Thinking of going Vegan? Here's 3 reasons why you should.
The number one reason to go Vegan is to remove yourself from the unnecessary exploitation of animals. Vegans generally share a belief that all sentient beings have a right to life, and that killing them for the sake of a meal is wrong.
As a race we are brought up with the understanding that certain animals are food, living in a strange dimension in which certain species are an endless stream of lifeless and indistinct commodities. Isn’t it strange how there is nearly 6,500 species of mammal's however in the western world only a handful are consumed? Would you eat Dog? Hamster? Monkey? I assume not - Yet are happy to eat Cow, Pig and Sheep?
This is a phenomena that has always bewildered me immensely - below is a TEDx talk from the incredible Melanie Joy regarding Carnism. Definitely a must watch!
It's not just about the slaughter of animals but also about the conditions they are kept in. I would challenge anyone to see what happens inside these farms and slaughterhouses to not be disgusted.
To make the most amount of money possible, animals are crammed together in pens, crates or cages - often meaning they begin to attack each other out of boredom, frustration and stress. To avoid this, animals have their teeth clipped, tails docked and beaks trimmed - more often than not without any kind of pain relief.
To produce high performing yields, they are pumped with concentrated feed, antibiotics and other growth enhancing treatments. All of which cause profound health issues including organ failure, infections and physiological issues.
As a Vegan - people often question why I don't consume any animal products at all. After all - you don't need to slaughter an animal to get eggs or milk right?
Unfortunately the egg and dairy industry contributes to an immense amount of suffering and the killing of billions of chicks, calves and cows every year.
Hens naturally only lay 12 to 20 eggs per year, farmed hens are genetically manipulated so they produce up to 300 eggs per year. Not only that but many have their beaks cut off to prevent them pecking each other in the horrendously overcrowded conditions that they live in.
Like humans, cows only produce milk in order to feed their young, this means that once a cow has given birth - the calf is immediately taken away from his/her mother. This leads to a huge amount of visible distress from the mother and the calf. The males are then reared for meat, or killed immediately. The females then spend the rest of their traumatising life being artificially impregnated by farmers and joining this cruel circle.
Due to the stress put on the bodies of Chickens and Cows - more often than not they become unable to lay eggs and produce milk far earlier than what is natural. Thus being slaughtered way before their time.
Animal agriculture is very space intensive and is the leading cause of deforestation. Meaning that the habitats of thousands of different creatures is being destroyed every day - leading to what scientists are describing as a ‘mass extinction’.
Did you know that a plant based diet has huge health benefits?
Eating a healthy, balanced vegan diet means you are more than likely to consume more fibre, antioxidants, potassium, magnesium, folate, and vitamins A, C, and E. Everything your body needs to be to work at optimum levels.
Research has shown that people who eat a vegan diet have lower blood sugar levels than non-vegans and has even shown to reverse type 2 diabetes. The risk of developing type 2 diabetes is nearly 80% less if you follow a plant based diet.
Some animal based products are classified by the World Health Organisation as carcinogenic’s and have shown to increase chance of cancer. Cancer rates in Vegans has shown to be up to half of those in the general public.
A vegan diet has been proven to significantly lower cholesterol levels - reducing the chance of heart disease and strokes. Again in some cases it has even shown to reverse heart disease.
Although not a reason to go Vegan, a plant based diet has also been shown to promote weight loss.
You would have to be living under a rock not to know that we are at a crucial point in the future of our planet and civilisation.
Surprisingly the most effective way you can reduce your carbon footprint is by going Vegan. Don't just take our word for it - Researchers at the University of Oxford found that eating a Vegan Diet is “single biggest way” to reduce your environmental impact and could reduce an individuals carbon footprint by up to 73%. Not only that but the United Nations has called for a global shift to a Vegan Diet where ever possible, as the most effective way to combat climate change, world hunger and ecological deforestation.
Not only is Animal Agriculture the second largest source of Greenhouse Emissions globally (Greater than all transportation combined), but it also requires a lot of space. If everyone stopped consuming animal products - land required for agriculture would drop by an incredible 75%. This means we could give land back to nature, helping combat mass wildlife extinction.
Keep a look out over the next few weeks for another blog post with more of the links between Climate Change and Veganism