I am vegan for the animals, the planet, my health and for my kids future. Based upon everything we know today about the climate crisis and animal suffering, the choice to select a plant based diet has never been easier. You can eat a totally plant-based diet that supports excellent health, whilst helping animals and protecting the planet.
For the animals
Cows are mammals who only produce milk as a result of giving birth. Milk is produced in mammals for only one reason: to feed and nourish their young. When a dairy cow gives birth to a calf, however, that calf may never receive the nutrients intended for them. The cow is forcibly inseminated and made to carry her calf to term, after which the calf is taken from her. This causes extreme emotional distress in the mother, not to mention the physical toll of being forced to birth far more babies than she would naturally in her lifetime, stand confined on concrete floors to be milked three times per day, and fed hormones and antibiotics to increase her milk production and stop the spread of disease that these conditions cause in the first place.The fate of the calf depends on its sex, and is horribly cruel either way: if male, the calf is considered a waste product of the dairy industry (because he will never produce milk), and may be put into veal production, where he will be kept confined and restricted of nutrients until his very early death (usually around 8 months old). If the calf is female, she will be put into dairy production as soon as her body is able to conceive, and meet the same cruel fate as her mother. The natural lifespan of cattle can be up to 20 years, but a dairy cow often will only make it to age five before no longer being viewed as profitable, and sent to slaughter.
A wild hen will only lay around 10-15 eggs per year (other sources estimate 20-30), and despite being natural, the process comes at a huge physical toll on the hen’s body. To meet the demands of eggs for consumption by humans, hens have been “intensively bred” and subjected to all manner of cruel practices to force their bodies to overproduce the estimated 250-300 eggs each egg-laying hen is forced to yield annually. If between 10 and 30 eggs carries a physical burden on a hen’s body and reproductive organs, imagine the pain and anguish 10-25 times that production causes.
For the planet
Food production causes great damage to the environment, via greenhouse gases from livestock, deforestation and water shortages from farming, and vast ocean dead zones from agricultural pollution. But without action, its impact will get far worse as the world population rises by 2.3 billion people by 2050. Eating a vegan diet could be the single biggest way to reduce your environmental impact on earth. Cutting meat and dairy products from your diet could reduce an individual's carbon footprint from food by up to 73 per cent.
In a UN report from 2018 the world’s leading scientists warns there are just a dozen years in which to keep global warming under 1.5C, beyond which even half a degree will significantly worsen the risks of drought, floods and extreme heat. The report clearly states the need for a global shift to a vegan diet in order to slow the progress.
For my health
Going vegan is a great opportunity to learn more about nutrition and cooking, and improve your diet. You won't be consuming saturated fat from meat, milk and eggs, and you'll be avoiding processed meat, which the World Health Organization has classified as a cause of cancer. Vegan diets has been linked with lower blood pressure and cholesterol, lower rates of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and some types of cancer. If you make smart choices, a vegan diet can be a really healthy way of eating. Get the most out of your diet by limiting salt and eating plenty of whole grains, fruit, nuts, seeds and vegetables. These foods are packed full of beneficial fibre, vitamins and minerals. Nothing tastes as good as vegan feels.