Why Go Vegan?

12 Jan 2020

@abillion profile image
abillion

Why go vegan

REASONS TO GO VEGAN

"The most dangerous phrase in our language is - We’ve always done it this way." Grace Hopper

If you’ve been considering taking steps towards a more compassionate life, now is a perfect time. We enjoy soft, melty cheese on our pizzas, juicy burgers, decadent desserts and multi-course Michelin-starred restaurants – all without compromising on ethics. Need another little nudge to get you moving in the right direction? We're here to help.

For Your Health

Health

Many reports about veganism and plant-based diets have been documented in the last few decades. Vegans have lower risks of obesity, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, type-2 diabetes than meat-eaters. Vegans’ blood cholesterol levels are typically 35% lower than those of omnivores. Whole, plant-based foods help achieve optimal health compared to animal products, which are the only sources of dietary cholesterol, plant-based diets are naturally heart-healthy.

What about protein

By forgoing animal protein, you won’t need to worry about calcium loss attributable to high-protein diets. Weight conscious people will be glad to learn that vegetarians have a lower body-mass index (BMI) than omnivores, and a common experience reported among people transitioning to a plant-based diet or veganism is that they very fast, and very easily, shed a few pounds, have more energy and stamina, and feel better having made the leap from meaty to meat-free. Best of all, vegans, on average, live 6 to 10 years longer than meat-eaters!

For the Environment

Environment

The Amazon Rainforest is often called the “Lungs of the Planet”. Animal agriculture is responsible for up to 91% of Amazon destruction since 1970, as reported by The World Bank. A 2018 Oxford University study found that the meat and dairy industry are responsible for 60% of global greenhouse gas emissions and even if people did nothing else but removed animal products from their diets, they'd reduce their carbon footprint by a whopping 73%! We’re in the midst of a terrible ecological devastation. Carbon offsetting is imperative among today’s eco-friendly state, and by going vegan, you’re making a difference! By merely eliminating meat and dairy from your diet, you’re already doing more for the environment than if you were to exchange your gas-guzzling car for an electric one.

When the United Nations released its 2007 environmental report, many were shocked to learn that industrialized animal agriculture is responsible for more greenhouse-gas pollution than all of the world’s automobile emissions combined. Raising animals for food takes up 45% of the Earth’s total land. 1-2 acres of rainforest are cleared every second, causing habitat loss and species extinction. Livestock production also accounts for over 8% of global water use and is the number one cause of water pollution worldwide. When you consider that 64% of the world is expected to feel the stress of water shortages by 2025, going vegan just makes sense.

As countries around the world continue to industrialize and develop, the demand for meat increases. Sadly, 70% of what was once the Amazon rainforest is now used for grazing animals, and with each tree that disappears, the earth’s ability to absorb carbon dioxide from the air diminishes, placing a higher environmental toll on our already-burdened planet. A study by Beyond Meat and the University of Michigan showed that the average American--who eats about 3 burgers per week--could save the amount of greenhouse gas emissions produced by 12 million cars just by simply swapping a meal a week to a plant-based one.

Plant-based “meat” production use up to 99% less water and 95% less land, and generates up to 90% fewer emissions than regular beef burgers, whilst consuming nearly half the energy. A close examination of the big environmental picture and the role that animal agriculture plays in global warming will have you swapping that cheeseburger for a vegan one in no time.

Fact: It takes 27 times more petroleum to produce a hamburger than it does a veggie burger

For The Animals

Animals

“The question is not, can they reason? Nor can they talk? But can they suffer?” Jeremy Bentham

With veganism on the rise, and entire supermarkets aisles now dedicated to vegan food products, it’s a good time to consider what motivates people to go vegan, like negative health effects of excessive meat and dairy consumption and the enormous environmental impacts of industrial agriculture as mentioned above. If you love animals, adopting a vegan lifestyle is the most profound way to align your actions with your ethics. A 2015 Guardian article referring to the suffering of billions of animals each year in factory farming as one of the “worst crimes in history” could possibly be the most powerful motivation for swapping chicken for tofu.

Animal agriculture is responsible for causing the largest mass species extinction and by 2048 our oceans could be fish-less. The horrific cruelty involved in industrial factory farming reduces these living beings to mere profitable commodities and is where eradicating animal agriculture finds firmer ground. New legislation is being introduced in several countries to allow our feathered friends some basic rights, but there really is no such thing as a “cruelty-free” egg or “humanely-raised’ chicken, even if it is labeled cage-free. The ways in which animals are currently treated in the meat and dairy industry could not be further from respect or compassion.

Animals in factory farms

Chickens

There are two different breeds of chicken in factory farms. There is the breed of chicken used for modern egg production and the breed used for meat production. Each has been selectively bred for hyper-production: egg-laying hens for high egg volume, and "meat" chickens for rapid growth and maximum breast yield. Both types suffer from physical problems brought on by poor treatments in such farms. They are raised indoors in large sheds containing thousands of chickens (or more) crowded together on top of their own waste and without adequate ventilation. The conditions are so unsanitary that high ammonia levels develop, causing the chickens to have irritated eyes, throats, and skin. Because of selective breeding, combined with antibiotics, excessive feeding, and inadequate exercise, most industrially raised chickens grow unnaturally quickly and disproportionately. While their breasts grow large to meet market demand, their bones and organs lag behind. This results in many suffering from heart failure, breathing difficulties, leg weakness, chronic pain and an inability to support their own weight.

Cows

Just like humans, cows only produce milk after they've given birth. To keep a constant supply of milk, the cows have to be artificially inseminated. The gestation period lasts nine months, so the majority of dairy cows' lives are spent pregnant.

A calf is separated from its mother the same day he/she is born so that he/she doesn't "take from" the dairy farm by drinking his/her mother's milk. This causes trauma for the mother cows with natural, maternal instincts. Some mother cows even chase after trucks that carry their calf away. Some cry out loud for days, mourning the loss of their offspring. Male calves are slaughtered for veal, and the females become the next generation of dairy cows. After 2 to 5 years of age, their milk production would have slowed and they would become too weak or ill to continue in the industry. At that point, they are then slaughtered for beef.

Fish

Like industrial land-based farms, farmed fish are often housed in overcrowded conditions where injury, diseases and stress are ever-present. Industrial fisheries are reliant on antibiotics to treat the parasites and diseases caused by these unnatural conditions. Currently, there are no rules or regulations around the "humane" treatment of fish. This means that unlike chickens and cows who are stunned before slaughter, fishes are fully conscious when they are killed, commonly by bleeding, suffocating or freezing to death.

Suffering is inextricably linked to the production of animal products, and the decades of devaluing and reducing the lives of farm animals to nothing more than commodities for human consumption. This has become massively detrimental, not only to our health but to our planet as well. Buying animal products adds to the demand and indirectly supports the industry that's the leading cause of ocean dead zones, water pollution, habitat destruction, species extinction, and greenhouse gas emissions.

The road to veganism can be taken in baby steps. If saying goodbye to your beloved ham and cheese sandwiches brings a tear to your eye, cry no more. Vegan alternatives – from Omnipork to all types of vegan cheese await you at supermarkets around the world. Remember, it’s all about progress, not perfection. Take the time you need and don’t fret too much about slip-ups.

What are or will be your reasons for going vegan? Share your reasons in the comments below!

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Responses

Post
@bigfatnyancat profile image
bigfatnyancat2 YEARS AGO
baby steps is the way to go! introduce good vegan food to yr friends and they won't be so averse to eating plant based
REPLY
@tomyrivaderovegan profile image
Soy vegano hace 2 años ya 🌱💪
REPLY
@constantinos profile image
constantinos2 YEARS AGO
@tomyrivaderovegan desde hace 2016. Saludos de Chipre
REPLY
@therawpy profile image
therawpy2 YEARS AGO
For the starving people in the world, for economical reasons etc.
REPLY
@hengguanhou profile image
hengguanhou2 YEARS AGO
🙏🙏🙏for the earth, for animals and for health.
REPLY
@tabithalm profile image
tabithalm2 YEARS AGO
Empeze siendo vegetariana y ahora ya vegana tengo poco tiempo pero nunca eh estado familiarizada con la carne comía poco pollo,carne no,atun si..pero ya gracias a Dios todo eso puede cambiar.. cuando conciencitazamos el daño que hacemos tanto a los animales perjudicados también nuestra salud somos conscientes
REPLY
@bellabell profile image
bellabell2 YEARS AGO
Humans need to care for the animals. We need to get out of our selfish selves and recognize that there is a whole world out there that we need to care for ❤️
REPLY