As I said in my first blog post, I decided to become vegan around April 17th, 2015. The previous week I attended a National Preparedness Summit in Atlanta and one of the keynote speakers talked about emerging infectious diseases, bioterrorism, and other threats we face in public health. I’m just now reviewing the notes I took during the conference and the speaker, Mike Walker, talked about other threats as well, earthquakes, influenza, MERS, Eblola, superbugs, and then he moved into talking about climate change. He said that we were going to see mega droughts in the future. We are going to see another dust bowl. He said in the year 2030 we would be suffering from a 40% water shortfall and that we would see worldwide food scarcity. This had a big impact on me.
Three days later I watched the show Earthlings and I made the life changing decision to become a vegan. As humans, we exploit animals by using them for food, clothing, scientific research, and entertainment. The documentary enlightened me in so many ways. I think I’ve mentioned in a previous post how upsetting it was to me to learn that baby male chicks are macerated (pulverized) or gassed alive because they are considered useless. I did not know that female cows are forcibly raped because they produce milk when they are pregnant. Their calves are taken from them immediately after birth. The females are raised so they can become milk producers and the males are useless, so they are sold to a veal producer. The females are kept pregnant for 4 to 6 years and then are taken to slaughter for their meat. I cannot support this cruelty! I don’t any longer.
I no longer buy clothing made of leather, wool, or silk. I LOVE purses, but recently, I have been able to purchase two purses that indicated they are “vegan leather.” SOLD! I buy cruelty-free makeup, shampoo, toothpaste, deodorant, and lotions. In short, I have eliminated animal products from my life in every way possible. My reasons for being a vegan begin because I’m against animal cruelty. Marketing strategies are trying to convey messages about “humane slaughter”. The words HUMANE and SLAUGHTER combined together may convince some people their meat was killed in a manner that was humane – but they are fooling themselves.
I sense that people are starting to wake up as I did. Perhaps it’s because I follow so many people on Instagram that are like-minded, but I have to believe that the times are changing. In July, the mayor of Turin, Italy, said she wants her city to become vegetarian, and is promoting a meat-free and dairy-free lifestyle. How awesome is that?
While I understand the plight of farmers, and that their livelihood is at stake, it may be time for them to reconsider their focus and move from dairy milk to plant-based milk products. Almond milk, soy milk, rice milk, and hemp milk are available and taste great (ok, I haven’t tried hemp milk yet, but I will the next time I go to the store and I’ll provide a review after I try it). I am ensure I am getting enough protein in my diet by supplementing with plant-based protein powders, and the most recent one I purchased is make with pea-protein. And I recently saw a report about a company that is attempting to make a pea-based milk product.
Meat alternatives are growing in popularity and I think billionaire Bill Gates is investing in it – so it must be the next big thing. I love Tofurky deli slices and Field Roast “meats”. Gardenburgers, Boca Burger, and Gardein is great. We are not lacking for meat alternatives in any way. Dairy cheese alternatives are also getting better all the time and I add slices to my sandwiches. I have to admit – I LOVE Vegenaise. Too much! I could eat it out of the jar. And, I have, and then opted for a raw vegan diet to “reset” myself. I’m not trying to really stick to a whole-food plant based diet, as touted by Dr. Colin Campbell in his works. New food options for vegans are being developed and put onto the shelves every day. I hope that it will make it a little easier for other people to make the change.
Well, that’s all for this evening!