From animal consumer to animal advocate__
I have been vegan since 28th December 2015. After a rather indulging and busy Christmas, I decided to put my feet up for the day in front of the TV and Netflix. After catching up with some saved shows I kept getting the usual ‘because you watched (x)’, ‘you might also like (y)’. One that kept appearing was a really sad looking and gloomy cow…
No not the her!
Yes you got it, Cowspiracy! I was totally blown away and I knew something had quite dramatically changed inside of me.
Just like Kip (documentary lead), before becoming vegan I had always considered myself mindful and aware of my actions relating to the environment.
- I recycle as much as possible
- I drive a small, low emission car and walk when possible
- I turn off the water when brushing my teeth
- I turn off the light when leaving a room… etc etc.
I had no idea that just by eating meat was more environmentally destructive than any of the measures I was implementing — combined — and then some — and then some more!
Here’s a small selection of facts that literally blew my mind:
- Consuming just one pound of beef requires >2,500 gallons of water!
- Even without fossil fuels, we will exceed our 565 gigatonnes CO2e limit by 2030, all from raising animals for food
- Animal agriculture is the leading cause of species extinction, ocean deadzones, water pollution, and habitat destruction
- Animal agriculture is responsible for up to 91% of Amazon deforestation
References for these and MANY MORE facts can be found at http://www.cowspiracy.com/facts
(Picture adapted from http://www.cowspiracy.com/)
My curious mind was hooked!
Next up was Vegucated. This documentary follows three meat eating Americans who adopt a vegan diet for 6 weeks. This helped me comprehend the real misconceptions surrounding veganism. It also highlights the idealistic vision of the meat and dairy industry compared to the actual reality.
Picture below: Top — what we want to imagine. Bottom — Reality!
As Paul and Linda McCartney once quoted:
“If slaughter houses had glass walls, everyone would be vegetarian.”
Due to rising populations and therefore growing demand, the meat and dairy industry have been forced to change the way they operate. The small little family run farms we all like to imagine have been converted into huge industrial factory farms to cope with the demand. This new age of chemically enhanced agriculture needs to be exposed. Not only because of the horrible treatment and mass murder of the animals, but also for the evidence linking meat and dairy consumption to diseases such as cancer, diabetes and heart disease.
Last in my mindset change marathon, but by no means least, was Earthlings. This shocking documentary was hard for me to watch… I don’t even want to write about it… but I can safely say:
“I will never eat meat or dairy ever again!”
Animals have always been a part of my life. I had pet cats as a child and I have worked with horses for 5 years in my late teens/early twenties. I have always envisioned having animals in my life in the future. I have noticed the different personalities, emotions and other unique traits in every animal I have come into contact with. But somehow, until now, I have failed to comprehend that the meat on a plate once had it’s own personality, feelings and felt pain, sadness and fear just like every other living being. With this failing, I am now on a mission to make up for lost time.
When I first sat down to write this blog, I had no intention to rant and rave or persuade anyone else to follow suit. However, a quite emotional passion has developed inside of me since turning vegan and I want to help others lead a more compassionate and healthy life.
I would encourage anyone who cares about our planet, the animals we share this earth with and also your own health, to consider watching the documentaries I have highlighted.
Being vegan is really not as hard as I once imagined. The health benefits I have experienced in this short time have been staggering. Look out for my next blog and I will talk further about this. I can safely say though:
“I am not just surviving, I am thriving!”
I will leave it here for now and let you decide your next move… but let me leave you with this:
(Picture adapted from www.cowspiracy.com)
I have now been vegan for 105 days and counting. I’ll let you do the maths!
Thanks for reading x