Vegetarianism is becoming more and more well known and socially acceptable. The media is beginning to portray vegetarianism as a healthy compassionate lifestyle. But in reality it is neither healthy nor ethical. Vegetarians often wrongly believe that milk and egg production causes no harm because the animals are not killed. But the meat, dairy and egg industries are all intrinsically linked.
The dairy industry kills baby calves for veal because they cannot be exploited for milk. And in the egg industry baby chicks are suffocated or ground up alive because they do not produce eggs. The female cows can live up to 20 years old. But because they are repeatedly impregnated and over milked,they become too worn out to be profitable, and so are killed at around 5 years old. Chickens can live up to 8 years old, but because of the stress that is put on their body from producing so many eggs, they are killed at 1-2 years old. In the dairy industry cows are artificially inseminated, often with a device known as a “rape rack”. So that they have babies and produce milk. Because humans desire the milk that was intended for these babies,the young calves are taken away from their mothers at birth, which is one of the most emotionally devastating things anyone could ever do. If the babies are males, they are killed for veal immediately because they are of no use to the industry. Female babies will suffer the same fate as their mothers. Cows are then hooked up to machines around 3 times a day to be sucked dry which always leaves to painful infections such as mastitis. As a result of this dairy contains large amounts of pus or somatic cells. After repeating the cycle of impregnation and milking, dairy cows become worn out and unable to produce profitable quantities of milk.
In the egg industry chicks are born in large incubators and never get the chance to see their mothers. Chick sexers separate the male and female chicks. Because males are of no use to the industry, they are suffocated or ground up alive. The female chicks will have their beaks cut off and will then be crammed into tiny cages or overcrowded sheds. The chicks are crammed together with barely enough space to move. They are forced to urinate and defecate on each other and the resulting ammonia causes severe dAmage to their lungs. Many chickens die in their cages and are often left to rot. Chickens have been genetically modified to produce 300 eggs a year instead of their normal 17, which puts a massive strain on their bodies. After 2 years when they are no longer profitable to the industry,those that have survived are sent for slaughter. They might be gassed or electrocuted and scalded to death.
Vegetarians also hold on to the myth that there are essential nutrients that can only be found in animal products. It’s easy to get enough protein, iron, calcium, B12 and all the other nutrients as a vegan. While these nutrients can be sourced from animal products, in order to get them, we have to also consume all the unhealthy cholesterol, saturated fat and animal protein. Dairy and eggs actually inhibit iron absorption which is why many vegetarians become anaemic. “It is not natural for humans to drink cow’s milk. Cow’s milk is a high fat fluid designed to turn a 65lb baby calf into a 400lb cow. “Cow’s milk contains animal protein – which has been proven by people like Dr. T. Colin Campbell to promote cancer growth. Animal protein is far too acidic for the human body. In order to neutralize this acidity, the body leeches calcium and phosphorus from the bones. People have been mislead to believe that milk gives us strong bones yet the countries with the highest dairy consumption all have the highest rates of osteoporosis.z
Dairy products like cheese and butter are high in fat, saturated fat and cholesterol and are very low in vital vitamins and minerals. Diets high in fat, especially saturated fat, can increase the risk of heart diseases and can cause other serious health problems like diabetes. Because cows suffer from a number of infections like mastitis, dairy contains a considerable quantity of pus. A glass of milk will contain around 90 to 135 million somatic “pus” cells. Dairy also contains bovine growth hormones which have been linked to obesity and cancer. It also contains antibiotics, and contaminants like blood and faeces. Cow’s milk also contains casomorphins, a form of morphine which is highly addictive. The egg industry has misled us to believe that eggs are nutritious health foods that are essential for the human body, although it is actually illegal to advertise eggs as healthy or safe. Eggs are high in fat, saturated fat and cholesterol which will increase the risk of heart disease and can cause other serious health problems like diabetes. Eggs actually have over 3 times more cholesterol than a steak. Because of their naturally occurring salmonella, eggs are unsafe for human consumption and it’s estimated that more than a 140,000 people a year are affected by salmonella poisoning. Eggs have been marketed as a healthy source of protein, but animal protein is far too acidic for the human body and has been associated with cancer, diabetes and kidney disease.
They have also been advertised as a perfect source of iron, but a 50g egg contains only 0.6mg of iron, which is considerably low compared to healthier plant based alternatives like beans, nuts, seeds and greens. Many vegetarians try to justify their actions with meaningless phrases like “free-range”. But these are simply marketing slogans created to help people feel good about their bad habits, whilst making money out of their ignorance and misguided compassion. There is no real legal definition for “free-range” other than the fact that the hens aren’t kept in cages. But in the crowded warehouses of “free-range” facilities, there’s no such thing as a “happy egg”. And people seem to think it’s ok to steal eggs from backyard hens but this is wrong for a number of reasons:Firstly, the hen has been commodified meaning she’s only really there because we want to take her eggs. Hens are often purchased from breeders in the egg industry, who are responsible for killing over 280 million male chicks a year. And in their natural state, hens only lay eggs until they have a full nest. At this point, they would naturally stop laying eggs and start nesting. Humans disrupt this natural process by constantly removing the eggs, therefore constantly encouraging the chickens to lay more eggs to fill their nest. It takes a lot of effort to lay an egg,and every egg involves a massive loss of calcium from the hen to make the shell. This serious calcium deficiency can lead to diseases and painful death. One of the ways a hen can replace this calcium loss is by eating her own eggs which is normally discouraged because we want them all for ourselves. Considering how unhealthy eggs are, leftover eggs should only really be used to make compost.
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Honey is vomit that has been repeatedly swallowed and regurgitated by bees, therefore it is highly acidic and harmful to our bodies. The acidity can decalcify the bones and it helps create an environment in which cancer can thrive. Queen bees are enslaved and her wings are ripped off so that her and her colony cannot fly away. The queens are usually killed after a year and replaced. Bee vomit is very useful for insulation and to feed bees and their babies, but because humans desire their honey, the bees are gassed so that we can steal it. When bee communities no longer produce huge amounts of quality honey, they’re killed off, new communities are created by the beekeeper, and the process starts all over again. We’ve been addicted to these products for so long that we have forgotten what they really are. Dairy is a pus filled cow secretion made exclusively for baby calves. Eggs are cholesterol laden hen period and honey is stolen bee vomit. And vegetarians are often ignorant to the leather and wool industries.
When sheep get older, they stop producing as much wool and they’re sent off to slaughter as they are no longer seen as ‘profitable’ Regular shearing causes nicks and cuts and in order to prevent the excess attraction of flies and a condition called “flystrike”,the wool industry practices “mulesing”. This is a cruel procedure in which part of a sheep’s flesh is cut off of his or her hindquarters without anesthesia. People think that leather is merely a byproduct of the beef industry, but there is such a demand for leather that the animals are killed specifically for their skin. Most leather comes from Indian cows. To transport them to a place where they can be legally murdered, cows are shoed and roped, then are forced to walk through the heat and dust without food or water. Many animals collapse from the stress of this. When they become weak and slow, their tales are repeatedly pinched and broken in a sick attempt to get them moving. Handlers are in such a hurry that they use nose ropes, and twist their necks and tales. They also use chilli peppers and tobacco to keep the animals moving – they rub the pepper directly in their eyes in order to get the animals back on their feet. The men that load them into trucks are often forceful and rough. The new experience of traveling, combined with the lack of food and water leads to severe nausea. Half the animals are already dead before they arrive at the slaughterhouse. They’re generally killed through hacking and sawing with a dull blade and are usually killed in full view of each other. Vivisection is unscientific and only used because it allows scientists to publish large amounts of data, which makes them money. It is a business that cares more about profit than it does about the rats, cats, monkeys and rabbits that are tortured in the name of science.
Using animal models does not help to cure human diseases. Dr.Jerry Vlassak once said the following about animal research:”I was told that I could make a name for myself if I published papers and experimented on animals; and I was told that universities were given lots of money by the government as long as they continued to do experiments on animals. Being the naive young doctor and wanting to follow the lead of others, I did a year of vivisection and visited animal labs throughout the country. What I learned and what I saw with my own eyes was mind-boggling. I learned that 85% of all the data gathered from animal experiments was literally thrown away because it was of no use to to anyone, human or non-human, never even published, much less used to help people. Almost all of the remainder of this data was never found useful for human healthcare. And that 1 or 2% of data that was possibly, one day, maybe going to be useful in helping people? That data could have been obtained more accurately and cheaply using modern, progressive non-animal methods. Then I learned that the way universities get grant money isn’t by coming up with the best and most scientific research methods, but by continuing to use animals as a model because of the billions of dollars made in the vivisection industry.
“Animal agriculture is responsible for up to 51% of global carbon emissions compared to the 13% of all global transportation. It uses a third of the earth’s fresh water, up to 45% of the Earth’s land, is responsible for 91% of Amazon rainforest destruction with 1-2 acres being cleared every second. It is also the leading cause of species extinction, ocean dead zones and habitat destruction. And this includes eggs and dairy. Almost a billion people in the world don’t have enough food or clean water. The food that they could eat is being fed to billions of animals raised for meat,dairy and eggs. Farming animals like dairy cows and hens also uses massive amounts of water. By choosing Vegan, we have the choice every day to save over 1100 gallons of water, 45lb of grain, 30 sq ft of forested land, 20lb of CO2 and 1 animal’s life – every single day. It’s easy to go Vegan overnight. Firstly, it helps to have done some research with some helpful videos, websites and documentaries. Secondly, you just need to stop eating eggs, dairy and other animal products and eat plant-based foods. Great recipes can include smoothies, oatmeal with fruit, sandwiches, pittas, wraps, pasta bakes, potato bakes, homemade potato wedges, salads, soups, curries and chillis with rice. Then you can start looking for non-animal tested products. You don’t need to throw away all of your old products, but look out for the many Vegan brands and buy them when you next shop. Do the same with clothing – you don’t need to use cow skin, wool or fur to have really nice, high-quality products. And you can find unlimited support online from Vegan Facebook groups.
There are so many activists who are happy to spend time helping you out with anything you’re struggling with, so just ask. When progressing towards Veganism, instead of trying vegetarianism, be Vegan for a set period of time, and you will feel healthier and realise that it is easier than you thought. If you want to help save the environment, the animals, those suffering in 3rd world countries and improve your health, vegetarianism won’t help. Vegetarianism is for people who don’t like the taste or texture of meat, but still want to exploit animals. It is a flawed philosophy which supports the practices of grinding male chicks up alive, stealing calves from their mothers, mutilating bees, killing cows for their skin, ripping flesh off of sheep and torturing animals for vanity, and even though vegetarians might be ignorant to these practices they are still contributing to them. Good intentions mean nothing to the animals being tortured on a daily basis. Many people believe that vegetarianism is an important step for progressing towards Veganism. But just remember that baby steps are for chicks and calves, not for humans who can easily go Vegan overnight if they care enough to do so. There comes a time when ignorance is no longer an excuse. So take action and make the change now.