Why Vegan

...  or I'd better ask: why not vegan?

After being fully vegan for nearly six years I guess I could write books about my personal reasons, thoughts and points of views, experiences and continuously growing knowledge. But let me just introduce you to my three main reasons that made me become and stay an ethical, enviromental-friendly, healthy & compassionate vegan human being.

For My Health

The word 'vegan' does not equal 'healthy' - let's get that out first. And yet, what I am talking about is a whole plant foods diet including a huge variety of organic, fresh and preferably seasonal and local fruits and vegetables. I am talking about eating large quantities of fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes and grains as unprocessed as possible. I am talking about healing the relationship with food and developing well balanced and intuitive eating habits that fit our individual bodies and needs, preferences and lifestyles. I am talking about a diet and lifestyle that nourishes and satisfies us on all levels.

 

When I first came across the vegan way of eating I did not know anything about nutrition at all. I was growing up in northern Germany and never really questioned what we labeled as healthy and normal. But I knew I needed to change something as I was dealing with painful digestive and skin issues since being very little and no doctor was able to help me until then. So I decided to take the responsibility for my health and started to educate myself. I read many books, watched even more documentaries and listened to people who have been sharing their years long vegan experiences online. I reached a point - a level of information -  that made me decide to go vegan over night. Here I am - nearly six years later - and I can honestly say: this was the best decision of my life!

 

I was able to heal my digestive and skin issues faster than I ever thought would be possible - after trying many different kinds of medications and protocols that did not work or made it even worse. I learned about macronutrients and micronutrients and about the human body and health. I educated myself about nutrition and holistic healing. I tried many different forms of a vegan diet until I found my own way and I am continuously learning, evolving and educating myself.

 

Even though I am talking about the wonderful effects a whole plant foods vegan diet has on our human body I cannot finish this without telling you that the biggest shift happend in my mind and soul. After my body went through a cleansing phase I noticed as I was getting lighter that I started to be way more sensitive to what happened inside of me and around me. I was starting to reconnect to myself, my body, mind and soul and I started questioning what I have learned to be true. Adapting a vegan diet was the door opener for a journey back to myself.

 

I deeply believe that if we continuously support our body, mind and soul in the most nourishing and loving way possible, we not only live - we thrive.

Time for some FACTS:

 

  • A vegan diet is richer in certain nutrients.
  • It can help you loose excess body fat.
  • It helps to lower blood sugar levels.
  • It improves kidney function.
  • It helps to prevent certain cancers.
  • It is linked to a lower risk of heart disease.
  • It is lowering cholesterol levels.
  • It helps to prevent type 2 diabetes.
  • It can reduce pain from arthritis.
  • The highest amount of osteoporosis are seen in countries where people consume the most dairy foods.
  • Overuse of antibiotics in animal farming is causing more strains of drug-resistant bacteria and is becoming a threat to human health.

For The Animals

This was a hard one. I turned vegan over night and for about half a year I was really busy trying to figure out what to eat, how to make it and how my body feels and adapts to it. As I continued to educate myself about nutrition I more and more came across the ethical side of veganism. It shook me to the core. How is it possible that we as individuals and as a society became so desensitized? The more I knew - the harder it was to bear. I began to question literally everything that I have been taught to be right. I figured that no habit, no tradition, no convenience and definitely no taste was worth causing any kind of suffering in this world. There was no other way for me than living my life vegan.

 

From my own childhood I know what it means to suffer from emotional and physical pain. After reconnecting to myself, my truth, values and ethics, feeling myself again and opening up to life it just seems obivous to me. I do not want to contribute to causing any kind of pain to another living empathetic being.

 

Thinking about the uncountable amount of animals suffering, being exploited, tortured, slaughtered and killed in the most horrible and disgusting ways because of human habits, traditions, convenience and taste preferences causes endless amounts of sadness, grief and anger insight of me. It makes it hard to breathe watching other fellow humans contributing unconciously or conciously to it. But if I have learned one thing on my journey then that people cannot change people. People can inform and inspire people. But people can only change themselves. With this said I am aiming to continuously expand my compassion and sensitivity and show my highest respect not only for animals but for all living beings including us humans, knowing that each and everyone is doing the best they can every single day of their lives. I am deeply grateful for all the animal rights activists dedicating their life to protecting the voiceless and informing and opening up peoples hearts to compassion.

 

"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that." 

- Martin Luther King, Jr.

 

"Be the change you wish to see in the world."

- Mahatma Gandhi

Time for some FACTS:

 

  • More than 6 Million animals are killed for food every hour.
  • 97% of dairy calves are taken away from their mothers within the first 24 hours of life.
  • More than 80% of pigs have pneumonia upon slaughter.
  • Around 40 pigs are killed every second globally. That is a total of over 1 Billion pigs killed each year.
  • As a result of unnaturally high milk yields, over a third of dairy cows suffer from Mastitis, a painful udder infection.
  • A battery chicken lives on space smaller than your iPad.
  • Animals are forced to grow up to three times faster than nature intended.
  • Dairy cows are killed after just three lactation cycles.
  • Forced molting processes kill 5-10% of hens.
  • Newborn animals are routinely mutilated.
  • Genetic manipulation has left 90% of broiler chickens unable to walk properly.
  • Meat is the dead body of someone who wanted to live.
  • There is no humane way to kill someone who does not want to die.
  • There is no fundamental difference between man and animals in their ability to feel pleasure and pain, happiness and misery.

For Our Planet

How does a vegan lifestyle benefit our planet? Well, in fact food is one of the biggest contributors to our enviromental footprint and it appears that animal products have by far the worst impact. Studies have shown that cutting meat and dairy products from our diet would reduce each individual's carbon footprint from food by over 50%. Since livestock requires an unimaginable huge amout of farmland, by going vegan, the global farmland use could be reduced by 75% - an area equivalent to the size of the US, China, Australia and the EU combined. This would not only lead to a significant drop in greenhouse gas emissions, it would as well free up lost wild land used for animal agriculture which happens to be one of the primary causes for mass wildlife extinction.

 

Factory farming's most notable impact on the enviroment is water pollution. Animals raised for food produce approximately 130 times more waste than the entire human population combined. When you concentrate these animals in massive factory farm facilities, it is incredibly difficult to keep these giant facilities clean without using a massive amount of water. To run the flushing systems that clean excrement off the floors of dairy farms, 150 gallons of water are required per cow, every single day. In fact, the majority of water used in factory farms does not go towards hydrating animals, but rather to cleaning and processing animals during slaughter. Once this water is polluted with animal waste, it is so polluted with antibiotics, hormones and bacteria, pathogens (such as Salmonella, E.coli, Cryposporidium - which can be up to 10 to 100 times higher than human waste) as well as heavy metals and pesticides, that it cannot be returned to the water system.

 

Fast growing animal agriculture and industrialized livestock result in global deforestation, massive amounts of wasted and polluted water, mass wildlife extinction and greenhouse gas emissions, which fuel climate change. It supports world hunger especially in third world countries where land is being used to feed livestock for food in the western world.

Time for some FACTS:

 

  • Animal agriculture is responsible for up to 91% of Amazon destruction.
  • A farm of 2500 dairy cows produces the same amount of waste as a city of 411.000 people.
  • A meat based diet requires 18 times more land than a vegan diet.
  • 82% of starving children live in countries where food is grown to feed animals in the west.
  • Around 70% of the world's soy is fed directly to livestock and only 6% of soy is turned into human food.
  • If everyone became vegan by 2050, food-related emissions would drop by 70%.
  • At least 46% of ocean plastic comes from discarded fishing nets.
  • If you stop eating meat, you would cut your carbon footprint in half and save around 200,000 gallons of water in a year.
  • 60% of global biodiversity loss is due to land cleared for meat-based diets.

I am vegan, because I am the change I wish to see in the world.