“So, why are you vegan?”

(in no specific order)

1. The environmental reason 〰️ because we are neck deep in a climate crisis

This might come as a surprise because, but “our” Sunday steak and cafe latte is heavily contributing to the climate crisis we are in. Yes, even if meat and milk come from a local farmer.

The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations predicts that by 2050 world meat production will have almost doubled, as the Western taste for meat, eggs and dairy products continues to grow (along with our waistlines).

This trend will continue to contribute to global warming, widespread pollution, deforestation, land degradation, water scarcity and species extinction. More animals mean more crops are needed to feed them: the planet cannot feed both increasing human and farmed animal populations, especially when there will be between 2-4 billionmore human mouths to feed by 2050.

If we are trying to reduce our car use, limit the amount of water we waste, become more ‘energy-efficient’ and generally lessen our environmental impact, we must also examine the most important factor of our personal ecological footprint: what we eat. (Vegan Society)

〰️Consuming red meat is one of the worst things that an individual can do to the planet. Except if he/she owns an airline or oil company,…

〰️Meat production is wasteful and causes enormous amounts of pollution, and is one of the biggest causes of climate change.

〰️Studies indicate that a varied vegan diet requires about a third of the land needed for conventional Western diets.

〰️And scientists have long known that meat has a bigger climate footprint than fruits and vegetables do — partly because meat takes more energy to produce, but also because cows tend to burp up a lot of methane. (Cows, in turn, have a larger impact than pigs or chickens.) You can check the full report right here

〰️Vegan diet results at approx. 2,9 kg of carbon dioxide per day. The average vegan diet’s carbon footprint was about 60 % lighter than the average diet heavy in meat. That´s why a vegan diet is by far the most sustainable one and the best thing you can do for the environment 3 times per day, every day.

〰️Food production is responsible for about 25 % of the greenhouse-gas emissions heating up the planet.

〰️Around 30% of all food grown for humans around the world ends up as food waste.

〰️Adopting a vegan diet is more effective than switching to a “greener” car in the fight against climate change.

Quite simply, we do not have enough land to feed a growing population an animal-based diet. While 800 million people do not have enough food, we continue to waste valuable agricultural land by obtaining only a small fraction of its potential calorific value.

I try to stick to locally grown, non-processed plant-based food. Tropical fruit and avocado will, of course, have a higher carbon footprint.

2. I love animals, all of them and not just dogs

They say that every vegan saves nearly 200 animals per year. True or not, there is simply no easier way to help animals and prevent suffering than by choosing plant-based foods over meat, eggs, and dairy “products.”

Dairy: In order to keep producing milk for humans, dairy cows have to become pregnant and have calves. This is done forcibly, typically through artificial insemination. Calves are generally taken away from their mothers within 24 hours of birth, causing immense distress for both mother and calf. Both usually cry out for each other as they are separated. The mother has to endure this happening 4 or 5 times before she is considered ‘spent’. 

Males, who are of little use to the dairy industry, are either killed shortly after birth or sent away to be reared for veal, while females follow the fate of their mothers – milked continually throughout their lives.

Eggs: Regardless as to whether they’re in free-range or caged farming systems, hens lead an existence of pain and suffering throughout their shortened lives. Free-range might mean cage-free, but EU legislation stipulates that as many as nine birds can occupy one square metre of floor space. Provided the bird-to-floor ratio is met, these laws do not stop chickens being stacked tier upon tier. They must be given some kind of outside access, but in such confined spaces only a few birds are ever able to actually make it outside.  (Vegan Society)

〰️Causing the least amount of damage to life.

〰️ Not being a massive hypocrite by saying I loved animals while still eating them.

〰️ My tastebuds aren’t more important than the planet or the lives of animals.

〰️Abuse and mistreatment in factory farms.

I highly suggest Every Argument Against Veganism | Ed Winters60 seconds of factory farmingFood Inc, and Speciesism: The Movie.  Also, the speech below by Gary Yourofsky has been known to enlighten many people.

3. Because it´s healthy and soooo tasty

I am not an expert and I will not give you nutritional advice, but I truly believe if done correctly this is the healthiest diet. Do your research, have blood tests, buy supplements (B12, D) and educate yourself. I never felt better after eating or had more energy. But a very important factor is also that vegan food is very delicious.

one of the best vegan meals I ever had (Karuzo, Sarajevo, BIH)

And I´m not gonna say vegan died is magically gonna save all your health issues or that you will never ever have the flu again. Definitely not, but it might have a very positive effect on your cholesterol, body fat, blood sugar, blood pressure (all the things that run in my family).

I also think that there is no way, that eating body parts from a tortured animal that lived their whole life in fear, dark and its own shit can be good for us.

And if only someone told me when I was a vegetarian teenager that dairy is probably the cause for my acne I would be very thankful. Of course, we are all different and your acne might be a result of some other health issues. But if you are dealing with skin problems, give it a try.

But please do whatever is healthy for you. We are all different and maybe there is a health reason (ignorance is not one of them) or allergies that you can´t stop eating animal products. Do your best and you can still have an impact in other areas, like flying less, boycotting fast fashion, buying local products, switching to green energy …

4. My heart feels good. I aligned my values with my actions

If you love animals, you know that their suffering can´t be justified and you probably feel guilty for eating them. Just like I did. So I decided to stop the guild and align my values with my actions. The weight was lifted and I now feel really good and calm about my food choices and myself.

I simply couldn´t say that I loved animals and at the same time support the horrible animal industry. If you feel bad for a starving dog on a chain, you will probably report the owner for animal abuse. You can do the same for all animal victims of the meat and dairy industry and stop supporting their business and speaking up.

5. Developed more critical thinking and became an activist

like I was not critical enough already.

But after going vegan I definitely developed even more critical thinking about all that´s happening around me. I was always (and will be) critical and went vegetarian when I was around 13, but I never really looked into the dairy industry for instance, maybe because back in the days you couldn´t google things or watch a youtube video.

How many times have I heard “I only buy free range, organic, local….” but be critical, be curious and check what those tags mean? Are they maybe there only to make you feel better and make you still buy those products? How do the animals actually get treated, fed and killed? And does the idea that they have maybe treated a bit better changes the fact that they are grown and killed for our tastebuds?

Soon you will start questioning other industries as well and become more conscious consumer.

Ask questions, get curious, read, watch, listen. And hopefully, you will see how eating fewer animal products can be good for all of us. I´m not saying that you need to go vegan overnight, but give meatless days or weeks a try. Today they are vegan alternatives for basically everything.

Choose 2nd hand leather instead of buying something new. Choose a cruelty-free cosmetics and cleaning products.

I think becoming a vegetarian when I was 13 and then vegan changed me in ways I never thought it will. It was not just a diet, it was a lifestyle. I became more critical, questioned things, demanded change. It probably made me to write, to share, to hopefully inspire. To speak up and stand up for the things I believe in. Which probably resulted in lots of lifestyles changed, from leaving the job I do not believe in and using that time to write this and do things I enjoy and believe in instead. I´m curious how going vegan changed your life.

Stay kind, smart and compassionate … also to yourself.

Mateja

The world is changing to the better. Thank you for being a part of that.


• Vegan Health – https://veganhealth.org/ • Nutrition Facts – http://www.nutritionfacts.org/ • How to Prevent Deficiencies on a Vegan Diet – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zKwnM…https://www.vegansociety.com • More resources on DariaDariaLive planted


I will state this in every post because it is something we have to always take into consideration. And that is the privilege of a choice. There are a lot of people with disabilities, people living on a very tight budget, people with allergies, people in extremely poor communities or developing countries (where most of our waste ends up) that pay the cost of pollution, busy working parents that do not have time to make these changes. There are people that do not have the choice I have. I am speaking from the position of a privileged, white, European woman, living in safe Austrian mountains, with a budget, health and options big enough to be able to choose. Choosing to spend less and have less is different than being required to live on less.

First photo: Photo by Stijn te Strake on Unsplash, 2nd photo and cover photo by me

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