Being Vegan

vegan

At the end of 2011 I went vegan.  Having been a vegetarian since birth I was surprised to discover that giving up dairy was such a big step for me; but it was a step I had to make, as I was becoming a vegan for ethical reasons. While transitioning into a vegan diet, the craving for milk products was the biggest challenge I had to overcome. However, whenever I struggled, I remembered the animals that were suffering when I consumed dairy products, simply to please my taste buds. This made me feel guilty and that is how I got over my craving for dairy products, and evolved into a vegan. It is scary how addictive dairy products can be.

Going vegan was the best decision that I have ever made. Going vegan not only helps the animals, but also the environment, plus it is very beneficial to one’s health.

 

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We all need food to survive, but our food should not be the result of animal suffering. Animal agriculture industry destroys both animal lives and the environment. 
Why do we ignore the plight of farm animals and fish when we speak of love and compassion?  Most people appreciate love and compassion as long as it does not stand in way of their lifestyle.  But unfortunately it’s a parasitic way of living, which they refuse to see.

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation estimates that 60 billion animals are killed each year for human consumption, and horrifically those figures do not include the billions of fish caught illegally nor ‘unwanted’  sentient beings accidentally caught and discarded.  Nor do they count fish impaled on hooks as bait. 
We put them through hell, torturing them and slaughtering them in billions every year, which is completely unnecessary and very much avoidable. They should not pay with their lives to be on our plates.

Humane slaughter?

And when it comes to farm animals, some people use the term ‘humane slaughter’. There is no such thing as  ‘humane slaughter’. 
Let’s consider this example: If someone sedates and kills a human, it will be considered as a homicide, regardless of how humanely he/she was killed. Why  should it be any different for animals?
Free-range or factory farm, the end result of both is that animals are killed to be on our plates. 
There is nothing humane in murdering other beings.

Plants have feelings too?

Speaking of animal lives, the argument that most non-vegans put forth is: plants are lives and they have feelings too.

Matter of fact, even if plants do have feelings, far more plants are killed to provide food for farm animals. If we exclude animal products from our diet, more plants will be saved.

However, there is a big difference between plants and animals.  
Of course plants are lives too. But we humans need plants to survive. Plants do not have a  central nervous systems. Unlike plants, animals are sentient beings. For example, if we pluck an apple from a tree, it will grow again, but if we chop the limbs of a lamb, the poor animal will bleed to death.

Impact on environment

Animal agriculture is the foremost cause of rain forest destruction and global warming, as a whole. CO2 emissions and methane emissions are major reasons for global warming. Livestock and their byproduct account for at least 51% of all worldwide greenhouse gas emission.

More reasons to go vegan

Its not just about animals and environment, there are more reasons for one to go vegan.

Are we carnivore?
Often people compare humans with carnivores, but our bodies are not designed to be a carnivore. Our teeth are similar to herbivores and not like any carnivore.  But these aren’t the only reasons for one to go vegan.

Solution for world Hunger

Animal agriculture water consumption ranges from 34-76 trillion gallons annually.  Going vegan will save lots of feed as well as water, which also means more land to grow food to end  world hunger.

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The United Nations too has urged the world to go vegan.

Good for health

A plant-based diet also is beneficial to our own health, while meat and dairy products being the foremost cause of heart diseases in humans.

Even if some people go vegan for health rather than ethical reasons, I would say it’s still a good thing as it saves lives.  It also helps them see the bigger picture. It increases the chances for them to evolve into ethical vegans. Who knows, they might eventually turn into activists!

Is veganism nothing but a mere diet change?

No it’s not! Most people misunderstand, thinking that veganism is all about diet, but it is lot more than just a mere diet change. Living on a plant based diet could be considered as being vegan as long as you do not cause any intentional harm to other lives, but if you have a plant based diet and wear fur or support captivity or indulge in cruel activities like trophy hunting, then you are not a vegan, but a hypocrite and a speciesist.

Veganism is a way of life with love and compassion being the foundation. 
It is all about love and compassion extended to all beings, and a moral commitment for life.

 

Are vegans superior?

Some believe that we vegans think we are superior.

In reality, vegans know that we are not superior to any other being on this planet; that is the very reason we chose our vegan lifestyle.

We are just like anyone else on this planet; we are far from being holy. We aren’t perfect, but we just try and reduce our impact on this planet and our fellow earthlings.

Do vegans hate non-vegans?

Each vegan is a different individual with their unique views. In my opinion, there is no room for hatred in veganism as the whole movement is based on love and compassion.
However, we do feel frustrated when people look down on animals as a lesser being or a product, while they are sentient beings just like we humans are.

Some people say, vegans force their beliefs on other people and expect them to live a life of discipline. And they also accuse vegans of making people feel guilty to bring the change in them.

But we do not force our beliefs on anyone. All we do is to make people aware that what they eat is not food but violence,  and  we try to make them aware of the poor animals ‘who’ had their whole life ahead of them to live to the full, but were prematurely murdered to be on their plate.

Animals are not ‘something’ but someone.

Most of all, they are not ours to use as we like. They have every right to exist on this planet, just like we do.

Vegans do not claim to be saints. And to be a vegan it does not require saint-like discipline. All it needs is the same discipline that  takes for us  not to murder another human.

We humans have been destroying this planet, without regret. But this has to change before its too late.

 

A vegan world is what we dream of, and work on. It is the path for a peaceful world, where love and compassion matters more than anything else.

Go vegan for animals, for the planet and for your own health, and be the change you want to to see on this planet.

Related links :
http://vbetweenthelines.com/index.php/2015/06/19/42-interesting-facts-about-veganism/
http://www.forksoverknives.com/
http://www.cowspiracy.com/
http://www.nationearth.com/earthlings-1/

(Special thanks to  Gill Redfearn for her valuable time to proof read this article for me)

(The same has been published in  http://www.viva.org.uk/blog/being-vegan )

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28 thoughts on “Being Vegan

  1. Excellent article Hj. Vegans line a life of peace and compassion. Many people are not aware of the cruelty that occurs on factory farms,in slaughterhouses,dairy industry ,fur industry etc.I was ignorant of these facts myself, until I saw a trailer for the documentary Earthlings. That changed my life and I never looked back. I have a peaceful heart now and while I do not force my beliefs on anyone, I do try to educate and create awareness.I don’t lay a guilt trip, but just give the facts. If people don’t know the reality, they cannot make informed choices, and I hope that I have planted a seed of kindness and compassion in them.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Tania

    Excellent Article Hj! You put all my thoughts on paper! Yes! Veganism is much more than a plant based diet, it is a way of life. It is about creating a world of love, peace and happiness that every living being is entitled to! After all, we are all connected!
    I truely believe that if non vegans begin to understand just want takes place behind the scenes to get the meat on their plate, the dairy they eat and the fur and leather they wear they would become vegan. How could you live a non vegan life if you know the facts? And, this is where we come in, to educate on facts, not opinions. You have always based everything on fact. I have learned through you, and now this is how I educate. It is amazing how many do listen through facts and with kindness…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Yvonne Egan

    Thank you Hj. What a great article. Thank you for not hating meat eaters or vegetarians. The best way is to always set an example as you do. I have seen really hateful comments from some vegans mainly on FB, so frightened to even admit I’m vegetarian. We are brought up with what our parents gave us as children, not that we can’t change that. I never ate much meat, which was chicken and beef, but it took me a long time to become vegetarian, far too long, and I am so sorry for that, 2 weeks before I turned 50. (I’m now 56). At that time I saw a report in the local paper about cruelty in an abattoir, and gave up meat from that day. I do have oat milk, hazelnut milk and sometimes almond milk, though I do have cows milk in tea and coffee, and eat yogurt sometimes. I eat lots of fruit and veg. I was eating soya yogurt, but I don’t think soya is good for me. I’m sure it affects the atrial fibrillation of my heart, which I suffer with, and I am on Warfarin (blood thinner), as I am at risk of a stroke with the AF, so some foods do affect me, even too much greens with the vitamin K as it works against the Warfarin or affects the AF, but they just up the dose for me, as I said I won’t give up green veg as I’m vegetarian. I have found most people respect me being a vegetarian, but funny reactions too like “Are you?” in a very puzzled way. I have more respect for you vegans and just a few changes needed for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awwwwwwwwww…………Thank you so much, dear Yvonne. Bless you. So glad that you’re a vegetarian. Please take care of your health. Do consult a vegan doctor, there are chances he/she might be able to help you with managing your diet. And thank you so much for being the change. Much respect.

      Like

    2. Yvonne Egan

      Thank you Hj. I’m going to look at information about having a good diet as a vegan. I know that vitamin B12 can be a problem so if anyone has any information about that I would be grateful.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sure Yvonne, yes please look into it. There must be some natural vegan sources. Anyway there are Vitamin B12 supplements are also available, I will check on it and will get back to you. Thank you.

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      2. Hi 🙂 Good to see you are interested to venture into veganism but constrained by certain health issues. There are enormous number of naturopaths on planet earth and do consult with them about your medical condition- even cancer is being cured by complete raw vegan diet! (google, Dr Lodi).

        Regarding B12: It is produced by a soil microbe in natural environment- so even farmed and zoo animals do not have the chance of ingesting them unless they were eating from the soil. Fermented foods have a moderate amount of B12 produced during fermentation. Eg: Fermented rice/millets (cooked grains, stored in water overnight to ferment), Sauerkraut, Ginger ale, Kombucha, Kefir, cashew yoghurt and Peanut yoghurt. Please take in all of them everyday along with your fruits and veggies.

        Animal milk (cow) has tonnes of antibiotics and cholesterol too. It can also cause gall/kidney stones and increase your blood cholesterol levels, adding on more pressure to your heart. Please use coconut milk, peanut milk, and cashew milk for coffee/tea, baking, ice creams and milkshakes. Fats in nuts are not cholesterol like in animals. Our cells are different from plant cells (that is why we belong to the animal kingdom).

        Amino acids are not only from animals, but from healthy plants too- like in millets, corn. Millets have all the essential amino acids required by humans. Consume a cup everyday instead of wheat or rice.

        For Vitamin D, Please expose to natural sunlight atleast 30mins every morning and practise some exercises during that time for ultimate fitness and peace.

        I became vegetarian 13 years ago and am vegan for 8 years. I am fitter, happier and more conscious about my existence 🙂 May the force be with you.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. You’ve covered so much in this blog! Well done Hj, very well stated.
    If someone chooses to ignore the facts the entire world suffers. Animals, humans, the planet.
    If I were not vegan already, I would be making positive moves to correct that after reading your blog.
    Stay true, young man!

    Like

  5. Christopher Evans

    Excellent article Hj !!! You say what needs to be said – Vegans are compassionate caring people who make an huge difference sparing our little planet with minimum impact, We are the future !!!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Nita Smith

    Yes I agree with all the above, you have written an excellent piece here on the subject of ethical veganism. I would add that plants have receptors and therefore don’t feel pain, they just react to stimulous (as far as I know), and they don’t have a brain either so the lack of a central nervous systom means they lack nerves which would travel to the brain and inform them of any pain.
    You are a credit to the movement, a respectful and respected person who is aware of the bigger picture and who can do so much to raise awareness of the need to stop abusing animals, go vegan and help save our beautiful dying Planet. Well done Hi, you deserve all the support and goodwill of everybody who cares .

    Liked by 1 person

  7. N

    Excellent article Srikanth !! You have covered so many points in a very easy to read, yet extensive way. It’s so heartening to see youngsters like you who are so passionate about Animal Rights. Way to go, young man, God bless 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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