When people learn that I’m vegan, the first thing they say after ”What?!” is “Why?!” Here’s the top ten reasons why I don’t eat meat, eggs, or dairy products:
1. Just as dogs and cats are your friends, all animals are my friends. And friends don’t eat friends.
2. There’s already enough suffering in this world. Cows, pigs, chickens, and other animals feel pain just as people do, but they’re at our mercy because they cannot fend for themselves. I don’t want to add to animal suffering or be a part of it.
3. I wouldn’t want to work at a factory farm or a slaughterhouse. Would you want to burn a cow’s horns off, sear a chicken’s beak off with a hot blade, or castrate a pig—all without painkillers—or watch while they writhe in pain when they’re scalded alive or their throats are slit? If you wouldn’t want to inflict or witness such cruelty, why would you expect someone else to?
4. People who eat animal flesh or byproducts are more likely to suffer from heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and obesity. We’re healthier if we don’t hurt animals.
5. A meat-eater’s diet is responsible for more than seven times as much greenhouse-gas emissions as a vegan’s diet is. We’re all responsible for the future of our world.
6. Meat consumption is an inefficient use of grain and soy. More than half of the world’s crops are used to feed farmed animals, not people. Why funnel perfectly edible food through farmed animals when there are hungry, malnourished people in the world?
7. Animals don’t want to be killed and consumed by you. They’re terrified by the sights and smells of the slaughterhouse and fight to stay alive. I wouldn’t want anyone to kill and eat me, so, I wouldn’t do it to animals. It’s the Golden Rule!
8. It takes approximately 10 times more fossil fuels—and considerably more water—to produce meat than to produce vegan foods.
9. Cows produce milk for the same reason humans do: to feed their babies. But on factory farms, cows are artificially impregnated every year so that they’ll provide a steady supply of milk. Their babies are taken away from them within a day or two of birth so that humans can have the milk nature intended for calves.
10. Vegan foods are not only cholesterol-free, typically low in saturated fat, and high in fiber and other essential nutrients, they taste great. With all the tasty mock meats, dairy-free milks, and other wholesome vegan foods available, I get to enjoy a variety of delicious vegan foods.
I wish I had realized all of this when I was younger. I would have made the compassionate decision to go vegan much earlier than I did. But it’s never too late to listen to your heart. I invite you to give ‘peas’ a chance and try out a vegan diet (actually I’m such a picky eater. I don’t eat peas. But you can!) 🙂