People are generally pretty shocked that I choose not to eat animal products of any kind. “Don’t you feel like you’re missing out?” they ask wide-eyed with their eyebrow raised. The answer is no. The only thing I feel I’m missing out on is contributing to the mass slaughter of farmed animals. Eating meat; fish and dairy causes environmental destruction, damages human health, contributes to global hunger and inflicts immense suffering on billions of animals across the world.
Sometimes they get the vegetarian thing. Most people have seen images of factory farming, which are pretty shocking. They push it to the back of their minds, but kind of understand vegetarians. Vegans on the other hand seem like freaks, after all what’s wrong with taking the cows excess milk right? Well the cow wouldn’t have had milk without a calf and what happens to the calf? They get ripped away from their mother within the first days, the males often going to veal crates, or being killed on the spot and the females enduring the same fate as their mother; Excessive milking, mastitis and slaughter when she gets worn out due to overwork.
Chickens bred for laying eggs are only useful if they are female. Thousands of male chicks (yes the cute yellow fluffy ones) are crushed alive or left to die in rubbish bags, suffocating and squashed by the other chicks. Therefore even free-range eggs raise ethical questions and as for battery cages, they are outdated and extremely cruel.
The hardest thing about being a vegan, isn’t resisting temptation to eat meat, but trying to avoid hidden animal products in everything from sweets and beer to bread and even soy products. The best thing to do is to get used to reading ingredients. If a product that you like contains an animal product that could be easily replaced, write the company a letter and explain why you won’t be using their product anymore and suggest a simple change they could make.
About The Author
Catherine Smith is a passionate vegan and animal lover. Read loads of tips on how to avoid hidden animal products at http://www.vegan-secrets.info