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The Basic Vegan Introduction

By June 12, 2021No Comments

Introduction

Welcome friends & family 🙂 as you will be the only ones reading this post. Here’s my new website and my minor part of vegan activism. The reason I am doing this is to spread awareness about the cruelty and suffering happening all across the world. As you all know, I was an avid meat eater a couple of months prior to this post. I was ignorant and completely misinformed about the meat & dairy industry. 

Period of research – Taste & Convenience

I spent a couple of weeks educating myself about the argument for veganism and the argument against. The results were pretty conclusive. The only arguments against veganism was (1) taste and (2) convenience. The former is less relevant now, you can literally (if living in the UK for example) get plant based burgers that taste EXACTLY like beef or chicken. I know this because I have only been vegan for a couple of months. Therefore, why would I get a pork sausage roll from Greggs when I can get a plant based one? Both of which have a very similar macronutrient profile and taste the same, yet the former contains the flesh of a dead pig, that more than likely lived a terrible live and ultimately ended up in a gas chamber where it died in complete terror. Knowing the process of what happens, how can you consciously choose the pork option over the plant option? Providing you are against animal cruelty and suffering. Ultimately, it comes down to the simple question of “are your taste buds worth more than an animals life?”

I love animals, and after seeing what happens in slaughterhouses and farms, I could no longer justify my taste over the cruelty these animals have to endure. Five minutes of sensory pleasure while eating a cheese pizza does not justify the pain a mother cow endures when her baby is taken away and slaughtered or when she is forcefully impregnated and used as a milk machine. These animals are sentient beings who want to live, experience emotions and a sense of reality. We wouldn’t harm other animal species, so why are we mindlessly breeding and then killing pigs, cows, fish, lambs, chickens etc. for meat? We wouldn’t do this with dogs and cats? 

The next point is convenience. This is also less relevant, everywhere you go in the UK there is vegan options. More and more restaurants and cafes are adapting to meet the demand, and I can only see vegan options expanding in the future. So much so, I’ve put a large portion of my wealth into vegan based food companies that are creating tasty plant based alternatives. Online there is readily available vegan friendly recipes that taste great and communities that will provide you meal plans, nutrition advice and general help on your vegan journey (see reddit /r vegan and challenge 22).

Period of research – Lesser Arguments

So both taste and convenience are less relevant. Other lesser arguments against veganism have been disproved in the research I did i.e. 

  1. Vegans don’t get enough protein – see vegan bodybuilders
  2. Vegans are nutrient deficient – see vegan nutrients (with the only notable exception b12)
  3. Vegans are unhealthy and a vegan diet is not suitable for children or pregnant women – see empirical stance on a vegan diet

But don’t just take my word for it, watch the following videos and educate yourself on the matter about any concerns or queries you may have:

Every argument against veganism (TEDx Talk) and Top 15 Arguments Against Veganism (DEBUNKED)

Period of research – So what are the argument FOR veganism? 

Now that the arguments against veganism have been addressed, why did I go vegan and why I would encourage my friends and family to do the same. I personally went on this vegan journey after watching various documentaries on the matter (which I highly encourage). They include cowspiracy, game changers and a couple others. I had already dabbled in various vegan content on Youtube, and was aware of the growing vegan communities i.e. in Chiang Mai and Bali. Seeds had been planted in my head long before 2020 and it was just a matter of time before I stopped being ignorant, and dived deeper. 

I became more and more curious about veganism and wanted to learn more. I first educated myself about why you should go vegan… what’s the benefits? However everything clicked when I saw the suffering these animals endure and then ultimately being murdered because of our taste buds. Knowing what happens to these animals, I could no longer ethically or morally continuing supporting these industries. I had successfully connected the dots between the nicely marketed meat on the shelves of the supermarket to the gas chambers and bolt guns in the slaughter houses. The more I learnt about what happens within animal agriculture, the more despair, anger and sadness I feel for all of these poor animals enslaved and exploited simply for our taste. And that was the main driver for me, I would no longer contribute to that suffering. 

When you couple the above with the environment benefits and health benefits, it really becomes a no brainer for a conscious and thoughtful individual who cares about the world, themselves and others. We are on the path of having fishless oceans by 2048, climate change is not going away, 90% of the rainforest is being cut down for animal agriculture and EVERYDAY up to 150 species become extinct. By going vegan, you can reduce your carbon footprint by 78%, help reduce world hunger and protect vulnerable environments and species. Consuming your calories by eating meat and dairy products is simply inefficient. If everybody cut out meat from their diet, the following would happen: 

  • A 49 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from food production. (The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations claims that livestock is responsible for a whopping 14.5 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions.)
  • A 76 per cent reduction in land used for food production (67 percent of deforestation for agriculture, which causes carbon to be released into the atmosphere, is driven by the need for land for animal feed and pasture.)
  • A 49 per cent reduction in eutrophication, where nutrients from fertilisers run into lakes and rivers, damaging ecosystems and reducing biodiversity.
  • A 19 per cent reduction in fresh water withdrawals weighted by local water scarcity. Water production, which includes extraction, transportation and filtration, is energy intensive.

Reference – Reducing food’s environmental impacts through producers and consumers (Oxford University, Poore and Nemecek, 2018)

Now let’s talk about health quickly before rounding this up. As mentioned elsewhere on the website, Vegan diets are healthy for people of all ages and health conditions. A vegan diet has been shown to prolong life and reduce certain types of cancer i.e. prostate, breast and colon. It also reduces the risk of the worlds biggest killer, heart disease. And finally, it has been shown to prevent type 2 diabetes and even reverse it. Wholefood vegan diets are incredibly high in fibre, nutrients and fuel to keep your body going. They have been shown to be effective for athletes in terms of recovery and muscle building, but also effective in weight loss for the general public. Here is a good resource that goes over various recent studies into a vegan diet and the health benefits that I would highly recommend going through.

To Conclude

Hopefully this gives an introduction to my decision to go vegan. If you saw the incredible amounts of suffering and pain these animals go through (especially in factory farms) your heart would break. Knowing all of this, the health benefits and the environment benefits, it would be impossible for me to revert back to a ‘standard western diet’. Since going Vegan, I have loads more energy, stopped eating junk food, my eyesight has improved by a lot, I have gained muscle quickly and shed excess fat. My concentration levels have improved significantly, my mood has improved significantly, I sleep early and wake up very early, the quality of my sleep is deep and blissful. I am more aware of my impact in this world, where food and other products come from and their journey. I no longer feel like a hypocrite caring about my cats and other animals, and then go and eat chicken for dinner. 

There is literally no downside apart from the odd craving. 

I would love for my family and friends to either go vegan or significantly reduce their meat and dairy consumption. I would like them to do more research into this matter and read / watch some of the resources that I have cited. In terms of this website, I will use it to post about veganism, minimalism and travel. Focusing specifically on community, ethical investing, health & fitness, lifestyle, travel and reviewing what is going on in the vegan community. 

I hope you can all join me on this journey. 

-Lewis

 

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