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Becoming Vegan, It's More Than Food.
Some Important Facts
- 56 billion animals are slaughtered annually,
- 51% of global greenhouse gas emissions is directly attributable to livestock production, which is more than the emissions attributable to the entire transportation sector
- According the FAO approximately 75% of the world’s fisheries are either exploited or depleted
- With regard to deforestation, the World Bank has found that animal agriculture is responsible for roughly 90% of the razing of the Brazilian Amazon.
- Animal agriculture is the number one consumer of fresh water by a significant margin: It consumes on average 55 trillion gallons of water annually—more than 520 times the water used in hydraulic fracturing.
- Growing feed crops for livestock consumes 56% of water in the US.
- 2,500 gallons of water are needed to produce 1 pound of beef.
- 1,000 gallons of water are required to produce 1 gallon of milk.
- Livestock or livestock feed occupies 1/3 of the earth’s ice-free land.
- Animal agriculture is the leading cause of species extinction, ocean dead zones, water pollution, and habitat destruction.
- 1/3 of the planet is desertified, with livestock as the leading driver.
- Every minute, 7 million pounds of excrement are produced by animals raised for food in the US.
- A farm with 2,500 dairy cows produces the same amount of waste as a city of 411,000 people.
- We could see fishless oceans by 2048.
Some Visual Perspective
The consumption of dairy products may be responsible for the epidemic of man boobs. Not only that but breast cancer is caused by dairy. The leading cause of death in America is heart disease. As many as 610,000 people die every year from heart disease, that's 1 in 4 deaths. What is heart disease caused by? Heart disease is caused primarily by a diet high in animal products.
The consumption of animal products is responsible for most cancers. Consumption of animal products is directly related to osteoporosis. The consumption of animal products leads to kidney stones, and increase urine acidity which doesn't feel great. Eating animal products also leads to kidney disease and eventually failure.
Research has linked the intestinal disorder Crohn's disease - that causes fever, diarrhoea and pain after eating - with Johne's disease in dairy cows. The bacterium in cows interferes with their digestion, lowers milk production, and eventually kills those infected. This same bacterium has been found in the gut of humans suffering from Crohn's disease, whose symptoms include crippling stomach pain, diarrhoea and other intestinal problems
Animal products often come with a plethora of contaminants. These include carcinogens, bacteria, hormones, dioxins, and so on. An extremely high percentage of animals sold are contaminated with E. coli, campylobacter, listeria, or other dangerous bacteria that live in the intestinal tracts, flesh, and feces of animals. Every year in the U.S., there are 75 million cases of food poisoning, and 5,000 of these cases are fatal. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reports that 70 percent of food poisoning is caused by contaminated animal flesh.
Health Of A Vegan
Some people going vegetarian worry about getting enough protein, calcium, B vitamins and other essential nutrients. The best evidence indicates that a balanced non-animal diet is the healthiest there is - for children as well as for adults. There are no diseases attributable to a vegan diet. There are no health concerns or risks in quitting meat and ditching animal products.
Vegetarian groups have been shown to have lower risks of cardiovascular disease, lower rates of obesity and longer life expectancy than meat-eaters.— The World Cancer Research Fund
Appropriately planned vegan and lacto-ovo-vegetarian diets satisfy nutrient needs of infants, children and adolescents and promote normal growth.— The American Dietetic Association
Vegetarians have lower rates of obesity, coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, large bowel disorders, cancers and gall stones. Cholesterol levels tend to be lower in vegetarians.— British Medical Association
Morality | Where Things Get Ugly
The consumption of animals is far more than just the slaughter, transport, and sales of their dead bodies. The animals that people eat everyday are living, breathing, pain fearing, and pleasure seeking sentient beings like us. Many of us have dogs and cats whom we genuinely love, and most of the time they really love us. We know that animals are friends not food. If someone was running a dog slaughter house like in China, we would be absolutely appalled, horrified, and wondering what would drive someone to run such a sickening operation. But here in america we do the same thing to pigs who are actually more intelligent than dogs.
When you begin to see that the animals we slaughter by the billions every year are genuinely suffering excruciating pain, psychological torture, and watching their own kind die along side them, you begin to feel sick. I know that I do. I feel disgusted that I would demand that animals go through ignoble gulags of despair, only to be slaughtered and eaten because of my petty desires. When I first watched a video of a chicken factory farm I was horrified, but not quite ready to quit eating meat. I had myself a chicken breast stir fry, but strangely it didn't taste as good as it had in the past. Learning the truth of my dinner plate made it hard to enjoy, and I couldn't continue my diet of eating animals.
The truth is that every time you put some cream in your coffee, eat a slice of cheese, go out for ice cream, or spread some butter on your pancakes, you are shoving your fist deep into a cows vagina, separating her from her calf, which will be ground into veal. Then you're putting her on a hard concrete floor where she will stand for 5 years, milked until her utters are so infected or unable to produce milk that she is considered spent, and turned into cheap hamburgers.
Each time you have a piece of bacon you are demanding that an animal with greater intelligence than your dog or your 3 year old, be placed in a cage too small for them to move for their entire life. They know they are imprisoned, and it causes them to lose their minds. They bite at the metal bars of the cage until their gums are raw and bleeding. They cry in pain, they live excruciatingly painful lives so that you can enjoy some pork.
Ask yourself, is it moral to cause this suffering unnecessarily, and to the detriment of my own health?
So Why Do People Eat Animals?
In 2016 alone lobbying interests in the U.S. spent $4,805,237 promoting dairy, $2,454,770 on livestock, and $1,165,000 on poultry and eggs. Where does this money go? Well it keeps animal products in school cafeterias. These funds also retain the massive federal subsidies for the animal agriculture industry, making meat appear cheaper, and therefore more convenient than a vegan diet. These lobbying interests maintain the current government food pyramid, which maintains peoples belief in the nutritional benefits of animals.
How Can I Learn More?
My journey towards veganism began with watching a documentary. I watched Cowspiracy and it completely blew my mind. For the second time in my life I found out that I had been lied to about a very significant part of reality and it was all going on right under my nose. Later on I watched Food Inc. That documentary helped me to understand the intricate network between the meat industry, the public, and the government.
Apart from that I watched a number off slaughterhouse videos, and undercover investigations of our modern farms. What I saw in those videos is permanently imprinted in my brain and I will never forget the gruesome horror of it all. That's why I'm willing to spend hours of my time trying to get the facts out, because this issue is not only important in terms of the health of my friends and family, but also the environment, and the lives of hundreds of billions of pain fearing and pleasure seeking sentient beings.