Veganism is an expression of animal liberation in action
Vegans make the non-violent, healthy, and environmentally-friendly choice to avoid the consumption and use of any animal product or by-product, including meat, dairy, eggs, fur, and leather. Veganism is not about what we give up. It is about what we support. By going vegan, we make a stand for animal liberation. Find out where your food comes from:
Many people think the animals they eat live happy, healthy lives on a family farm. But most animals killed for food are ruthlessly exploited on factory farms. Animals on these farms suffer tremendously: they are beaten, drugged, diseased, and mutilated (for example, cows given no pain relief are branded with a hot iron blade), all so that corporations can increase their profits. Animals bred for food are confined in small spaces and many spend their entire lives in cages so small they cannot turn around. After this torturous life, they are crammed onto transport trucks and sent to the slaughterhouse, sometimes travelling for 48 or even 56 hours without food or water. At the slaughterhouse animals are beaten, electrically prodded, and dragged to the Kill Floor where they are knocked unconscious and slaughtered; however, many animals remain conscious and are cut, skinned, or dunked into boiling water while still alive.
Going vegan is choosing a healthy lifestyle. The American Dietetic Association says that “appropriately planned vegetarian diets, including total vegetarian or vegan diets, are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases”. Research shows that vegans have reduced risk of many diseases including heart disease, hypertension, osteoperosis and many forms of cancer – this is because processed animal products are full of cholesterol, antibiotics, and hormones. Going vegan also supports healthy communities. Meat products are often contaminated with bacteria, antibiotics, dioxins, and other toxins that lead to serious health conditions, such as E. coli, listeria, and mercury. These toxins come from chemicals in the feed, unsanitary farm conditions, and fecal matter contamination during slaughter. And the Avian Flu, Swine Flu, and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) are all illnesses caused by factory farms.
Animal agriculture is a major cause of land degradation, pollution, greenhouse gases,and loss of biodiversity. The Food & Agriculture Organization found that animal agriculture is responsible for 18% of greenhouse gas emissions and is the single largest user of land. 70% of previously forested land in the Amazon is now being used as grazing land for livestock, and animal agriculture accounts for 8% of human water use, mostly for feed crop irrigation. Animal wastes, antibiotics, hormones, fertilizers and chemicals used by the industry run-off into local water supplies, making animal agriculture the largest source of water pollution. By going vegan you make the ethical choice to stop supporting the industries that thrive on the destruction of our communities and the suffering and murder of animals. The next step is to make the choice to actively fight against animal suffering.
Check out www.ChooseVeg.ca for great tips, info, and recipes.
For one-on-one support transitioning to vegetarianism/veganism, check out Vegan Outreach’s Vegan Mentor Program.
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