219 Significant Reasons to Go Vegan in 2019
So, I’ll give you a heads up right off the bat.
This is a long list. A very long list.
In fact, it may take you longer than 30 minutes to read this article. If you take the time to read this article (approximately 30-45 minutes depending on your speed — we’re not judging you slow readers out there — take ya damn time!), it will be better spent than if you were to scroll mindlessly through social media apps. I promise.
If you’re looking to make your life more purposeful in 2019.
If you’re looking to accomplish more.
If you’re hoping you’ll become a better version of you…
This article is for YOU.
First, I want you to stop believing that vegans are extreme hippies or protesting animal freaks and take a few minutes to look at the facts.
People don’t go vegan because they want to be annoying or just feel like preaching about something.
They do it because they learned the truth and they want to be better versions of themselves.
Whether health resonates with you most or you’re an animal lover, but still eat them (not a guilt trip, just fact), or you want to know how to do more for the planet during this global warming crisis…
This article is definitely for YOU.
This list is not exhaustive…and that’s sad. I could’ve gone on and on and on with more facts (but thank GOD I didn’t!).
Hopefully out of these 219 reasons, at least ONE of them resonates with you and makes you take a deeper look into why a diet change is one of the most important & impactful things you can do for yourself, the animals, and the planet.
I’ve broken them down into categories so they’re a bit more digestible. Read it all in one go or by sections.
Cumulatively, there are 219 significant reasons to consider going vegan in 2019 listed in this article.
Health Reasons to Go Vegan in 2019:
We have no physical or health need to actually consume animal products.
All the nutrients we need to grow and live as healthy humans can be obtained from plants.
“World Cancer Research Fund and The American Institute for Cancer Research (2009) outline the most important preventable causes of cancer: smoking, unhealthy diets, physical inactivity and excess body weight. The report states that ‘the prevention of cancer is now one of the most important, achievable and potentially rewarding global public health challenges.’ It goes on to say that diets high in plant foods, and specifically non-starchy vegetables, fruits and other foods high in dietary fibre, vitamin C and carotenoids can protect against a number of cancers.”
Eating a vegan diet can decrease chances of developing brain cancer.
Eating a vegan diet can decrease chances of developing breast cancer.
“Consumption of cruciferous vegetables (like broccoli) at least once a week can significantly reduce the risk of cancer of the oral cavity and pharynx, esophagus, colon and rectum, breast and kidney.”
“Consumption of animal products is strongly linked to breast, uterus, kidney, ovarian, pancreatic, prostate, testicular and thyroid cancer and multiple myeloma.”
“The World Cancer Research Fund’s 2007 report pointed out that ovarian cancer is most frequent in high income countries and also that there seems to be a direct relationship between vegetable intake and ovarian cancer – several studies showed that the higher the intake of vegetables, the lower the risk of this type of cancer.”
“It revealed that women with unhealthy diets based on meat, fatty and processed foods have 3.3 times higher cervical cancer risk than women whose diets are plant-based and low in fat. Therefore, a low fat plant-based diet can significantly reduce the risk of cervical cancer regardless of HPV infection.”
“A part of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study focused specifically on diet and prostate cancer (Allen et al., 2008). The scientific team examined consumption of animal foods, protein and calcium in relation to risk of prostate cancer among over 140,000 men. They found out that high intake of dairy protein was associated with an increased risk of prostate cancer and so was high calcium intake from dairy products (but not from non-dairy sources).”
“Lucenteforte et al. (2009) reviewed data from nearly 50 studies on the relation between diet and the risk of oral and pharyngeal cancer. Fruit and vegetables and wholegrains were linked to a significantly decreased risk, leading the authors to recommend a diet high in these for cancer prevention.”
“In another study of dietary patterns and cancer of the esophagus, Bravi et al. (2012b) discovered that diets high in meat, dairy, eggs and fatty foods increase the risk, whilst diets high in fruit and vegetables, pulses and fibre decrease the risk. The latest exhaustive review on the subject agrees that a diet rich in fruits and vegetables and cessation of tobacco and alcohol use can significantly contribute to esophageal cancer prevention (Palladino-Davis et al., 2015).”
In regards to gastric cancer, “A meta-analysis and review of other studies on the same subject later conducted by Bertuccio et al. (2013) arrived at the conclusion that a wholesome diet including high consumption of fruits and vegetables may decrease the risk of gastric cancer by 25 percent, whilst a diet high in meat, high-fat dairy products, starchy foods and sweets can increase the risk by 50 per cent.”
“Higher colon cancer rates are associated with higher animal protein and fat intake and low fibre consumption, which is typical of an American diet.”
“Another arm of this comprehensive EPIC study focused on diet and colorectal cancer in a population of over 470,000 people from across Europe (Murphy et al., 2012). Higher intake of fibre was linked to a significantly lower risk of colorectal cancer – for each ten grams of fibre a day, the risk of cancer decreased by 13 per cent.”
“The incidence of pancreatic cancer in China is increasing so Liu et al. (2014) conducted a study to investigate whether there is an association to dietary factors. They discovered that there was a strong link between meat consumption and pancreatic cancer and that fruit and vegetables and tea had protective effects.”
“The results from the lung cancer section of the EPIC study examining the link between fruit and vegetable consumption and lung cancer showed that regular fruit and vegetable intake reduces the risk of lung cancer in both non-smokers and smokers (Büchner et al., 2010a). When the smokers’ data were analysed further, the incredible vegan health report scientists found out that an increased variety in fruit and vegetable consumption decreases lung cancer risk further (Büchner et al., 2010b).”
“The EPIC study of almost 500,000 people from across Europe examined dietary intake of main nutrients and their impact on the risk of bladder cancer (Allen et al., 2013). One nutrient seemed to be of crucial importance – protein – but not all protein is the same. According to the results, the higher the intake of animal protein, the higher the risk of bladder cancer – just a three per cent increase in the consumption of animal protein was associated with a 15 per cent higher risk of bladder cancer. On the other hand, plant protein intake lowered the risk – a two per cent increase in plant protein intake was associated with a 23 per cent lower risk of bladder cancer.”
When switching to a wholesome vegan diet from a meat-heavy diet, within two weeks, positive changes in colonic microbial metabolism may follow, which may lead to lower chances of developing colon cancer.
“The Oxford part of the enormous EPIC study included over 27,000 people and one of the studied health aspects in this population sample was the relationship between diet and cataracts (Appleby et al., 2011). This study showed a strong relation between cataract risk and dietary patterns. There was a clear gradient with the risk of cataracts being highest in high meat-eaters and decreasing progressively in low meat-eaters, pescatarians, vegetarians and vegans. Vegans had the lowest possible risk of cataracts, 40 per cent lower than meat-eaters. In a further analysis, high intake of cholesterol, saturated fats and protein was significantly linked to cataracts.”
“A plant-based diet can also help manage the condition in people who suffer from COPD and reduce the risk of premature death” (COPD is Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease).
When it comes to Type 1 Diabetes, “Evidence is increasing that a combination of susceptible genes and early exposure to cow’s milk is responsible for this self-harming reaction of the body.”
To support the evidence in #27, “A Chilean study conducted around the same time focused on the combination of susceptible genes and cow’s milk (Perez-Bravo et al., 1996). The findings revealed that genetically susceptible children weaned too early onto cow’s milk-based formula had 13 times greater risk of developing type 1 diabetes than children breast-fed for at least three months and who did not have susceptible genes.”
When it comes to Type 2 Diabetes, “Research shows that with the right diet it is possible to decrease blood sugar, limit medication, cut the risk of complications and even reverse type 2 diabetes.”
“Research suggests that eating just one serving of meat per week significantly increases the risk of diabetes.”
“The rise of animal product consumption in some countries is followed by increased cancer rates,” according to this study.
“Haem-iron found in meat (this type of iron is only found in meat) may be the risk factor for cancer through increased production of free radicals and DNA damage.”
“Animal product consumption causes increased production of insulin, insulin-like growth factor 1 and sex hormones in the body which is probably why it’s so strongly linked to cancer.”
Vegan diets have been known to reduce inflammation in the body.
Reduced inflammation in the body means less of a chance of developing arthritis (which is the inflammation of your joints).
“A vegan diet has been shown to be able to improve the health of rheumatoid arthritis sufferers and reduce the pain and stiffness of joints.”
“Research revealed that people suffering from RA have inflammation of the intestinal tract resulting in increased permeability of the gut wall. With increased intestinal permeability, foreign proteins from foods and bacteria can pass into the bloodstream and cause an immune reaction that can harm joint lining. Fasting is known to decrease intestinal permeability and improve the symptoms of patients with RA but when patients return to a diet with dairy products the gut becomes more permeable and the arthritis returns (McDougall, 2002).”
When you “follow a diet of berries, fruits, vegetables and roots, nuts, germinated seeds and sprouts for [at least] three months” your intake of antioxidants, fiber, and health-protective phytochemicals increases significantly.
“Bacteria promoted by meat-based and fatty diets can increase the inflammation through toxic by-products of their metabolism.”
When consuming a vegan diet, your gut microflora is often much better than a meat-eater’s, which means your health will more positively impacted seeing as your gut determines the healthiness of your body overall.
In a study that looked at the effects of a vegan diet vs. meat, egg, and cheese heavy diet as it relates to the human gut microbiome, “The effects of the diet change after just five days were astonishing. The animal-based diet increased the abundance of bile-tolerant microorganisms that produce many potentially harmful by-products and decreased the levels of bacteria that metabolise plant starches and fibre. The increase in the abundance and activity of the species Bilophila wadsworthia on the animal-based diet supports a link between dietary fat, bile acids and changes in gut microbiome capable of triggering inflammatory bowel disease.”
“Chronic gut inflammation is linked to many health issues such as inflammatory bowel disease, metabolic syndrome, immune system disorders and rheumatoid arthritis. It’s now clear that a high-fat, high-sugar Western style diet significantly contributes to this scenario and encourages bacteria that produce harmful substances that not only increase inflammation but some of them are also carcinogenic (Huang et al., 2013).”
In regards to fibromyalgia, the research on veganism and this condition is scarce.“However, research suggests a raw vegan diet can improve the condition in general and some symptoms in particular. In a Finnish study a group of fibromyalgia patients were put on a raw vegan diet for three months (Kaartinen et al., 2000). The results revealed significant improvements in pain, joint stiffness, quality of sleep and a significant reduction in weight (most of the patients were overweight) and cholesterol levels.”
While there are no studies done regarding veganism and asthma (“a respiratory condition characterized by attacks and spasms in the airways, which causes difficulty in breathing, wheezing, chest-tightness and breathlessness”), there is research that says that people who have a higher intake of fruits and vegetables are 36% less at risk of asthma and those who have a lower intake are more likely to experience wheezing and asthma.
According to this study, “the results showed that meat and burger intake in particular, was associated with an increased risk of asthma.”
In relation to kidney health, a diet is crucial to good functioning of this organ. When your food is digested, metabolized, and absorbed, your body produces acid or alkali depending on the food. When too much acid is introduced to your body, your kidney cannot cope with it. “The main acid forming foods are red and white meat, fish, cheese, eggs, sugar, some grain products and alcohol and the kidneys are worked harder when there is too much acid in the diet. If the diet consistently contains too many acid-producing foods or if the kidneys are damaged and don’t function well, it can lead to a condition called metabolic acidosis (which is a constant acid overload of the body that can affect numerous biochemical processes and lead to poorer health and disease).”
A vegan diet has also been known to reduce the risk of heart-related diseases (which are often due to high cholesterol levels).
When it comes to cholesterol, there are two types: the healthy (HDLs) and the unhealthy (LDLs). Our bodies produce our own healthy cholesterol (the HDLs) – it’s manufactured in all cells – which is imperative for the production of hormones and cell function. The unhealthy cholesterol (LDLs) derives from the consumption of animal products.
LDLs are the type of cholesterol that lead to higher levels in the blood (aka not the healthy amount our bodies naturally produce), which can deposit in arteries (even vital ones in the heart & brain) leading to atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries).
High LDLs/high cholesterol levels can also lead to coronary heart disease (leading to angina and heart attacks).
High LDLs/high cholesterol levels may also lead to a stroke.
When switching to a vegan diet from a meat-fuelled diet, bad cholesterol levels will decrease dramatically.
Not only do vegans have significantly lower cholesterol levels, their blood lipid profiles are also much better than that of omnivores.
Studies show that people with higher cholesterol levels have a significantly higher risk of Alzheimer’s Disease…
…and dementia (1.5 times higher).
In one study, the scientists discovered their data showed that people who ate more berries had a significantly lower risk of developing Parkinson’s Disease due to the high intake of flavonoids, which slow rates of cognitive decline.
Another study showed that “people eating the most tree nuts were the least likely to be obese and suffer from metabolic syndrome.” (Tree nuts include walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, cashews, pistachios and Brazil nuts).
“And another study suggests that eating [peanuts] on a regular basis can prevent metabolic syndrome (Hosseinpour-Niazi et al., 2012). In the study, people who consumed the most [peanuts] (around 2.5 portions per week) had lower blood pressure, blood sugar levels and a healthier blood fat profile than those people who consumed less. Researchers calculated that these people had 75 per cent lower risk of developing the metabolic syndrome.”
When switching to a vegan diet, blood sugar control can also improve.
It’s a common belief that cow’s milk is good for your bones; in fact it is actually detrimental to bone health! (It’s all been a marketing ploy! – Don’t fall for it!)
To function properly, your body needs to have a good balance of acid & alkali levels in the blood. Diets high in animal products tend to contribute to a high acid level in the body. To make up for imbalances in your acid/alkali levels, “The body neutralises any excesses of either acid or alkali to protect this vital balance but if there is too much acid, other systems in the body, such as the skeleton, can suffer. If there’s too much acid, and calcium from the diet isn’t enough to neutralise it, the body needs to draw on its calcium reserves in the muscles and bones. Some of the calcium is then deposited back to the bones but most of it is excreted in the urine together with the acids.”
“It is a known fact that countries with the highest calcium and animal protein intakes also have the highest fracture rates.”
“The UK recommended daily intake of calcium is 700 mg for adults and the latest studies revealed that vegans get enough calcium from their diet to meet this recommendation.”
“High intake of fruit and vegetables was significantly associated with greater bone density at all locations measured.”
Cows milk is intended for a baby cow, not a human, which is why more disease is spreading across our planet the more people consume it.
You’re more likely to develop “man boobs” or breast tumors if you drink cow’s milk as cross-breed consumption forces a strong reaction in the human body. “New research has shown that drinking milk will inflict gynaecomastia in the poor unsuspecting men who drink this foul liquid.” Gynaecomastia is “an endocrine system disorder in which a noncancerous increase in the size of male breast tissue occurs. Psychological distress may occur.”
“Ever since 1993 when the FDA approved recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH) to be injected into dairy cows, the synthetic cow hormone that increases milk production by 15% has had some unsuspecting side effects in milk's human consumers.”
“Cow’s milk naturally contains IGF-1 and stimulates the body to increase its own production of IGF-1 which can directly promote cancer growth.”
Higher protein intake has been shown to stimulate cancer promoting reactions in the body and it was suggested that the only diet that could avoid these is a wholesome vegan diet excluding protein isolates.
“The World Health Organisation (WHO), based on extensive research by its advisory body – The International Agency for Research on Cancer – recently classified processed meat as carcinogenic and red meat as probably carcinogenic (Bouvard et al., 2015).”
“Cooking meat at high temperatures produces carcinogenic compounds.”
“Some substances are added to processed meat, such as nitrates used as preservatives, can also lead to the formation of carcinogenic compounds.”
“And another factor increasing the potential of animal-based foods to contribute to cancer are environmental pollutants such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). Although these industrial compounds were banned worldwide more than 30 years ago because of their high toxicity, they are very persistent and therefore still present in our environment. Once in the body, PCBs accumulate in the fat tissue and can cause long-term problems such as compromised immune response, mental and behavioural problems, decreased activity of the thyroid, reproductive problems, can induce cancer and severely damage the development of a baby. A review published in the journal Environmental Medicine revealed that in the food chain fish, dairy, hamburgers and poultry are the most contaminated foods (Crinnion, 2011).”
Low levels of vitamin A, riboflavin (vitamin B2), and folate (vitamin B9) can be corrected on a wholesome vegan diet.
Vegans are more likely to have a healthier weight & BMI than meat-eaters which assists in avoiding obesity.
“Being overweight or obese is associated with hyperlipidemia (increased fat levels in the blood), hypertension, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, certain cancers and all cause mortality so a healthy weight is a key factor in overall good health.”
When living on a vegan diet, one is often more likely to have a better fat intake (more unsaturated healthy fats and less saturated fats).
Meat eaters often eat too much protein which can actually have negative health effects whereas vegans often get the appropriate amount of protein for their daily needs (check out this book for more about the protein myth).
“The Canadian Paediatric Society agree that a well-planned vegan diet is adequate and healthy at all stages of foetal, infant, child and adolescent growth (Amit, CPS, 2010). And the British Nutrition Foundation reassures that UK vegetarian and vegan children’s growth and development are within the normal range (Philips, BNF, 2005).”
Vegans tend to make healthier food choices and are often more conscious of their lifestyle choices, which can permeate other areas of life (mental health, spirituality, improved relationships, more intensified sense of purpose, and many other ways).
When it comes to eating fish, humans aren’t as much at risk for the diseases that derive from meat & dairy. However, it has actually been discovered that “Plastic microparticles are getting into the flesh of fish eaten by humans, according to a new study.”
“Microplastics were suggested to exert their harmful effects by providing a medium to facilitate the transport of other toxic compounds such as heavy metals and persistent organic pollutants to the body of organisms. Upon ingestion, these chemicals may be released and cause toxicity.”
In some places, eating fish can mean you’re consuming up to 246 pieces of microplastic a year (depending on how much fish you consume and the source of your fish).
While fish are a source of high-quality protein, many vitamins and minerals, and high amounts of Omega-3 fatty acids, fish can also contain high levels of mercury and “too much mercury is bad for humans, particularly for developing fetuses and children. It can cause brain and neurological damage.” Plus, if you look at the next section of reasons, you’ll see why even if eating fish does have some health benefits, it doesn’t stop from the unethical practices of obtaining it.
Although eating canned tuna can be inexpensive and packed with protein, “Canned tuna contains mercury, a contaminant that can cause nervous system damage, particularly in unborn babies and small children.”
People often wonder about soy/soya consumption on a vegan diet. After a study was done with 10,000 women already diagnosed with breast cancer, the findings were that, “Not only is soya consumption safe for women at risk or with breast cancer, it can also help prevent it.” There is a HUGE misconception around soy and that’s thanks to the trusty media manipulators again.
Likewise, “The results of a long-term (over 13 years) study of nearly 50,000 women of all ethnicities revealed that regular intake of isoflavones can significantly reduce the risk of endometrial cancer (Ollberding et al., 2012).” (Isoflavones are found in soy, chickpeas, and other legumes).
“Yan and Spitznagel (2009) conducted a meta-analysis of studies on soya and prostate cancer. The results of this analysis suggest that consumption of soya foods is associated with a reduced risk of prostate cancer. Non-fermented soya foods (tofu, soya milk, etc.) seemed to have stronger preventative effects.”
“Soy isoflavones have antioxidant properties which protect the cardiovascular system from oxidation of LDL (the bad) cholesterol. Oxidized LDL cholesterol accumulates in the arteries as patches of fatty buildup which blocks the flow of blood, resulting in atherosclerosis. Genistein inhibits the growth of cells that form this artery clogging plaque. Arteries damaged by atherosclerosis usually form blood clots. This can lead to a heart attack if the clot goes to the heart, or a stroke if it goes to the brain.”
Within just a few weeks of switching to a vegan diet, people with many major health issues have demonstrated their waning need for pharmaceutical medications. Several astounding cases demonstrate this on the life-changing documentary What The Health.
When it comes to eating a wholesome vegan diet, “people whose diets were the most plant-based had mortality rates 41 per cent lower than the rest of the population.” – That means vegans may actually live longer! (See # 5 on the miscellaneous list below for how you can benefit from that fact).
“Consumers may be exposed to resistant bacteria via contact with or consumption of animal products—a far-reaching and more complex route of transmission. There is undeniable evidence that foods from many different animal sources and in all stages of processing contain abundant quantities of resistant bacteria and their resistance genes.”
“There is likewise powerful evidence that human consumption of food carrying antibiotic-resistant bacteria has resulted, either directly or indirectly, in acquisition of antibiotic-resistant infections.”
When it comes to mental health, your mind is affected by what you put in your body. Putting crap into your body might mean poor gut health and, in turn, could result in poor mental health. “When you feed yourself nutritious, plant-based foods filled with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, you are protecting your brain from oxidative stress and free radicals. If you deny your body and mind healthy foods, free radicals could wreak havoc and negatively impair cognition and mentality.”
Likewise, “Because 95% of serotonin is produced in the gastrointestinal tract, it seems that the digestive system not only breaks down food but also may trigger your emotions. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that plays many different roles, including stabilizing your mood, aiding with sleep, helping your body digest food, and impacting your motor skills. If you have low levels of serotonin in the body, you are more likely to experience depression, anxiety, or have trouble sleeping….Certain foods trigger the synthesis of serotonin because they contain an amino acid found in proteins called tryptophan. In order to maintain normal serotonin levels, it is important to consume foods containing tryptophan. While some animal products contain this amino acid, recent studies have shown that it may not be the best source.” Some healthy vegan sources of tryptophan are butternut squash seeds, sea vegetables, organic non-GMO soy, cucumbers, and wheat.
Due to animal waste runoff, “Numerous studies and government reports have shown higher rates of miscarriages, respiratory problems, and neurological diseases among people who live near factory farms.”
Animal Treatment Reasons to Go Vegan in 2019:
The fewer animals you eat, the less cruelty there is in the world.
Animals want to live pain-free lives just like humans do. “Mammals share the same nervous system, neurochemicals, perceptions, and emotions, all of which are integrated into the experience of pain, says Marc Bekoff, evolutionary biologist and author.” For more, read this article.
Approximately 70 billion animals are bred into existence every year for human consumption.
“An average person living in a developed country who is not a vegetarian or vegan will consume approximately 7,000 animals during his or her lifetime.” – That’s 7,000 lives needlessly ended just for one human.
Did you know that: “Cows like to sleep close to their families, and their sleeping arrangements reflect their respective rankings in the social hierarchy.”??
Another great fact about cows is that they, “…have great memories, and can learn and respond to their names.” They also “get excited when they solve problems, and have a similarly happy response to being released after a long period of confinement.”
A shitty fact about lambs is that they are forced to go through a process called docking (when the tail is shortened) on the basis that fecal matter doesn’t accumulate on the tail and hindquarters of the animal. This procedure is often done without any pain relief for the lamb.
Lambs are also forced to go through castration (when the testicles are removed) making them “easier to manage,” less susceptible to creating unwanted pregnancies, for the management of the farm, and/or based on the demand from the market. This process is often done without any pain relief for the lamb.
According to the 2011 NAHSM Survey, 88.1 percent of US sheep farms dock their lambs; 68.5 percent castrate ram lambs.
Sheep are often seen as wool producing machines rather than animals that can feel pain. Since shearers are paid by volume, not by the hour, they often speed through the shearing process with little regard to the sheep’s well being. “This hasty and careless shearing leads to frequent injuries, and workers use a needle and thread to sew the worst wounds shut—without any pain relief. Strips of skin—and even teats, tails, and ears—are often cut or ripped off during shearing.”
To continue, “If they were left alone and not genetically manipulated, sheep would grow just enough wool to protect themselves from temperature extremes. The fleece provides them with effective insulation against both cold and heat.”
According to Humane Society International, “Approximately 250,000 bulls are killed in bullfights throughout the world each year.”
According to Humane Society of the United States, “More than nine billion farm animals were slaughtered in the United States last year.”
According to Mercy for Animals, “Approximately 25 million farm animals are slaughtered each day in the United States.”
According to Farm Animal Rights Movement, “Approximately nine percent — more than 850 million — of the animals reared for food in the United States each year never make it to the slaughterhouse because they have already died from stress-induced disease or injury.”
According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, “About nine million cows are being used for milk production in the United States at any given time.”
According to Farm Sanctuary, “In the United States, an estimated 2.2 million sheep and lambs and 1.5 million goats are slaughtered for meat every year.”
Farm Sanctuary also says, “Sheep used for meat in the country are typically slaughtered when they are only six to eight months old because consumers prefer lamb.”
Additionally, Farm Sanctuary indicates, “United States farm law requires most animals but not birds to be rendered insensible to pain before being slaughtered.”
And that, “Approximately 260 million male chicks are killed upon hatching in the United States each year — they will not lay eggs or be used for meat and therefore have no economic value.”
In fact, 6 billion baby boy chicks are shredded, ground alive, or suffocated because there is no use for them in the egg industry.
Compassion in World Farming states that, “Approximately 450,000 calves are reared for veal in the United States each year.”
The Humane Society of the United States declares that, “More than 400,000 animals died in fires on factory farms in the United States last year.”
According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, “Approximately 150,000 horses are trucked from the United States to Mexico or Canada to be slaughtered for human consumption each year.”
CompassionWorks International makes it known that, “An average of 24 horses die each week on racetracks in the United States.”
The United States Department of Agriculture makes it known that “Farming and ranching are responsible for 68 percent of all species endangerment in the United States.” – yet what are they doing about it?
According to Compassion in World Farming, “More than 330 million rabbits are farmed in tiny, barren cages across Europe each year.”
Compassionate Clothing Coalition highlights the fact that “Eighteen red foxes are killed to make one fox fur coat.”
And, “Fifty-five minks are killed to make one mink fur coat.”
Four Paws states that, “There are approximately 6,000 fur farms in the European Union.”
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency admits that, “Approximately three million farm animals die while being transported in Canada every year.”
According to the Humane Society of the United States, “There are more than 17,000 dog-meat farms in South Korea.”
Animals Asia Foundation states that, “More than 10,000 bears are being kept on bile farms in China.”
Fish can feel pain just like other animals and like humans. “‘Reptiles, amphibians, and fish have the neuroanatomy necessary to perceive pain,’ according to the book Pain Management in Veterinary Practice.”
In fact, “Fish are smart, social animals with their own unique personalities, and just like dogs, cats, and humans, they feel pain. Scientists who study pain are in complete agreement that the fish pain response is basically identical to that of mammals and birds.”
“Sadly, more fish are killed for food each year than all other animals combined. In 2011, for example, more than 22 billion fish and shellfish were killed in the U.S. alone. Sport fishing and angling kill millions more each year. Without any legal protection from cruel treatment, these intelligent, complex animals are impaled, crushed, suffocated, or cut open and gutted, all while they’re fully conscious.”
“Many fish on aquafarms suffer from parasitic infections, diseases, and debilitating injuries. Conditions on some farms are so horrendous that millions of fish die before farmers can kill and package them for food. Those who survive are starved before they’re sent to slaughter, in order to reduce waste contamination of the water during transport. Salmon, for example, are starved for 10 full days.”
In the wild, billions of fish—along with “non-target” animals, including sharks, sea turtles, birds, seals, and whales—are caught each year in ocean-ravaging nets or dragged for hours on long-lines for the commercial fishing industry.
According to PETA, humans kill about 73 million sharks per year. One of the main reasons is for shark fin soup. During the shark-finning process, sharks are usually dragged to the surface, have their fins cut off, and thrown back to the ocean to slowly die from their injury, suffocation, or stress.
Animals used in places like Sea Life Park, Sea World, and aquariums often have a much shorter lifespan than they would in the wild. Their tanks while in captivity do not provide the same simulated living experience as the wild, so it affects their well being and health in a multitude of ways (see #43 in this section for a specific example and this article for more on orcas.
Ever swim with dolphins? According to PETA, “Sometimes, dolphins are illegally captured and sold to parks around the world. Many of the dolphins who are deemed less “attractive”—and, therefore, less profitable—are slaughtered during the capture process and sold as meat to unsuspecting consumers.”
Also, “Dolphins are torn away from their families in the wild—even babies, who typically stay with their mothers for three to six years.”
To continue, “In the wild, dolphins swim up to 60 miles each day, but in captivity, they’re confined to chemically treated concrete pools. This is especially traumatic for them since they communicate through sonar.”
When it comes to the concept of “free range” or “cage free,” there are only USDA rules for chickens, not eggs or other livestock.
The USDA states that chickens must “have access to the outdoors for an undetermined period each day.” While we’d love to imagine chickens living their lives freely outdoors and “retreating to their coop only when weather or other factors require them to do so,” it can actually mean that “chickens spend all their time in cramped, indoor pens that have a small door opened to the outside for just a few minutes each day.” Both are legal and pass the USDA requirements. Since the “free range” label does not apply to other animals, farmers & marketers can use it in any way they wish. Another marketing ploy! Don’t fall for it!
By the way, an egg is a chicken period. Read more about it here.
“Chickens are shoved into tiny wire “battery cages” and have large portions of their beaks cut off” so they won’t peck each other to death when their surroundings are too miserable to bear.”
“They are crammed so closely together that they are forced to urinate and defecate on one another.”
“Many birds die, and survivors are often forced to live with their dead and dying cage mates.”
A chicken will eat its egg if not fertilized to reintroduce the lost calcium to its body.
In nature, chickens lay 12-20 eggs per year. Genetically modified chickens are forced to lay over 250 eggs for human consumption.
In regards to cows, “Cows are gentle social animals. They have the ability to recognize more than 100 other cows, and they form close friendships with members of their herd. Researchers report that cows grieve when their friends or family members die.”
PETA argues that eating meat is stealing food from the poor. “In a world where an estimated one in every six people goes hungry each day, … grain is used more efficiently when consumed directly by humans. Continued growth in meat output is dependent on feeding grain to animals, creating competition for grain between affluent meat eaters and the world’s poor.”
Puss & blood is often traced in milk, ice cream, yogurt, and other dairy products because of the over-abuse of cows’ milk-making abilities. “Dairy from cows injected with rBGH contain: Genetically Engineered Hormones, Antibiotics, Puss and Blood” (rBGH is Recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone and it’s injected into more than a quarter of all U.S. dairy cows).
Compassion in World Farming states that in nature, “A cow can live for around 20 years but in commercial systems she will be culled at 6 years old, on average.” Other statistics say even 4 years of age could be a dairy cow’s maximum lifespan in certain countries.
In order to get a cow to produce milk (since they’ll only do so when they’re pregnant or post-birth), she must be inseminated forcefully for repeated and ongoing milk production. Also known as rape.
“Female cattle that are over 6 months old but have not yet given birth to a calf are called ‘heifers’. At about 8 to 9 months old heifers may be branded for ease of identification, using an iron that has either been heated (hot iron branding) or cooled to below 100°F (freeze branding); these procedures are painful.”
“The farmer normally separates the calf from the cow within the first few days, so that the cow can be milked for human consumption.”
“The cow has a strong maternal instinct and is normally distressed by the removal of her calf. Both the calf and mother will make loud calls trying to locate each other after they are separated.”
“A bobby calf is…slaughtered at an early age (from immediately after birth up to about a month old) for consumption. Alternatively, in many systems the male and surplus female calves are reared for veal or beef. The age of slaughter for veal varies in different countries but it is normally around 5 to 7 months old, or slightly older in the UK. Calves may be transported to other countries for rearing and this is typically at a young age, normally around 2 weeks old.”
“Calves are disbudded (horn buds removed)…using a hot iron or cauterisation.”
If a female calf is born with an extra teat aka a “supernumery teat,” a farmer may remove it with scissors or a blade.
When it comes to fashion, leather is a big commodity based on slaughtering cows, pigs, goats, and sheep. “Most leather comes from developing countries such as India and China, where animal welfare laws are either non-existent or not enforced.”
“In the U.S., many of the millions of cows and other animals who are killed for their skin endure the horrors of factory farming—extreme crowding and deprivation as well as castration, branding, tail-docking, and dehorning—all without any painkillers. At slaughterhouses, animals routinely have their throats cut and some are even skinned and dismembered while they are still conscious.”
Kobe beef, Wagyu beef, and others of the sort are believed to be higher quality meats due to the treatment of the cow before slaughter. It was difficult to find sources to accurately back these beliefs, but urban legend states that these cows are fed beer to induce appetite, massaged daily as a proxy for exercise to further accentuate the marbling that Kobe beef is so well known for, and played classical music to relax them at feeding time (which alleges to improve their appetite). Since there are no solid facts about these Japanese cows, we can suspect that there is something being hidden from the public.
When it comes to meat production, it’s actually possible to tell the quality of meat based on how much fear the animal experienced before death. There are even terms for it! “In pigs, stress and fear of all kinds right before slaughter—due to factors like rough handling, adverse conditions, fighting, or botched stunning—breaks down glycogen, making the meat pale, acidic, and crumbly. The technical name for this is “pale soft exudative” (PSE) meat, and it looks and tastes as unappetizing as it sounds. PSE meat is usually unsellable, and the pork industry loses $275 million a year on meat that has to be discarded because of pre-slaughter fear and stress.” That means millions of pigs are actually bred into existence for our consumption and then their carcasses are discarded when deemed “not good enough.” Their lives were filled with pain and suffering for absolutely no reason.
The facts in #66 in this section are applicable to all animals.
Before slaughter, animals may experience indiscriminate branding, injuries from thorns, whips, sticks, barbed wire and horns, unsuitable handling facilities, badly designed and constructed transport vehicles.
During slaughter, animals may become excited and injure themselves, they may be hit or forcefully thrown, and/or their carcass may be dragged along the ground, alive or dead.
More on pigs: “Pigs are highly intelligent, charismatic and social animals.” “They can be as playful as a dog and as intelligent as a three-year-old child.”
World Animal Protection continues by saying, “Across the world, pigs are amongst the most intensively farmed animals on the planet. They suffer at every stage of their lives. Most never even feel the earth beneath their feet.”
World Animal Protection expands by saying “New Zealand has banned sow-stalls because the New Zealand Government knows that consumers are concerned about animal welfare. 70% of pig-farms in New Zealand now use farrowing crates which still offer barren confinement, with no enrichment for mother pigs and their piglets. She cannot move around; she can only stand up and lie down. There is no straw for bedding, so she can’t nest and properly nurture her piglets.” How much better is that would you say?
“To deal with the conditions of close confinement, in the farrowing crate, her piglets are cruelly mutilated often with no pain relief: their tails are cut, teeth clipped and most male piglets castrated.”
Due to chronic stress and boredom, pigs develop abnormal behaviors like biting the tails of other pigs in frustration. They will develop skin lesions, painful lameness, digestive problems and lung disease.
“Stressful overcrowding leads to the spread of infection, increasing the need for antibiotics as a band aid solution for low welfare farming. Massive overuse of antibiotics creates conditions ripe for superbugs: bacteria that cannot be treated with medicine. 700,000 people die from superbugs each year.”
Humane Society International covers some facts about animal testing. Starting with, “We estimate that approximately 100,000-200,000 animals suffer and die just for cosmetics every year around the world. These are rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, rats and mice. While dogs and monkeys are never used to test cosmetics anywhere in the world, they are used to test other types of chemicals.”
“Typically, animal tests for cosmetics include skin and eye irritation tests where chemicals are rubbed onto the shaved skin or dripped into the eyes of rabbits; repeated oral force-feeding studies lasting weeks or months to look for signs of general illness or specific health hazards, such as cancer or birth defects; and even widely condemned ‘lethal dose’ tests, in which animals are forced to swallow massive amounts of a test chemical to determine the dose that causes death. These tests can cause considerable pain and distress including blindness, swollen eyes, sore bleeding skin, internal bleeding and organ damage, birth defects, convulsions and death. Pain relief is not provided and at the end of a test the animals are killed, normally by asphyxiation, neck-breaking or decapitation.”
Snail slime is used in many cosmetic creams and lotions.
Pigs’ and cow’s skin and bones are used in shampoos, face masks, creamy cosmetics, and nail polish removers.
Ground up hooves or feathers are used in hair rinses, shampoos, permanent wave solutions, and more.
Placenta from slaughtered animals are used in skin creams, shampoos, masks and more.
Cat glandular secretion is used in perfumes.
Genital secretion from musk deer, beavers, muskrats, civets, cats, and otter genitals are used in “musk oil.”
“To obtain musk oil, beavers are trapped, deer are shot, and wild cats are kept captive in cages in horrible conditions and whipped around the genitals to produce the scent.”
Whale vomit is a “wax-like substance from the intestines of sperm whales, [which] can be found in the animals’ poop or vomit, and is used as a fixative in some perfumes and even in some food”
Shark liver oil is used in deodorants, suntan lotions, face creams, and more.
Mink fat comes from the fat of minks that are slaughtered for their fur. This fat is used in makeup, creams, and more.
Animal urine is used in deodorants, ammoniated dentifrices, mouthwashes, hair colorings, hair creams, lotions, and shampoos.
Cow or sheep lard is “rendered cattle or sheep fat, made by combining the fat with lye” for bar soap and other cleansers.
Bee vomit, also known as honey, is stolen from bees for “a wide variety of cosmetics, bath items, lotions, sunscreens, and more.”
Melted bee vomit is beeswax, which “is made from melting the honeycombs that bees have so carefully crafted to store their own food.” It may be used in “face creams, lotions, cosmetics such as mascara, lip balms, and more.”
Crushed beetles produce a red pigment used in makeup, particularly in red lipsticks and blushes. “It reportedly takes 70,000 dead insects to make one pound of red dye.”
Sheep grease, known as lanolin, can be found in some “shaving creams, lotions, makeup removers, and lipsticks.”
Environmental Reasons to Go Vegan in 2019:
Note: I could’ve easily added another hundred to this list, but I started running out of space on this list! If you have questions, leave them in the comments at the bottom of this page.
According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, “Global meat production is responsible for more greenhouse gas emissions than all of the trains, cars and airplanes in the world combined.” A global shift toward vegan eating is necessary to combat the worst effects of climate change.
“It takes 15,500 litres of water to produce 1 kg of beef, contrasted with 180 litres for 1 kg tomatoes and 250 litres for 1 kg potatoes,” so it’s safe to say it takes 3x more water to feed a meat eater than it is a vegan. If liters and kgs aren’t your thing, it takes 2,500 gallons of water to produce ONE pound of beef.
It takes approximately 900 gallons of water to produce a pound of cheese.
It takes 477 gallons for a pound of eggs.
It takes 1,000 gallons of water just to make ONE gallon of milk!
1.1 BILLION people worldwide lack access to decent water supplies and a total of 2.7 billion people struggle to find water for at least one month of the year.
“Consuming animal products is incredibly resource-intensive. Globally, farming uses about 70% of the planet’s accessible freshwater.” To add, “Since a large percentage of the crops fed to European farmed animals are grown in developing countries, this wasted water comes not only from European reserves but also from the very countries where drinking water is most scarce. Switching to a vegan diet will help significantly reduce the world’s water requirements.”
Factory farms pollute communities; in fact, agriculture is the #1 water polluter. “Runoff from factory farms and livestock grazing is one of the leading causes of pollution in our rivers and lakes. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency notes that bacteria and viruses can be carried by the runoff and that groundwater can be contaminated.”
“Meat-heavy, Westernized diets are a waste of resources we desperately need to conserve” for our growing population if we plan to accommodate 9-11 billion people by 2050. “Most of the protein from vegetable feed is used for the animal’s bodily functions and not converted to meat, eggs or milk.” “Industrial livestock production is not just unsustainable; it’s unjustifiable.”
Maintaining a plant-based, vegan diet is thought to use around 20x less land than someone who eats a carnivorous diet. On the flip-side, just one hectare of land that grows rice or potatoes can feed up to 22 people, but when used for meat production, can only feed 1-2 people.
Going vegan can lessen your energy/carbon footprint CONSIDERABLY. Yes, you. One person.
Meat-fuelled diets are claimed to take “as much as 75x more energy to produce than corn.” That’s because “every part of the meat production process requires electricity, making it a huge drain on the world’s energy resources. Some studies even suggest that as much as a third of all the fossil fuels used in the United States goes toward animal agriculture.”
“Leather is also no friend of the environment, as it shares responsibility for all the environmental destruction caused by the meat industry as well as the pollution caused by the toxins used in tanning.”
By using organic, animal-product-free beauty/body products, you will contribute less to the pollution of our oceans. A specific example of how you’ll contribute less pollution is that organic and animal-product-free beauty products do no contain microbeads (little plastic balls used & marketed for exfoliation). “Microbeads, the smallest of these, are five millimeters or less in diameter. They have been used for about 50 years in health and beauty products, including some skin cleansers and toothpastes. These tiny particles are too small to be filtered out of wastewater and end up in the oceans or other bodies of water, where fish can mistake them for food.”
The use of plastic could be considered non-vegan when you trace the impact of what happens to plastic once we use it. Aside from ending up in the ocean and impacting sea life, “In the Middle East, plastic trash has been killing camels. The animals can’t digest plastic; it accumulates in the stomach, discouraging eating. It is estimated that one out of every two camels in the United Arab Emirates dies of plastic consumption.”
Farming “run off is getting into our rivers which then feeds into our oceans and our seas causing huge ‘dead zones’” killing off the marine life that would ordinarily thrive in coastal regions.
“The air that we breathe is being adversely affected by the release of huge amounts of ammonia, hydrogen sulfide and methane, and the land surrounding factory farms is often polluted when ‘waste lagoons’ leak, break or overflow.”
In addition to the waste created by farm animals, their farts & burps literally create methane, which enters into the atmosphere and heats up the temperature causing major melting in the ice-capped regions.
Methane is thought to be 25-100x more harmful than CO2 across a 20-year-time and when cows alone produce 150 BILLION GALLONS OF METHANE PER DAY…we’re in for some serious trouble.
The climate on our planet is changing dramatically as more moisture builds up in the air (the melted ice-cap water needs to go somewhere), which causes more dramatic natural catastrophes around the planet. Have you seen the news lately? More floods, more wild fires, more earthquakes and tsunamis? Yeah, that is 51% caused by animal agriculture and it’s not a joke.
“Rainforests are being destroyed (91% of the Amazon to be exact) for animal agriculture, which means that raising animals for food is the LEADING cause of species extinction.
Professor Normal Myers has stated that “we are currently going through the largest mass extinction in 65 million years…and as many as 150 species are being lost every day.”
Miscellaneous Reasons to Go Vegan in 2019:
Going vegan takes power away from industries and governments that seek to control the human population through addiction, disease, healthcare, consumerism, and playing on people’s urges, desires, and cravings.
Every dollar you spend is a vote. Going vegan means you’re voting for a better planet, less cruelty, and improved health.
By going vegan, you are following the truth rather than what society has told you is right. Food pyramids are not an accurate representation of a good health formula; a wholesome vegan diet is.
Healthcare & pharmaceutical companies make BILLIONS of dollars a year on preventable diseases. By going vegan, you can live a healthy life and often avoid major illnesses that greedy companies make money from.
Health IQ offers lower insurance rates for vegans that can save you literally THOUSANDS of dollars. If you can demonstrate your health literacy and score ELITE on the Health IQ Quiz, you can qualify for more fair rates that match your healthy lifestyle. How cool is that?
Serena Williams (famous tennis athlete), Moby (famous musician and activist), Miley Cyrus (famous singer), Liam Hemsworth (famous actor), Scott Jurek (ultra-marathon runner), Rich Roll (ultra-athlete), Fiona Oakes (marathon runner), Mac Danzig (mixed martial arts competitor), Steph Davis (famous rock climber), Patrik Baoumian (Germany’s strongest man), Brendan Brazier (Ironman triathlete and endurance runner), Tim Sheiff (free-runner and parkour athlete), Stevie Wonder (famous musician), and so many others are vegan or follow a plant-based diet.
There are tons of substitutes and alternatives being created that simulate the taste, texture, smell, and look of animal products.For instance, the Impossible Burger is meant to “bleed” like a beef patty. The difference is, though, that no animals need to be harmed in the making of this kind of patty.There are also imitation chicken products, vegan cheeses, alternative milks, and cruelty free sausages. There’s almost nothing you can eat as a meat eater that can’t be made in a vegan form.
Because YOU can be the change needed in this world by simply changing your diet to being based on plants, not death.
HOLY SHIT! Did you make it all the way down here?!
You’re an absolute ROCK STAR.
As I mentioned, this list is not even exhaustive. I could easily write out another 219 after the research I found.
With these facts & stats staring you in the face, it is surely time to take a look at what your food choices are doing to impact your health, the animals, and the planet.
Not only is YOUR choice to eat meat affecting you, it’s also affected every single other inhabitant of this planet.
I used to be an avid meat eater and once I went vegan and learned what I learned, I could never go back. I eat better now (not just health-wise, but flavor wise, too) than I ever did when I ate an omnivorous diet.
Trust me. Trust me. Trust me. Once you go vegan, you will NEVER regret it.
Knowing that you’re on the side of humanity that actually gives a shit and who wants to make things right feels incredibly empowering.
It’s time to wake up, world. We don’t have much time left the way we’re going.
Thank you for reading.
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