Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Think being vegan is difficult?

I often hear people saying that being vegan is/must be really difficult, which I disagree completely with. It's actually very easy! Never since going vegan 6 years ago have I ever felt that being vegan was hard or not worth the inconvenience. If you think it's difficult, please consider how hard it is for those who are affected by every non-vegan choice we make:

Over 56 billion land animals and trillions of aquatic animals are murdered every year for human consumption alone. They are sentient beings who value their lives, just as we value ours. Just like us, they feel pain, they feel fear, and they do not want to die. But right now, they are being used in horrendous ways that would be considered terribly wrong if done to humans.

Millions of cows, pigs, chickens, and other animals, are being murdered at young ages just for humans to consume their flesh. The slaughterhouse is an absolute nightmare for them. They can sense death all around them, and they struggle and fight for their lives until the very end.

Marine animals are taken from the seas in their trillions due to humans' love for seafood. Fishes are pulled out of the oceans, struggling helplessly as they suffocate to death. Crabs and lobsters are often still alive and fully conscious when they thrown into a pot of boiling hot water. They desperately try to escape as they burn to death.

Dairy cows are raped and their children stolen away from them. Like humans, cows are very maternal animals and being separated causes great distress to both mother and child. The babies are either killed right away, sold to be raised for veal or beef (if male), or kept as herd replacements (if female). After 5 -7 years of being intensively milked and having to face the grief of losing children over and over, the dairy cows' bodies are worn out and their milk production declines, so they are sent to slaughter for cheap meat.

In the egg industry, newborn baby roosters are ground up alive, or thrown away like garbage and left to suffocate, because they're of no use to the egg industry. The females often have their sensitive beaks cut off by a hot blade, a very painful procedure for them. They are then kept in cages or barns, laying eggs at an unnatural rate. Through intensive egg-laying, they lose a lot of calcium and many get osteoporosis. After 18 months, their egg production declines and they are sent to the terrifying slaughterhouse.

It doesn't end with food. Billions of mice, rats, chimps, dogs, cats and other animals are routinely tortured in the name of 'science'. Lambs of sheep used for wool are killed for meat, their mothers suffering the same fate once they start producing less wool. Silkworms are boiled alive inside their cocoons in order to obtain the silk. Wild animals are imprisoned for life for our entertainment. Some are forced to perform tricks for us, as in circuses or marine parks.

They all suffer. They all wish to be free. And we have no right to use any of them.

Compared to the horrific lives that trillions of nonhumans are forced to live because we're not vegan, being vegan is very, very easy. There's no deprivation whatsoever. These days, if you really want the taste animal products give you, there are many great plant-based alternatives available. There are thousands of delicious vegan recipes online, and many great vegan cookbooks out there. There are vegan alternatives to leather, wool, fur and silk. There are many products that are both vegan and do not test on animals. And there are many ways we can entertain ourselves without going to places that profit off using nonhumans for our enjoyment.

Being vegan is about justice, nonviolence and respect to nonhuman animals. It's making the choices in what we eat, wear, use and do, that do not intentionally harm others. It's a call for positive, peaceful change in the world. It's our first step to a nonviolent life.

Being vegan is not a sacrifice. It is a joy!

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1 comment:

  1. Hi, Emmy.

    Do you really think that torture is the correct term to describe the use of nonhuman animals? Because I think "torture" is not the point, but the point is slavery. Torture means inflincting deliberate pain and suffering. That´s not the objective of animal exploitation. The objective is to satisfy needs (eating) or obtaining benefits (money).

    Besides, I´ve seen many people are confused about this issue because when we talk about "torture" they think the problem is only cruelty about using nonhumans, not the use itself.