First of all, I would like to let it be known that I have interest or desire to influence the choices of other people in regards to their diet or lifestyle choices. I do not preach “veganism” on anyone.
Becoming vegan was a personal choice for me, based on several things.
But first, what is a vegan?
Basically, a person who does not consume (and typically does not even use) animal products.
There are some common misconceptions of this, such as some people believing that all we ate is vegetables — which is entirely untrue. We can eat everything except animal products. We avoid all types of meat, dairy (cheese, eggs etc.), things like honey, and any derivatives of those things which are commonly found in prepared foods. For example, even some breads and things like flavored potato chips have milk and/or their derivatives in them.
If you believe vegan means that you eat only vegetables, then I’m forced to assume that you may have a very limited and poor diet, or a lack the knowledge about the huge variety of foods that exist. But I’m not going to go into that all in this post.
In the future, I may post some examples of what a vegan diet consists of.
So now my reasoning…
Here are some of the reasons I chose to be vegan.
Please keep in mind that some of them are opinions. And I’m also not looking at any resources while I type this.
- Meat and dairy are proven not to be required in a human diet to survive and strive. There are even bodybuilders who are vegan.
- Our bodies aren’t designed to be carnivore. Our teeth and salivary glands are designed just like an herbivore (plant eater); even our intestinal tract is 3-4 times longer than any known meat eating animals. Let’s not forget that without tools, we can’t hunt down, kill and just eat an animal raw without likely having serious health consequences. You may say this is evolution – we learned to use tools and cook the meat. I say it is evolution too, but to the point where we don’t need and aren’t supposed to eat meat anymore. It doesn’t mean I’m right, but that’s how I feel about it.
- We cannot normally even consume meat safely without cooking and destroying most of the nutrients.
And even when prepared correctly, people still occasionally have problems digesting it properly, can feel tired afterwards due to how harsh it is on the body, and can even become ill for various reasons such as bacteria, parasites, chemicals and so on that are most commonly found in meat products due to their nature.
- We waste a lot of plant based food that we could eat, and water, just to give the animals that are going to be butchered for meat that nobody actually needs to survive.
- Do you believe man evolved from ape? Apes eat very little (2-3% of their calorie intake), if any, meat even in the wild
- There have been a few articles about people evolving to find meat distasteful and unpleasant.
Animal cruelty, and my general feelings about killing animals
- I personally feel that animals should be treated better in general. The way they are treated in factories, as if they have no brain or self-awareness, and no rights, is heart-breaking and outright cruel to me. If you want to see what I’m talking about, take a look at this video: Meet Your Meat
I am sure it wouldn’t bother some people, but I imagine that at least some other people would have a problem treating the animals that way themselves and feel no shame about it. For example, chickens are often genetically modified to become fatter to the point where they can’t even walk, their wings are clipped off, and they are in crowded conditions. Pigs have their tails cut off without any pain killers. Various animals are often put into boiling hot water while still alive to get the hair off. And there are worse things going on every day, just so people can eat another hamburger or meat of their choice. Of course, I am aware of some people raising these animals in better conditions such as cage-free, and doing their best not to torture any of their animals; but the truth is, that’s a very small percentage.
- In general, I would personally not be able to take it onto myself to kill an animal, then skin it, cut its organs out and do whatever else it is you need to do to prepare it. I would feel very, very sad doing that. If I cannot do that myself, why should I feel any better about knowing that someone else did it for me? Ignoring the fact that these things happen does not help me cope with it or make it feel alright to me.
- Dairy, milk from cows etc. Did you know that animals only produce milk after pregnancy, just like humans? Cows are forcibly impregnated every year so that they can keep producing milk. This milk is intended for their calves (babies, like humans) – yet, humans don’t let the calves drink their own mother’s milk, because they are hooked up to machines instead .. for us. Humans think they are the highest on the food chain, but imagine some other creature above us showing up and treating women that way – impregnating them, taking their baby away, then simply using them for their milk, and eventually slaughtering them for their meat. You may think it’s completely different, but I find it to be the same concept – especially when we do not need this milk to survive.
Taste, texture, smell…
- As a child, when my parents first tried to feed me meat, I didn’t like the taste or texture of it. They actually had to bribe me with other things that I did like in order for me to eat the meat. If anything, it became an acquired, trained taste – and even then, I would hide it as much as possible with condiments such as ketchup, mustard, BBQ sauces and so on.
- I used to gag whenever there was even a tiny bit of fat in the meat.
- I would feel slightly queasy when I saw blood and was supposed to eat that. I’m not a baby, I just didn’t feel like it was right because I knew where it came from, and it was a living creature. A living creature that I would see, alive and appreciate. I never looked at an animal and thought “I want to kill you, and eat you” …
- To this day, I have absolutely no craving to consume any animal products, and just looking at it sometimes makes me feel uneasy.
- Let’s not forget the smell. After being vegan for so long – whenever I smell meat, it is a very strong, unpleasant, unmistakable and sometimes even offensive odor. I believe it becomes stronger when you are not used to having it in your mouth so often, and that seemingly makes sense.
- Despite popular belief, eating a balanced vegan diet is actually healthier than a meat and dairy containing diet.
I am fully aware that there are people who eat in an unhealthy way while being vegan as well, but this typically means that they are limiting their diet too much, rely on prepared / store bought meals (such as ready-made soy products), have the wrong balance of protein and vitamins that the body needs, and they may also not be exercising enough etc. — there are a lot of possibilities and reasons, which can be true whether you are or are not vegan.
I may go more into the health benefits in another post. But for now, those are the main reasons that I personally decided to be vegan and likely will be for the rest of my life.