We need meat. We are omnivores. Meat is essential for our bodies. Vegans can’t eat much anymore. Our ancestors ate meat too. God invented chickens and other animals so we can eat them. Lions eat animals too, so it’s normal. But it tastes so good!
These, among others, are some of the reasons I have heard from people to justify the eating of animal products. Even more: I used to say some of these things myself. So what changed?
Deep in my heart I have always known that the way animals are treated so we can eat them, is wrong. I had imagined too many chickens walking around in a field that’s too small. I had imagined calves being slaughtered and barely having had a life. But I didn’t realize how bad it truly was. It wasn’t until a vegan friend of mine shared another post on Facebook about animal abuse, and I felt it was so horrible once again, that I started doing research. Why do people become vegan? Does it make a difference? Will my body be ok? Can’t I just eat free range animals?
After the research I did, I couldn’t deny things anymore: the truth was horrible. And at that moment, I decided to stop eating animals and animal products, and became a vegan. Now what was it that convinced me?
First of all, the suffering of the animals for our 5-minute pleasure of that steak we eat because it tastes good, couldn’t be justified anymore. I had learned how intelligent animals were and how the emotions they have are just like the emotions we have. So I only had to do one thing: put myself in their shoes, or well, paws. If it would be me, would I be happy in cages with a bunch of other humans, some dead, some nearly, some sick, some with broken legs and arms, bruised and scarred, ripped away from families and friends? Would I be happy if they would rip my child from my arms the first day of its birth, just so they can tap my breast milk, and impregnate me again after a year to do it all over again so I keep producing milk? How much pain would I be in if I was fed the kind of food that would make me produce 250 to 300 eggs a year (if I would be a chicken), when naturally, I should only lay 10 to 15 in a year? No. I would be broken, depressed, suicidal, and in tears all the time. I would be in excruciating pain constantly, and watch others die, knowing it’s only a matter of time before I die too. I could no longer support that.
Yet the animal suffering wasn’t the only reason for me to become a vegan. The environment was another important one, and I had never realized how much effect the animal industry had on climate change and other environmental problems. Forget about your car, it’s cows’ shit you should worry about! The methane in it is responsible for a really large amount of greenhouse gas emissions. Methane is 25 times more powerful than CO2! If you really want to help our planet and the environment, going vegan is simply the best option. And as I have always cared about the environment (surprise: if we ruin our planet, we all die!), that’s what I did.
I also learned that so many beautiful forest are being destroyed for the animal industry. That contributes to global warming as well, and some animals go extinct because of it.
And there’s more. The next thing seems so logical once you think about it, but truth is that I had never thought about it before. Imagine using the land that we now use to put the animals on that we breed, using the land that we use for plants to feed those animals, for food for people. We could stop breeding animals, which would result in a huge amount of food and water that we could spare. So many people in this world die because of starvation and lack of clean water. I realized that by going vegan, we would have more food, and it wouldn’t have to be the way it is now. People wouldn’t have to die because of hunger and thirst. How good of a reason is that?
So what about protein? What about vitamins? Would I have to take a bunch of supplements? No. The truth is that we could take all that our body needs out of plants, and we’d be healthier than we would be if we would eat meat. No cholesterol is already one positive thing about it. Other than that, eating meat increases risk of high blood pressure, cancer, heart disease, diabetes, … Eating plant based would not only be enough for our bodies, it would be better. All you have to do is check out what food you can eat to keep your protein and vitamins on track. And you know: even if we would have to take supplements: what would be the problem with that? If I have to take supplements to live in a way that I could help the environment and save some animals their lives, then I don’t care about taking supplements. But if you don’t want to take them: there is no reason you have to when you choose to become a vegan. All you have to do is learn some stuff about what food is good for you.
But what about B12? Because I had been told that B12 is something that’s only in animal products, and as you may or may not know, B12 is another really important thing. So you should have to take that as a supplement, right? Fact is that B12 is put in the food of the animals that we humans eat. So indirectly, every person that eats meat and such, takes the supplement B12. So do I need to take that supplement? Actually, it naturally occurs in bacteria on plants. Sadly, we wash our plants so thoroughly that it’s being washed away. Mushrooms we don’t wash so thoroughly (or not at all, their flavor is better when you don’t, some just take a cloth and wipe the dirt off), so B12 can be on mushrooms, and possibly also seaweed and spirulina. Other than that: because B12 is made by bacteria, it doesn’t have to come from animals. So the only thing you have to make sure to do, is drink plant milk, eat soy products and certain breakfast cereals that include B12. So indirectly, vegans take a B12 supplement, just like meat-eaters do (through the food the animals on their plate got). Meaning: it’s silly to say that being vegan isn’t ok since we have to take that supplement, because everyone else takes it as well, without realizing.
So after figuring out all this, and way more, I could not turn a blind eye anymore. I could not support the animal industry any longer. Think about this: if you can’t stand animals suffering, why are you still eating meat? You may not hurt them personally, but you are supporting an industry that does things that even any normal human being hates. I realized that no matter how much I loved animals, I was paying people to hurt and murder animals, just for a bit of taste on my plate. Is that really a valid excuse?