Hello everyone and welcome to my blog!
After spending my 3rd University year in China studying Chinese, I became more aware of the effects our everyday actions and habits have on the environment and what we can do to prevent Venice becoming the new Atlantis (because of global warming and rising sea levels) by the time my little nephew graduates from school.
While I was in China I began reading more about environmental issues, downloading podcasts about the environment, nature and eco-friendly buildings, products and transport.
I also found out that what we choose to eat has a great effect on how the Earth’s resources are used and I have gradually stopped eating meat (even though I occasionally eat sustainable fish such as line caught mackerel).
My next step is to try something new: I have pledged to be a vegan for a month starting from tomorrow.
For 30 days I am not going to eat anything that has anything to do with any sort of animal, to understand and see for myself if it really is a lot healthier as some say or if it really is over the top as others say.
Vegans may seem like awkward dinner guests who really love animals, but the reason why many people choose a vegan diet are several:
- Meat is murder: of course, if you happen to have meat on your plate it means that an animal was killed. However silly and obvious this may sound, in the UK we are so used to seeing meat neatly packed in ready to cook /serve glamorous packaging that is very easy to forget that what you are about to eat used be part of a living creature.
- Milk production can be cruel: dairy cows are bred to produce 10 times more milk than a calf would naturally drink and once they don’t produce enough they are sent to the slaughterhouse.
- Egg production can be cruel: most hens used to be kept in tiny cages and an EU ban on battery cages has started only very recently, but their conditions are still appalling in many countries. In addition to that, male chicks that are born to replace laying hens are killed at just one day old as they are useless for egg production, even in factories that produce free range or organic eggs.
- Honey production isn’t so sweet: Queen bees are artificially inseminated and killed when their fertility decreases and whole colonies may be killed to save on feeding them over the winter.
- Meat production causes environmental devastation: in today’s factory farms animals are crammed together and raised for the sole purpose of being killed for meat, in slaughterhouses that don’t follow best practice rules many animals are neglected and in a terrible state even before they reach the abattoir (what an awful, macabre name!).
- A vegan diet provides all the nutrients our body needs without animals’ saturated fats and toxic elements that can be found in meat and eggs.
- Vegetarians and vegans live longer: plant-based diets are healthier and non-meat eaters are less likely to have heart disease problems, diabetes, strokes, cancer and obesity.
Why is being Vegan the best thing you could do protect the environment?
To explain this efficiently I will quote part of a really interesting Peta article: “[…] for every kilo of food that animals eat, only a fraction of the calories are returned in the form of edible flesh.If we stopped intensively breeding farmed animals and grew crops to feed humans instead, we would easily be able to feed every humans on the planet with healthy and affordable vegan foods.
Growing feed for animals instead of food for people also means a constant appetite for land, leading to the destruction of rainforests while livestock farming itself is a major contributor to greenhouse emissions, soil erosion, water pollution and a host of other environmental problems.” A vegan diet uses half the amount of land used to produce a typical vegetarian diet and one fifth of that used for a typical European omnivorous diet.
I will end this post with a song by the Smiths called “Meat is Murder” and click on the highlighted words if you would like to know more.
Thank you 🙂