This is a catchall research post. That’s right, hardcore research, with links to actual sites and everything. Because I am so tired of arguing with people about my choices. You want the short answer, the one I give to little kids? I’m vegan because thinking about cows makes me cry. That’s really what it boils down to. But big picture, the real thinking behind it, gets kind of disgusting. Not appropriate dinner conversation. But here we go.
This one is kind of obvious. In 2015, 9.2 billion farm animals were slaughtered for food, according to the USDA. Of these animals, almost 29 million were cattle, 115 million were hogs, and a staggering 8.8 BILLION were chickens. These figures don’t even include rabbits, fish, or crustaceans (source).
This one seems kind of obvious, but apparently “bacon is sooooo good” is an equivalent argument, according to many people. Anyway…
Dairy can be just as deadly. Cows are naturally social creatures, much like humans. But when a cow gives birth (after being forcibly artificially inseminated), the calf is taken away within hours. The mother is then milked and eventually inseminated again for the process to begin again. Female calves are raised to be the next generation to undergo a life of pain, while male calves are sold for beef or, more often, killed for veal (source). So much for the “it hurts the cow if she isn’t milked” thing, right?
Finally, we come to chickens. Eggs are okay, right? Sorry. Even the happiest, free range-est chickens have still been bred to lay over three times the amount of eggs their ancestors did a century ago. Beaks are often culled (cut or trimmed) on baby chicks; the unlucky males are gassed or ground up (source, source).
This is one that I started learning about AFTER I had already stopped eating animal products, but it’s incredibly simple if you think about it. Crops are sown, grown, and harvested only to be fed to animals, which are then fed to people. The process is inefficient. 80% of the deforestation in the Amazon is due to cattle raising. Sure, you’re recycled paper and reusable cups are helping, but you know what isn’t? Your Big Mac. (source).
To be honest, this isn’t as much of a factor for me. I mean, does the thought of putting pus-filled cheese and heavily antibiotic-treated chicken into my body disgust me now? Yes. Was it a factor when I first stopped eating animal products? Nah. But this may help convince some people. Vegans tend to be thinner (which, obviously, does not mean healthier, but is still appealing to the general population), have lower cholesterol, lower blood pressure, and a lower risk of high blood pressure, as well as the higher availability of important nutrients such as folic acid and fiber (source).
I’m not a professional. Obviously. I’m just showing my reasoning. And I know that not everyone has the resources and the drive to plan food and be so careful, and that’s okay. But attacking people for a choice that they are making, whether it is for their health or the environment or because of personal convictions. is not okay. If you want to ask questions because you are curious, then ask! If you want to ask questions to ridicule… what are you even doing? Seriously, dude.
A final anecdote, to finish off a kind of heavy little post:
My brother in law was talking to me, and pointing out that I had all these enzymes in my body that I wasn’t using because I don’t eat meat; why would I have them if I wasn’t supposed to use them, that kind of thing. I became frustrated and finally yelled “YOU HAVE NIPPLES!” which ended the conversation abruptly.
I hope this has been helpful, if anyone has any questions or helpful links, please comment. Thanks!