This week I celebrated a very special anniversary. It was my very first veganniversary! In 2015 on September 1st I decided to switch from vegetarianism to veganism and I also stopped drinking alcohol. I am still so proud of both decisions and I could recommend them to everyone. Veganism is definitely the way to go if you want to live a healthy, kind and sustainable lifestyle. If you are considering to become vegan or you just want to learn more about the lifestyle, here are five reasons to push you over the edge.
1. You don’t want to support animal cruelty anymore
Imagine you are walking on the street in your neighborhood and you suddenly see a man beating his dog. How would you react? Chances are high you would be in quite a shock and start yelling at him and you might even call the police, am I right? Well done, that makes total sense. And I would argue most of you would even shrink back in disgust if you saw a farmer clearly mistreating a cow or a pig on his own land. Because, what is the difference between a dog and a cow or a pig anyway, right? And when people ask you whether you are against animal cruelty, you will most likely feel insulted that someone even dares to assume you would not be against it, correct?
I believe we can agree almost no one intentionally wants to hurt animals and that is a good thing. Yet, we pay others to slaughter pigs and cows all the time because we feel the need to continue to buy meat. In my humble opinion, if you truly care about animals, you simply cannot not be vegan. Why? Because there is no such thing as humane slaughter. We all want to believe so bad that animals are treated humanely in slaughterhouses, but honestly, how do you think any humane action can be taken place in a SLAUGHTERhouse? I think you would agree it is quite impossible to put an animal humanely into a cage, humanely beat it and humanely slit its throat. Violence is pretty much the opposite of what acting humanely means.
It is easier to believe that slaughterhouses treat animals with respect, but really, how exactly do you think any humane action can be taken place in a SLAUGHTERhouse?
But what about chickens then? Lately I have been hearing that a lot of people start to avoid red meat, however they see no harm in eating chickens and consume eggs. So what about animal cruelty there? Farmed chickens often only have a few weeks to live, they get debeaked so they cannot harm each other, and all male chicks in the egg industry end up in a grinder because they are of no purpose to the industry. All of that just so you can have your chicken or have that omelet.
I understand it is easier to believe slaughterhouses treat all animals with respect, but unfortunately that can never be the case. You are supporting animal cruelty every single time you buy meat, consume dairy and eat eggs, whether you want to acknowledge that or not.
2. You want to take proper care of your health
But we must eat meat and drink milk to be healthy, right? And if it is organic and free-range, the animals are treated fair and we do not get in the antibiotics and the hormones, right? I think the commercialization of ‘free-range’ meat, dairy and eggs was just created for us to feel better, less guilty that is. First of all, free-range is just a utopia and does not mean much in reality. The animals are still put with hundreds or sometimes even thousands together in very tiny places and the only difference is that there is no fence between them.
If you take your health seriously, you do not consume meat, dairy or eggs, whether they come from an organic free-range farm or not. Because even when the animals are not inserted with hormones and antibiotics, you still eat and drink stress. Cows, pigs, horses, chickens, and all other animals in factory farming live in awful (read: with way too many in one place and often injured), stressful conditions and are slaughtered that way. How healthy do you really think it is to consume dead animals that were extremely stressed out and anxious when they were killed? Do not fool yourself organic or free-range is any less cruel or in any way suddenly extremely beneficial to your health.
3. You want to help to put a stop to climate change
Even when you are not truly concerned about the animals or your own health – which would obviously be very rare and quite stupid to be honest – you might in some way care about our planet and how not to continue to destroy it. So let me tell you how veganism puts a stop to climate change.
You cannot be a true environmentalist and at the same time eat meat
I always have a hard time to take in any information a self-claimed environmentalist tells me when I know he is not vegan and does not care about becoming one. You see, in my opinion, you cannot be a true environmentalist without being vegan as the meat and dairy industry is responsible for 51% of our global greenhouse gas emissions and also uses one third (!) of our Earth’s fresh water. In addition, 91% of the destruction of the amazon is caused by animal agriculture. And when you know that you need 18 times as much land to feed a meat-eater in comparison to feed a vegan, it is hard to understand that there are environmentalists that eat meat.
So if you truly care about putting a stop to climate change, try to insert at least one vegan meal a day if the concept of veganism is completely new to you. You would be surprised how much one vegan meal a day could benefit our planet. Remember, it is impossible to create change, if you do not even see the point in starting to change yourself.
4. You consider yourself a kind human being
If you do not want to support animal cruelty and you care about your health and the planet, you must be a very kind human being, right? Well, imagine the following for just a second. A cute little baby pig walks into your door and comes to sit right next to you. You look at it, you smile at it, and you probably think it is quite funny this cutie is sitting right next to you in your own house. Now what if someone came into your home and killed the pig right in front of you? This would be quite a shock, am I right? You would probably try to stop him and be quite hysteric about it.
Now if you can imagine to be this kind of person but at the same time have bacon for breakfast, that is what I would call hypocrisy. You find it disgusting to imagine a little pig slaughtered in front of you, yet you pay someone else to slit its throat for you. If you do not want to do it yourself and you do not want to see or hear an animal get slaughtered, why participate in it by giving your money to the meat industry? Because whether you do it yourself or not, the result is the same. The animal gets killed. That is why I believe if slaughterhouses had glass walls, almost no one would keep consuming meat.
If you do not want to do it yourself and you do not want to see or hear an animal get slaughtered, why give your money to the meat industry? The result is the same, isn’t it?
I think we can all agree no sentient being wants to get killed or feel pain. We do not even want to imagine seeing an animal get beaten or killed. If you would get paid 1,000 euro just to kill animals in a slaughterhouse for one day, would you do it? The only thing you have to do is slit throats of cows, pigs, horses, chickens, and maybe some other animals for one day. Chances are you will refuse this deal because you simply cannot imagine you causing so much suffering. If you feel this way, think about that the next time you eat the flesh of something that once was a happy, playful animal that wanted nothing more than to live a healthy, happy, long life.
I strongly believe humans are naturally kind and do not wish to harm other sentient beings. Yet, we have been told a story for so many years, which became a habit, and we never question anymore whether it is right or wrong to kill animals just for our taste buds. Remember slavery was thought of something completely normal only a couple of hundred years ago too. The single most dangerous phrase in history therefore, I would argue, is the following: ‘We have always done it this way’. And I truly believe in my heart that in another couple of hundred years, we will be disgusted by the idea that there once was a time in which we killed billions of animals every second just because we liked the taste of it.
5. You agree all animals should have the same rights
Now how can we change the story? We cannot go against our own culture, can we? Well, I believe that it is not that because someone decided a while ago that in our culture, dogs and cats are pets, and cows and pigs are food, we have to blindly follow that lead. In other cultures you can have the complete opposite, but yet we all believe very much in our own culture, in the story we were told as kids. We are raised this way so why would we question it, right? It is funny how we think it is totally normal to eat pigflesh (aka bacon) and at the same time play with our dog. Dogs and pigs are both sentient beings, the only difference is we see one as food and one as companionship.
So you might want to rethink your idea about vegans being weird, when in fact it is rather weird and completely unethical to just choose which animal you want to get killed and which one you want to pet. I am not saying this to make you feel bad, I am just stating the facts.
Cows do not magically produce milk and calves do not magically survive without it
Now that we are talking about the same rights for all animals, I believe it is important to get into the dairy industry here as well. Cows do not magically produce milk, you now. It is not like the dairy industry waits for the magical moment to happen between a bull and a cow. Cows are forcefully raped every single time. We do not want to call it that way, but in reality that is what it is.
And what do you think happens to all male calves that are born? Exactly, they are taken away the exact second they are born, because they are of no purpose to the industry. They would steal ‘our’ milk even when it is not even ours to begin with. The male calves never see the light of day and are slaughtered after a few weeks. The female calves are taken away immediately as well and will have the same life as their mother. The only reason you are able to drink cow’s milk is because a calf is not. So every time you have milk whether it is in your cereal, in a cake, as cheese or in the form of ice cream, you are supporting a very cruel industry, whether you want to admit to that or not.
This is also why vegetarians become vegans and I know many people would still call this extreme. But really, how extreme is it to not take away the milk from a baby animal? Humans are the only species that drink milk from another mammal and continue to do so after we are done with breastfeeding.
How extreme is it to ‘force’ your child to play with all animals instead of deciding which one to play with and which one to eat?
Lately, it has also been all over the news how vegans are ‘forcing’ their children a certain diet and I just want to get into this real quick. Imagine the following scenario. What if you would put a three-year-old in front of a chicken, a pig, a dog, a cow and a horse. Do you think the child would know which one to play with and which one to eat? Of course not, it will want to play with all of them. So I would very much argue that feeding your child dead animals is much more a way of ‘forcing’ him or her to eat something that is not natural instead of ‘forcing’ your child to have breast milk, fruits and veggies what our bodies are designed to thrive on.
Veganism is simply changing your perception. You see all animals as equal. A dog is not worth a happier, longer life than a pig, a cow or a chicken. All animals deserve happiness, and not one single animal deserves a painful dead just for our taste buds.
Change your perception, change the story
Personally I believe we are so hesitant to become vegan because in a way we then have to admit that what we did before was wrong. We have to admit we were not living a healthy, sustainable, kind lifestyle although we thought we were. But once you know better, you can do better, right? There is no shame in changing your diet the moment you realize you have been supporting a very cruel industry and do not longer want to take part in that. You can only be proud of that decision and let me tell you, it is truly a wonderful feeling to be kind.
Change your perception, change the story.
Note: If you liked this blogpost and it inspired you in some way, feel free to like it, comment on it and share it with others. It would totally make my day. Also, if you like this blog, make sure to follow it to not miss out on anything I write about 🙂 Thank you so much for reading and hopefully I will see you next time!