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Vegan Views: Making a Difference

No single food choice has a farther-reaching and more profoundly positive impact on our health, the environment, and all of life on Earth than choosing vegan.

-Alternative Baking Company, Inc. 

Vegans abstain from eating animal products such as dairy, meat, eggs and gelatin, as well as abstain from wearing or purchasing products like leather, silk and wool. 

You may be looking at this list and asking yourself, “What are you going to eat?” Going vegetarian is manageable, but eggs? Dairy? That is in practically everything. Well, yes it is, but that is rapidly changing and each day there are new vegan alternatives for everyday foods. Instead of finding veganism hard, look at it with excitement: view it as an opportunity to try new foods and learn about the reasons to go vegan. 

Animal agriculture is the most destructive industry on the planet today. It is the leading cause of deforestation, land degradation and species extinction. Emissions from animal agriculture are expected to increase 80 percent by 2050. By 2030 (even without fossil fuels), animal agriculture alone will lead us to exceeding our CO2 emissions limit. It takes 660 gallons of water to make one hamburger. That’s the equivalent of 32 showers. One pound of beef requires 1,799 gallons of water, which includes grasses in feed, irrigation of the grains and water for processing and drinking. Whatever way you look at it, the animal agriculture industry is beyond wasteful.

Factory farmers treat animals in ways that are simply out of step with most people’s values. Each year on today’s factory farms, more than 8 billion animals are confined in windowless sheds, tiny barren crates and filthy wire cages. The vast majority of these animals are mutilated without painkillers, denied veterinary care and ultimately slaughtered. Sadly, they have little to no legal protection. By going vegan, one can reduce the impact of climate change, rainforest destruction and pollution, while saving animals, water and other precious recourses.

We never question where our food is coming from or ask ourselves who is profiting and who is suffering for it to get to our plates. According to Gary Yourofsky, “We live in a world where we are so consumed by habit, taste, tradition and convenience that we don’t stop to think about what our bodies want, what the environment needs or which species we’re exploiting.”

So, try a vegan meal this week. Watch Cowspiracy. Check out Spiral Diner. Your body—and the planet—will thank you. 

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