• Jasmine Hussain

Why Vegan

It took me just a week of watching Vegans on YouTube (mostly spent my time watching Bonny Rebecca) sharing their experiences with veganism, what they ate, their views towards society and basically how happy they were on a Vegan diet Vegan lifestyle, to get me hooked onto the idea of going Vegan. Then one Wednesday evening about 4 months back, I watched a documentary, Cowspiracy, and I became Vegan overnight! No cravings, no regrets, all I gained out of this was pure satisfaction and I am proud to say that I would be vegan for all of my life.

One goes Vegan for variety of reasons but I would say the main 3 are – Moral, Environmental and Health. Personally, what first got me interested in going vegan was actually to be genuinely happy. Don’t get me wrong, I am a very happy and positive person, I am so grateful for the fortunate life that I live – but I just never had a 100% happy relationship with food and I’m sure this is so common amongst all human beings out there. I wasn’t an extremely clean person when it came to eating, I generally am a healthy eater but I would still have cakes, cupcakes, ice cream, fried foods, chips and all that yummy deliciousness that geniuses had created and brought into this world. But I could never eat them without constantly stressing about it at the back of my mind I’m going to get fat, my thighs are going to be bigger, my face is going to get rounder, I’m just going to get fat, and then I would just go to the gym and workout and feel better afterwards (I do enjoy working out, not just to burn off calories, I love feeling fit and “ I regretted that workout” said no one ever). So any who, I was introduced to a general vegan diet where you can feed and nourish your body with as much whole foods – fruits, vegetables, whole grains, tubers, legumes, as you want till you feel properly full after every meal, and not have to worry about it! I wouldn’t say that I am the healthiest vegan because they practically drown everything in oil here in the cafeteria and so I don’t really have a choice, but that’s why I am so excited to be cooking my own food in Year 2 so I can properly nourish my body with all the necessary nutrients, carbs (carbs are not the enemy!! Our bodies live on carbohydrates!!) and healthy fats and knowing exactly what it is that I’m putting into my body!

Now, moving on to moral reasons for being vegan.

Humans naturally desire whole foods and we are biologically plant eaters. Just take a look at our teeth, we don’t have canines like Wolves and Lions to be ripping and tearing out huge chunks of raw meat, we have to cook out meat and make them soft enough for consumption. If a live chicken and a mango were presented to us, we’d naturally choose the mango to eat and not go “ Ooh, I’ll love to kill that chicken and have it for lunch!”. Moreover, you don’t have to season fruits or vegetables to make them taste good whereas you’d have to put some form of seasoning on all meats before consumption.

Society has told us that it is ok to kill one animal and to save another. Why?? Just because a dog is cuter than a chicken, is that a good enough reason to kill the chicken? No it is not! We’ve subjected these innocent animals to these torture chambers where they are brought up in the worst conditions and brutally killed for human consumption and even if they were grown organically in a free-range farm (which the majority of them aren't), can you imagine living your life knowing that your fate had already been chosen for you? How can you look an animal in the eye and tell it that your appetite is more important than its life? We should be treating all life equally, man and animal, and who says that humans are superior, that we get to decide who lives and who doesn’t? We look at Hitler and call him a murderer, evil and sadistic for the holocaust, but only because what he killed were humans. There is mass murder happening right here, right now, with more than 6 million animals being killed for food every hour. This has to stop.

Now, as for environmental impacts – Animal agriculture is an ENVIRONMENTAL DISASTER. Water scarcity is a pressing issue in today’s world and the wars that we will fight in the future would be over water. Producing 1 hamburger takes 660 gallons of water and this is equivalent to 2 months of showering. It takes 2500 gallons of water to produce 1lbs of beef, 900 gallons of water for 1lbs of cheese, 477 gallons of water for 1lbs of eggs and 1000 gallons of water for 1litre of milk. Shocking, right?? Livestock and their by products accounts for 51% of all worldwide greenhouse gas emissions with methane having a global warming power 56 times that of carbon dioxide. We are clearing forests at an unprecedented rate for animal grazing and animal agriculture accounts for 136 acres of rainforest destruction while palm oil plantation only causes 26 million. Oceans are under siege like never before and we will be looking at fishless oceans by 2048. For every pound of fish caught, there are 5 pounds of by-products such as turtles, sharks and dolphins.

We are currently growing enough food to feed 10 billion people, yet we still can’t end world hunger because worldwide, 50% or more grain is fed to livestock. 82% of starving children live in countries where food is fed to animals, which are eaten in western countries. We could end world hunger today if we stop the breeding!

I am not forcing or even trying to make everyone go vegan, but if everyone just took small steps towards reducing the demand of meat, the results would be incredible! The changes don’t have to be drastic; you could just cut out meat from 1 or 3 of your meals a day and slowly increase this amount as you get more comfortable with it.

I probably sound a little angry especially when talking about moral reasons for being vegan but it just makes me so emotional. Yes, I have enjoyed meat for the past 18 years of my life - I love beef, chicken, sushi, seafood and I wouldn’t deny that they taste good, but after educating myself on all the detrimental impacts of animal agriculture, I can now fully stand up for the rights of animals!

Just to share what helped me in making my decision about going vegan

1. The documentary Cowspiracy, which is on Netflix but you can just find it online as I did. Here’s a fact sheet for the summarized findings in the documentary.

2. Bonny Rebecca’s YouTube channel and Tumblr

3. Other YouTubers: Steph, Hannah, Tess Begg, The Happy Pear (for recipes)

4. A logical explanation

It is currently 1:25 pm and I have yet to start on work today, but I have no regrets in spending my time writing up this post because I'd like to share more about Veganism and hopefully try to encourage others to just do a little to make the world a better place 

xx Have a great weekend everyone! xx

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