So, this is the post where I come clean about my YouTube obsession.
I am obsessed with YouTube. I confess. Please don't run for the hills and begin doubting any depth you once found in my words.
YouTube, despite the often shallow content, vapid vloggers and non-stop drama, is - at the end of the day - a community. A community of different worlds, perspectives, information, cliques and, I'm gonna be honest, it's fascinating. Fascinating as all hell. I started off only being invested in the vegan community. It was helpful to me as a new vegan getting to see what people were eating, where they shopped, how veganism was discussed and received. This vast, incredible resource at my fingertips - helping me and guiding me forwards.
Then... I discovered the drama. Oh boy the YouTube drama...
Active YouTube watchers and vloggers love controversies. And even more so, they love a good old fight between two YouTubers. In the vegan world different YouTubers are constantly making response videos to each other, disagreeing, going back and forth, sending their followers to go and write mean comments on the other's channel. It's MENTAL. And... addictive.
In any world, there are kings and queens, those who reign above all others. And, like any world, it's quite a mystery how they got there.
In the vegan YouTube world, the queen is Freelee the Banana Girl. Without question. I'm sure many readers will have heard of her, or stumbled across her videos. If you haven't, I would say go and have a watch. Most of her earlier videos are great; she got to this level of stardom from making genuine, raw, inspiring videos about being a healthy, high-carb vegan, living an active lifestyle and promoting and overly positive message.
Freelee started out raw but after about five years on YouTube, made a controversial move to promoting a "Raw Till 4" diet - introducing cooked foods onto her channel and encouraging the (enormous) following, to shun the raw movement and, instead, include healthy, high-carb cooked foods like rice and potatoes.
I personally LOVED this message and it was easy to understand the change in her thinking. Raw ain't sustainable. And it's more important to have VEGANS than it is to have Raw Vegans. In fact, who cares about having raw vegans? That is a (very admirable) personal choice and one that should only be made to enable personal growth or health. In terms of the greater good and humanity - vegan is definitely good enough. Don't add more and more restrictions - get people vegan and give them a lovely long list of foods that are delicious and easy. I was over the moon that Freelee developed her message into something more accessible for the every day viewer.
But then, weirdly, everything went sour. I could sit here for hours and hours explaining the complexities of the YouTube world, which of course I will not do. So, in a nutshell, Freelee....well... she changed.
She came up with a new "strategy". And her new strategy was to target high profile celebrities (and then, high profile internet personalities) to critique their diet and, essentially, tell them to be vegan. And blame their diet habits and fluctuating weight (argh don't talk about women's weight!) on the fact they WEREN'T vegan.
These videos varied in their approach, some were okay... drawing young girls' attention to the implications of their diet choices, and how most celebrities are eating unsustainable, unhealthy, low-calorie diets. However, some were not okay. Some were, well, just AWKWARD. Freelee became a bit of a bully, for lack of a better word.
In her opinion, the animal deaths and implications of eating meat are far more severe than any "hurt feelings" or "poor old celebrity who felt attacked" and I get that thinking, I do.
But, I cannot pretend that I believe attacking people is EVER okay. I can only speak from my own experience, but any positive conversations I have had with an individual about being vegan, changing their diet or animal agriculture in general, have only been positive (even to the point where they've gone vegan!) was when the conversation itself, was positive.
If a conversation feels judgemental, unpleasant, rude, or really, ANYTHING negative, both parties are likely to respond badly. And, well, that's what's gone mental on YouTube over the last few weeks.....
The girl I had never heard of, but with that thumbnail, I just had to click. And, I've got to be honest, I feel like this girl NAILS IT. Of course, there has been Freelee backlash, and she has addressed every claim Tana makes, essentially saying none of it is true. But what she DOES NOT do, is take on board any of Tana's core message.
Which is: please just be nicer. Be more positive.
Now, I get it, veganism isn't about positivity. Veganism is a dark, complex, awful issue, with a whole load of complicated problems and things that make me so sad sometimes I can't get to sleep if I think about them for too long. I'm not saying I want Freelee to be another sunshine and daisies vlogger, going on about how perfect life is. No, I love that Freelee isn't like that.
But, what I cannot condone, and I never will, is bullying. And despite what Freelee says to defend herself, and how she feels that is not the case, I have felt uncomfortable watching her videos, because I've felt that she, at times, speaks with overwhelming disrespect.
If you want to stand up for the little guy (and who is littlier than baby chickens?) you can't really shit on everyone else to do it. Not in my opinion.
You need to embrace that overwhelming message of - we want things to be BETTER. A better place. Feminists who shit all over men, are ineffective feminists. Similarly, vegans who shit all over humans, are absolutely ineffective vegans. Do not perpetuate the stereotype that vegans care more about animals then people. That's stupid, but it's easy to see why people regurgitate that anti-vegan idea. It's because of people like Freelee.
Freelee, I know there is no way you'll ever read this, but, if you happen to - I do respect you. Some of your videos are amazing and I genuinely LOVE that you tell it how it is. You are probably now (along with Gary Yourovski) responsible for converting more people to veganism than anyone else on the planet. And for that, I will always bow down in respect. But, please, I beg of you - go back to doing it without this venom and disrespect.
You can critique and you can "tell it how it is" without shaming people.
Because really, vegans are anti-bullying. We are about speaking for those without a voice. Shunning the ultimate bullies. Any steps we take that make US the bully, are, I believe, a step in the wrong direction.
Over the last few months I've had the ENORMOUS pleasure of being involved with the 2016 Veganuary Campaign Video!
Over two days of filming I met so many fantastic, inspiring people. I went to two of my favourite places in Manchester, got to eat phenomenal food, meet so many like-minded people and most importantly, spread the Vegan message.
I'm so happy with the finished result; it embodies how I feel about a vegan lifestyle and what I want to shout from the rooftops. Being vegan does NOT have to change your life. It doesn't have to turn you into a new person, stop you from doing anything fun or change your personality.
It is simply a PART of who I am. An important part and a part that has changed me for the better, but it will not stop me eating in restaurants, being fit and active, eating delicious food or hanging out with my friends.
It's a detail, a detail that will be as important as YOU make it. It can take over you life if YOU want it to - but it does not have to. Life is about balance, doing what makes you happy and what will make your life better. For me, going vegan has only made my life better. I'm healthier, more compassionate and have more understanding of the world I live in. I've debated so much in the last four years - I've heard every anti-vegan argument there is. Some intelligent, some not-so-intelligent, but they all make me think. I do not and will never live my life in a vegan bubble, believing only what some people tell me. I want the whole story. I want the entire picture. And it is that very attitude that has gotten me here. This lifestyle makes sense, it checks out, it's logical and it's VARIED. Most anti-vegan arguments can be debunked with a simple Google, others are for brains far more powerful than mine.
But, if it's a risk I'm taking - I'd rather risk eating plants than eating innocent animals. We are over 10 billion land animals a year now... slaughtered.... for our stomachs. That doesn't even account for marine animals. Seriously people, the madness must stop. And what great timing with the most recent World Health Organisations report on Meat and Cancer. The facts keep rolling in and we KNOW animal products ARE NOT HEALTHY. Red and processed meats are finally without debate now (though many will try). The rest will follow, I guarantee it. Studies like this take time and the WHO most recent report took 800 studies into account. That shit takes time. So again, why wait for the study that will tell us what we know to be true.
Go vegan - save some animals and let's build a better planet together. The entire world will never be vegan and I know that. If you want to keep eating meat, please, at least try and find the most local, sustainable option.
If you know anyone who is flirting with the idea of giving up animal products - please do "share" this video with them and inspire them to take up the Vegan Month challenge.
It's only 30 days and there is so much support from an enormous, caring community.
I started this blog, nearly four years ago because I found out something truly shocking. I was shocked by the discovery, but even more shocked that so few people seemed to know.
Animals are being tortured, abused and slaughtered by the billions.
If that doesn't mean anything to you - I strongly believe you haven't thought about it for a nano-second.
Let me say it again -
Animals are being tortured, abused and slaughtered by the billions.
And no one seems to care.
Humans have enslaved cows, pigs, chickens, geese, turkeys, ducks, fish, horses, dogs and plenty more to be used for our UNNECESSARY greed. If you want to debate whether animal products are necessary, I highly recommended this AMAZING full-debate "Animals Should Be Off The Menu" and doing as much follow-up research as you desire. Animal products are completely unnecessary for human consumption and there are plenty of walking, talking, living, breathing, THRIVING vegans out there who prove it. The American Dietetic Association even now state that vegan diets are adequate and HEALTHY for humans in ALL stages of life. The debate is over. Move with the times and get over it so we can move the fuck on. YOU DO NOT NEED ANIMAL PRODUCTS. Throw all the tantrums you want - eventually you will have to accept it, whether by force or by choice - that eating cheese on toast, or bacon and egg McMuffins or the finest caviar or fois-fucking-grois is you being an ignorant consumer with no real grasp of what you are participating in.
Am I saying vegan is the ONLY way? No. No I'm not. Am I saying you're a bad person if you're NOT a vegan? No, of course I'm not. Some of my best friends eat meat and I love them. I wish they would watch Earthlings, but I love them either way.
What am I saying? I am saying - get informed, don't be ignorant and, if you truly DON'T CARE about animal welfare then own that fact and don't dress it up in "protein". That's just fucking annoying. You're not eating a rare steak for protein, you are eating it because you like the taste. End of. I have so much more respect for someone who will say (like my beloved brother) "Hannah, I actually just don't care about animals. Sorry."
Do I believe you?
Do I respect your "honesty"? Sure. Why not.
Why don't I believe you? Because I know that if my brother saw a dog being kicked in the street - he would experience emotion and think it was wrong. If my brother was given a knife and told to slit the throat of a cow, he would not want to do it. Especially if he didn't NEED to. If I am fighting for survival, if I need to kill an animal - of course I would. I'm not a retard. I'm not going to starve myself because I put an animal's life before my own.
Veganism makes sense when applied to REALITY. Not this made-up cooky world meat-eaters are constantly referring to where we are stranded on desert islands. Do you have any idea how many times I've been asked "uuugh would you be vegan if you were stranded on a desert island??? Huuuuh Hannah?? Would you? What if you were DYING???"
Then I would eat what I could, you moron.
But guess what? I do NOT live on a desert island. I live in a fucking city, AS DO YOU. We live in a city, with supermarkets and a wealth of choice at our fingertips. We live in a world where meat is factory farmed and delivered to your local shop in MASS quantities. When you are buying meat and dairy - you are buying something that has been bred unnaturally, locked up, tortured, housed in horrific conditions you wouldn't allow your dog to inhabit for a minute, transported to a slaughterhouse, shot with a stun gun (which often misses) and finally - torn apart. Occasionally conscious. That's what you are paying for. Not to mention all the drugs in its diet you're digesting. Along with your "protein". Of course.
Oh, what's that? You get your meat from your local lovely butcher? Of course you do. What's that? Your aunty grows chickens in her backyard and you eat her eggs when you go there for Christmas? Great. Are you one of those people who uses this as an excuse to eat eggs ALL THE TIME?! Regardless of where they've come from? Do you use your local friendly butcher as an excuse to eat meat at restaurants? This is massively common and massively annoys me. The supposed "Achilles heel" people throw at vegans constantly - this ethical vision, the best case scenario, the fact they "could totally kill a chicken" as an excuse to consume animal products in ANY setting.
Obviously, it's great if you are trying genuinely to make the "ethical" choice with all your animal product consumption. That's all we can ask, really. Do your best, be informed, try and do what is right. If you are DESPERATE to eat meat - try and buy the most ethical kind you can. Research, look into it, try and feel good about it. BUT - just promise you will actually research and not just read articles that support your view point (vegans are guilty of this too. Massively.) Researching isn't looking at the butchers poster on his wall where it says "grass-fed!" That ain't research. That's marketing and propaganda and lies. It's bull-shit. Most marketing is. Of any product, not just animals. Researching means: where do these animals live? What food are they eating? And, most importantly, how are they killed?
How are they killed? This was what made me become a vegan.
I watched an animal get slaughtered and knew, with every fiber of my being that it was not okay. On any level. No part of what I was watching was normal, "natural", humane or necessary.
It represented no food-chain I wanted to be a part of.
Quite simply - it's too far. It's gone way too far. Animals are so meaningless to us now we allow machines to hack them to pieces. Machines. By the billions. And guess what? Even your organic, grass-fed bollocks is sent to a slaughterhouse. Ask your friendly neighborhood farmer if he's allowed to slaughter the meat he sells. Ask him. He isn't. He sends it to a slaughterhouse, my friend. It's a legal thing.
See how fun research is?
Just for arguments sake (because I love arguing...) let's say you found a scenario you were comfortable with. Let's say, you found a source for your meat that you felt 100% happy with. The animal was happy, the farmer is kind, he slits its throat himself once it's "time" (when would that be, by the way?? Right on the cows deathbed? When you decided? When it was at its juiciest peak?) and he chopped it up into happy, unoffensive pieces for you to store in your freezer and consume as desired.
Is that a good scenario? I don't know anymore, it all sounds so hideous. But, I'm imagining that's something most meat-eaters would think is an ethical scenario?
Even in a scenario like this - does any part of that really, truly, fundamentally seem okay to you? Does it make you seem like a carnivore? Does it seem WORTH it? Does all that time and effort and moral dilemma (assuming you had a moral dilemma to send you to the farmer in the first place) really seem worth ...... steak?
When you don't even need steak?
Because you don't.
Seems like a lot of time and energy and effort (and lives) just so you can have steak. Right?
And, if you STILL aren't convinced (you fucking dick) then let me ask you this - what about everyone else? If this is the most ethical scenario - how is everyone supposed to eat this meat? Everyone. All the people on this planet.
Supply like that: lovely ethical supply of animal carcass, will never match demand. Ever. That's how factory farms came to exist in the first place. Factory farming didn't appear overnight. Too many people want meat and animals take time and energy to grow. There ain't that much love out there.
The demand is what needs to change. The demand is the problem. With demand the way it is - animals have no chance. No chance at all and this is why vegans get upset.
Vegans get passionate and angry and emotional sometimes because we don't understand how you truly do not care. Do you really not care at all? How is a cow - an intelligent, beautiful, ALIVE cow, who has babies, experiences pain, fear, love and compassion - not worthy of life? A life where it can live without fear of death? A life without having it's baby taken away to become veal? A life of not being hooked up to milking machines three times a day and sucked dry?
And this is just one cow. One.
Ten billion animals are slaughtered every year in the US alone. Ten billion. For human consumption.
It's not okay. Why are so few people saying it's not okay?
And demand, tragically, is only increasing. For all the new vegans out there and all the awareness spreading, we still don't seem to be making a dint. Population is growing and while America is finally lowering their meat intake (um, thanks Bill Clinton and Beyonce I guess??), China is starting to demand more. And this is China, so we all may as well fuck off. It wants more McDonalds, it wants milkshakes, it wants steak, it wants animal products. China wants to do away with their amazing natural diet that has gotten them so far (China Study anyone?) and move towards an American-style, beef and cheese Diet that has left the States fat, sick and undergoing triple-bypass surgeries.
Come the fuck on, China. Aren't you super smart??
I didn't want to become a vegan. At all. I think very few people WANT to become a freakish social outcast, destined to be hated by all waiters. No one wants to be different. No one wants to be in a minority, fighting to stop what everyone loves. I fight cupcakes. Everyone fucking loves cupcakes. People pass cookies around and I say "no" because I'm vegan and everyone looks at me like I'm the fun police. Sorry guys, didn't mean to remind you that there's torture in your cookie. My bad.
But - THERE IS. And you ignoring it doesn't make it go away. Burying your head in the sand doesn't mean there isn't a war going on around you. A baby cow was taken away from its mother so that you could put butter in your cookie batter.
You should know this. You should WANT to know this. Don't let yourself be lied to.
If I could ask anyone reading this who ISN'T a vegan to do one thing for me, it would be this -
Tomorrow, when you go about your day, take notice of every animal product you encounter. Anything that contains animal products. Notice it and think about it, just for a second. If you go to a store or supermarket - look at how much milk is in the fridges. Look at it and THINK about where milk comes from. A living being is attached to that milk - an actual cow pumped that out of her udders. Look at how much is in the fridge. And now, realize you are in ONE shop. On ONE street. In ONE suburb. In ONE town. In ONE city. In ONE country. Now, think about how much milk there is in the world and how it all had to come from somewhere.
Still think those cows can be happy?
Now, go on to the cheese. How many of the sandwiches for sale contain cheese? How much cheese is in the diary aisle? Guess what cheese is made out of? Milk.
Now butter. Now cream cheese. Now cream. Now all the "buttery spreads". Now the flavored milks. Now the ham. Now the salami. Now the pastrami. Now the prosciutto. Now the lamb shanks. Now the chicken breasts. Now the chicken thighs. Now the whole chickens. Now the mince. Now the steaks. Now the fish. THE FISH. All that fish. The oysters. The mussels. The crab. All of it.
Oh, goodie - now the frozen food aisle - plenty of animal products down there. Now - confectionery aisle. Shall we? Look at alllll that dairy. Now, as you're going through the check-out, notice all the baked shit there? Yep, lots of butter and eggs in there. Allllllll the eggs in all the baked shit in your shitty store.
Okay, we've left the supermarket - now, every vending machine? How about that? Your co-workers lunches? Drinks around you? Every latte. Every fucking Starbucks cup is filled with cow-pus.
Welcome to the mind of a vegan. Welcome.
It's a fucked up world around you, isn't it?
This is your homework. I really hope you take it on.
In real life - I am a nice person. I am compassionate, amicable, easy to get along with, not judgmental... I think. I very rarely get into debates with people about meat-eating or animal rights. Mainly because I know there is no point.
But also, because I have this. My blog. My outlet. This is where I get to share and rant about all the things that make me so, so angry, knowing most people reading will understand on some level.
If you read this and didn't like it, or felt offended, remember this is a VEGAN BLOG. It is a blog about veganism and blogs about such things make up a tiny, tiny portion of the internet. You don't have to be here reading this. You are welcome to move on.
The question I get asked more than ANY is: why are you vegan? I can't begin to count how many times I've been asked this. I used to love it, then I would dread it. It overwhelmed me, consumed me, confused me.... how could I answer such a question without strapping the person down and forcing them to watch 48-hours of animal abuse videos on YouTube, then making them read Eating Animals, then the China Study and finally whipping them up a vegan dinner so they know there is life after fried chicken??
How do I answer this so simply?
Well, I can't. I can't answer something so loaded in a few short sentences.
That's why I have a blog.
And this post, right here, is as good of an answer as I can give. I'm a vegan because it's the logical choice. It makes sense. It makes me feel better on every level.
I don't want to live with my head buried in the sand. I want to know. I want to learn and grow and be the best I can be.
All these things brought me to veganism. Please try it.
Or at least - do your homework.
(That's better isn't it?)
This morning I have a rare, amazing amount of time to sit and be with my own thoughts. In this scarce "down time" I love listening to podcasts, reading, writing (of course), but this morning I did something I do a shamefully small amount of - reading blogs.
I have a blog, so often feel guilty I don't spend more time reading other peoples' work and getting inspired. The truth is I barely have enough time to blog myself, let alone do any reading, but this morning I could and it was wonderful. I found a post from a non-vegan blogger about her thoughts on the "Raw Till 4" diet, which I happen to be quite a big fan of, despite not following it specifically.
Her post was well written and very inspiring, the major point being: don't expect any diet to cure you or make you a perfect person. Self love has to come from you and not from trying to achieve a perfect diet or lifestyle. I completely agree with this, but I also see these inspirational sentiments as counter-productive in some ways. Self improvement can and should AID self love. Becoming healthier should never be a bad thing, but there are always people who will abuse or misinterpret a healthy idea.
In my opinion, there is advice for those who may abuse a diet, who are suffering in some way, and then there is advice for everyone else! The logic that applies to one pool of people shouldn't be applied to the other, but SO often is. Don't shut yourself off to bettering yourself, or your diet, just because the diet may not work for everyone. If you are not recovering from any form of disordered eating, there is no reason to not try and eat as healthily as possible and certainly no negative of following a high-carb, vegan diet! The Raw Till 4 diet is not as extreme as you may think... It's not all Raw, for starters, but also it's about abundance, realistic living and keeping people VEGAN for life - not just for a six month cleanse.
Raw Till 4 was invented as a progression from the standard Raw diet because the amount of people who actually succeed and stay long term on all raw is painfully low. Raw Till 4 keeps the basic principals of staying high-carb, high calorie, high fruit, but allows cooked vegan food as well, which, we all know, isn't BAD for you! The Raw diet loses a lot of intelligent people when they try and say cooked vegetables are "toxic" or not optimum. In my opinion - what is optimum is a stress-free, healthy, sustainable lifestyle that people enjoy and can thrive on.
I have done nearly every diet out there. When I was trying to lose weight I did a week of soup, I've done juices, I've done Raw, I've done calorie counting.... It's very easy to let food rule your life. It takes over! The most intelligent and brilliant of women become compete illogical nut-jobs over food and it's staggering. I consider myself a relatively intelligent person, but there was a time when I was so ruled by my calories and my meal planning that I wouldn't eat, even if I was hungry, because it want "time" for my designated meal yet! As if my food planner has a better understanding of my body than I do?
Any diet or lifestyle that makes you ignore your own body? Not good. Far more toxic than a cooked mushroom.
What drives me crazy, now that I'm out the either side, following no food plan, just eating when I'm hungry, is seeing how many people don't know how to eat anymore.
I read articles, emails, messages or have real-life conversations with women that terrify me. So many people, not just women, don't know how to eat anymore because they've been following diets too long. The most basic of human needs has made into a minefield of misinformation and competition.
THIS diet is best! No this one is! Potatoes are bad! Potatoes are good! Coffee is acidic! Coffee drinkers live longer! Yogurt is a healthy snack! Yogurt is high in cholesterol! You should eat three times a day! You should eat six times a day! Eat no carbs at dinner! Eat nothing but carbs!
It's an absolute, fucking, ridiculous minefield.
Food is food. What is it's most basic purpose? What is food to you? My answer (now that I'm a bit more zen about it) is that it's fuel. Plain and simple. It's fuel for the most precious vehicle you have. Your amazing body that needs looking after and needs the best kind of fuel you can give it. What's good fuel? Well that's where the minefield begins, I suppose, but really - it's not hard to know some things. It's not hard to know we need a lot of fruits and vegetables. Can we agree on that? Vegan or not - fruits and vegetables are key. They contain nearly ALL of the vitamins and minerals your body requires to perform and thrive - that's fuel. Can we agree that deep fried shit isn't fuel? Please. Or even taste good enough to justify the shit-storm it's doing to your insides.
Can we agree that chocolate and chips and candy and shitty refined sugar is bad for you? Good. Can we agree fast food is bad? Okay good - thanks. Let's strip things right back to basics and help everyone remember how to eat again. Of course some people want to eat what is optimum, I consider myself one of them, but overthinking food can be dangerous. Your relationship with food should be a relaxed, educated and personal one. You should eat what YOU want assuming it's coming from an educated place. You should know about what is bad and what is good, but never at the expense of your peace of mind or other areas of your life. At the end of the day, it is just food.
I now also would argue that, in our day and age, food is a responsibility. The food you eat says something about what you stand for. What your vote is. What your place is in the world. When you buy cheap meat, you are voting. You are paying people to breed and lock up innocent, thinking and feeling animals, pump them full of hormones and slaughter them. That's what you are voting for. I love to be the one to tell you - that ain't good for you, it ain't good for the animals and it's certainly not good for our world. It's kind of a lose-lose situation. You get sick, animals are being murdered and our food system falls further down the crapper. It's all so illogical my fingers hurt trying to get the words out because I can't rant as much as I want to. Can you hear me yelling through your screen? USE YOUR VOTE! Don't be a mindless idiot who thinks what they do doesn't matter. It does.
You matter. What you DO matters. If you are lucky enough to have money to buy groceries, if you're lucky enough to be reading this post on some kind of computer, perhaps you're drinking a coffee or relaxing at home or distracting yourself from work, you are someone who can make GOOD choices. People may disagree about what they want to eat, they may disagree on what matters - but there are some things we all must agree on. We must agree that consumers have power - consumers influence industries. While you pay for shit - you will get shit. While you feed shit companies, they will grow. Why NOT feed good, ethical, sustainable companies? Companies that care about the environment, companies that are vegan, companies with a sustainable and moral ethos? Buy local, minimise imports, cut out needless animal suffering and support brands that don't exploit people and operate out of horrific sweat shops. Open your computer, spend a few hours educating yourself and get invested. It really isn't much more expensive and even if it is - it matters! You can make it work if you choose. I am the poorest person I know and I make it work.
Make food more than just "will this make me fat?" "How many calories are in this?". Yawn. Make food really matter. For something other than yourself.
I find it empowering to see my actions as a part of something bigger.... If more people were capable of this we may actually have a chance to turn things around.
If you can feel good about the food you eat, on a level that's deeper than your own body, you will have an overwhelmingly more positive relationship with it. You will grow and be more informed and, dare I say, more enlightened?
And, if you don't care about any of the ethical stuff, but just came to this post for some dieting advice, then I would say - eat when your hungry, stop when you're full and eat food you know isn't crap.
No shit - that's honestly what hit home for me. As long as the food I'm eating is GOOD (which, in my case means plant based, high carbohydrate vegan) then I just eat when my body wants food. When it feels full, I stop.
This approach has been working very well for the last four years and I know, 100%, I am forever out of illogical dieting hell.
Please use your money to vote. Please use your food to make ethical choices. Please see yourself as a part of the big picture.
Unlike deep fried food, It's a win-win situation.
Fact: The way humans are currently living on this planet is unsustainable.
Fact: the world's consumption of meat and dairy is one of the major contributors to our planet's environmental problems.
This morning - I read this article about how meat and dairy consumption HAS to drop if we have any hope of a sustainable future. Most people sort of know this already - some accept it and go vegan, others question it and try to find other reasons for the problem and the rest just simply do not know. Blissful, blissful ignorance drowned in double cream.
Those who question it are the ones who drive me insane.
People are DESPERATE to disprove this and find ways to skirt around it just so they can keep eating freaking cheeseburgers.
Is it really so hard to believe that it's UNSUSTAINABLE to factory farm billions of animals? BILLIONS of animals that shit, eat, fart, drink water and need to be transported across country?! Is it REALLY so hard to believe that is unsustainable practice? Not to mention powering the factory farms that tear them to pieces? That are strategically placed in far away places out of your sight - using so much power and energy? That it takes food and water to birth, grow and house a cow - just so that we can then eat that cow? Cow flesh that doesn't even do us any real good - just clogs our arteries and contributes to various diseases and ailments?
WHY ARE HUMANS SO STUPID AND SET IN THEIR WAYS?
I read through the comments on this article (I don't know why I do things that I know will make me mad) and most people, surprise surprise, are trying to DEBUNK the article with their own stupid, narrow-minded views that are BASED ON NOTHING. It's insulting and ludicrous. I feel this way about climate-change debates as well; when people fob-off studies conducted hard-working, dedicated scientists that are just DELIVERING FACTS. These scientists have given so much time to collect data and statistics to help us understand what is happening to our planet. These scientists aren't working for the Carrot Mafia. Or the Sustainability Illuminati. THEY ARE FUCKING SCIENTISTS! THEY ARE INTERESTED IN FACTS! The corruption to look out for and question - is when people are profiting and making money (or just when Rupert Murdock is involved). The overwhelming majority of scientists are proving that our planet is warming and this is a serious problem. What are they met with? IGNORANT MEAT-HEADS! People who say "I don't care about your science! My back yard is fucking freezing! It's the coldest year we've ever had. Stupid scientist."
What really gets my blood boiling is that people can read articles like this as some kind of personal attack, or threat. When I was faced with the reality of animal agriculture - my first thought wasn't "I'm NOT a bad person for eating meat! How dare this person tell me I'm a bad person for eating meat!" My first thoughts were "Oh my God - I had no idea. I can't keep doing this. Those poor animals... that's awful industries..."
But maybe I'm just a big old softie. Vegans are all weak, didn't you know?
Yep - vegan... ;) http://veganweightlifting.com/
The main comments on the BBC article are along the lines of" "the problem is population control, not diet." No one is debating the fact that our population is completely out of control, of course it is. I have no plans to have children and more people my age should probably think about that.
But really - we are a bit powerless about that at the moment. Who knows how far away we are from being able to successfully exercise population control? We don't know when the zombie apocalypse will hit. We don't know when we will find a new planet. All we know is - we are here now and we are FUCKED. So - the truth is - you can take your sarky comment and shove it where the sun don't shine - because it's IRRELEVANT. Deal with the FACTS. The here and now. We are here and now we have to take action and one of the SIMPLEST, easiest, most logical things anyone could do is TO STOP EATING MEAT.
STOP! Stop you damn crack addict. Stop. How many times do you have to hear that red meat isn't good for you? How many times do you have to hear that your fish is loaded with mercury and all the fish are dying out? How many times do you have to hear that cheese is probably the worst thing anyone can eat (along with high-fructose corn syrup) before you think: oh... DING... light bulb.... I have POWER. I am in control. I can decide not to do these things and it's not remotely hard.
(I've had a coffee writing this, by the way... feeling a little edgy.)
Do you see what I'm saying though? Your comment is irrelevant. And - just to further shoot you down - if our wold was on a plant-based diet -the population wouldn't be so much of a problem. In fact - there have been numerous studies and articles that say our planet can actually support a population of this size if we lived in a more sustainable way. Number ONE being: DIET. Plant based diet - we feed the world.
Greed is the problem... not numbers. There is enough for everyone we just need to learn how to FUCKING SHARE. You learned when you were a child, didn't you? Didn't you hear that thing about sharing? Helping out the needy? Not having absolutely everything you want all the time because life doesn't work that way? You can't buy the new barbie doll because Mum has to pay for that and you can't always get what you want?
Well - we are entering a time where cheeseburgers may just become a luxury. Oh the irony. And meat SHOULD be a fucking luxury... not on your damn sandwich three times a day! Obviously it's my opinion meat should be flat-out banned and we should leave animals the hell alone and maybe our planet's ecosystems and natural habitats can have a chance of restoring themselves, but I know most people won't be forced into vegetarianism. But can you AT LEAST be forced to cut the hell down? See meat as a luxury as it should be! Not yours to just have whenever you feel like it. We used to hunt animals - you used to have to skin them and look at the raw flesh and take out the eye balls and the livers. Now - you just walk into a supermarket and have your fill. It's sickening. And we wonder why there's a problem? There's too much meat. Too much. Do some googling, look at the evidence and PLEASE... I'm begging you... cut down. Maybe on your path to cutting down you will also find some compassion for these animals and agree they should not be factory farmed like they are being.....
The best way? Humans - eat plants. Farm sustainably. Use land to grow crops that don't go into cows mouths - but into humans mouths. Cut out the middle man.
Is your brain melting with the logic?
I do have some vegan friends, but the majority of vegans I come across are online.
The mad, weird online world.
I joined some vegan groups three years ago for advice and to feel like I wasn't alone. I rarely comment in these groups (actually, I don't think I ever have) but every now and then I enjoy having a nosy.
Sadly, most of the time, I see debates.
Horrible, mean, negative debates attacking someone because they did something "not vegan." People commonly use these groups to ask questions, advice, health concerns or anything of that nature. Tell you what though - do not come here and expect support (sadly).
A post I read this morning was attacking a girl who wrote in asking about non-leather riding equipment - saddles, bridles, etc. I thought nothing of this post, until I read the horrible responses to her question and noticed the girl could no longer be clicked on.
She was no longer a member of the vegan group.
And, I do not bloody blame her. The comments were awful. Just awful. It made me disgusted to call myself a vegan. People attacked her, some simply, some not. One wrote simply: "is this a joke?" and that was the tamest.
Some called her names, many posted in dictionary definitions of vegansim, some had the gall to talk about her horses like they were these poor victims and didn't she realize what she was subjecting them to?
The gist being: you cannot call yourself a vegan if you ride a horse.
Are you fucking serious?
Okay - I want to put this out there right away: if this is what it takes to be a "vegan" - attacking others, acting like the authority on all-things-vegan, shooting others down because they "aren't doing it right", then I don't want to be associated with the word anymore. This is the behavior that fuels people's correct assumptions that vegans care more about animals than other people!
This girl rides horses. She is a vegan so obviously loves animals! If she owns horses and rides them occasionally, why is that your issue or problem? She's not running a riding school, renting her horse out for seven dollars an hour and running it into the ground for her own profits! She's not operating the horse-drawn carriage system in New York City! She's not the guy from Black Beauty!
Leave her alone.
I understand "vegan" means to live without exploiting animals. But surely, in 2014, there are bigger issues than one vegan girl who owns a horse?
I have no interest in participating with a group of people who are prepared to ATTACK someone who is already a vegan because they have a different opinion one one of the many sub-topics within veganism.
"Vegan" shouldn't be a broad term and that's what upsets a lot these days. It should be a black and white dictionary definition that every "vegan" abides by ... but that just isn't going to happen. That doesn't apply to ANY movement these days, especially when the level of pain, destruction and exploitation of animals is so vast and all-encompassing. When I went vegan, I thought I was a purest and that was all that mattered, but three-years later, I naturally chilled out and realized the world is a difficult place to navigate and I can only do THE BEST I CAN.
That attitude actually makes it easier and less stressful to be a vegan. You do it because you want to and because it's natural, not because you're trying to be perfect.
It's difficult to be 100% vegan. If you want to eat out with friends and be social, if you want to visit relatives, if you want to buy clothing in second-hand shops, if you want to keep pets, if you want to go on holiday, hey, if you want to even buy vegetables, it's hard to be 100% vegan. But - if you're heart is in the right place and you're doing the best you can, does that mean you're not allowed to call yourself a vegan?
TRUE STORY: I had a favorite drink at my regular coffee shop for the first year after going vegan. And after AN ENTIRE YEAR of drinking this thing made on soy milk, the Barista told me there was milk powder in the cocoa they used. AFTER A YEAR of making me soy drinks. Why didn't they mention that before?! So, even though I was a pure vegan in my heart and soul, ate completely vegan, felt completely vegan, etc, does this hilarious story mean I wasn't a vegan that entire year?
Of course not! And if you think I couldn't call myself a vegan because I accidentally drank a quarter teaspoon of milk powder a few times a week, you're ridiculous.
Okay - let's get into these sub-topics! The topics that divide vegans!
Sub-Topics I am NOT Okay With
You are not vegan if you eat fish. Simple.
You are not vegan if you eat eggs. If you have hens in your back yard and you choose to eat their eggs, I do not judge you at all. If you eat a vegan diet apart from the eggs from your own back yard, I do not judge you. But I think it's fair to say you aren't a vegan. Is that fair?
You are not a vegan if you wear dead animal skin on your body. Simple. If you buy "recycled second hand blah blah" leather... I guess this is a grey area... but in my mind - I don't want to be SEEN wearing leather. I don't want any of my actions to look like I support this. Faux fur? I think any true vegan would rather vomit than be seen in anything resembling faux fur. Even if no animal was harmed - it still looks like an animal.
4) Pet Food
OOOOOH This is a tough one.....
Do you give your cat or dog other animals to eat? Sorry.... I'm not in favor of this. There are PLENTY of vegan pet food options now... so please use them. I understand that dogs are carnivores... I'm not debating that at all. They are. But they also can be incredibly healthy on vegan pet food now being made. In this day and age - how can we be vegan and against animal cruelty and then buy the SHIT that is sold in dog food tins? Nah, not okay.
Sub-Topics I Don't Care About But Other Vegans are Nazi About
Some vegans eat honey. Get over it. I don't eat honey, but I'm sick of all the judgement. Chill the fuck out.
2) Horse Riding
This is from this morning.... If you own horses, love animals, eat a vegan diet and decide to ride your own horses... I don't understand how this is evil or wrong? If you love your horse and give them treats and cuddle them and feel like you have a relationship... how is that evil to the horse? In this day and age we HAVE PETS. For fucks sake.
3) Hospitality Free Food
I work in hospitality and I see the WASTE. No part of me wants to eat meat or dairy (ew) but if there was a vegan at my work that wanted to eat a flapjack before it goes in the bin - I don't see how that's an issue. It's literally going in the bin. Do they call these people "Freegans"?
4) Relatives That Don't Get It
Visiting relatives that cook for you - I understand not wanting to make a huge fuss. "Vegetarian" seems fine, but "Vegan" still blows minds. If I tunred up at an Aunt's house and they presented me a with Vegetarian Quiche - I would die. Quiche is my worst nightmare. But, I understand this is a grey area for some vegans. You don't want to be any trouble. A tip - offer to cook! This works for me every time.
The point I'm trying to make is that everyone is DIFFERENT and has their own opinion. I understand that super purest vegans must find it hard to understand how a "vegan" could eat cheese for a special occasion, or have a slice of a friends birthday cake or even ride a horse! But what is the most important thing? In my opinion - it's making veganism an APPEALING life choice.
Do not go around making veganism look like this impossible bench-mark no one can reach. It's not going to work. "Vegan" in an ideal world would mean zero animal exploitation, but, as the carnivores are so quick to remind us, that is nearly impossible these days. Animals are hurt. Animals are killed. Animals are killed making grains! Animals are killed so our houses can be built. It's sad, but true.
We do the best we can and show people how much UNNECESSARY suffering happens these days. Eating a vegan diet (or a 99% vegan diet!) is the easiest way to minimize that suffering. It's not about focusing on every minimal thing, it's looking at the BIG picture. That's why veganism makes sense - it is about LOGIC, the future, sustainability, practicality, BIG PICTURE.
If a vegan girl wants to ride her horse, fucking let her! Don't tell her she can't be a vegan because she does this!
It's not like our club is bursting at the seams! We need members, yo.
Yep - that's an old meal of mine. I wasn't always vegan. I once cooked that big breakfast and ate every scrap - the bacon, the eggs... the buttered toast.
I was convinced to go vegan by copious research and nearly every day since then, people try and convince me to go back to meat.
They are DESPERATE for me to not be vegan. For me to explain myself. To come up with any weird, little point that undermines and ridicules my decision.
It would be so convenient if all vegans were mindless hippies, wouldn't it?
If they all smelled bad and they all were high as kites and they didn't think about the "real world"....
Silly, silly vegans with their "morals" and "ideals". Don't they understand how the world works?
Go, take your hummus and your "feelings" and keep them away from my steak! This is how it's always been! People are always going to eat meat, so just get OVER it.
How terrifying it must be, when vegans come along who aren't crazy. When vegans come along who are, kind of... well.... intelligent. They think hard about their choices. They have an answer for every question. They do live in the "real world". In fact - it's this that led them to veganism in the first place.
Makes you wonder if it's YOU who doesn't live in the real world.
The best arguments I've heard against being vegan are:
1) What About the Happy Egg-Laying Chickens in my Back-yard? BOOM. Gotcha. Stupid vegan.
2) This is How it's Always Been
3) I Tried to be a Vegetarian Once and Got Sick. Poor Me
4) What If I'm a Selfish Bastard who doesn't care about the Planet? (You know who you are....) ;)
5) What about small fishing villages in *insert country* who rely on fish for survival?
6) What if you were on a desert island and it was you and a wild hog. Would you starve to death?
That hopefully sounds comical, or like I'm taking the piss. But these are seriously the best arguments I've heard against being Vegan. I think they're all bollocks, but that goes to prove why being Vegan is logical.
The Phantom Chickens in Ma Backyard
The MAJORITY of people do not have chickens in their backyard. Does that surprise you? Does it surprise you to know that so many people say this to me and non of them ACTUALLY get their eggs from a chicken in their backyard?
Do me a favor - if you do NOT have any chickens roaming around in your back yard, dropping their periods on the grass that you so desperately want to scramble up - DO NOT MENTION IT. You cannot use this argument.
If you DO, then fine - I will accept this as a logical argument towards you eating eggs. I'm not stupid. Why am I still a vegan? Because the world egg demand cannot be satisfied in this way. HOW DO YOU THINK FACTORY FARMING BEGAN IN THE FIRST PLACE? They didn't pop up overnight, folks. They are a respond to consumer DEMAND.
If every human being in the world was responsible for making their own food and having their own animals - cool. But that ain't happening anytime soon and while SOMEONE ELSE is getting your eggs - they are likely from a factory farm. I could rant about this all day. EDUCATE YOURSELF.
I haven't even gone into the health on eggs. Another post. Or... JUST GOOGLE. Animal products are not natural for us.
It's How It's ALWAYS Been
I'm not going to waste a lot of time on this. If it's not obvious why, I can't help you.
Firstly - it's NOT how it's always been and that's part of the problem, you idiot. We have NEVER had such high demand for animal products as we do now. Many factors contribute to this, but the main culprits are population growth, China wanting to be like America (as if you would) and general human greed.
We need to EVOLVE. Look into the FUTURE. The future cannot include McDonalds, meat in every meal, osteoporosis, heart-disease and animal agriculture that takes up more room on this planet than we do.
Why? Because that's BONKERS. We eat more meat now than we ever have and health ain't great. All leading health experts agree after hundreds of studies that the focus needs to be on PLANT FOODS. What do animal foods give us again? Oh that's right: NOTHING.
Just because something has always been, does not mean it's good. We are learning more every day... we are getting smarter....
Are you smarter than the billion dollar Dairy Industry convincing you to drink cow milk?
Come on, bro.
I Was a SICK Vegetarian.... SO IT'S STUPID
Sigh, oh sigh.
I'm not going to pretend to be a health expert or to know the ins and outs of a perfect strangers body....
But what I do know is that every person I've met or seen online making this argument did not convince me. In the slightest. I have been able to come up with various possibilities of why their diet may have been flawed.
90% of the time - I will bet person simply didn't really WANT to be a vegetarian anymore. They miss meat. They miss social acceptance. They miss cheese. Whatever it is. They feel ill, maybe... but that can be about ANY problem in the diet. Introducing pus-ridden cheese back into your diet shouldn't cure you of anything. LOGIC PEOPLE. For more on this, check out: Why Do New Vegans Fail?
I hear stories of genuine, very passionate people going back to meat and it does interest me. Obviously they are making the right choice for them and I do not judge anyone.
But, please use your common sense - there are enough healthy, thriving, life-long vegans and vegetarians who prove we have no need for animal products. The human body gets EVERYTHING it requires from plants.
Eat often, eat enough, eat variety. You'll be fine. Do some fucking googling. Don't be a stupid vegan.
What if I'm a Selfish Bastard
This point is a total "wink" to someone I know in real life. (Hey!)
But, he made a good point - which was: "this won't actually affect my life at all. I don't care about animals. I don't care about the planet..."
Well, check mate vegan. The meat-eater wins. If he was being genuine - I guess he wins. It's a very sad attitude... but veganism will have zero appeal to someone who thinks that way. And that's a good thing... being vegan is about being SELFLESS.
You get health benefits not eating animal products, but if you don't care about your health either, I guess that won't tempt you. If you don't care at all about animals or the state of our planet.... I guess you win.
Stop Judging Small Fishing Villages, Vegan! Now, Give Me Some Sushi!
Do you live in a small fishing community? Do you rely on fish for the source of your calories?
I do not judge you.
Do you go to sushi trains and buy fish all the time? Do you eat anchovies and tinned tuna and then use this argument?
I judge you.
Guess what? You live in a fucking first world country and can walk into a supermarket and buy whatever the hell you want. And it's that exact choice that AFFECTS EVERYTHING.
YOU are destroying the oceans. YOU are killing dolphins and turtles. YOU are making unsustainable, shitty choices.
EDUCATE YOURSELF. Stop eating fish.
Next time you go into a supermarket - do me a favor and look at all the fish. Look at all the fresh fish, all the tinned fish.... all of it. All stacked up.
Do you think that's normal? Do you think that's sustainable? You are in ONE supermarket. In ONE location. In ONE aisle. Getting the picture.
Maybe vegans think about this shit.
Vegans would DIE on a Desert Island
The day I become Tom Hanks in Castaway, I'll get back to you.
I can tell you now though -
1) THIS IS MOST LIKELY NEVER GOING TO HAPPEN TO ME SO I WON'T LIVE MY LIFE BASED ON A SURVIVAL MODE I WILL NEVER ACTUALLY GO INTO. YOU IDIOT!!!!
2) I will do anything to survive apart from murdering loved ones. If it's me or the pig, of course I choose me.
I'M NOT AN IDIOT.
Well, is there anything I've missed? Any arguments you want me to answer?
Trust me - I've thought about it.
By Sarah Tierney of "Fit Vegan Diaries"
Nutrition is an integral part of raising children, however, the obesity epidemic is enormously high in the US with one third of children, including adolescents, being overweight or obese.
This leads me to believe that something is wrong with our current nutritional system.
In my early elementary school years, my parents were smokers (they've since quit, thankfully). I remember my watching my dad take smoke breaks on the stairway into our basement. I considered this our "bonding time", where I'd sit with him and tell him whatever was on my 8 year old mind. When he wasn't around, I would sneak down to the basement stairway and pretend to smoke a cigarette.
This was in the late 1990's when smoking was still a common practice and the States were just beginning to put in the effort to ban the sale of tobacco to minors. But I do know if my parents continued to smoke, I would've picked up the habit.
What does tobacco have to do with raising vegan kids? It's not the product in and of itself but the parental example. Parents are the number one learning resource for their children. The way I communicate with strangers, for example, is the same way my mom communicated with strangers. We pick up on many habits from our parents without realizing it. Nobody ever taught me how to introduce myself and socialize with others, all I did was observe my mother.
It's important that as parents (or soon to be parents) we take in seriously our daily habits, especially dietary. As a new vegan, my children ages 5 and 4 have not been vegan since birth, but I'm delighted to report in a smooth transition to veganism. Many people, including uneducated pediatricians, families, and friends, will say things in such a way that can plant doubt in your mind about whether you're doing what's right for your child. They may bring up concerns like increased nutritional deficiencies or creating awkward situations at holiday dinner parties.
Raising vegan kids is the single most wonderful thing you can do for your children if done responsibility. It takes a little bit of research and time to make sure your children are receiving adequate nutrition. It's important to become somewhat of an expert about it; who knows, you may even teach your pediatrician a thing or two.
If you're trying to make the transition to vegan with your children or are still in the family planning phases, here are some quick tips on making the process painless and even easy.
Purchase Children's Literature
Vegan picture books are becoming increasingly popular and more available. This was a vital component during my children's vegan transition. Ruby Roth's books in particular helped convey the vegan message in an age appropriate way and now my children understand what should be food and what shouldn't be. Also look at vegan pregnancy nutrition books such as the one written by Alicia Silverstone.
Raise Practical Vegans
Sometimes as working parents we cannot fully control what our children do and eat outside of the home. My children may consume non-vegan foods in school or daycare simply because my five year old wouldn't understand why everyone else gets pizza and she doesn't. This is where the individuality of vegan parenting comes in. It's up to you to decide if you want to fully control what goes into your child's mouth or if you'll allow your children to indulge in things such as cake and ice cream at a friend's birthday party (personally, I avoid birthday parties). Regardless of this, my children eat 100% vegan in our home.
Let Them Snack!
One of the leading problems in child obesity is that they're eating too much food and not expending enough energy. This is mostly due to eating and snacking on the wrong foods. In my house, I have a bowl on our dining room table filled with apples and bananas that I allow my children to eat to their heart's content. They're granted free reign of the refrigerator, which is always stocked with grapes, strawberries, blueberries, carrots, water bottles, etc. Not only do these foods have so much nutrients and disease-fighting power, but they're low in calories which allows them to eat and eat without gaining excess body fat.
It's Okay to Raise a Fruity!
My 5 year old loves all foods and will try anything once. I can usually get her to eat her veggies (we always have vegetables served at dinner). My 4 year old, on the other hand, doesn't like veggies but will eat fruits. This is okay; fruits are high in nutrients and carbohydrates! This doesn't mean don't offer vegetables. It can take up to 20 offerings of the same food before a child will try it. As they get older and able to communicate, talking more about eating veggies will become important.
Your Pregnancy Diet is Crucial
This is for my soon-to-be pregnant or already pregnant ladies. Because I became vegan just this year, I didn't have a vegan pregnancy, but I do know that I did my child a huge disservice with my atrocious diet during my second pregnancy. More studies are linking food pickiness to the mother's pregnancy diet. Throughout my own I ate many sweets and not nearly enough fruits and vegetables. I worked at a coffee shop so I indulged in the sugary coffee drinks and pastries. Thankfully my child was born at a normal weight and hasn't exhibited any health or behavior problems that can arise from a poor diet, but I'm definitely paying for it with his picky eating. It's important to remember babies eat what we eat, which makes healthy foods even more critical during pregnancy than not.
Are you raising vegan kids? What are you tips on handling opinions from your non-vegan friends and relatives? How do you handle social situations? Is your pediatrician supportive?
Sarah is a single mother of two children proudly living the veg life.
When she's not blogging at FitVeganDiaries.com, she's reading for fun, going to school/work, training for her first half marathon, glued to social media, all while avoiding doing laundry.
A Note From Hannah
This is the second time Oops I'm a Vegan has collaborated with an outside writer (Charlotte's Vegan Challenge, anyone?) - and I am over the moon! This post from Sarah is exactly the kind of content I want to publish, but cannot yet write about myself. Thank you Sarah for such a brilliant post and I look forward to more collaboration in the future! Look out for a post from me on Sarah's site soon!
Love and Sweet Potatoes! x
For all the vegans out there,
This is a letter to you, from me. A fellow vegan, currently stuck on a three-hour train journey, thinking.
This is a letter of appreciation. A letter of gratitude. A letter to say things you should be told every single day, but most certainly aren’t.
Congratulations. You rule.
Congratulations on making one of the most selfless, unpopular, ethical and rational decisions that a human being living in this mad, bonkers world can make in this mad, bonkers time.
It is 2014 and there’s a lot of f***ed up s*** going on. The planet is going down the toilet, people treat each other terribly, half the world is starving, there is still mass inequality, we have no connection with our land and animals are literally factory farmed. Factory farmed. They are bred, housed, enslaved and murdered because pathetic humans (who can’t even capture a spider) have decided that ‘bacon tastes good’.
It’s a mad world.
Animal suffering and torture is now (finally) a hot topic and unlike some of those other things in that list, it is something we can easily DO SOMETHING ABOUT. Veganism has never been so popular, but not always for the right reasons (thank you Beyonce and your fur coats).
This letter is not to Beyonce. This letter isn’t even to “plant based goddesses” who tout about vegetables and drink raw goat milk! No, this letter is for the true vegans out there. The zero point one per cent of you who actually “get it”.
You get it.
You get that a life without exploiting animals is the clearest, simplest, least hypocritical and most rational way to live and the only way to truly make a difference.
As a vegan: something “clicked” for you. One of the many triggers that can flip the switch, triggered. You saw the light, you saw the madness and you said “no”.
“I don’t need these things in my life, in fact, these things aren’t even good for me, they take a massive toll on me and others ethically, so I choose to say no.”
Some would even say going vegan is the EASY way out. No more dilemmas, no more "organic, free-range" fantasies, just simple, clear, logical lines. Animals should not be exploited for taste, convenience, greed or entertainment. Done.
Thankfully, more and more people are beginning to see this light, flip this switch and say “no”. It’s slow, it’s gradual but it’s definitely happening. Even in my own life, I have been blown away by a best friend going vegan AND a co-worker doing a vegan challenge only within the last few months.
It’s possible. It can happen. It happened for you, for me, for Portia.
We can make it happen for others when their switch is ready to be flipped.
Do not let yourself be put down by anyone or anything. Do not let stupid people say stupid, uneducated things and make you doubt your choice for a moment.
You are a bloody amazing person and do not forget it.
I am writing this letter to say all the things I wish I could say to every vegan in person. If you know someone who inspires you by making compassionate choices, forward them this letter.
I send this to each of you, with all of my gratitude.
I kind of want to sign this “Babe” or “Daisy” as a joke… but then that would make it funny and it isn’t funny. It’s serious.
Keep doing what you are doing. (Unless you are an annoying vegan who preaches and then eats cheesy wedges when drunk. Don't do that.)
Love Hannah xx
1. Egg Production is responsible for more animal deaths than any other
animal related Industry.
Each year, in the US alone, approximately 200 million male chickens are killed within 72 hours of being born. Why? They will never lay eggs or grow breasts big enough for humans to want to eat - therefore they are useless.
This picture is from a "Free Range" egg farm. I wish everyone knew this.
2. Veal would not exist without the Milk Industry.
What is "Veal"?
Veal is a baby cow. If baby cows drank their mother's milk, like they are supposed to, humans couldn't pump it out of them and drink it ourselves. This is why Veal exists. Baby cows become food and the milk remains OURS.
If you are a vegetarian and drink milk....please consider links like these. All commercial animal industries are connected.
I wish everyone knew this...
See if you can read this article without wanting to shoot the writer in the face -
3. Humans are Not Carnivores
This is not up for debate, though many still try.
It can be debated that we are "omnivores", because we can digest meat, but we can also digest cardboard. Let's be logical people, just because our bodies CAN break something down, doesn't mean it is good for you.
All I ever ask people to do is research. Research everything and see what YOU think. Don't just accept what you've been told your whole life. Research the similarities and comparisons between the human body and other animals. Animal proteins do not break down easily in human bodies; we do not have sharp teeth, we do not have claws, we do not have sufficient acid in our stomachs.
AND - most telling of all - many humans live and THRIVE without meat in their diets!! They are often in BETTER health, free of diabetes, free of heart disease, free of high cholesterol.
Do the research.
I WISH EVERYONE KNEW THIS!
4. Raising animals for food uses a staggering 30% of the Earth's land mass
Speaks for itself.
It's f**king disgusting. The land animals literally stand on, the land used to grow their "food" (that we should be eating ourselves), the land used to build the factory farms, the slaughterhouses... all of it.
And this is TODAY. If demand continues to increase....what will we do then? Are burgers so delicious that animals will end up taking up more space on the planet than US just so we can eat them?
The madness..... I wish everyone knew this.....
5. There is nothing your body requires that cannot be acquired from plant sources.
So many misconceptions and this is one of the biggest. When I started researching my desire to be vegan - my mind was BLOWN when I found the overwhelming research proving that there is NOTHING my body needed not found in fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds.
The two exceptions are Vitamin D (the sun) and Vitamin B12 (a bacteria found in our soil).
Overwhelmingly I would say that every human being in the world should supplement B12, not just vegans.
I WISH EVERYONE KNEW THIS.
6. Dairy does NOT give you Calcium.
This website is a great resource: http://saveourbones.com/osteoporosis-milk-myth/
"Like all animal protein, milk acidifies the body pH which in turn triggers a biological correction. You see, calcium is an excellent acid neutralizer and the biggest storage of calcium in the body is – you guessed it… in the bones. So the very same calcium that our bones need to stay strong is utilized to neutralize the acidifying effect of milk. Once calcium is pulled out of the bones, it leaves the body via the urine, so that the surprising net result after this is an actual calcium deficit.
Knowing this, you’ll understand why statistics show that countries with the lowest consumption of dairy products also have the lowest fracture incidence in their population..."
I WISH EVERYONE KNEW THIS.
7. If you are properly hydrated - your urine is clear.
Let's get into the gritty stuff.
Is your urine yellow?
Guess what - you need to drink more water :)
This will change your life!
And I wish everyone knew it.
This post could go on and on forever.
How many staggering, unfortunate and horrible facts are there that most have no idea about? I can't imagine how much I don't know about the world.
But we should never stop trying to find out. Contrary to popular belief - I believe we CAN do something about it. Don't be of the opinion that it's "too late" or "who cares" or it's all too screwed up now to be fixed.
We are the customers. We are in charge. We are the money. Please stop putting your dollars into evil places and most importantly - stop using your money to abuse innocent animals.
If you want to eat meat, avoid factory farms that support the mass abuse of animals. If you want to drink milk, find a real farm where cows are treated with respect and allowed to keep their babies.
Or, ya know... just go vegan ;)
Feel empowered by these facts. The world needs a lot of repairing and it's up to us to do it.
Oh, and drink your water!
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