swing back and getcha!

  8. Jen says:

    I agree with Nathan. I’ve been vegetarian again for over two years and really pleased I’ve decided to do this AND I keep getting whisperings in my mind, to take the leap to veganism (though to be honest I do feel a little scared about it). This is mainly due to worrying that I will not know which supplements to take and maybe seem awkward to others. I really don’t eat much dairy anyway, though I do eat a lot of eggs. If you have any resources you can point me towards, that would be really great?


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