There are many reasons to go vegan. I am, first and foremost, vegan for the animals. The health benefits I have enjoyed because of my veganism have simply been a bonus. And the health benefits do exist. Eating animal free means that you consume absolutely no cholesterol. It means you eat more fiber. It means your body can digest your food more easily. Study after study shows that eating a plant based diet is good for your health, and when done properly, it is actually the optimum diet for health. People have reversed diabetes by going vegan. People have reversed heart disease by going vegan. There are certainly many reasons to eat vegan for your health.
Recommended Reading: Books About Going Vegan for Your Health
Recommended Reading: Books About Going Vegan for the Animals
For the Faint of Heart
The videos below are very difficult to watch. Very, very difficult to watch. I have been doing this for quite some time now, and I still have to turn away. So, what do we show our children, or those who need a video on training wheels, if you will? The below cartoon is a spoof on the movie "The Matrix" called "The Meatrix" and while it is not a video about going vegan, it does explain that the animal for food business is full of lies.
Meet Your Meat
In a world where most people get their food from the supermarket, and meat is sold in sterile packaging, it is very rare that the average person makes the connection between the food that they are eating and the animal that it comes from. I invite you to "meet your meat" in this heartwrenching film about the horrible conditions on factory farms.
Go Vegan for the Animals.
So many animals are killed each and every day for food. In fact, I recently learned that in just one industrialized slaughterhouse, one cow was killed every 12 seconds. That's 2500 lives lost in just one day, at just one facility. (Source: Every Twelve Seconds: Industrialized Slaughter and the Politics of Sight, by Timothy Pachirat)
If you think going vegetarian is enough, and that drinking milk, and eating cheese are acceptable because it doesn't kill the cow, think again. Dairy cows often live out lives that are far worse than death. In order to produce milk, cows must give birth (That's how mammals work. We make milk to feed our young, and when our young are old enough to ween, we stop producing milk.) So dairy cows are constantly kept pregnant, as as soon as their calves are born, they are quickly taken away from their mothers. The male calves are usually shipped directly to auction for sale to the veal industry, while the females are raised to replace "spent" dairy cows. In addition, most dairy cows are housed in crowded warehouses or barren fields with very little room to roam, and no grass on which to graze. Many become injured and sick, and many get infections on their utters. There is no such thing as "happy cheese."
The truth is, whether labeled cage-free or not, egg laying hens are horribly mistreated from the very moment they are hatched. Male chicks are simply thrown into the grinder or into large trash bins while still alive. Female chicks are packaged and shipped in boxes to egg producing factories. Most are debeaked to prevent pecking eachother in the horribly cramped conditions in which they will live out their lives. Chickens raised for poultry have it even worse. They are bred to grow fast and large. So big that their hearts and legs cannot support them. Their breasts grow inappropriately large compared to their bodies and even in so called cage-free situations, these birds can barely walk, if at all.
Did you know that pigs are known to be even smarter than the average companion dog? Pigs raised for pork live horrific lives and are often fed the worst of foods that make their way directly to the plate. In some facilities, pigs are kept in gestation crates barely large enough for their bodies to fit into, let alone be comfortable and move around. Thanks goodness some states, like California, have outlawed the use of gestation crates. Even so, the lives of pigs raised for pork is an atrocious one. Even on farms that claim to raise their meat humanely, the conditions are so horrific, it's almost impossible to imagine.
Pollution has produced many chemicals, including high levels of mercury that flow through the fish in our oceans. Over fishing has caused interruptions in the natural state of our oceans, loss of species and destruction to the sensitive underwater ecosystems. It is a common myth that fish do not feel pain. In fact, fish and other sea "food" do have feelings. A recent study shows that fish do, in fact, feel pain. And their lack of ability to communicate their pain (we can't hear them scream as we hook them, pull them from the water and allow them to suffocate) does not mean they are not suffering.