Hi! I just joined! My name is River, and I'm 17. I'm currently a vegetarian and have been for quite some time now, but I've been considering going vegan lately. I'm a veggie for the animals. What are some reasons I should go vegan?
Being vegan can be a way to express the idea that animals are not property, that they're not means for human ends, that they're not to be used as egg-laying machines or milk machines, that we're not to cut their bodies to eat, that they're not to be tortured for science or cosmetics or whipped to perform in a circus.
I agree, you should only do it if it something YOU want to do. If you go into it for the wrong reasons, you may end up resenting it, or feeling like a failure.
I was vegetarian for a long time (few years) before even considering seriously making the switch over to vegan. And I'm still not *there*~ Nor do I ever know if I WILL get *there* (wherever *there* is, lol)
All I can do is what I feel is right, and do what I can. Some days are easier than others. This afternoon was a bad one and I caved at lunch. I actually feel really gross right now, after eating that. Wish I'd sucked it up and just made myself something after all. (Anyway!)
So do it because YOU want to. And the other reasons are good, but if YOU don't think that way, or have those beliefs personally, it won't make much of a difference.
Keep researching, and we are here if you have questions!
I'm going to assume you are not allegric or dislike these animal products. So with that in mind, I see the most compelling reason to go vegan is ethical reasons, followed by the enivormental costs of animal agriculture.
I'm not so sure about the health aspects as I've yet to see evidence of vegans being healther then vegetarians or omnivores unless they eat excessive amounts of animal products.
Edit: Actually I take that back, high doses of hormones, antibotics and other stuff contained in factory farmed animal products.
I do it because I disagree with the industry; intensive farming and all that goes with it doesn't appeal to me and thus I can't support it. I don't think there's anything wrong with eating dairy as long it's come from somewhere good. For example, if I had my own chickens I know they'd be looked after very well and so would eat their eggs.
One of the main reasons I went vegan is because of the cruelty involved in producing dairy and eggs. I grew up on a small family dairy farm and saw some terrible things there when I was growing up. I saw baby calves taken away from their mother to be sold for veal. The cows would mourn the loss of the calf (like any mother would) and call out for them for days or weeks. Cows only produce milk after they have a baby, so they were forced to give birth every year so the milk didn't run out.
In the warmer months the cows spent the day in the fields, but during the winter the cows could not graze in the pasture because of the snow. They would spend the whole winter in the barn where they had very little room. They could sand up and lay down, but they could not walk around at all. Spending the winter months inside on a concrete floor was hard on the cows joints. They would sometimes go lame.
After 4 or 5 years of this the cows would get worn out so they would be sold for slaughter. Sometimes the cows would get so sick they couldn't stand up. When the people came to take the sick cows away, they would tie a rope to the cow's leg and drag it across the floor to the truck. The cow would cry out in pain the whole time.
The farm I grew up on was NOT a "factory farm." Even if the milk you drink is "free range" or "organic" the cows may treated in the manner I just described. The male calves, and chickens too for that matter, are useless because they can't produce milk or eggs. Even free range and organic farms kill the males soon after birth.
It was difficult to grow up on a farm and see these things every day. For me, becoming vegan was the only way I could deal with the memories of the things I saw growing up.
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