3 Major Reasons to Go Vegan
Reason #1 to Go Vegan: Your Health
- Pasteurization of dairy milk destroys a majority of enzymes and vitamins and minerals. It denatures the proteins which makes it harder for our bodies to digest.
- Unexpected ingredients in dairy milk such as antibiotics can damage your digestive health and weaken your immune system. This has caused a surge in antibiotic-resistant bacteria. When humans are infected by these superbugs, antibiotics at best have decreased effectiveness.
- Proteins in milk acidify the body’s pH and causes a biological correction. Calcium is released from the bones to act as an acid neutralizer and leaves the body in our urine.
- rBGH is a genetically engineered Bovine Growth Hormone used to fatten up livestock and increase milk production. rBGH leads to an increase in IGF-1 (insulin growth factor). This has been linked to ovarian and prostate cancer.
- Red meats are high in saturated fat which raises blood cholesterol. High levels of LDL cholesterol increase the risk of heart disease. Saturated fat in meat has also been linked to cause breast cancer, diabetes, Alzheimers disease, dementia, and cognitive decline.
- The World Health Organization declared processed meats to be carcinogens. Consuming processed meats can increase your chance of developing colorectal cancer by 18%. Various studies have found that consuming red and white meat can also promote cancer in many forms.
- Meat carries the highest risk of food-borne illnesses such as E. coli, Salmonella, and Campylobacter. These food-borne illnesses cause an estimated 76 million illnesses per year.
Reason #2 to Go Vegan: The Environment
- As global demand for dairy and meat continues to increase there is a growing pressure on natural resources. Freshwater for feed and hydration and soil for farming.
- Cows and their manure produce greenhouse gas emissions which contribute to climate change. In addition, poor handling of manure and fertilizers can degrade local water resources.
- Unsustainable factory farming and feed production can lead to the loss of ecologically important areas, such as prairies, wetlands, and forests
- Factory farming commonly uses CAFOs (concentrated animal feeding operations). These feeding operations lead to a massive concentration of greenhouse gases and waste which impact the air, water, and land quality.
- In the grand scheme of things, it takes 2,000 gallons of water to produce 1 gallon of milk and 1,799 gallons to produce 1 lb of meat.
Reason #3 to Go Vegan: The Ethics
- The natural lifespan of a cow is approximately 20 years; however cows living on dairy farms typically only live for four or five years.
- Dairy cows are pumped full of antibiotics to keep them alive and producing milk in factory farm conditions. Because of this, cows often experience repeated infections like mastitis. This is an infection of the udder that causes them to feel unwell and experience great pain.
- Dairy cows are artificially inseminated to ensure that they continue to produce milk for as long as possible. Once a cow gives birth the calf is taken away from the mother in a matter of minutes.
- Cow’s milk is suited to the nutritional needs of calves, who have four stomachs and gain hundreds of pounds in a short span. Cow’s milk does not suit the nutritional needs of humans. In addition, humans are the only species that drink milk beyond their natural age of weaning or drink the milk of another species.
- On factory farms, animals are kept in cramped and cruel conditions. Majority of the animals will never see sunlight or breathe fresh air until the day they are shipped away for slaughter.
- With millions of hungry people worldwide, it seems idiotic to grow crops to feed animals raised for meat rather than growing food for people. Especially when it takes an exorbitant amount of water and grain to produce one pound of meat or one gallon of milk. This is an inefficient and wasteful process.
Tips for New Vegans
Going vegan may seem intimidating at first, which is why it’s best to ease into it by slowly substituting out animal products for non animal products. Once you’ve found suitable substitutes, going vegan becomes easy.
- Popular dairy milk substitutes include almond milk, cashew milk, soy milk, pea milk, hemp milk, rice milk, coconut milk, and oat milk.
- Popular meat substitutes include tofu, tempeh, seitan, textured vegetable protein, mushrooms, and lentils.
If you’re thinking about going vegan and don’t know where to start try slowly cutting out certain things from your diet. These “certain things” can be red meat, dairy milk, seafood, cheese, butter, white meat, etc. The process to go fully vegan can sometimes take years as its best not to rush and drastically change your diet as it will have an effect on your body.