People from all kinds of backgrounds, all kinds of professions and at all ages have been going vegan over the last couple of years. It seems like the world is waking up to the possibility of trading chronic diseases for compassion and longevity.
A couple of years ago, USA Today reported that nearly 50 percent of Americans are trying to cut down on meat, while approximately one-fifth of students are vegetarian, vegan, or trying to eat less meat. It’s definitely a topic that is trending these days – and for good reason apparently. But why should you go vegan?
Even though for some people, the ethical argument for veganism isn’t as strong – it can never hurt to be kind. Sparing someone’s life is always the right thing to do, especially if that someone is completely innocent.
Unfortunately, there’s been a huge greenwashing campaign going on, initiated by the meat and dairy industry, in order to play with our conscience. Happy animals are shown on cartons and packages while the reality is a lot more sinister. There’s really nothing humane about animal farming or taking someone else’s life.
This doesn’t just go for meat products, though, because the dairy and egg industries are in the same niche working together in animal agriculture. Dairy cows are forcefully impregnated, their calves are taken away and killed shortly after, their milk is stolen and, after a few years, they end up as hamburger meat.
And you have probably heard about little chicks being shredded or gassed alive, if not just thrown away on top of each other in a huge garbage bin as if they were inanimate objects.
We’re not just thinking about the farm animals, of course. Humans all over the world have to suffer because of the huge demand for animal products. How? As of today, we would have enough food to feed 10 billion people, while only 7 billion are in this world. But as it turns out, 50% of grains worldwide are being eaten by animals in the industries… while 82% of children living next to livestock are starving. The meat that’s produced in these areas is then being shipped to the 1st world in order for us to eat.
Around 70% of the grain grown in the US alone is fed to livestock – that’s enough grain to feed 800 million people. At the same time, incredible amounts of water are being used to produce animal products. Being vegan could save up to 724,925 gallons of water per person each year. Think about how powerful this change could be for everyone!
We simply do it for pleasure and out of tradition. There is no proof, what so ever, that human beings must eat meat, dairy or eggs, in order to be healthy and thriving. Quite the opposite is the case. It’s a learned behavior, we are taught which animals are okay to eat – nothing that you would need to show a true meat eater like a lion or a bear. These animals aren’t as picky and show very different behavior and instincts than we as humans.
Let’s not forget that we are not baby cows either who require the milk of their mothers and there’s no need to consume any other secretion besides our own mother’s milk past the first years of age. Needless to say, animals don’t want to die, they love and appreciate life.
Unfortunately, we just view them as “farm animals”, a faceless crowd without thinking of individuals with unique personalities and emotions – just like cats and dogs. Once we understand this connection and take appropriate steps, we can finally align our actions with our morals.
Around 18-51 percent (depending on the calculation and source) of man-made pollution comes from the meat industry, putting factory farming ahead of transportation in contributing to the greenhouse effect. What’s more, it takes about 40 calories of fossil-fuel energy to create every one calorie of feed-lot beef in the U.S. (compared to 2.2 calories of energy needed to create plant proteins).
1 pound of hamburger meat equals 75 kg CO2 emission which is about the same as using your car for 3 weeks (at an average CO2 emission of 3 kg per day). And the wild animals have to suffer the consequences as well – the current mass extinction of species is impacting 86% of all mammals, 88% of amphibians, and 86% of all birds. Many of them are facing an extremely high risk of extinction in the near future. It is very possible that we could see fishless oceans by the year 2048.