5 Ethical REASONS You Should GO VEGAN (And Stay Vegan) - The Comprehensive Minds

5 Ethical REASONS You Should GO VEGAN (And Stay Vegan)

5 Ethical REASONS You Should GO VEGAN (And Stay Vegan) 

5 Ethical REASONS You Should GO VEGAN

According to experts,2019 was the year when veganism came into the mainstream. Demand for vegan food is driving restaurant chains to adopt more meat and dairy-free options. Oat milk is becoming a coffee shop staple. 

Celebrities are going vegan in record numbers, and a quarter of Americans between the age of 25 and 34 now identify as vegan or vegetarian. Here are five compelling reasons to make the shift to a vegan diet. 

Number one: Why eat one, and not the other? 


Have you ever asked yourself if pets and farm animals are really that different? North America is a nation of animal lovers. 85 million US households have at least one pet. A number that has more than doubled in the past 30 years. 

When it comes to our dinner plates, the USDA notes that Americans consume up to 220 pounds of red meat and poultry per person, per year. 

But why do we eat cows, chickens, pigs, and turkeys, and not a dog or cat? It turns out, dogs and farm animals aren't all that different. Cows are social animals, and they love to play just like dogs. They love physical contact too. 

Chin scratches, shoulder rubs, and belly rubs. Pigs are also like dogs. They can learn tricks. Can your dog play video games? Pigs can. 

Chickens form complex social structures and have 24 distinct vocalizations to communicate. They're highly intelligent birds and can recognize 100different human faces. Animals also have the capacity to suffer, just like humans. 

Farmers have admitted that when their babies are taken from them, dairy cows cry for days on end. Animal biologist Daniel Weary told Wired that calves grieve too. He said, "Sometimes you'll see a decline "in their willingness to eat food." Neuroscientist and founder of the Kimmel Center for Animal Advocacy, Doctor Lori Marino says that farm animals are sentient and capable of suffering. "Pigs have self-awareness," she says, "self-agency, "and have a sense of themselves "within the social community." 

Farm animals know what they are in for when they enter the slaughterhouse. And there is no nice or humane way to kill a being that does not want to die. Australian philanthropist, Philip Wollen says, - I discovered that when we suffer, we suffer as equals. And in their capacity to suffer, a dog is a pig is a bear is a boy. 

Number two: environmental impact

Ethical REASONS You Should GO VEGAN

Eating animals is destroying the environment. As most cultures across the globe have embraced a meat-eating lifestyle, the impact of meat consumption is the biggest threat to our planet. Animal agriculture is responsible for deforestation, as forests are clear cut to pasture animals and grow feed. 

In the past 50 years, about 17% of the Amazon Rainforest has been destroyed, and it is in large part due to cattle ranching. 

According to National Geographic, 80% of the world's animals live in forests, and deforestation has put animals such as orangutans and Sumatran tigers on the endangered species list, displacing them from their homes and jeopardizing their immediate future. 

Meat production is also affecting marine ecosystems. Animal waste and runoff can seep into our water supply. 

According to the natural resources Defense Council, animal waste can create algal blooms. This phenomenon creates what is known as an ocean dead zone, as the algal blooms suck up all of the oxygen out of the water. 

These areas do not support aquatic life, and fish have to swim farther out to sea to survive. The ocean dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico was first discovered in the 1950s and measured only 15 square miles by 1988. 

Today it covers 6,000to 7,000 square miles and is largely attributed to fertilizer use, animal waste, and other man-made pollutants. Animal agriculture is a leading cause of climate change, and it is endangering the home of future generations. 

Number three: Ending world hunger


Ditching animal products could eradicate the suffering of millions of people around the world, struggling with a lack of food. 

If you care about other humans, it is important to consider your food choices.  On a planet that grows sufficient food for all, a billion people go hungry. Another billion over-consume, increasing risks of chronic diseases.  

A large number of resources go into producing a burger. Pounds of soy and corn that a cow eats before the slaughter could be fed to humans instead. The land used to grow these crops could be diversified to grow other nutrient-rich foods for humans to consume. 

We can eliminate the middle man and get our nutrients straight from the source, rather than filtering it through an animal's body. The UN predicts that the global population will reach 9.8 billion by 2050, which will put further strain on our food system. 

A global food supply analysis, conducted by researchers at Lancaster University, has found that we can feed this growing population if there is radical societal adaptation. We currently grow enough edible crops worldwide to feed 9.8 billion people. 

So a shift to a plant-based diet would provide enough healthful food, and is a sustainable solution to the food crisis. It could help relieve the suffering of tens of millions. 

Number four: The reality of animal agriculture

animal agriculture

The animal agriculture industry is a dirty business. Its issues are systemic, and affect the lives of slaughterhouse workers, farmers, and animals. The industry employs around 700,000 workers in the United States, typically migrant workers from Latin America. 

Many are forced to work in unsafe conditions without proper contracts. Simply wanting to provide for their families, many fall into this line of work with nowhere else to go. Ted Genoways' book, "TheChain," touches on these issues at Hormel's slaughterhouses, and notes that the poor immigrant workers are treated only marginally better than the pigs they kill. Product demand is high in the business, and corporations want to make money. 

Healthy workers are faced with unrealistic expectations that jeopardize their safety, such as cutting meat faster to meet quotas. Workers who get injured are often harassed. Slaughterhouse lines are dangerous, and conditions are unsanitary, exposing workers to illness and disease. 

Due to the violence that slaughterhouse workers must inflict on a daily basis, many can develop psychological disorders, such as PTSD. Animals suffer at the hand of violence as well. Slaughtering processes are rapid, and procedures such as stunning are often ineffective. 

Countless animals are subjected to scalding tanks or having their throats slit and bodies dismembered while fully conscious. Many farmers are second or third generation and have had these businesses passed down to them. 

For some, raising animals may seem like the most viable career option. President of Mercy forAnimals, Leah Garces, explains. - These farmers come into this, very young quite often. They take out massive loans, and the only way to pay that debt off is to raise chickens. 

You get one sick flock, you miss a payment. And that payment and that loan are linked to your property and your land. Meaning, if you mess up, you are homeless. Like migrant workers, farmers are simply trying to make ends meet. 

Number five: Moral compass

5 Ethical REASONS You Should GO VEGAN (And Stay Vegan)

Could you kill? Animal rights activist Earthling Ed asks the important question. - It made me say to myself, "How do I morally justify "doing these things to animals?" Are my taste buds more important than their life? 

A short film by an animal rights group, Last Chance for Animals, brings this moral dilemma to light. If you had to kill the animal that becomes meat on your plate, could you do it? Face to face with a sentient being, most of us would be unable to. According to Peter Singer, professor of bioethics at Princeton University, and author of "Animal Liberation," widely regarded as the most important book on veganism, future generations will consider meat-eating to be barbaric. 

Especially when there are other healthful and delicious options available. He said, "I think we'll come to view eating meat "in the way we now look back on the Roman games. "Having crowds of enthusiastic people cheering on the lions "as they slaughtered the Christians. "Or gladiators fighting each other to the death." Studies have found that adopting a vegan diet can make you more compassionate elsewhere in your life too. 

When shown footage of an animal suffering, vegetarians, and vegans had higher activation in the part of the brain that triggers empathy. - If you were naturally meant to eat animals, not only would you be able to watch them being killed, you'd be able to kill them yourself. Yet so many of us feel the opposite of hunger when we see animals being killed. We feel repulsed.  

Conscious eating leads to compassion in other aspects of our lives, as humans realize that we are not more important than animals and that we are all equals on this planet we share. That's it for this article. What would make you go vegan? Let us know in the comments. 

pics credit: Google Images

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