All around us today, the natural world is under attack.
Pollution, deforestation, and systematic cruelty to animals. These forces are rapidly destroying the planet upon which we live. But how can one person make any difference? The answer is as close as your dinner plate.
Thousands of people across the country are standing up for animals and the environment by adopting a vegan lifestyle. Vegans take personal responsibility for making the world a better place by giving up meat, dairy products, and other animal-derived items.This simple choice has powerful consequences. Veganism saves animals from the horrors of the slaughterhouse, reduces pollution from factory farms and preserves soybeans and grain for the millions of malnourished people in our hungry world.
Vegans are motivated by compassion for suffering and respect for life. Both modern science and simple common sense tell us that other animals feel pain and fear death. Vegans empathise with living creatures. They also understand that humans don't need to eat meat, wear leather, or drink milk to survive.
Animals on a modern factory farm lead lives of unimaginable suffering and die cruel deaths before ending up on the dinner table. Intense competition drives farmers to value efficiency over natural desires. Animals are squeezed into ever smaller living quarters, even as new biotechnology is used to make animals grow bigger and produce more meat, milk or eggs. Lowering the cost-per-unit is the over-riding goal.
Pumped up with hormones and drugs, dairy cows spend a few years in a concrete stall or filthy feed lot before they dry up and are sent to slaughter. Most calves born to dairy cows are quickly separated from their mothers, confined in tiny pens and then killed for veal after only a few months of life. Chickens are crammed together in tiny cages and have their breaks clipped to prevent them from self-mutilating due to stress. Death is merciless and inevitable: a bolt gun or a knife ends a life spent in hell.
Vegans do not wear products derived from animals. Fur and leather are the result of suffering and exploitation. So is wool: lambs are castrated and have their tails cut off without anaesthetic and many sheep die of exposure due to premature shearing.
Experiments on animals are another source of suffering. Rabbits, dogs, rats and many other beings die to test soap and make-up or in medical research that many doctors have condemned as irrelevant to human health. The agony suffered by animals in research facilities is all the more outrageous because cruelty-free alternatives exist.
Veganism also saves human lives. Diet is a major factor in three of the leading causes of death in America today. The risk of heart disease, cancer and stroke can be dramatically reduced by a non-dairy vegetarian diet. Vegans also virtually eliminate the possibility of contracting e. coli, salmonella and spongiform encephalopathy (a fatal condition transmitted by the flesh of animals suffering from "Mad Cow Disease").
But going vegan won't just save your life. A better diet is also an important step towards solving the terrible problem of world hunger. Animal agriculture is a grossly inefficient way of growing food: experts estimate that at least seven pounds of grain or soybeans are needed to generate one pound of meat. Food that could be going directly to hungry people is instead being inefficiently funnelled into producing steaks and hamburgers.
Animal agriculture also wastes staggering amounts of water and energy. One thing is clear: if all the people of Earth are going to be fed, we must eat more wisely.
How we eat also affects the air, the water, the forests and the oceans. The production of meat has a devastating impact on the subtle web of connections that sustains life on our planet. Rainforests are levelled to raise cattle, factory farms pollute rivers and lakes, overgrazing erodes fertile land into arid desert and vast quantities of energy and water are wasted to raise animals for food. At sea, huge fishing drift nets turn acres of ocean into graveyards. All this damage to the earth can be stopped. Taking meat and dairy off your plate will make a difference.
OK, but will a vegan diet provide me with all that I need?
The longevity of people in cultures who consume little or no animal products, such as the Hunza of the Kashmir region who have a life expectancy of 90 to 100 years, testifies to the redundancy of animal products in the human diet and the exceptionally good value of plant food. Numerous dietary studies conducted throughout the world reinforce this evidence.
For vegan recipies visit:
Click on image to open leaflet