Updated: Jul 8, 2021
When I first went vegan in 2016, the only options I had was beans on toast amongst other veggies. But now in 2021 I am amazed as how far we have come to make burgers, sausages and well anything I use to eat before being vegan, is practically now available in vegan options, making it healthier and tastier and a shed load easier!! I started my vegan journey one day sitting at my desk and wondering wether cows had to be pregnant to give milk. I remembered the old wives' tales particularly because my mother use to tell me this; ‘’they have to be milked otherwise they explode!’’ When I learned that cows actually have to be forced impregnated which is a nice way of saying ‘raped’ then 9 months later…. YES 9 MONTHS!! (Just like humans) they give birth to their offspring, then the farmer comes along takes the baby away kicking and screaming from his mommy just so that people can have milk in their coffees in the morning. Isn’t that heart breaking? So I’m sitting there behind my desk 6 years ago, thinking that can’t be real, we are not abusing the female productive systems like this, we can’t be this cruel as a society to take a baby away from his mother… then slowly the world as I viewed it started to melt away, and reality sets in. I got swallowed into a deep misery and pain of the world wondering how and why we are where we are. So I embarked on a vegan lifestyle with the emphasis of; Well I can’t stop them but I sure as hell can take no part in it!
So that’s the beginning of my vegan journey but there are, however, predominately three categories one might choose a vegan lifestyle; Environmental Concerns, Animal Rights and One’s own health. For me it was definitely for the animals, the healthiness was just the icing on the cake!
Vegan for the Environment
It is not a secret that the largest contributions to global warming is the gas emission of the animal agriculture, many recognise the issue and connect the dots between the animal agriculture and the environmental issues. There is a shift of consciousness throughout our globe. The shift predominately comes from the recent events of the pandemic. It is almost an epiphany amongst our population of how are we treating the earth. Many have turned to a vegan diet and lifestyle to mitigate the earthly damage.
Vegan for the Animals
Animal welfare or animal rights are both a majority reasoning for many vegans giving up meat, eggs and dairy for good! The underlining motivation of this lifestyle change is compassion. Many compassionate people draw the connection between our pain and an animals pain. They recognise that all animals feel like we do, they love, fear, and nurture their young very much like their counterpart humans. I myself, have had the pleasure of watching one of my rescue donkey’s give birth and nurture her young foal. I watched the mother (Poncho) and her tiny baby (Bambino) day in and day out. How she loved him, how she protected him, how she made sure he ate, how she never took her eyes off her baby. The distress in mother and baby if they were separated at any given moment. Bambino is now 1 years old and he still needs his mom. He is still nursing, still looking for her when he’s scared and they both sleep at night together. All of the above are human traits of motherhood. The only difference between humans and other animals of the animal kingdom is this; our perception. Otherwise we are all flesh and blood, skin and bones, love and fear and both seeking to survive and live.
Vegan for Health
Many vegans have chosen the path of veganism for their own health. For many years now scientists have warned us of dangers of animal protein yet we blindly eat away our health in the name of taste buds. For a species obsessed with immortality we have a strange way of wishing our life short.
Below are a few illnesses stated that are caused by Meat Dairy & Eggs; credit to Peta;
The World Health Organization states that the consumption of red or processed meat, such as beef, lamb, pork, bacon, ham, and hot dogs, causes cancer.
Meat-eating is particularly linked to colon cancer, prostate cancer, breast cancer, lymphoma, and stomach cancer. The reason for this is twofold: animal-derived foods contain many substances that can directly increase our risk of cancer, such as haem, nitrates, nitrites, heterocyclic amines, and polycyclic amines. On the flip side, a plant-based diet is full of cancer-busting ingredients such as fibre-filled grains and beans and phytochemical-packed fruits and vegetables.
All this evidence stacks up to a simple conclusion: go vegan to reduce your risk of getting cancer.
Heart and circulatory diseases cause more than a quarter of all deaths in the UK – and diet is a major cause. Meat, eggs, and dairy are high in cholesterol and saturated fat, which build up in the body, clog arteries, and stop the heart from working properly. Eating just two servings of meat a week will increase your risk of suffering from heart disease.
Cholesterol is found only in animal-derived foods – so a plant-based diet is 100% cholesterol-free, while its high fibre content also helps wash away excess fatty substances in the body. Vegans are also less likely to suffer from high blood pressure and strokes caused by blood clots preventing blood supply to the brain. Going vegan is one of the best ways to keep your heart in shape, lower your cholesterol levels, and decrease your risk of having a heart attack.
The same substances that are found in high levels in animal-based foods and that increase your chance of heart disease – fat and cholesterol – also, unsurprisingly, contribute to your risk of obesity. By contrast, vegan diets are low in fat, meaning that vegans are, on average, trimmer than meat-eaters and have a lower body mass index.
As the UK’s obesity epidemic affects around one-third of the population and threatens to slash the life expectancy of future generations, it’s vital that we and our children adopt diets that don’t make us dangerously overweight. Obesity contributes to our risk of suffering from many life-threatening health problems, like cancer and heart disease. Eating meat is putting an unsustainable burden on our health services, as well as forcing animals to pay the ultimate price.
One in 10 people in the UK over the age of 40 has type 2 diabetes. Consumption of haem iron in animal flesh is thought to be a significant factor in the higher incidence of diabetes among meat-eaters. Adopting a plant-based diet can reduce a person’s risk of developing diabetes by between 23% and 62%.
Zoonotic diseases are those that are transferred from animals to humans. A staggering 75% of emerging infectious diseases in humans come from other animals. Many major disease outbreaks in humans – including COVID-19, Ebola, swine flu, SARS, MERS, bird flu, and “mad cow” disease – have originated in animals. Wet markets, bloody abattoirs, and filthy megafarms confining thousands of chickens and pigs are breeding grounds for disease.
Animals are routinely fed antibiotics in order to prevent outbreaks of disease in crowded, unsanitary factory farm conditions. This is a ticking time bomb for public health. Experts warn that the practice is leading to the emergence of antibiotic-resistant “superbugs”: in 2012, for example, University of Cambridge scientists found a superbug version of the MRSA bacterium in the milk of British cows and pigs, which is believed to have led to infection in humans. And new research shows that there has been an increase in the number of antibiotic-resistant bacterial strains on chicken and pig factory farms worldwide.
On intensive farms in the UK, pigs, chickens, turkeys, and ducks are kept in crowded, filthy sheds, often by the thousands, and zero-grazing systems for cows are becoming more common in the dairy industry. Animals are surrounded by their own waste and breathe in ammonia-filled air, which burns their lungs and damages their immune systems. The conditions in these sheds provide an ideal breeding ground for pathogens, because animals live amid their own faeces from birth to slaughter. When one gets sick, the disease can quickly spread to all of them. For instance, the swift spread of the recent African swine fever outbreak has been catastrophic, killing an estimated 800 million pigs worldwide by March 2020.
Will there be another pandemic like COVID-19? As long as we continue confining and killing animals for their flesh, we’re likely to see more and more deadly viruses emerging and claiming human lives.
Visit https://www.peta.org.uk/ for future information and go on and sign up to be vegan today!! It’s free and you get a welcome magazine.
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