Gentle World is a 501(c)(3) educational organization whose core purpose is to help build a more peaceful society, by educating the public about the reasons for being vegan, the benefits of vegan living, and how to go about making such a transition.
Toward that end, Gentle World has served as a clearinghouse of information for over 50 years, helping people from all walks of life embrace a way of living that is in alignment with their values.
Over the years, our member-volunteers have offered educational services free of charge to countless people, including online outreach, video and audio content, film screenings and seminars, cooking and gardening classes and workshops, private consultations, and incredibly delicious vegan meals.
Learn about the latest happenings in Gentle World
Pioneers of Peace
An Introduction to our Founders
In 1970, when Gentle World founders Light and Sun became vegan, there was no animal rights movement, no online education, no other vegans that they knew, and no word they were aware of for what they were doing.
Their vegan epiphany had come unexpectedly, when they saw a movie in which was depicted the murder of a bull with a sledgehammer. Stepping out of the theater, they realized that they were being presented with test of faithfulness toward their ideals. Little did they know, they were about to embark on a lifelong journey toward a vegan world that they would have to build for themselves, one step at a time.
Gentle World is their life’s work, and it has not only survived for over five decades, it continues to evolve and prosper. Its member-volunteers have educated the public about veganism since its inception, and we continue to do so, meeting each new generation with new and inspiring methods of education.
As we observe the Golden Anniversary of Light and Sun’s shared pledge to observe the Golden Rule, Gentle World’s co-founder Light is interviewed by Butterflies Katz about his 50-year experience with veganism.
Those of us who have been inspired by this pioneering woman offer our heartfelt thanks for all she has given to us and to the world, and trust that she rests in the peace she has earned as a result of the countless lives that have been changed for the better thanks to her courage, her generosity of spirit, and her commitment to bringing to life her truly inspired vision of a vegan world.
We didn’t know that there was a word “vegan” at the time. There were no health food stores, no tofu, and no animal rights movement that we knew of. We have been spreading the word since we knew there was a word to spread. If we kept silent and that silence allowed more animals to suffer, we would wonder if our words could have saved their lives.
Path to a Gentle World
40+ Years of Veganism
In 1981, Gentle World incorporated as a non-profit educational organization, and its members became a team of volunteer vegan educators and maintainers of Gentle World’s center, which was in Florida at that time.
Throughout the eighties, we spread our vegan message as far and wide as we could, holding free seminars, cooking and veganic gardening classes, and creating an educational and inspirational vegan mail order business.
In 1987 and 1988, we produced and catered two successful celebrity banquets, serving an exceptional and diverse array of international vegan cuisine, not for fundraising purposes (attendance was free), but for the purpose of “inspiring those who are an inspiration to others.” Guests included high-profile individuals such as Sidney Poitier, Danny Glover, Drew Barrymore, and many others.
In 1989, Gentle World moved to the international hotspot of Maui, Hawaii and opened the highly successful Vegan Restaurant. Along with the mouthwatering dishes that are Gentle World’s claim to fame, customers were served the vegan message in the form of educational materials and inspiring quotes on every table.
In 1999, we moved our educational center to The Big Island of Hawaii, and in 2000, opened a second, seasonal center in the Far North of New Zealand, to serve as a model of veganic agriculture.
Gentle World Publishing
Vegan Publishing in 1981
Long before most people knew what the word vegan meant, Gentle World created the first full-length vegan cookbook in the United States: The Cookbook for People Who Love Animals. In the 40 years since, this groundbreaking publication has sold nearly 100,000 copies, and continues to sell in its eighth edition. Created on a typewriter and still in the original typeset, The Cookbook for People Who Love Animals is a true vegan classic.
While they are now out of print, we are proud to count as part of our history the publishing of two pioneering vegan nutrition books by Michael A. Klaper M.D: Vegan Nutrition, Pure and Simple and Pregnancy, Children and the Vegan Diet. These two lovingly-written books provided much-needed nutritional assurance to thousands of readers, back when the benefits of a plant based diet were little-known.
In 2000, we produced Incredibly Delicious: Recipes for a New Paradigm. This 500-recipe vegan guide contains over 40 color photos, as well as inspirational and thought-provoking quotes, and an extensive resource section.
In 2010, we began the development of our online outreach program, which has provided over 40,000 hours of vegan education to the growing number of people interested in transitioning to a gentler, more sustainable way of eating and living.
In 2020, we directed our publishing efforts toward the creation of an online course and a series of eBooks, beginning with our Vegan FAQ, which draws on knowledge and insight gained from multiple decades of providing vegan education.
Sharing our world with nonhuman animals has been a part of Gentle World’s history since the very beginning, and over the past 50 years of caring for those in need, we have more animal rescue stories than we can count.
Over the decades, Gentle Worlders have saved and provided sanctuary to friends of many different species, from Clover the Shetland pony (pictured right) to Promise the pig, Capricorn the goat, the horses Beautiful and Springtime, Sunrise the deer, Glory Glory the rooster, turtle doves Free and Easy, a turkey named Thanksgiving, and more dogs, rabbits and turtles than we can list.
In more recent times, Poof the Magic Rabbit found a home in Gentle World when he was taken to a local kill shelter after being abandoned by our neighbors.
Prince Valiant became our beloved Great Dane mix after being found by our caretakers, starving and dehydrated.
We learned how to nurse baby birds when little sparrow Phoenix Rising was brought to us, struggling to survive after falling from the nest.
And now, we are proud family to Freedom and Fawn (pictured here), who had no chance of being rehomed as a pair, so they crept into our hearts instead, and stayed there.
Bella, Iolana, Naevia, Anela and Mirijam had been rescued as calves from a closing dairy, and rehomed at Magical Creatures. In 2020, to aid in the sanctuary’s rescue efforts, they were brought to VeganLand, where they spent six months grazing on the abundant grass.
While we were trying our best to ease his discomfort, we were reminded over and over that our special little man, the Magic Rabbit himself, would be seen by many as nothing more than a luxury meal or the makings of a high-end sweater; a bundle of meat covered in the softest fur.
How You Can Help
What you can do to help us awaken the vegan in everyone:
If you’re not yet vegan, this is the most significant thing you can do. In today’s world, billions upon billions of nonhuman animals are exploited to serve human purposes, just like human slaves. Their owners are legally entitled to subject them to unimaginable cruelty in the name of profit, convenience, and fulfilling the desires of consumers. Every non-vegan choice contributes to this atrocity. The rising tide of vegans, on the other hand, is the hope these enslaved individuals have for emancipation from this brutal existence.
Help others to become vegan
Moral paradigm shifts do not cause themselves. They are caused by small groups of people within society who persistently educate others why change is necessary. By becoming an advocate for veganism, you can join a growing, positive, and peaceful movement to foster respect for the natural world, protect and restore public health, and most important, to end the social acceptability of violence and injustice inflicted on our fellow animals.
Make use of the GW resources
We share the best of what we publish on our newsletter and on our social media channels, and we pride ourselves on providing high-quality, informative content that also inspires the reader. When you encounter material of ours that touches you, you can help increase its impact by sharing it with your own friends and followers.
Write for us!
If writing is your thing, and you’re passionate about using your talents to help, consider becoming a contributor to the Gentle World website. We’re currently open to submissions for our Vegan Living section, so if you have the knowledge and the skill, please feel free to reach out and introduce yourself.
Make a financial contribution
You can make a one-time or recurring donation here. You can also support us by visiting our online store, and by using the affiliate links on our site. Partnerships with select vegan companies are one of the ways we raise funds for our educational programs.
We’ve been pioneers of the vegan movement for over 40 years,
inspiring change through education, advocacy, and innovation.
Words to Inspire
In the Words of our Founders
“We have been spreading the word since we knew there was a word to spread. If we kept silent and that silence allowed more animals to suffer, we would wonder if our words could have saved their lives. It was literally a matter of life and death. The vegan changes we have seen during the past 50 years are the most encouraging aspects of this less than encouraging world situation.“
Veganism is as essential to peace as peace is to Paradise. It topples the foundation of violence and cruelty upon which our terribly imperfect governments, cultures, societies and religions are built. It frees us from the self-absorption that fuels our conflicts. It inspires an expansive and inclusive way of living heretofore unknown to our species.
Dogs have not only been some of my best friends, but some of my greatest teachers. There is no doubt in my mind that my feeling for dogs was a significant factor in my vegan epiphany, since it was not a far leap from the eyes of my best friends to the eyes of the first cow I ever saw crying tears of sorrow.
If you are not yet vegan yourself, you might be moving in that direction or have a friend or two who is. You may even be convinced by now that veganism is a reasonable solution to many of the world’s problems. Perhaps, you have secretly envisioned doing it yourself, someday… when you are ready.
Even many of the most progressive among us, seemingly without thought, continue to exclude certain sentient beings from the shelter of their compassion by accepting, condoning, supporting and even applauding the most unspeakable injustices perpetrated against those they see as “others,” because they happened to have been born other than human.