Monday, January 18, 2016

Shocking Discoveries When I Decided to Go Vegan

1.  There is slaughter even in the dairy and egg industry.  So there is still death behind a Vegetarian diet.

-The egg industry has no use for male chicks they hatch.  The chicks are "sexed" by squeezing their stomachs to make them poop....this opens their anal vent to reveal a bump (male) or no bump (female).  They are then sorted by their gender and the male chicks are either macerated (ground alive) or suffocated.  The female chicks become layers and when they can no longer produce eggs they are slaughtered.

-In the dairy industry, male calves are sold to become veal.  Females, when grown, are repeatedly raped and inseminated.  Their calves are taken away within a few days and instead of being allowed to nurse from their mothers are shackled and kept in rows of huts with other  babies.  The process of separation is heartbreaking to witness since the mother fights for her baby and the two can be heard crying for each other for days.  After the mother has gone through this process with multiple offspring, and is no longer able to give birth again, she is sold for fast food meat or pet food.

2. Animals go through a lot of pain and suffering before they're even slaughtered.

-Animals raised for food in factory farms suffer their whole lives, with not only physical pain but suffer emotionally and psychologically.  There are constantly investigations done by animal welfare groups because workers abuse the animals.  They are mutilated, poked and prodded, beaten and mishandled and when it's time for their death they are still alive after the initial bolt gun to the head (cows and pigs) and sometimes even still alive when their limbs are cut off or they are boiled or skinned.  Fast paced processing lines in slaughterhouses leave room for many errors.  There is a high turnover of workers and many end up with psychological issues and have a high rate of violent offenses outside of work.

3. Baby animals raised for food are tortured and mutilated 
 All animals in factory farms go through a processing procedure when they are very young and anesthesia or pain killers are not used.
-Piglets: teeth pulled out, castrated, tails cut off, ears notched

-Chicks (chickens and turkeys): debeaked with a hot blade and toes cut off

-Calves: castrated, dehorned, branded, tails cut off

4. There is immense suffering behind those items you wear.

-When feathers are collected from birds for down (pillows, coats etc.) the bird isn't slaughtered for meat and feathers removed....they pluck the feathers while the bird is alive, wait for them to grow back and pluck them again. This continues until they are slaughtered.  When supporting the down industry with your money you could also be supporting the foie gras industry.
- When sheep are sheared for wool they can be mishandled and injured during the process since speed is the #1 priority with shearers.  Most of the world's wool comes from Australia where temperatures are difficult for sheep to remain cool.  Their skin folds hold moisture and smell, attracting flies so a process called mulesing is done to cut chunks of flesh from their backsides to smooth the skin.  There are companies that have pledged to not use wool from farms that use this practice  (like H&M, Perry Ellis, HUGO BOSS and Adidas) but many still do.

I am only going into these two subjects since these are things that aren't obvious to everyone.  In the fur and leather industries the animals are obviously slaughtered.

5.  The leading cause of deforestation, climate change, greenhouse gasses and water usage (70% of all water consumption) is animal agriculture.
-The earth is sick and we need to do something about it.

6. Those buzz words on packing have nothing to do with how the animal is treated and slaughtered.
 *words such as free range, cage free, organic, grass fed, antibiotic free, pasture-raised, humane

7. People seem not to care
-Because of learned habits, tradition, denial and comfort, people choose not to educate themselves on these issues. The hardest thing about being an ethical Vegan is not giving up animal products, eating out, or acceptance, it's watching others live their lives and refuse to listen to the truth.  Hearing stories and seeing footage of the atrocities in these industries used to only make me sad and ashamed.  After being Vegan for three years I can barely watch this stuff anymore because of anger.  Anger at the government, the companies, the workers and the consumers.

8. Cholesterol is found only in animal products
-switching to a Vegan diet can help a Cholesterol problem.  You can even clear your arteries of plaque and reverse heart disease. About 610,000 people die of heart disease in the United States every year.  Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women.  In only eight months of a Vegan diet my cholesterol went from dangerously high to normal.

9. Vegan food is actually good

-Before going Vegan I didn't understand Vegetarians and Vegans, and like a lot of people, thought, "I could never do that"...give up things like cheeseburgers and ribs.  I pictured a hairy-arm pitted, hippy eating twigs and berries, hugging trees and judging the rest of society.  While I may not always shave my pits due to laziness, I am guilty of hugging a tree every now and then, but I eat way more than twigs and berries....Vegans don't only eat veggies and fruit either.  In fact, if not for legumes and nuts, I probably couldn't do it.  There are so many substitutes out there for people transitioning, to make them feel like they are still eating meats and dairy.  I love to cook for guests who are normally carnivores and wow them with delicious foods.  That is one of the reasons I am providing tips and yummy recipes.

10. Veganism as a trend is on the rise

-plant-based food has been named a top trend in 2016  and there are celebrities "coming out" as vegans or vegetarians all the time.  There are at least 16,000,000 people who are either vegan or vegetarian in the US alone, and that number is growing every year.

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