I have completed my first two weeks being vegan! With each day, I feel more and more affirmed that a vegan lifestyle is a better lifestyle. This week, I have been learning as much as I can about the benefits of being vegan and the consequences of the animal industry. I watched the documentaries Food, Inc., Forks over Knives, Food Matters, and Vegucated. I also read the free Kindle book Why We Should Go Vegan by Magnus Vinding. To summarize what I learned, I created this graphic, which shows just a few of the ways the animal industry is destroying our planet and people.
The image in the upper left hand corner is of heart disease. Consuming high amounts of cholesterol, which is only found in animal products, increases one’s risk. Switching to a plant based diet can prevent and reverse the effects of heart disease. The upper right hand image shows a heartbreaking issue: world hunger. Cattle in the animal industry consume 40% of the world’s grain. It would be far more efficient to eat this grain directly. Without the meat industry, we could feed an additional 2 billion people. The picture on the bottom left shows the effects of global warming. The animal industry releases more greenhouse gases than the entire transportation industry combined! Undoubtedly, if the world was vegan, global warming would be a much less critical issue. The last image is of a cattle feed lot. Thousands of cattle are crammed into these barren lots to await slaughter, fed an unnatural diet, and are often struck with disease. We all get one chance at life. It is so unfair that these animals must spend it languishing in misery and pain, only to be confronted by a cruel and torturous death.
I made this graphic because people fail to realize the consequences of consuming animal products. When you go to the store, all you see are the racks of neatly packaged animal flesh, cartons of milk adorned with bucolic scenes, and neatly sliced cheeses. When it is as simple as picking up an item and putting it in your cart, people are blind to the effects that are attached to their choices. With bountiful food all around and no obvious consequences, people continue to suck the life out of the world around them by choosing to eat animal products.
I wish people could see that the solution to the most massive global issues–global warming, hunger, heart disease, cancer–is as simple as switching to a plant based diet. I don’t understand why people keep skirting around the issue by driving electric cars and aggressively monitoring their calorie intake when simply putting down the meat and picking up some vegetables instead would solve these problems directly. We spend billions of dollars each year attacking these issues in such roundabout ways, but the solution is already here. It is obvious: the consequences of consuming animal products massively outweigh the pleasure of taste. I wish people could make this connection and stop putting their desires above the needs of the rest of the world.
Have a <3. Be Vegan.