There are many reasons to go vegan. Most people learned to eat animals and their products when they were children and then at some point found reasons not to; from personal health to ethics surrounding animal agriculture and the environment, there are many reasons to go vegan.
It takes 10 times the amount of fossil fuels to produce one calorie of animal protein than it does to produce 1 calorie of plant protein?- The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
“Animal agriculture produces about 130 times the excrement produced by the entire human population and pollutes our waterways more than all other industrial sources, combined. ”- The US Environmental Protection Agency
Animal agriculture is one of the leading causes of environmental damage – through habitat destruction, deforestation (including loss of species), pollution, water use and fossil fuel use.
The rate at which animals are being consumed is completely unsustainable and as we struggle to decrease our global impact on the environment most people don’t realize just how detrimental the animal farming industry is. It takes about 12 times the land and 15 times as much water to produce 1lb of animal protein compared to 1lb of soy protein. It also requires 13x less fossil fuels to produce soy vs animal. To put this into perspective, you could not shower for 2 years to save water, but a friend who doesn’t eat 1lb of beef would have saved more water than you – and they wouldn’t smell as bad! Imagine just how many resources you could save by cutting out all animal products.
Animal agriculture is responsible for 18% of all greenhouse gas emissions while all of transport emissions combined (cars, trains, planes, boats etc) contributes to 13%- The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
Studies indicate that 3.5 billion humans could live off the food currently fed to live stock.- The United Nations
Most people think that animal products are a necessary part of a balanced diet but research is increasingly showing that this is simply not true and instead that animal products can contribute to ill health. The British Dietetic Association has stated that a vegan diet is suitable for people at all stages of life and is suitable for pregnant and lactating women. The World Health Organization (WHO) has categorized processed meats as a cause of cancer and long term studies have linked the removal of animal products from our diets with a decrease in cholesterol and blood pressure, and lower rates of heart disease and some types of cancer. New articles and studies are coming out every week claiming that eating a balanced and planned plant based diet can have a great effect on one’s health. Take a look at these 13 vegan athletes who set world records or became world champions! http://www.greatveganathletes.com/ Find out more about the health benefits of a vegan diet here
“Becoming a vegan gave me another opportunity to live a healthy life”
-Mike Tyson (Heavy Weight Boxer)
“I am vegan for the animals, for my health, and for the environment.”
-Tia Blanco (World Surfing Champion)
“You don’t need to take a life to gain muscle”
-David Carter (NFL player)
The world’s strongest animals are vegan Gorillas, Buffaloes, Elephants and me
-Patrick Baboumian (World’s Strongest Man 2011)
Eating animals’ bodies, secretions and bi products when there is so much choice of alternatives supports an inherently cruel industry. Industry standards and practices include some horrific things and a lot of these practices happen regardless of if an animal is raised organically or free range. Just like any industry, profit is maximized and in this case, it is at the expense of the animals. In the animal factory farming industry it is completely legal and considered ‘standard practice’ for animals to have their beaks cut off, their tails removed and to be castrated all without anaesthetic! This is something we would never imagine doing to our cat and dog companions at home. Most factory farmed animals will never see sunlight, crammed into such tiny unsanitary conditions that they need antibiotics just to stay alive.
Some animals will never be profitable for the industry, such as male chicks as they do not produce anything that we can sell so they are standardly ground alive shortly after hatching in a macerator. All of these are standard practices, are completely legal in the UK and Japan and do not even take into account the vast amounts of accidents, neglect and abuse that animals suffer. There are regular investigations on cruelty that is not standard practice within the industry. Some people try to claim that these cases are one-offs but with the increase in technology and undercover work we are learning that these incidents are extremely common. What these animals go through can only be described as inhumane.