WHAT’S UP WITH THIS WEBSITE?
I created this website because I love animals. Because I also love ‘80s music, I decided to create a website about both. My hope is that you will have an open mind while reading the information provided on this website, and investigate these claims for yourself. Most people don’t question consuming animal flesh, organs, and bodily secretions (dairy and eggs) because since birth, they have been told that such behavior is healthy, harmless, necessary, and humane——but none of that is true.
The connection on this website between the animals and the ‘80s music is the vegan ‘80s pop artists who have songs on the TOP 500 POP SONGS OF THE 1980S list: Bryan Adams, Joan Jett, Richard Marx, Stevie Wonder, Grace Slick (Starship’s singer), Rikki Rockett (Poison’s drummer), Terri Nunn (Berlin’s singer), Rick Allen (Def Leppard’s drummer), Phil Collen (Def Leppard’s guitarist), Annabella Lwin (Bow Wow Wow’s singer), Brian May (Queen’s guitarist), and more. These rock stars believe that animals deserve to live free from human greed and cruelty. That’s why they choose to be vegan.
BUT WHY SHOULD YOU CARE?
First of all, there is no nutritional or biological requirement for humans to consume animals or their bodily secretions. The millions of healthy vegans around the world are proof of that, as is the abundance of peer-reviewed, evidence-based research and scientific studies about a vegan diet (which can be found throughout this website, and on the RESOURCES page).
Secondly, causing pain and suffering and slaughter to others for nothing more than taste pleasure is not morally defensible, but most people who participate in such behavior claim to be ethical. Many of these same people get very upset about people who mistreat and slaughter dogs and cats in some countries, but they pay for the exact same treatment to chickens, cows, pigs, turkeys, fish, and other animals in their own country. Does that make sense?
Billions of these animals are slaughtered every day, after enduring nothing but pain and misery, never knowing any love or compassion or freedom, because most humans have been conditioned to believe that breeding, imprisoning, mutilating, exploiting, and slaughtering sentient beings for food is morally justifiable behavior.
A sentient being has the capacity to feel emotions, to perceive surroundings, and to experience life as a fully self-aware individual. These animals——just like you and your companion animals——have central nervous systems with spinal cords, pain receptors, and brains, which means that they have the capacity to experience pain and suffering. Don’t all sentient beings have the right to live free from harm by humans——especially because humans have the great fortune of being able to behave morally, to think rationally, and to live happy and healthy lives without consuming animals or their bodily secretions?
MANY MORE REASONS TO GO VEGAN
While this website focuses primarily on compassion for the suffering animals, there are many important motivations for going vegan, such as climate change, human health, widespread air and water pollution, water wastage and water scarcity, deforestation, land degradation, topsoil erosion, species extinction, habitat destruction, desertification, ocean dead zones, worldwide human hunger and starvation, antibiotic resistance, and the development of zoonotic diseases that become deadly pandemics. These other issues are referenced throughout this website, and on the RESOURCES page.
Furthermore, the number of title-winning, record-holding vegan athletes and bodybuilders continues to increase dramatically because they experience the performance benefits. They report that a plant-based diet enhances their overall health, increases their rate of recovery during and after training sessions and workouts, decreases inflammation, and makes them more powerful than ever before. On the RESOURCES page, you will find many prominent and outspoken vegan athletes and bodybuilders whose accomplishments are proof that going vegan can help you boost your exercise performance, achieve your physical fitness goals, and drastically improve your general health.
IT’S NOW EASIER TO GO VEGAN THAN EVER BEFORE!
And every single day it gets easier to live vegan! Vegan products and services are becoming more widely available and more easily accessible every day because every day there are more people who decide to live vegan, and the food industry functions based on supply and demand. There are many affordable, delicious, healthy plant-based alternatives to meat, dairy, and eggs that taste exactly the same! You won’t be able to tell the difference. You just have to look for these products.
Ultimately, you must decide if causing pain and suffering and slaughter for nothing more than momentary, trivial taste pleasure...is who you really are, especially when there are many affordable, nutritious, and delicious alternatives that don’t come from the pain and suffering and slaughter of emotional beings.
Please think about what you are supporting, do your own research, and simply choose compassion. Please think about how your daily food choices and other decisions impact the animals, our planet, humanity in general, and your own health.
CHOOSING PEACE AND COMPASSION
Yes, of course what you eat is your choice. But why would you choose suffering and violence when you can choose peace and compassion?
Are the fleeting taste sensations of flesh, organs, and bodily secretions really that important to you, when there are so many nutritious and delicious alternatives that don’t come from the suffering and slaughter of emotional beings? Please think about your food choices and ask yourself if you are being ethical and compassionate, and if causing pain and suffering and slaughter for nothing more than momentary, trivial taste pleasure is who you really are.
There is no biological or nutritional requirement for humans to consume animals or their bodily secretions (dairy and eggs). If you have access to nutritious plant-based foods, then the choice to continue supporting the meat, dairy, and egg industries is a conscious decision to harm, exploit, and kill others for pleasure and self-indulgence—simply because you like the way something tastes. Is that who you really are?
It's not difficult to go vegan. Here are links to some of the best FREE vegan starter kits. You have nothing to lose by checking out what being vegan is all about!
FREE VEGAN STARTER KITS
PLANT-BASED ALTERNATIVES TO MEAT, DAIRY, & EGGS
There are now cruelty-free, delicious, healthy plant-based alternatives to animal products that are abundantly available. Below are some links to companies that make plant-based meat, dairy, and egg alternatives. Go to the websites for more information. Many of them will ship directly to you, or you may order these products from online shopping platforms. And you may always ask for these brands and products at your local grocery stores and restaurants. You will find store locators on many of these websites, to let you know where to find these products locally.
PLANT-BASED MEAT: Beyond Meat, Gardein, No Evil Food, Impossible Foods, The Herbivorous Butcher, Tofurkey, Lightlife, Earth Balance, Sgaia, Hungry Planet, Field Roast, Good Catch Foods, Plamil Foods, Upton’s Naturals, Yves Veggie Cuisine, Boca Burger, Sweet Earth Enlightened Foods, Trader Joe’s, and Simply Balanced (Target).
(Please note that many popular ice cream brands now have dairy-free varieties: Baskin-Robbins, Ben & Jerry’s, Breyers, and Häagen-Dazs. Whole Foods Market, Trader Joe’s, Publix, and many other grocery chains have their own brands with dairy-free products as well.)
PLANT-BASED CHEESE: Miyoko’s Kitchen, Follow Your Heart, Kite Hill, Treeline, Violife, Virgin Cheese, Vtopian Artisan Cheese, Chao (Field Roast), Daiya, Avellana Creamery, Parmela Creamery, Heidi Ho, Blode Kuh, Dr-Cow, Vromage, Good Planet, Fresh Start Fauxmage, Nuts for Cheese, Artisa Kunanyi, Cobb’s, Vegan Stokes, and Soul Cheeze.
Becoming vegan is not about good people versus bad people, or about judging anyone. Going vegan is simply about choosing peace and compassion, instead of suffering and violence.
WHEN DID THE WORDS “VEGAN” AND “VEGANISM” ORIGINATE?
The word “vegan” was defined by The Vegan Society (an offshoot of The Vegetarian Society) in November 1944. Led by Donald Watson, The Vegan Society sought to differentiate their group from vegetarians, who abstain from meat, but consume the bodily fluids and secretions of animals. Donald Watson stated that they decided on the word “vegan” because it contains the first three and the last two letters of “vegetarian.” He said that this was significant because it marked both the beginning and the end of “vegetarian.”
In 1949, the Vegan Society decided to expand the concept by coining the word “veganism” as a philosophy that includes issues other than just food, embracing the principle of the emancipation of animals from all exploitation by humans. Veganism was then clarified to be “the philosophy of ending the use of animals by humans for food, commodities, work, hunting, vivisection, and all other uses involving exploitation.”
The definition of veganism was amended and refined over the years. By 1988, the official definition became the following:
“Veganism is a philosophy and way of living which seeks to exclude——as far as is possible and practicable——all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing, or any other purpose; and by extension, promotes the development and use of animal-free alternatives for the benefit of humans, animals, and the environment. In dietary terms, it denotes the practice of dispensing with all products derived wholly or partly from animals.”
To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the inception of the vegan movement in November 1944, in 1994 The Vegan Society declared November 1 as World Vegan Day, and November as World Vegan Month, which is now internationally recognized. “World Vegan Month is celebrated around the world as a time to recognize how far the vegan movement has come, to highlight how accessible and beneficial a vegan lifestyle is and to encourage the vegan-curious to adopt veganism by sharing advice, recipes and ideas.”
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE VEGAN?
Veganism is an ethical philosophy that affects an individual’s choices about food, lifestyle, and pretty much everything. By definition, vegan means “for the animals,” but living vegan has profoundly beneficial impacts on your health and our planet.
Veganism is a moral perspective rather than a diet. The term “plant-based” describes a diet of foods derived only from plants, such as vegetables, grains, legumes, fruits, nuts, and seeds. People decide to adopt a plant-based diet for their personal health, for the environment, and for many other reasons, but people who decide to go vegan are doing it primarily for the animals.
Being vegan is about doing your best to cause the least amount of harm possible. Vegans try their best not to contribute to animal cruelty, suffering, and killing. Being vegan, by definition, is about the animals; the other positive outcomes are icing on the vegan cake!
WHY GO VEGAN?
People decide to become vegan when they accept three basic facts, and then apply these facts to their lives:
Animals can experience pain and suffering.
We cause them pain and suffering when we breed, exploit, imprison, harm, and kill them.
We have no nutritional or biological need to consume the flesh, organs, or bodily secretions (dairy, eggs, honey) of animals, or any need to use them in any way.
After you accept these basic facts, you examine your ethics (what you personally believe is right and wrong), and then apply your ethics to everyone——not just to other humans, nor to only specific animals such as dogs and cats. EVERYONE!
If you need help figuring out what to eat and how to live vegan, simply ask a vegan! We’ve all been through this process. We will help you! We want to help you, not just because we care about the animals——but also because we care about YOU. We know that you don’t want to be contributing to the torture and slaughter of lovable animals. That’s not who you are!!
Being vegan is simply about being compassionate. YOU CAN DO IT!!! Ask for help if you need it. If you don’t personally know a vegan, you can easily find a support system of vegans on social media. All vegans will tell you that the one regret they have is not going vegan sooner.
There are many documentaries about going vegan. These are six of the most popular.
Click on the images for more information.
Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret addresses environmental concerns.
The Game Changers features vegan athletes and bodybuilders.
ARE YOU ANGRY ABOUT THE YULIN DOG MEAT FESTIVAL?
The annual Yulin Dog Meat Festival is held every June. Many people angrily protest this 10-day “celebration” in China at which up to 100,000 dogs, cats, and other animals are brutalized and eaten.
How does a self-professed animal lover object to the abuse and slaughter of dogs, without any problem paying for the same treatment to pigs, chickens, cows, turkeys and other animals every single day?
If you are angry about the Yulin Dog Meat Festival, and the fact that up to 30 million dogs are tortured and eaten every year in Asia, but you consume the meat (or bodily secretions) of other animals who were bred and tortured to death for your taste pleasure, how do you reconcile that depraved hypocrisy?
Please take the time to think about it, and decide if, as an “animal lover,” harming, exploiting, and killing any kind of animal for your taste pleasure is who you really are.
THE HUMANE SLAUGHTER MYTH
Humane slaughter doesn’t exist and makes no sense. How do you “compassionately kill” someone who doesn’t want to die? Even if you believe that the method of ultimately killing these animals is “quick and painless” (which isn’t true), you must know that animals rely heavily on their senses of sight, smell, and hearing——just like you and your companion animals do. Imminent death is a terrifying sensory assault for them, just as it would be for you and your companion animals. Can you even imagine what it’s like to be waiting in the line in a slaughterhouse waiting to die?
This non-graphic footage (click on the image below) shows the experience of a cow who is waiting in line to die. If you pay for what you call “humane slaughter,” then you should see what the last moments of life are like for an animal in a slaughterhouse. This video does not show the actual slaughter——just how the animals in the line react. If you can’t bear to see blood or violence, just watch how this cow reacts while awaiting his death.
THEY KNOW IT’S COMING...
You know that these animals aren’t machines or mere objects, totally unaware of what’s happening around them. They know it’s coming, and they are terrified. Their senses are in overload in these slaughterhouses. They can smell the feces and blood in the air. They can hear the mechanical clanging and clunking, humans shouting, industrial white noise, and the other animals screaming and trying to escape.
These animals are sentient beings with central nervous systems, which means that they have full self-awareness and can experience emotions, and pain and suffering. They endure severe psychological, emotional, and physical trauma, simply because some people like the way their flesh, organs, and bodily secretions taste. Why do self-identified “animal lovers” refuse to think about the pain and suffering that their unnecessary food choices cause defenseless, vulnerable, sweet animals?
Imagine how your dog or cat or other companion animal would react inside a slaughterhouse. It’s the same for cows, chickens, pigs, turkeys, etc. Think about it logically, and stop lying to yourself. You are smarter and more kindhearted than this.
VEGETARIANS PAY FOR SLAUGHTER TOO!
If you are a vegetarian, please be aware that the dairy cows and the egg-laying hens and all of their babies end up in a slaughterhouse (see THE ANIMALS page for more information). Or did you actually think that the farmers keep these animals until they die of natural causes? No, it’s all about money. When their milk production or egg production declines, the farmers sell these exploited and tortured animals to the meat industry——because, YES, it’s all about MONEY. If you are a vegetarian, you are supporting the meat industry. Think about it logically, and stop lying to yourself. You are smarter and more kindhearted than this.
WHAT’S WRONG WITH DAIRY & EGGS?
Of all land animals who are exploited and killed for human food, dairy cows and egg-laying hens suffer the most, for the longest, and in the greatest numbers. And they are slaughtered when their production decreases. When they are no longer producing eggs or milk at a profitable rate for the farmers, they are sent to slaughterhouses. And their male babies are slaughtered because they can’t produce milk or eggs: male chicks born to egg-laying hens are killed on the day that they are born, by gassing, suffocation, or maceration; male calves born to dairy cows are either killed immediately or they are isolated and imprisoned and later slaughtered for veal.
Why are the male babies killed? Because they can't produce milk or eggs, and are therefore useless to the farmers. Why would they spend money to keep them alive? If you purchase dairy products and/or eggs, then you are paying for babies to be slaughtered. Vegetarians cause life-long pain and suffering and death to animals. Think about it, and please go VEGAN if you truly care about animals!
LOOK AT THESE CUTE BABIES!
Sadly, these sweet boys all went to the slaughterhouse. They were born to dairy cows, and since males can’t produce milk, the dairy farmers dragged them away from their mothers and sold them to the meat industry. IF YOU PURCHASE DAIRY PRODUCTS, THEN YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR KILLING THESE BABIES.
Will you please think about what you support when you purchase anything with cow milk in it? Will you please make ethical, compassionate, and rational choices that are consistent with who you really are?
Cows (and all animals exploited for human food) are emotional beings, capable of love, affection, and a wide range of emotions. They are sentient individuals with central nervous systems and full subjective awareness. They seek attention and affection, bond with other animals, care about their babies, feel emotions, can experience pain and suffering, and want to live——just like you and your dogs, cats, and other companion animals.
VEGETARIANS NEED TO UNDERSTAND THAT THE DAIRY INDUSTRY IS THE MEAT INDUSTRY. THEY ARE INEXTRICABLY LINKED BECAUSE THEY PROFIT FROM ONE ANOTHER.
Like all mammals, cows must have been pregnant to produce milk. Milk is lactating secretion produced by the mammary glands of mammals who have given birth. Cow milk is specifically designed as the primary source of nutrition and growth hormones for baby cows. The purpose of cow milk is to turn a 65-pound calf into a 700-pound adult cow. The baby cows who need that milk are cruelly taken away from their mothers. The male calves are either killed immediately after being born, or they are shackled inside crates all alone, and later slaughtered for veal. The female calves are destined to become tortured milking machines themselves, forcibly impregnated over and over again for years, to keep the milk flowing for the dairy industry. Every time they give birth, their babies are taken away. Eventually, their worn-out bodies stop producing milk at a profitable rate for the farmers, and they are sent to slaughter.
Dairy farmers, the animal agriculture industry, the media, the government, and even the healthcare industry have successfully used propaganda and lies to convince most humans that stealing and consuming bovine mammary secretions is healthy, necessary, natural, and completely normal behavior——because there is money to be made by exploiting, torturing, and killing cows. Yes, it’s all about MONEY.
Cows are the gentle giants of the world. They are sweet and docile, and they and have no instinct to harm, which is why they are easily exploited. A measure of human morality is how we treat the innocent and helpless. All sentient beings have the right to experience the nurturing love of their mothers, and to live free from exploitation, harm, and slaughter by humans——because humans have the ability to behave morally, to think rationally, and to live happy and healthy lives without consuming animals or their bodily secretions.
WHAT’S WRONG WITH EATING EGGS?
The egg industry may be the cruelest of all industries that exploit and kill animals because of the prolonged suffering inflicted on the greatest number of animals. Chickens represent over 90% of the land animals who are exploited and slaughtered for food in the United States. This percentage and the egg production standards and procedures below are the same in most countries.
Over 95% of egg-laying hens in the U.S. currently live in battery cages, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Approximately 10 hens spend their entire lives in cage that is about the size of a filing cabinet drawer, in which the space each hen has to move for her entire life is approximately the size of a piece of paper (8 1/2 x 11 inches). These cages are stacked on top of each other, and the hens are crammed together so tightly inside them that they can’t spread their wings.
Birds confined in these horrendous conditions often go insane and peck each other violently, sometimes even cannibalizing each other, which is why the egg industry de-beaks them. De-beaking is a standard procedure and a very painful mutilation: The beaks of these birds are literally cut off or seared off. De-beaking causes chronic pain for chickens, and the U.S. government acknowledges that it is standard procedure and extremely painful for them in this USDA document. When people claim that these animals don’t suffer, show them this document.
These hens also suffer from diseases due to unsanitary and hazardous conditions. Feces and urine fall from the cages above them through the cage floors made of wire. These hens are bred to produce up to 30 times more eggs than they would in nature. The constant, labor-intensive egg production takes a severe toll on their bodies. Hens naturally lay only 10 to 15 eggs per year, but humans have genetically tampered with their reproductive systems through generations of selective breeding so that they lay up to 300 eggs per year, more than their frail little bodies are designed to bear. Because the constant production of an abnormal quantity of eggs depletes their bodies of calcium, most of them suffer from debilitating, painful osteoporosis.
Once a hen’s egg production declines and she is no longer commercially viable (usually after about 18 months), she is sent to slaughter.
Male chicks born to egg-laying hens are considered non-profitable waste by the egg industry. They can’t lay eggs, and they do not grow as large as the different breed of chickens who are slaughtered for meat. On the day that they are born, the males are separated from the females, and disposed of in extremely cruel ways. They are either tossed on a conveyor belt that drops them into a macerator to be ground up alive, or they are gassed to death with carbon monoxide, or sometimes they are just thrown into trash bags or dumpsters where they slowly die in agony, literally suffering to death.
The egg industry doesn’t deny that all of this violence is standard procedure. And it’s all legal. Do your own research and you will discover the horrible truth about the egg industry. If you purchase eggs, or any products that contains eggs, then you are paying for all of this pain and misery and torture that these birds experience. These animals are not machines. They are emotional beings with full self-awareness and central nervous systems, which means that they can experience pain and suffering, fear and despair, stress and misery.
WHAT ABOUT “CAGE FREE,” “FREE RANGE,” & “BACKYARD EGGS”?
But you think that you purchase humane eggs? No eggs can be humanely obtained. The terms “cage free” and “free range” are marketing scams designed to fool consumers, and “backyard eggs” come from the same suffering and violence as the factory farm eggs.
“Cage free” chickens live in massive windowless warehouses that hold tens of thousands of suffering chickens, crowded together in their own filth. “Cage free” is a USDA term that means that the hens can “freely roam a building, room, or enclosed area with unlimited access to food and fresh water during their production cycle, but [do] not have access to the outdoors.” Although these birds are not squeezed into tiny wire cages, they never go outside, and they are confined in dark, crowded buildings filled with toxic gases.
“Free range” is another term defined by the USDA, and means that birds must have “outdoor access” or “access to the outdoors,” but this term is so vague that egg farmers can interpret it any way they want. “Free range” can mean that birds have access only through a tiny “pop hole” through which they can stick their heads, but they have no actual full-body access to the outdoors. The term requires no specific number of holes, nor a minimum space requirement. And “free range” can be interpreted to mean that the chickens had access to the outdoors at least ONCE in their lives. Moving them as chicks from the hatcheries to the warehouses can count as that one time that they have access to the outdoors.
Both “free range” and “cage free” hens are packed together so tightly in these warehouses that they are forced to urinate and defecate on each other. They often have to walk on top of each other, and over the dead rotting bodies of the chickens who suffered to death, in order to get to food and water, if they can find it. The stench of ammonia and feces heavily permeates the air, and disease runs rampant in these filthy, cramped sheds. These chickens are de-beaked too. Don’t be fooled by the marketing tactics of the egg industry. “Cage free” and “free range” chickens also experience lifelong suffering and misery, and those hens who survive these toxic conditions end up at the slaughterhouse.
“Backyard eggs” are also misleading. People assume that these eggs are “cruelty-free” because they can see the hens, but if you think about it logically, those hens came from somewhere, and they definitely had brothers, who of course can’t lay eggs. Chickens give birth to males and females the same as all animals, a ratio of about 50/50. Where are their brothers? “Backyard egg” sellers can’t afford to hatch their own chicks in incubators, and they can’t profit from the male chicks anyway. They purchase hens from the same hatcheries as the factory farms, where the male chicks are slaughtered. If you don’t believe this, then the next time you purchase “backyard eggs,” ask the sellers where the male chickens are.
A common practice for “backyard egg” sellers is to order the chicks to be shipped to them in the mail from the hatcheries. These babies are shipped without food, water, or any protection, in boxes for days. In some cases, male chicks are used as packing material for the financially valuable female chicks in the delivery boxes, and then they are tossed in the trash when the shipment arrives. The next time you purchase “backyard eggs,” ask the sellers how they obtain their egg-laying hens. If they claim to hatch the chicks themselves, ask to see the hatchery, the mother hens, and the roosters.
These hens who lay “backyard eggs” are the same hens whose bodies have been genetically tampered with so that they lay many more eggs than their bodies are designed to lay. The constant, labor-intensive egg production completely depletes their bodies of calcium, which causes them to suffer from chronic osteoporosis. If you believe that eggs can ever be humanely obtained, think about where the hens come from, and what happened to their brothers and parents. Just like other eggs taken for human food, “backyard eggs” come from suffering and violence.
MAKE ACTUAL HUMANE CHOICES THAT ARE CONSISTENT WITH WHO YOU REALLY ARE
Please have empathy and compassion for these animals. Please stop spending money on the harming and killing of others. Please decide what your morals are (what you personally believe is right and wrong), and then apply those morals to everyone. For example, if you believe that torturing and killing others for pleasure is wrong, then why wouldn’t you apply that to EVERYBODY? Not just to other humans, nor to only specific animals such as dogs and cats. EVERYONE!
Yes, of course you feel guilty for all of the pain and suffering and slaughter that you caused in the past. Almost every vegan you will meet had to face his or her own guilt and shame and regret for causing such brutality for nothing more than taste pleasure.
But once you know what happens to these animals, and how unnecessary and selfish it is to pay for pain and suffering and slaughter, you then evolve and make smarter, more compassionate, and ethical choices that are consistent with who you really are. It really is that simple. Think about it logically, and stop lying to yourself. Seriously, you know that you are smarter and more kindhearted than this. You know that there is no way to humanely kill someone who is fighting for his or her life and doesn’t want to die.
FACTORY FARM CONFINEMENT DEVICES
This short animated film from Mercy For Animals shows standard cruel factory farm confinement devices. Over 99% of animals used for food in the United States come from factory farms. And the vast majority of U.S. factory farms use brutally small gestation crates and farrowing cages for pigs (banned in only 10 states), battery cages for hens (banned in only 6 states), and veal crates for dairy industry calves (banned in only 9 states). Click HERE for more information about states that use these devices.
Can you imagine living in misery like this, barely able to move, suffering, waiting to be slaughtered, for almost your entire life?
These animals are not machines. It’s not possible to logically argue that they are mere objects that don't suffer physically and emotionally. We can live happy and healthy lives without consuming animals or their bodily secretions. Please think about your food choices and ask yourself if compassion and morality are more important than your sensory pleasure, convenience, traditions, and cultural habits.
WHO YOU REALLY ARE
Once you understand that the consumption of flesh, organs, and bodily secretions is not a requirement for good health, and if you have access to plant-based foods, then the choice to continue supporting the meat, dairy, and egg industries is a conscious, deliberate decision to harm, exploit, and kill animals for convenience, taste bud satisfaction, and/or cultural habits. Is that who you really are?
Please engage in some compassionate, critical thinking about your food choices. You may not like the way it makes you feel, but because these animal agriculture industries cruelly torment and slaughter other living, emotional beings, supporting those industries should at least be questioned, no matter how uncomfortable it makes you feel. Please do your own research. Find out what you are supporting. And then make decisions that are authentic to who you really are.
Becoming vegan is not about good people versus bad people, or about judging anyone. It’s about the animals, the suffering victims. Veganism is simply about having empathy and COMPASSION for others.
ANIMALS ARE SENTIENT BEINGS
Sentience means the ability to experience emotions including pleasure, pain, and fear. All birds, mammals, and fish (and many other animals) are sentient and socially-complex beings, with feelings and a strong sense that they are individuals. They want to live and avoid suffering and death. They fight for their lives just as we would if someone were trying to harm or kill us.
Beyond being sentient, so-called “farm” animals have individual personalities and can develop intricate social relationships just like cats and dogs. If you have ever developed a relationship with a dog or cat, then you know that animals have the capacity to love and bond. Pigs, chickens, cows, and other animals raised for food are no different. There is no moral justification for treating them any differently than we would treat a traditional companion animal or another human.
OF COURSE THEY SUFFER
These animals may not be as intelligent as most humans, but they certainly experience suffering, fear, and loneliness. If you don’t believe that these animals are sentient, please visit an animal sanctuary to meet them in person, or simply watch videos of them online. And if you believe that they are inferior to humans or you don’t feel compassion for them, could you abide by standards of decency and nonviolence for all sentient inhabitants of our planet?
The point is not whether animals who are exploited and slaughtered for food suffer. Of course they suffer——physically and emotionally. It’s not really possible to logically argue that they are mere objects without sentience when you can watch videos of the horrors they endure at slaughterhouses, factory farms, and dairy and egg operations.
All sentient beings have the right to live free from exploitation, harm, and slaughter by humans——and humans have the great fortune of being able to behave morally, to think rationally, and to live happy and healthy lives without consuming animals or their bodily secretions. Please think about it and open your heart.
SCIENTIFIC ACCEPTANCE OF ANIMAL SENTIENCE
Scientific acceptance of animal sentience was documented in 2012 by the Cambridge Declaration on Consciousness,a prominent international group of cognitive neuroscientists, neuropharmacologists, neurophysiologists, neuroanatomists, and computational neuroscientists.
Here is the summary of their findings:
“The absence of a neocortex does not appear to preclude an organism from experiencing affective states. Convergent evidence indicates that non-human animals have the neuroanatomical, neurochemical, and neurophysiological substrates of conscious states along with the capacity to exhibit intentional behaviors. Consequently, the weight of evidence indicates that humans are not unique in possessing the neurological substrates that generate consciousness. Nonhuman animals, including all mammals and birds, and many other creatures, including octopuses, also possess these neurological substrates.”
“IT’S MY PERSONAL CHOICE!”
What is a “personal choice”? From an ethical standpoint, is it a personal choice to deliberately harm and kill other sentient beings for taste pleasure, or for any kind of satisfaction? A sentient being is anyone who has the capacity to suffer, anyone who is fully self-aware, anyone who can experience emotions and wants to live. Humans, dogs, chickens, cows, cats, pigs, ducks, lambs, turkeys, fish, horses, and many more animals are sentient beings. It doesn’t matter how smart they are, or anything like that. What matters is if they can experience pain and suffering. Why would you make a deliberate choice to cause pain and suffering and death for nothing more than personal pleasure?
You may not be completely aware of what happens to animals who are exploited and slaughtered to create and become human food (perhaps because you don’t want to know), but you do know that they are sentient beings, and you do know that being slaughtered probably isn’t pleasant. You also may be unaware of the detrimental effects that animal agriculture has on the environment, human health, and world hunger. Please do a little research so that you can make informed, ethical decisions regarding what you choose to purchase and consume. Ethical individuals know that causing harm and misery and death to sentient beings for pleasure is not a “personal choice,” but rather a selfish abuse of power.
It’s never a personal choice when you kill sentient beings who were never given a personal choice to live, and their lives were terminated violently.
IS BEING A VEGAN HEALTHY?
THE ACADEMY OF NUTRITION AND DIETETICS SAYS YES!
Vegans are always being asked for proof that a vegan diet is healthy. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is the largest organization of healthcare professionals in the United States (and the world), representing over 100,000 credentialed practitioners. The Academy published a position paper in the December 2016 Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (Volume 116, Issue 12, Pages 1970–1980), that affirms its official position that a vegan diet is best for human health and the environment. The Academy is the leading authority on diet and nutrition in the U.S., and is committed to improving the nation’s health and advancing the profession of dietetics through research, education, and advocacy.
The Academy states that humans have no inherent biological or nutritional need for animals or animal products, and that a vegan diet provides significant health benefits, may prevent and treat chronic diseases, and is best for overall health. The paper states that a vegan diet is “healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits for the prevention and treatment of certain diseases.” Additionally, the Academy affirms that a vegan diet is “appropriate for all stages of the life cycle, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, adolescence, older adulthood, and for athletes.”
This position paper also includes a section on environmental issues, concluding not only that a vegan diet is more sustainable and less damaging to the environment, but also that animal agriculture negatively impacts the environment. The paper states, “Plant-based diets are more environmentally sustainable than diets rich in animal products because they use fewer natural resources and are associated with much less environmental damage.”
Furthermore, according to the Academy, “Vegans are at reduced risk of certain health conditions, including ischemic heart disease, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, certain types of cancer, and obesity.”
And because characteristics of a vegan diet include “low intake of saturated fat and high intakes of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, soy products, nuts, and seeds (all rich in fiber and phytochemicals),” a vegan diet produces “lower total and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels and better serum glucose control. These factors contribute to reduction of chronic disease.” The Academy concludes that a vegan diet provides better nutrition than an omnivorous diet, as assessed by the Alternative Healthy Eating Index.
Here are some of the American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ determinations regarding a vegan diet compared to other dietary patterns:
Vegans are at reduced risk for heart disease, and vegan diets seem to be the most beneficial in improving heart disease risk factors.
Vegans are at reduced risk for cancer, and a vegan diet provides greater protection against overall cancer incidence.
Vegans have a lower risk for type 2 diabetes, and a vegan diet serves as effective therapeutic tools in the management of type 2 diabetes.
Vegans are at reduced risk for hypertension, and have the lowest systolic and diastolic blood pressure levels and the lowest rate of hypertension.
Vegans are at reduced risk for obesity, and a vegan diet is associated with the lowest body mass index.
Vegan diets typically meet or exceed recommended protein intakes, when caloric intakes are adequate. “The terms complete and incomplete are misleading in relation to plant protein. Protein from a variety of plant foods, eaten during the course of a day, supplies enough of all indispensable (essential) amino acids when caloric requirements are met.”
Vegan eat the most fiber, the least total fat and saturated fat, and have the healthiest body weights and cholesterol levels.
Vegans have the lowest levels of bone mineral density.
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics used a large collection of studies and public surveys to arrive at its conclusions. There are 117 sources cited, and no potential conflicts of interest, nor any funding sources that could have created bias.
YOU MAY SEE THE ENTIRE STUDY AND DOWNLOAD A PDF HERE.
DO VEGANS GET ENOUGH PROTEIN?
Many people insist that they must consume animals and animal products to get enough protein, but what about herbivorous animals such as elephants, hippos, moose, deer, elk, bison, cows, sheep, goats, and horses? How do these animals get their protein? Even gorillas and bears eat a primarily herbivorous diet, and rarely eat animals. How do these enormous animals get enough protein from plants? The answer is that ALL PROTEIN COMES FROM PLANTS.
Proteins are chains of amino acids. The human body actually makes 11 amino acids on its own, which are called “non-essential.” The nine more-complex “essential” amino acids that we need from external sources are derived from plants. Our bodies actually make protein when we need it, from these amino acids. When you eat animal products, your body has to work harder to break down the protein made by the animal back into its component parts, and then reassemble it again.
It’s very basic science, but the meat, dairy and egg industries have used lies and propaganda to fool people into thinking that they can’t get protein from plants. Unfortunately, if a lie is repeated over and over again, some people tend to believe it.
Plant-based foods provide all of the amino acids that humans require to build protein. In fact, the human requirement for protein is so low (5 to 10% of our total caloric intake) that as long as you consume enough calories, it’s virtually impossible to have a protein deficiency. Animal flesh, organs and bodily secretions (dairy and eggs) are not necessary to get the protein your body needs. All of the amino acids that you need for your body to create protein can be easily derived from plants alone. And abundant studies (see THE RESOURCES page) show that people who consume a plant-based diet maintain a healthy weight, and have a much lower risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancers, than people who eat animals and their secretions.
IS IT NORMAL TO CONSUME DAIRY?
All mammals produce milk when they have babies. The milk is specifically designed for their babies. Drinking the mammary secretions of another species is not natural or normal. Mammary secretions are intended for the babies of specific animals. Milk is baby growth formula, and contains hormones, proteins, fats, minerals, etc. for an infant of a particular species.
Would you drink dog milk? Giraffe milk? Orangutan milk? That’s crazy, right?! Would you drink human breast milk if a pregnant woman squeezed you a glass? Would you eat cheese or ice cream made from human breast milk? Gross, right?! But think about that: You won’t consume the milk of your own species, but you think it’s totally normal to consume bovine bodily fluids as an adult? Perhaps because you’ve been told that it was normal since you were a child?
WHAT IS IN COW MILK?
Milk is maternal lactating secretion, a short-term nutrient for newborns. Cow’s milk is perfectly designed to turn a 100-pound calf into a 2,000-pound cow. Like all mothers’ milk, it is filled with hormones, proteins, growth factors, fat, and cholesterol. Additionally, cow milk contains millions of pus cells, blood, antibiotics, steroids, bacteria, pathogens, and acidic proteins (which leech minerals and calcium from human bones). Over 80% of the protein in cow milk is casein, which is also used as an ingredient in some paints, glues, and, oh yes...cheese.
WHY ARE YOU STILL BREASTFEEDING?
Isn’t it fundamentally gross and crazy to consume the mammary secretions of another species, especially as an adult? Why would an adult human be breastfeeding? And from a cow rather than another human? Accept that you were brainwashed by corporate propaganda. Most vegans were too, until we really thought about it.
It’s all about exploiting defenseless animals for money. The dairy industry floods the schools with propaganda, saturates the media with deceptive ads, and pays off politicians with campaign contributions (which results in taxpayer subsidies and very little oversight of what happens to these animals).
Aren’t you irritated that you’ve been duped all of these years by corporate propaganda to engage in a behavior as bizarre as consuming another species mammary secretions——bovine growth formula stolen from baby cows? It’s time to wake up!
Plant-based alternatives to dairy are much healthier, and they are everywhere now, and they don’t come from animal cruelty and suffering.
THE ONE QUESTION TO ASK A DAIRY FARMER
Ask a dairy farmer one simple question: WHAT HAPPENS TO THE MALE CALVES?
They don’t want to answer that question because the answer is that THEY ARE SLAUGHTERED, just like the females are slaughtered when their milk production declines and it is no longer profitable to keep them alive.
Because they think that you are stupid, dairy farmers will say things like, “We only have females on our farm,” because they think that you aren’t smart enough to know that mammals have to be pregnant to produce milk, and that mammals give birth to an equal number of males and females. They will change the subject with something like, “We love our cows and give them great lives!” or, “You don’t know what you’re talking about because you’ve never been to a dairy farm.” Don’t let them get away with that!
Just keep asking them, WHAT HAPPENS TO THE MALE CALVES? If they say that they actually take care of all of the cows, ask them how they can afford to keep all of the cows alive and eating? Cows can live to be 20 years old. There’s no way that any dairy farm can financially support all of the babies who are born, which is a necessity to keep the milk flowing. They are liars! Call them out! It’s all about MONEY for them! They sell the male calves to the veal industry or they kill them right away!
The dairy farmers will ultimately dismiss you and walk away rather than answer that question, and if you are online, they will delete comments or block you, but that’s okay because we need to keep revealing that THE DAIRY INDUSTRY IS A BABY-KILLING ENTERPRISE.
Keep speaking up for the suffering cows and all animals! Now is the time because Joaquin has given us this opportunity to force people to address what happens to cows in the dairy industry. The dairy industry will die, and soon!!
DO PLANTS FEEL PAIN?
Plants do not have central nervous systems, which means that they can’t feel pain. It’s true that plants do have reactions (such as releasing gasses and producing sound waves) in response to certain stimuli that we would consider painful, but plants do not have pain receptors, which are specific types of nerve cells. They lack the nerves to feel “pain” like animals do.
Furthermore, farm animals destined to become human food eat massive amounts of plants to create very small amounts of very nutritionally deficient meat. It’s an enormous waste of plants. So, if you still think that plants feel pain, eating animals who are fed plants creates more plant “pain” than eating plants directly.
GOING VEGAN TO STOP HUMAN STARVATION
More than 870 million people in the world are starving, and every year childhood malnutrition is a cause of death for more than 2.5 million children worldwide, according to the United Nations. How can one person make a difference and help these starving people? By going vegan of course! How does going vegan help starving people? Well, you have to think about it logically.
First, it’s important to understand that there is no biological requirement for humans to consume animals or their bodily secretions. The millions of healthy vegans living on the planet right now are proof of that!
Second, it's important to realize that the vast majority of the world’s starving people live in countries where grains are fed to animals who are slaughtered and then transported to wealthy countries, where humans consume the flesh and organs. If we stopped intensively breeding animals by the billions for food that humans don’t need, and instead used that land to grow crops for humans to eat directly, we could easily feed every human on the planet with healthy and affordable food.
A cow’s diet requires much more vegetation than a human diet. A cow weighs an average of 1,500 pounds (680 kilograms). Vegans eat plants directly rather than having massive amounts of crops fed to fatten up animals who are later eaten by humans.
One acre of land can produce 2.5 pounds (1.134 kilograms) of animal flesh OR over 24,000 pounds (11,188 kilograms) of edible plants.*
Sometimes people say that not all land can be used for growing crops. If that is true, then how is it possible that we are currently feeding tens of billions of animals enough crops for them to become human food every year? Humans can eat those same crops, and humans require far less than cows and other animals who are exploited and slaughtered to become and create unnecessary food for humans. Over 70 billion land animals are killed every year worldwide for human consumption. The world’s human population is 7.7 billion. Obviously, there is abundant land capable of growing vegetation to feed all humans on plants.
Please think about how your food choices affect starving people around the world. Animal agriculture causes worldwide human hunger, poverty, and death. If you care about starving humans, then make the sustainable, ethical, compassionate choice: GO VEGAN!
Oppenlander, Richard A. Food Choice and Sustainability: Why Buying Local, Eating Less Meat, and Taking Baby Steps Won’t Work. Minneapolis, MN : Langdon Street, 2013
Schwab, Denise, et al. “Grass-fed and Organic Beef: Production Costs and Breakeven Market Prices, 2008-2009”. Iowa State University 2012.
“THE FOOD CHAIN”
Sometimes people say that they eat animals and animal products because of “the food chain.” “The food chain,” if it were actually a natural part of life and evolution for human beings, would not entail forced breeding, artificial insemination, genetic manipulation, enslavement, torture, and slaughter of other beings in factory farms and slaughterhouses. The concept of the food chain refers to what is eaten IN THE WILD.
A food chain shows how nutrients and energy are passed from creature to creature, beginning with plants and ending with animals. Some animals eat plants, some animals eat other animals, and some animals eat both.
Anything NATURAL would involve humans in a NATURAL state, rather than a grocery store, a restaurant, or a kitchen. In nature, in the wild, fending for themselves, most humans lack the physical skills to survive. Humans would hardly be at the top of a food chain.
The vast majority of humans eat animals that have been genetically manipulated and are artificially bred in factory farms and slaughterhouses. Those horrendous torture facilities created by humans have nothing to do with any naturally occurring food chain.
HUMANS ARE FRUGIVORES, NOT TRUE OMNIVORES
Yes, humans are technically omnivores because we CAN derive nutrients from animal flesh and animal products. But that doesn’t mean that it’s healthy for us, or that it’s ethical. There are many behaviors that we CAN do as a species that would threaten our survival if we all considered them appropriate (such as cannibalism or heroin usage). Because we are moral agents, it is a conscious choice to participate in unnecessary violence. There is no biological or nutritional requirement for humans to consume animal flesh, organs, or bodily secretions (dairy, eggs, honey).
True omnivores eat other animals alive. Humans who eat animals are actually necrovores because they eat carcasses that have been dead for a while, like vultures and jackals who scavenge on carcasses. Even hunters do not kill and eat the warm, bleeding flesh of their victims; they actually let the meat putrefy (which is mostly muscle tissue), and then they cook it before they consume it. Most of the meat that humans eat has been has been dead for weeks or months or even years. That meat has been treated with chemicals (such as bleach and dyes) and even carbon monoxide to disguise the decay.
Humans are actually frugivores, which are herbivores or omnivores who are anatomically designed to digest and thrive primarily on fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. From the perspective of physiology, human biology and digestion most closely resemble our closest cousins in the animal kingdom, orangutans, whose diet consists of 65 to 90% fruit. Humans are designed to survive on fruits, just like simians and other primates.
FRUGIVORES VERSUS TRUE OMNIVORES
Bears and dogs are examples of true omnivores: They can chew raw flesh with their sharp teeth, swallow it whole, and digest it without any problem. As frugivores, humans have teeth that are very different from true omnivores. We have incisors, but they are very different from the incisors of true omnivores. The incisors of true omnivores are short and pointed, but our incisors are broad and flattened. The canines of true omnivores are long, sharp, and curved fangs, but our canines are short and blunted. The molars of true omnivores are sharp blades, but our molars are flattened with cusps. Human teeth are designed for grinding and chewing fibrous plants, not for shearing and shredding raw flesh and then swallowing it whole.
Our teeth are specifically designed for chewing fruit, seeds, nuts, and vegetation. The teeth of true omnivores are designed for shearing and crushing. They have minimal to no lateral or forward mobility for chewing. That’s why actual omnivores rip and chew raw flesh with their teeth and then swallow it whole. Humans have to cook the raw flesh so that we are able to chew it, then season it with spices——and eat it with utensils! That’s not what true omnivores do.
In addition to teeth, here’s a list of other striking differences between true carnivores/true omnivores and humans: facial muscles, size of mouth opening, tongue texture, jaw type, jaw angle, jaw joint location, jaw motion and mastication, jaw muscles, salivary enzymes, saliva chemistry, salivary gland size, stomach acidity, stomach capacity, small intestine length, colon type, colon length, colon shape, colon chemistry, bile flow, short-chain fatty acid conversion, vitamin A liver detoxification capability, liver type, liver size, kidney secretion of the enzyme uricase, urinary concentration, urine chemistry, fiber necessity for peristalsis (involuntary constriction and relaxation of the muscles of the intestine), cholesterol metabolism, cellulose metabolism, digestion completion time, brain chemistry fuel, circadian rhythm (number of hours spent sleeping), placenta shape, number of mammaries, type of mammaries, cooling system and perspiration, color vision capability, claws versus nails, paws versus hands, movement (gait), and skin and hair coverage.
“OUR CANINE TEETH ARE FOR EATING MEAT!”
Some people believe that the reason humans have canine teeth is specifically for chewing meat. With the exception of a few mammals (such as rodents and rabbits) ALL mammals have canine teeth, and many of them (such as hippopotamuses, pigs, raccoons, and opossums) do not eat animals. Even bears, badgers, and gorillas eat a primarily herbivorous diet, and rarely eat animals even though they have very sharp canine teeth.
If canine teeth are designed for tearing through flesh, then why do all of these animals have them? The fact that we have canine teeth does not necessitate that we are designed to be meat-eaters. It’s actually the carnassial teeth that allow animals to rip through meat and tear it from bone. Humans don’t have carnassial teeth.
If canine teeth are specifically designed for meat-eating, then why does the hippopotamus have the largest canine teeth of all land animals? Hippos have ferociously sharp canine teeth, but they are herbivores; they don’t eat animals. If you are still using the excuse, “I eat meat because I have canines!” then please think about why that doesn’t make sense.
“WHAT ABOUT LIONS? ARE YOU GOING TO FORCE THEM TO BE VEGAN?”
It’s flabbergasting how often vegans hear this fallacy, a very common “argument” against veganism.
First of all, how else are you like a lion? What other behaviors of a lion do you imitate? Lions kill and eat their own children, have public sex with any female they choose, and sniff each other’s anuses. Why would you choose one behavior of a lion (eating animals) as a justification for one of your behaviors, while ignoring other typical behaviors of a lion, which you would never and could never do?
Unlike humans, lions are obligate carnivores, which means that they must consume meat because they do not possess the physiology to digest vegetable matter. Lions must meet their nutritional requirements by consuming other animals. Because there is no nutritional or biological requirement for humans to consume flesh, organs, or bodily secretions (dairy and eggs), humans can survive and thrive consuming only plants.
And, yes, lions kill and eat other animals FOR SURVIVAL. Humans eat animals and their bodily secretions for palate pleasure. Consuming the mammary secretions of another species as an adult is also something no lion or other animal does. They naturally consume the mammary secretions of their own mother (a member of their species) when they are infants.
Additionally, lions (and other animals) don’t forcibly inseminate other species in order to breed billions of animals into existence, or imprison animals in warehouses and cages. Lions do not confine female pigs in gestation crates. Lions do not cram chickens into tiny battery cages. Lions don’t force chickens to live in the toxic squalor of feces and urine. Lions don’t inject antibiotics, growth hormones, steroids, or drugs into animals. Lions don’t rip out the testicles of piglets, nor do they cut off their tails or pull out their teeth. Lions don’t cut off the beaks of birds or the horns of cows. These are all standard procedures in the animal agriculture industry, on farms of all sizes.
Furthermore, lions do not profit financially from killing animals, nor do they pay others to do their killing for them, nor do they kill and eat more animals than are necessary in order to survive. Lions don’t shop at grocery stores or dine in restaurants either. Lions devour live animals in the wild, using their razor-sharp teeth and claws, and they swallow raw flesh whole, along with the blood. Humans purchase neatly-wrapped packages of washed and trimmed flesh that has been processed with chemicals. They cut, slice, tenderize, pulverize, or purée the slabs of rotting flesh. Then they cook it, adding oil, salt, seasonings, sauces, and condiments to alter the putrid stench of terror and death. Humans then use utensils to eat the final product. That’s not what lions do.
Finally, lions and other animals are not moral agents. What they do is based on instinct and survival. Unlike lions and other animals, humans have the great fortune of being able to behave morally, to think rationally, and to live happy and healthy lives without consuming animals (or their bodily secretions). We can be perfectly healthy eating only plants, without breeding, exploiting, torturing, and killing animals. Simply put, we can live vegan; lions cannot. Why would a rational human mimic the eating habits of a wild carnivorous animal, or of any other animal? Why would a human base his or her ethical behavior on what a lion or any animal does?
“Lions eat meat!” along with “Plants feel pain!” and “I have canine teeth!” are among the most absurd excuses that vegans hear from people who are obliviously opposed to the concept of not exploiting, harming, and killing animals for food. These are reactionary defense mechanisms with very little thought involved. People use these excuses because they don’t want to face their responsibility and complicity in causing immense pain and suffering, for nothing more than trivial taste pleasure. Most vegans were once in the same position, and we had to accept that what we were doing was unnecessary, unjust, and violent, and not a reflection of who we really are. Instead of trying to rationalize or defend what we were doing by comparing our daily choices to what lions and other animals do, we chose to take responsibility for our own actions, and to change our behavior. We choose to make ethical, rational, compassionate decisions based on who we really are.
YOU ARE NOT AN ENVIRONMENTALIST IF YOU CONSUME MEAT, DAIRY, AND/OR EGGS
A comprehensive, five-year study by the University of Oxford reveals the detrimental effects that animal agriculture has on the environment, and it includes data on 38,700 farms in 119 countries, including 1,600 processors, packaging plants, and retailers.
Researchers analyzed the impacts of 40 agricultural products, which represent 90% of all food that is consumed worldwide. The study assessed the full impact of these foods on land use, climate change emissions, freshwater use, water pollution, and air pollution. It concludes that ANIMAL PRODUCTS ARE ABSOLUTELY DEVASTATING FOR OUR PLANET, AND THEREFORE, IF YOU CARE ABOUT THE ENVIRONMENT, THE SOLUTION IS TO GO VEGAN.
The findings reveal that meat, eggs, and dairy production (which combined, use 83% of the world’s farmland) is responsible for 58% of agriculture’s greenhouse gas emissions, but that meat, eggs, and dairy products provide only 18% of calories and 37% of protein levels worldwide. (See graphic below.)
Lead author of the study Joseph Poore concludes:
“A vegan diet is probably the single biggest way to reduce your impact on planet Earth, not just greenhouse gases, but global acidification [air pollution], eutrophication [water pollution], land use, and water use. It is far bigger than cutting down on your flights or buying an electric car... AVOIDING CONSUMPTION OF ANIMAL PRODUCTS DELIVERS FAR BETTER ENVIRONMENTAL BENEFITS THAN TRYING TO PURCHASE SUSTAINABLE MEAT AND DAIRY [AND EGGS]... Converting grass into [meat] is like converting coal to energy. It comes with an immense cost in emissions.”
The study was published in the journal Science (June 1, 2018: Vol. 360, Issue 6392, pp. 987-992). To read the full study, “Reducing Food’s Environmental Impacts Through Producers and Consumers,” click here.
“Food’s environmental impacts are created by millions of diverse producers. To identify solutions that are effective under this heterogeneity, we consolidated data covering five environmental indicators; 38,700 farms; and 1,600 processors, packaging types, and retailers. Impact can vary 50-fold among producers of the same product, creating substantial mitigation opportunities. However, mitigation is complicated by trade-offs, multiple ways for producers to achieve low impacts, and interactions throughout the supply chain. Producers have limits on how far they can reduce impacts. Most strikingly, IMPACTS OF THE LOWEST-IMPACT ANIMAL PRODUCTS TYPICALLY EXCEED THOSE OF VEGETABLE SUBSTITUTES, PROVIDING NEW EVIDENCE FOR THE IMPORTANCE OF DIETARY CHANGE. Cumulatively, our findings support an approach where producers monitor their own impacts, flexibly meet environmental targets by choosing from multiple practices, and communicate their impacts to consumers.”
For more information on this study and its implications, read the following articles...
“New Estimates Of the Environmental Cost Of Food: Research published in the journal Science highlights the environmental impacts of thousands of food producers and their products, demonstrating the need for new technology to monitor agriculture, and the need for environmental labels on food products”
“Avoiding Meat and Dairy Is ‘Single Biggest Way’ To Reduce Your Impact On Earth: Biggest analysis to date reveals huge footprint of livestock——It provides just 18% of calories but takes up 83% of farmland”
“Veganism Is ‘Single Biggest Way’ To Reduce Our Environmental Impact On Planet, Study Finds: Avoiding meat and dairy could reduce your carbon footprint from food by nearly three-quarters”
“The Most Effective Way To Save The Planet: Without meat and dairy consumption, global farmland use could be reduced by more than 75%——an area equivalent to the U.S., China, the European Union, and Australia combined——and still feed the world”
ANIMAL AGRICULTURE & GREENHOUSE GASSES
A report from the United Nations in 2006 stated that the animal agriculture industry is responsible for 18% of greenhouse gas emissions, which is more than the emissions from all forms of worldwide transportation combined.
Then in 2009, Worldwatch Institute reported that 18% was an under-estimation based on many factors that were omitted (see below). Taking all of these omissions into account, Worldwatch Institute found that the animal agriculture industry is actually responsible for at least 51% of annual greenhouse gas emissions worldwide. Their detailed findings may be found here. There is more information on the RESOURCES page under CLIMATE CHANGE & THE ENVIRONMENT
ANIMAL AGRICULTURE CONTRIBUTES TO 51% OF GREENHOUSE GASSES RELEASED WORLDWIDE, NOT 18%!
Worldwatch Institute reports that 18% is an under-estimation based on many factors:
Exclusion of animal respiration
Overlooked land use
Undercounted methane emissions
The increase of animal product consumption since the data used by the United Nations
Undercounting of animal statistics
The increase in emissions than in the previous years on which the United Nations data was based
The United Nations’ use of data in very efficient areas that are not representative of developing countries where the industry is growing the fastest
Exclusion of emissions from deforestation, which is done to grow food for farm animals
Exclusion of emissions from farmed fish and the construction and operation of facilities for marine organisms, which are fed to farm animals
Exclusion of the use of fluorocarbons needed for cooling animal products
Exclusion of emissions from the necessary cooking of animal products
Not accounting for waste disposal (of bone, fat, and spoiled body parts that are disposed in landfills, incinerators, and waterways)
Not accounting for production, distribution, and disposal of packaging used for animal products
Not accounting for production, distribution, disposal, and packaging of byproducts such as leather, feathers, skin, and fur
Exclusion of carbon-intensive medical treatment for millions of cases worldwide of zoonotic illnesses (such as swine flu) and chronic degenerative illnesses (such as coronary heart disease, cancers, diabetes, and hypertension leading to strokes) linked to the consumption of animal products
Taking all of these omissions into account, Worldwatch Institute found that the animal agriculture industry is actually responsible for at least 51% of annual greenhouse gas emissions worldwide. Their detailed findings may be found here.
Why should we care about greenhouse gasses? Greenhouse gasses (such as carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and chlorofluorocarbons) absorb infrared radiation, trapping heat in the earth’s atmosphere. Greenhouse gasses cause the earth’s temperature to rise, which causes polar ice caps to melt, resulting in a rise in sea level and destructive flooding. Greenhouse gasses also deplete the earth’s ozone layer by converting ozone to oxygen, causing holes in the earth’s protective ozone layer, which let in harmful ultraviolet radiation from the sun. Animal agriculture creates massive amounts of these very harmful greenhouse gasses.
ARE YOU A GENUINE ENVIRONMENTALIST?
Vegan Bryan Adams has a message for so-called “environmentalists” who eat the flesh, organs and bodily secretions (dairy and eggs) of slaughtered animals: “YOU CAN’T BE A TRUE ENVIRONMENTALIST IF YOU EAT ANIMALS.”
Why? Because animal agriculture has a major impact on climate change, widespread air and water pollution, water wastage and water scarcity, deforestation, land degradation, topsoil erosion, species extinction, habitat destruction, desertification, ocean dead zones, worldwide human hunger and starvation, antibiotic resistance, and the development of zoonotic diseases that become deadly pandemics.
You don’t have to take Bryan Adams’ word for it. All of this is very well-documented. Do you own research and discover the truth for yourself!
COGNITIVE DISSONANCE: WHY YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY CAN’T SEEM TO GO VEGAN
There’s a psychological phenomenon that explains why intelligent, compassionate, self-proclaimed “animal lovers” continue to consume animals and animal products, even though they are aware of the pain and suffering and violence that the animals endure. It’s COGNITIVE DISSONANCE, the uncomfortable tension that people experience when they try to maintain two contradictory core beliefs or values at the same time.
Most people grew up consuming animals and animal products, and have continued to do so for their entire lives because of family traditions, ingrained cultural habits, convenience, and sensory pleasures.
However, most people also sustain a core value that harming and killing animals for taste pleasure (or for any kind of trivial gratification) is wrong. Abundant evidence exists that the animal agriculture industry inflicts horrendous, prolonged pain and misery on these animals, but from childhood most of us have been duped by relentless propaganda from the meat, dairy, and egg industries, which has manipulated us into ignoring what happens to the sentient beings who suffer and die to create and become “food.”
Furthermore, when we were children, adults we loved and respected told us that consuming flesh, organs, and bodily secretions (dairy and eggs) was not just acceptable, but also healthy, necessary, humane, and guilt-free. We believed them, and we learned to block out the suffering of the animals, even though we maintain that we are animal lovers. At a very young age, harming, exploiting, and killing animals became a habitual part of life for most people, which is sustained because of the deceptive and devious marketing that constantly bombards us every day. And all of this happens because our brains are actually hard-wired to prevent us from focusing on what causes the paradoxical discord of cognitive dissonance.
COGNITIVE DISSONANCE: A BUILT-IN DEFENSE MECHANISM FOR MORAL DILEMMAS
American psychologist Leon Festinger proposed the theory of cognitive dissonance in the 1950s. Research shows that when people have a core belief or value, and they are then presented with new information that conflicts with that core belief or value, they tend to reject the new information and cling to their original core belief or value—even if the new information is rational, readily available, irrefutably backed up by concrete evidence, and right in front of their eyes!
For most people, it is too problematic to make the connection between the living, emotional animals who suffered, and the objectified “food,” the neatly packaged and prepared flesh, organs, and bodily secretions of those animals who endured misery and torture before they were killed. Cognitive dissonance is a defense mechanism that prevents people from thinking about the animals at all. They subconsciously convince themselves that the “food” is an object rather than something derived from an emotional individual with a central nervous system and full self-awareness, who suffered immensely and then was slaughtered.
To avoid the moral dilemma of accepting responsibility for the suffering and slaughter of sentient beings, people will instinctively disassociate themselves from any emotional connection to the chickens, pigs, cows, turkeys, fish, sheep, ducks, and other animals, in order to reduce the intrinsic value of these animals, and to eliminate any ethical concern.
But, of course, these animals who are exploited and killed for food are fundamentally no different from the dogs, cats, horses, parrots, and other traditional companion animals we choose to value and love. All of these animals seek attention and affection, form bonds with friends, care about their babies, feel emotions, can experience pain, and want to live.
COGNITIVE DISSONANCE: A CEREBRAL TUG-OF-WAR
Cognitive dissonance causes people to compartmentalize their ethics, as they desperately try to protect their original core belief or value (on a subconscious level). They rationalize, deny, disregard, and attack. The mental game is to convince themselves that there is actually no conflict at all, in order to remain comfortable rather than change their behavior to align with their genuine ethical beliefs.
This cerebral tug-of-war can cause a lot of internal guilt, which propels people go to extreme lengths in order to avoid facing that their food choices are not in accordance with their values.
Simply put, it’s easier for people to dismiss and avoid processing the new information rather than face their complicity and responsibility in the suffering and violence. Some people viciously attack or attempt to discredit the source who presents the new conflicting information. When people become irate and hateful toward vegans, it’s usually because they know that they are causing pain and suffering to animals, which clashes with their core value that animal cruelty is wrong—but they lash out at the vegans rather than deal with the cognitive dissonance and consider changing their behavior.
COGNITIVE DISSONANCE: FACING THE GRUESOME REALITY VERSUS DEFLECTING WITH IRRATIONAL DEFENSES
Some people rely on bizarre justifications for their consumption of animals and animal products, such as “Plants feel pain,” “Lions kill animals,” “Humans have canine teeth,” or “I need protein,” to name a few common excuses. Despite abundant scientific evidence that plants lack central nervous systems to generate pain responses; that unlike humans, lions are wild carnivorous animals lacking the capacity to think rationally and behave morally; that human canine teeth are rounded and designed for grinding rather than tearing through raw flesh; and that the building blocks of protein (amino acids) can all be derived directly from consuming plants, which is how all animals get their protein; people will still cling to these illogical, groundless excuses rather than examine the plausibility and absurdity of what they are saying.
Acknowledging that food we consume comes from suffering and violence means accepting that we indirectly caused the suffering and violence, that we were misinformed by people we loved and respected, that we were deceived by corporate propaganda and lies, and that we fiercely defended our choices and denied anything contrary—for our entire lives. Of course, this process involves facing hardcore truths about what we have been unknowingly supporting, which will make us feel terrible about ourselves.
And this is what makes considering veganism very difficult for most people, even though overwhelming scientific evidence shows that there is no biological or nutritional requirement for humans to consume animals or animal products. Furthermore, it is very well-documented that animal agriculture has a major destructive impact on climate change, widespread air and water pollution, water wastage and water scarcity, deforestation, land degradation, topsoil erosion, species extinction, habitat destruction, desertification, ocean dead zones, worldwide human hunger and starvation, antibiotic resistance, and the development of zoonotic diseases that become deadly pandemics. But to accept all of this new information, most people must first understand and eliminate what is blocking them.
COGNITIVE DISSONANCE: OVERCOMING THIS OBSTRUCTIVE PSYCHOLOGICAL PHENOMENON
Cognitive dissonance is a major obstacle to ending a person’s support of the standard suffering and slaughter inflicted on animals by the meat, dairy, and egg industries, because it involves an emotional detoxification process that is extremely hard and uncomfortable for people who have been consuming animals and animal products for their entire lives.
Obviously, people don’t want to cope with the appalling realization of what they have been supporting since childhood: lifelong pain, misery, and terror inflicted on gentle, harmless animals, for nothing more than trivial taste pleasure. They will feel tremendous guilt and regret when they take responsibility for all of this unnecessary violence. And that is what triggers cognitive dissonance. But pretending that the pain and suffering isn’t happening doesn’t mean that they aren’t causing it. In fact, they are the reason for the pain and suffering until they make the intentional decision to stop being a part of it.
Hopefully, understanding that this psychological phenomenon exists and that it is hard-wired in our brains will help those of us who are trying to present the vegan message to our friends and family who are resistant and adamantly opposed to hearing it. When people become aware of what happens to these animals, and then are brave enough to deal with the cognitive dissonance that they experience, they will finally make compassionate, ethical choices that are consistent with who they really are.
MEAT IS TREATED WITH CARBON MONOXIDE TO MAKE IT LOOK FRESH!
Did you ever wonder why a chunk of slaughtered animal flesh doesn’t rot within a week? Because it’s been packaged and gassed with a special process that uses carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, and nitrogen. Using this toxic preservative is a standard procedure approved by the U.S. Federal Drug Administration and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (and approved in many countries worldwide).
The animal agriculture industry insists that treatment with carbon monoxide, called “modified atmosphere packaging” (MAP), is necessary due to the difficulty of keeping carnage from rotting while in grocery store coolers. The North American Meat Institute says that carbon monoxide has been used safely in meat products for years (click here).
“But humans have eaten butchered flesh forever——It’s completely natural!”
“THE MOST INHUMANE TREATMENT”
“I have unfortunately been inside slaughterhouses and can tell you that the animals are not willingly walking up to the end of the kill line and sticking their necks out.
These animals fight with every bit of strength they have left at the end of that kill line. They fight to get out of that kill line. They don't want to die, and they know it's coming. They see, and they know exactly what's going to happen to them. There is absolutely no truth that any process of slaughtering is humane. From the moment those animals are taken from those trucks and forced through the slaughtering process, it is the most inhumane treatment that I have ever witnessed.” - Cayce Mell (HumaneMYTH.org)
“IT ALL COMES DOWN TO PAIN AND SUFFERING...
Not intelligence, not strength, not social class or civil right. Pain and suffering... should be prevented or minimized, irrespective of the race, sex, or species of the being that suffers...
And non-human animals experience sensations just like we do.... They too are capable of growth and adaptation. Like us, first and foremost, they are earthlings. And like us, they are surviving. Like us, they also seek their own comfort rather than discomfort. And like us, they express degrees of emotion. In short, like us, they are alive; most of them being, in fact, vertebrae, just like us.”
(from the documentary Earthlings)
"Carnism" is the widespread belief system that conditions us to eat animals by operating outside our awareness, and therefore without our conscious consent.
Please watch this video, The Secret Reason We Eat Meat, in which Dr. Melanie Joy explains why rational, compassionate people don’t question the system of "carnism." This mostly animated video is 18 minutes long, and it is non-graphic except for two minutes starting at the 8:15 mark.
“Violent systems such as carnism keep themselves alive by using defense mechanisms so that rational, humane people participate in irrational, inhumane practices without fully realizing what they are doing. These defenses hide the truth about animal agriculture and distort what little we are able to see so that we support a system that we would otherwise find deeply offensive.”
“Ultimately, hiding the truth about meat, egg, and dairy production from us is what carnism most depends on, so becoming aware of this truth is essential to freeing ourselves from this system.”
“Awareness is the greatest threat to carnism because with awareness we can make choices that reflect what we authentically think and feel rather than what we have been taught to think and feel.”
"When people of integrity clear their vision, they demand change. And powerful change is happening right now around the world, as more and more people are opening their minds and saying no to carnism. The vegan movement, which is the counterpoint to carnsim, is one of the fastest growing social justice movements in the world today.”
“The goal of the vegan movement is to create a world based on compassion rather than cruelty, empathy rather than apathy, authenticity rather than dishonesty, and justice rather than oppression.”
“BUT WE HAVE LAWS THAT PROTECT ALL OF THOSE FARM ANIMALS!”
It’s astounding that people just assume that this is true without any evidence. Unfortunately, in the United States, there are no federal regulations for the treatment of birds who are exploited and slaughtered for food. The U.S. Humane Methods of Slaughter Act (which was passed in 1958) only mentions exactly four types of animals: pigs, cows, sheep, and horses.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (same link above): “This Act requires the proper treatment and humane handling of all food animals slaughtered in USDA-inspected slaughter plants. It does not apply to chickens, turkeys, ducks, or other birds.”
BIRDS REPRESENT OVER 98.4% OF ANIMALS USED AND KILLED FOR FOOD IN THE U.S. (see below), which means that fewer than 2% of animals used and killed for food in the U.S. are “protected” by this law.*
Here are the U.S. farm animal slaughter totals for 2017 (from the USDA’s Poultry Slaughter 2017 Summary):
Chickens: 9,050,716,000 slaughtered
Turkeys: 241,677,000 slaughtered
Ducks: 26,628,000 slaughtered
Over 9.3 billion birds were killed for food in U.S. slaughterhouses in 2017.
The total of all land animals slaughtered for food (including cows, pigs, and sheep) in the U.S. in 2017 was 9,475,213,300 (from the USDA’s Livestock Slaughter 2017 Summary), WHICH MEANS THAT 98.4% OF THESE ANIMALS WERE BIRDS.
So, when your friends and family members tell you that we have laws to protect “food” animals, which ensure that these animals are treated “humanely,” tell them that chickens, ducks, turkeys, and other birds have NO federal laws AT ALL to protect them from the extreme cruelty that is standard procedure in the animal agriculture industry, and that those birds represent over 98% of animals killed for food.
Furthermore, the majority of U.S. states specifically exclude “food” animals from anti-cruelty laws. A few states do mention “food” animals in some anti-cruelty laws, but those laws are almost never enforced for animals hidden away on factory farms, where over 98% of farm animals come from, according to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
And it’s important to note that THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE HAS NO AUTHORITY TO INSPECT FARMS FOR THE MISTREATMENT OF ANIMALS. Who enforces this federal law and these few state laws that purport to protect a tiny fraction of these “food” animals? NOBODY! That means that slaughterhouse and factory farm workers are legally permitted to do whatever they want to these animals, but thanks to undercover animal rights charity investigations, we can witness for ourselves in abundantly available videos how these tortured animals are actually treated while they are hidden away: out of sight, out of mind.
IF A PARROT, PIGEON, OR COCKATIEL WERE TREATED LIKE A FACTORY FARM CHICKEN, DUCK, OR TURKEY, IT WOULD BE CONSIDERED ANIMAL CRUELTY AND A CRIME. Please think about that hypocrisy, and if you are against animal cruelty, then simply stop paying for it to happen to ALL ANIMALS!
* The U.S. Humane Methods of Slaughter Act applies exclusively to the exact moment that pigs, cows, sheep, and horses are slaughtered. It mandates nothing about how these animals should be treated from birth until the moment that they are killed. These animals have NO protection at all from the extreme cruelty and prolonged suffering that is standard procedure in the animal agriculture industry on factory farms, which, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is where over 98% of these animals are kept until they are slaughtered (same links above).
ARE VEGANS DEFICIENT IN VITAMIN B12?
B12 deficiency is not just a vegan issue. Vitamin B12 (cobalamin) does not naturally occur in meat, and is the only nutrient necessary for humans that is not directly available from plants. B12 exists at a microbial level as bacteria in soil and in pond water. Our ancestors acquired B12 by drinking from streams and eating unwashed vegetables, which most humans don’t do anymore.
B12 is synthesized by bacteria, fungi, and algae, but not by plants or animals. Animals consume these microorganisms along with their food, which is why this vitamin can be found in their flesh, organs, milk, and eggs. Some farm animals are actually given supplements of B12. Because animal products are not a direct source of B12, when we eat them, the B12 absorption rate is very low.
B12 deficiency is as common for vegans as it is for non-vegans, and can cause anemia, neurological disorders, heart disease, and gastrointestinal problems. It’s best for everyone to take a B12 supplement (the methylcobalamin type is superior to the cyanocobalamin type), and to consume fortified food sources such as plant beverages, cereals, and nutritional yeast. Some people have difficulty absorbing B12 from fortified food and oral supplements, and must get B12 injections.
For more information, click HERE.
ARE EGGS JUST CHICKEN PERIODS?
Well, sort of... Eggs develop from a hen’s ovulation cycle. Hens ovulate to reproduce, just like female humans. During a hen’s cycle, an ovary sends a yolk on its path. The yolk forms the egg white goo as it moves through the reproductive tract into the shell gland. Later, out pops an egg. It’s not technically a period because although birds ovulate, their reproductive system is different. They do not have menstrual cycles the same way that mammals do, but it is a valid analogy. In chickens, the ovary is a cluster of developing ova (yolks). Female human ovaries also contain developing eggs. Periods are the expulsion of an unfertilized egg, along with the uterine lining of the womb; a chicken laying an egg is expelling an unfertilized egg as well. For a bird, the egg is both the egg and the womb. Another difference is that the egg actually comes out of the same hole from which the chicken poops! So, no, chicken eggs are not actually periods, but it’s the same basic concept. Why would anyone eat an ovulation that discharges from a chicken’s ass?
ARE EGGS HEALTHY?
Eggs are extremely high in cholesterol: A single medium-sized egg contains 186 mg of cholesterol, which is 62% of the U.S. recommended daily allowance.
Eggs also have toxic levels of choline, a nutrient that we need for brain functions, as well as to form the membranes that surround the cells in our bodies. But too much choline can be very dangerous: a 2012 study entitled Choline Intake and the Risk of Lethal Prostate Cancer, found that participants with the highest choline intake had a 70% increased risk of fatal prostate cancer. The researchers concluded, “Of the 47,896 men in our study population, choline intake was associated with an increased risk of lethal prostate cancer.”
A 2011 study found that men who consumed two and a half or more eggs per week had an 81% increased risk of lethal prostate cancer. The researchers concluded, “consumption of eggs may increase risk of developing a lethal form of prostate cancer among healthy men.” And a 2010 study found that consuming eggs increases the risk of recurrence or progression of prostate cancer in 1,294 men who had been previously diagnosed with prostate cancer. So, no eggs ain’t good for you.
EGGS ARE NOT HEALTHY, NUTRITIOUS, OR SAFE
ACCORDING TO THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT!
Many people believe that eggs are good for them, but IT IS ACTUALLY ILLEGAL FOR EGGS TO BE ADVERTISED AS HEALTHY OR NUTRITIOUS OR EVEN SAFE in the United States! A Freedom of Information Act request for communication between the American Egg Board and the U.S. Department of Agriculture obtained by Dr. Michael Greger (www.nutritionfacts.org) reveals that the U.S. government has informed the egg industry that eggs are not allowed to be advertised as healthy, nutritious, or safe—because that would violate laws against false and misleading advertising.
The American Egg Board is a promotional marketing organization that is overseen by the federal government. Its mission is to “increase demand for egg and egg products on behalf of U.S. egg producers.” If egg corporations want to use advertising funds from the American Egg Board, then they must be TRUTHFUL about eggs. The best-known advertising slogan for eggs in the U.S. is “The Incredible, Edible Egg,” because it is legal to say that eggs are edible and even incredible, but not that they are healthy!
Here are the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s requirements for use of the word “healthy” in advertising:
1) The saturated fat must be 1 gram or less of saturated fatty acids per 100 grams,
2) The saturated fat must be less than 10% of calories from saturated fats, and
3) The cholesterol must be 90 milligrams or less per serving.
Eggs do NOT meet that standard. According to the USDA, “The egg industry needs to steer clear of words like healthy or nutritious.” Eggs contain significant amounts of saturated fat and cholesterol and are therefore a major contributor to heart disease, the #1 killer in the U.S., which is why eggs are not allowed to be advertised as “healthy” or “nutritious.” Furthermore, because more than 10,000 Americans are food poisoned by salmonella from eggs every year, eggs are not permitted to be advertised as “safe” either!
In the United States, eggs are not permitted to be advertised as any of the following:
“healthful” or “healthy”
“nutritious” or “contributing nutritionally” or “contributing to healthful components”
“having a high nutritional content”
“low in fat” or “low in saturated fat”
“safe” or “safe to eat”
“low in calories” or “low-calorie” or “relatively low in calories”
“a diet food”
“a rich source of protein”
“part of a well-balanced, healthy diet”
The bottom line is that it is illegal to claim in advertisements that eggs are healthy, nutritious, or safe because eggs are not healthy, nutritious, or safe——according to the U.S. government! For more information, watch the informative video Who Says Eggs Aren’t Healthy or Safe? by Dr. Michael Greger at NutritionFacts.org.
OPINIONS & JUDGMENT
“It’s my opinion!” is the defense mechanism of ill-conceived, uninformed actions, including the support of animal agriculture. It may be your opinion that consuming animals and their bodily secretions (and using their skin for clothing) is totally fine, healthy, and ethical, but have you rationally thought about WHY you have that opinion? Do you have all of the facts and information to have a well-informed opinion, or is your opinion just a personal preference based on habit, tradition, your feelings, and very little data?
For example, is it your opinion that breeding, torturing, milking, skinning, and slaughtering dogs and cats is wrong? Why do you hold that opinion? Anyone can be misinformed or uneducated. It happens. But as a mature, intelligent, compassionate person, you are responsible for examining your opinions, and making decisions based on who you really are.
WHAT A CHILD SEES
Click on the image above to watch a two-minute video. Weren’t we all like this as children? Why did we allow the animal agriculture industry propaganda to change who we are?
“The animals love us.”
“I think they shouldn't be locked in cages.”
“I wouldn’t drink milk from a cow because it should be for the babies, not us.”
“I'm vegan because animals want to live.”
WHAT CODY SAW
This video shows how one man’s search to uncover the truth changed his life. Cody, an undercover investigator of the animal agriculture industry, secretly recorded what really happens to factory farm animals. WARNING: Graphic content of factory farming!
“One man's search to uncover the truth put his life on a course he never expected. See what happened to Cody, in one of the most powerful videos you will ever watch.”
Charles Darwin is one of the most influential humans in history (best known for his contributions to the science of evolution), and he recognized that animals are sentient beings over 150 years ago:
“The love for all living creatures is the most noble attribute of man. We have seen that the senses and intuitions, the various emotions and faculties, such as love, memory, attention and curiosity, imitation, reason, etc., of which man boasts, may be found in an incipient, or even sometimes a well-developed condition, in [other] animals... [Other] animals, like man, manifestly feel pleasure and pain, happiness and misery. Happiness is never better exhibited than by young animals, such as puppies, kittens, lambs, etc., when playing together, like our own children.”
- Charles Darwin, The Descent Of Man
Sentience is the ability to experience life through emotions. Sentient beings are unique individuals who are conscious and experience sense perceptions. Just like dogs and cats, other animals such as chickens, cows, pigs, and turkeys are not machines or mere objects. They have central nervous systems and pain receptors. They have full self-awareness and a sense of the future. They have desires, preferences, and interests. They are emotional beings with the ability to experience pleasure, pain, agony, and fear.
Are the fleeting taste sensations of flesh, organs, and bodily secretions really that important, when there are so many nutritious and delicious alternatives that don’t come from the suffering and slaughter of sentient beings? Please think about your food choices and ask yourself if you are being ethical and compassionate, and if causing pain and suffering and slaughter for nothing more than momentary, trivial taste pleasure is who you really are.
“BUT OUR ANCESTORS ATE ANIMALS”
Yes, our ancestors hunted and fished for survival. They also lived in caves, practiced cannibalism, and owned slaves. Does history equal justification?
Of course hunting was an essential part of human survival 100,000 years ago, but now it is unnecessary and violent “recreation.” Humans are not natural hunters. Actual carnivorous predators hunt for survival and feel the hunger drive for raw flesh. Today, humans prepare or order a cooked meal, seasoned with spices - and eat it
We are no longer limited by the circumstances that our ancestors may have needed for survival. The point is that we have evolved, and we don’t need to consume animals anymore. We have reached a point in human evolution that we are able to live vegan.
Our ancestors did not have the same opportunity, nor did they have slaughterhouses and factory farms, where billions of animals are bred to be tortured to death. That's a far cry from hunting for your food to survive.
And an abundance of medical research has concluded that consumption of animal corpses and their bodily secretions is harmful to humans - and very destructive to our planet.
This non-graphic five-minute video by The Vegan Activist explains why veganism is the moral thing to do. The Vegan Activist creates educational videos, inspiring short films, and powerful documentaries. If there was a way to be healthy, while saving the animals and the planet, would you do it? If yes, please choose vegan.
This six-minute video by The Vegan Activist explains why “the real difficulty in being vegan doesn’t involve food. The hardest part about being vegan is coming face to face with the darker side of humanity and trying to remain hopeful. It’s trying to understand why otherwise good and caring people continue to participate in needless violence against animals——just for the sake of their pleasure or convenience.”
THE CHINA STUDY
If you want abundant, hardcore scientific evidence that a vegan diet is the key to optimum health, then this is what you want to read. The China Study is a 2005 book based on the 20-year China Project, the most comprehensive study of health and nutrition (specifically the relationship between diet and chronic diseases) ever conducted. An updated and expanded edition was released in December 2016. Widely regarded as one of the most important books about diet and health, The China Study has prompted many people to rethink their dietary choices and go vegan.
The China Study provides irrefutable evidence of the health benefits of a plant-based diet by providing more than 8,000 statistically significant associations between various dietary factors and diseases – clearly showing the damaging effects of a diet high in animal protein, contrasted with the undeniable health benefits of a vegan diet. There are over 800 references in this book, and most of them are primary sources of information, including hundreds of scientific publications from other researchers.
THE CHINA STUDY’S CONCLUSION: IF YOU WANT TO LIVE A HEALTHY, LONG LIFE, CHOOSE A VEGAN DIET!
The researchers looked at diets, lifestyles, disease characteristics, and mortality rates of 6,500 people in China, and concluded that people who eat primarily animal-based foods are more likely to suffer from chronic diseases than people who eat vegan foods, and that people who eat vegan foods both minimize and actually REVERSE the development of chronic diseases.
The researchers emphasize a clear, significant correlation between the consumption of meat, milk, and eggs and many ailments: heart disease, diabetes, cancer, obesity, osteoporosis, Type 2 diabetes, and more – concluding that diets high in animal protein are strongly linked to chronic disease.
The new edition includes updated information about the United States healthcare system, and examines the powerful animal agriculture industry and its propaganda, as well as its ties to government lobbyists and other influential entities, resulting in the concealment of the real science.
According to T. Colin Campbell, “The distinctions between government, industry, science, and medicine have become blurred. The distinctions between making a profit and promoting health have become blurred.... The result is massive amounts of misinformation, for which average American consumers pay twice. They provide the tax money to do the research, and then they provide the money for their health care to treat their largely preventable diseases.”
“I DON’T LIKE VEGAN FOOD!”
I’m always mystified when people say to me, “I don’t like vegan food.” Really? What exactly is “vegan food”?
I eat fruits and vegetables, bread and other grains (crackers, cereals, rice, etc.), beans and other legumes, pasta, potatoes, and nuts and seeds——and these items can be used to make sandwiches, pizza, smoothies, dips, hummus, soups, casseroles, garden burgers, sauces, burritos, nut butters, stir fries, etc. The possibilities are endless.
In addition, there is an abundance of desserts, beverages, condiments, and spices that aren’t made from the flesh and bodily secretions of animals.
If you want food that tastes like flesh and bodily secretions, there are vegan alternatives for all of that. Those types of food don’t interest me personally, primarily because they taste so much like slaughtered animals and bodily secretions. I never have a problem finding something to eat or drink that doesn’t come from animal cruelty and slaughter.
So, when someone says to me, “I don’t like vegan food,” I always look at them very puzzled and ask them to tell me what “vegan food” is. Vegan food, quite simply, is food that doesn’t come from pain and suffering and exploitation and slaughter. It’s delicious and nutritious...and it’s everywhere.
Click on the image above to watch an excellent, non-graphic, two-minute video that succinctly sums up all of the reasons to be vegan.
“Is your diet ethical? From the meat industry's rampant abuse of animals and environmental devastation, to the tremendous health benefits of a vegan diet, to helping end world hunger and deplorable working conditions in slaughterhouses, there are numerous reasons why more and more people are leaving meat off their plates for good and embracing a healthy and humane vegan diet.”
“Mic the Vegan is a vegan science writer that covers a variety of topics from the health effects of a vegan diet and the environmental impact of eating animal products to the sociological phenomenon of casual animal exploitation. Based in the U.S., he regularly tackles debunking the myths that perpetuate harmful dietary and lifestyle behaviors——all with a drop of humor that only he thinks is funny.”
Nutrition Facts is a free, science-based public service website with evidence-based recommendations and peer-reviewed nutrition and health research covering a vegan diet. There are health and nutrition videos covering more than 2,000 alphabetized topics.
Dr. Michael Greger’s book How Not to Die examines the 15 top causes of death in America, and explains how a vegan diet is superior and healthier than prescription pills and medical procedures. Dr. Greger, internationally-recognized lecturer, physician, and founder of NutritionFacts.org, backs up his claims with peer-reviewed scientific evidence, showing that a vegan diet is what we need to live longer, healthier lives.
“A significant convergence of evidence suggests that plant-based diets can help prevent and even reverse some of the top killer diseases in the Western world and can be more effective than medication and surgery....”
Click HERE for more information on the RESOURCES page.
VEGAN DIETS ARE HEALTHY AND PREVENT DISEASES
The evidence that a vegan diet is beneficial and can prevent diseases is so overwhelming that the 2015 Scientific Report from the United States Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, a federally-appointed panel of nutritional experts, recommends a predominantly plant-based diet for health and environmental reasons.
The report notes that Americans pay more for healthcare than any other country, but more than two-thirds of American adults are overweight or obese, and nearly one-third of children are overweight or obese.
This was the first time this committee recommended a diet higher in plant-based foods and low in animal-based foods not only because it’s healthier, but also because it’s better for the environment. This committee’s recommendations influence policies and standards regarding school lunches, food stamp programs, and other programs for children and pregnant women, to ensure Americans eat healthier.
People who eat a vegan diet have a lower risk for heart disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and many chronic diseases. Abundant peer-reviewed, evidence-based research and studies confirm that a vegan diet provides improved health outcomes and protective benefits from many diseases.
In fact, not only has a vegan diet been repeatedly proven to be optimal for human health, but many studies conclude that diseases can be prevented and even reversed with a vegan diet. For more information, including links to many scientific studies, go to the PLANT-BASED NUTRITION & HUMAN HEALTH section on the RESOURCES page.
VEGAN ATHLETES & BODYBUILDERS
The number of title-winning, record-holding vegan athletes and bodybuilders is increasing dramatically because they realize the performance benefits. They report that a vegan diet enhances their overall health, increases their rate of recovery during and after training sessions and workouts, decreases inflammation, and makes them more powerful than ever before. And most of them care about the animals, too.
Cam F. Awesome (heavyweight boxer, Olympian)
Patrik Baboumian (strongman competitor, bodybuilder)
Ed Baur (bodybuilder)
Brendan Brazier (triathlete, endurance runner)
David Carter (ex-NFL player, “The 300 Pound Vegan”)
Crissi Carvalho (fitness model)
Wilson Chandler (NBA player)
Robert Cheeke (bodybuilder)
Mac Danzig (MMA & UFC fighter)
Nimai Delgado (bodybuilder)
Nate Diaz (mixed martial arts)
Barny du Plessis (Mr. Universe 2014)
Meagan Duhamel (figure skater, Olympian)
Rip Esselstyn (triathlete)
Kendrick Farris (weightlifter, Olympian)
Matt Frazier (ultramarathoner)
David Haye (world champion heavyweight boxer)
Hench Herbivore (bodybuilder)
Mischa Janiec (bodybuilder)
Matthew Jones (powerlifter)
Scott Jurek (ultramarathon runner)
Carl Lewis (track & field athlete, Olympian)
John Lewis [Bad Ass Vegan] (bodybuilder)
Frank Medrano (calisthenics bodyweight expert)
Martina Navratilova (tennis champion)
Patrick Neshek (MLB pitcher)
Patrick Reiser (bodybuilder)
Rich Roll (ultramarathoner)
April Ross (volleyball player, Olympian)
Matt Ruscigno (ultramarathoner, iron-man triathlon competitor)
Abel Trujillo (UFC fighter)
Brian Turner (bodybuilder)
Hulda B. Waage (weightlifting champion)
Torre Washington (bodybuilder)
Griff Whalen (NFL player)
BUT THE BIBLE SAYS...
If you are a Christian, and you believe that God created animals so that humans can consume their flesh and bodily secretions, then why do you think that God gave them central nervous systems? You believe that God created emotional beings who can experience misery and pain and suffering because God wants you to exploit and slaughter them, even though God also created a wide variety of plants that humans can consume in order to survive and thrive?
There is no biological or nutritional requirement for humans to consume the flesh, organs, or bodily secretions (eggs and milk) of animals; therefore, a choice to do so causes unnecessary pain and suffering, which is apparently what you believe God desires? If GOD IS LOVE, then why would God deliberately design the appropriate human diet to cause pain and suffering to sentient beings with full self-awareness and a desire to live?
And what does the Christian Bible say about the human diet and animals?
According to Genesis (the first book of the Christian Bible), the original diet of humanity was vegan:
Then God said, “Let the earth put forth vegetation: plants yielding seed, and fruit trees of every kind on earth that bear fruit with the seed in it.” And it was so.
~ Genesis 1:11
God said, “See, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit; you shall have them for food. And to every beast of the earth, and to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so. God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.
~ Genesis 1:29-31
“And to every beast of the earth, and to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so.
~ Genesis 1:30
The sixth commandment specifically states that we should not kill:
You shall not kill.
~ Exodus 20:13
In the Book of Isaiah, a return to God’s original intent for humanity is described as living in peace and harmony with the animals, all surviving and thriving on a plant-based diet:
The wolf shall live with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the kid, the calf and the lion and the fatling together, and a little child shall lead them. The cow and the bear shall graze, their young shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. The nursing child shall play over the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put its hand on the adder’s den. They will not hurt or destroy on all my holy mountain; for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.
~ Isaiah 11:6–9
In the Book of Daniel, there is an account of him and three companions choosing an all-vegetable diet rather than consuming food that might violate Jewish dietary laws. After 10 days on the plant-based diet, their physical appearance was superior, as was their wisdom and understanding:
“Then the king commanded his palace master Ashpenaz to bring some of the Israelites of the royal family and of the nobility, young men without physical defect and handsome, versed in every branch of wisdom, endowed with knowledge and insight, and competent to serve in the king’s palace; they were to be taught the literature and language of the Chaldeans. The king assigned them a daily portion of the royal rations of food and wine. They were to be educated for three years, so that at the end of that time they could be stationed in the king’s court. Among them were Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, from the tribe of Judah... BUT DANIEL RESOLVED THAT HE WOULD NOT DEFILE HIMSELF WITH THE ROYAL RATIONS OF FOOD AND WINE; so he asked the palace master to allow him not to defile himself... The palace master said to Daniel, ‘I am afraid of my lord the king; he has appointed your food and your drink. If he should see you in poorer condition than the other young men of your own age, you would endanger my head with the king.’ Then Daniel asked the guard whom the palace master had appointed over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah: ‘Please test your servants for ten days. LET US BE GIVEN VEGETABLES TO EAT AND WATER TO DRINK. You can then compare our appearance with the appearance of the young men who eat the royal rations, and deal with your servants according to what you observe.” So he agreed to this proposal and tested them for ten days. AT THE END OF TEN DAYS, IT WAS OBSERVED THAT THEY APPEARED BETTER AND FATTER THAN ALL THE YOUNG MEN WHO HAD BEEN EATING THE ROYAL RATIONS. So the guard continued to withdraw their royal rations and the wine they were to drink, and gave them vegetables... At the end of the time that the king had set for them to be brought in, the palace master brought them into the presence of Nebuchadnezzar, and the king spoke with them. And among them all, no one was found to compare with Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah; therefore they were stationed in the king’s court. IN EVERY MATTER OF WISDOM AND UNDERSTANDING CONCERNING WHICH THE KING INQUIRED OF THEM, HE FOUND THEM TEN TIMES BETTER THAN ALL THE MAGICIANS AND ENCHANTERS IN HIS WHOLE KINGDOM.”
~ Daniel 1:3-20
WHAT ABOUT JESUS & THE GOLDEN RULE?
What would Jesus do today, if he lived in the age of industrialized agriculture in which billions of animals are bred through artificial insemination, treated like mere commodities, and “processed” like worthless property, exploited and brutalized and killed not from necessity, but just for taste bud satisfaction and profits for extremely violent industries? Would Jesus praise humanity for respecting God’s creations? Or would he instead invoke The Golden Rule? Would he not insist that, when given a choice between mercy and cruelty, a Christian is compelled to choose compassion over violence?
The Golden Rule is very explicit on how others should be treated:
“In everything, do to others as you would have them do to you; for this is the law and the prophets.”
~ Matthew 7:12
“Do to others as you would have them do to you.”
~ Luke 6:31
Would Jesus be horrified by the treatment of animals in our modern world? He taught us to have love and compassion for those who are weak, vulnerable, oppressed, marginalized, and different from us. The undeniable foundation of animal agriculture industries is cruelty and violence. It is incumbent on Christians to follow Jesus and to find out what happens to these animals who are exploited and slaughtered for food, and then to decide if a diet containing animal products is in line with one’s Christian faith.
Can a Christian in good conscience participate in activities that degrade the planet, cause starvation and death to other humans, and inflict horrific and unnecessary animal suffering?
[New Revised Standard Version, © 1989, the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America.]
For more information on the Christian basis for veganism, please click HERE.
ACCORDING TO HOLOCAUST SURVIVORS
HOLOCAUST SURVIVOR & VEGAN ANIMAL RIGHTS ACTIVIST
Here are the words of Alex Hershaft, Holocaust survivor and Farm Animal Rights Movement (FARM) founder:
“I spent my childhood years in the Warsaw Ghetto where almost my entire family was murdered along with about 350,000 other Polish Jews. People sometimes will ask me whether that experience had anything to do with my work for animals. It didn’t have a little to do with my work for animals, it had everything to do with my work for animals...
In 1975, after I immigrated to the United States, I happened to visit a slaughterhouse, where I saw terrified animals subjected to horrendous crowding conditions while awaiting their deaths. Just as my family members were in the notorious Treblinka death camp. I saw the same efficient and emotionless killing routine as in Treblinka, I saw the neat piles of hearts, hooves, and other body parts. So reminiscent of the piles of Jewish hair, glasses, and shoes in Treblinka...
And then, it finally dawned on me. ‘Never again’ is not about what others should NOT do to us. ‘Never again’ means that we must never again perpetrate mass atrocities against other living beings. That we must never again raise animals for food or for any other form of exploitation. And that’s when I became an activist for animal rights.”
To watch Alex Hershaft tell his story, from his terrible experience in the Warsaw Ghetto to becoming an outspoken animal rights activist, click on the image on the left below.
HOLOCAUST SURVIVORS SPEAK:
LESSONS FROM THE DEATH CAMPS
Emily Moran Barwick (Bite Size Vegan) covers this topic perfectly in her video featuring actual quotes from Holocaust survivors, comparing animal agriculture to the Holocaust. Click on the image on the right above to watch her video.
“This video conveys the words of Holocaust survivors and their family members. These are their words, their stories, their lessons.... Linking the human Holocaust to our treatment of animals has long sparked controversy, disgust and outrage. Opponents view the connection as belittling and disrespecting the experience of Holocaust victims and survivors. But what do we say when those making this connection are themselves survivors?”
~ Emily Moran Barwick (Bite Size Vegan)
“When I see cages crammed with chickens from battery farms thrown on trucks like bundles of trash, I see, with the eyes of my soul, the Umschlagplatz (where Jews were forced onto trains leaving for the death camps). When I go to a restaurant and see people devouring meat, I feel sick. I see a holocaust on their plates.”
~ Georges Metanomski, a Holocaust survivor who fought in the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising
“For most of the society, life was lived as if none of this was happening. People had regular jobs, concentration camp workers went off to work in the morning and came home at night to loving families, a home-cooked meal, a warm bed. It was a job for them as it is for the animal experimenter, the trapper, game agent, or the factory farm worker.”
~ Anne Muller, who lost many of her family members in the Holocaust
“That’s the real lesson of the Holocaust, isn’t it? That people could do everything and anything to those that they deemed ‘sub-human.’ Which is, of course, what we do to animals.”
~ Barbara Stagno, northeast director of In Defense of Animals,
who lost her grandparents in the Holocaust
“It is wrong to harm others, and as a matter of consistency we don’t limit who the others are; if they can tell the difference between pain and pleasure, then they have a fundamental right not to be harmed.... Unless you believe in fascism, that might makes right – We do not have a right to harm others.”
~ Henry (Noah) Spira, animal activist and Holocaust survivor
Click on the image above to watch another excellent video from The Vegan Activist.
“Veganism isn’t about being perfect. It isn’t about being superior. It’s about looking beyond ourselves, thinking about how our choices affect others, and choosing to live as compassionately as we can.”
IF YOU ARE AGAINST ANIMAL CRUELTY...
If you are against animal cruelty, then please do some research and learn the truth about what happens to animals who are exploited and slaughtered to become and create food for humans.
If you are against animal cruelty, then you probably already agree that causing harm to animals for taste pleasure is not an acceptable “personal choice.”
If you are against animal cruelty, then becoming vegan is a rational, compassionate response based on your personal values.
MAKING MINDFUL CHOICES
Yes, of course what you eat is your choice. But why would you choose suffering and violence when you can choose peace and compassion?
Are the fleeting taste sensations of flesh, organs, and bodily secretions really that important to you, when there are so many nutritious and delicious alternatives that don’t come from the suffering and slaughter of emotional beings? Please think about your food choices and ask yourself if you are being ethical and compassionate, and if causing pain and suffering and slaughter for nothing more than momentary, trivial taste pleasure...is who you really are.
There is no biological requirement for humans to consume animals or their bodily secretions. If you have access to nutritious plant-based foods, then the choice to continue supporting the meat, dairy, and egg industries is a conscious decision to harm, exploit, and kill others for pleasure and self-indulgence——simply because you like the way something tastes. Is that who you really are?
Becoming vegan is not about good people versus bad people, or about judging anyone. Going vegan is simply about choosing peace and compassion, instead of suffering and violence.
YOU DON’T LIKE VEGANS?
That’s okay because this is about ANIMAL CRUELTY, not about vegans. You may not like vegans, but do you agree with the message that animal cruelty is wrong? Please don’t dismiss the message and ignore the SUFFERING ANIMALS just because you don’t like vegans. That’s called “shooting the messenger.”
If someone told you that cruelty to dogs is wrong, would you dismiss that message just because you didn’t like the person or the way the person was presenting the message? No, I suspect that you would still agree that cruelty to dogs is not ethical or compassionate.
Vegans are trying to get you to broaden your perspective to include chickens, pigs, cows, and other animals as part of your values that animal cruelty and slaughter is wrong. Vegans are simply telling you that there is a healthier, smarter, and more compassionate way to live.
It's about the animals, who are the suffering victims of unnecessary choices, not about vegans.