Becoming Vegan and Eco-friendly, and Why

Recently I’ve decided to become vegan. Full-fledged, clothing and household products included, vegan. I thought I’d give a little introduction to the idea of it, and some of the things that helped me make the decision. Vegan by the numbers

I wanted to give you a recommended list of movies. These are ones I watched that ultimately made me make up my mind about GMO, healthy eating, and veganism.

All of these are based on data from the states, for the most part. But, Canada imports a lot from the states, and we are kind of like their “little sister”, so we need to take all of this into account in our lives as well. These are all available on Netflix.

There is a debate about whether or not vegans eat honey. Some do, some don’t. Well, here are some links to the current honey-bee “crisis” (as they so kindly put it)…

As you can see, many, many things likely contribute to the decline in the bee population, but I’d like to not eat honey and reduce my use of pesticides (not that I’ve used them anyway…) to help support the bee population. Every species will decline and die eventually, but I fear that we (humans) are the cause of too many extinctions of species.

My goal is to be green (environment-friendly), and advocates, including WHO and PETA (obviously), all say that one of the best ways to help the environment is to stop supporting industrial farming, and a great way to do that is to stop eating animal products. At this link is an article about a report released by WHO and the UN supporting plant-based diets for health reasons, the original report is linked to from the article.

This link from the PETA website says, “Every vegan saves more than 100 animals a year from horrible abuse.” That may not seem like a lot, but if we were out hunting for our own animals, it would take approx. 1 cow to feed an individual for about two months, if they ate it every day and could preserve it. That is six cows a year, and yet by being vegan you are saving over 100 animals a year! On the same link, they say that all the food used to feed the livestock could be used to feed all the people in the world. I’ve seen info like this elsewhere too. “It takes tons of crops and water to raise farmed animals. In fact, it takes up to 13 pounds of grain to produce just 1 pound of animal flesh! All that plant food could be used much more efficiently if it were fed directly to people.”

So, the issue I can think of with all this, is just because one person doesn’t buy the animal products, the same amount of animals are slaughtered and produced for food consumption – and then thrown out when they aren’t bought. The difference is when 1 million people in the US alone are vegan, and 7.3 million are vegetarian. Every little bit helps, and when the demand decreases, the supply is decreased.

As you can see, there are many factors as to why being vegan is the common-sense option for me right now, and maybe for you too. It is the biggest help for the environment. It saves many animal lives (and stops them from being tortured). It decreases the support for GMO products and companies such as Monsanto. It could feed the whole world. It is super healthy for you, assuming you can find the right supplements that your body needs (every individual is different – please talk to your doctor before you decide to go fully vegan!). And even though all of this could be the benefits, veganism is not for everyone. I am in no way trying to convince people to go vegan – even just not eating meat one meal out of the week makes a significant impact. If veganism isn’t for you, then that is okay. But if it is something you are considering, there are plenty of books and websites out there to help you get started. One I suggest is called “Generation Green” by Linda and Tosh Silvertsen. It is geared towards teens, but it’s an easy and accessible read. Another good one is “Main Street Vegan” by Victoria Moran. Or even, “Becoming Vegan” by Brenda Davis, R.D. and Vesanto Melina, M.S., R.D. Take a look around on the web; search “Monsanto,” “GMO good or bad?”, “What supplements do vegans need?”; or browse on the PETA site, the Vegan Society site, or look for a local vegan group.

Please feel free to ask any questions you may have! It all helps me learn more about my own opinions, and critical thinking is key to making a difference (and knowing what differences need to be made!).

Does anyone else have other suggestions or comments about becoming vegan? This is only the tip of the iceberg!