(the video and text say the same thing, so you can watch or read, based on your preference)
Do you eat meat? If so, could you tell me why, if i asked? Honestly, it blows my mind that so many people still eat animal products, and i want to tell you why. A lot of meat eaters aren't going to want to hear about this, but I really hope you'll read this through youth the end. I can't make you agree with me - but I really want to help you at least understand why many people are switching to a vegan diet themselves.
First of all, the meat industry obviously causes suffering to the animal that is destined to be eaten. Most live out their lives in tiny, uncomfortable, unclean, crowded spaces where they are nearly unable to even move. On top of this, even free-range animals must go to slaughter, where they are still alive and frightened as they are hoisted into the air, and are still conscious and kicking as their throats are slit and the blood drains from their necks, taking their only life with it. A lot of people know this to some extent, though many pretend they don't, or they deny that it is true.
This is only the beginning, though. It's not just domestic animals that are being killed for the purpose of our animal consumption. Elsewhere in the world, rain forests are being cut down for space to raise animals or forage for these animals. As rainforest is cut down, exotic plant species are disappearing and animals are going extinct at a breathtaking rate as their habitat is destroyed.
Huge amounts of fossil fuels are used to grow crops for all of the animals that we eat, and even more are used to transport these grains, as well as water and other supplies...and finally, the livestock itself must me transported to and from the slaughterhouse. Add all of this up and - did you know that animal farming is the number one producer of greenhouse gasses emitted to the atmosphere?
Did you know that with all the grain we produce just for livestock in the US, we could feed 800 million people? That means that if we were to feed this grain directly to people, rather than animals, we could virtually eradicate world hunger. Knowing this, I believe that by extension, one could say that by eating meat, we are contributing to the starvation of men, women, and children in 3rd world countries.
Finally, it's about time we all just accepted that meat is not necessary for optimum health. In fact, many studies have been conducted which show that eating animal products is actually detrimental to human health (for more info see Forks Over Knives), and that a diet of whole plant foods is the best and most straightforward way to stay healthy.
Despite this, there are many people who still argue that without meat, you will not get the protein you need. To those people, I say - did you know that there has never in history been a case of protein deficiency, without a caloric deficiency? This means that if a person is eating enough calories even from nothing but rice (not that i am suggesting it) they will NOT be deficient in protein. Supplement with some beans, greens, or nuts and seeds? Your getting more than enough.
When I asked you why you eat meat, you probably thought "because it tastes good", right? Well, I implore you right now - is all of this...starving children, species going extinct, poor health and degenerative diseases, as well as suffering animals...worth a few moments of sensual pleasure?
If you know the answer to this and you don't like it, I hope you will try to take a step out of your comfort zone and try out some soy products and/or experiment with some vegan recipes.
What can a little bit of experimenting hurt? I think we've all got a lot more to gain than to lose from your brave, mature, and selfless decision to go vegan.