Archive | March, 2013

Why I’m Vegan

17 Mar

As much as I love responding to the looks of disgust that I get when people find out I’m vegan with a simple smile, I’ve decided to tell you what my reasoning behind being vegan is.. . Here goes… (I won’t bore you with too many facts/figures – there’s an abundance of research online if you’re interested)

Firstly, before you tell me I’m missing out I’ll reveal I was once also a blood-thirsty carnivore but my clear conscience today is something I wouldn’t trade for even the tastiest animal carcass.

Welfare: Ultimately, the bottom line is I don’t believe it’s acceptable to take a life from a being which undoubtedly wanted to continue living for something as trivial as taste. “What if you were stranded on a desert island and the only thing you had to eat was a chicken???” Well, we’re not stranded on a desert island and can live perfectly healthy and satisfying lives without meat or any other animal products.

We’ve become increasingly distant from the production of food (assuming you don’t work in the industry) and it becomes easier to ignore the fact there maybe something wrong with our diets. I can’t imagine most people I know being happy to walk through the entire slaughtering process and then sit down to a nice steak, appetite intact.

You may say it’s acceptable if the process is humane (which I don’t think is possible) but the fact is at present, it is anything but.

Species discrimination. That’s what it is. Why do people here in Britain recoil at people in the East eating dogs etc… what makes dogs difference from cows or chickens? Intelligence? Since when was that the criteria?

Why not just vegetarian? Why be so EXTREME? Fact: the animal industry is sadly and inevitably interlinked. Many chicks/calves are killed as “by-products” of the industry whilst cows/hens are killed when they are of no more profitable use. This is without even considering the horrific conditions even the “free-range” and “human” products are created from.

Sustainability: Frankly, we’re not going to be able to feed our billions if we don’t switch to at least a vegetarian diet. As almost a billion people are struggling to feed themselves we waste an excessive amount of land and water through our meaty diets. This is contributing to “continuing malnourishment in the developing world, global warming, widespread pollution, deforestation, land degradation, water scarcity and species extinction because more animals mean more crops are needed to feed them: the planet cannot feed both increasing human and farmed animal populations.” Also a UN report noted how the meat industry is “one of the top two or three most significant contributors to the most serious environmental problems, at every scale from local to global”. We can achieve as much as all these expensive technologies and alternative energy supplies, whilst of course necessary in the long-term, simply with a vegan diet.

Is our desire for meat enough to deprive future generations as well as current ones of a sustainable food supply?

524238_10151106784843035_1168948893_n

Nutrition: Whilst I’m pretty sure most of you meat-eaters don’t divide up your weekly meals based on their nutritional value, it is possible to eat a healthy vegan diet at no extra expense! Calcium, protein and iron etc…can all be derived from plant sources. Even if that’s your excuse, there are always supplements. Really, you’re running out of excuses.

Oh, us vegans also live longer! (have to admit am also feeling a little smug about the whole horsemeat scandal)

Judaism: OMG, you’re Jewish and you don’t eat Chicken soup??!?! Crazy, I know. But just so you know, there is even some Torah basis that supports my actions. Adam and Eve were initially vegan and being allowed to eat meat represents a fall in our spiritual/moral level. Furthermore, we have a duty to be stewards of the earth, and the unsustainable and uncompassionate animal-product industry rejects that role.

Torah commentator Solomon Efraim Lunchitz, author of K’lee Yakar: What was the necessity for the entire procedure of ritual slaughter? For the sake of self-discipline. It is far more appropriate for man not to eat meat; only if he has a strong desire for meat does the Torah permit it, and even this only after the trouble and inconvenience necessary to satisfy his desire. Perhaps because of the bother and annoyance of the whole procedure, he will be restrained from such a strong and uncontrollable desire for meat. Rabbi Shlomo Riskin, a leading Israeli Orthodox rabbi, stated that “The dietary laws are intended to teach us compassion and lead us gently to vegetarianism.”

Hope you enjoyed my little summary for why I’m vegan.. I welcome you with open arms! (Just btw – I was vegetarian first – so I support any steps that cut of animal-products out of your diet..Do I think one person makes a difference? Well probably not, but the world is made up of SEVERAL people and at least I can live with myself happily knowing I’m not contributing to unnecessary additional suffering in it.)

Do it “you have nothing to lose but your elevated blood cholesterol”

Little video dispelling vegan myths 🙂

Some informative links:

http://www.vegansociety.com/resources/animals/

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/sep/14/vegan-diet-health-planet

http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2010/jul/31/what-really-thinking-vegan  (Feels like I wrote this..!)

http://www.jewishveg.com/schwartz/dietlaws.html (for my Jewish friends 🙂 – Guess what? RAMBAM was vege!!!)

http://www.thejewishchronicle.net/view/full_story/20205934/article-Choose-veganism–honor-Judaism–and-kvell