Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Why Vegan?

Since my daughters and I are vegan, we are often asked to share why we decided to not eat animal products. I believe that starting out, we knew it just felt better to not eat animals that were killed in order for us to survive. It felt wrong to eat the flesh of another living being. I read the book, "Skinny Bitch," and I learned more about why many people are choosing veganism. I loved that book and it solidified my decision.  There are many blogs that highlight the reasons for being vegan, so I found some of my favorites, to highlight the blogs and the authors and to share with you the many answers to the question:


The first explanation is from
"Why we eat a plant-based diet:
1. Humans really don’t need meat or dairy:
Plants provide a source of protein, fats, calcium, vitamins…EVERYTHING we need.
2. The huge global impact on the environment really hits hard when you get a few facts under your belt:
  • Cows and sheep are responsible for 37% of the total methane generated by human activity and more than 1/3 of the world’s grain harvest is to feed livestock (Vegetarian Society))
  • Livestock generates more greenhouse gas emissions than all the cars, trucks, trains, ships, and planes in the world combined (United Nations, 2006)
  • A typical pig factory generates the same amount of raw waste as a city of 12,000 people. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, raising animals for food is the number-one source of water pollution (Peta)
  • One study estimated that the farming of animals caused more emissions (18%) than the world’s entire transport system (13.5%). (Vegetarian society)
  • If everyone went vegetarian just for one day, the U.S. would save 1.5 billion pounds of crops otherwise fed to livestock (Huffington Post)
  • If every American skipped one meal of chicken per week by substituting with vegetarian foods instead, the carbon dioxide savings would be the same as taking more than half a million cars off of U.S. roads. (Environmental Defence)
3. We have bundles more energy and a body that runs way more efficiently.
4. Consuming meat & dairy is just flat out cruel. I gotta say “Earthlings’ ( was a real personal turning point for us. Meat & Fish are killed cruelly in the most awful conditions and their innocent lives are taken with such ease and cruelness To me, killing animals so that I can eat just seems such an extreme thing to do. We have the same feelings with regards to dairy farming which is not only abusive and cruel but with a resulting product which is packed full of hormones and infections.
5. Better Health! Hello, don’t I know it. I can whole heartedly say that since being vegan I haven’t gotten ill once, not even a sniffle – not bad when you consider I work in a packed office full of the season’s coughs and wheezes! However it has been proven that a plant based lifestyle can have greater health benefits than warding off cold and flu:
  • Numerous studies highlight again and again the lower rates of obesity, heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and overall mortality of those on plant based diets. Can’t argue with science 
  • It’s a fact that factory farmed animals are fed a myriad of artificial hormones and antibiotics that have a detrimental impact on human hormone balances which cause endless health issues including developmental problems, reproductive problems, and cancer. 
  • Scientific research has shown that plant based diets not only prevent heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis and cancer but can in fact reverse these, thus highlighting the powerful effects of plants.
6. It’s political:
The dairy industries of the world are largely funded by governments and the brainwashing of educational institutions & manipulative advertising are just two ways dairy reigns supreme.
7. Never need to diet, ever:
Numerous studies highlight the link between the consumption of meat and obesity. Eating a real plant based diet means there is never any need to ‘diet’ because you wont get fat, this is a lifestyle.
8. It just feels good and so do we:
Plant based makes you much happier, really. It’s more than a diet but a lifestyle of peace and mindful living. It makes me a better, happier and calmer person.
9. You actually end up eating more REAL food thus gaining greater control and insight into what goes into that precious body."

**I left out their number ten, because I don't agree that we save money with the vegan diet. It is actually more expensive for us to eat this way, but it is worth it!"

Being a children's rights advocate, the rights for all living beings weighs heavy on my shoulders. Human rights violations are an aspect of this choice to not eat animals for me. On, they explain it perfectly: 
"Food Justice: Classism & RacismThe poor and people of color are being exploited by a system built on supplying and even pushing tax-subsidized, inexpensive animal products while ignoring the need for and right to fresh, healthy fruits and vegetables.

In the U.S., the prevalence of diet-related disease especially disease correlated with consuming animal products, is highest among people of color. Government policies ignore this fact. According to the Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine, “Although unintentional, the U.S. Dietary Guidelines as they exist [promoting the consumption of animal products] are really a fundamental form of institutionalized racism...” (2)

Some telling facts: (3)

People eating vegan diets have far lower rates of heart disease, cancer, hypertension, obesity and diabetes than do those who eat “meat”/dairy. The USDA continues to push “meat”/dairy via industry-biased “Food Pyramid” and “Food Plate” and dietary recommendations meant more for industry profits than human requirements or human health.
  • Food policy and availability has led women of color are 50% more likely to be obese than white women.
  • African-Americans’ rate of cancer is 26% higher than whites’.
  • In the U.S., Hispanic women’s rate of heart disease is double that of white women.
  • Among Hispanic men, the diabetes rate is 54% higher than among white men.
  • Native American women have three times the rate of diabetes than white women.

  • While cows’ milk continues to be subsidized and pushed on U.S. school children, 25% of the white population, 70% of African Americans, 90% of Asian Americans, 53% of Hispanic Americans, and 74% of Native Americans are lactose intolerant. Lactose intolerance is also prevalent in those whose ancestry is Arab, Jewish, Italian, or Greek.
  • Environmentally hazardous factory farms and processing plants are more often located in communities of color.
  • More poor children and a disproportionate number of children of color depend on the National School Lunch Program, but the program is built using biased guidelines that benefit wealthy animal agribusiness over children’s health. 90% of the $3-4 billion program is used to buy cholesterol and fat-laden pork, beef, milk, cheese, and eggs.
  • Neighborhoods of color are targets of flesh/dairy industry billboard advertising. Affordable fruits and vegetables are difficult to find; instead fast food chains push unhealthy 'bargain'"

    I don't think that people have any idea of how cruelly animals are treated in order to provide meat for consumers. It is almost too much to bear to see the abuse and trauma that animals are put through. This movie, Peaceable Kingdom is such a great view into the industry:

  • So, there you have it! Just a few reasons why we decided to live a vegan lifestyle. I hope it inspired you to do your own research and learn how compassion towards every living thing can change the world! Peace & Love to you,