Chances are good if you’re reading this blog, you probably already know something about veganism.
If you are not vegan already, why not give it a try?
It almost certainly suits you. Being fair to other animals means going vegan!
Going Vegan Because :
- Roughly 56 billion land animals are killed yearly for food and animal use is rising (according to data from the United Nations). (1) That’s just land animals raised for food. It doesn’t include animals raised in aquaculture or animals hunted for food, or animals used for other purposes. Regardless of how we use them, it’s wrong to do so.
- The ASPCA estimates that, in the United States alone, roughly 5 to 7 million nonhuman animals enter shelters every year, and that about 60 percent of dogs and 70 percent of cats are murdered. (2) It doesn’t matter what species they are; if we bring other animals into existence, we owe them their personhood and proper care, not starvation, abandonment or a premature and unnecessary death.
- The number of animal species becoming extinct is rapidly increasing. (3) When we destroy the ecosystem of nonhuman animals, or drive species to extinction, we are doing harm to each of the individual animals affected.
Nicer cages for the animals we use won’t solve these moral problems.
Stronger protectionist laws won’t solve these problems.
Environmental activism, vegetarianism, and violence won’t solve these problem.
None of these approaches addresses the underlying cause: the legal status of nonhuman animals as property, and the widespread social perception that nonhuman animals are instruments for our use.
Only veganism, the abolition of nonhuman animal’s status as our property, and a relationship that takes other animals seriously as moral persons can solve these problems.
So, why don’t YOU go vegan?
Veganism shows courage, good judgment and discipline.
It is easier than it ever has been, and it is the right thing to do.
That’s true whether you believe that Adam and Eve were vegan in Eden, that God commanded Noah to build the Ark to save nonhuman animals, that Muhammad cut the sleeve from his robe rather than wake his cat, Muezza, or that St. Anthony preached to fishes.
It’s true whether you believe the Buddha abstained from meat, whether you believe nonhumans are reincarnated human beings or whether you believe that animal use involves himsa.
It’s also true whether you read Plutarch or Pythagoras, believe in vibrational energies, decided that nonviolence is right all by yourself, or if you’re not sure why you feel harming other animals is wrong, you just think it is.
All properly moral traditions condemn unnecessary violence.
Virtually all moral traditions condemn unnecessary violence toward nonhuman animals, many in light of a (highly subjective) notion that animals are persons to whom we owe moral duties.
There are no good reasons to use animals for either your health or for the environment.
There are no good reasons to use animals because they taste good or for fashion or entertainment reasons, there are easily available plant-only alternatives.
It is better to act well and face a little teasing than to live in a relationship of domination with nonhuman animals that oppresses both them and you.
Don’t let nostalgia, complacency, tradition, a fear of rejection, or a fear of failure stand in your way.
Like other animals, you have value, you have the right to do the right thing, and doing the right thing by nonhuman animals means going vegan.
Going vegan is easier than you think and it’s morally awesome!
A vegan is someone who doesn’t use nonhuman animals for food, clothing, entertainment or other purposes.
People go vegan for many reasons.
You can be religious or an atheist.
You can be a liberal, a radical, or a conservative.
Or you don’t have to like sandals or do yoga.
The best reason to go vegan, though, is because you suspect, as many people do, that it’s wrong to harm nonhuman animals (it is!).
Animals are sentient (that is, they are someones rather than somethings).
They can experience and respond to different circumstances uniquely.
They have interests in a continued life, avoiding pain and suffering, as well as experiencing pleasure.
Like human beings, they have a moral right not to be used as our property.
It is wrong to harm them. We owe them nonviolence as a minimum (whether they live in a preserve, in a park, or on a farm), as well as acts of kindness when it is possible and practicable for us to help them with rescue, sanctuary and adoption work.
You can get started today!
- Start by conducting any additional research you feel many be necessary.
- Create a meal plan for yourself that ensures you’ll get the calcium, iron, vitamin B12, zinc and other nutrients and calories you’ll need. The American Dietetic Association (among others) says that a rich and varied vegan diet is healthy if you plan (8). Almost all soy, almond, rice and other plant-only milks are fortified with the vitamins and nutrients you’ll need.
- Create a list of all of the things you’ll want to replace. You’ll no longer be using silk, leather, products tested on animals and other such items, and you’ll want to purchase plant-only alternatives when you can afford to do so.
- Stop using other animals for entertainment (e.g., circuses). Easy!
- Go vegan all at once, or if you really cannot go all at once for substantive reasons, create a clear plan and work your way as quickly and carefully through the transition as you can.
It’s that straightforward. You can start today.
There is always more you can do (e.g., adoption, shelter and rescue work), but veganism is the baseline.
Billions and billions of lives hang in the balance and your choice to go vegan is the most important thing you can do for them. You can do it!