The internet is ripe with undercover footage, testimonials from former slaughterhouse workers/farmers, and data on the horrors of animal agriculture. The suffering that sentient individuals caught in this brutal system endure is, quite simply put, incomprehensible.
Our Resources Page offers links to several reputable organizations if you are interested in learning more about the ethics of veganism.
In 1944 Dorothy Morgan coined the term “vegan” (melding the beginning & the ending of the word vegetarian). She later married Donald Watson and helped to create The Vegan Society - an organization still working today to promote veganism as a worldview.
Then most commonly identified definition of veganism is:
a way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as is possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose.
For “ethical” vegans, animal rights are at the heart of this way of living.
One of my favorite things about veganism is that there are so many reasons to commit to this way of moving through the world. You don’t need to choose just one!
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (formerly the American Dietetic Association) says, “Appropriately planned…vegan diets are healthful, nutritionally adequate and may provide health benefits for the prevention and treatment of certain diseases. These diets are appropriate for all stages of the life cycle, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, adolescence, older adulthood and for athletes. Plant-based diets are more environmentally sustainable than diets rich in animal products because they use fewer natural resources and are associated with much less environmental damage...Vegans are at reduced risk of certain health conditions, including ischemic heart disease, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, certain types of cancer, and obesity.”
The World Health Organization classifies processed meats as a Group 1 carcinogen. Tobacco smoke and asbestos both fall into this category as well.
Some chicken contains even more cholesterol than beef; genetically manipulated chickens contain 10 times more fat than they did a century ago.
Fish and other aquatic life is consistently high in toxic contaminants including mercury.
According to the National Institutes of Health, the majority of human beings have “a reduced ability to digest lactose after infancy”. This high rate of intolerance to lactose intolerant is not surprising - human beings are not baby cows.
80% of the antibiotics sold in the U.S. are given to animals raised as food.
Animal agriculture produces more greenhouse gases than the entire transportation sector.
Runoff from CAFOs (concentrated animal feeding operations) accounts for more water pollution than all other industries put together (Main Street Vegan, 2012).”
It is estimated that the U.S. alone could feed 800 million people on the grain it now feeds to animals destined for slaughter.
82% of starving children live in countries where food is fed to animals, and the animals are then eaten by western countries.
Slaughterhouse and “meat”processing workers are predominantly people of color living in low-income communities.
Some of the highest rates of psychological and physical trauma are faced by slaughterhouse workers. Research has found that slaughterhouse employment increases total arrest rates, arrests for violent crimes, arrests for rape, and arrests for other sex offenses in comparison with other industries.
Raising children to eat meat requires them to disconnect from the food on their plates, from their feelings, from animals and from nature (World Peace Diet, 2005).