Gentle World

Introducing Hein’s Kitchen!

Based in Chapel Hill, NC, Hein's Kitchen is the creation of Hein Nang, an upcoming vegan chef extraordinaire and one of Gentle World's 2022 visitors! We're proud to say that Hein made his vegan commitment right here at our Hawaii center. :)
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A World Restored

I knew that as long as there were people who perceived life this way, and talked about justice in its true form, there was hope in this world for other animals.
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The Growth of Veganism

We recently got together with James Cox from Human Insights, who interviewed Gentle World’s founder Light about his 50+ years of veganism. They were joined by Gentle World’s Outreach Director Angel Flinn, to discuss the hope that veganism brings.…
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An Update on Fawn

It’s so easy to take for granted those whom we love, but we thought we might lose little Fawn recently when two vets told us that the irregular tissue we had noticed in her left eye was likely a tumor,…
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Gentle World’s Founder on the Airwaves

After 52 years of vegan life, Light’s extraordinary experience has given him a unique perspective that is guaranteed to inspire, and his recent appearances on various vegan podcasts have given him the chance to do just that.
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Three volunteers sit at the Gentle World table at our vegan visitor center in Hawaii

Something We Will Never Forget

Ana and Diogo came to us from Brazil, uncertain of how to be vegan in a country that isn't so vegan-friendly! After learning about the vegan philosophy, and how to find vegan options in Brazil, they left here inspired and excited to step into their new vegan lives.
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Using My Voice

Thank you for teaching me, Gentle World. You have grounded me in my morals, thoughts, and actions. I know the future of the planet's health relies on my generation. I will do my absolute best to ensure we set a new precedent of standards. 
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The Best Experience of my Life

Gentle World taught me more than I can put into words and gave me a new perspective on life -- not just my life, but the life of everything and everyone around me. I'll carry that with me everywhere I go.
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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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Two volunteers enjoy a vegan breakfast at Gentle World's visitor center in Hawaii

A Newfound Sense of Purpose

At 22 and 23, Laura and Libby came to Gentle World from their home town of San Marcos in Texas, hoping to find the inspiration to transition from vegetarian to vegan.
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Gentle World thanks A Well Fed World

In 2021, plant foods advocacy organization A Well-Fed World provided Gentle World with an outreach grant, enabling us to expand our online education with the help of a subscription to the volunteering platform Catchafire.
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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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Gentle World's vegan eBook

Exciting News: Our First Vegan eBook!

For those who are new to veganism, we hope our free vegan eBook will be a helpful and informative guide. For those who are new to vegan advocacy, and those who have already heard these questions dozens of times yourselves, we hope that you’ll find it a valuable resource to assist you in fielding the inquiries of others.
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Volunteers at Gentle World

The Peace I Needed

Although I was aware of it, you have made me connect with veganism in a different way. I'm going back home even more sure, convinced, and aware of my decision, as well as my responsibility and the impact that it can have in the future in the world.
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Silhouette in the morning light of a hunter at the opening of Victoria's duck hunting season.

A New Way of Thinking and Living

35 years ago I went to see my sister who lived with Gentle World when they were based in Florida. I was a full-on carnivore when I arrived with a truck full of guns, fishing gear, and animal skins and…
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One of Gentle World's volunteers stands smiling in front a giant Banyan tree

A Transformational Experience

Visiting Gentle World is not just an educational opportunity to learn more about veganism and sustainability. It is a one-of-a-kind transformational experience into a higher life of peace, harmlessness, spirituality, and compassion for all. When I stumbled upon Gentle World…
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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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Authenticity

One of the most enriching experiences in my life took place in Gentle World. A few months ago I arrived on the Big island of Hawaii, carrying my dreams in a small backpack, looking to learn more about veganism.
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gentle world visitors

Our June Visitors

After COVID restrictions brought a serious decline in visiting volunteers, we’re finally receiving inquiries again from an increasing number of people wanting to experience Gentle World.
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A wide shot of one of Gentle World's veganic gardens in Shangri-La, New Zealand

Shangri-La’s Veganic Magic

Gentle World's master grower Magic Rees has hit a home run with his 2021 veganic ventures. Our readers were given a first glimpse of the new garden last September, and we are now over the moon to see his efforts quite literally coming to fruition.
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Angel figurine thinking

My 40th Birthday Wish

A couple of weeks ago, a friend asked me what I find myself wishing for, as I approach my 40th birthday. Where can I possibly begin? Health and comfort for everyone I love. A light at the end of the…
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sun-rays-through-trees

Celebrating 40 Years!

February of 2021 brings with it the 40th anniversary of Gentle World’s incorporation as an educational organization. As we reflect on this milestone, we invite our readers to celebrate with us as we look to the future with a brand new vision for GentleWorld.org.
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Garden Therapy

The expansion of Shangri-La's veganic growing will help us to provide even more farm-fresh veganic produce to our future guests and volunteers, as well as those participating in Te Whare Rongoa's plant-based nutrition counseling program.
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Male hand with a pen and paper, with light shining in the window

Letters We Live For

I'm truly grateful, and I hope many more people will have the chance to see this beautiful place for themselves and learn what respect, compassion, and mindfulness really mean.
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A young woman gazes at the sunset sky

A Smile My Whole Body Feels

I had no idea how holistic of an experience this would be, and now I embark on this journey with a bigger, lighter heart. I leave feeling more connected to all worlds than ever before.
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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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Guests attending Gentle World's vegan film screening in Kaitaia, New Zealand

A Vegan Evening in Kaitaia, NZ

Gentle World is continuing our summer education program in New Zealand’s Far North, collaborating once again with Te Whare Rongoā for our first event at the Te Ahu cinema in Kaitaia. The evening was a big success, and we have…
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sophia gw hawaii

Who I Really Want To Be

One of our favorite visitors of 2020, Sophia was a reminder of what a beautiful experience it can be to share our vegan knowledge with those who are open to receiving it.
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The possum-proof fence around Gentle World's newest garden bed in New Zealand

Farming with Possums

With Shangri-La surrounded by native bush, we've had to find creative ways to live and farm alongside these persistent garden explorers. Living with possums presents a challenge, but we focus on finding nonviolent solutions.
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hebe flower

Partnering with Te Whare Rongoā

Serving NZ's Far North community with a high percentage of Maori clients, Te Whare Rongoā (House of Medicine) offers well-being services through education in plant-based food and herbal medicine.
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A beautiful little red-breasted bird perched on a branch

Letter from JP

When I came to visit you all, I was elated to find there were people like me and I was not alone. I will never forget those days as they molded me into the person I am.
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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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vegan event collage

Vegan Gathering

At the beginning of the month, Gentle World hosted an event that attracted over 70 vegans, for a beautiful day of education and celebration. In the year 2000, when Gentle World first came to the Big Island, there was no…
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Co-founders of Gentle World vegan community Light and Sun

Pioneers of Peace

On February 22nd, Gentle World’s Co-founders Light and Sun celebrated their 47th veganniversary, providing living proof that vegan human beings can not only lead an exemplary, love-filled, respectful, responsible, caring, healthy, active and vibrant life, but also inspire countless others…
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Happy smiling face of a vegan woman with glasses laying on the floor

Dawn

I told my friends, “I think it’s a vegan place... That should be interesting.” That night, I ordered chicken wings because I figured I’d better get some good food in beforehand.
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bench under trees new zealand

Spreading The Message

Thank you for showing me this beautiful place. During these past 11 days, I’ve learned a lot about veganic gardening, communal living and also even more about veganism. I leave here even more passionate about veganism, and more passionate about…
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Baby green plant seedlings growing in soil

Veganic Growing in Action

It's always a joy to give people the opportunity to reconnect with where the food we eat comes from, and the veganic cultivation of plant foods is a beautiful thing to take part in.
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tree trimming

A Better Reality

Three years ago, we were fortunate enough to meet two wonderful people who came to us from Italy, and volunteered in Shangri-La for two seasons in a row, becoming part of our communal family for a time. Sadly, we have…
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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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Dearest GW Family…

Today, it has been one month since I was part of your lovely community and worked in the garden. I felt so calm and at peace in Gentle World and everything felt good. I realized there, in that beautiful spot,…
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White and yellow daisies

A New Path

In December of 2015, on a very sunny spring day, I arrived at this hidden valley in the far north of New Zealand. My first week in Gentle World passed by so quickly, as I helped with weeding, cooking, cleaning,…
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collage for event vegan voices

Vegan Voices

On October 18th, Gentle World welcomed over 60 people to our North Kohala center for an afternoon of education and inspiration. Guests had the chance to take home free samples of vegan alternative products, as well as enjoying a delicious…
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hawaii rainbow

New Friends…

Gentle World Family, Though our time here was brief, we are grateful for the exposure to the truth about animal exploitation. You gave us a strong definition of veganism. Thank you all so much for hosting us and teaching us…
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Cloudy sunrise over veganic agriculture at Gentle World Hawaii

August Visitors

I cannot begin to describe how much I have learned and experienced the past week. I am absolutely grateful that life brought me here, even if it was for a fleeting period. I arrived here as someone curious about veganism,…
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View from balcony of beautiful sunset at Gentle World's vegan community

Our June Guestbook

My vegan family! You guys transformed me into a person I am proud to be. I see life differently. I have noticed that I pay attention to the little things. My life in California was different. I wanted to help…
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pink flower supporting a single buzzing bee

My Vegan Corner of the World

My little corner of the world is a memorial garden to my best canine friend. I intentionally mixed in flowers throughou, both to attract pollinators, and because they brings color to my world even when the sun isn't shining.
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Cowspiracy
on the Big Island

Last month we were thrilled to host a screening of the film Cowspiracy, which is a truly eye-opening exposé of the environmental and ethical impacts of animal agriculture, produced by Kip Anderson and Keegan Kuhn. With close to 60 very…
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A close up of a white luculia flower cluster beginning to open

More From Our Visitors

As we say goodbye to September, it somehow seems as though the end of the year is right around the corner. This past season at our Hawaii location has been a wonderful time for visitors and volunteers.
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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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Table full of delicious vegan food for afternoon lunch

A Vegan Afternoon…

On November 9th, our Hawaii location was filled with excitement and enthusiastic attendees for “A Vegan Afternoon.” The event was chock-full of informative talks/videos, delicious food and resources to help people embrace the vegan way of life.Upon arriving, guests had…
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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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An extreme close up of the shimmering pink and white petals of a lily

People Like You

When people experience the vegan awakening, it’s awe-inspiring to live alongside them as their thoughts begin to shift. As each of our new friends from around the globe expresses their realizations, we have the opportunity to share in their epiphany.
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light over mountain shangri la e1626412015850

I Know I’m Doing the Right Thing

I was a vegetarian for two years when I arrived in Shangri-La. But I never really thought about veganism. I didn’t want to give up my cheese (I’m French, you understand?) The first words there were “Vegan is the first…
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A monarch butterfly lands on a pink zinnia

Letters from our Visitors

from Jesse, United States: For me, visiting Gentle World was the beginning of my journey, but I was so impacted by the peaceful sanctuary and the amazing people who live in it, that I decided to come back to end…
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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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Close up shot of a country path surrounded by magical wildflowers

It Must Have Been Lovely

43 years after Tom Paxton wrote such poignant lyrics mourning our impending loss, the loveliness of my own garden holds more meaning to me than ever... Will we always have flowers? Will the forest always have trees? Will meadows always be green?
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florida event crowd at table

Florida Vegan Event a Huge Success!

On September 8th, Gentle World sponsored “It’s Easy to be Vegan!” – a free vegan educational day in South Florida that attracted over 200 people. This vegan extravaganza was facilitated by M. Butterflies Katz, along with a fantastic team of…
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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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A deep orange-red sunset over the ocean

A Gentle World in my Heart

Aloha Lovely Gentle Worlders... You were all so wonderful and my time at the farm was great. I LOVE my new cookbook and share it with anyone who is interested. I am happily cooking for hostels everywhere with the great recipes...
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vegan painting fruit landscape

A Vegan Earth Day Celebration!

Earlier this month, Gentle World volunteers participated in a local Earth Day celebration, which brought the magic of plant-based healing to hundreds of people... What were we doing there? Serving food, of course!
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A monarch chrysalis hands from a stunning red sunflower in a brightly-colored flower garden

Creating Magic…

My experiences here have kindled a new fire in me, so instead of story-telling I jumped right to the processing. What am I learning here? The questions keep coming…
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A front view of Gentle World's gold and red farmhouse in New Zealand

Life in a Vegan Community

Because we're not willing to accept ‘the world as it is,’ we have joined together from different walks of life in order to work towards the building of a new one; both as a sanctuary for ourselves and as a model of what human beings can achieve.
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Crowd of People Having Fun At The Kohala Fair

Kohala Fair 2011 – Bigger than Ever!

At the beginning of this month, a bustling group of Kohala Country Fair-Goers learned why mealtime is our favorite time at Gentle World! This annual event always attracts thousands of attendees, but a change of venue made the Country Fair…
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A woman blindfolded in a black eye mask, with black background

You Can’t Return to Ignorance

On the one hand, the decision seemed pretty easy. On the other hand, my parents own a farm. They raise animals for meat, and my mum milks cows for a living. So, I had a big crisis on my hands about how to bring those alternative points of view in line.
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Full healthy happy and proud volunteers and co-founders at Gentle World

Gentle World on New Zealand National Radio

Gentle World and veganism were featured on nationwide New Zealand radio this month, with a slot on a show called Spectrum, where we had an opportunity to speak to over 80,000 people throughout New Zealand and the rest of the world.
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Woman Holding A Place With Vegan Food From A Cooking Class at The Herb Shack New Zealand

Sharing the Joy of Vegan Cooking

On Saturday, March 12th, Gentle World volunteers hosted a free vegan cooking class at our favorite NZ venue: The Herb Shack. With 22 attendees who showed lots of interest in the vegan culinary techniques, the day was a fantastic success!
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Woman's hand holding a white chicken's egg with a basket of eggs to the side

Waking Up: Vegetarian to Vegan

I came to Gentle World’s Vegan Education Center inspired by a friend’s email suggesting it as an interesting place to visit and drawn by the veganic gardening concept. I thought, “what the heck, why not WWOOF for a week and see what happens?”
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Giant Pear Grown at Gentle World

Gentle World’s Giant Pear!

Every now and then, our veganic growing program rewards us with a giant vegetable or piece of fruit… To give you some idea of the scale, the flower to the left is a magnolia, which usually measures between 6 and…
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Fruit and Vegetables from Harvest Time at Gentle World Shangri-La

Harvest Time

Here in Gentle World, we sometimes forget that many people don’t have the luxury of enjoying home-grown vegetables, let alone delicious veganically-grown fruit… But in Shangri-La, thanks to the hard work of our team of dedicated volunteers and expert gardener…
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Veganic gardener Magic Rees kneels next to his corn crop at Gentle World's New Zealand center

Gardening with Magic

Magic Rees has been an organic grower since 1980. In 1989, he co-founded the Far North Organics Association in New Zealand, for which he served as Farm Certifier for 10 years. In 2000, he became Shangri-La’s head gardener and veganic educator.
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Tabby cat resting on his side on a bench in the garden

Can Cats Be Vegan?

Raising cats on a vegan diet requires a commitment to ensuring they are getting all the nutrients they need, including taurine and l-Carnitine. Having said that, we have read and heard claims of many healthy plant-powered cats.
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herb shack catering

Gentle Catering at The Herb Shack

From the 9th to the 12th of February, Gentle World volunteers provided healthy, delicious vegan food to participants at a healing convention at The Herb Shack Café in our local town of Kaitaia, New Zealand. With both practitioners and patients…
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The Herb Shack at Kaitaia

Vegan Education in Animal Farming Country

In an area of New Zealand that is better known for the farming of sheep and cows than vegan education, Gentle World volunteers shook things up a little last weekend, by inviting the residents of the small town of Kaitaia…
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Closeup of a bright green healthy veganic (vegan-organic) cabbage

Veganic Growing in Shangri-La

Around a week ago, the last of the Gentle World volunteers arrived at our Vegan Educational Center in Northland, New Zealand, officially kicking off the 11th summer in our Southern Hemisphere Center, which we call Shangri-La. For over ten years,…
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Gentle World at the Kohala Fair

Vegan Restaurant for a Day

Every year, in the beginning of October, Gentle World volunteers set up a 'vegan restaurant for a day', smack in the middle of a fairly typical Country Fair, an event where almost every other booth serves 'Standard American Fair Food'.
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