Now where do I start?
There are many reasons why one would choose to eat a diet that avoids the consumption of any animal products such a dairy, meat, fish and eggs. Following a vegan/vegetarian diet is simply the greatest and easiest means to benefit many important areas in life all at once! Being vegan doesn’t just mean munching on lettuce and celery all day. With a creative mind, a bit of inspiration and vegan food can be so fun, nutritious and best of all YUMMY!
Many opt to a vegan or vegetarian diet as a means to improving their general health. Research has found that those who follow a vegetarian or vegan diet have lower incidences of obesity, type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, cancers, renal disease and gallstones.
The beef industry has contributed to more American deaths than all the wars of this century, all natural disasters, and all automobile accidents combined. If beef is your idea of “real food for real people,” you’d better live real close to a real good hospital.
—Neal D. Barnard, MD, President, Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine
Many people would not begin to consider the impact that the meat and dairy industry has on our planet, yet the effects are detrimental and vast. The requirements utilised to produce animal protein and dairy are extremely wasteful of limited resources. For example:
- The amount of U.S grain fed to farm animals = 70%
- Half of the water used in the U.S for all purposes goes to livestock production
- Growing a pound of corn can take between 100 and 250 gallons of water. But growing the grain to produce a pound of beef can require between 2000 and 8500 gallons -Scientific American, Peter H. Gleick.
A simple equation to put things into perspective:
Land + Water = Crops
Land + Water + Crops = Livestock
“The way that we breed animals for food is a threat to the planet. It pollutes our environment while consuming huge amounts of water, grain, petroleum, pesticides and drugs. The results are disastrous.”
— Dr. David Brubaker, PhD, at Johns Hopkins University’s Center for a Livable Future
I love this quote, and it is so relevant to the direction we are heading now.
“Only when the last tree has died, the last river has been poisoned and the last fish has been caught will we realize that we cannot eat money.”
— Cree Indian Proverb
For myself, the main driving decision to atop consuming meat was made in avoidance of contributing to a cruel, unethical industry whilst the benefits of the diet to my health was just an added bonus. After watching several documentaries such as Meet Your Meat and Earthlings, my immediate conscious reaction was never to touch meat again. With fresh knowledge and erased ignorance, I then knew that by eating meat I would be contributing and allowing unnecessary animal cruelty to be acceptable, for the choices made by the consumer are most powerful. I believe that many of us have the potential to disregard our dependence of animals in our diet but it is generally not until we are exposed to and reminded of the disheartening animal pain and suffering that many of us are unaware of when a plate of meat is put before us at the dinner table, that one begins to question the difference between eating a pig to a dog.
Life is life – whether in a cat, or dog or man. There is no difference there between a cat or a man. The idea of difference is a human conception for man’s own advantage.
—Sri Aurobindo (1872–1950)
Click here to find out more about the benefits of going veg, and tools to help you in the transition from Animals Australia
I also love to help animals by other means by devoting some of my spare time volunteering for Animals Australia and ATAAC(Australian Teens Against Animal Cruelty) helping raise awareness about current issues that are affecting animals.