Yesterday I stopped at Hero Burger to have a veggie burger on my way to work. It’s funny how most “vegan” burgers tend to be served on egg buns. They’re not really vegan, then are they… In any case, I had a big discussion with the guy at the counter (yep, I’ve now become that person who asks a billion questions before ordering) and we figured I could have their whole wheat flatbread instead. When I got my burger, it was on the egg bun, so I had to go back up to the front and ask if I could have it on the whole wheat version instead like we talked about. It was sort of embarrassing and annoying. I hate being ‘that person’, but I guess if we all asked a lot of questions about what we are consuming, we’d be healthier and more knowledgeable about the substances (chemicals, animal by-products) we put in our body and where they came from. On that note, these are the reasons why people choose veganism:
The reasons to become vegan
There are three reasons why people generally become vegan: their health, the environment and to prevent animal cruelty. Some people do it for one of the reasons, some for all. Today I’m going to touch on these three topics and give a brief outline of what is the information behind them, then later in the month go into more detail.
Consuming animal products – proteins and fats in particular – are linked to many diseases and health problems in humans: heart disease, diabetes, colon and lung cancer, osteoporosis, obesity, kidney disease, and hypertension, to name a few. Eggs are high in cholesterol, being a factor in cardiovascular disease.
You can get all you need of protein, calcium, fiber, and nutrients from plant-based sources. They are also low in fat, with no cholesterol.
Animal agriculture has taken a toll on the planet. The need for higher yield crops to feed the animals has led to topsoil erosion and less productive crops. Animal waste from factory farms is the top cause of pollution in our groundwater and rivers.
The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization has linked animal agriculture to a number of other environmental problems, including: contamination of aquatic ecosystems, soil, and drinking water by manure, pesticides, and fertilizers; acid rain from ammonia emissions; greenhouse gas production; and depletion of aquifers for irrigation. (vegan.org)
The United Nations also reported that a vegan diet can feed more people than a animal-based diet, helping with our world’s increasing population and poverty.
This is probably the number one reason people become vegan. It’s a huge topic that I will touch on briefly now, but go into more details later in the month. I plan on watching all those animal cruelty videos and sharing what I learn. (Aren’t you excited?)
Commercially-raised animals live their short lives in small cages, drugged, and mutilated. Even chickens who produce “free range” eggs or cows who produce milk are slaughtered when their production of eggs or milk declines, cutting short their life (a chicken is usually killed after two years, despite being able to live up to 15 years and dairy cows are killed after five years, despite a lifespan of 25). Males chicks are killed because hatcheries have no use for them and male cows are sent to veal farms to be deprived of food and exercise and killed young.
There are so many horror stories about what happens to these animals and even if you say you don’t care about the animals, just think about the sick, drugged meat you are putting in your body. Gross.
Vegan Action – vegan.org. (see the different sections of the website for their sources – studies, reports, etc)