The following is a guest post by Lauren, author of the lifestyle blog Holiday Honey. In this post: Argument For The Vegan Diet, Holiday provides a different perspective on diet than I have previously provided on this site. There are strong ethical and dietary implications for a lifestyle of veganism, so the decision to live such a lifestyle should be up to you to decide for yourself.
Being vegetarian is fairly socially accepted. Just ask the over 8,000,000 American vegetarians out there. However, there are varying opinions on whether or not vegetarians should consume eggs and dairy. Omission of these plus animal flesh is referred to as Veganism. As far as I'm concerned, eating eggs is similar to eating live animals, and therefore I try to refrain from it as much as possible. I do occasionally eat regular cookies, entrees, or other baked goods that contain eggs, but in a perfect world, I'd never even be tempted to do so. I'm not totally vegan as of today, but I'm perpetually working on it. And here's why...
As far as dairy goes, most people (even well intending vegetarians) assume that there is no cruelty in the dairy industry. People have even gone so far as to say that cows need to be milked for their own health, comfort, and proliferation of species. Cows are housed in corporately owned factories by the hundreds. They are treated like milk machines, and the fact that milk is actually produced for their calves is completely overlooked. The cows are genetically enhanced to produce an unhealthy amount of milk for human consumption - up to 100 lbs per day. This is ten times more then they'd naturally produce following the birth of a calf. The genetic alterations and hormones given to cows cause their udders to swell in size and hang lower then what's comfortable. They drag on the ground, which causes infection. Infection leads to antibiotics (leading to human antibiotic resistance). Cows make milk solely to feed their babies, NOT to feed humans. Cows are forced to give milk even during their pregnancies. Cows typically would live up to 30 years in nature, but thanks to the corporate dairy farmers out there, they rarely live past age 4. Additionally, we are the only species on earth that drinks the milk of another species. It's weird, cruel, disgusting, and will make you sick over time. In fact, dairy consumption is related to heart disease, cancer, acne, halitosis, joint pain, depression, and a slew of other avoidable ailments. According to Harvey Diamond, of Fit for Life; "Dairy causes disease."
Furthermore, the veal industry is a direct result of the cruelty of the dairy industry. Therefore, if you drink milk you support veal consumption. Keep in mind that cows have to bear calves in order to produce milk for human collection. These cows have a baby every year -- a completely unnatural incidence. Could you imagine being impregnated every year of your life against your will? These babies are either used for more dairy (if they're female), or they sent to veal or beef farms (if their male). Male calves used for beef and veal are ripped from their mothers upon birth. Calves are kept in crates, only about 2-3 feet wide. They are chained by their necks and limbs to stop them from moving at all, preventing them from burning calories (i.e. to keep them fat). This makes meat more tender (which is why people like veal) since they have little muscle tone. Calves' limbs' often become so weak that they can no longer sustain their bodies. After about 3-4 months of force feeding and inhumane conditions, calves are slaughtered to make veal. These calves are literally driven crazy and medicated. These medications wreak total havoc on the human body, and are largely to blame for the vast array of human diseases today. According to The China Study, it is animal protein specifically, and not chemicals, that is the most correlated substance to cancer in the world.
More people shun the vegan theory than support it. Ultimately, I don't really care when people criticize my vegetarian diet, although it is frustrating when people say "just eat it, it wont kill you," because in fact, it may. I don't care for unsolicited opinions. The real goal should be to have a greater consciousness of what goes into your mouth. Certainly, its hard to make all of these changes at once, so try slowly. It's much easier to give them up one thing at a time. Plus, if you wake up after a few days of veganism, once the initial detox wares off, you'll feel absolutely fantastic! Ditching animal products raises your karma. After all, you're not ingesting death and slaughter. Furthermore, lessening animal product consumption with most certainly extend the length of your life, while simultaneously elevating its quality. Best of luck.
We'd love to hear your opinions on veganism! Please voice yourself in the comments section below... and if you enjoyed this post make sure to visit Lauren and her readers over at Holiday Honey.
Leading Causes of DeathHeart Disease is easily the leading cause of death in America. One of the major contributors to heart disease is cholesterol. See the following posts for more on lowering your risk for heart disease:
How To Lower LDL Cholesterol Levels Naturally