Hi guys! We became vegan almost 3 years ago and I often get asked in my daily life why and how we decided to become vegan? That’s a very good question! I will answer today here. I know it’s a sensitive subject and the vegans don’t always have a good image and are sometimes considered “too extreme”. So I will try to be objective in this post and only share my way of thinking. This post is absolutely not to influence you, it is just to answer the questions people asked me and to explain my way of thinking. So why to go vegan/ plant-based?
Why to go vegan?
I’ve never been a carnivorous, and I have never eaten much meat/fish. I am more a sweet person (I prefer chocolate, pancakes or fruits ). But when I was not vegan I was just not conscious about what really happens to the animals. I mean, have you ever asked yourself why you were eating meat? No right? Most of us are eating meat/fish because we have always done it since we were born. Simply because everyone around us is eating meat/fish and our parents put it on our plate since we were a child. We don’t think much about it.
We don’t really ask ourself any questions. But when I got conscious of the reality, I mean when I get conscious about how this burger has been made, I could not eat meat anymore. This meat is nothing but a killed cow on my plate. I understood that I didn’t want and need this in my life. And I decided to stop consuming meat or animal products anymore. You will probably tell me: its life, its normal. But this is wrong, this is what the meat industry is trying to make us think. Scientists have proven that we absolutely don’t need to kill and eat animals to live, we are omnivores. There are several reasons to become vegan, for the animals, for the environment or for health.
For the animals
This is the reason why we decided to go vegan. Indeed, preventing the exploitation of animals is not the only reason for becoming vegan, but for many, it remains the key factor in their decision to go vegan and stay vegan. Having emotional attachments with animals may form part of that reason, while many believe that all sentient creatures have a right to life and freedom included beef, pork, horse, a rabbit or a dog.
I mean, would you eat your dog or your cat? No way, right? So why eating beef or pork? All animals are equal and worthy to live. All the animals are feeling emotions: joy, sadness, love… Like each of us. We are not making any difference between, humans, we are all equal, so why differencing animals? I mean, who are we to tell we can eat a cow and not a dog?
Specifics aside, avoiding animal products is one of the most obvious ways you can take a stand against animal cruelty and animal exploitation everywhere.
Why did we stop consuming cow milk?
Milk is also to avoid. Many people don’t know the cruel reality hidden behind milk! Like all mammals, cows must give birth in order to make milk. Like human mothers, they carry their babies for nine months, then begin to lactate for the sole purpose of nourishing their young. To keep them lactating at maximum yields, cows are artificially and repeatedly and forcibly impregnated year after year. The constant cycle of forced pregnancy and birth creates a huge surplus of calves. Even so, virtually all dairy calves are stolen from their mothers within hours of birth in order to maximize profit. 97% of newborn dairy calves are forcibly removed from their mothers within the first 24 hours.
The rest are removed in a matter of days. On so-called humane dairy farms, cows are often taken within the first hour of birth as separation of mother and calf is considered less stressful when they have not been allowed to bond. Some female calves will join the milking herd. They typically spend the first 2 to 3 months of life confined in lonely hutches, fed a diet of milk replacer while humans drink the milk intended for them.
Whether on factory farms, “family” farms, or small, humane-certified farms, male calves and surplus females are sold to be slaughtered for veal or cheap beef. The veal industry would not exist without the dairy industry. Trapped in a cycle of forced impregnation, perpetual lactation and near constant confinement, most dairy cows’ overworked bodies begin producing less milk at around 4 to 5 years of age, at which point they are slaughtered. In natural conditions, cows can live 20 to 25 years.
A more detailed overview of why being vegan demonstrates true compassion for animals can be found here.
For the health
More and more people are starting a vegan diet for the health benefits: increased energy, lose fat, younger-looking skin, and eternal youth are just some of the claims from enthusiastic plant eaters. Well, eternal youth might be a bit optimistic, but there are certainly many scientifically proven benefits to vegan living when compared to the average western diet.
Well-planned plant-based diets are rich in protein, iron, calcium and other essential vitamins and minerals. The plant-based sources of these nutrients tend to be low in saturated fat, high in fiber and packed with antioxidants, helping mitigate some of the modern world’s biggest health issues like obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. Check out a fully referenced article on health and the vegan diet here. For more information on living a healthy, vegan life, their nutrition section will be able to help.
From recycling our household rubbish to cycling to work, we’re all aware of ways to live a greener life. One of the most effective things an individual can do to lower their carbon footprint is to avoid all animal products. Scientists have proven that humans don’t need to eat meat/fish. We can find all the nutrients we need in other kinds of food. So why kill animals? Many other ingredients can provide proteins and iron, like: quinoa, lentils, chickpeas, avocado or even banana.
After 3 years of being vegan, I can affirm that I have no lack of proteins, Iron, B12 or Omega3. If you have a good alimentation, you don’t need animal products. Also, I have lost fat without doing anything. Plus, I feel much more healthy, my skin is really better looking and I have much more energy.
Why are meat and dairy so bad for the environment? The production of meat and other animal products places a heavy burden on the environment. From crops and water required to feed the animals, to the transport and other processes involved from farm to fork. The vast amount of grain feed required for meat production is a significant contributor to deforestation, habitat loss and species extinction.
In Brazil alone, the equivalent of 5.6 million acres of land is used to grow soya beans for animals in Europe. This land contributes to developing world malnutrition by driving impoverished populations to grow cash crops for animal feed, rather than food for themselves! On the other hand, considerably lower quantities of crops and water are required to sustain a vegan diet, making the switch to veganism one of the easiest, most enjoyable and most effective ways to reduce our impact on the environment. For more on how veganism is the way forward for the environment, see this environment section.
How to go vegan?
Step by step
You can begin by decreasing your meat consumption. Each time you want to eat animals ask you if it is really necessary? And if you couldn’t replace it by tofu for example. After this, you can start not eating meat at all. You can replace meat with a lot of things! Avocado, banana, dried vegetables (lentils, soy, chickpea…) All of these contain a lot of proteins and iron. Then you can avoid fish and seafood. And the most complicated step is the last: avoid milk, because there is milk in butter, in cheese, in cakes…But it is just a question of organization. Vegan cheese exists, you can replace milk by almond milk which is really good!
Also, you can find here delicious vegan recipes! http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/food-recipes/healthy/g807/vegan-recipes/
Hope you found this post interesting! Let us know in the comment about your own experience!