What is veganism to us?

Veganism for the animals

VEGANISM is an Animal Liberation and Rights movement where the intention is to, as far as possible, eliminate the suffering, abuse and exploitation of animals. As vegans we therefore avoid consumption of animal derived food and wearing or using their body parts, skin and hair. We don’t approve of circuses or zoos and we are against testing on animals.

We know that most animals, particularly mammals, have complex brains and nervous systems, with lots of abilities that are shared with the human species. Stress, pain, fear and depression are all emotions that can be experienced by humans as well as by other non-human animals. That is why the modern way of factory farming animals should be considered one of human’s greatest crimes on the world.

Raising animals for food can never be done ethically. Even if the animals were treated well during their life, it all comes to an abrupt end. And to allow raising animals for food and treating them like products, will always, in the end, result in factory farming. Human’s greed and ability to make processes more and more efficient will ensure that this is the outcome.

Dairy and eggs are no exception. The life expectancy of a dairy cow and a hen is significantly reduced due to the stress their bodies experience by constantly giving birth, producing milk or laying eggs. [Willhelm Knaus, 2009]. Just like a human, a cow has to give birth to lactate, hence the poor dairy cows are forcefully impregnated once every eleven to twelve months to keep them producing milk. And just like hens are bred to lay a lot more eggs than what they would in nature, cows are producing multiple times more milk than what a wild cow would. This causes extreme stress on their bodies and is one of the primary reasons why their lives are so short.

If you think that you are buying ethical eggs from an organic, local and free-range chicken farm, ask yourself, where are all the male chicks? Buying eggs will allow for farmers to maintain a population of hens that have significantly shorter lifespan and that experience physical stress and pain. And just like in the meat industry the “production” will become more and more efficient and finally end up in the situation we are in today.

As it turns out, being vegan is not just good for the animals that we are trying to protect. It has a number of very beneficial side effects!

Veganism helps the environment

The sea

Veganism greatly reduces the amount of plastic ending up in our oceans.

Even if you don’t believe that fish and other sea animals have a rich emotional life like mammals, fishery accounts for almost 50% of the plastic in the oceans, at least when analysing the contents of the Great Pacific garbage patch. [Lebreton et al. 2018]. The study found that fishing nets account for 46 percent of the trash, with the majority of the rest composed of other fishing industry gear, including ropes, oyster spacers, eel traps, crates, and baskets. The environmental destruction from fish farming is also well documented [R.S.S. Wu 2001] and bycatches are a common occurrence. Bycatch is catch that is either unused or unmanaged. Applying this definition to global marine fisheries data, conservatively indicates that bycatch represents 40.4 percent of global marine catches. [Davies RWD, et al. 2009]

Buying fish at the supermarket contributes to all these atrocities.

The air

When it comes to man-made global warming, it turns out that there is nothing better for reducing your Green House Gas emissions than to go vegan. The livestock sector is a major player in man-made global warming, responsible for 18 percent of greenhouse gas emissions measured in COequivalent. This is a higher share than the transport sector. [UN’s FOA, 2006]

No matter how it is measured, on average, red meat is more Green House Gas-intensive than all other forms of food. Dairy products are an interesting second, as normalization by expenditure produces a GHG-intensity similar to that of red meat. [Christopher L Weber et al. 2008]. When considering CO2 per calorie, it is very clear that a plant-based diet would be a major component in the fight to save the world from overheating.

The land

Land usage for food production would be drastically reduced if we all were on a vegan diet, as was shown by Christian J. Peters et al. in 2016. This means we could feed more people without impacting the current land usage, if we all switched to the more efficient plant-based diet.

The livestock sector is by far the single largest anthropogenic user of land. The total area occupied by grazing is equivalent to 26 percent of the ice-free terrestrial surface of the planet. In addition, the total area dedicated to feed crop production amounts to 33 percent of total arable land. In all, livestock production accounts for 70 percent of all agricultural land and 30 percent of the land surface of the planet. [UN’s FOA, 2006]

Veganism can improve our health

A vital part of veganism is to be on a plant-based diet. Being plant-based is not by itself healthy for you. There are plenty of awful processed foods, full of unhealthy oils and other chemicals that are plant-based. A well balanced plant-based diet, compared to the standard western diet, is good for your health. But the science is clear, the best you can do for your longevity and health is to be on a whole foods plant-based diet. A whole foods plant-based diet is exactly what it sounds like. A diet consisting of whole, unrefined plants. You can find our whole foods recipes here.

Researchers have shown that a whole foods plant-based diet may help prevent, treat, or reverse some of our leading causes of death. [Phillip J Tuso et al. 2013]

• Lower cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugar.
• Reversal or prevention of heart disease and diabetes.
• Healthier weight.
• Lower risk of developing cancer and diabetes. (Did you know that 37% of breast cancer cases may be caused by BLV, a retrovirus readily found in cow’s milk? [Buehring et al. 2015].)
• May slow the progression of certain types of cancer.
• Improved symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.

And will at the same time lower our food costs. There is nothing cheaper than beans and potatoes.

whole foods plant-based diet fits perfectly with veganism

An additional reason to stop eating fish and shellfish is that they are a major source of exposure to environmental contaminants. Consumption will lead to a significant increase of whole-blood concentrations of mercury, arsenic and lead. [Outzen M et al. 2015] And we don’t like to have too much of that in our blood, do we?

Final thoughts

We make the argument that because we don’t need to eat or use animals in most parts of the world, it is ethically and morally wrong to do so. There are no real counter arguments to this. Yes, animals eat animals in nature and we are animals, but we are of a rare species with the abilities to ponder and think about and understand the consequences of our actions. Just because other animals do things in nature, does not make it OK for us to do the same thing. There are better ways now. Veganism is more efficient and can be way healthier. Go Vegan!

What are your thoughts? Comment below and let’s have a discussion.

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