“The greatest of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”(Mahatma Gandhi Quotes) Gandhi said this in his book, The Moral Basis of Vegetarianism, this belief is still valid in today’s modern society.
At present in the United States, the concern for the health and well being of animals is drastically increasing. And one of the most substantial indications of this is the increasing number of vegans and vegetarians in our nation. Today there are over half a million vegans and countless millions of vegetarians in the United States alone. There are several different kinds of vegetarians following this practice.
A vegan consumes no foods of any kind produced by animals. An ovo-vegetarian eats eggs, but no dairy foods or animal flesh. A lacto-vegetarian eats dairy foods, but no eggs or animal flesh. A lacto-ovo-vegetarian eats dairy foods and eggs, but no animal flesh. These people are most commonly referred to as just vegetarians. A semi-vegetarian eats dairy food and egg and occasionally includes fish or chicken but no other animal flesh. (Seameons,p.2)
Aside from dietary habits, a vegan also has several more rules to follow. A vegan cannot use any product made from the body parts of an animal such as leather, ivory, fur, and even pearls. They also cannot use products that have been tested on animals. Vegans are sometimes referred to as an animal’s greatest ally.
Veganism originally started in India in the first century A.D. Hindus did not become vegan because of deep religious reasons or for personal health reasons, “but because of environmental pressures. It became both uneconomical and unsanitary to raise animals in so crowded an environment”. (Seamen p. 5).
Through the centuries veganism never really caught on due to lack of modern medicine and improper understanding of the functions of the human body. Around the beginning of the twentieth century, it is thought that the discovery of vitamins and minerals gave birth to the idea of eating for optimum health and fitness, and thus, the rediscovery of veganism. Up through the 1900s, more and more people started to say stop to the unfair torture of animals.
Since the dawn of man, humans have used animals to their advantage. Animal flesh has been a good source of vitamins and protein. The skin was used for warmth and shelter. Before several of the modern advances made by mankind, animals were needed to sustain human survival and prosperity.
In today’s society, many of the products on our store shelves are tested on animals for safety reasons. Even with all the great uses, there are for dead animals, modern nutrition and science has made so many new advancements in research that it has become completely unnecessary to kill any animal for any reason. Humans can survive solely on vegetation and supplementation.
Animal testing is unnecessary due to new DNA and computer graphics research. In this paper, three major issues dealing with veganism will be discussed. Whether or not the vegan lifestyle is healthier than the average way of life? Is animal testing necessary or should it be banned? And should animals be used in the entertainment industry? There is no reason to injure or kill animals for any reason. Americans as a society should be vegan.
One major issue is whether or not the vegan lifestyle is healthier than the average way of life. The average way of life consists of the four major food groups: meat, dairy, grains, and fruits/vegetables. In the vegan lifestyle, meat and dairy foods are cut out of the diet. From a nutritional standpoint, “animal food does have its advantages. For one thing, it is nutrient-dense; it is a concentrated source of calories, protein, iron, zinc, copper, and in the case of dairy products, calcium.” (Seameons p.4)
Veganism is much healthier than consuming meat and dairy products. Most people who become vegans use improper supplementation and will eventually make themselves sick. It is not denying the body meat that vegetarians and vegans have
problems with, but instead a lack of calories. The human body needs a certain balance of vitamins and minerals to sustain proper health. Usually, when a person decides to become a vegan, they make the transfer automatically. The transfer to veganism must be
made slowly and in parts. First, it’s good to give up red meat, next give up all meats, poultry, and fish. After about one year of this, eggs and dairy foods are given up. Through all of this, vegans should take vitamins and protein supplements. The B-12 vitamin is essential and can naturally be found in only meat. Deficiencies of B-12 “can lead to pernicious, megaloblastic anemia, loss of appetite, fatigue, pallor, dizziness,
numbness or tingling in the extremities, and impairment of brain and nerve tissue that may result in permanent neurological damage. A major concern with B-12 deficiency is that it is not easily recognized before it has already caused physiological damage.” (Seameons p.4)
As long as a person watches their vitamin intake, they will retain proper health. But even without monitoring vitamins and minerals, a person who leads a vegan lifestyle will still be healthier than a person who consumes meat.
John Robbins, in his new book May All Be Fed, suggests that the hazards of using animal foods, even the so-called healthier ones, are considerable: I am frequently asked what I think of eliminating red meat and substituting chicken and fish, cutting the skin off poultry and cooking it in oil without fat, eating primarily low- or non-fat dairy products, and restricting egg-yolk intake to two or three a week … the data leads me to the conclusion that such a strategy is the equivalent of cutting smoking down to one pack a day. (Seameons p.2)
When someone makes the switch to the vegan lifestyle then must understand that: it is essential to eat a wide variety of yellow and green fruits and vegetables and different grains. If you do that plus make sure that you have an adequate source of vitamin B12 … from fortified cereals, soy beverages, and nutritional yeast, or a multi-vitamin and mineral supplement, you will be meeting all your nutritional needs. It is not that hard. (Seameons p.3)
The next major issue involved in veganism is whether or not animal testing should be banned. Animal testing is experimentation, using a variable and a controlled group in which household products and pharmaceuticals are given to animals to observe what results are obtained. Another form of animal testing is dissection; this is the cutting apart of already dead animals for study in the classroom.
The proponents of animal testing and dissection say that there are not enough proven alternatives to ensure the safety of new ingredients and products. Proponents say that in the classroom nothing can teach the realistic of anatomy as well as dissection. The major companies say that animal testing is necessary to ensure the safety of all people.
The truth is, every year “more than 14 million dogs, cats, rabbits, rats, monkeys, and other animals suffer in product tests that lead to blindness, severe burns, and eventual death.” (Newkirk p. 10) Out of all of the companies which subject their products to animal testing, Procter & Gamble Inc. is the largest and kills the most animals:
In Procter & Gamble (P&G), cosmetic and household product testing, caustic chemicals are forced into rabbits’ eyes and applied to their raw, shaved skin. Laboratory workers lock the rabbits in restraining devices so they are unable to move while chemicals burn into their eyes and skin. The rabbits are given no sedatives or pain killers to ease their suffering.
They sometimes break their necks and backs in a desperate struggle to getaway. Those who survive are used again … until they are finally killed. P&G’s innocent victims include rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, and ferrets. Even though these tests are not required by law, P&G insists on continuing their torture. (Newkirk p. 14)Many of the finest biologists in the country say that dissection is of valid importance in learning anatomy. But they are wrong, dissection is murder.
All different kinds of animals such as cats, frogs, and pigs are either raised, stolen, or caught in their habitat, this unbelievable amount of deaths often leads to a large decrease in the population of a particular species. Since the intent is to kill a large number of specimens as fast as possible, they are all shoved together into small containers and gassed to death.
Some of the animals do not die immediately, but the animals die when they are injected with the preservative formaldehyde, this causes an intense burning sensation. Dissection is not necessary to learn anatomy, there are alternatives to dissection such as computer simulation and videotape of past dissections to prevent more in the future. Some states, “such as California have laws ensuring that students are given alternatives. Many states are still behind the times on this issue.” (Hepner p. 23)
All of the companies which conduct animal testing claim to be trying to cut down and possibly eliminate the testing. P&G claims to be a world leader in researching humane testing methods. But the reality is that P&G spends more money in seven days on advertising than it has spent in eleven years on alternatives to painful and lethal animal tests.
These “cruel and unnecessary experiments are paid for with profits from the sale of P&G products. Every bottle of Pantene, every tube of Crest, every pack of Tampax tampons, and every box of Tide, Bounce, or Bold that is purchased means more money for painful experiments.” (Newkirk p. 20) The three other major companies which conduct animal experimentation are Colgate-Palmolive, Johnson & Johnson, and Lever Brothers.
Another major issue concerning the treatment of animals is whether or not it is humane to use animals in the entertainment industry. The definition of the word humane is “characterized by tenderness, compassion, and sympathy of other beings, especially for the suffering or undistressed.”(Webster Dictionary).
The entertainment industry includes television, radio, movies, and theatrics. Proponents argue that the use of animals for entertainment purposes is perfectly valid. The owners and trainers will argue that all of the animals used are not harmed and are treated quite well. They say that animals enjoy working and they enjoy their homes and are well cared for.
However, the complete opposite is true. “It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that animals do not enjoy being electrified, kept in tiny spaces, and burned. Amazingly enough, these practices are commonplace in the entertainment industry. Wild animals are kept in unnatural environments and usually fear and pain are their primary motive to perform.” (Kiley p. 15)
Famous animal stars such as in “Free Willy”, “Babe”, and “Flipper” seem to have a good life in which no one mistreats them, but in reality, Willy has held in captivity for seven years in tanks an average of three times his body size until he was finally released into the wild once the movie production was completed. That is hardly a natural or enjoyable environment for a mammal. Babe, the pig, was confined to a small cage. He was often beaten into submission and was finally rewarded by being sent to a nice house owned by his trainer.
Flipper was also kept in a small tank and he died in captivity. In all fields of animal-related work, the animals suffer, “Animals do not escape abuse even when they are used for entertainment. Circus animals suffer the most from the harsh conditions during training, transporting, and captivity. Meanwhile, animals used for television and films are also maltreated during filming.” (Derly p.5). There are many different types of abuse animal actors must endure when they are voted into being actors. When an animal is captured in the wild usually tranquilizer darts are used which induce nausea. Once an animal is captured the hardships it endures are connected with the field of entertainment it works in.
For example,” horses are fitted with painful bucking straps in rodeos, and the front paws of circus bears are burned to make the animals stand on their hind legs. Elephants are often beaten until they follow their trainers’ instructions.” (Kiley p. 15) Elephants are possibly the most abused animal in the entertainment industry. Animal rights activists are trying to improve the living conditions of circus elephants and to “stop the practice of making them do humiliating tricks. Inhumane treatment has led many circus elephants to become aggressive often causing death or injury to people.” (Derly p. 10)
Even though America’s entertainment industry is the greatest in the world, we have always been willing to do anything to achieve this. Animal torture is not entertainment, it is sick. Americans must not allow themselves to be entertained by such gruesome atrocities. However, the average American is totally unaware of the abusive treatment that the entertainment industry animals go through. It will take a great deal of education to bring this problem to the attention of the American public.
Americans as a society should be vegan. We have discussed whether or not veganism is healthier than the average way of life, whether or not animal testing should be banned, and finally, whether or not it is humane to use animals in the entertainment industry. Many people “view veganism as simply a restrictive diet, a list of products and ingredients to avoid.
It is part of an affirmative, compassionate philosophy of life. Veganism is the embodiment of ahimsa — non-violence towards and respect for all sentient beings.” (Braunstein p. 30) Mankind can do something about animal cruelty. First, everyone must become vegan to save the lives of countless animals. When meat and dairy products are consumed, the industry sees that they must kill more and more animals. If nobody ate these products, no animals would have to die for the sake of being consumed.
Many of the products of today’s market are tested on animals, and we must put a stop to this. When in a supermarket, buy products that bear the label “cruelty-free” and boycott all of the companies which use animal testing. A boycott is when a group of people refuse to buy a product or service for a particular reason. Four of the largest companies which use animal testing are Procter & Gamble 1-800-543-7270, Colgate – Palmolive 1-800-221-4607, Johnson & Johnson 1-800-526-3967, and Lever Brothers 1-800-451-6679. Another way to put a stop to animal testing is to alert the companies that we are partaking in the worldwide boycott.
Animals in captivity need to be released into the wild where they can live their lives free from abuse. As consumers, we have power: “a circus will not come to town if no one will attend the show. Choose to attend entertainment events which are not dependent on animal fear and distress.” (Kiley p.16)
Founded by veterinarian Dr. Elliot Katz, In Defense of Animals(IDA) is a national, non-profit organization dedicated to ending the exploitation and abuse of animals by defending their rights, welfare, and habitat. Through protests, boycotts, lobbying efforts, lawsuits, and civil disobedience, IDA promotes justice and compassion for all creatures. Many people have joined the IDA in hopes of making their friends and communities more aware of animal abuse in everyday life.
Many people our age are overwhelmed by problems the world faces and don’t feel that we have the power to affect real change. Fortunately, there are things we can do to make a significant and lasting difference. By adopting a compassionate lifestyle, we can directly help animals and the ecological state of the earth:
The most powerful tool we have in working for a better world is our positive example. If you do not think we are making a difference, just compare the world currently to that of only twenty years ago. Vegans used to be extremely rare, but today almost everyone knows at least one vegan. Society is becoming more vegan friendly all the time. (Braunstein p. 50).
In spite of the fact that most of the populace accepts that meat is vital to human wellbeing and survival, it isn’t. Since childhood, most individuals are raised eating expansive amounts of creature items, centering less on more advantageous nourishments like grains, vegetables, natural products, and vegetables. It is burned into their minds that they require meat for supplements, they require drain to develop and maintain strong bones, which plant-based nourishments fair are not sufficient to keep them lively and sound.
All they know is what they are instructed by society, and since society underpins an omnivorous slim down, most are perplexed of going astray from the standard. For a long time, investigate has appeared that the standard American eat less, centering on expansive amounts of meat, as well as meat items and less so on plant-based nourishments has negative effects on wellbeing and other perspectives. “Distant better; A much better; A higher; A stronger; An improved”.
A stronger alternative than the standard American eats less is the vegetarian eat less. Picking for a vegetarian eat less isn’t as it were way better for the human health, but is additionally way better for the environment and maintainability, and it is more ethical. The article “Vegetarian Foods: Powerful for Health” records and portrays the numerous diverse wellbeing benefits of taking after a vegetarian or at slightest a veggie lover count calories.
The article states that, “Scientific research shows that health benefits increase as the amount of food from animal sources in the diet decreases, so vegan diets are the healthiest overall. ” Creature items cannot conceivably be fundamental or solid in the event that they are cancer causing. There are numerous more wellbeing benefits of being vegetarian.
While creature items contain tall levels of soaked fat and cholesterol, vegetables have less fat in case any don’t contain and cholesterol; as an included advantage, vegetables have fiber in them that offer assistance battle cholesterol. For these reasons, taking after a plant-based count calories over a meat dependent-diet avoids heart infection and brings down blood weight. These are fair some wellbeing benefits that come with barring creature items.
With these advertised benefits and the numerous more that veganism offers, people can live longer and more beneficial lives. In case people are driving more advantageous and longer lives, at that point there will be more people populating the planet at once.
Within the article “Vegetarianism and Sustainability” Alexis Clarke talks about the ways in which exchanging diets can offer assistance to superior support the environment for the nine billion individuals who will be living on Soil by 2050.
With so numerous individuals living, the world is creating more nourishment than ever, however there are still striking sums of malnourished and starving people around the world; this is often since nourishment is being made and utilized within the off-base ways. As everybody has listened and been cautioned for year and a long time presently, the world is running out of assets, counting arrive and water.
As time goes by, people keep adding increasingly meat to their diets and this increment within the utilize of meat and dairy items is one of the huge variables contributing to misfortune of assets and hurt to the environment. “The Food and Agriculture Organization has suggested that adopting a vegetarian diet is one option to increase the amount of water available to grow more food in an increasingly climate-erratic world”.
A “vegan” is a person in which does not use or consume animal products. It is estimated that around 22.8 million people lives are a plant based life. Choosing a vegan lifestyle can contribute many beneficial factors to one’s life. This lifestyle could benefit one’s physical and emotional health, the environment around them, and many other aspects that contribute to the way one’s life is determined.
Being a vegan not only means not eating any animal product but also not using the animal product in other ways than eating them. For example, living a vegan lifestyle would include not eating meats, not consuming eggs or milk, or using these items as ingredients in products such as skin care. Becoming vegan is not only beneficial to the animals, but also to one’s health and the environment that they live in.
Many scientists have experimented the ways that veganism could contribute to human’s life and the world that we live in. These scientific experiments have shown an increase in overall lifespan and a decrease in death rate for multiple diseases including; heart diseases, type 2 diabetes, stroke, obesity, high blood pressure/ hypertension, and certain forms of cancers.
Living a plant based life also affects the appearance of your skin and signs of aging, for example, fine lines and wrinkles, and it also contributes to the amount of energy each person has because of all of the nutrients being absorbed through the plants. There are 6 science-based benefits of eating a plant based diet and those include; having a diet richer in certain nutrients, promotes losing extra weight, decreases blood sugar and improves kidney functioning, fights against certain cancers, lowers the chance of getting heart disease, and reduces the pains that are received from arthritis.
Not only could the lifestyle change promote a better life physically but also emotionally. Changing diet routines could help improve quality of life by helping cope with mental diseases such as depression, anxiety, fatigue, and the functioning of the the body overall. (nutritionfacts.org)
Human anatomy was also examined to prove that humans were made to be herbivores and not omnivores. For example, if you were to compare a human to a wolf, you would notice that humans have softer, shorter fingernails, smaller, flatter teeth, different movement of the jaw, weaker stomach acidity, longer intestines, and arteries that were created not to ingest large amount of saturated fats and cholesterol. (peta.org)
Wolves on the other hand have sharper, stiffer nails to use to cut something open, sharper, larger teeth to chew tough objects, a more appropriate movement of the jaw to eat the foods that are in their diet, stronger stomach acidity to digest meat much faster to prevent illness, shorter intestines to get rid of the food quicker, and arteries equipped with the proper tools to control the cholesterol and fats so that they do not cause clogged arteries and heart problems. There are multiple factors that promote a healthier lifestyle through choosing a vegainized diet and lifestyle.
Humans choosing a plant based lifestyle and diet not only benefit themselves, but also it benefits the animals whose lives would potentially be in danger. Considering that animals do not have voices to speak their opinion and rights, it is deemed unfair by many who are pro-animal life.
Choosing to stand for the voiceless animals could potentially save certain species from entering the “endangered species” list. For example, in Africa, it is known that hunters will kill elephants for their husks and ivory which placed them on the endangered species list until it became a world known problem which cause the awareness for the issue to go up and the species to go down on the list and eventually taken off.
It is said that for “one person going vegan for one year would reduce the pounds of carbon dioxide by 3,267 pounds, it stops five people from starving and it saves 25 animals lives (.4 cow, .5 pig, .1 sheep and 24 chicken) which would all total to 655 billion pounds of carbon dioxide emissions could be reduced, 1 billion starving people could be fed and 5 billion of animals lives could be spread.” Standing up for voiceless animal rights could help live a vegan based, pro-animal life lifestyle.
The third way that a vegan based life could contribute to a better life in through the environment that you live in. There are ten scientific reasons to help show that living a plant based life could benefit the environment.
This lifestyle could help decrease global warming, steer clear of excess production carbon dioxide, decreases methane and nitrous oxide amounts, salvage immense amounts of water, prevent more pollution of the bodies of water, stops destruction of important nutrients of soil, decreases the amounts of wildfires and endangered species, less ingested amounts of harsh chemicals like antibiotics and growth hormones, reduction of ecological footprint, and finally ensures environmental sustainability.
Living a plant-based lifestyle with a vegan diet could help your body, the environment, and the animals that could potentially be harmed with no chance of survival.
Some would not be able to live without eating any animal products in their diets, such as, meat, fish, poultry, eggs, dairy products, and honey. For vegans, however, this is a normal way of life.
Vegans are frequently misunderstood as either people who have eating disorders, or an unnatural passion for animal rights. It is time for people to realize that veganism, a challenging yet rewarding lifestyle, goes way beyond being skinny or caring for animals.
In reality, veganism can be extremely advantageous to anyone who adapts it as a way of life and has many different benefits that come along with it. At one point in time, veganism appeared problematic due to the lack of necessary vitamins, minerals, and proteins in the diet.
Among the 15 meat-eaters, only two persons could hold out their arms for fifteen to thirty minutes; however, among the 32 vegetarians, 22 persons held out their arms for fifteen to thirty minutes, 15 persons for over thirty minutes, 9 persons for over one hour, 4 persons for over two hours, and one vegetarian held his arms out for over three hours.
Some health benefits that come along with being a vegan include: lower cholesterol levels, higher energy levels, weight loss, and even a longer life. After just two weeks on a low-fat vegan diet, most people lose weight and feel more energized. Other physical benefits that come along with this lifestyle are healthy skin, reduction of body odor, healthier hair and nails, elimination of bad breath, alleviation of allergies, and relief from migraines. (57 Health)
Through eating a healthy, disciplined, vegan diet and having higher levels of essential vitamins, minerals and proteins many popular diseases amongst people can be avoided such as cardiovascular disease, type two diabetes, osteoporosis, arthritis, and even certain types of cancer. Heart disease has been successfully reversed through programs that include an exclusive vegan diet.
Being a vegan is not only a diet but a lifestyle and a humane act toward animals. What is a vegan diet and how vegans differ from vegetarians? Vegetarians do not eat meat, fish, or poultry. Vegans, in addition to being a vegetarian, do not use other products of animal origin. This includes eggs, dairy products, and honey, but also materials such as leather, fur, silk, wool, and even cosmetics and soaps made from animal products (“Veganism In A Nutshell – The Vegetarian Resource Group”).
However, although this lifestyle is gaining popularity and many claims that it does not have downside effects on human health in the first place, some certainly wouldn’t agree. Speaking of disadvantages when it comes to being a vegan, impact on health and balanced nutrition are the first thing to think about when speaking of a vegan lifestyle.
There are many ingredients which are essential for nutritionally balanced diet – vitamins, oils and fats, proteins and acids. For example, vitamin B12, necessary for the nervous system is found in the liver and muscle of the animals, but also in the eggs and milk. Since vegans do not consume any of these ingredients, they find some replacement in fortified food. Yet, since this is not a natural source of the element, it is debatable how healthy it is (DiMarino).
The same problems come with other components – it is inevitable to find a proper replacement and much additional research is needed for creating a balanced diet system.
Other difficulties vegans face are eating out for instance, due to limited choices, but also prejudice and criticism, since many disapprove this, especially if it comes to raising children on this lifestyle.
All in all, it is all up to personal decision and sensibility, since there is not enough research and facts to verdict whether this is positive or negative for our health.
In America, most people include animal products in every meal they eat without considering the ramifications and suffering they cause by doing so. Around the world, nearly 70 billion animals are kept in captivity for farming meat, dairy, or eggs, with nearly two-thirds kept in factory farms (a well fed world). With such high demands, farms use whatever the most efficient method is to obtain animal products, often keeping them in too small cages with not enough food and water. Every day animals are tortured and brutally slaughtered, and being vegan is the only way to end animal suffering.
One of the most commonly spouted arguments in favor of animal agriculture is that there are laws and regulations in place to prevent animals from being treated cruelly while they are alive. Unfortunately, that argument tends to fall flat when faced with the truth.
The Animal Welfare Act drafted in 1966 is cited, as it set standards for the humane care and treatment of animals, regulating that they must be provided with adequate housing, sanitation, nutrition, water, and veterinary care, as well as protect them from harsh weather conditions (USDA). However, the law does not cover every animal in every circumstance.
Animals that are used for farming are excluded from this act, leaving the treatment of the animals up to each state. Various laws have been popping up, one of the most horrendous being “Ag-Gag” laws. “Ag-Gag laws currently exist in seven states, penalizing whistleblowers who investigate the day-to-day activities of industrial farms, including the recording, possession or distribution of photos, video and/or audio at a farm” (ASPCA). Essentially this means that animal abuse is fine, but filming and distributing animal abuse is a crime.
With such few regulations in place to actually protect farm animals, it can lead to the truly barbaric treatment of living beings. Most chickens kept for egg-laying are kept in battery cages their whole lives. Battery cages typically hold five to ten hens and have a floor space smaller than a piece of paper. With how many are kept in such a tight space, they can often suffer from feather loss and get covered in bruises – but lucky for them, it’s standard to have their beaks cut off so they don’t have to worry about other chickens biting them!
Of the hundred and twenty million pigs raised per year in the US (awellfedworld), most of them are kept in pens with hard, slatted floors and no access to fresh air or sunlight. Cows, of course, are not treated any better. On average, cattle raised for beef live for eighteen to twenty-four months and cows raised to be dairy cows will live generally for five to six years, or until they stop producing ‘enough’ milk. Put those statistics next to their natural life span of twenty to twenty-five years, the difference is jarring. (farm sanctuary – am I citing this right?)
Some may argue those are only in the cases of factory farms upon seeing those statistics, and, well, that is true for the most part. Animals raised on small farms are, generally speaking, treated better than those kept on factory farms. But that misses the point.
Regardless of how these animals are treated in their life, what matters to them is that they will still be killed before they naturally would have died. There is a popular manga (Japanese comic) called The Promised Neverland which follows three kids living in an orphanage. The orphanage is amazing: gourmet food, plush beds, and an amazing caretaker, but they eventually find the truth that they are being raised just to be killed and eaten by demons. Upon realizing that, they did everything in their power to escape, instead of just waiting to die since, hey, they had a nice life until then!
Even if animals are treated well while they are alive, the vast majority are not. In America, ninety-nine percent of animals raised for food are kept in factory farms (sentience institute), and the one percent that is not raised in those conditions go to the same slaughterhouse to be killed.
Slaughter methods will vary, but the most common method for cows, pigs, and goats is a captive bolt pistol shot to the head to stun them then slitting their throats, this whole process taking place while they are still alive. For chickens, they are stunned by being dragged through electrified pools (HSA) then hung on a conveyor belt to have their throats slit (fao).
Since there are always exceptions to the rules, in the instances where animals are killed differently, it is important to note that there is no such thing as humane slaughter. The definition of humane is “having or showing compassion or benevolence”; there is no way to compassionately kill someone who does not want to die.
A necessary differentiation between veganism and vegetarianism is that vegans do not eat dairy and eggs as well as meat, where vegetarians only avoid eating meat. It is understandable why they think it is okay to still eat byproducts, you don’t kill the cow to get the cheese. Except you do. In order for a cow to produce milk she needs to either be pregnant or have just given birth to a calf, so for farmers to have a consistent inflow of milk, they continuously impregnate the dairy cows then separate the calves from their mothers shortly after birth.
The calves either join their mothers on the milk production line if they are female or are sent for veal production if they are male. Cows are incredibly intelligent, social animals, with a recent study done by Daniel Weary on emotional pain of being separated from their family. “Abrupt and early weaning, such as occurs on the typical dairy farm, appears to be distressing for both calf and cow, says Weary.
“The calves will engage in repetitive crying and become more active,” he says, “and sometimes you’ll see a decline in their willingness to eat solid food” (Weary). There was even an instance of a cow that was rescued from a farm hiding her calf from the workers at the sanctuary she was at as she was afraid of having her child taken from her (the dodo).
With how cruelly animals are treated in farms of every size all around the world, there really is no excuse not to become vegan. There is no excuse to take another’s life just for the purpose of eating when we have an abundance of other options.
Example #7- interesting ideas
Vegans endeavour not consume or use animal products and by-products of any kind, for any purpose.
A “full” vegan lifestyle is hard to describe as animal exploitation is so entrenched in our culture that it is almost impossible to avoid out all animal products /by-products.
Beyond the standard: not consuming meat, dairy, eggs, honey, and animal by-products (such as whey, albumin etc)… it is up to each vegan how far they take their commitment – there is no “vegan rule book” which you have to obey or you are kicked out of the club 🙂
I consider myself to be a fairly “hardcore” vegan:
All my toiletries and household cleaners are not tested on animals and contain no animal ingredients. I don’t drink wine, beer, or cider which has been processed using animal products. I don’t buy sugar which has been processed using bone char. When I finally get a tattoo it will be using vegan ink. I don’t wear: leather, wool, silk.
I don’t support charities which fund animal testing. etc etc the list goes on and I don’t want to bore you 🙂 That said… I ‘m sure there are others out there who manage to avoid more animal products than I do. But thats fine. Veganism is about trying to live a compassionate lifestyle, it’s about giving a damn… not being perfect!
I don’t usually use the term “simple” vegetarian but I do get a little annoyed when someone goes around telling people they are vegan when they aren’t. Not because I think veganism is an exclusive club and they aren’t allowed but because it makes life more difficult for other vegans when we try to explain our lifestyle to others. A comparison is pescatarians calling themselves vegetarian resulting in the common “sure we have vegetarian options: you do eat fish right?”.
I don’t know where the lifestyle originated but the word vegan has been used since ~1944 when Elsie Shrigley and Donald Watson, frustrated that the term “vegetarianism” had come to include the eating of dairy products, founded the UK Vegan Society. They combined the first three and last two letters of vegetarian to form “vegan,” which they saw as “the beginning and end of vegetarian.
As a vegan, you can eat anything that doesn’t come from an animal. It’s easier to list things you can’t eat than things you can.
Vegetable, fruit, legumes, grains, bread, pasta, rice, cereal, stir fry, casseroles, spaghetti, sandwiches, soup, ect.
There are also cruelty-free vegan alternatives to many animal products such as burgers, mayonaise, ice cream, yoghurt, sausage, cheese, and so on and so on. There is even vegan haggis.
I would suggest joining a vegan community or reading a vegan forum for ideas and support if you’re having trouble coming up with ideas. Veganism isn’t complicated or difficult, and it will only feel that way if you go into it thinking you’re not going to be able to do it. Remember that you’re making a compassionate choice and that every step you make toward becoming vegan helps that many more animals.