It's simple, really. We like to feel great, we want all beings (human and non-human alike) to live happy, free lives, and we care about the state of the environment. Changing any familiar pattern in life, whether dealing with relationships and jobs, or food and general well-being, can be challenging. Let's face it, we're creatures of habit. The more we actively spread our level of awareness and broadened the scope of our vision around the incredible advantages of a plant-based diet though, the switch was a no-brainer. Especially once we discovered how delicious it could be...without those processed mystery "meat substitutes". Here's the scoop:
Many people become vegan through concern at the way farmed animals are treated. Public awareness of the conditions of factory-farmed animals is gradually increasing and it is becoming more and more difficult to claim not to have at least some knowledge of the treatment they endure. Sentient, intelligent animals are often kept in cramped and filthy conditions where they cannot move around or perform their natural behaviors. Regardless of how they were raised, all animals farmed for food meet the same fate at the slaughterhouse. This includes the millions of calves and male chicks who are killed every year as ‘waste products’ of milk and egg production and the animals farmed for their milk and eggs who are killed at a fraction of their natural lifespan. Choosing a vegan diet is a daily demonstration of compassion for all these creatures.
Curious? Here are some resources we have found to be very helpful when contemplating a vegan lifestyle:
Balanced vegan diets are often rich in vitamins, antioxidants and fibre and can decrease the chances of suffering from diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke and some cancers. In fact, heart disease is the leading cause of death here in the United States by a long shot, and it has everything to do with what we eat. A well-planned plant-based diet is suitable for all age groups and stages of life.
Switching to a plant-based diet is an effective way for an individual to reduce their eco-footprint. The ‘typical’ US diet generates the equivalent of nearly 1.5 tonnes more carbon dioxide per person per year than a vegan diet. The livestock industry is responsible for 18% of global greenhouse gas emissions, more than the entire transport sector (which produces 13.5%), including aviation. Plant-based diets only require around one third of the land and water needed to produce a typical Western diet. Farmed animals consume much more protein, water and calories than they produce, so far greater quantities of crops and water are needed to produce meat to feed humans than are needed to feed people direct on a plant-based diet. Farming animals and growing their feed also contributes to other environmental problems such as deforestation, water pollution and land degradation.