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December 22, 2018 - The Vegan Authority

New Year wishes for non-vegans

New Year wishes for non-vegans
File Photo / © Photabulous!

Without question, knowledge is one of the best gifts there is. For most vegans, many valuable lessons have been learned on their path to non-violent living. As we embark upon another trip around our star, here are a few we would like to share with you.

We wish you knew:

You could live a longer and healthier life.

Studies have shown that vegans live an average of 6 to 9 years longer than non-vegans.

Researchers at Loma Linda University in California have been examining the longevity legacy [1] of vegans and vegetarians for over 60 years tracking tens of thousands of Seventh-day Adventists that refrain from eating meat. Their research indicated that foods commonly consumed in a vegan diet - fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans and legumes helped to reduce cancer, heart disease and Type 2 diabetes. [2] Gary Fraser, MBChB, PhD, professor of epidemiology says that those that refrain from eating meat "not only live longer, they also live better".

Other scientific studies, also show that vegans are less likely to suffer from chronic illnesses. A 2012 Harvard School of Public Health study, "Red Meat a Ticket to Early Grave" [3] for example, found that people who eat red and processed meats are much more likely to die from heart disease, diabetes, or cancer, while study participants who ate nuts or other plant-based foods instead of meat had a significantly lower risk of dying young.

  1. https://news.llu.edu/wholeness/loma-linda-s-longevity-legacy
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4073139/
  3. https://www.livescience.com/18996-red-meat-premature-death.html

We wish you knew:

Animals are just like you.

For people, it is often difficult to realize that animals have feelings and intelligence, since they cannot express themselves in a language that we understand.

Yet animals feel pain, sadness, fear, happiness and joy just like us; and they are capable of solving problems, anticipating the future, learning from past mistakes, recognizing old friends, showing appreciation to those who’ve helped them, enjoying music, communicating with each other, and showing empathy for others. [1]

Witness this cow [2], who is waiting in line to die. That cow is just like you.

If it’s obvious to you why you shouldn’t eat a dog or keep your little sister locked inside a cage, it should also be obvious why you shouldn’t eat or hurt animals.

  1. https://www.livescience.com/39481-time-to-declare-animal-sentience.html
  2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VizpLk263iM

We wish you knew:

Animal agriculture is killing the planet.

The livestock industry is a major contributor to environmental problems, including global warming, water pollution and loss of biodiversity. The UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has determined that animal agriculture generates 18% [1] of the greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) globally, the second highest source of emissions and greater than the transportation sector. [2] By using up 70% of agricultural land [3] and another 10% dedicated to feed, it is also one of the leading contributors to deforestation.

Cutting meat from your diet, even just a couple of meals per week, is said to be one of the most significant actions people can take to reduce their impact on the environment.

  1. https://www.hindawi.com/journals/jeph/2012/978672/
  2. https://news.un.org/en/story/2006/11/201222-rearing-cattle-produces-more-greenhouse-gases-driving-cars-un-report-warns
  3. http://www.worldwatch.org/peak-meat-production-strains-land-and-water-resources-1

We wish you knew:

The egg industry causes enormous suffering for billions of hens and baby chicks every year.

It is a common misconception that chickens naturally lay an egg almost daily. Human engineering created prolific egg-laying chickens through hundreds of years of selective breeding. This was not natural evolution.

In nature, hens, like the Red Jungle Fowl [1] lay only one to two clutches of eggs a year, with 4 - 6 eggs per clutch on average. They do this in the spring, to reproduce.

In sharp contrast, domesticated hens have been intensively bred to lay 250 and 300 eggs per year, leading to painful and often fatal reproductive disorders. Most are confined to cages, or packed in dark filthy warehouses. Their beaks painfully cut off [2] as chicks without anesthesia to prevent nervous pecking in overcrowded conditions. Once they stop producing eggs, they are killed for their meat. In hatcheries, female chicks are sent off to the same fate, while billions of male chicks are destroyed every year by being suffocated or ground up alive. [3]

  1. https://www.humanesociety.org/sites/default/files/docs/about-chickens.pdf
  2. https://freefromharm.org/animal-cruelty-investigation/debeaking-video-shows-standard-practice-on-free-range-egg-farms/
  3. https://freefromharm.org/eggs-what-are-you-really-eating/

We wish you knew:

There is zero fibre in meat, dairy or eggs.

The only source of fiber is plant-based food. [1]

A lack of fiber is associated with an increased risk of dying from cardiovascular disease and all cancers. Fiber normalizes bowel movements, lowers cholesterol levels, helps control blood sugar levels and lowers your risk of diabetes.

The Dietitians of Canada recommend consuming at least 25-38 grams of fiber per day. An apple, for example, has 3.5 grams of fiber and a cup of brocolli has about 4 grams. [2]

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dietary_fiber#Fiber_contents_in_food
  2. https://www.dietitians.ca/Downloads/Factsheets/Food-Sources-of-Soluble-Fibre.aspx

We wish you knew:

Plants have plenty of protein, you don't need meat.

As a percentage of calorie intake, people only need about 10% protein. According to the World Health Organization 5% protein [1] is the minimum we should be consuming.

A plant based diet has more than enough protein. For example rice has 8% protein, corn 11%, oatmeal 15%, and beans 27%.

Conversely a diet exceeding 10% protein, particularly from animals, to any great extent, has been proven --according to the massive "China Study"-- to be cancer inducing, particularly at the 20% level; and people are 75% more likely to die from any cause by eating this pattern. [2] [3] [4]

  1. http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/43411/WHO_TRS_935_eng.pdf?ua=1
  2. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/what-should-you-eat/protein/
  3. https://www.theguardian.com/science/2014/mar/04/animal-protein-diets-smoking-meat-eggs-dairy
  4. https://www.onegreenplanet.org/news/t-colin-campbell-protein-and-cancer/

We wish you knew:

Eating animals is unsustainable if we want to feed everyone on earth.

"Radical societal" dietary adaptation will be needed to feed the human population projected to be 9.7 billion in 2050 according to a recent study by researchers at Lancaster University. [1]

While current global food production is sufficient, 34% of human-edible crops are being allocated to the meat and dairy industry, which the scientists deem is "highly inefficient in terms of the provision of human nutrition". Feeding the growing human population will only be possible if people start to replace meat and dairy with plant-based foods.

  1. https://www.elementascience.org/article/10.1525/elementa.310/
We wish you knew:

The meat industry profits by exploiting both animals and workers.

Meat and dairy products are produced by companies whose goal is to maximize profit. Humans are their customers.

Companies that run factory farms do not care that their 'product' comes from live animals, that while alive exist in unspeakably cruel conditions, only to be transported to be killed for their flesh.

But behind the scenes, workers on factory farms and slaughter houses are themselves subjected to horrific conditions. They become desensitized to violence. One employee told CBC [1] that his first job was in the "boning" department, removing a specific bone from a dead chicken every three seconds, until moving onto the kill floor hanging live chickens on shackles. A University of Windsor criminology professor found that statistics show "the link between slaughterhouses and brutal crime is empirical fact." [2]

The animal agriculture industries, like the tobacco industry, know that the meat, eggs and dairy products they produce cause health issues and can lead to early death. [3]

  1. https://www.cbc.ca/radio/outintheopen/the-violent-hour-1.4343546/former-slaughterhouse-worker-says-job-reinforced-his-violent-behaviour-1.4343621
  2. https://www.thestar.com/news/insight/2010/05/14/probing_the_link_between_slaughterhouses_and_violent_crime.html
  3. https://nutritionfacts.org/2018/10/11/meat-industry-response-to-meat-being-labeled-carcinogenic/

We wish you knew:

There are very few antioxidants in meat, dairy, and eggs. [1]

Antioxidants are important because they repair damaged molecules in our bodies that could otherwise develop into cancer or other illnesses such as Parkinson's disease. On average, plants have 64 times more antioxidant content than meat [2], dairy [3] and eggs [4].

  1. https://www.superfoodly.com/is-meat-bad-for-you-antioxidants-in-meat-vs-vegetables/
  2. https://nutritionfacts.org/video/antioxidant-power-of-plant-foods-versus-animal-foods/
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2841576/
  4. https://www.drcarney.com/blog/science-inspired/eggs-contain-few-antioxidants

We wish you knew:

Dairy farming is a cruel and strange practice.

A normal lifespan of a cow is 20 years, yet dairy cows only live about 5 years -- until they are worn-out and then slaughtered just like beef cows.

Cows only produce milk when they are pregnant or have given birth, so throughout their short lives, cows endure continuous cycles of artificial insemination (rape), pregnancy and birth, to keep the milk flowing.

Newborn calves are typically taken away from their mothers within hours of birth. Understandably, this forced separation from their calves causes the mothers great distress; they bellow for hours or days and pace and search in vain for their stolen babies. [1]

The male calves are sequestered to cramped "veal crates" which are designed to limit movement and reduce normal muscle growth so the animal's flesh remains "gourmet tender" until it is slaughtered just 3 or 4 months later. [2]

Female calves, suffer the same fate as their mothers. Tethered to a cramped stall most of their lives, stumbling over giant udders that produce over 7 gallons of milk per day. [3]

Oddly enough, cow's milk --which is designed to grow a calf to a full size cow in 6 months-- is consumed by humans. As a result humans grow big, and fat, and expose themselves to a dangerous carcinogen, casein.

  1. https://www.peta.org/features/dairy-industry-cruelty/
  2. http://www.humanesociety.org/assets/pdfs/farm/welfare_overview.pdf
  3. http://www.dairymoos.com/how-much-milk-do-cows-give/

We wish you knew:

The only dietary source of Cholesterol is animals products.

Your body needs cholesterol to build healthy cells, but too much cholesterol can dramatically increase your risk of cardiovascular disease. Over 33% of Americans have high LDL cholesterol, the leading cause of heart attacks and strokes. [1]

Our bodies, specifically our liver, create cholesterol; but the only other source of additional cholesterol is from what we eat.

Foods that raise "bad" LDL cholesterol include: milk, eggs, cheese, butter, all forms of meat, and basically anything that comes from an animal.

On the other hand, fruit, vegetables, nuts, legumes, beans, and other plant foods, have no cholesterol, and therefore will not raise your cholesterol levels. [2]

  1. https://www.cdc.gov/dhdsp/data_statistics/fact_sheets/fs_cholesterol.htm
  2. https://www.dietitians.ca/Downloads/Factsheets/Food-Sources-of-Cholesterol.aspx

We wish you knew the joy of veganism.

Living a non-violent lifestyle, that improves the world, is the best gift of all.

For this new year, when you show compassion for those less fortunate, we hope that this sentiment can be extended to encompass the billions of animals around the world dealing with violent oppression, abuse and imprisonment. These living beings, while a different species than us, are defenseless, innocent beings who deserve the right to live freely and without fear.

Along your path to veganism not only will you be helping yourself and animals, but your children, grand children, all of your descendants and everyone you know.

We hope you make a pledge to stop using other animals and go vegan in 2019.

 

Best wishes,

The Vegan Authority

VA


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