It is not easy for meat eaters to become vegetarians and not easy for vegetarians to become vegan by letting go of dairy products such as milk, butter, yogurt, cheese and eggs. It is often as difficult a transition as going from meat/fish diet to vegetarian. Renunciation functions as a direct contribution to feeding the world’s hungry whether one is a vegetarian, vegan or primarily vegetarian or primarily vegan.
10 COMPASSIONATE REASONS TO BE VEGAN
1. A plant based diet saves the lives of animals, birds and fish year in and year out with farm animals and birds facing the terror of slaughter at the abattoirs as they line up one behind the other for execution. It is estimated that a person living to 75 years of age consumes around 6600 animals, birds and fish, including 2200 chickens.
2. Antibiotics, growth hormones, pesticides and certain foodstuff given to animals affect the cells of farm animals.
3. Farm animals, such as sheep, cows, pigs, are generally calm and trusting creatures. They have the mentality of babies and very young children without the language skills to express fully what they feel.
4. Animals consume 2500 gallons of water to produce a pound of beef and crops that could feed humans. It takes 13 pound of crops to produce one pound of animal flesh. The huge number of acres used to grow crops to feed animals could go to feed the world’s hungry.75% of topsoil has depleted due to farm animals.
5. The raping of rainforests for cattle for meat eating affects the climate. Rainforest destruction brings about more greenhouse gases that affect the climate than all transport whether by air, land and water.
6. Livestock Farms have become factories known as Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFO). Living in controlled, tight, intensely overcrowded environments, these animals live a hellish life. They also produce huge amounts of urine and excrement waste polluting land, water tables, rivers and lakes.
7. Millions of calves and male chicks are slaughtered as waste to ensure milk and egg production.
8. The livestock industry is responsible for 18% of global greenhouse gas emissions, more than the entire transport sector of 13.5% including flying. Greenhouse gases also releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere through burning of wood, gas, oil and coal.
9. The ‘typical’ US diet generates the equivalent of nearly 1.5 tonnes more carbon dioxide per person per year than a vegan diet.
10. It is far more sustainable to eat plant foods than to eat farm animals if we are to feed the rapidly growing world population of seven billion plus people especially as available land decreases. Through a vegan diet, or virtually vegan diet, our eco footprint treads much more lightly on the earth.
Some vegans apply strict disciplines to diet and dress to support animals welfare and biodiversity. They refuse to eat honey, wear leather, such as leather shoes or leather belt, wool and silk and refuse to eat genetically modified crops. They show the lay equivalent of Buddhist monks’ Vinaya (Rules of Discipline).Vegans set an important yardstick for all of us in terms of diet and showing compassion for all beings.
The meat industry campaigns to get people to eat animals with claims that meat provides the necessary protein, even though much protein is lost in the cooking of meat. Chinese doctors using varies traditional remedies regularly persuade their Western patients to eat meat. Some people have made the transition from meat and fish to becoming fully committed vegans with more than enough protein coming from quinoa, beans, lentils, nuts, tofu and tempeh.