Becoming vegan, that is, living a lifestyle that does not demand the use of any type of animal products, is one of the best decisions you could ever make. With this one choice, you can help end a great deal of suffering connected to the animal exploitation industry, end your complicity with that industry, and relieve your body of the nutritional burden that is an animal-based diet. Veganism is a truly life-changing choice, and the impacts of it will be felt in more lives than just yours.
The harsh truth is that animal based food and clothing products, from the flesh of cows and chickens, to milk and eggs, to leather and wool, come with a heavy price of pain, trauma, death, and environmental degradation, and it does not stop there. Beyond food, many personal hygiene, beauty, and household products cause immense suffering through unnecessary, insanely cruel, and scientifically irresponsible animal testing.
Because of the position of opportunity that ANYONE in this society has (none of us are hunter-gatherers, none of us only have access to animal products and depend solely or mostly on them for food), consuming these products is completely unnecessary, and thus morally indefensible, considering their impact. In short, because we can live without causing this suffering, we have a responsibility to do so.
The only reason we allow this bane to exist in this world is that we, as the perpetrators of these injustices, disconnect ourselves from the reality of the situation. That reality is that the source of much of our food and clothing is not magic and machines. Nor is it a family farm with green pastures and happy animals who will one day unwittingly be killed for food. The sources of all of these products are living, breathing, life yearning beings like you and me. They can feel pain, they can suffer, and they can fear for their lives. And sadly, they do, and unnecessarily so.
For their whole lives, they are forced into a pitiful and unnatural existence in cages packed with dead and barely living animals. They endure in mud and excrement covered lots, losing their mobility to disease and injury induced by unnatural and unhealthy diets, lack of physical activity, and outright neglect. They watch their children shipped off for veal or thrown into dead piles. They go through all of this only to end up in a slaughterhouse, hung upside down, life pouring out through a slit in the throat onto filthy tile. Few of the millions upon millions of non-human animals marked for death for the sake of the human palate, wardrobe, or laboratory ever escape a violent and painful death.
All of these unjust situations and practices exist only because there is an economic demand for their products. By eating animal flesh, drinking milk, wearing leather, or using animal-tested makeup, you are perpetuating a cycle of unneeded suffering and death. In fact, through consuming the previously mentioned products, you place your personal stamp of approval on murderously oppressive treatment of animals. By creating a demand for those products, you are paying those who inflict all of this suffering and death to do so. The only way to start doing your full part in ending animal suffering is to abstain from any products that contribute to it.
The decision to abstain from animal products is a step in the right direction for your health in addition to that of non-human animals. The body benefits from the healthy nature of a vegan diet. Vegans are far less likely to suffer from the many diseases proven to be associated with an animal-based diet. These include but are not limited to several deadly and prevalent types of cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases, including high blood pressure, stroke, and heart attack (this is due to the fact that vegans will consume absolutely no dietary cholesterol, as the only source of it is animal fats). Of course, even a vegan diet must be well thought out and carefully practiced, but this is not a difficult undertaking. In fact, the nature of veganism itself makes it near simple.
If one is to avoid animal products, they must pay attention to the contents of what they are eating. In doing so, they will be hard pressed to ignore unhealthy foods. Also, vegans are naturally more dependent on whole fruits and vegetables than omnivores, which are inherently healthier than a diet consisting of fast food and heavily processed, pre-made meals. The health value of a balanced vegan diet including a healthy dose of grains, vegetables, fruits, and protein from beans, nuts, and foods derived from those is far superior to an animal-dependent diet.
There is no defensible argument against living a vegan lifestyle in today’s society. The ethical and nutritional superiority of veganism to other methods of living are clear and it is an easy step to make, no matter how big of a jump it may seem. Go vegan for the animals and for yourself.