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The Moral Necessity of Veganism
Please join me in imagining a planet where the following happens – billions of cats and dogs are raised in unpleasant conditions, killed and then eaten by humans. Now imagine those dogs and cats feeling as much pain, if not more, than humans, that the world’s scientists have shown how harmful eating them is to humans, and that the process of growing them and killing destroys the ecosystem of the planet. Please take a moment to think about it.
Now I’m sure the picture I painted won’t suit most of you. You may have been struck by the cruelty, the wastefulness, or the jaw-dropping arrogance on display. You may have felt a sense of outrage, pity or disgust. You may have wondered how such a state of affairs could have been, let alone continue.
The problem is that this planet exists. Each year, approximately fifty billion innocent creatures are enslaved, tortured and killed. They are eaten by humans, resulting in poor health. Our planet, Earth, is destroyed in the process. The power of language and social narratives, such as cultural and religious tradition, have led people to view some of our fellow human beings, such as pigs and cows, as fully deserving of an untimely and painful death, while others , such as cats and dogs, as a family. People are used to this point of view and it persists. So it seems that Orwell’s famous dystopian maxim “all animals are equal but some are more equal than others” holds a more literal truth than is commonly thought.
Now, as strange and unnatural as our meat-eating situation is, I think it’s pretty easily explained – for thousands of years people have killed and eaten other animals to survive. Two of the essential building blocks of human life, proteins and fats, were often difficult to obtain from plant sources, and killing a large animal could sustain a family, or even a community, for quite some time. It made sense. Then, around ten thousand years ago, many people traded this “hunter-gatherer” way of life for a simpler version, that of agriculture. This logic is also simple – why spend all day trying to kill animals with a spear when some species could be tamed and easily killed? The problem is that logic has stuck while much of the world has changed.
We now know the sentience and cognition of animals and, therefore, their ability to suffer. The farming and logging industry inflicts unimaginable emotional and physical pain on billions of creatures. They are locked up, castrated, branded, raped and murdered. I challenge anyone to explain how, in many cases, that’s not what happens.
We now know the damage done to the human body by the consumption of bodies and their secretions – the far from slightly increased risks of heart attack, stroke, cancer, dementia, arthritis, diabetes and of obesity.
We now know the damage that this industry causes to the planet – the disruption of the ecosystem in the form of abnormally high birth and death rates of species, the surplus of methane and the huge expanses of forests and fields rendered sterile, and the huge supplies of grain used for cattle-raising. We now know a lot. So why do we still live like our Stone Age ancestors, who didn’t have a greengrocer on the road?
If every human being on earth embraced the vegan lifestyle tomorrow, we would be in a better place – there would be far less pain, far less disease, and far less planetary damage, not to mention more fertile lands and methods of healing. more economical power supply. Growth and food distribution. The problem is, and I know this because I held this opinion myself until I was twenty-five, that the vegan lifestyle is generally considered strange: unhealthy and restricted. But the thing is, as I hope some of you know/will know, the exact opposite is happening. A simple purchase of the book ‘1000 vegan recipes’ or a simple view of the Russia Today interview with Dr. Neal Barnard will show it.
I’ve been vegan for almost two years now, after a three-month transition period, and I consider it the best thing I’ve ever done. I’ve lost weight, I have more energy and I no longer have that very distant but very nagging voice inside me that tells me that my body is not well. I find it easy to find vegan substitutes, such as sausages and burgers, I find it easy to get vegan options in restaurants, especially Indian, Thai and Italian restaurants, and I always learn new and delicious ones meal to cook. Some of my new homemade favorites include Chickpea and Coconut Milk Curry, Spicy Peanut Butter Noodles, and Brazilian Mango Banana Stew. As long as you keep an eye on your protein (60g per day – good sources are nuts, tofu and flax seeds), your fats (70g – flapjacks, dark chocolate and coconut milk), and your B12 (0 .0015mg – soymilk, marmite and supplements) every day can go vegan effortlessly.
So, brothers and sisters, look inside yourselves and probe your consciences. Are you ready to obey ethics, nature, and help unplug the filthy industry that convinced you to disobey them in the first place?
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