Reasons to go Vegan
Please note that there are even more reasons to go vegan than are listed here but these are the ones that resound most with me.
• Animal agriculture contributes 51% of all greenhouse gases. Where as transportation is responsible for 10-15% of all greenhouse gases.
• Animal agriculture is the leading cause of deforestation. (Animal agriculture is responsible for over 90% of the destruction of the Amazon)
• Main cause of loss of fertile top soil. (We have lost 50% of our fertile topsoil for growing food in the past 100 years.)
• Main cause of biodiversity loss (We are currently in the 6th major extinction event in history.)
• Main cause of ocean dead zones and water pollution
• Growing feed for livestock uses over half of all available water in the USA.
• Main cause of desertification
• We have already lost a large portion of the fish in the oceans and if we continue as we are doing we could see fishless oceans before 2050.
• The United Nations (UN) has said that a shift towards a vegan/plant based diet will be essential to mitigate the worst effects of climate change.
Don’t believe me? Feel free to check out the documentaries Cowspiracy or Meat the Truth or check out any of the facts available online. This list barely scratches the surface.
• High consumption of meat, dairy and eggs have been linked to cancer, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, obesity, osteoporosis and many other diseases.
• Three quarters of the worlds population is lactose intolerant
• Countries with higher consumption of milk and dairy products also have higher rates of osteoporosis
• It is entirely possible to get all the calcium you need from plant based sources
• One serving of processed meat per day can increase your risk of getting diabetes by over 50%.
• The World Health Organization (WHO) has now classified processed meat as carcinogenic.
• Eating just one egg per day can be as harmful as smoking 5 cigarettes per day.
• The number one source of saturated fats is dairy.
• Genetics has less to do with diseases than environment and lifestyle choices
• Fish are a great source of PCB’s, mercury, saturated fats and cholesterol
• There is a strong link between dairy consumption and autoimmune diseases
• We are the only species to continue drinking milk after weaning
• We are the only species to drink milk from another species
• Only 5-10% of cancers are genetic
• Dairy consumption has been linked to various cancers
• 80% of antibiotics are given to livestock
• 23,000 people die each year from antibiotic resistant bacteria
• A whole foods plant based diet has been shown to reverse diabetes and heart disease among other diseases
• It is entirely possible to get all the protein you need from plants
• It is entirely possible to get all the iron you need from plants
• It is entirely possible to get all the calcium you need from plants
• Most Americans get less than half the fibre they need in their diet
• Vitamin and nutrition uptake increase dramatically on a plant based diet from a meat based diet
• When switching to a plant based diet cholesterol levels drop dramatically after just a few days
• If you eat meat your chances of getting diabetes is 1 in 3
• If you eat meat your chances of getting cancer are 1 in 2 for a man or 1 in 3 for a woman
• If you eat meat your chances of gaining weight are 2 in 3
• Manly athletes are switching to a vegan or plant based diet as it has been shown to increase performance, endurance and recovery time.
Don’t believe me? Check out any of these documentaries; Forks Over Knives, What the Health, Vegucated, Fat Sick and Nearly Dead, Food Choices, Hungry for Change, or Eating You Alive. Feel free to do your own research online or check out any of the published literature on this topic.
C. Animal Rights
• Chickens and pigs are often kept in small cages or sheds where they have little to no room to move or turn around
• Chickens are debeaked (their beaks are cut off) to stop them from pecking at each other from stress
• Chickens in cages often have injuries to their feet from the cage wire
• Chickens often end up lame from being genetically engineered to grow bigger faster but their legs do not grow at the same rate and buckle and sometime break under the weight of their own bodies
• Male chicks born will not lay eggs and are disposed of either by being dumped in a landfill, suffocated in garbage bags or thrown into a grinder while still alive to make feed to feed back to the hens
• Male baby piglets are castrated without anaesthetic or further medical care, some die from infections from open wounds
• Pigs trapped in such small cages have been shown to have signs of severe depression
• Cows are kept in cramped feed lots where they are standing in their own manure
• Antibiotics are used to make animals grow faster and keep them alive in unsanitary conditions
• Female cows are forcibly artificially inseminated (raped) by humans because the natural process would take too long
• Baby calves are taken away from their mothers within 48 hours. Females are raised to become new dairy cows, males are usually raised for veal. Mother and calf form a strong emotional bond shortly after birth (just like with humans) and it is very traumatic for them to be separated
• Female cows are hooked up to milking machines that pump milk out of the them. Often the cows end up with chaffing on their udders, this can lead to infection which can cause there to be pus and blood that end up in the milk.
• During the slaughter process pigs are submerged alive in scalding boiling hot water, cows are stunned but it doesn’t always kill them, then they are then hung up side down and cut up into slices (sometimes while still alive)
• A vegetarian saves an average of 95 animal lives a year
• 56 million animals are slaughter each year in the meat, dairy and egg industries
• Contrary to popular belief fish do feel pain
• Fish hauled onto the deck of a ship often die either from their stomachs exploding from the pressure change of being brought from so far below the surface or die from suffocation as they can’t breathe air
• In the end if it is not necessary to kill another sentient being then arguably it becomes unethical to do so even if it is done humanely
Don’t believe me? Check out the following documentaries; Speciesism, Vegan Everyday Stories, Earthlings (Warning: extremely graphic), Blackfish, Meet Your Meat or do you own research to find out the truth
D. Human Rights
• People who work in factor farm or slaughterhouse have high rates of suffering from PTSD
• Many of these farmers are enslaved by debt to the corporations funding them
• There are many health hazards of being in this trade including; injury from sharp equipment, inhaling dust, feces, hydrogen sulphide and other air contaminants, handling animals in distress or working with hazardous machines and chemicals
• A lot of the workers in factory farms are immigrants or poor people with very little other job prospects. These workers can sometimes include underage children even in first world countries like the United States
• Most of these workers do not mention health and safety hazards to their superiors for fear of being fire
• Antibiotic resistant has been steadily increasing largely due to the fact that 80% of antibiotics are fed to livestock
• Untreated manure and pesticide runoff can contaminate clean water sources. Many poor communities that live near factory farms suffer from related health issues
• Recent studies have show that antibiotic resistant bacteria from these farms can be airborne
• We currently grown enough calories to feed 10-11 billion people but we feed a large portion of that to animals
Don’t believe me? Check out Food Inc. to see how the food industry is affecting people or do some research on your own
E. Personal Reasons
• A whole food plant based diet can often be a cheaper way of feeding yourself or your family if you shop for fruits and vegetables in season and use the bulk section to stock up on nuts, seeds, grains and legumes
• You will learn how to be a better cook and be able to explore various different taste and textures
• Food tastes better when you are healthier (once you’ve gone a couple weeks to adjust to the new paradigm)
• You’ll have more energy to do stuff
• It forces you to be creative
• You come to a point where you realize it just makes more sense this way
• You will feel better about the choices you are making when it comes to food
Feel free to leave your own personal reasons in the comment section. Any questions feel free to ask.