Updated: Mar 15
There are many different reasons for being vegan, some people live in a vegan family, many people change to a vegan diet for health reasons, to cure a disease or prevent one. Some people make the change to their diet and lifestyle because they find out the truth about animal agriculture and don't want any part in it. Recently there has been a lot of publicity about how animals agriculture is affecting the environment and this is making people think about their own personal impact on global warming and climate change. Everyone has their own story.
Going Vegan For Your Health
A balanced plant based diet has been proven by science to be good for your health. Studies, where people have been put on a vegan diet and then had their health tested, have shown that they're bodies work better when they don't eat meat, eggs or dairy products. Skin problems, like acne and eczema get better, people with type 2 diabetes, where their bodies can't process sugar, can stop taking their medicines because their doctors say that they don't need need it anymore. Sports people from tennis players to weightlifters are saying that they're faster and stronger on a vegan diet.
Going Vegan For The Animals
Life for most animals on modern farms is a miserable existence. Chickens, turkeys, ducks and geese are raised in massive sheds where they don't ever go outside, there aren't even windows for them to look out of. They are crammed in with thousands of other birds where they have to fight for space, they don't even have room to spread their wings and have a stretch. They will never feel a cool breeze, the warm sun or even experience rain on their backs. They have nothing to do, ever, they can't play, there's no space, they can't dig and scratch in the earth as they would do in nature.
Pigs are also kept on factory farms, spending most of their lives in crates so small that they can't turn around or even lie down comfortably. Cows on dairy farms are forced to have babies over and over again then the babies are taken away so that humans can take the milk and sell it. Then at the end of all of this misery, when their poor bodies are all used up, the animals are slaughtered; there is no happiness, no fun or joy in these animals' lives, but there is almost constant pain. I can't imagine "living" like that and I wouldn't wish it on any living creature.
Going vegan means that you will have no part in this misuse and exploitation of animals. You won't be getting someone else to do horrible things for you so that you can eat a hotdog or a pack of chewy sweets. Animals don't need to suffer for us to have the things that we want, they don't need to be involved at all.
Going Vegan For The Planet
Food is one of the biggest contributors to our carbon footprints and animal products are the worst. Animal farming is, some say, the biggest cause of climate-changing gases and it's really not even an efficient way to make food. It takes way more energy to make the food that comes from animals products than it does to get food from plant products. An example is corn, it takes roughly twenty-five times more energy to produce one calorie of beef than to produce one calorie of corn, it's ridiculous. Animal products provide us with 18 per cent of our calories and yet is responsible for 60 per cent of agriculture’s greenhouse gas emissions. Oxford University research shows that plant foods, like nuts and soy, cause far less damage to the environment than animal foods. The lead researcher said that becoming vegan was ‘the single biggest thing’ people could do to help protect the planet.
Also, farming animals uses far more land than growing plants which is a major contributor to deforestation. Huge swathes of trees are cleared, sometimes by burning, to make way for animals to graze or to grow crops to feed to animals on intensive farms. The animals who once lived in the forest must flee or die. All of the trees and plants that once grew there are gone and in their place is air, soil and water pollution, then there are the ocean dead zones caused by the poisoning of the water. These are areas where there is so little oxygen, nothing can survive. The amount of water used to raised animals simply does not compare to the small amount used to grow crops. We don't have enough water to be able to waste it, and yet this continues.
In the seas and oceans fish are being effectively stolen from their homes. They are scooped out in huge nets and left to drown in the air before being thrown into boxes filled with ice to be sold. Most of the plastic found in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch actually comes from abandoned and lost fishing gear. But, somehow, people think that this is okay because they like tuna sandwiches or they think that they have to eat salmon to get their omega oils, here's a tip, try eating chia seeds and leave the fish alone.
We have to stop this, whatever your reason for going vegan, whatever your reason is for staying vegan, we must stop this abuse. It's abuse of our bodies, it's awful abuse of the animals and abuse of our planet. This is the only home we have and we should be looking after it, cherishing it. Not squeezing everything that we want out of it and leaving others to figure out what to do with the mess that we leave behind.
If you are vegan think about what made you go vegan and why you stay vegan. If you're not vegan what has made you consider making the change? Let me know in the comments and share the message.