To stand against the exploitation of animals just to satisfy taste buds is a genuinely great reason to go vegan, but it’s not the only one. There are many health reasons and many more ethical and ecological reasons why eating meat in 2018 is unnecessary. It’s definitely a trending topic and one that could turn the food industry on its head with more and more people looking for an alternative to the indoctrinated meat, two veg and a starch for dinner.
We still hear cries of; “I love bacon too much to give up meat” or , “I can’t live without cheese, how could I not eat dairy?”.
For the first five years of eating a vegetarian diet, I had replaced most of my protein sources with veggie options containing eggs or milk, such as quiches, cheese, cakes and Quorn. Needless to say my weight shot through the roof! Five years in and I was 5 stone heavier.
In the interests of losing weight, I started to log what I was eating, became more interested in nutrition and looked for alternate sources of protein. My research unearthed several truths about the animal agriculture industry that I could no longer turn my back on. Truths not only from the likes of PETA and those Netflix documentaries everyone’s talking about, but from the food industry itself. The hypocrite in the mirror stared me down and said; “enough!” It was time to take my fork away from animals completely.
I would encourage anyone looking to improve their diet to do some serious research. You have nothing to lose but the ignorance caused by years of indoctrination. If you still choose to eat meat, at least you are doing so fully informed. These are my top 5 reasons to eat a vegan diet:
1. EATING A PLANT-BASED DIET CAN END WORLD HUNGER
Every day human beings the world over go hungry. It’s not that farmers can’t grow enough food, they already grow enough food to feed over 10 billion people.
Global human population is just over 7 billion, but we feed between 40-50% of all of the grains we grow to animals being fattened for slaughter or to those which produce milk.
This means that 82% of third world children starve while animals are being fed in order to be eaten by people in first world countries.
2. ANIMAL AGRICULTURE IS KILLING THE PLANET
The massive scale of breeding programmes to satisfy the meat and dairy industries is causing untold damage to the earth and is depleting natural resources, reducing native species’ habitats and threatening some wildlife with extinction.
Even the UN agrees, saying that breeding and keeping animals for food is;
“one of the top two or three most significant contributors to the most serious environmental problems”
Breeding and keeping animals for food is right up there with burning fossil fuels and deforestation when it comes to ecological problems on our planet.
One person who chooses to eat a vegan diet saves:
- 1,100 gallons of water
- 45lbs of grain
- 30 square foot of forested land
- 20lbs of CO2 equivalent
- 1 animal’s life
Every . Single . Day
Over the course of a year, one vegan could save up to 724,925 gallons of water – just do the maths to see how positive a change this could be for our planet, in water consumption and pollution alone, if the current growth in veganism continues.
3. HUMANS DO NOT NEED MEAT TO SURVIVE
In fact eating meat and animal products has been identified for years as a major contributor to illness in humans, including cancers, heart disease, obesity and over 75,000,000 cases of food poisoning, (5,000 fatal) every year.
We are not natural carnivores. Apart from the fact humans couldn’t run fast enough to catch prey, let alone bite through hide and raw sinew, we also have alkaline digestive systems which don’t break down raw meat and don’t kill off the bacteria and parasites in meat like a lion’s acid bath stomach.
Eating meat and dairy is a learned behaviour for humans, possibly due to a lack of plants at some point in our evolution but perpetuated by the food industry and governments wanting to profit.
4. LOOKING AND FEELING GREAT
Despite a common fear that a plant-based diet is deficient, the only real supplement required in addition to plants is vitamin B12. Now this would naturally be present on vegetables and fruits but we lose this precious nutrient as we have to wash away all the pesticides before we eat the plants. Meat-eaters get B12 via the animal as their fodder isn’t washed before they eat it and so the B12 is digested & absorbed along with the pesticides.
Whopping amounts of protein are found in green vegetables, legumes, whole grains, nuts and seeds. An additional bonus is that they are easier to digest than meat and dairy so you’re left with loads of energy rather than feeling sluggish. Plus, the high fibre content in plants helps eliminate toxins so you’ll feel fantastic.
Acne and other skin conditions can be improved dramatically with a plant-based diet and the high content of water, minerals and vitamins in fruit and vegetables can give your skin a natural glow and plumpness to turn back the clock without surgery or cosmetics.
Shedding weight is simple when eating a plant-based diet as you get the highest quality protein with a lot less fat. You can build lean muscles with complete ease and even drop a few dress sizes, no fasting, no bulking, no calorie counting.
5. HAVING A CONSCIENCE IS WHAT MAKES US HUMAN
We might want to ignore it in our arrogant belief that all creatures are born for us to eat, hunt, domesticate or exhibit – but they aren’t. I challenge any ‘animal loving’ meat-eater to spend some time among the sentient creatures being raised in disgusting conditions only to be slaughtered after a short, miserable life and tell me truthfully that raising animals to eat is not an act of cruelty.
In egg production, male day-old chicks are gassed or shredded alive as they are worthless to the industry. Female chicks grow into chickens that lay eggs, so they survive that first cull.
These chickens live an awful life, have you ever walked past a chicken farm? The stench of it is so acrid it stings your eyes and hurts your lungs. Truly appalling. We are the foul race.
Before changing my diet to a vegan one, I’d all but ignored the uncomfortable truth that the milk industry is not all pretty milkmaids, large lush fields, sunshine and gentle extraction of pure natural milk from a healthy, happy cow. It hits hard when you learn that there is nothing natural in milk farming at all.
I should have known, I mean it’s really obvious once you turn off the oblivion shield in your brain; to produce milk a cow must be pregnant or have just given birth to a calf. To make a dairy cow pregnant, she is artificially inseminated every year during her fertile years – nothing natural there. She produces milk from spring for around ten months, peaking between 40 and 60 days after giving birth. Every calf is taken away from its mother, fed a milk replacement and will be either slaughtered and sold as veal if it is male or kept to become a replacement dairy cow for those too worn out to produce milk if it is female. Nothing natural there either. The lactating dairy cow is corralled between steel fences, fed a mix of hay, fermented grass silage, maize silage, brewers grains, soy bean, cotton seed and citrus pulp, (TMR), that will give her the energy to yield up to 12,000 litres of milk per year, (compared to the paltry 4,000 litres she would be able to produce as a natural, grass-fed cow). The milking process sees us attach a metal and rubber 4-sucker contraption to the udders where her calf should be and painfully extract all of her milk from both pairs of mamary glands at the same time – this can be done 3-4 times a day – totally unnatural.
But the biggest truth of all that I had until recently refused to face is that drinking the lactating secretions of a bovine is the most unnatural practice of all. I mean, we wean ourselves off our mother’s milk in infancy – why do we replace that milk with milk from an animal? Even without the cruelty of the dairy industry, that’s just weird isn’t it?