Article from the Huffington Post 01/30/2012 4:45 pm
Here is the definition of the word bully: "A person who uses strength or power to harm or intimidate those who are weaker." Many of us know firsthand what it's like to be bullied. We know what it's like to be vulnerable and scared, and to have that be taken advantage of. I never considered animals to be a part of that equation.
Then, a few years ago, a random discussion on a talk show led me to research factory farming, a practice that produces 99 percent of the animals we consume in the U.S. I not only read about the horrors of these places, but, thanks to countless undercover investigation videos posted online, I saw them. I saw baby calves being screamed at and punched in the face by desensitized farm workers. I saw turkeys being kicked and thrown against walls until their wings broke. A saw a baby pig having its head bashed in with a brick. These poor animals were being abused, tormented, and killed by merciless beings many times their size. They were being bullied.
Even though I was never in situations this extreme growing up gay, many LGBT people are. They are regularly verbally abused, physically assaulted, and even killed. And while there undoubtedly is a difference between people and animals, the question must be asked: when it comes to things such as fear, pain, and suffering, aren't animals much more like us than they are not like us?
I know we all love a good burger or turkey sandwich, but isn't our consumption of these foods perpetuating the power-hungry and cruel attitudes we so strongly oppose? Is it really such a stretch to ask that all those who feel be liberated from the suffering caused by bullying? Because whether you want to admit it or not, that's precisely what it is. This realization, subconscious at the time, led me to become a vegan. By choosing to avoid animal foods, I feel I'm sending a strong message that I won't be a party to bullying in any form.
I know it's difficult to imagine giving up some of your favorite foods (you'll discover new ones, trust me) but I invite you to learn the truth about where those foods come from. Really think about it. Sit with it. Be honest with yourself. Does knowing that you pay other people to treat animals this way feel good in your soul?
A brilliant writer, Laura Moretti, once said this about animals:
Animals are the most victimized living creatures on earth; more than children, more than women, more than people of color. Our prejudice enables us to exploit and use them, as scientific tools and expendable commodities, and to eat them. We do to them any atrocity our creative minds can summon. We justify our cruelties; we have to or we can't commit them.Chew on that.
Interesting article.....I know many meat-eaters would have interesting defences to this, but it is a good thought.
Something I feel particularly interested in at the moment is the question of: Can a Vegan diet work for anyone? I walk around on my high horse and tell everyone how great I feel being Vegan and how horrible eating animals is for the environment etc; without ever properly wondering if they would reap the same benefits?
I got a comment from someone (yay!) yesterday saying that she is considering becoming a Vegetarian because she cares about the cause, but has issues with iron and feeling full and satisfied on a Vegetarian diet.
Now, first off, the whole "full and satisfied" part I pretty much cast aside straight away. If you're telling me you cannot feel full unless you've had some of a carcass, I would definitely say you haven't tried hard enough. As I write this I'm eating a giant bowl of vegetable and bean soup with a heap of bread. So much bread. I am already feeling that I should stop eating, but the soup is just too good. Saying you can't feel full on Vegan food, is saying you wouldn't feel full after eating a giant bowl of gnocchi pasta, side of sauteed vegetables with bread and then eating dessert. You really wouldn't feel full?
The next part of her comment did make me ponder a bit longer. Problems with iron....okay. Well, I also have had problems with iron in the past (now, looking back I see that I really just didn't eat a good, balanced diet) so I can relate to this slightly. It can seem scary to give up a large portion of your diet, knowing you have problems getting adequate vitamins and minerals. The most obvious answer to this is: Duh, vegetables contain iron. Duh. Though, I know that seems a little harsh. Here is one good quote from the Vegetarian Resource Group: "Dried beans and dark green leafy vegetables are especially good sources of iron, even better on a per calorie basis than meat. Iron absorption is increased markedly by eating foods containing vitamin C along with foods containing iron. Vegetarians do not have a higher incidence of iron deficiency than do meat eaters."
There really shouldn't be any doubt that one can get their vitals on a Vegan diet. There are enough people in the world (including many sexy celebrities) that have been Vegan for most of their lives and they seem absolutely healthy and thriving. Obviously one can live very healthily this way. I can use myself as an example in a few more decades :)
But, would that be the same for every single person? I read a great quote on beyondveg.com that made me think further: "Tough questions often not faced. Can the health and well-being of an omnivorous animal who may depend on animal food for optimal health be measured against the lives of the animals that are sacrificed for such food? Only the individual themselves can answer such a question; and supposing that the question can, should, or ought instead to be made a prescription for society is seen as presumptuous. How does one weigh the "right" of an omnivorous animal to eat omnivorous food against the "rights" of its prey? These are questions that have no definitive answers, and perhaps should not have to be asked in the first place."
A very, very interesting quote and one that made me think. I surfed through the rest of their website and they present unbiased articles that ask the question "can one diet work for everyone?" The main issue with the above quote, however (in my humble opinion) is that omnivorous eating these days bares no resemblance to one persons "right". I would argue it is not our "right" to house ten billion animals in factory farms and then slaughter them inhumanely. If you want to go and source organic, free range meat because you think it's your "right" to eat animals, I would say again...how is that your "right"? And this is why people get so passionate about animal rights. Animals have no voice. They cannot argue, debate or stand up for themselves. They are the victims of what WE decide are or are not their rights. I cannot live with that logic; thus I abstain completely. It is not my right to decide on the rights of another living thing, especially unnecissarily. I am aware there will always be pain and suffering and death. But unnecessary pain and suffering and death makes no sense and is selfish. Why is it unnecessary? Because I do not need that loving, beautiful cow; that has an intelligence level equal to my loving, beautiful dog for my source of protein. I can eat a fucking vegetable.
In the end: I have to say: i DO believe any person would survive, if not thrive eating a Vegan diet. Not because I'm arrogant and believe in my cause blindly, but because when you break it down into parts, it doesn't make sense that one COULDN'T survive. We have the essential break-downs of what a human being needs to survive. We know for a FACT that every single one of those things are provided for in fruits, grains, vegetables, nuts and seeds. Fact. The only thing we need that is in animal sources is the B12 vitamin that all meat-eaters CLING to to prove their point. B12 is not found INSIDE animals, it is a bacteria that we absorb through animals because they get the bacteria directly. So basically, a Vegan can pop a pill once a day or go outside and eat a load of dirt. I'll pop the pill thanks. I don't spend all day outdoors in the mud and dirt like our ancestors did. Also: as if Vegans are the only people who take a pill every day? Are you kidding me? Let's not get into the amount of pills someone with diabetes or with heart or cholesterol problems takes. Cholesterol is only found in animal sources.....i know what pill I would rather take.
I know a few people who insist that eating Vegetarian (not even Vegan!!) didn't work for them. They say they felt tired, low and hungry. My answer to them would be: you didn't believe in the cause. It's amazing what you can do when you WANT to. When you feel PASSIONATE. If you have problems with iron and are concerned about giving up meat: instead of chicken in your salad, load it up with kale, spinach and silverbeet. Oh my god, do you think your body is going to be sad and hate you? As if!! Your body will be so happy and relieved that it's getting a load of healthy, dark green vegetables in place of that animal protein it had to break down and digest for 8 hours! Seriously. Vegetables digest in 2 hours. Animals: 8.
I am definitely open on this issue. I would never be arrogant enough to say that something will DEFINITELY work for EVERYONE and that it is the RIGHT thing to do. It is however, my belief.
"The transformations initiated by a healthy vegan diet go well beyond physical health. For those who want it to be, a plant-based diet is also a potent political comment on our broken food system."
Here is a comprehensive list of what I ate, in one form or another, on the day I wrote this:
Kale, mustard greens, carrots, celery, onions, mushrooms, quinoa, amaranth, pinto beans, beets, parsnips, turnips, yellow peas, brown rice, kimchi, purple cabbage, butternut squash, blueberries, a banana, hemp seeds, flaxseed oil, snap peas, an apple, cashews, almonds, pumpkin seeds, pistachio nuts, garlic, broccoli, raisins, granola, avocado, polenta, salsa, a few saltines, a piece of raisin toast with apricot jam, tofu, coffee, olive oil, harisa, chickpeas, tomatoes, a small handful of chocolate chips, a couple of beers ... and a vitamin.
For the vegans with whom I share breakfast every weekday morning at a Casa de Luz in Austin, Texas, it's a standard daily spread. Forty-three discrete plant foods, a couple of processed items, a little alcohol and caffeine, very few carbs, a B-12 pill. Nutrition is shifty business, but I'm guessing most experts would deem this to be a well-chosen array of grub. I might keel over tomorrow, but for now, at the end of the day, I feel as though I could climb Everest. The food was delicious, too.
I mention this list to offer a personal counter-narrative to the increasingly popular and decidedly dour "I'm a recovering vegan" storyline. Perhaps inspired by Lierre Kieth's The Vegetarian Myth, a book that chronicles the author's losing battle with a plant-based diet, bloggers have clogged foodie networks with angst-ridden accounts of fatigue, sickness, hair loss, anxiety, diminished sex drive, and mental breakdown after quitting animal products. The problem with these accounts, as far as I can tell, is that those who made the vegan leap (and I praise them for doing it) did so without doing due diligence on the details of intelligent veganism. Someone can live on potato chips, pot, and cherry soda and call himself a vegan. Many recidivists have evidently tried to do just that.
Whether you are convinced by a book such as The China Study or not, there's no disputing the fact that a diet rich in plant-based, unprocessed food is a smart diet. My point here isn't to suggest that a diet including modest amounts of lean meat can't be healthy. It surely can be. Instead, I want to reiterate the equally healthful consequences of a healthy vegan diet. I can brook a million excuses for why a person simply cannot go vegan -- cheese! yogurt! cream in my coffee! -- but the assertion that veganism, when done right, isn't healthy is just plain bunk.
For me, the most persuasive evidence supporting a healthy vegan diet is anecdotal. The vegans who frequent Casa de Luz, my breakfast (and often lunch) destination, are paragons of good health. Many of them are significantly older than I am -- in their 50s, 60s, and 70s -- but they rock on with glowing intensity, looking much younger (in some cases by 20 years) than they are. Every now and then a local vegan hero will drop in -- John Mackey (founder of Whole Foods), Rip Esselstyn (pioneer of the Engine 2 diet), a noted musician who will remain unnamed -- and we'll gawk in admiration. The everyday reality, though, is that a dozen or so ordinary people with whom I eat have done extraordinary things as a direct result of intelligent veganism. They've conquered obesity, chronic disease, depression, and a host of food-related disorders by exclusively eating an exciting diversity of plants. If there's one lesson I've learned by eating with seasoned vegans it is this: the diet empowers.
Beyond anecdotes, of course, there's considerable scientific evidence showing that veganism is a smart way to eat. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics says that a well-planned vegan (and vegetarian) diet is "healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases." This is a much more cautious assessment, however, than many studies suggest.
According to one study, "vegetarian and vegan diets are effective in treating and preventing several chronic diseases." The adaptation of a low-fat vegan diet can substantially mitigate the impacts of type 2 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and Parkinson's disease. Veganism reduces the risk of colon cancer. Vegans have abetter "antioxidant status" than non-vegans. Veganism is more effective at combating obesity than other prescribed diets, such as that promoted by the National Cholesterol Education Program. Veganism has been shown to lower risk factors associated with cardiac disease. As Dr. Michael Greger, director of public health for the Humane Society of the United States, explains, "A plant-based diet is like a one-stop shop against chronic diseases."
I could continue in this scientific vein, but again, it's the stories of personal transformation that make the biggest impression. Writing in the current issue of VegNews, Jasmin Singer, director of Our Hen House, profiles a one-time morbidly obese diabetic who went vegan, lost over a hundred pounds, cured his diabetes, and now preaches the virtues on his website. Singer goes on to relate the experience of Dr. Greger's grandmother, who by her 60s had endured two bypass surgeries and was confined to a wheelchair because of debilitating chest pain. Doctors had effectively given her a death sentence. After adopting a strict plant-based diet, she lost the wheelchair, dramatically improved her health, and lived an active life well into her 90s. Especially poignant is Singer's own story. At 31, her doctor declared her well on the way to early heart disease -- an all too familiar situation for people in their 30s who have never before worried about high cholesterol or spiking triglycerides. Following Dr. Joel Furman's Eat to Live program, she lost 80 pounds and is now a supremely healthy vegan activist helping others avoid the road she once stumbled down.
The transformations initiated by a healthy vegan diet go well beyond physical health. For those who want it to be, a plant-based diet is also a potent political comment on our broken food system. What's so compelling about these personal stories -- besides the inspirational message -- is the fact that we're looking at a diet for which the ultimate beneficiary is the individual. Healthy veganism explicitly serves no corporate or industrial gods. In fact, it counters these interests. I'm routinely told by executives at big food companies (yes, I talk to these people) that they're not the least concerned with the growing interest in local, sustainable, and humanely-raised animal products. After all, they can always co-opt the alternatives if the alternatives begin to cut into market share. Their fear is that people will stop eating animals altogether. It is veganism that keeps them up at night. As long as people keep eating meat, they're happy. (The only time I've ever heard 50 big food executives fall into a stunned, collective silence is when I spoke extensively about the numerous benefits of veganism in a talk I gave to the National Corn Growers Association.)
If the prospect of simultaneously giving corporate food executives nightmares while achieving personal dietary empowerment -- not to mention lowering your carbon footprint and minimizing animal suffering -- has any appeal, then veganism is for you. But here's the thing: You have to do it right, and doing it right means consuming a broad diversity of nutrient-rich plants. A good start toward doing that is available in these books and on these websites: 21-Day Vegan Kickstart; Becoming Vegan: The Complete Guide to Adopting a Healthy Plant-Based Diet; Vegan for Life: Everything You Need to Know to Be Healthy and Fit on a Plant-Based Diet; VeganHealth.org.
This is a really interesting TED talk.....just a 5 minute snippet about why he's a "Weekday Vegetarian".
I was expecting to watch this video angrily, but I didn't. He is awesome and everything he says makes sense for people who aren't ready to be a Vegan/Vegetarian.
If you don't want to watch the video, here is a snippet. Very well said....
"I care about this stuff. I knew that eating a mere hamburger a day could increase my risk of dying by a third. Cruelty? I knew that the ten billion animals we raise each year for meat are raised in factory farm conditions, that we, hypocritically, wouldn't even consider for our own cats, dogs and other pets. Environmentally? Meat, amazingly, causes more emissions than all of transportation combined. Cars, trains, planes, buses, boats, all of it. And beef production uses a hundred times the water that most vegetables do. I also knew that I'm not alone. We as a society are eating twice as much meat as we did in the 50s. So what was once the special little side treat; now is the main...."
He then goes on to talk about how it just tastes too good to be full veg. But I very much respect that he's doing SOMETHING and urging others to help.
I love shopping. I love dresses. I love pretty things. Weirdest of all - I kind of love shopping centres.
I know right, how "un-vegan" of me.
But I do. I like all the crazy, busy people running around, I love all the different shops and different ways to give away all my hard-earned cash, I love all the food options, I love all the coffee possibilities, and I think I like the noise. I'm weird. Most people hate shopping centres. The amount of times a day (at the cafe) I'll hear people complaining how they had to go to a big shopping centre to get supplies, food, back-to-school stuff, etc and I am just envious. As I write this, I am sitting at a coffee shop in Chermside Shopping Centre (one of the biggest in Brisbane) typing away happily with an Organic green tea, watching all the crazy people around me and love knowing the world's my oyster. I can do anything! I could nip upstairs and see a movie if I want....I can go buy a new dress.....I could go up-up stairs to the gym (what I should do) or I can just stay here for hours and get high on caffeine. All nice options.
I feel like the "Vegan me" should want to just go and sit in a park for hours and write in her journal about plants or something....but it's just not me. Don't get me wrong - I like nature. Honestly. I like long walks and I love being outdoors, but it's not something I'll do for hours and hours on my day off.
What's the problem, I hear you asking? Well, there isn't one. However, one of my heros is Alicia Silverstone (I know I've said it about 600 times already) and she is so inspiring when she talks about "not being a consumer". She buys all her clothing second hand, she spends her time gardening, writing inspirational books and of course being an actor, mother and all around goddess. I would love that life. That life sounds amazing. Maybe some day I will even have it. But at this stage in my life....I really do just like a pretty dress. I buy Vintage and second dresses occasionally and I get comments on them when I wear them out, I must confess. So, nothing against second hand. But one cannot deny the joy that flushes through you when you purchase a brand new, crispy, expensive, perfectly-cut (vegan) dress. I'm sure Alicia would still love me, right??
I had this same problem when I read "Skinny Bitch" with my love of coffee. I was so on-board the whole book! "Yes ladies!" I remember thinking. "You're so right about everything! Everything you say makes sense!" Except.....do I really WANT to give up coffee? This is not a question of health. Of course I know coffee does me no favours.....and I'm not drinking it for it's "antioxidants" *scoff* or for it's apparent prevention of type 2 diabetes *double scoff* I'm drinking it because I like the damn taste! Sue me. My once-a-day cup of soy deliciousness I swear makes my day just that bit brighter and better. It puts me in a better mood and it's my INDULGENCE. I do not promote a life without the simple, yummy things and without indulgence. Now, there are plenty of vegan and health-friendly treats out there (raw superfood truffles, anyone?) and they are amazing, but seriously, there is something about a cup of coffee that I want in my life. I"m not drinking it because I can't function without it, I'm not drinking it because it helps me wake up..... I just want it.
I suppose, in the end: if you don't have misguided ideas about something and you're aware of the affects on your body: surely then you can do as you please? (As long as you aren't hurting yourself or others. Animals count). Therefore: I don't believe...on this great quest for health that I'm on....I will ever cut coffee totally from my life.
And I think the same goes for nice, new clothes. I really don't consume all that often. I used to. I used to consume a lot! Alicia would have thrown me out on the street! But now, I limit myself to the occasional indulgence, especially after finding all these amazing online Vegan clothing sites. Oh. My. God.
Everyone has to find what makes them happy. Not every Vegan is going to want to move into a hut in the middle of nowhere and meditate all day. And that's okay. I have started some meditation and I actually really liked it. Yoga too - I gave that a try and fell in love. These things can make you happier and richer, but once again, I don't think we have to box ourselves into anything. I think there's room in this world for Vegans who like to shop. And I'm one of them!
Just try and do the best YOU can. Put your money into places you can feel good about. Support small businesses. Limit yourself to indulgences, not over-consuming and it's so much more fun. If you're a coffee girl like me - go get the best! Find the perfect cup and enjoy one when you really, really want it. For me, it's usually after the gym with my favourite book. I sit there for an hour or so and that's my "me" time. Wouldn't trade it for anything - even the perfect body. What is that anyway? :)
The reason why Vegans still seem a bit weird, I think, is because of the extremism involved. It is extreme. NO animal products. Really? None at all? Not even honey? Come on. Isn't that a bit extreme? Can't you just buy organic and cage-free and shit? Seriously no honey? That's really extreme.
This is exactly what pisses me off. Yes - it is extreme. So is the abuse that animals suffer each year.
The reason why this line of questioning annoys me so much (in case you haven't realised yet, it did happen to me the other day) is because it takes the focus away from the real issues: animal cruelty, the environment and world hunger are serious, serious issues. The rate at which some of the world are eating themselves to DEATH - is serious. The billions and billions of animals that get slaughtered each year is completely serious and completely heartbreaking.
It may be fun (and convenient) for people to nit-pick about honey and use it as a reason to think Vegans are weird, but it becomes evident that many have to resort to these nit-picky lines of questioning so that they can find any flaw in the Vegan lifestyle and avoid talking about the reality of their choices. Because their choices in the end are impacting the world in a negative way. It's that simple. There should not be any intelligent doubt left - eating meat hurts the planet and the environment. It's a fact. Our meat industry is the biggest contributor to global warming at 17% - ahead of all modes of transport combined.
And the truth is: some people have to be extreme because it is time for extreme action. If we don't start doing SOMETHING, then there won't be a decent world left for any of us. If most of the world want to go on eating meat every day, then thanks a lot because that means we need more people to go totally Vegan, as apposed to maybe us all banding together and cutting back? Some people (myself included) don't eat meat on a purely ethical level - I do not believe animals are on this earth to be my food - but that aside, a lot of people go Vegan because of the environment or because of the atrocity of factory farming and for those Vegans - maybe there would be a way for them to not have to eliminate these foods entirely if there was more unity on the subject?
This is why there is no justification for someone who is serious about change and about the environment to keep eating animal products. It may not seem like a big deal to snack on some organic cheese every now and then, but it IS. Of course you are still making a big difference by cutting ANYTHING back, but if you are a person who wants to live, breath and BE Vegan; you stand for animal rights, you stand for the right to a decent life, against exploitation, against the industries that are killing our Earth, then you must stand tall and true.
And why is it such a big deal anyway? It's bloody great!
What a wonderful feeling to know that you are doing something positive in this world? To know that you have nearly no carbon footprint? To know that you are speaking for those that have no voice? And of course: to know that your body is not having to work hard and digest foods that are unnatural for it.
Re-opened "Skinny Bitch" by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin, my all time favourite book and the one that changed my life. Thought it would be fun to put in some of my favourite anti-dairy quotes:
"Mother Nature is no fool. All species, including ours, have just what we need to get by. She did not intend for grownups to suck their mothers' tits. We don't need our mother's milk as adults, just like grown cows don't need their mothers' milk anymore. We are the only species on the planet that drinks milk as adults. We are also the only species on the planet that drinks the milk of another species."
"We could be putting gorilla milk on our cereal or having zebra milk and cookies. Why cow's milk? Using the animal that produces the largest quantity of milk but is more easily housed than an elephant means more money for farmers. It has nothing to do with health or nurtirion. Again it all comes back to money."
"The dairy industry is a multibillion-dollar industry based on the brilliant marketing and the addictive taste of milk, butter and cheese. It has convinced most doctors, consumers and government agencies that we need cows' milk. We have been told our whole lives, "you need milk to grow. Without milk your bones will break...." Bullshit."
"Dairy products have been linked to a host of other problems, too, including acne, anaemia, anxiety, arthritis, attention deficit disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, fibromyalgia, headaches, heartburn, indigestion, irritable bowel syndrome, joint pain, osteoporosis, poor immune fuction, allergies, ear infections, colic, obesity, heart disease, diabetes, autism, Crohn's disease, breast and prostate cancers and ovarian cancer."
(all references are in the book)
"Yes we are saying it is common knowledge in the medical research field that dairy is bad for you. Yes, we are saying that executives in the dairy industry are well aware of this fact but make claims that milk "does a body good." How do they get away with this? Easily. They spend hundreds of millions of dollars ever year to market their prodcuts. And average consumers don't spend their time perusing medical journals but they do read magazines and watch television."
Seriously buy this book! It changed my life. On the outside: these ladies make it look like they are writing just another diet book. But it's actually the only true HEALTH book I've seen in a while. They want real, healthy people. Cutting out the stuff that most diets tell you to keep (meat in particular). The best thing about the book is that everything they say MAKES SENSE. Hopefully you can see that from the quotes above. It all makes complete sense....why? Because it's COMMON SENSE. Dairy = fat. Dairy = unnatural.
And that's not even going into the cruelty....
I understand that people think Vegans and Vegetarians are annoying. I get it. It looks like a really judgemental view point and no one wants to hear about why their lifestyle is wrong. Vegans hate it too. There's nothing more annoying than someone asking me if I'm careful about my vitals. So frustrating. So of course I understand why it would be annoying to have me asking someone if they understand the fundamentals of their diet.
There is one crucial difference however.
Many people become Vegan after learning some hard truths. They either watch a documentary on animal cruelty, read an article on the link between factory farming and climate change or have a very scary visit to the doctor's office. Whatever it may be; they get INFORMATION. Information that you will only get if you actively seek it or have thrust upon you. When you have the information; all you want to do is share it! Of course you do. Like when you find an amazing vintage shop in the Valley and you want all your friends to share in this new joy. Honestly; Veganism is exactly the same. When you learn all this information and you discover all these benefits, you just want people to know in case they want to experience some of the same pleasure.
My main argument for sharing "Vegan wisdom" is: I wish someone told me. Honestly; I mean that. I wish that ten years ago I knew about the conditions of factory farming and that I COULD DO SOMETHING. I wish I knew how much power I did have. You better believe I would have gone Vegan. Even at 13, I would have. But I didn't know any of this until a year ago. The moment I learned it; I wanted to make change. I wanted to be a better person and understand the impact my day-to-day choices have on the world.
Many people in my life are amazing people. They are amazing, self-less, intelligent and well educated people. But they don't understand the concept of Veganism. And that's okay. The truth is; why would you? Unless you've found out yourself, why would anyone understand the good of giving up cheese? Vanity? God no....
This is why Vegans want to speak out. It's in the hope of saying : "you know, you may be interested to know that if you didn't eat meat one day a week, you'd be having a huge impact on the size of your carbon footprint?" Most people would roll their eyes and ask you to shut your Vegan mouth. But occassionally, someone may say "Why? Really?" And you can explain to them some truths about the Meat Industry and how devastating it is on the environment that of course they would not have known before. This information is not readily availaable. It isn't on the news. It isn't on posters.
But that doesn't mean it's not true.
If you aren't interested in changing your lifestyle: that's okay. But make sure it's because you don't want to, not because you are misinformed. Like I was for so many years....
There is always going to be murder, hate and pain in the world. Of course there is. These sad words are no defence to any kind of murder, hate or pain. The fact that these things exist do not serve as a reason to inflict pain upon a living thing.
If I am in the wild, starving and surrounded by poisonous plants and an animal is near me that I can kill to survive; I probably would. If an animal attacks me and I have to defend myself; of course I will. If a doctor says to me that my body will not take iron from any plant sources and I am pregnant and my not eating fish is killing my unborn child, I would absolutely consider eating an animal to get some iron for my unborn child (although I would be very sceptical about that doctor's words.)
Short of these three options; I have pledged to never eat an animal or an animal bi-product ever again. Why? Because I do not need it and the way that they are delivered to us in this day and age is nothing short of evil. We live so far away from the original intentions of eating animals that anyone who needs that explained to them is already a lost cause. I have watched videos, read articles and researched until I can cry no more (mostly at videos from dairy farms) and I can say with confidence that my body does not need animal products for survival, health or nutrients. Anyone who has issues with that: wants to. It's that simple. The girl who claims that she "tried" being vegetarian, but her body shut down: did not try hard enough. There are enough people living this lifestyle to prove that it can be done if the motivation is true. My body is happier and healthier than it's ever been. Animal products are not natural for our organs and basic functions; in fact: it screws them up and gets in the damned way.
Animal slaughter and production is one of the most evil practices of our time. The way they are inhumanely raised, fed, killed and packaged shows us humans for the vicious, greedy and stupid ANIMALS we really are. We are not carnivores and we are not in the wild. We are not fucking cavemen, that is not a defence to eat animals and it's time to stop pretending we want to be cavemen. If you use the "I'm a caveman" defence; talk to me when you've been to the dentist. We can exercise reason and logic and compassion. We should use these powers for good, not evil.
Our planet is dying. And we are the cause. To the morons that still say global warming isn't real or inflicted by mankind: open a damn book. The fact is: the majority of that harm and warming and abuse is inflicted by our animal mass production and slaughter. A third of the landmass of America is used to house land animals for slaughter. That is fucking insane. The grain that goes to feed these animals, which is unnatural for their systems, is grain that is not going to feed hungry families in less-fortunate countries. If you donate money to World Vision or any other charities, but then eat chicken for dinner, you need to open your eyes and see the big picture. Explain to me how we can justify these actions? Especially when you can have mushrooms instead of chicken? Are you so badly off? Is your dinner now so disgusting and tasteless?
It's time to acknowledge that Ignorance Ain't Bliss, please open your eyes and realise that there is a way to live our lives that hurts as few living things as possible. A way that makes a stand against the kind of horrible practices that if you saw them played out in front of you; you would cry and scream for mercy. If you wouldn't do it to your dog or cat, how dare you say it's okay for a cow or pig? Pigs are just as intelligent as dogs. They think and feel. They hear and they see. When a truck pulls up at a slaughterhouse, the cows do not march off. They cower and wail and stay put on that truck because they KNOW what is coming next. They are NOT stupid and how dare we say they are.
This is one area of life where we do have power. You have so much power. The power to affect supply and demand. The power to say to the industries and the people around you that you are NOT okay with how animals are treated, how our planet is affected and how your body is abused.
Help stop the madness.
I compel people to watch the film: "Earthlings". If you want meat on your plate; you owe it to yourself and to the animal to know the details of how it got there.
Yes, you read correctly! Green Juice fast......as little as six months ago I would never have believed myself to entertain such an idea, but let me tell you; I've undergone a LOT of health changes in the last six months and now, the idea of having nothing but tea, water and green juice in a day is kind of exciting....
I've just gotten back from my FANTASTIC holiday in Fiji, which was absolutely amazing. Lots of swimming, beaches and....buffets. A lot of food. So much food. While I was away, I thought to myself: okay, maybe I need to do some kind of raw food or juice fast or something when I get back. I could feel my body complaining and grumbling 24/7 with all the food I was devouring!
So: day 1 back in Brisbane and it's juicing time! Before starting the Fast, I did a lot of Googling about good juice tips and re-read a bit of Kris Carr's chapters on Juicing and, to be honest, it's all a bit annoying and difficult! Everyone has a different idea about what is good and bad in juice, what will detox the body better and what you should and shouldn't combine. It's pretty annoying after a while. The only universal truth seems to be: a cup of lemon and hot water in the morning. Everyone seems to agree that is a good idea. But after that, it's all contradictary.
Kris Carr starts her day with a green juice that sounds great to me, which includes mostly vegetables (green leafy ones) and also a pear and some ginger. Some websites I read say "NEVER COMBINE FRUIT AND VEGETABLES, they will erase each-other's nutrients, blah blah blah!" And all I can figure is: okay, everyone has a different idea on this, all I can do is what seems right to me. To me: Kris Carr looks amazing, feels amazing and has researched juicing for years and if she says it's okay to do some combining, I'm sure it's not the end of the world.
So: I started my morning with lemon and hot water (yum) Already can feel my body saying "thank God! Not a four course buffet this morning?"
An hour later I juiced a cucumber, kale, spinach, pear and some ginger (just what was in my fridge)
Then I had to go to work for half the day and while there I drank a few cups of Green tea and lots of water.
At home I made another juice (as above) but thought I may chuck in some lemon instead of a pear for funzies and IT TASTED DISGUSTING! Way too much lemon....bad move. I sculled the juice anyway, not wanting to waste the rest.
Then drove to my favourite shop, Wray Organic to stock up on what veggies I could afford before pay-day. I grabbed a whole range of leafy greens and some fresh cucumbers. On my way to the register I saw they had a "Green Smoothie" on the board, so thought: "why not?" and I ordered it.
It was made up of leafy greens, melon and banana. I had a brief panic when I found that out, wondering if that was "too much fruit" for my fast....then quickly slapped myself as I'm sure it couldn't do me any harm. For God's sake! It's fruit! Health nazi's reading this may tell me differently.....
Now I'm home, just had a big glass of water and have to run some errands. I plan on doing two more juices before the day is out! Let me tell you; so far this has been really easy. My body isn't giving me any grief at all, which is a relief. Who knows what will hit later though?
I may try and make this a weekly or fortnightly thing. Most of the health sites I find recommend doing a regular fast to keep your body reguvinated and so far: I feel great!
Will let you know if I wake up tomorrow half dead....or way more alive....(oooohhh)
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