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.

 

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.

A double portrait of Gentle World's founders, then and now

50 Years of Veganism!

Back in 1970, Gentle World was not even a dream in the minds of its founders. But these two individuals were beginning to lay its foundation.

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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.

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Sun Shines On

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.

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Light and Sun celebrating 43 years of veganism

Our Dedication Will Never Waiver

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.

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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.

Collage of educational plant-based medicine event at Gentle World vegan community Hawaii

Plant-Based Medicine Event

On October 23rd, Island-based cardiologist Lawrence Derbes spoke at the Gentle World educational center in North Kohala, bringing his message of plant-based healing to dozens of inspired attendees.

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Vegan author Will Tuttle speaking on stage

An Afternoon with Will Tuttle

Gentle World’s latest vegan event was a blend of philosophy and food. Dr. Tuttle provided the philosophy, and Gentle World provided the delicious food that is the reward for living in alignment with that philosophy.

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Animal Rescue

cloverSharing 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.

Freedom and Fawn at Gentle World in Hawaii with Summer

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.

A rescued horse grazes on VeganLand

A New Chapter at VeganLand

There are a myriad of reasons why horses will end up “last chance auctions.” There they will be offered to the public, for sale to whoever will pay more than what their flesh is worth per pound at the slaughterhouse.

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Demons or Deities?

At the end of 2021, Gentle World volunteers put on our animal rescue hats once again. Quite unexpectedly, a little dog had come to us. She was starving and exhausted after braving the elements to escape an abusive situation.

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cows at veganland

Our Partnership with Magical Creatures Sanctuary

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.

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A white rabbit eating seedlings in a garden

The Magic Rabbit

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.

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A black dog with copper markings resting under a bush looks directly at the camera

The Spirit of Kisses

It was easy to forget that Kisses had good reason for behaving the way she did. She had been taught to fear. She hadn’t just chosen to believe that humans were dangerous. She had been forced to accept it on a very primal level – she had had it beaten into her.

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A tiny baby sparrow with eyes closed, sitting on a human hand

Phoenix Rising: A Second Chance

This tiny (but feisty) little fighter was covered with ants and just beginning to get her feathers. Our friend told us she frequently sees birds that have fallen from their nests, but this baby bird in particular seemed determined to survive.

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How You Can Help

What you can do to help us awaken the vegan in everyone:

Become vegan
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. 

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.

Child smelling giant sunflower in a sunflower field

Ode to Joy

This is a reprint of a previously posted article. It was originally written and published in 2012.  When I was five years old, I unhappily discovered

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Sunrise in a calm blue sky

As We Should Be

Veganism is not simply a different way of eating. It is a different way of seeing and feeling that embodies the principle of ahimsa, or reverence for life. Simply put, veganism is feeling for another’s feelings.

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A black and white portrait of an elephant's face against a black background

The Elephant in the Room

We are called vegans, and although we come from differing nations, cultures, religions, economic stations, genders and ages, we share a powerful bond. We have all seen the elephant in the room, and agree that the only humane response is to withdraw our support.

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Looking up from within a circle of tall trees almost covering the sky with light at the top

A Saner Way

The many symptoms of our shared illness are easily seen on any street corner, in homes, schools, work places, courtrooms or anywhere else human behavior is on display. But the most serious is our seeming obsession with some form of violence.

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Artist's rendition of a path through a green meadow in the sunlight

Paradise Bound

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.

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new ledge sun painting

2017… and here we are

Veganism is non-violence in action; a sure, safe, practical, painless, easy, highly effective and absolutely free choice that everyone can make to help save all who live from humanity’s most destructive, dangerous addiction.

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A signpost with a rainbow colored sky in the background

Which Will We Choose?

Is there any hope at all for a peaceful resolution of the opposing forces in our nature, which are driving us mad? If so, the answer must be the pillars of sanity we call reason and compassion.

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A beautiful golden dog sleeps in her bed outside in the sun

A Feeling of Home

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.

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An orange and pink sky with many birds flying through it

If We Were They

The other animals, although born into different physical bodies are, like us, victims of circumstance. Like all people, they are who we might have been, there but for we know not what. They too, are us, if we were they.

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Beautiful sunset sky, with full sun and orange clouds

Why?

Why don’t those who make the laws do so with respect for our essential needs, and deepest feelings? Why do we continue to cause so much suffering and death to others? Why is there so much cruelty and violence in the world?

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Partial sunflower in front of a deep blue sky

Let Your Conscience Be Your God

The conscience is the one and only place inside us where reason and compassion live harmoniously, side by side. Its purpose, as should be that of any God figure, is to guide us to our better nature.

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Fiery sunset with blue sky

The Power is Ours

If we want a gentle world, we must reject violence. If we want a free world, we must be willing to free our human and non-human slaves. And if we want a peaceful world, we must first find a way to make peace with ourselves and one another.

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A bull in the field during sunset

They Can Count On Me

This is the first irrefutable truth I discovered in my life; that eating and using animals is, no matter how you look at it, an

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A human hand caressing the head of a beautiful white horse

The Vegan Inside Us

Now is the time for those of us who are willing to be the essential change this world so desperately needs, to open the closet door and set the vegan inside us free to unashamedly show the world who we really are.

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A close up of a beautiful white and golden rabbit with pink ears, sitting in green grass

The Rabbit Story

Gentle World’s co-founder reads aloud his piece The Rabbit Story, originally published in 1987.

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The thinker statue with a blue sky in background

An Open Letter to the Leaders of the Progressive Movement

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.

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Distant silhouettes of people standing in front of colorful sunset clouds

Why I Love Vegans

Vegans recognize the inherent right of every animal, human or otherwise, to be the sole owner of his or her body, and they acknowledge our ethical responsibility to treat every body with respect and even reverence for the mystery that gives them life.

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A back view silhouette of a woman watching the sunset

Satisfy Your Soul

When the world and its religions can’t quite satisfy your soul, and the hymns and prayers and chanting sound like one droll rigmarole…

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Blue sky filled with puffy clouds and sun rays

A Newer Age

The vegan evolution will inspire a heightened spiritual awareness, purify the body, and make possible personal and planetary healing unprecedented in human history.

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sun over ocean

Just This One…

The New Year is unlike other holidays, as it is not limited to those who belong to one religion or nation, but is a celebration we can all relate to: the ending of the old and the beginning of the new.

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A single cow stands silhouetted against a sunset sky

Occupy Humanity

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.

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Sunset over lake creates golden light on water

An Idea Whose Time Has Come

The vegan concept is not a fad that will pass with time. It is a necessary shift in thinking, that will lead to a heightened empathy and concern for others.

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Close up portrait of a stunning bull

An Irrefutable Truth

What a boost to my self-esteem to discover that I knew something that was absolutely right; something that no one, no matter their station in life, could convince me was wrong.

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Brown cow lying down on green grass with a chain around her neck

Humane? Ask the Animals.

Terms such as free-range, grass-fed, and humanely-raised have not only taken over the dialogue around the animal use debate, but have come to symbolize “it’s okay – you can eat me now.”

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