Why Vegetarians Should Choose Vegan: A Compassionate Decision

Victoria Moran once said, “Being vegan is a glorious adventure. It touches every aspect of my life – my relationships, how I relate to the world.” This sentiment encapsulates the profound transformation that comes with adopting a vegan lifestyle. Many vegetarians have chosen their path out of a deep sense of compassion and concern for animal welfare. However, there is a growing realization that merely abstaining from meat is not sufficient to fully address the suffering inflicted on animals. The misconception that dairy and egg products are cruelty-free because animals do not die in the process overlooks the harsh realities behind these industries. The truth is that the dairy and egg products that vegetarians often consume come from systems of immense suffering and exploitation.

Transitioning from vegetarianism to veganism represents a significant and compassionate step towards ending complicity in the suffering of innocent beings. Before delving into the specific reasons to make this change, it is crucial to understand the fundamental differences between vegetarianism and veganism. Though often used interchangeably, these terms denote distinct lifestyles with vastly different implications for animal welfare.

Vegetarians avoid consuming meat and animal proteins but may still consume byproducts like eggs, dairy, or honey. The specifics of their diet determine their classification, such as lacto-ovo-vegetarians, lacto-vegetarians, ovo-vegetarians, and pescatarians. In contrast, a vegan lifestyle is much stricter and extends beyond dietary choices. Vegans avoid all forms of animal exploitation, whether in food, clothing, or other products.

The egg and dairy industries are rife with cruelty, contrary to the belief that no harm is done in procuring these products. Animals in these industries endure short, tortured lives, often culminating in traumatic deaths. The conditions on factory farms are not only inhumane but also breeding grounds for diseases, posing significant health risks to humans.

By choosing to go vegan, individuals can take a stand against the systemic cruelty inherent in animal agriculture. This article will explore the disturbing truths about the dairy and egg industries and highlight why making the leap from vegetarianism to veganism is a compassionate and necessary choice.
“Being​ vegan is a glorious adventure. It touches every aspect of my ‍life – my relationships, how I relate to the world.” – Victoria Moran

Many vegetarians have embraced ⁣their​ lifestyle out of a deep‍ sense of compassion and concern for animal welfare. However, there is a growing realization that ⁣simply abstaining from meat ‍is not enough ⁤to fully address the suffering ​inflicted on animals. The misconception that dairy and egg products are cruelty-free because animals do not⁤ die in the process overlooks the harsh realities behind these industries. The truth is that the dairy and egg products that vegetarians ⁢often consume come from systems of immense ‍suffering and exploitation.

Transitioning from vegetarianism to veganism represents a significant​ and compassionate step towards ending complicity in the suffering of innocent beings. Before delving into the specific reasons to make⁢ this change, it is crucial ​to understand the fundamental differences between vegetarianism ⁣and veganism. Though often used interchangeably, these terms denote distinct ‍lifestyles ⁢with vastly different⁢ implications for animal welfare.

Vegetarians ⁣avoid consuming meat and animal proteins but may still consume byproducts ‌like‍ eggs, ⁤dairy, or honey. The specifics of their diet⁤ determine​ their classification, such as lacto-ovo-vegetarians, lacto-vegetarians, ovo-vegetarians, and pescatarians. In contrast, a⁢ vegan lifestyle is much stricter ⁢and extends beyond dietary choices. Vegans avoid all forms ‍of⁣ animal ⁤exploitation, whether in food, clothing, or other products.

The ‍egg and dairy industries are rife​ with cruelty, contrary to ​the belief that no harm is done in⁢ procuring ⁤these products. Animals in these industries endure short, tortured lives, often culminating in traumatic deaths. The conditions on factory farms⁤ are not only inhumane but also breeding grounds for diseases, posing significant ⁢health risks to humans.

By choosing to go vegan, individuals can take a stand against the systemic cruelty inherent‌ in⁢ animal agriculture. This ‌article will explore the disturbing truths ⁣about the dairy and egg industries ⁤and highlight‌ why making the leap from vegetarianism to veganism is a ‍compassionate and necessary choice.

“Being vegan is a glorious adventure. It touches every aspect of my life – my relationships, how I relate to the world.”

Victoria Moran

Many vegetarians have chosen this lifestyle out of compassion and consideration for the suffering of animals. What they fail to realize, however, is that being vegetarian is not enough if you are concerned for the well-being of animals. Some people think that dairy and egg products aren’t cruel because they think that animals do not technically die during the process. Unfortunately, they are unaware of the atrocities and death that go on behind the scenes. The truth is that the products that are still on our plates come from places of torture and suffering for the animals stuck in the cycle of animal agriculture.

Making that last leap from vegetarian to vegan means you will no longer be complicit in the suffering of innocent beings.

Before we discuss specific reasons to go vegan, let us look at the differences between vegetarianism and veganism. People often use the terms vegetarian and vegan interchangeably, but this is not accurate to their definitions. They are vastly different.

Types of Vegetarian Diets

Vegetarians do not consume meat or animal proteins, but they do consume byproducts like eggs, dairy products, or honey. What title or category vegetarians fall into depends on the specifics of their diet.

Lacto-Ovo-Vegetarian

Lacto-ovo-vegetarians do not consume any meat or fish. They do, however, eat dairy and eggs.

Lacto-Vegetarian

A lacto-vegetarian does not eat meat, fish, or eggs, but they do consume dairy products.

Ovo-Vegetarian

An ovo-vegetarian eats no meat, fish, or dairy but they do consume eggs.

Pescatarian

While a pescatarian diet can hardly be considered vegetarian to most, some pescatarians call themselves semi-vegetarian or flexitarian since they only eat animals from the sea or fish.

Vegan Lifestyles Explained

A vegan lifestyle is stricter than vegetarianism and goes beyond food. Vegans do not consume, wear, use, or exploit any animals or animal byproducts. Every product or food that exploits animals in any way is quite literally off the table. While vegetarians may continue to consume dairy or eggs, the vegan eats none of these.

Many people do not know how cruel and brutal the egg and dairy industries are. They assume that no animals are harmed while procuring milk or eggs, so it is okay to support these products. This belief could not be further from the truth. Animals trapped in these industries suffer immensely. They live short, tortured lives and die a horrible and traumatic death. The conditions that both cows and chickens endure in factory farms are also breeding grounds for disease, including viruses that could cause the next pandemic like the recent outbreak of H1N1 bird flu in dairy cows.

Why Dairy is Scary Why Dairy is Scary

People often mistakenly believe that a dairy cow naturally produces milk year-round. This is not the case. Much like human mothers, cows only produce milk after giving birth. They produce milk specifically to nourish their newborn calf. If they have not given birth to a calf, their bodies do not need to make any milk at all.

Dairy farmers circumvent a female cow’s natural cycle by forcibly and repeatedly impregnating them to ensure milk production throughout the year. Each time they give birth, the farmer takes the calf away within a day or two, an event that is often highly traumatic for both the cow and her calf. Then, farmers can harvest milk produced for the mother’s calf for humans instead. “Maximum production is paramount to farmers and cows are bred to produce between 20 and 50 liters (about 13.21 gal) of milk each day; around ten times the amount her calf would suckle.ADI

Around 60 days after giving birth, they begin the process of impregnating the cows to steal their calves all over again. This process is the year-round reality for every dairy cow until their bodies stop making milk altogether. When a cow stops consistently producing milk, they are useless to the farmer. Most, around a million a year, end up being slaughtered and sold as “low-grade burgers or pet food” at around six or seven years old, even though the average lifespan of a cow is 20-25 years.

The cows are not the only ones who suffer during this process. A calf would usually suckle from its mother for six months to a year. Instead, the farmer ruthlessly removes them from their mother within a day or two and bottle-feeds them with formula. Many females grow to become dairy cows like their mothers. The story is quite different for male calves. Males are either slaughtered at birth, raised for “low quality” meat, or sold as veal. In any case, the result is the same. Eventually, the male calf ends up being slaughtered.

Disturbing Facts About Eggs

Disturbing Facts About Eggs

Did you know that around 62% of egg-laying chickens live in battery cages? These cages are usually just a few feet wide and 15 inches tall. Each cage usually has 5-10 chickens inside. They are packed so tightly they cannot even stretch their wings. There is no room to stand. The wire cages cut the bottoms of their feet. They often harm each other in a struggle for space, food, or water or from extreme anxiety. Others who do not end up in battery cages are often crowded in sheds, leading to comparable results. These conditions are breeding grounds for disease and death.

Farmers cut their beaks off to keep the chickens from harming each other. Chicken beaks are extremely sensitive. They are even more sensitive than human fingertips. Even with this information, farmers carry out this procedure with no painkillers. “Many birds die of shock on the spot.” freefromharm

When the chickens are no longer productive enough, the farmers dispose of them. This usually happens around 12-18 months of age. A chicken’s average life span is about 10-15 years. Their deaths are not kind or painless. These chickens are fully conscious when their throats are slit or they are thrown into scalding tanks to remove their feathers.

Laying hens are not the only ones who suffer in the egg industry. In hatcheries all over the world, 6,000,000,000 male chicks are killed every year. Their breed is unsuitable for meat, and they will never lay eggs, so they are useless to the farmers. Even though research suggests chicks are just as or more aware and alert than a human toddler, they are simply a byproduct of the industry. None of the methods used to kill them are humane. These methods are widely accepted as a standard procedure with no regard to their level of cruelty and brutality. Most chicks in the U.S. die by suffocation, gassing, or maceration.

Suffocation: Chicks are sealed in plastic bags, struggling for air until they suffocate and die.

Gassing: Chicks are exposed to toxic levels of carbon dioxide, which is highly painful to birds. The chicks feel their lungs burning until they lose consciousness and die.

Maceration: Chicks are dropped onto conveyor belts, which carry them into a giant grinder. The baby birds are shredded alive with sharp metal blades.

Most female chicks suffer the same fate as their mothers. They grow up to become laying hens, and the cycle continues. They produce 250-300 eggs yearly and are quickly disposed of when they can no longer lay enough eggs.

Ninety percent of fish slaughtered for human consumption in the U.S. are farm-raised, and ten million fish are slaughtered worldwide each year. Most are raised inland or on ocean-based aquafarms. They are tightly packed together in underwater cages, irrigation ditches, or pond systems, many of which have poor water quality. Here, they experience stress and overcrowding; some experience extreme weather conditions.

Some people describe fish farms as “factory farms in water.” animalequality A large farm could be the size of four football fields. It usually contains more than a million fish. Fish in these farms are subject to stress, injury, and even parasites. One example of parasites found in fish farms is sea lice. Sea lice will attach to live fish and eat their skin. Farmers use harsh chemicals to treat these infestations or use ‘cleaner fish’ that will eat the sea lice. Farmers do not remove the cleaner fish from the tank. Instead, they slaughter them with the rest of the fish.

Although some people may believe that fish do not have complex emotions or feel pain, this is untrue. Scientists agree that fish do experience pain and emotions. They have pain receptors, much like humans. They suffer in these fish farms for the entirety of their short lives. An undercover investigation at Cooke Aquaculture revealed the cruelties many fish suffer in the aquaculture industry. This investigation obtained video of the employees throwing, kicking, and stomping the fish and slamming them into the floor or hard objects. The fish lived in filthy water that no fish could thrive in, and many were afflicted with parasites, “some of which were eating away at the fish’s eyes.”

The methods used to slaughter these fish are inhumane, just like those used for cows and chickens. Some farmers remove the fish from the water, causing them to suffocate after their gills collapse. Fish are alive, aware, and attempting to escape during this process. This method could take over an hour. Other methods of stunning or slaughter include asphyxiation on ice, exsanguination, evisceration, percussive stunning, pithing, and electrical stunning.

Asphyxiation on Ice or Live Chilling: Fish are placed in ice water baths and left to die. This is a slow and painful process. Some species can take up to an hour to die.

Exsanguination or Bleeding: Workers cut the fish’s gills or arteries, so the fish bleeds out. They usually do this with scissors or by grabbing and pulling up on a gill plate. The fish is still alive while this is happening.

Evisceration or Gutting without Stunning: This is the process of removing the fish’s internal organs. The fish is alive during this process.

Percussive Stunning: Farmers hit the fish’s head with a wooden or plastic club. This is supposed to render the fish insensible and sometimes kills it immediately. An inexperienced farmer might require multiple blows to accomplish this. The fish feels them all.

Pithing: Farmers stick a sharp spike through the fish’s brain. Some fish die with the first strike. The fish is subjected to numerous stabbing blows if a farmer misses the brain.

Electrical Stunning: This one is just as it sounds. Electrical currents run through the water, shocking the fish. A few fish may die from the shock, while others are merely stunned, making removing them from the water easier. They complete the job using the fish farms’ other slaughter methods.

Fish are often vaccinated to fight diseases. Many are improperly anesthetized and “convulse in pain during this harsh procedure.” Some suffer painful spinal injuries as workers try to hold them still and do not receive any medical treatment afterward.

If a fish is considered unfit for human consumption, workers dispose of it using inhumane methods. Some are beaten or slammed on the ground or against hard objects, then left to die from their injuries. Others are pulled from the tanks and tossed into buckets, where they suffocate under the weight of other dead or dying fish.

If you are following a vegetarian diet, you have already taken the first step to becoming vegan. It is not that far of a leap to embrace veganism. It is easier to be vegan today than ever before. Companies are constantly developing new, tasty substitutions for the milk and eggs people hold onto so tightly. New products take much of the work out of being vegan. Do a little research. Pay attention to labels and ingredients. Doing these things will make your transition smooth and prevent animals from being harmed.

Consider going vegan today for the sake of all farmed animals everywhere. They cannot speak up for themselves or defend themselves in these situations. These sentient beings are reliant on us to fight for them. Adopting a compassionate diet and lifestyle is the first step toward a cruelty-free world.

Notice: This content was initially published on TheFarmBuzz.com and may not necessarily reflect the views of the Humane Foundation.

Rate this post

Related Posts

5-interesting-facts-about-lambs-and-why-they-should-stay-off-our-plates