Be Vegan: We Can Live Without Killing Animals for Food: In recent years more and more people are inclined towards vegetarian and vegan diet. They are more aware these days as they want to know that what they are eating. Where it comes from? What is the effect of these foods on their health and on environment? On this day, let us learn benefits of being vegetarian and vegan.
Vegetarian and vegan diets are based on non animal food products. Vegan diet is a type of vegetarian diet that is devoid of all other animal products such as fish, meat, eggs, dairy products and honey etc. There are vegans who do not eat foods that are processed with animal products such as refined white sugar and some wines. You will also find vegans who do not use non food products that are based on animals or tested on animals. These include leather, fur, silk, wool, some cosmetics and soaps derived from animal products.
Thus a vegan diet includes all grains, beans, legumes, vegetables, fruits and herbs etc. One can make several healthy dishes from above food items.
Term vegan is used for such person who follows above way of eating and is also used for such diet.
Why should I choose to be vegan?
There are two major reasons for eating vegetarian or vegan food. First and foremost reason is that nature has designed human body in such a way that resembles herbivores i.e. those they live on eating plants. Here are some examples.
- Eyes of herbivores are opened immediately after their birth while in carnivores eyes are not opened immediately after birth. It takes some time after birth. Human off springs also open their eyes immediately after their birth.
- Nails of herbivores are flattened or with blunt hooves, while carnivores nails are sharp and long to facilitate tearing body of the prey. Human nails are blunt and round, resembling herbivores.
- Facial muscles of herbivores are very well developed, while that of carnivores these are considerably reduced. Human face has well developed muscles like other herbivores.
- Saliva of herbivores is alkaline and is rich in digestive enzymes. And they chew their food properly. Carnivores’ saliva is acidic and it lacks enzymes. Carnivores do not chew their food, they swallow it. In addition, stomach of herbivores is less acidic and it pH is around three to four, while that of carnivores it is more acidic with pH always above five.
- Herbivores drink water with mouth using lips. Carnivores drink water using their tongue. Human beings drink water with mouth similar to that of herbivores.
- Urine of herbivores is moderately concentrated and that of carnivores is highly concentrated. Human urine is moderately concentrated.
- Incisor teeth of herbivores are broad and flattened and their canine teeth are dull, short and blunt. While in carnivores their incisors are short and pointed but canine are long, sharp and curved. In human incisors are broad and flattened and canine are short and blunt and these resemble very much with that of herbivores.
- Herbivores have fairly long small intestine. It is almost ten to twelve times length of body. In carnivores, length of small intestine is comparatively less. It is approximately three to six time that of length of their body. Small intestine of human body is fairly long in size. It is approximately ten to eleven time of body’s length.
- Similarly colon of herbivores is long and grooved and that of carnivores is short and smooth. In human colon is long is size and grooved.
- Herbivores animals’ liver cannot detoxify Vitamin A present in food. While carnivores’ liver can detoxify Vitamin A. Human liver cannot detoxify Vitamin A.
From above observations, you can very well draw a conclusion that human body is biologically herbivores.
Second main reason for being vegan is that vegans consider ecology of this planet as their priority and they are concerned with animal rights.
Raising animals is causing serious impact on environment in different ways. Animal farming needs enormous land for cultivation of crops for feeding animals. One acre of land provides only 165 lb (75 kg) of beef whereas the same land can yield 20000 lb (9072 kg) potatoes. It is estimated that seventy percent of grains produced on this planet are fed to animals for farming. And it is continuously increasing. Forests are being cleared to raise cattle and the day is not far when all those forests shall be removed from this planet for growing crops for animal farming. And it will be one of the most important causes of loss of life from this earth. It is estimated that if everyone on this earth becomes vegan more than ninety percent of land used for animal farming could be used for forestation.
Moreover, in less than eight years land used for animal farming becomes barren. Animal farming is causing irreparable loss to top soil that takes more than 500 years to develop. It is also one of the major causes of global warming. Millions tones of liquid excreta in the form of slurry and bloody waste from abattoirs ends up in rivers polluting them. In addition, there are various chemicals and pesticides used to grow crops for feeding livestock. It is estimated that cattle raised for meat eating emit approximately sixty million tones of methane every year. In addition, burning of forests, grass lands, agricultural wastes associated with animal farming release approximately 50 – 100 million tones methane per year. All those activities of animal farming contribute to more than twenty five percent methane emissions that have green house effect and are leading to global warming.
Fertilizers used for growing crops to feed animals release nitrous oxide that accounts for six percent of green house effect on this earth. In addition, ammonia is released from animal urine that pollutes atmospheric air.
Livestock farming causes significant emissions such as nitrate, phosphate, heavy metals, antibiotics, liquid effluents as well as odor, gases, dusts and microorganisms in exhaust air. These effluents have distinct impact on air, water, soil, biodiversity in plants, forest decay and on animals and also on men. It has major impact on local, regional as well as global environment.
It is also estimated that sixty calorie petrol is consumed to produce one calorie energy from meat, whereas similar calorie of petrol yields 1200 calorie energy from grains and legumes. In fact cattle convert only six percent of their energy intake into flesh and remaining ninety four percent goes waste. For growing 1lb (0.453 kg) wheat only twenty five gallon water is used and on the contrary for producing similarly quantity of meat 2500 gallon water is required.
Above data reveal that growing meat is extremely expensive as compared to grains and legumes grown for vegans. And it has highly detrimental impact on the environment of this earth. Future of human life is at stake due to habit of consumption of meat by them. Those they are consuming animal food are unknowingly pushing life on this planet towards extinction.
A vegan diet can be healthy diet and it has several positive health benefits. It provides several necessary nutrients required for healthy human body. Your diet must include whole grains, colorful fruits, vegetables and heart healthy fats.
You get following nutrients from vegan food.
Protein is essential for building and maintaining muscle mass. It also keeps brain healthy. Animal foods are important source of protein. But vegans also have various sources of healthy protein. Those include lentils, chick peas, peas, soy milk, tofu, tempeh, nuts butter, almond, spinach, whole grains, broccoli and kale etc.
Although there is less protein in a vegan diet than a meat eater’s diet, however this is an advantage in favor of vegan. Overdose of protein may result in kidney stones, osteoporosis and some cancers.
Fats are essential for human body. These providing energy to body, supply essential fatty acids and help in absorption of fat soluble vitamins such as Vitamin A, D, E and K. Fat layer under skin acts as insulation to help maintaining body’s temperature. Animal fats are rich in saturated fats and cholesterol which are considered harmful for body. On the contrary vegan diets are low in saturated fats and are free of cholesterol. These fats are considered healthy for body.
Some vegetable fats are rich source of omega 3 and are considered heart healthy oils. These include flaxseed oil, soybean oil, canola oil, pumpkin seed oil and safflower oil etc. Olive oil is also considered heart healthy oil.
Calcium is essentially required for strong bones and teeth. It is an essential element for clotting of blood and controlling function of nerves and muscles. Pregnant women, nursing mothers and growing children need additional quantity of calcium in their diet. As vegan do not take dietary products for them dark leafy vegetables, okra, turnip, beans, soybean, almond, butter, calcium fortified soy milk and tofu and orange juice are good sources of calcium.
Iron helps formation of hemoglobin, the main constituent of blood, and cytochromes. Deficiency of iron leads to anemia. Vegans get their supply of iron from dried beans, dark leafy vegetables, lentils, kidney beans, peas, chick peas, soybeans, beet greens, water melon, kale and tempeh, dried fruits such as apricots, prunes and raisins. Intake of vitamin C with meals increases iron absorption. However calcium reduces iron absorption, hence one should avoid taking iron and calcium supplements together.
Iodine plays very important role in formation of thyroid hormones. Vegans get their iodine from iodized salt, seaweeds, soybean, sweet potato, broccoli and cabbage etc. It prevents occurrence of goiter.
It acts as a co-factor of several enzymes and helps tocopherol (Vitamin K) to perform its function. It is found in Brazil nuts, seeds, grains, soybean and mushrooms.
It acts as a co-factor of digestive and other enzymes. Lack of zinc in diet can hinder growth in children. It is found in grains, legumes, nuts, soybean, peas, mushrooms and wheat germ etc.
Function of Vitamin D in body is to help absorption of calcium from food. Lack of calcium and Vitamin D can compromise bone structure. Extreme deficiency of Vitamin D in children results in rickets, a disease related to softening of bones. Vitamin D is not found in vegan diet but it can be made by human body by exposure of body parts to sunlight. Fortified cereals are a good source of Vitamin D.
Regular intake of Vitamin B12 is essential for red blood cells formation and nerve functions. Our liver has capacity to store it in large quantities for years but it needs only in small quantities (about six mcg per day). Therefore its deficiency takes years to develop that cause nerve damage. Vegans must pay attention to its regular supply.
Animal foods provide plenty of Vitamin B12. However, it is a matter of concern for vegans. They can fulfill their requirement of Vitamin B12 from seaweeds, fortified foods such as cereals, soy milk, tempeh, miso and nutritional yeast. Pregnant women, breast feeding mothers and children must be provided enough Vitamin B12 and Vitamin D from above sources.
Riboflavin (Vitamin B2):
Riboflavin helps enzyme perform functions of metabolism and protecting body from damage caused by free radicals. It is needed for normal cell growth, repair, healing of injuries and normal reproduction. With iron it facilitates RBC production. It bolsters immune system of body, guards against infection and promotes healthy skin.
Riboflavin is found in almonds, mushrooms, soy milk, grains and fortified cereals.
Thus you will find that vegan diets are full of balanced nutrition that helps maintaining good health. There are several health benefits of living on a vegan diet.
A vegan diet can be healthy having many positive health benefits. Low fat diet high in fruits, vegetables, legumes and nuts is a boon to health. It is reported that plant based diet can improve health of people with degenerative diseases including type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease and help maintaining weight and prevention of cancers. Here are given some health benefits of a vegan diet from various diseases.
Vegan diet helps prevention of heart disease. Animal products are important source of saturated fats and cholesterol. And these do not contain fiber. While vegan foods do not contain cholesterol and are rich in fibers, which help reducing cholesterol levels.
Researches have proved that a low fat and high fiber vegan diet when combined with stress reduction techniques can reverse arthrosclerosis, a disease associated with hardening of arteries. It is a precondition of coronary heart disease. Heart patients are suggested by their doctors to decrease intake of animal fats and increase intake of poly unsaturated vegetable fats.
Lowering blood pressure:
When you reduce consumption of animal and dairy products in your diet, it reduces bloods viscosity and as a result there is drop in blood pressure. Plant products are low in fat and sodium and have no cholesterol. Rather these are rich in potassium that helps lowering blood pressure and maintaining good health.
Prevention of diabetes:
Low fat and high fiber diet with complex carbohydrates allows insulin to work more efficiently and more easily regulate glucose level. Thus non insulin dependent diabetes can be efficiently controlled and even eliminated with vegan diet.
Controlling kidney and gall stone:
Animal based diets that are rich in protein tend to cause excretion of excessive quantity of calcium, oxalate and uric acid. These compounds are main culprits for developing kidney stones. High cholesterol and high fat animal based diets are responsible for formation of gall stones and other gall bladder related problems. On the other hand vegan diets reduce chances of formation of both kidney and gall stones.
Eating meat promotes bone loss while vegans are at a lower risk of osteoporosis. Calcium is important for bones health but it is not necessary to get calcium from dairy products. There are several vegetable sources for getting calcium.
Several studies have revealed that vegan diet has positive effect on asthma patients. There is marked decrease in frequency and severity of asthma attacks and also need for medication is reduced considerably.
Due to lower intake of cholesterol and proteins, vegans maintain their weight by practicing regular physical activity.
Prevention of cancer:
Due to presence of high fiber and phytochemicals and absence of saturated fats, vegan diets help prevention of various cancers. Several studies have revealed that vegans are more than forty percent less likely to develop cancers as compared to meat eating people. Some studies have revealed that there is significant reduction in cancer risk among those who have switched over from animal diet to vegan diet. Women, who are on meat based diets, are eight times more likely to develop breast cancer as compared to women who follow traditional plant based diets. Meat and dairy products lead to many forms of cancers including cancer of colon, breast, ovaries, prostate etc. On the other hand, vegans get excessive quantity of fiber, vitamins and phytochemicals in their diet that helps prevention of cancers.
Serious psychological diseases like schizophrenia is reported to be cured in some people by eliminating meat and dairy products and adding vegan diet in their lifestyle.
Harmful effects of animal food:
On one hand you find that vegan diet is helpful in maintaining good health and help keeping several diseases at bay. On the other hand, animal based diets are main cause of several diseases in body. Meat eaters are reported to suffer from several degenerative diseases including high blood pressure, arthritis, gout etc.
A meat eater eats animal cells and fats. In addition, he also takes waste products such as chemicals taken by slaughtered animals with food, drugs and steroids injected into the animals in the slaughter house and also intoxicants and other chemicals sprayed on dead animals. It is reported that dead, dying, diseased or disabled animals are used in making hamburgers and other animal foods. Several people die by consuming such poisonous animal based foods.
A slaughtered animal contains several waste products trapped in the tissues of the animal, such as uric acid and adrenaline that are secreted into the blood stream and muscles of animals and are stored therein. It is also reported that animals have fear of death and also there is struggle to escape during process of slaughtering. As a result, there is secretion of various hormones. All these chemicals are toxins and are stored in human body that eat such animal products and are cause of several ailments. Several studies have revealed that there are various harmful microbes including bacteria, virus and parasites in slaughter houses and also in markets where animal meat is stored. These microbes are also cause of several diseases including jaundice, dysentery, colon cancers, blindness, nervous disorders in children and adults. These also cause miscarriages and several other diseases to women.
Various sea foods including fish are preserved in boric acid for long distance transportation. This results in damage of liver and brain cells and causes fits and coma and also deaths due to liver damage.
Beef and pork etc. release several deadly microbes and poisonous chemicals in blood stream that result in several diseases of stomach, intestine and liver.
Due to presence of high cholesterol content in animal foods and its resultant deposition in human body cause gall stone, gall bladder problems, rheumatoid, arthritis, muscles and joint problems and host of several other diseases. Children suffer the most for the same. They either become hyperactive or become lazy. They also become obese and are trapped in various psychological and physical ailments including cancers.
Animal foods and some dairy products contain excessive quantities of antibiotics and steroids. These diets increase chances of multiple sclerosis, PMS, autoimmune diseases, prostate enlargement etc. Animal food products are linked to high blood pressure, diabetes, strokes, obesity, osteoporosis, heart attack, allergies, impotency, and various types of cancers including colon cancer and reproductive cancer.
Fried eggs, pork rinds, bacon, beef and some dairy products such as whole milk, heavy cream, butter, cheese etc. are also responsible for above mentioned diseases.
Animal products contain higher percentage of protein. Excessive intake of protein can damage kidneys and leach calcium from bones thus making them brittle. On the other hand lack of fibers disrupts digestive tract leading to constipation as water is pulled from colon to aid kidneys in diluting load of ammonia that is produced by the breaking down of animal proteins in body.
Choose vegan; choose health and welfare of all:
It is clinically tested because of less fat and zero cholesterol, vegan diets are much better for health point of view. Vegan is a cause that addresses several major social issues including physical, mental, emotional, environmental, ethical and spiritual issues of people.
It is rightly said, you are what you eat. Food taken into your body is what gradually forms your body and your thought patterns. Your conscious and subconscious thoughts control your physical and mental health. Now it is unto you to decide, what will you eat and what will you refuse to eat? Choice is yours.
Hundreds and thousands of personalities are turning either vegetarian or a vegan. Turing vegetarian is first step towards being vegan. Buddha, Mahavira, Plato, Aristotle, Mahatma Gandhi, Albert Einstein, Darwin, George Bernard Shaw, Leo Tolstoy, Leonardo Da Vinci, Thomas Edison, Benjamin Franklin, Annie Besant, Sir C. V. Raman, Sir Isaac Newton and J. Krishnamurthy are some famous personalities who were either vegetarian or vegan. In addition, several living personalities from all walks of life are following either vegetarian or vegan lifestyle. They all are concerned for their health and better future and also for welfare of animals.
I am confident you will also seriously consider above facts and turn vegan for your welfare and for the welfare of entire human race.
Choose health by choosing vegan.
Quotes for Thoughts
“Nothing will benefit human health and increase chances for survival of life on earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet.” ~ Albert Einstein
“It is very significant that some of the most thoughtful and cultured men are partisans of a pure vegetable diet.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi
“The Gods created certain kinds of beings to replenish our bodies, they are the trees and the plants and the seeds.” ~ Plato
A man can live and be healthy without killing animals for food; therefore, if he eats meat, he participates in taking animal life merely for the sake of his appetite. And to act so is immoral. ~ Leo Tolstoy
“Truly man is the king of beasts, for his brutality exceeds them. We live by the death of others. We are burial places.” ~ Leonardo Da Vinci
“Flesh eating is unprovoked murder.” ~ Benjamin Franklin
“Even in the worm that crawls in the earth there glows a divine spark. When you slaughter a creature, you slaughter God.” ~ Isaac Bashevis, Nobel laureate
“The world, we are told, was made especially for man, a presumption not supported by all the facts. Why should man value himself as more than a small part of the one great unit of creation?” ~ John Muir
“The beef industry has contributed to more American deaths than all the wars of this century, all natural disasters, and all automobile accidents combined. If beef is your idea of ‘real food for real people,’ you’d better live real dose to a real good hospital.” ~ Neal D Barnard, MD
“If slaughterhouses had glass walls, the whole world would be vegetarian.” ~ Linda McCartney
“So called farms today treat animals like so many boxes in a warehouse, chopping off beaks and tails and genitals with no painkillers at all, inflicting third degree burns repeatedly branding cows, and just horrible catalog of abuses that, if done to dogs and cats, would be illegal on grounds of animal cruelty.” ~ James Cromwell
“Poor animals, how jealously they guard their bodies, for to us is merely an evening’s meal, but to them is life itself.” ~ T. Casey Brennan
“It did not occur to me that dairy was an equally vile gulag for animals. Once I saw the carnage of veal, artificial insemination of cows; the removal of bobby cows from their mothers, the cruelty of induction and the violence of killing ‘unviable’ calves, dairy was another atrocity on the list.” ~ Philip Wollen
“People are the only animals that drink the milk of the mother of another species. All other animals stop drinking milk altogether after weaning. It is unnatural for a dog to nurse from a mother giraffe; it is just as unnatural for a human being to drink the milk of a cow.” ~ Michael Klaper, MD
“Every time you drink a glass of milk or eat a piece of cheese, you harm a mother. Please go vegan.” ~ Gary L. Francione
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