Table of Contents
Adopting vegan or vegetarian diets are the kindest things you can do to reduce the number of farm animals suffering. Animals involved in factory farming, and the meat industry endure cruelty beyond our comprehension. Because the egg and dairy industries cause equally great suffering to animals, being a vegan is the best thing of all you can do for the animals.
Not only that, it is best for the environment, world hunger, saving water, your health, the rain forest, and more.
Image: Some of the reasons people go vegan
Saving Animals From Horrific Deaths
Being vegetarian means you can save around one hundred, or more, innocent farm animalsâ from suffering and death every year, and eight animals lives in just a month. Being vegan, you do this too, and on top of this you spare many innocent animals in the egg and dairy industries abuse, misery and death. You could save between one and two hundred innocent individuals from this terror and agony every year.
Saving The Planet
As animal agriculture has such a huge carbon footprint, you can help combat climate change and help the environment by having a vegan, plant based, or vegetarian diet. See the âWhy Do People Adopt A Vegan or Vegetarian Diet, Or Are Meat Reducers?â section of this page for more information.
Best For Your Health
Further to this, your health may well improve, as this page looks at two extensive scientific studies. Findings include that eating red meat dramatically shortens your life span, increases the risk of prematurely dying from cancer and heart disease, and that vegans are less likely to have high blood pressure, obesity, Type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, certain cancers, and other conditions. Going vegan has even been known to actually reverse diabetes!
What Is Vegan? Vegetarian? Pescetarian? A Meat Reducer?
What is a vegetarian, vegan, pescetarian, and meat reducer? And what are the differences between them?
In their diet, vegans do not eat meat, eggs, dairy, or any other animal product, for example, honey. Having a vegan diet is just one aspect of leading a vegan lifestyle.
Image: Some aspects of the vegan lifestyle
Being Vegan Is A Whole Lifestyle, Not Just a Diet
Part of the vegan lifestyle is avoiding funding animal suffering in all areas of their lives.
For instance, they will not wear clothes, or purchase anything, made of leather, wool, fur, or anything else derived from animals.
Vegans will also not buy products tested on animals (see Cruelty Free Shopping).
They will not support any animal exploitation such as elephant rides, swimming with dolphins in captivity, festivals exploiting animals, etc.
Below: Elephants must endure the prolonged and terrible cruelty of having their spirits completely broken before they can be used for tourists to ride. They are also often abused and neglected throughout the rest of their lives.
Some Vegans Go Further Than Others
Many vegans will not buy or use products containing palm oil, even though it is technically vegan. This is because palm oil plantations are created by destroying the forest habitat of wild and endangered animals, such as orangutans. The forest is burned to clear the land, and many animals are killed in the fires. Orangutans and other animals are also killed by the plantation workers protecting the crops. Having said that, the same happens with alternatives to palm oil. This can be even worse, because more land often ends up being destroyed to provide less of the alternative oils.
Sustainable palm oil advocates say that buying from companies who use sustainable palm oil is better than usiing alternative oils. Many companies are members of The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil, meaning the production of the palm oil used can be 95-100% traced and have met the criteria of the the RSPO. The organisation hopes to make sustainable palm oil the norm.
Here is the RSPO app, where you can check which products are RSPO certified.
Image: RSPO Certified Sustainable Palm Oil Trademark
A number of products state they use sustainable sources of palm oil, although some people doubt about how meaningful that is. To find out more, see here.
Some vegans will not purchase faux fur because it is known that real fur can be purposely mis-labelled and sold as faux fur.
Some vegans will avoid going on holiday to countries with poor animal welfare standards, as that would be contributing to that countries economy and tourism industry.
Vegans will sometimes refuse to purchase products that were made in countries with poor animal welfare records as they do not want to support their economy.
Some vegans refuse to buy vegan products from companies who make the bulk of their money from animal exploitation and suffering, whereas others do because they see it as encouraging the company to move away from using animal products.
VEGAN vs PLANT BASED
A vegan diet is normally adopted for ethical reasons. However, a plant based diet may be adopted purely for health reasons. For example, some people are allergic to, or intolerant of, meat and dairy products. Some people may adopt a plant based diet to avoid certain cancers and other health problems. Others do it to help the environment and help reduce world poverty. There is more information on this in the âWhy Do People Adopt A Vegan Or Vegetarian Diet?â section. If a person adopts a vegan diet, but not the whole vegan lifestyle, they are not vegan. They have a plant based diet.
Vegetarians do not eat any meat, including fish.
Some vegetarians, who are vegetarian because they want to cause less animal cruelty, will opt to live like a vegan in all or most areas of their lives, but continue to include dairy and egg products in their diet.
Other people can be vegetarian because they do not like the taste of meat, they are meat intolerant, or avoid meat to try to prevent certain cancers and other health problems.
A vegetarian diet may also be chosen to help the planet, and help eradicate world poverty.
Pescetarians do not eat meat, such as read meat and poultry, but they do eat fish.
It is less common for them to adopt an ethical lifestyle like vegans and some vegetarians.
Many pescetarians cut the meat out of their diet for the health benefits.
The term âmeat reducerâ refers to someone who is not vegetarian, but makes a conscious effort to reduce the amount of meat in their diet. They may do this for the health benefits. Meat reducers are also sometimes called Flexitarian or semi-vegetarian.
Variations in the Vegetarian Diet
âIâm A Vegetarian, But I Eat Fishâ. There is no such thing as a vegetarian who eats fish. A person who does not eat meat but does eat fish, is called a pescetarian. No true vegan or vegetarian would eat fish.
There are varieties of the genuine vegetarian diet:
- An ovo-vegetarian diet includes eggs but not dairy products,
- A lacto-vegetarian diet includes dairy products but not eggs
- An ovo-lacto vegetarian diet includes both eggs and dairy products.
Someone who consumes no animal products at all has a vegan diet.
Image: Variations in vegetarian diet
Why Do People Adopt A Vegan Or Vegetarian Diet, Or Are Meat Reducers?
There are a range of reasons people may choose to be vegan or vegetarian.
Because Of Animal Cruelty
One reason people adopt a vegan lifestyle or plant based diet is because they are opposed to the horrific cruelty that the meat, dairy and egg industries routinely inflict on animals. People may also turn vegetarian because they do not like animal cruelty.
Vegans opposed to animal cruelty will not just adopt the vegan diet, but also adopt the complete vegan lifestyle.
– But Why Do Vegetarians Against Animal Cruelty Still Fund The Cruelty Of The Egg & Dairy Industries?
It is possible that vegetarians who are opposed to animal cruelty may still be unaware of about how cruel the egg and dairy industries are. They may find it too painful to acknowledge and make justifications for it in their minds. Maybe they are suffering cognitive dissonance, like many meat eaters. Many just need time until they progress to being vegan.
Each person can save around 100 animals from horrific suffering every year, simply by not eating meat.
To Help the Environment
Some people choose to have vegan or vegetarian diets to help the environment. Animal agriculture is far more damaging to the environment that every form of transport on earth put together. Going Vegan is the one biggest difference a person can make for helping the planet.
Image: Greenhouse gases caused by transportation, compared to animal agriculture. Howard Lyman is a former cattle rancher turned campaigner.
Meat production has a huge carbon footprint, due to the methane farm animals release, the planets resources used, plus other factors. This is bad for the environment and contributes massively to global warming. It alarming how much of the planets resources are used to produce just one pound of beef, and how much damage is done to the environment, as seen in the image.
In contrast, the image below details the environmental benefits, as well as other advantages, of going vegan.
World Poverty And Starvation
Another reason people choose not to fund animal agriculture is to help combat world poverty and hunger. If land was used to grow crops for humans, instead of for animals, who produce only a small amount, the world’s population could easily be fed. The image below demonstrates why.
For Non-Ethical Reasons Such As Health
People can also adopt these diets for non-ethical reasons. They may not like the taste of meat, they may want to improve their health, and they may wish to abstain from eating processed meat to avoid illnesses such as cancer.
The antibiotics pumped into farm animals are a big factor in the nation becoming immune to antibiotics. Human deaths from infection are already growing alarmingly, due to antibiotics failing to work. There is also concern about what effect growth hormones, and other drugs given to farm animals, are having on consumers of meat. These factors could also contribute to people deciding on a vegan or vegetarian diet.
Food allergies or an intolerance can also cause people to adopt vegan or vegetarian diets.
Some people have a vegan or vegetarian diet because of the religion they follow. Other reasons can be political, cultural, aesthetic or economic.
Some people are put off animal products when they discover things exposed in documentaries such as What the Health and Rotten. Things like abscesses and cancerous tumours in animals being ground up and hidden in food, and puss and blood routinely being in animal milk. See here for more.
“Nothing will benefit human health and increase chances of survival for life on earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian dietâAlbert Einstein
Why Be A Meat Reducer?
Meat reducers are people who consciously make an effort to reduce the amount of meat in their diet. They may do this because they recognise the health benefits of doing so, and/or they understand the impact animal agriculture has on the environment and want to reduce it. They my also want to reduce the number of animals who suffer.
Misconceptions And Myths About Vegetarian And Vegan Eating
It is a common misconception that the vegetarian and vegan diet consists eating nothing but plain fruit, vegetables, beans, lentils and pulses. It may surprise you to know that a number of the foods you are familiar with, found in supermarkets, are actually vegan.
Image: Surprisingly vegan food items
Vegetarians and vegans who like the taste of meat, but not the cruelty involved, often include meat flavoured food and synthetic meat in their diet. There are lots of meat flavoured food products in the diets of the genral population, such as beef flavoured Pot Noodles and meat flavoured crisps, that are actually vegan.
Find surprising vegan food items in the âAccidentally Vegan Food Productsâ section.
Image: Just a few of the meat flavoured vegan food products available
You Need Meat For Protein…Not!
It is also a myth that if you do not eat meat you will not get enough protein, calcium, or other nutrients in your diet. When people live unhealthy lifestyles in all sorts of ways, such as smoking, drinking, eating processed meats, high fat and high sugar foods, nobody seems to bat an eyelid. But when people tell others that they are vegan, people suddenly seem very concerned about how it must be detremental to their health because of the lack of nutrients they think are in the diet.
The meat industry would have people think that meat is the only decent source of protein. They have made sure everyone is conditioned from birth to believe that myth. There are actually other rich sources of protein in a vegan or vegetarian diet. See the âSources Of Protein In Vegan Or Vegetarian Foodsâ section of this page.
Image: People often wrongly think you cannot build muscle on a vegetarian, or vegan diet.
The Dairy Myth
The dairy industry have most people believing that milk is an essential source of calcium. In fact, there are many vegan calcium sources that are richer in calcium than cows milk. The dairy industry has had most people conditioned from birth to believe that we will lack calcium if we don’t drink cows milk. In fact, we were never designed to drink cows, or any other animals milk.
Image: People have been brain washed to think meat, dairy and eggs are the only proper source of protein, calcium and other nutrients, and to go without these foods would be disastrous to health.
Break The Habit Of Funding Animal Suffering
Our choices of food are simply habits, which have largely been formed and shaped by the propaganda of big business.
You can break the habit of funding animal cruelty and suffering in as little as two weeks. With some people it takes longer, up to 60 days. If you make a conscious effort to switch from food you normally eat, to food that contains no animal products, you will be on your way to forming a new habit of sparing innocent animals the suffering you previously funded.
If you just force yourself to create new habits for around a month, you could personally make sure that, for the rest of your life, you spare hundreds and hundreds of animals the agony, terror, and other suffering you would otherwise have caused them to be put through.
Veganuary is a charity helping to inspire people to try being vegan for the whole of January, or any other month in the year. You can find lots of advice and support there.
Image: Veganuary, not just for January. Source
If you would like to know what vegan food products are available in the UK, have a look at VeganFoodReviewed.com, where I try lots of vegan food products I have found in supermarkets and online, give my verdict on them, and let you know where you can get them.
You may also find the My Vegan Supermarket website useful, and the Vegan Womble blog.
Vegan Food Products
If you feel it would be difficult to go vegan because you do not like cooking, do not worry. There are more ranges of vegan convenience food products available today than ever before, and more are coming out all the time. This makes it easier than ever to go vegan. Supermarkets have their reasonably priced own house brands, plus name brands of vegan food products. Then there are other shops stocking vegan food products, as well as online stores.
If you would like to see how convenient it is to go vegan these days, have a look at our vegan food products page. You will find what you can get, and where you can get it. It includes guides to “accidentally vegan” food products as well.
Non Vegan Ingredients To Watch Out For
In ingredients lists on food packages it is sometimes not clear what is vegan and what isnât, unless you know the terms used. Here are a few to look out for:
- Cochineal, Carmine or anything that sounds like it is a red food coloring made from ground-up beetles.
- Casein and similar-sounding substances are milk proteins.
- Collagen and keratin are rendered slaughterhouse proteins.
- Gelatin is derived from the skins or bones of animals.
- Lactose is a sugar extracted from milk.
- Lard and tallow are both fancy names for animal fat.
- Whey is a milk-based byproduct of cheese making.
- Glycerine, lactic acid, mono or diglycerides, and stearic acid can be produced from slaughterhouse fat, but they could also be vegan.
Other ingredients to look out for that MAY be animal derived: Lactoperoxidase,
PEG-100 Stearate Carmine,
Sodium Chondroitin Sulphate,
If you do not want products with palm oil in, there are many names that can be used for palm oil â over 200! You can see these names here.
Image: Orangutan Foundation International lists the most common names for palm oil
Some products are vague and only list vegetable oil. This could be palm oil, but may be rapeseed or other oils. However, if the label states vegetable oil and then goes on to state the amount of saturated fat, it will be either palm kernel oil, palm oil or coconut, as other vegetable oils are not saturated.
Please note: Palm Sugar is a different species of palm and is not palm oil. Vegetable gum is not palm oil derived. Vitamin D can be animal derived, but may not be.
What Are The Alternatives To Dairy And Eggs In Vegan Eating?
There are a large number of milk products available that are an alternative to dairy milk. These are commonly found in the vegan diet.
Image: Just a few milk alternatives. With so many, why would anyone with any humanity choose a milk that causes so much suffering?!
My favourite is Rice Dreams Rice Milk, because it reminds me of rice pudding. My other half’s personal favourite is Alpro (Also Known as Provamel) Cashew milk. We have tried mostplant based milks and found that the Alpro Cashew milk has the most subtle taste, and is nearest in taste to cows milk. It is lovely to drink on its own and great to have in other things. You can get most plant based milks reasonably priced from your local supermarket.
Soya milk is a favourite of many people. To me, this has a slight woody, wholemeal taste. The taste does vary from brand to brand, and Alpro Soya Milk, when it is the fresh refrigerated kind, has a less woody taste.
Additionally, there is coconut milk. Almond milk, hazelnut milk, Hemp milk, oat milk, and others.
Image: Reasons to avoid dairy
There are a number of dairy free margarines and sunflower spreads available, such as Pure, Vitalite Dairy Free, plus all in the Flora range. Most are available in supermarkets.
Look out for what kind of vitamin D is in products though: Vitamin D3 is animal derived, whereas vitamin D2 is vegan.
There are a number of vegan cheese brands available, such as Daiya, Sheese, Violife, Vegusto, Cheezly, Vegan Gourmet, and Wilmersburger, Tyne Cheese, and more. They have many different types and flavours. There will be many you do not like, but you will find some you do.
Image: Just a few of the vegan cheeses available
Our favourites are Violife Mature Cheddar Style and Viloife Mediterranean Style. Violife Greek Style is also nice. A more expensive, but delicious cheese is Tyne Chease Garlic flavour. Tyne Chease has a number of tasty flavours.
Buying eggs, or hens, means you are automatically funding a cruel industry that kills countless one day old chicks by grinding them up alive, or suffocating them. This is just because they happen to be male, and of no use to the egg industry.
My favourite option to use as a vegan egg replacement product is Orgran Vegan Easy Egg. It looks very realistic and the texture is convincing. For the taste and smell of egg, I just add some Indian black salt and it’s delicious.
There are other products such as:
You can use the above for baking, but only some can be used to eat as scrambled egg or egg yolk. For baking, you can also use ingredients such as ground chia or flax seeds, banana, vegan cola. apple sauce, vegetable oil.
If You Are Having Trouble Giving Up Hens Eggs
The only cruelty free way to continue to consume actual eggs, is if you can purchase ex-farm hen eggs from somebody who has adopted ex-farm hens, saving them from being slaughtered. Alternatively, you could adopt ex-farm hens yourself if you have the room. Consuming hens eggs would mean you were not vegan, as you consumed a product from animals. However, cutting all other animal products from your life and only consuming eggs from adopted ex-farm hens, is a huge step in helping animals. Their fate is in our hands.
Hundreds of thousands of battery hens are regularly slaughtered after spending a hellish life in a tiny cage, never able to properly spread their wings, and never being let out. a very lucky few who get rescued and adopted get to avoid the horrific terror and agony of slaughter, and instead get to have the nice retirement they more than deserve.
Image: Before and after rescued ex-battery hens, from Homes For Hens
Adopt Ex-Farm Hens Here
To find out about adopting ex-battery hens, see the links below, depending on which country you are based in.
Alternatively, put a search term such as âAdopt battery hensâ or ârescue ex-battery hensâ in to a search engine. There are many small local hen rescues, as well as larger ones covering wider areas.
Here is a starter guide for if you would like to adopt some ex-farm hens. Here are some further tips. Homes Foe Hens also have a starter guide of how to care for your adopted hens.
Sources Of Protein In Vegan Or Vegetarian Food
People often think that a vegan or vegetarian diet will not provide enough protein. This can be of particular concern to sporty or active people, who often think they need as much protein as possible.
Although protein is an essential nutrient that has a major role in making our bodies function properly, too much protein can lead to health problems. A balanced diet is the healthiest, and this can easily be achieved with a vegan or vegetarian diet.
Image: Sources of vegan protein
Too much protein can lead to Kidney and digestive problems, osteoporosis, allergies and malnutrition. Also linked to the intake of too much protein is ketosis â heart disease â and even cancer.
Good quality protein can be gained from vegan foods such as nuts, beans, grains, lentils, seeds, spinach, broccoli, brussels sprouts, asparagus, cauliflower, Watercress and tofu.
Pea protein powder, hemp protein or ground seeds such as flax-seed can be added to meals and soups to add protein, without changing their flavour.
For more information see High The Ultimate Guide To The Best Protein Sources In Vegan Foods.
How Can I Get Enough Calcium In Vegan Food?
People can sometimes worry that they will not get enough calcium if they have a vegan diet. This is because the dairy industry has always had us believe that cows milk is vital in our diet for itâs calcium content.
In fact, there are many foods commonly found in the vegan diet which contain sufficient calcium. A number of these contain far more calcium than dairy milk does.
Image: Just a few sources of calcium for vegans
Vegan milk, such as rice milk, soya milk and coconut milk, are often fortified with calcium. Fruit juice can also have added calcium.
Dark leafy green vegetables are rich in calcium, as is tofu, soya yoghurt and other foods.
Lowering your intake of sodium salt will prevent losses of calcium and regular exercise helps to keep bones strong.
Calcium supplements are effective if you do not feel as though you are getting enough calcium through your food.
For more information about calcium in a vegan diet, see this website: Calcium In The Vegan Diet.
The Harvard Medical School Study: Red Meat Causes Premature Death
Harvard Medical School carried out an extensive study, involving 120,000 men and women, over 18 years from 1986 to 2008.
Both processed and unprocessed red meat was found to markedly reduce peoples life span, increasing the occurrence of premature fatal cancer and heart disease.
Image: Logo of the prestigious and highly respected Harvard Medical School
The researchers said that, adding one portion of unprocessed red meat to someoneâs daily diet would increase the risk of death by 13%, of fatal cardiovascular disease by 18% and of cancer mortality by 10%.
The figures for processed meat are higher, causing a 20% increase in overall mortality, 21% increase of death from heart problems and a 16% increase of death from cancer.
The study, published in âArchives of Internal Medicineâ, said: âWe found that a higher intake of red meat was associated with a significantly elevated risk of total, cardiovascular disease, and cancer mortality.
A healthier alternative is substituting the meat with other sources of protein, such as mentioned in the âWhat Are Sources Of Protein In A Vegan or Vegetarian Diet?â section, above, on this page.
The China Study, The Most Comprehensive Nutrition Study Ever
Another extensive research study was The China Study. It is the most comprehensive study of nutriton ever conducted.
The central message of this extraordinary book is: consume whole foods in the context of a plant-based diet. If you do you will greatly decrease the likelihood that you will die prematurely from the âdiseases of affluenceâ that ravage our society, including cancer, heart failure and diabetes.
Image: The China Study book details startling findings.
The research showed that cancer growth could virtually be turned on or off by changing the level of animal protein consumed.
The primary findings of the study is that animal based proteins affect the rate of cancer in any given population. Other things such as fiber are considered, but overall, the effects of animal protein was the most startling. Animal based proteins in the form of meat, milk, yogurt, cheese and eggs, are all on the âavoidâ list.
The publication of this information lead to the researchers being targeted by those who profit from the sale of animal protein, who were keen to discredit the study and its researchers.
The study was published in a book. Since then, various related books have been published, including The China Study Solution and The China Study Quick & Easy Cookbook.
How Is The Meat Industry Cruel?
To find out how animals suffer in the meat industry, see the Factory Farming and From Farm To Slaughter House pages.
Animals reared for meat endure much more cruelty than the industry wants people to know. A sad fact is that as long as you buy meat products, you are funding the industryâs cruelty to animals.
Please, close your wallet to cruelty, not your eyes. Their fate is in your hands.
Why Is The Dairy Industry Cruel?
Cows in the dairy industry are forcibly kept pregnant in order to produce milk. That results in innocent calves regularly being born, then kept in crates that they cannot even turn around in until it is time for these terrified animals to be violently slaughtered. Sometimes the calves are simply cast aside and left to die while its motherâs milk is stolen for humans.
Heart-breakingly, the separated mother and calf pine continuously for each other, all in vain.
Image: Every mother and child feels the bond, including dairy cows and calfs
The udders of the dairy cows are often so weighed down with milk that they touch the ground, causing the animal unrelenting pain. When no longer of use, the cow is forced through the unimaginably painful and terrifying process of being slaughtered.
Why Is The Egg Industry Cruel?
In the egg industry, millions of male chicks are thrown in to grinding and mincing machines and ground up ALIVE. This is because they are no use for egg laying, and are not special fast-growing chickens suitable for the meat industry either.
Another way of disposing of the newly born chicks is throwing them in bins to die where they are crushed to death under each others weight, they are left to die from exposure, or they gassed to death or suffocated, causing them to be terrified and panicked as they desperately try to gasp for breath.
Chicks are first de-beaked at one day of age and then again at seven weeks, all without the use of anesthetics. Sometimes the pain is so great that the hens cannot eat let alone preen or drink and subsequently may starve to death.
Many studies have been conducted on chickens and other birds, and there is no doubt of the pain they can feel. Professor of neuroscience and animal behavior at the University of New England Dr. Lesley Rogers states, âIt is clear now that birds have cognitive capacities equivalent to those of mammals, even primates.â
Image: Chicks who are subjected to horrific cruelty in the egg industry. Credit: https: SAAWInternational
Life Not Worth Living
The chicks that are not ground up alive face a life time of torment and mental torture trapped in tiny cages as battery hens, victims of factory farming. They cannot properly spread their wings for their entire lives and are driven so mad that they resort to self-harming behaviour.
Image: Caged hens have to stretch their necks over âfeeder fences,â which eventually wears away their neck feathers and causes throat blisters. they also tear out their own and each othersâ feathers.
Painful Diseases And Conditions
The living conditions cause various diseases in the respiratory and reproductive systems of the young hens. Bits of egg often clog their oviducts of the female birds, leading to pain, inflammation and then paralysis. Also, Hens have been bred to lay eggs bigger than their bodies can cope with. this means that as the chickens are forced to expel oversized eggs on a daily basis, the uterus collapses or become displaced.
The only time these hens are released from their painful and cramped prison is to endure terrifying and agonising slaughter. Buying eggs funds all this cruelty, from the chicks killed so cruelly, right through to the horrific slaughter of the battery hens.
In the supermarkets, the term âbarn eggsâ conjures up images of a few birds in a big barn. In reality, in a commercial operation where profit is king, they are packed in tightly, walking in their faecies with the ammonia burning their feet and lungs, and walking over dead bodies of other hens. âFree rangeâ is similarly very different to what you would expect.
What About Eggs From A Suppliers Pet Hens?
Even if you buy eggs from a small local supplier where you are able to check that there is no such cruelty, the fact remains that you will still be supporting an industry where male chicks are killed for being no use, and hens that are past their egg-laying best are killed for no longer being of use.
By adopting a vegan diet you are reducing the demand for eggs and therefore the requirement to carry out such acts as described above.
Why Is Honey Not Considered Vegan?
Honey is made by bees for bees, because they need it, and their health is sacrificed when it is harvested by humans. Bees donât make honey for fun!
There can be cruelty involved in honey production in that bees are often killed when they are finished with.
The Cruel Cost To The Bees Of Honey Farming
In the twentieth century, bees became factory farmed. Itâs not unusual for larger honey producers to cut off the queen beeâs wings so that she canât leave the colony, or to have her artificially inseminated on a bee-sized version of the factory farm ârape rack.â Bees are often killed or have their wings and legs torn off by haphazard human handling. When the keeper wants to move a queen to a new colony, she is carried with âbodyguardâ bees. If these bodyguard bees survive transport, they are killed by bees in the new colony.
Image: Bees producing honey
Killing The Queen To Keep Honey Production High
Queen bees can live for five years, but the human chooses a new queen, often every two years, and the old queen is killed. This is done as it helps the human have control over the hive, and keep honey production at a maximum.
Bees Can Come To Harm When Sent Through The Post
Queens are bred for commercial honey production and sent anywhere in the country through the postage system. During that journey they can be over heated, chilled to death, left out in the sun for hours (desiccated), injured or killed when banged around in baggage compartments, and exposed to insecticides. They may also sit in storage for days.
Image: Hundreds of queens that have been bred for commercial bee keeping in small individual cages with a few nursing bees, to be flown anywhere in the country through the postage system, where they can come to harm.
Sometimes Bees Are Killed As Too Costly To Keep Over Winter
Some large commercial operations take all the honey instead of leaving the 60 pounds or so that bees need to get through the winter. They sometimes replace it with a cheap sugar substitute that is not as fortifying. If the keepers consider it too costly to keep the bees alive through the winter, especially in colder areas, they destroy the hives and bees using cyanide gas.
Studies Show Bees Feel Pain
Bees are animals with a large nervous system (Snodgrass, 254), capable of transmitting pain signals. We can look at scientific studies to to see that that bees feel pain.
Like any large commercial operation involving animals, commercial bee keeping operations are most concerned with profit, and if cruelty means more profit, that is what happens.
Many people are frightened of bees because of their sting, but bees only ever sting when they think they are going to be killed. Using their one and only sting means the bee dies, so stinging is their last, desperate lash out at what they see as their predator, before dying. They sometimes sting to protect fellow bees.
It is wasps who can sting more than once and do not die from stinging. People sometimes confuse the two.
Image: Most people can recognise the big far furry bumble bee, but the slimmer honey bee often gets mistaken for a wasp.
Arguments People Use To Justify Funding Animal Cruelty
Some people do not seem able to understand that the number of products that are supplied is equal to the demand there is for the products. Without demand, there would be no supply.
Every person who eats meat, eggs & dairy means more animals suffering cruel lives and dieing undeserved horrific deaths.
Every piece of meat purchased is replaced, and the average person can eat around 100 animals a year. Because people buy the meat, they are funding the cruelty. They are ultimately responsible for the horrific terror and pain around 100 animals a year.
Image: You can save the lives and the terrible suffering of around eight sentient animals in just one month of not eating meat.
The following statements are common excuses given by people who do not seem to grasp the concept of supply being equal to demand, and who want to shirk responsibility for the suffering they cause animals.
All the following commonly used excuses are missing the point:
âI didnât kill it, it was already dead.â
âYou canât bring it back to life now, so I might as well have it.â
âIf I donât have it, someone else will, so I might as well.â
âI donât ask them to kill them in that wayâ
Whatever the excuse, it comes down to this: As long as a personâs money goes to an industry where animals are suffering, the person is funding that suffering. Their demand for it, and funding of it, is the ONLY reason it is happening. Stop the funding and demand, and the suffering will stop. This is where a vegan diet or vegetarian diet can help.
Image: People can be very sensitive about âtheir rightâ to eat meat, which they selfishly put above the right an animal has not to suffer.
People often try to reason that man has hunted and eaten meat since the beginning of time. Not true. Man was a gatherer, and vegan, before becoming a hunter-gatherer when he moved to areas where edible vegetation was scarce, and where he needed to learn how to create tools to hunt animals.
People say that we wouldnât have canine and incisor teeth if we werenât meant to eat meat. Gorillas have these teeth (which make ours look rather pathetic in comparison), but they do not eat meat. This is also true of a number of other non-meat eating animals. All our teeth â incisors, canines, premolars and molars â are useful for any kind of diet, including vegan.
Image: Gorilla canine and incisor teeth. Source: Freefromharm.org
Another argument made is that there are plenty animals who kill other animals, and that it is just nature. In the wild, predator animals hunt because it is instinctual and the alternative would be starvation. They do not have the moral compass humans possess to help them make the right moral choice. Also, humans thrive on a vegan diet.
We donât defer to non-human species on other moral matters, so why would be about diet? When a mother owl encourages her chicks to peck the youngest sibling to death and eat it because food is scarce, do we think âThatâs a good idea for when moneyâs tight!â?.
You can find many more commonly used excuses, arguments and questions here.
Below: Thereâs a reason kids donât get taken to slaughterhouses to see âhow their food is madeâ. Because the suffering they would see is so unimaginably horrific. And all unecessary since we do not need meat to be healthy or survive.
Why Do People Who Claim They Are Against Animal Cruelty Eat Meat, Dairy, And Eggs?
Many people claim they are animal lovers and against animal cruelty, but still fund cruelty against farm animals by consuming animal products.
We are conditioned from an early age to believe that some animals are for eating, and some are to be pets. It is hard to break free from this mindset, as doing so is to face a reality that is painful.
Image: Why do people think it is OK to love one animal and be the cause of a horrific and terrifying death for another?
Pigs As Intelligent As 3 Year Old Children
Rather than face this truth, people seem to justify eating animal products by saying things such as âThatâs what farm animals are there for, that is their purpose, whereas pets arenât meant to be eatenâ. This is even though pets and farm animals have the same capacity for pain. Also, pigs are more intelligent than dogs, and even a three year old child! People would never allow a pet or child to be treated how farm animals are treated.
Human Right To Eat Animals Vs Animals Right Not To Suffer
They may talk about having the right and freedom to choose, but the debate is not whether a person has the right to choose or not, it is the morality of causing suffering to innocent animals. People cannot deny the immorality of causing a life of suffering, then a death of terror and agony, to an innocent animal. Humans do not need animal products to live. They are causing unimaginable animal suffering for nothing.
What it comes down to is that people make a choice based on what they think is most important:
1) Supporting and funding animal cruelty towards certain animals seems to be acceptable with many people who claim to be animal lovers against animal cruelty, because it means they get to please their palate with the food that they are used to.
2) To other people who claim to be animal lovers against animal cruelty, NOT supporting and funding horrific cruelty towards ANY animal is so important to them that they are willing to go out of their way to become used to cruelty free food.
Many people, including none animal lovers, feel that people who hold the views of group 1) are hypocritical and selfish. It is illogical for them to be against cruelty towards domestic animals and not farm animals, when they all have the same capacity to suffer just what we, or our companion pets, would suffer in the same situation.
“Ethical” Or “Humane” Meat
Some meat eaters only eat meat that comes from local farms where they have found out animals are not factory farmed. They purchase this meat from farm shops and butchers who supply meat from those farms.
This is sometimes referred to as ethically sourced meat, because the person has made sure the animals do not have a life of misery being factory farmed, and are free range animals instead. However, some farms that claimed to provide “ethical” or “humane” meat have been exposed as causing terrible suffering. This has been the case even when they have been endorsed by such bodies as the RSPCA. Also, the animals are still transported to a slaughter house and put through a horrifying, terrifying and agonising slaughter.
No Such Thing As Humane Slaughter
âI have unfortunately been inside slaughterhouses. The animals fight with every bit of strength they have left at the end of that kill line. They fight to get out of that kill line. They donât want to die, and they know itâs coming. They see, and they know exactly whatâs going to happen to them. There is absolutely no truth that any process of slaughtering is humane. From the moment those animals are taken from those trucks and forced through the slaughtering process, it is the most inhumane treatment that I have ever witnessed.ââCayce Mell
Around 40% of animals stunned in slaughter houses are not effectively stunned, meaning the animals feel the agony of having their throats slit and being immersed in scalding tanks before they have bled to death.
How To Find Support From Other Vegans Or Vegetarians
If you go vegan or vegetarian, it is good to have a support system. Some people find that they are the only vegan among their friends and family, and people they know. This can sometimes be the case if you go vegetarian too. It can be quite a lonely existence if you donât find your support system. But donât worry, it is out there, and it is easy to find.
If you are vegetarian, just substitute the word vegan for vegetarian in the following information:
Vegans care very much about one another and are very keen to support each other, whether they have met in person or not, and whether they will ever meet or not.
Find Support In Social Media Groups
Go on social media and search for vegan and animal rights groups or pages in your country, in your area, and in your county. A good one for if you are vegan and need support is the Vystopia Support Group.
Once you have joined them, post in them explaining that you are feeling lonely as a vegan as you donât get the support you need from friends / family, and are looking to find more vegan friends to help support you.
It is usually the case that compassionate vegans will rush to help âone of their ownâ. You will make many vegan friends on social media that way.
Meet In Person If You Get The Opportunity
If there is a vegan or animal rights group in your area, they may arrange meet ups from time to time, so you can socialise in person with them. If they donât currently do that, you could suggest it as an idea.
Other groups you might be interested in are activism groups such as Anonymous For the Voiceless Cube Of Truth, and local or national Vegan Runners UK groups.
Block Anyone Who Makes You Feel Bad
If anyone on social media or in your life is actively delighting in making you feel bad about talking about veganism, it is a good idea to stop allowing them to do that, by cutting them out of your life.
Image: You will get free hugs and support from fellow vegans all year round, not just in hug a vegan day. Source Facebook.
If you suffer an ailment, including eczema, acne, lethargy or migraines, it may be due to an unexpected food intolerance. Completely cutting out the foods you are intolerant to for between 3 and 12 months, depending on the severity of the intolerance, could cure your symptoms.
Cow/goat/sheep milk, eggs and meat are all ingredients that you could be intolerant to. In fact, dairy is the food people most often have an intolerance to, and part of a vegan diet is to cut dairy products out of your consumption.
This could be because humans drinking the milk of an animal meant for itâs young is unnatural. We have been brought up and conditioned to think of it as normal, when in reality it is far from it.
Depending on your intolerance, it may be advisable to take supplements to replace any nutrients lacking in your diet.
Can Pets Be Vegan Or Vegetarian?
Many pets, such as rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, gerbils, etc, already have a vegan or vegetarian diet.
Dogs can live on either a diet including meat, or a meat free vegan or vegetarian diet. There are meat free dog foods that are specifically formulated so that the dog gets all the nutrients it needs.
Image: Some brands of vegan or vegetarian dog food. Brands and packaging may differ from country to country.
Most dry dog foods that are not meat free usually only contain around 4% meat. Meat put in pet foods is often the left overs from the slaughter house that are unfit for human consumption.
The vegan foods I personally use, or have used, are:
Benevo Dry Dog Food Original, 15kg
Veggie Dog Light, 15kg (N.B. This is 99.99% vegan)
Veggie Dog Grain Free, 15kg (N.B. This is 99.99% vegan)
Green Petfood VeggieDog 100, 15kg (99.99% vegan)
Benevo Duo Vegan Dog and Cat Food
Vegan Adult Cat Food, from Benevo, 10kg
Feeding cats on meat free food is also possible, if they find it palatable. Cats need taurine in their diet, which is found in animals. It is also a synthetic nutrient which has been manufactured since 1930. Commercial meat-based cat food manufacturers add in synthetic taurine because the meat digest rendering process neutralises the naturally-occurring taurine in the meat. Therefore, synthetic taurine is also added into vegetarian and vegan cat food. If you look at how much meat is actually in your cat food, especially dried cat food, you will see that there is not a huge difference between that and vegan or vegetarian cat food.
Image: Some brands of vegan cat food
See The Vegan Cat Institiute for more information on vegan or vegetarian cat diets.
With any pet, it is best to change their diet gradually.
Famous Vegans Or Vegetarians
Below is an image showing just a few famous vegetarians and vegans. These include Super-model Adriana Karembeu, Lenny Kravitz, Alannis Morrisette, Einstein, Doris Day, Robert Redford, Sinead OâConnor, Alicia Silverstone, Alyssa Milano, Dustin Hoffman, Chrissie Hind, Vanessa Williams, Amanda Holden, Super-model Amber Valletta, Anne Hathaway, Ashley Judd, Woody Harrelson, Jackie Chan, Brad Pitt, Ellen Degeneres, Christian Bale, Orlando Bloom, Daryl Hannah, Liv Tyler, Paul McCartney, Hayden Panettiere, Brigit Bardot, Pamela Anderson, Samuel L Jackson, Shania Twain, Bryan Adams, Heather Mills, Christina Applegate, Russel Brand, Moby, Natalie Portman, Kim Basinger, Jodie Marsh, Pierce Brosnan, Joss Stone, Portia de Rossi, Jessica Biel, Morrisey, Pink, Alec Baldwin, and Martina Navratilova. There are many more besides.
Image: Quote from Leo Tolstoy, author of War and Peace
Why People Go Vegan
I came across a very interesting and informative survey that gives an insight into why people go vegan. It is essential reading for anyone who wants to know the most effective ways to influence people.
Images: Why people go vegan. Source
Find some of the documentaries, videos and books that people mentioned in the survey, here. You can find out the best way to spread veganism, whilst taking care of yourself, on the same page.
Want To Go Vegan? Here Is Help
There is lots of help online to ensure that you have all the tools you need to help you go vegan or plant based.
To see a carefully chosen selection of websites that will give you all the support you will need on your vegan or plant based journey, see this page.
You can chose which sources of support best suit your needs. You can also read about the difference between being vegan and plant based.
Why Do Vegans Want Other People To Be Vegan?
Not all vegans want to encourage other people to become vegan. Some vegans are just happy that they are not contributing to animal suffering, or climate change, or ruining their health. They do not feel the need to do anything else.
Many vegans who become vegan to help stop animal suffering are passionate animal rights activists. They desperately want to stop the horrific cruelty inflicted on innocent animals by the meat, dairy and egg industries, plus other industries that use animal products.
Other vegans may be passionate environmentalists, who know that going vegan is the biggest help anyone can give to the planet.
Want To Be A Vegan Outreach Activist?
Would you like to make a huge difference to animal suffering by being an animal rights activist?
Being an animal rights activist can be emotionally draining and distressing, but to be of effective help to the animals, we need to keep our minds happy and healthy. Have a look at this page to see how you can be the most effective advocate for animals.
When you feel like you never get anywhere with anyone, think of it as planting seeds in peoples minds. Seeds need time to grow. They also need tended to and fed . You can contribute to feeding the seeds you plant to help them grow, and itâs likely others will too.
Image: Your messages about animal cruelty and veganism will be further reaching than you realise.
Many Other Ways To Help Stop Animal Suffering
On this site there are many varied ways you can help animals and help stop cruelty. In fact, there are so many different ways that there is something for every personality type, no matter what their circumstances.
If you would like to learn more about why we so urgently need to help stop animal suffering, please see this website. It will allow you to broaden your knowledge of many different types of world wide animal abuse, giving you the ability to help animals by spreading awareness and answering questions people may have. Please be aware that you may find the information distressing.
One great way to help animals is to share the information you have seen on this website. Doing so means more people could help stop animal cruelty, and that would make you responsible for more animals being saved from suffering. Together we can help people help animals <3
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Is there any information we have missed, any mistakes, or anything you would like to add? Please leave a comment, below.