Adopt A Vegetarian Or Vegan Diet

Introduction

Adopting vegetarian or vegan diets are the kindest things you can do to reduce the number of farm animals suffering. Animals involved in factory farming, and the meat industry endure cruelty beyond our comprehension. Because the egg and dairy industries cause equally great suffering to animals, being a vegan is the best thing of all you can do for the animals.

Being vegetarian means you can save around one hundred, or more, innocent farm animals’ from suffering and death every year, and eight animals lives in just a month. Being vegan, you do this too, and on top of this you spare many innocent animals in the egg and dairy industries abuse, misery and death.

Image: Some of the reasons people go vegan

fd6e9a9d50eb12b20e6ee97ff9910f43-1

As animal agriculture has such a huge carbon footprint, you can also help the environment by going having a vegetarian or vegan diet. See the “Why Do People Adopt A Vegetarian Or Vegan Diet, Or Are Meat Reducers?” section of this page for more information.

Further to this, your health may well improve, as this page looks at two extensive scientific studies. Findings include that eating red meat dramatically shortens your life span, increases the risk of prematurely dying from cancer and heart disease, and that vegans are less likely to have high blood pressure, obesity, Type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, certain cancers, and other conditions.

What Is Vegan? What Is Vegetarian? What Is Pescetarian? What is a Meat Reducer?

What is a vegetarian, vegan, pescetarian, and meat reducer? And what are the differences between them?

Vegan

In their diet, vegans do not eat meat, eggs, dairy, or any other animal product, for example, honey.

When veganism is adopted for the ethical reason of not wanting to cause animal suffering, having a vegan diet is just one aspect of leading a vegan lifestyle.

Image: Some aspects of the vegan lifestyle

vegan-starter-kit-image copyPart of the vegan lifestyle is avoiding funding animal suffering in all areas of their lives. For instance, they will not wear clothes made of leather, mulesing wool, or anything else derived from animals. These vegans would never purchase or wear real fur, considering it is sliced off the bodies of animals while they are alive and conscious. Some vegans will not purchase faux fur because it is known that real fur can be purposely mis-labelled and sold as faux fur.

These vegans will also not buy products tested on animals (see Cruelty Free Shopping). Many vegans will not buy or use products containing palm oil, as palm oil plantations are created by destroying the forest habitat of wild and endangered animals, such as orangutans. The forest is burned to clear the land, and many animals are killed in the fires. Orangutans and other animals are also killed by the plantation workers protecting the crops.

Some products state they use sustainable sources of palm oil, although there is doubt about how meaningful that is. To find out more, see here.

tumblr_static_3l7hdsmy7se88g4osks84cwgwVegans who live a vegan lifetyle to avoid contributing to animal cruelty will avoid going on holiday to countries with poor animal welfare standards, as that would be contributing to that countries economy and tourism industry. They will definitely never pay to go on animal rides provided for tourists, as they do not want to encourage exploitation of animals where the animal is often very badly treated.

Below: Elephants must endure the prolonged and terrible cruelty of having their spirits broken before they can be used for tourists to ride. They are also often abused and neglected throughout the rest of their lives. Vegans refuse to fund such cruelty.

worldanimalprotection.caVegans will sometimes refuse to purchase products that were made in countries with poor animal welfare records. Boycotting these countries is a way of protesting.

Vegans will not contribute to any industry they feel involves animal suffering.

A vegan diet may be adopted purely for health reasons, for example, in people who are allergic to, or intolerant of, meat and dairy products. Some people may adopt a vegan diet to avoid certain cancers and other health problems. Others do it to help the environment and help reduce world poverty. There is more information on this in the “Why Do People Adopt A Vegetarian Or Vegan Diet?” section.

Vegetarian

Vegetarians do not eat any meat, including fish.

Some vegetarians, who are vegetarian because they want to cause less animal cruelty, will opt to live like a vegan in all or most areas of their lives, but continue to include dairy and egg products in their diet.

Other people can be vegetarian because they do not like the taste of meat, they are meat intolerant, or avoid meat to try to prevent certain cancers and other health problems.

A vegetarian diet may also be chosen to help the planet, and help eradicate world poverty.

Pescetarian

pescetarian2-diet

Pescetarians do not eat meat, such as read meat and poultry, but they do eat fish.

It is less common for them to adopt an ethical lifestyle like vegans and some vegetarians.

Many pescetarians cut the meat out of their diet for the health benefits.

Meat Reducer

The term “meat reducer” refers to someone who is not vegetarian, but makes a conscious effort to reduce the amount of meat in their diet. They may do this for the health benefits

Return to Table of Contents

Variations in the Vegetarian Diet

“I’m A Vegetarian, But I Eat Fish”. There is no such thing as a vegetarian who eats fish. A person who does not eat meat but does eat fish, is called a pescetarian. No true vegetarian or vegan would eat fish.

There are varieties of the genuine vegetarian diet:

  • An ovo-vegetarian diet includes eggs but not dairy products,
  • A lacto-vegetarian diet includes dairy products but not eggs
  • An ovo-lacto vegetarian diet includes both eggs and dairy products.

Someone who consumes no animal products at all has a vegan diet.

Image: Variations in vegetarian diet

vegetarian-types

Return to Table of Contents

Why Do People Adopt A Vegetarian Or Vegan Diet, Or Are Meat Reducers?

There are a range of reasons people may choose a vegetarian or vegan diet.

Vegan-Poster1

To Stop Animal Cruelty

One reason people adopt a vegetarian or vegan diet or lifestyle is because they feel strongly opposed to the horrific cruelty that the meat, dairy and egg industries continuously inflict on animals.

Animals are only made to endure bad treatment, and the horrific terror and agony of slaughter, because people fund the industry by buying animal products. As long as people repeatedly fund it, the cruelty will continue. The only way to stop it, is to close your wallet to it.

Vegetarians and vegans against animal cruelty refuse to fund industries that causes such suffering. Each person can save around 100 animals from suffering every year, simply by not eating meat.

In addition to not eating meat, vegans who are opposed to animal cruelty will not eat eggs or dairy because of the cruelty of these industries. See the “How Do Animals In The Egg Industry Suffer?” for more information.

Vegans opposed to animal cruelty will not just adopt the vegan diet, but also adopt the vegan lifestyle.

Part of the vegan lifestyle is avoiding funding animal suffering in all areas of their lives. For instance, they will not wear clothes made of leather, mulesing wool, or anything else derived from animals. These vegans would never purchase or wear real fur, considering it is sliced off the bodies of animals while they are alive and conscious. Some vegans will not purchase faux fur because it is known that real fur can be purposely mis-labelled and sold as faux fur.

These vegans will also not buy products tested on animals (see Cruelty Free Shopping). Many vegans will not buy or use products containing palm oil, as palm oil plantations are created by destroying the forest habitat of wild and endangered animals, such as orangutans. The forest is burned, and many animals get killed in the fires. Orangutans and other animals are often also killed by the plantation workers who are protecting the crops.

Some products state they use sustainable sources of palm oil, although there is doubt about how meaningful that is. To find out more, see here.

To Help the Environment

Image: Greenhouse gases caused by transportation, compared to animal agriculture. Howard Lyman is a former cattle rancher turned campaigner.

carlagolde

Some people choose to have vegetarian or vegan diets to help the environment. Meat has a huge carbon footprint, due to the methane farm animals release, the planets rescources used, plus other factors. This is bad for the environment and contributes to global warming.

the-environmental-impact-of-dietIt alarming how much of the planets resources are used to produce just one pound of beef, and how much damage is done to the environment, as seen in the image above.

In contrast, the image below details the environmental benefits, as well as other advantages, of going vegan.

d788c736d71096794f031a1fa404c440

World Poverty And Starvation

Another reason people choose not to fund animal agriculture is to help combat world poverty and hunger. The images below demonstrate why.

4a869368d6ce0e5eb7a82784f228d789

For Non-Ethical Reasons

People can also adopt these diets for non-ethical reasons: They may not

like the taste of meat, they may want to improve their health, and they may wish to abstain from eating processed meat to avoid illnesses such as cancer.

The antibiotics pumped into farm animals are a big factor in the nation becoming immune to anti-biotics. Human deaths from infection are already growing alarmingly, due to anti-biotics failing to work. There is also concern about what effect growth hormones, and other drugs given to farm animals, are having on consumers of meat. These factors could also contribute to people deciding on a vegetarian or vegan diet.

Food allergies or an intolerance can also cause people to adopt vegetarian or vegan diets.

Some people have a vegetarian or vegan diet because of the religion they follow. Other reasons can be political, cultural, aesthetic or economic.

Einstein said “Nothing will benefit human health and increase chances of survival for life on earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet”

Vegan-vs-vegetarian-Albert-Einstein-Vegetarian-Diet-Quote

Why Be A Meat Reducer?

Meat reducers are people who consiously make an effort to reduce the amount of meat in their diet. They may do this because they recognise the health benefits of doing so, and/or they understand the impact animal agriculture has on the environment and want to reduce it.

Return to Table of Contents

Misconceptions And Myths About Vegetarian And Vegan Eating

It is a common misconception that the vegetarian and vegan diet consists eating nothing but plain fruit, vegetables, beans, lentils and pulses. It may surprise you to know that a number of the foods you are familiar with, found in supermarkets, are actually vegan.

Image: Surprisingly vegan food items

43e909743d840d3755d0b381bb498610

Vegetarians and vegans who like the taste of meat, but not the cruelty involved, often include meat flavoured food and synthetic meat in their diet. There are lots of meat flavoured food products in the diets of the genral population, such as beef flavoured Pot Noodles and meat flavoured crisps, that are actually vegan.

Find surprising vegan food items in the “Accidentally Vegan Food Products” section.

Image: Just a few of the meat flavoured vegan food products available

Unt888itled-1It is also a myth that if you do not eat meat you will not get enough protein, calcium, or other nutrients in your diet. When people live unhealthy lifestyles in all sorts of ways, such as smoking, drinking, eating processed meats, high fat and high sugar foods, nobody seems to bat an eyelid. But when people tell others that they are vegan, people suddenly seem very concerned about how it must be detremental to their health because of the lack of nutrients they think are in the diet.

290d37361d248a8f2bb21f47305f641eThe meat industry would have people think that meat is the only decent source of protein. In fact there are other rich sources of protein in a vegetarian or vegan diet, explained in the “Sources Of Protein In Vegetarian Or Vegan Foods” section of this page.

Image: People often wrongly think you cannot build muscle on a vegetarian, and especially, vegan diet.

8c0b7b921e9767826b80783fae569e7b

The dairy industry would have you think that milk is an essential source of calcium. In facrt, there are many vegan sources of calcium that are richer in calcium than dairy milk.

Image: People have been brain washed to think meat dairy and eggs are the only proper source of protein, calcium and other nutrients, and to go without these foods would be disastrous to health.

f8307886ef19f261528f1edb32562566Return to Table of Contents

Accidentally Vegan Food products In Supermarkets

Accidentally vegan food products refers to items of food that were not produced with being vegan in mind, and that are not marketed as vegan foods, but are vegan. Because they are not marketed as vegan, you may well be surprised that some of these products are vegan.

8b552cb48e0aefc5442f198803c1b879

Please be aware that palm oil is an ingredient of some of these foods and this can be a grey area for vegans. This is because palm oil itself is vegan, but the production of it is responsible for the destruction of habitat of endangered species, and the death of those, and other, animals. Unfortunately palm oil is in many products, although some products claim theirs is from sustainable sources.

Another consideration for vegans is whether they buy vegan products that are owned by companies who fund animal experimentation. Vegans who live the vegan lifetsyle will not do this.

You can find out which companies fund testing on animals on the Cruelty Free Shopping page.

Image: More foods you already consume than you may realise are vegan.

Accidentally-vegan-banner-770x385 copy

For a list of US accidentally vegan food, click here.

My Vegan Supermarket is a fabulous website that contains a large number of vegan products in UK supermarkets.  It does not list all products available, but it does have many. To get a fuller picture of vegan products available in UK supermarkets, it is necessary to look at other sources too, such as this list, and Peta’s list of 44 Accidentally Vegan Snack Foods. These lists contain mainly brand named products.

In addition, The Vegan Society provides complete lists of vegan food items from UK supermarkets, and includes own brands.

Return to Table of Contents

My Vegan Food Product Reviews

I decided to change from a vegetarian diet to a vegan one because I love animals and do not want to fund cruelty towards them. Going vegetarian took a large step towards that, but I was still unhappy that I was funding the cruel dairy and egg industries.

I started by trying all the vegan food products I could find in my local supermarkets and other shops. I posted pictures of all the vegan food products I had tried on social media, along with an honest account of what I thought about them. I am truthful enough to admit that some of the products I have found horrible, but others I have found even nicer than their egg/dairy laden equivalent.

I purchased more and more vegan food products, ordering them online, or buying them from shops such as the Eigth Day Co-op  in Manchester, and The Incredible Nutshell, Sheffield, if I was in the area (I only wish there were such shops where I live!).

If you would like to see all the many vegan food products I have tried, where I got them from, and what I thought about them, please feel welcome to join this Facebook group.

It may give you some ideas about what is available out there for U.K. vegans.

I continue to add new products as I purchase and try them.

I definitely have favourites out of all the vegan food products I have tried, which I keep buying again and again and always have in my house. Some of them I buy in bulk because it is cheaper. I also have some favourite vegan cosmetic products. See some of my favourite products below, but don’t be put off buying vegan products by the prices below, as many of them can be found cheaper if you have time to shop around.

  • Kiss My Face 3 in 1 Broad Spectrum SPF 30, Ultra Moisturising, Matt Look, Non-greasy Facial Sun Protection – I tried quite a few different vegan facial sun protection products to find sun protection that didn’t leave my face looking oily, and felt nice. I settled on this vegan formulation because it gives a nice matte appearance, and feels not too oily or too dry either. I have tried quite a few other products that do. Some were more expensive and much more disappointing. This one is waterproof and has no palm oil in, so is also kind to the animals in the rain forest.

  • Having such a sweet tooth, I found most vegan chocolate not sweet enough. But then I found Vivani (the smaller version of the bar) or  iChoc White Nougat Crisp. I do prefer it when it is slightly melted though. This may sound a little strange, but I usually sit on it, using my heat to soften it up!

  • So Free Chocolate Orange Spread from Plamil – This is the closest vegan chocolate taste I have found to Terry’s Chocolate Orange. With being a spread, the texture is softer, but the taste is extremely close indeed. I love it, it is actually sweet enough for me, which most vegan chocolate product are not. I wish it came in bar or confectionery form too, tasting exactly the same, and with the lovely spread as the filling.

  • Mr Organic Chocolate Hazelnut Spread  – This is definitely the nearest vegan taste I can find to Nutella. It tastes just about exactly the same as Nutella to me – nearer than any vegan chocolate I have tried, including Vego bars, which other people told me tasted like Nutella. It is perfect in sweetness and I absolutely love it. I wish it came in bar or other confectionary form too, with thi squishy spread in the middle. It is more expensive than the chocolate orange spread, above, probably because it has no palm oil in it to help save the rainforests, but it is so tasty, it is worth the money.

  • My Protein Flavdrops, Toffee Flavour – I find the toffee Flavdrops are delicious in hot drinks, in vegan milk, smoothies, and other things. Please note that the Strawberry and Raspberry flavours of the same brand are not vegan, as they contain the red coloured carmine food colouring, which consists of crushed beetles.

  • Alpro/Provamel Cashew Milk – I have tried most of the available milk alternatives and my favourite is Alpro (also called Provamel) Cashew milk.  It taste most like cows milk out of the ones I have tried, and also has the most subtle taste. It is nice to drink on its own and nice in anything else.

  • Rice Dreams rice milk – This is my second favourite vegan milk alternative, as it reminds me of the taste of rice pudding. It also tastes lovely and creamy in cereal, tea and coffee, etc. Unless I drink the milk on its own, I cannot taste the rice flavour. There is also a vanilla flavour available.

 

  • Alpro Custard in a carton (which tastes the same as the vanilla dessert to me)…

  • …and these tasty Alpro chocolate milkshakes. With all the Alpro products, I cannot detect any “woody” kind of taste that I sometimes can with soya milk products. I would never be able to tell that they were not made with cows milk.

 

Return to Table of Contents

Non Vegan Ingredients To Watch Out For

In ingredients lists on food packages it is sometimes not clear what is vegan and what isn’t, unless you know the terms used. Here are a few to look out for:

  • Cochineal, Carmine or anything that sounds like it is a red food coloring made from ground-up beetles.
  • Casein and similar-sounding substances are milk proteins.
  • Collagen and keratin are rendered slaughterhouse proteins.
  • Gelatin is derived from the skins or bones of animals.
  • Lactose is a sugar extracted from milk.
  • Lard and tallow are both fancy names for animal fat.
  • Whey is a milk-based byproduct of cheese making.
  • Glycerine, lactic acid, mono or diglycerides, and stearic acid can be produced from slaughterhouse fat, but they could also be vegan.

If you do not want products with palm oil in, there are many names that can be used for palm oil – over 200! You can see these names here.

Some products are vague and only list vegetable oil, which could be palm oil. If the label states vegetable oil and then goes on to state the amount of saturated fat,  it will be either palm kernel oil, palm oil or coconut, as other vegetable oils are not saturated.

Please note: Palm Sugar is a different species of palm and is not palm oil.  Vegetable gum is not palm oil derived.

Return to Table of Contents

What Are The Alternatives To Dairy And Eggs In Vegan Eating?

DAIRY:

There are a large number of milk products available that are an alternative to dairy milk. These are commonly found in the vegan diet.

Image: Just a few milk alternatives. With so many, why would anyone with any humanity choose a milk that causes so much suffering?! 

10-best-plant-based-milk-alternativesMy personal favourite is Alpro (Also Known as Provamel) Cashew milk. Out of all the milk alternatives I’ve tried – which is most of them – the Alpro Cashew milk has the most subtle taste, and is nearest in taste to cows milk. It is lovely to drink on its own and great to have in other things. I can get it reasonably priced from my local supermarket.

I have tried many milk alternatives. and quite like Rice Dreams rice milk too, as it reminds me of the taste of creamy rice pudding, although it is not as sweet as that. There is also soya milk, a favourite of many people. To me, this has a slight woody, wholemeal taste, not as sweet as rice milk, and not a favourite of mine. The taste does vary from brand to brand, and Alpro Soya Milk, when it is the fresh refridgerated kind, has a less woody taste.

Additionally, there is coconut milk. Almond milk, hazelnut milk, Hemp milk, oat milk, and others.

Image: Reasons to avoid dairy

why-go-vegan

There are dairy free margarines and sunflower spreads avaiable, such as Pure, Vitalite Dairy Free, and Flora Freedom. Look out for what kind of vitamin D is in products though: Vitamin D3 is animal derived, whereas vitamin D2 is vegan.

There are a number of vegan cheese brands available, such as Daiya, Sheese, Violife, Vegusto, Cheezly, Vegan Gourmet, and Wilmersburger, Tyne Cheese, and more. They have many different types and flavours. There will be many you do not like, but you will find some you do.

Image: Just a few of the vegan cheeses available

vegan-cheeses

EGGS:

Buying eggs means you are automatically funding a cruel industry that kills countless one day old chicks by grinding them up alive, or suffocating them. This is just because they happen to be male, and of no use to the egg industry.

The only real cruelty free way to continue to consume eggs, is if you can purchase ex-battery hen eggs from somebody who has adopted ex-battery hens, saving them from being slaughtered. Alternatively, you could adopt ex-battery hens yourself if you have the room.

Another option is to use an egg replacement product such as The Vegg. This is a vegan egg yolk made from plant based ingredients. There are also other vegan egg replacement products.

Hundreds of thousands of battery hens are regularly slaughtered after spending a hellish life in a tiny cage, never able to properly spread their wings, and never being let out. a very lucky few who get rescued and adopted get to avoid the horrific terror and agony of slaughter, and instead get to have the nice retirement they more than deserve.

Image:  Before and after rescued ex-battery hens, from Homes For Hens

19770883 copy

To find out about adopting ex-battery hens, see the links below, depending on which country you are based in.

Alternatively, put a search term such as “Adopt battery hens” or “rescue ex-battery hens” in to a search engine. There are many small local hen rescues, as well as larger ones covering wider areas.

Fresh Start For Hens

British Hen Welfare Trust

Homes For Hens

Here are some tips if you would like to adopt some ex-battery hens.

Return to Table of Contents

Sources Of Protein In Vegetarian Or Vegan Food

People often think that a vegetarian or vegan diet will not provide enough protein. This can be of particular concern to sporty or active people, who often think they need as much protein as possible.

Discuss-Vegan-1

Although protein is an essential nutrient that has a major role in making our bodies function properly, too much protein can lead to health problems. A balanced diet is the healthiest, and this can easily be achieved with a vegetarian or vegan diet.

Image: Sources of vegan protein

PLANT-PROTEIN3

Too much protein can lead to Kidney and digestive problems, osteoporosis, allergies and malnutrition. Also linked to the intake of too much protein is ketosis – heart disease – and even cancer.

Good quality protein can be gained from vegan foods such as nuts, beans, grains, lentils, seeds, spinach, broccoli, brussels sprouts, asparagus, cauliflower, Watercress and tofu.

Pea protein powder, hemp protein or ground seeds such as flax-seed can be added to meals and soups to add protein, without changing their flavour.

Image: Compare the percentages of protein in the many vegan protein sources, with the animal product sources in the red box

404633_368695753215227_1409828774_n

For more information about protein rich foods found in the vegetarian and vegan diet, see High Protein Vegan & Vegetarian Foods

 

Return to Table of Contents

How Can I Get Enough Calcium In Vegan Food?

People can sometimes worry that they will not get enough calcium if they have a vegan diet. This is because the dairy industry has always had us believe that cows milk is vital in our diet for it’s calcium content.

In fact, there are many foods commonly found in the vegan diet which contain sufficient calcium. A number of these contain far more calcium than dairy milk does.

Image: Just a few sources of calcium for vegans

vegan-calcium-infographic

Vegan milk, such as rice milk, soya milk and coconut milk, are often fortified with calcium. Fruit juice can also have added calcium.

Dark leafy green vegetables are rich in calcium, as is tofu, soya yoghurt and other foods.

Lowering your intake of sodium salt will prevent losses of calcium and regular exercise helps to keep bones strong.

Calcium supplements are effective if you do not feel as though you are getting enough calcium through your food.

For more information about calcium in a vegan diet, see this website: Calcium In The Vegan Diet.

49502814

Return to Table of Contents

The Harvard Medical School Study: Red Meat Causes Premature Death

Harvard Medical School carried out an extensive study, involving 120,000 men and women, over 18 years from 1986 to 2008.

Both processed and unprocessed red meat was found to markedly reduce peoples life span, increasing the occurrence of premature fatal cancer and heart disease.

Image: Logo of the prestigious and highly respected Harvard Medical School

Capture

The researchers said that, adding one portion of unprocessed red meat to someone’s daily diet would increase the risk of death by 13%, of fatal cardiovascular disease by 18% and of cancer mortality by 10%.

The figures for processed meat are higher, causing a 20% increase in overall mortality, 21% increase of death from heart problems and a 16% increase of death from cancer.

The study, published in ‘Archives of Internal Medicine’, said: “We found that a higher intake of red meat was associated with a significantly elevated risk of total, cardiovascular disease, and cancer mortality.

A healthier alternative is substituting the meat with other sources of protein, such as mentioned in the ‘What Are Sources Of Protein In A Vegetarian Or Vegan Diet?’ section, above, on this page.

Return to Table of Contents

The China Study

Another extensive research study was The China Study. It is the most comprehensive study of nutriton ever conducted.

The central message of this extraordinary book is: consume whole foods in the context of a plant-based diet. If you do you will greatly decrease the likelihood that you will die prematurely from the “diseases of affluence” that ravage our society, including cancer, heart failure and diabetes.

Image: The China Study book details startling findings.

5102rgIrH1L

The research showed that cancer growth could virtually be turned on or off by changing the level of animal protein consumed.

The primary findings of the study is that animal based proteins affect the rate of cancer in any given population. Other things such as fiber are considered, but overall, the effects of animal protein was the most startling. Animal based proteins in the form of meat, milk, yogurt, cheese and eggs, are all on the “avoid” list.

The publication of this information lead to the researchers being targeted by those who profit from the sale of animal protein, who were keen to discredit the study and its researchers.

The study was published in a book. Since then, various related books have been published, including The China Study Solution and  The China Study Quick & Easy Cookbook.

Return to Table of Contents

How Do Animals In The Meat Industry Suffer?

To find out how animals suffer in the meat industry, see the Factory Farming and From Farm To Slaughter House pages.

Animals reared for meat endure much more cruelty than the industry wants people to know. A sad fact is that as long as you buy meat products, you are funding the industry’s cruelty to animals.

Please, close your wallet to cruelty, not your eyes.

9ce877eba550e0a6e04c81b00353e034

Return to Table of Contents

How Do Animals In The Dairy Industry Suffer?

Cows in the dairy industry are forcibly kept pregnant in order to produce milk. That results in innocent calves regularly being born, then kept in crates that they cannot even turn around in until it is time for these terrified animals to be violently slaughtered. Sometimes the calves are simply cast aside and left to die while its mother’s milk is stolen for humans.

Heart-breakingly, the separated mother and calf pine continuously for each other, all in vain.

Image: Every mother and child feels the bond, including dairy cows and calfs

Mother and child DAIRYFaded-sepia

The udders of the dairy cows are often so weighed down with milk that they touch the ground, causing the animal unrelenting pain. When no longer of use, the cow is forced through the unimaginably painful and terrifying process of being slaughtered.

Return to Table of Contents

How Do Animals In The Egg Industry Suffer?

In the egg industry, millions of male chicks are thrown in to grinding and mincing machines and ground up ALIVE. This is because they are no use for egg laying, and are not special fast-growing chickens suitable for the meat industry either.

Another way of disposing of the newly born chicks is throwing them in bins to die where they are crushed to death under each others weight, they are left to die from exposure, or they gassed to death or suffocated, causing them to be terrified and panicked as they desperately try to gasp for breath.

Chicks are first de-beaked at one day of age and then again at seven weeks, all without the use of anesthetics. Sometimes the pain is so great that the hens cannot eat let alone preen or drink and subsequently may starve to death.

Many studies have been conducted on chickens and other birds, and there is no doubt of the pain they can feel. Professor of neuroscience and animal behavior at the University of New England Dr. Lesley Rogers states, “It is clear now that birds have cognitive capacities equivalent to those of mammals, even primates.”

Image: Chicks who are subjected to horrific cruelty in the egg industry. Credit: https: SAAWInternational

chicks1

The chicks that are not ground up alive face a life time of torment and mental torture trapped in tiny cages as battery hens, victims of factory farming. They cannot properly spread their wings for their entire lives and are driven so mad that they resort to self-harming behaviour.

Image: Caged hens have to stretch their necks over “feeder fences,” which eventually wears away their neck feathers and causes throat blisters. they also tear out their own and each others’ feathers.

gpfqCMhNuOAieKB-1600x900-noPad

The conditions cause various diseases in the respitory and reproductive systems of the young hens. Bits of egg often clog their oviducts of the female birds, leading to pain, inflammation and then paralysis. Also, Hens have been bred to lay eggs bigger than their bodies can cope with. this means that as the chickens are forced to expel oversized eggs on a daily basis, the uterus collapses or become displaced.

The only time these hens are released from their painful and cramped prison is to endure terrifying and agonising slaughter. Buying eggs funds all this cruelty, from the chicks killed so cruelly, right through to the horrific slaughter of the battery hens.

In the supermarkets, the term “barn eggs” conjures up images of a few birds in a big barn. In reality, in a commercial operation where profit is king, they are packed in tightly, walking in their faecies with the ammonia burning their feet and lungs, and walking over dead bodies of other hens. “Free range” is similarly very different to what you would expect.

Even if you buy eggs from a small local supplier where you are able to check that there is no such cruelty, the fact remains that you will still be supporting an industry where male chicks are killed for being no use, and hens that are past their egg-laying best are killed for no longer being of use.

By adopting a vegan diet you are reducing the demand for eggs and therefore the requirement to carry out such acts as described above.

Return to Table of Contents

Why Is Honey Not Considered Vegan?

Honey is made by bees for bees, and their health is sacrificed when it is harvested by humans.

There can be additional cruelty involved in honey production in that bees are often killed when they are finished with.

In the twentieth century, bees became factory farmed. It’s not unusual for larger honey producers to cut off the queen bee’s wings so that she can’t leave the colony, or to have her artificially inseminated on a bee-sized version of the factory farm “rape rack.” Bees are often killed or have their wings and legs torn off by haphazard human handling. When the keeper wants to move a queen to a new colony, she is carried with “bodyguard” bees. If these bodyguard bees survive transport, they are killed by bees in the new colony.

Image: Bees producing honey

images-1

Queen bees can live for five years, but the human chooses a new queen, often every two years, and the old queen is killed. This is done as it helps the human have control over the hive, and keep honey production at a maximum.

Queens are bred for commercial honey production and sent anywhere in the country through the postage system. During that journey they can be over heated, chilled to death, left out in the sun for hours (desiccated), injured or killed when banged around in baggage compartments, and exposed to insecticides. They may also sit in storage for days.

Image: Hundreds of queens that have been bred for commercial bee keeping in small individual cages with a few nursing bees, to be flown anywhere in the country through the postage system, where they can come to harm.

queen

Some large commercial operations take all the honey instead of leaving the 60 pounds or so that bees need to get through the winter. They sometimes replace it with a cheap sugar substitute that is not as fortifying. If the keepers consider it too costly to keep the bees alive through the winter, especially in colder areas, they destroy the hives and bees using cyanide gas.

Bees are animals with a large nervous system (Snodgrass, 254), capable of transmitting pain signals. We can look at scientific studies to to see that that bees feel pain.

Like any large commercial operation involving animals, commercial bee keeping operations are most concerned with profit, and if cruelty means more profit, that is what happens.

Many people are frightened of bees because of their sting, but bees only ever sting when they think they are going to be killed. Using their one and only sting means the bee dies, so stinging is their last, desperate lash out at what they see as their predator, before dying.

It is wasps who can sting more than once and do not die from stinging. People sometimes confuse the two.

Image: Most people can recognise the big far furry bumble bee, but the slimmer honey bee often gets mistaken for a wasp.

86e9eafc6451aeb60adaa8e4f8daf8e0Return to Table of Contents

Arguments People Use To Justify Funding Animal Cruelty

Some people do not seem able to understand that the number of products that are supplied is equal to the demand there is for the products. Without demand, there would be no supply.

Every person who eats meat, eggs & dairy means more animals suffering cruel lives and dieing undeserved horrific deaths.

ec74e27116b07a7ca6322c3b9deb045e

Every piece of meat purchased is replaced, and the average person can eat around 100 animals a year. That means that, because people buy the meat, they are funding the cruelty and are ultimately responsible for the horrific terror and pain around 100 animals a year are put through for the meat to be produced.

Image: You can save the lives and the terrible suffering of eight sentient animals in just one month of not eating meat.

00074413a138cc26ba47e6ef92bf14f8-1

The following statements are common excuses given by people who do not seem to grasp the concept of supply being equal to demand, and who want to shirk responsibility for the suffering they cause animals.

All the following commonly used excuses are missing the point:

“I didn’t kill it, it was already dead.”

“You can’t bring it back to life now, so I might as well have it.”

“If I don’t have it, someone else will, so I might as well.”

“I don’t ask them to kill them in that way”

Whatever the excuse, it comes down to this: As long as a person’s money goes to an industry where animals are suffering, the person is funding that suffering. Their demand for it, and funding of it, is the ONLY reason it is happening. Stop the funding and demand, and the suffering will stop. This is where a vegan diet or vegetarian diet can help.

Image: People can be very sensitive about “their right” to eat meat, which they selfishly put above the right an animal has not to suffer. 

fe3b92a0e52a48772e0117dca9be0215

People often try to reason that man has hunted and eaten meat since the beginning of time. Not true. Man was a gatherer, and vegan, before becoming a hunter-gatherer when he moved to areas where edible vegetation was scarce, and where he needed to learn how to create tools to hunt animals.

People say that we wouldn’t have canine and incisor teeth if we weren’t meant to eat meat. Gorillas have these teeth (which make ours look rather pathetic in comparison), but they do not eat meat. This is also true of a number of other non-meat eating animals. All our teeth – incisors, canines, premolars and molars – are useful for any kind of diet, including vegan.

Image: Gorilla canine and incisor teeth. Source: Freefromharm.org

freefromharm

Another argument made is that there are plenty animals who kill other animals, and that it is just nature. In the wild, predator animals hunt because it is instinctual and the alternative would be starvation. They do not have the moral compass humans possess to help them make the right moral choice. Also, humans thrive on a vegan diet.

We don’t defer to non-human species on other moral matters, so why would be about diet? When a mother owl encourages her chicks to peck the youngest sibling to death and eat it because food is scarce, do we think ‘That’s a good idea for when money’s tight!’?.

You can find many more commonly used excuses, arguments and questions here.

Below: There’s a reason kids don’t get taken to slaughterhouses to see “how their food is made”. Because the suffering they would see is so unimaginably horrific. And all unecessary since we do not need meat to be healthy  or survive.

fb1f7d9ecb95a619fb1990e739e84da0

Return to Table of Contents

Why Do People Who Claim They Are Against Animal Cruelty Eat Meat And Dairy Products And Eggs?

Many people claim they are animal lovers and against animal cruelty, but still fund cruelty against farm animals by consuming animal products. They seem to justify this by saying things such as “That’s what farm animals are there for, that is their purpose, whereas pets aren’t meant to be eaten”. This is even though pets and farm animals have the same capacity for pain. Also, pigs are more intelligent than dogs, and even a three year old child!

Image: Why do people think it is OK to love one animal and be the cause of a horrific and terrifying death for another? 

why-love-one

 

People apparently miss the point that farm animals have the same capacity to suffer pain and fear as domestic animals – and humans. This makes any further arguments they may have seem weak.

They may talk about having the right and freedom to choose, but the debate is not whether a person has the right to choose or not, it is the morality of causing suffering to innocent animals. People cannot deny the immorality of causing a life of suffering, then a death of terror and agony, to an innocent animal.

What it comes down to is that people make a choice based on what they think is most important:

1) Supporting and funding animal cruelty towards certain animals seems to be acceptable with many people who claim to be animal lovers against animal cruelty, because it means they get to please their palate with the food that they are used to.

2) To other people who claim to be animal lovers against animal cruelty, NOT supporting and funding horrific cruelty towards ANY animal is so important to them that they are willing to go out of their way to become used to cruelty free food.

d1866f9aae5d9a5f68ac196e10d24342

Many people, including none animal lovers, feel that people who hold the views of group 1) are hypocritical and selfish. It is illogical for them to be against cruelty towards domestic animals and not farm animals, when they all have the same capacity to suffer just what we, or our companion pets, would suffer in the same situation.

Some meat eaters only eat meat that comes from local farms where they have found out animals are not factory farmed. They purchase this meat from farm shops and butchers who supply meat from those farms.

This is sometimes referred to as ethically sourced meat, because the person has made sure the animals do not have a life of misery being factory farmed, and are free range animals instead. However, the animals are still transported to a slaughter house and put through a horrifying, terrifying and agonising slaughter.

“I have unfortunately been inside slaughterhouses. The animals fight with every bit of strength they have left at the end of that kill line. They fight to get out of that kill line. They don’t want to die, and they know it’s coming. They see, and they know exactly what’s going to happen to them. There is absolutely no truth that any process of slaughtering is humane. From the moment those animals are taken from those trucks and forced through the slaughtering process, it is the most inhumane treatment that I have ever witnessed.”–Cayce Mell

Around 40% of animals stunned in slaughter houses are not effectively stunned, meaning the animals feel the agony of having their throats slit and being immersed in scalding tanks before they have bled to death.

Halal meat, which muslims eat, means the animals do not get stunned before their throats are cut.

Return to Table of Contents

Food Intolerance

If you suffer an ailment, including eczema, acne, lethargy or migraines, it may be due to an unexpected food intolerance. Completely cutting out the foods you are intolerant to for between 3 and 12 months, depending on the severity of the intolerance, could cure your symptoms.

Cow/goat/sheep milk, eggs and meat are all ingredients that you could be intolerant to. In fact, dairy is the food people most often have an intolerance to, and part of a vegan diet is to cut dairy products out of your consumption.

This could be because humans drinking the milk of an animal meant for it’s young is unnatural. We have been brought up and conditioned to think of it as normal, when in reality it is far from it.

Depending on your intolerance, it may be advisable to take supplements to replace any nutrients lacking in your diet.

Return to Table of Contents

Can Pets Be Vegetarian Or Vegan?

Many pets, such as rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, gerbils, etc, already have a vegetarian or vegan diet.

Dogs can live on either a diet including meat, or a meat free vegetarian or vegan diet. There are meat free dog foods that are specifically formulated so that the dog gets all the nutrients it needs.

Image: Some brands of vegetarian and vegan dog food

b01a95_8ce5dac8ae154d8e82d484a2a11c97f82

Most dry dog foods that are not meat free usually only contain around 4% meat. Meat put in pet foods is often the left overs from the slaughter house that are unfit for human consumption.

Feeding cats on meat free food is also possible, if they find it palatable. Cats need Taurine in their diet, which is found in animals. It is also a synthetic nutrient which has been manufactured since 1930. Commercial meat-based cat food manufacturers add in synthetic Taurine because the meat digest rendering process neutralizes the naturally-occurring Taurine in the meat. Therefore, synthetic taurine is also added into vegetarian and vegan cat food. If you look at how much meat is actually in your cat food, especially dried cat food, you will see that there is not a huge difference between that and veggie or vegan cat food.

Image: Some brands of vegan cat food

united223

See The Vegan Cat Institiute for more information on vegan cat diets.

With any pet, it is best to change their diet gradually.

Return to Table of Contents

Famous Vegans & Vegetarians

Below is an image showing just a few famous vegetarians and vegans. These include Super-model Adriana Karembeu, Lenny Kravitz, Alannis Morrisette, Einstein, Doris Day, Robert Redford, Sinead O’Connor, Alicia Silverstone, Alyssa Milano, Dustin Hoffman, Chrissie Hind, Vanessa Williams, Amanda Holden, Super-model Amber Valletta, Anne Hathaway, Ashley Judd, Woody Harrelson, Jackie Chan, Brad Pitt, Ellen Degeneres, Christian Bale, Orlando Bloom, Daryl Hannah, Liv Tyler, Paul McCartney, Hayden Panettiere, Brigit Bardot, Pamela Anderson, Samuel L Jackson, Shania Twain, Bryan Adams, Heather Mills, Christina Applegate, Russel Brand, Moby, Natalie Portman, Kim Basinger, Jodie Marsh, Pierce Brosnan, Joss Stone, Portia de Rossi, Jessica Biel, Morrisey, Pink, Alec Baldwin, and Martina Navratilova. There are many more besides.

Vegan Diet: Celebrity well known famous vegetarians and vegans
 Image: Quote from Leo Tolstoy, author of War and Peace
2db6760f956d942c4442783fcf8a8583

How To Spread the Word

First of all…ht

Sharing information from this site on social media sites is a good way to raise awareness of how vegetariansim and veganism can make a huge difference to stopping animal suffering.

However, you have to be careful to do it in a way that does not make people feel you are hostile towards them and attacking them. If they do, you will get their backs up, and then other people join in the argument, you will be accused of attacking people and being unreasonable, and nothing is achieved apart from a lot of bad feeling towards you.

It is very hard to hold your tongue (or your typing fingers) when you feel people are being so unreasonable and hostile to you, but if you can keep calm and not lose your temper, people will be more receptive.

The friendly, gentle, tactful, patient and persistent approach is usually more fruitful. Just planting the seed gives people something to think about.

You can also spread such messages in other ways, such as wearing the information for people to read on clothes and accessories. See our fundraising store for a selection of clothing and accessories that can help do that.

Image: Spread information about the cruel dairy industry and the cruel egg industry T-shirts like the ones below, printed both front and back, and available in a range of colours from our fundraising store.

tshirt-EGG2

tshirt-DAIRY-Faded-sepia

It will often feel like you never get anywhere with anyone, but you don’t know who will end up seeing the information you have shared, or who will have read the messages on your clothes, and how they might be affected by it.

Return to Table of Contents

What Other Animal Cruelty Happens And What Else Can Be Done To Stop It?

If you would like to learn more about why we so urgently need to help stop animal suffering, please have a look at the Types Of Animal Cruelty section of this site. This section will allow you to broaden your knowledge of many different types of animal abuse that happens in the world.

Sadly, what you will find is only the tip of the iceberg, but do not worry, because in the Help Stop Animal Cruelty section of this site, you can find a large and varied choice of ways that you can help stop the suffering. Have a look and see what ways would most suit you.

5028640618

Return To Table Of Contents