Some people can go vegan overnight, but some prefer to do it bit by bit. Here are three suggestions of ways to make a gradual transition to a vegan diet:
Gradual Transition 1:
Gradual Transition 2:
Gradual Transition 3:
You might wonder what's left to eat after ditching animal-based products. The answer is: everything! Everything, that is, which doesn't involve the abuse and killing of animals. There are loads and loads of vegan recipes on the internet. Start Googling now, and you'll see that vegan food is not only healthful but also varied and delicious.
Going vegan is a matter of morality, but there are bonuses of being vegan for you too. To start with, you will likely shed any excess weight you might be carrying. You'll also find that a varied and balanced vegan diet with plenty of raw food will give you tonnes of extra energy. And, to top things off, a vegan diet is the most environmentally friendly one you can choose, so you automatically become an environmental warrior simply by eating vegan.
If you care about animals, your health and the planet, it's logical to eat vegan. Think on the following:
Eating vegan means being respectful to animals, yourself, and our precious planet. On a vegan diet, all you have to lose is the excess fat from your body and the guilt in your heart from being part of a system that abuses animals and destroys the Earth.
Also remember, that while eating vegan is extremely important, living vegan is really where it's at. You can read all about this by going through the animal articles on this site but, in summary, living vegan is:
Some people will tell you that eating vegan is extreme. But nothing could be further from the truth. Eating vegan isn't extreme in the least; but I'll tell you what is extreme:
That's what's extreme.
So, go vegan - I guarantee you that it's the BEST decision you will ever make!
Ask yourself this question: are the pigs, chickens, and cows that people eat any different from the dogs and cats they love?
The answer is, of course: no.
In fact, all animals (both human and non-human) share certain traits: we're all sentient, we all feel pain, and we all struggle for survival when our lives are threatened. In other words, while there are many different species of non-human animals, they're the same - in the ways that count - to both each other and to us.
Over 56 billion farmed animals per year worldwide are killed in slaughterhouses. Some are raised specifically for their flesh and others are cows and hens who are killed for meat once they've ceased producing profitable amounts of milk and eggs.
The violence towards these animals occurs for one reason: people fund it. That's right - the world's majority who eat flesh, dairy and eggs are paying for this staggering number of animals to be killed year after year.
Pigs, chickens, cows and other farmed animals don't deserve the violence they suffer at our hands any more than our beloved cats and dogs do...any more than you or I do.
Don't be part of this terrible abuse: stop dining on the dead and go vegan. There are literally thousands of delicious, mouth-watering vegan recipes on the internet that you can find simply by searching with the keywords "vegan recipes". Plus, there is an abundance of vegan mock-meats (eg. vegan sausages, vegan nuggets, etc) out there if you desire the taste of certain flesh-based foods.
Eating vegan is not only the right thing to do by the animals, it's also healthy for you too. Study after study shows that animal products are deadly to us. So, once you stop killing them, they'll stop killing you.
Yes, it's true that bees do make honey as a matter of course. But taking it for our own consumption is wrong. Why? Well, to start with it’s not ours.
Bees make honey for their own survival, and if we steal the honey away from them to consume it ourselves, we’re taking away one of their food sources (the other being pollen). The bees must then create more honey to replace the stolen batch, which is again taken away from them, after which they make more that is again taken away…and so it goes on.
It would be like you coming home from the grocery store with your bags of food only to have someone rob you of them. You’d then have to go back to the store to buy more food, only to have that taken away from you once again, and so forth and so on.
And there are other abuses of the honey industry including (but not limited to):
So in summary, what is wrong with humans eating honey is that it's not ours to eat and that the honey industry involves - like all other animal-based industries - exploitation, abuse and killing.
And if that doesn't convince you, maybe this will: honey is bee vomit. So unless you're a fan of eating vomit, that's another reason to stop eating honey and get into some of the delicious alternatives - like golden syrup, agave nectar, rice syrup, barley malt, maple syrup, molasses - instead.
Chickens do lay eggs as a matter of course, but there's a collection of compelling reasons to not eat them:
Eggs = Filthy warehouses that reek of urine and faeces.
Eggs = Thousands of birds in distress.
Eggs = Hens with mutilated toes and beaks.
Eggs = Featherless birds, their bodies raw with sores.
Eggs = Billions of hens all over the world living in sheer misery.
Eggs = Sick and injured birds left to suffer and die. No one cares. No one helps them. (It costs less to get a new hen than to ‘fix’ the old one, you see.)
Eggs = Corpses of dead birds lying rotting amongst the live birds, adding the stench of death to the ammonia-laced toxic air.
Eggs = Hens who have stopped producing eggs starved to induce another molt, after which their egg-laying days are over. They are then deemed 'unprofitable' and taken away to be killed.
As you can see, egg-laying hens endure an abysmal existence, and every aspect of the egg industry is abusive. The good news is that we each have the power to end our complicity in the intense suffering, painful mutilations, and violent deaths of these birds by eating vegan.
There are many egg replacement alternatives that can easily be used in cooking, and egg-free versions of egg-based products (eg. mayonnaise) are readily available. Do an internet search for vegan versions of your favourite recipes and you will see how easy - and yummy - it is to eat without violence.
Actually, cows don’t just produce milk as a matter of course.
It’s basic biology: only cows who have given birth produce milk - just like only human females who’ve given birth produce milk. Cows don’t just lactate day in, day out, all of their lives. Like any other mammal, they produce milk as a direct result of giving birth.
So a baby cow has to be born for the milk to come, and the baby has to be taken away for the mother's milk to be bottled and sold. If the milk goes to the baby cow (as it should), then there’s no milk to be taken and the dairy industry is no more. Therefore the dairy industry, by its very nature, is centred around the killing of baby cows.
I’ve heard dairy farmers saying that they’re doing the cow a favour by taking her milk. “She’ll burst if we don’t milk her!” they say. And, it’s true, she would suffer if she wasn’t milked. But if nature could take its course, the baby cow would drink the mother’s milk, and she wouldn't be left full of milk. In other words, if her baby wasn’t stolen from her to be killed in the first place, she wouldn’t need to be ‘helped’ by being milked.
The dairy industry tries to dupe us into thinking that dairy cows are happy. But the fact is that there is no such thing as 'happy' for a dairy cow.
As you now know, in order to get a cow's milk, her baby is stolen from her. The baby is either killed within days or sent off to be malnutritioned and killed weeks later for what is called 'veal'. Shortly after giving birth, the mother cow is put back on the rape rack (that's an industry term, not mine) to be artificially inseminated so that the whole process can begin again.
Kept perpetually pregnant year after year, and in awful pain from being milked every single day, a cow's body quickly becomes spent. She finally stops producing profitable amounts of milk, and so is sent to be killed in a slaughterhouse.
As you can see, there is nothing pleasant about the dairy industry. It is - like all other animal-based industries - horribly abusive.
Most of us have been told from an early age that milk is good for us, when in fact, it's quite the opposite. Research it for yourself and see the deadly diseases that study after study shows dairy is linked to. Also, there are the hidden nasties that occur in dairy including: pus, mucus, urine, blood, and (last but not least!) faeces.
Hmmm...still in the mood for a glass of milk?
Beyond the abuse of the dairy industry and the revoltingness of the milk itself, the fact that humans are the only mammal to drink milk beyond being nursed by their own mothers tells you that something's not right about us drinking milk throughout our entire lives.
Furthermore, that we're the only animal to drink milk from a species other than our own is another dead giveaway that humans drinking cow's milk is weird. I mean, isn't it obvious that cow's milk is for baby cows? How would it be if a calf latched on a human woman's nipple to feed? The would be quite the abnormal sight to see. Well it's the same abnormality when humans drink cow's (or any other animal's) milk: if you wouldn't latch onto a cow's teat to drink her milk, you shouldn't suck it out of a carton either.
Now you know the pus-filled, mucus-covered, urine-drenched, blood-soaked, faeces-coated truth: consuming dairy means you are complicit in the abuse and killing of cows. But the good news is that there are loads of delicious dairy-free alternatives available like coconut mylk, hemp mylk, almond mylk, oat mylk, soy mylk, rice mylk, and hazelnut mylk. Replacing the dairy milk you usually use in your cooking or on your cereal with a plant-based mylk is easy.
Also, search the internet for "vegan desserts" and you'll find there's a vegan version of all the sweet recipes you enjoy. Plus, there is vegan ice cream, vegan cheese, vegan cream cheese, vegan whipped cream, and vegan versions all the other usually-dairy-based products out there too.
Going vegan doesn't mean giving up anything. You're just replacing one recipe or product for another better one. Being vegan means you can enjoy the tastes you're accustomed to without funding the killing of baby cows and forcing their mothers to endure a life in hell.
Fish have a nervous system and pain receptors just like we do, so of course they feel pain.
Like other farmed animals, fish on fish farms endure horrible suffering. They are packed in by the tens of thousands in dirty, parasite-ridden waters. Up to half of farmed fish die before slaughter due to the awful conditions.
Wild fish killed for food suffer terribly as they're dragged from their ocean homes. The decompression they undergo ruptures their swim bladders, makes their eyes pop out of their heads, and pushes their stomachs out of their mouths. Once on land, some die of suffocation, others from being crushed to death under the weight of the other fish piled on top of them, and others are still alive when their bellies are cut open.
So whether you're talking about farmed or wild fish, there's a heck of a lot wrong with eating fish - not to mention other sea creatures too. Approximately 1 to 3 trillion (yes, trillion) sea animals are killed every year for consumption. How can that not be wrong?
Beyond the unethical nature of this violence, there's the environmental impact to consider. Without getting into details (there are plenty of statistics on the internet that you can look up if you wish) I'll just say that the words 'oceans teetering on the brink of destruction' are no exaggeration at all.
So for goodness sake, get aquatic animals off your plate. Go vegan!
SAY NO TO PUPPY MILLS! SAY NO TO ANIMALS IN PETSHOPS! SAY NO TO BREEDERS!
Adopt a homeless animal instead - they all deserve a second chance
It's estimated that 130,000 dogs and 60,000 cats are killed every year in Australia because there are not enough homes for them all. And the global numbers amount to millions upon millions every single year.
Puppy mills are a major contributor to the terrible problem of overpopulation. Puppy mills are essentially 'dog factories' where dogs are forced to churn out litter after litter, with no thought for the welfare of the dogs and all thought for profit. The dogs live in appallingly dirty, cramped conditions all their lives, and when they no longer serve their purpose they're killed, dumped or sold to vivisection laboratories.
Petshops fit into the picture because puppy mills are generally where petshops get their animals from. Furthermore, having animals in shop windows encourages impulse purchases, and adding an animal to your family should be a conscious, careful decision - NOT one to be made while shoe shopping.
Breeders contribute enormously to the tragic statistics above too. And it doesn't matter whether they're professional breeders or backyard breeders, and whether they breed for profit or not, because while there are homeless animals sitting on death row in shelters, any and all animal breeding is utterly irresponsible.
Now, here's where you come in. You can either be part of the problem or part of the solution. You can either buy animals from puppy mills, petshops or breeders and be part of the problem. Or you can adopt from a shelter or rescue organisation and be part of the solution.
If I haven't convinced you, visit your local shelter to see the homeless animals. Let their innocent faces convince you that adopting is the only responsible choice to make.
All information and photos are copyright © Despina Rosales.