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The Empirical Vegan

Updated on January 25, 2016

The Empirical Vegan

Veganism is "a philosophy and way of living which seeks to exclude—as far as is possible and practicable—all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose; and by extension, promotes the development and use of animal-free alternatives for the benefit of humans, animals and the environment. In dietary terms it denotes the practice of dispensing with all products derived wholly or partly from animals." ~ Donald Watson

I would gladly spar words with anyone on the subject of veganism, and I would have the last word since I have an answer for everything. So put on your boxing gloves - just make sure they're not leather.

If you don't want to hear about my vegan beliefs, don’t ask. But don't tell me how badly you want to eat a cheese burger, steak, lamb chop or rack of ribs to satisfy your selfish palate while animals suffer unbearable horrors, and expect me to remain silent. I only discuss the subject of veganism with those who ask and need to be educated. And when someone asks, they get an earful of undeniable, empirical facts.

When engaging in a debate with vegans about veganism, refrain from mentioning the following:

1) Plants feel pain
2) Humans have canine teeth
3) Lions kill and eat other animals
4) It says in the bible ...
5) Humans are at the 'top of the food chain'
6) Our ancestors ate animals
7) Milk is good for our bones
8) We need animal protein to live
9) If we don't eat cows, there would be too many
10) I only eat 'organic', 'cage free' and 'free range'
11) I don't eat that much meat anyway
12) I don't eat meat - only chicken and fish.
13) I honor the animal who 'sacrificed' his/her life for me
14) Humans are the superior species
15) I have tried a vegan diet, but got sick

Society has brainwashed itself into believing that animals are here wholly and solely for the sake of man, and man uses religion and culture as an excuse, citing God or some other authority as governance. If a good God existed, this entity surely would not want any of its creatures to suffer. Lest we not forget that "Religion was invented when the first con man met the first fool." ~ Mark Twain.

There is immense hypocrisy when people say how much they love animals - their dog, cat, rabbit or other pet, but think nothing about eating other animals. How can people say they love animals, yet eat and wear them or stand in line at a zoo to see them caged in captivity? I know people love their pets, but just because an animal doesn‘t live in one's home because it has not or cannot be domesticated does not mean it deserves a different fate than our pets.

I spare the lives of over three hundred cows, chickens, pigs and other “food-animals“ annually by not eating them. Sadly this number is severely dwarfed by the countless animals that suffer and die from having their lives stolen because of those who do eat them. I'm vegan because I love ALL animals and cannot be part of the cruelty, abuse and murder. The number of animals slaughtered, tortured, abused, neglected, abandoned and mistreated every single minute of every single day is unimaginable, heart wrenching and ethically criminal. No human could physically, mentally or emotionally endure the atrocities he imposes on other animals.

The health benefits I reap from a vegan diet are secondary and not the reason I chose a vegan lifestyle. Nonetheless, my skin is healthy and I look at least ten years younger than women my age and my body is in better shape than many women half my age. My HDL cholesterol has never exceeded 148 and my blood pressure is consistently in the range of 100/70. I am 5 ‘8 and a healthy 130 pounds. I don’t take medication and have no health issues.

The health benefits that come with being vegan are empirical. But being vegan is a lifestyle that goes beyond what I eat. It is all-encompassing to include what I wear, the cosmetics, toiletries and cleaning products I use, the tires on my car and the businesses I support, and those I boycott.

Most of us were brought up consuming milk and eating animals, without giving much if any thought to what suffering animals endure for our sake. My innate love for animals has been a constant presence in my life, so the decision not to eat or be a party-to animal exploitation came easy. Let’s face it, it’s near impossible to buy something that doesn’t contain animal or animal-derived ingredients, or that has not used the forced labor of an animal to either cultivate, generate or transport it. Even the coffee beans and many of the vegetables that nourish us are transported by donkeys, mules, horses and other beasts of burden.

But the vegan movement is changing this, and although it is fairly new, veganism has made tremendous strides over the last 10 years. There are vegan restaurants, clothing and apparel shoppes, cruelty-free cosmetics, vegan bakeries and "cheeseries", supermarkets and online businesses catering to the compassionate. Even mainstream supermarkets are offering vegan and vegetarian product lines, so there's no excuse to continue eating animals, even if one's palate and mind thinks otherwise. Any recipe made with animal-derived ingredients can be made vegan, deliciously.

Eating animals was not how nature intended. When man began to walk upright, he foraged for food provided by nature, with medical anthropology supporting the fact that the first humans were vegan. There was no pork, dairy foods, poultry, beef or fish in man‘s diet prior to the Ice Age. If man was meant to eat fish, he’d have been born in the sea. If man was meant to eat animals, he'd have the capacity to cull and kill prey with his bare hands and digest all parts as wild animals do. Butchers cut the meat parts humans consume, whereas wild animals eat nearly all of their prey's parts; organs, skin and scales. Wild animals possess enzymes humans do not, that allows them to digest meat, bones, fins and feathers. Upon autopsies, meat-eating humans are found to have three to five pounds of undigested meat in their intestinal tracts, whereas vegans have clear guts and a clear conscience.

In man’s original form, he did not possess the flesh-tearing canine teeth that dogs, cats, lions, tigers and bears possess. If man was meant to eat the flesh of another animal, he would have been born with canine teeth. Over time, man’s teeth began to change shape to adapt to eating his unnatural, adoptive diet.

Prior to the Ice Age, humans were vegan and ate food within reach; fruits, berries, vegetation, nuts, grains and seeds. After the “Big Melt”, little had survived with the exception of some animalia, some vegetation and a few humans. Man with his opposable thumbs invented tools to take down animals that he could not with his bare hands. The Ice Age caused humans to be very cold and very hungry, and the age of tools and hunting was born. Humans began eating animal flesh and wearing animal skins to stay warm and survive; there were no other options. But today there are a multitude of options, so there's no excuse to eat, wear and exploit animals.

When I hear people talk about how great fur makes them feel, I become livid. The viciousness that goes into fur farming and production is so heinous, with anal electrocution and live skinning of innocent animals. Just as I don't have the right to steal the clothes off anyone's back, neither does anyone have the right to steal the breath, flesh and fur off the body of any animal. 'Mother Nature' provides those animals that need it with fur for their warmth and insulation. If nature had intended for man to wear fur, man would be covered in his own fur.

I understand that it seems as if I am not considering the hunger and survival of humankind, but remember that when you teach a man to reap what he sows, he will have food for a lifetime. And since humans believe they possess the highest intelligence of all animals, we are smart enough to know better and do better. We figured out how to produce food with the plentiful seeds and grains provided by nature, and there's no reason man cannot survive and thrive on a vegan diet. But despite this, man’s selfish pleasure in eating animal flesh has barely wained. A smarter man would have been a better farmer, not a vicious hunter.

In nature, animals would never reproduce at the dramatic rate they do. In factory farming, animals are force-fed, force-bred and over-farmed. "Overrunning the earth" is just one of the poor excuses humans use to rationalize eating, hunting and wearing animals. Humans over-produce animals, and because man has created weaponry to kill animals, he has control over them.

And herein lies the decline of the beautiful animal kingdom. But as the vegan movement grows and enlightens society, the practice of advocating and protecting animals will increase exponentially, and one day humankind will be just that.


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    • Kimberleyclarke profile image

      Kimberley Clarke 

      4 years ago from England

      A wonderful article, thank you. I have been vegetarian for my whole adult life - I started a plant based only diet 9 weeks ago. I'm delighted that I have made the change - it is far easier to stick to than I had feared.


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