The three main reasons why people go vegan are for the animals, the environment and for health. For us, and really the only true reason for anyone to be vegan, is first and foremost for the animals.
”Veganism is a way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as is possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose.”
– Definition of Veganism from The Vegan Society
Being vegan is more of a lifestyle rather than a diet. Although vegans don’t consume any animal products (meat, dairy, eggs, honey, etc.) there is also much more to living a vegan lifestyle. Vegans avoid any type of animal exploitation that is apparent in almost all daily life. Vegans don’t wear wool, silk, leather or anything that comes from an animal. We don’t buy cosmetics or any products tested on animals and we don’t go to zoos, aquariums or buy animals from pet shops/breeders and support dog/horse racing. Vegans try, as much as possible, to stay away from any type of animal exploitation.
Love animals, don’t eat them ❤️
Animals are sentient, conscious beings that are here for their own purposes, not for us to use/enslave. They have their own feelings, families and form bonds with other animals. You only have to look at the cats and dogs we share our homes with to see that each has a unique personality. This is the same for all animals, even the ones on our plates. These animals we use suffer in such unimaginable ways, which no living being should ever have to endure. From the day they are born, all through their short-lived lives, animals in factory farms are subject to misery and have their basic rights taken from them. They can’t even perform their most natural instincts. Animal cruelty is standard practice within the animal agriculture industry and many animals die before they even make it to the slaughterhouse. All of this suffering is all for products we don’t even need. You can see for yourself the horror that happens behind closed doors by watching documentaries such as Earthlings, From Farm to Fridge, What Came Before and Lucent.
One of the most forgotten animals, but the ones that are killed in the highest numbers every year, are fish. Approximately 2.7 trillion fish are taken from the oceans every year, one third of which go to feeding animals such as cows, pigs and chickens that we eat for food. People often forget about fish since they lack the cuteness of other animals and their screams cannot be heard, but this doesn’t mean they don’t suffer in the same ways. Studies have shown that fish actually do feel pain just like any other animal. Fish are friends, not food 🐠 🐠 🐠 Regardless whether you think fish have feelings or not, there’s no denying that the fishing industry is destroying the oceans. 90% of the world’s large predatory fish have now been decimated and a study that was published in 2006 predicts all oceans will be completely devoid of fish by 2048.
”There is no longer such a thing as “sustainable” fishing. 90% of the world’s commercial fisheries have already collapsed. A century of massive industrialized fishing using hundred mile drift nets and longlines, huge seine nets and destructive bottom draggers has laid the ocean bare. There is simply not enough fish in the oceans to continue feeding the billions of human beings.”
– Captain Paul Watson, Founder of Sea Shepherd
Millions of other marine animals such as sharks, whales, dolphins, rays, turtles, seals and seabirds are killed every year as they are by-catch/by-kill from the fishing industries. A study that focused on by-catch from long line fishing in the Pacific ocean alone, showed that 4.4 million non-target species were killed in 1 year alone. Methods of fishing such as trawling also cause permanent damage to the ocean floors, destroying all coral in its path, meanwhile killing millions of invertebrates such as starfish, crabs, and sea urchins.
The biggest way we can help our animal friends is simply by changing our diet since it is something most of us have control over 3 times a day. Our forks are definitely the biggest tools we have when it comes to voting what for kind of world we want to live in.
There are also so many other ways humans use animals for such as clothing, cosmetics, entertainment etc. To find out more about these issues, please have a look at this PETA site. The issues – Peta.org
When people encounter veganism for the first time, they have lots of questions such as, ”Is honey vegan?”, ”Where do vegans get their protein?, ”Why don’t vegans wear wool?”, ”What about free range?” You can find extensively researched answers to all of these questions and more on the channel Bite Size Vegan.
Other benefits of veganism
Environmental – Not only is fishing destroying the ocean, but the land animals we use for food have now become the ocean’s top predator. The sewage that comes from these livestock animals has now created over 500 dead zones in our oceans. According to Cowspiracy, animal agriculture is responsible for more greenhouse gases than all transportation combined. Roughly 150 billion gallons of methane is released into the atmosphere everyday, which comes directly from cows alone. In a 20 year time frame, methane is 25-100 times more destructive than CO2.
It also uses far less water, land and energy to feed someone on a plant-based diet compared to a typical omnivore one. 20-33% of the water in the world is used by the animal agriculture industry and 45% of the earth’s land today is now occupied by livestock. Animal agriculture is also the main cause of deforestation in the Amazon rainforest, habitat loss and species extinction around the world. The animals we use on this earth now make up 98% of the biomass, and free roaming wild animals sadly now only make up 2%. Switching to a plant based diet is a much more environmentally-friendly way of living on the planet.
Health – Another great benefit of going vegan is that fact that it is one of the healthiest things you can do for your body. Lots of people worry that by going vegan, they will miss out on essential vitamins and minerals, but it has been proven that a whole foods, plant-based diet is the healthiest way to eat for people in ALL stages of life. The Natural Human Diet 🍎
Plant based diets have been proven to lower people’s weight (sadly not ours), cholesterol, the risk of developing some cancers, diabetes, heart disease and blood pressure. In 2015 the World Health Organisation declared processed meat as a group 1 carcinogenic, which means there is sufficient evidence to prove that the consumption of processed meat causes cancer. Red meat was also classified as group 2a, a probable carcinogenic to humans. Positive effects from a plant based diet 🍌
So the animals will always be the core reason for veganism, but it just so happens that these great benefits come along with it!
Please visit the useful links page to find more information about veganism, how to go vegan and what documentaries you can watch.