For myself / For my friends / For my family / Forever / I’ll take this to the bitter end
The above quote comes from the Throwdown song “Forever,” which is about the straight-edge philosophy, not veganism. But the lyrics speak to me all the same, as far as the reasons for which I’m vegan, and why I urge other people to do the same.
For myself: Veganism is a supremely healthy way of eating. Vegans and vegetarians have lower risks of all major diseases, in general consume less processed foods, and avoid many of the pitfalls of meat and dairy consumption including E coli, mercury levels, and excess cholesterol. Please see “57 Health Benefits of Going Vegan.”
For my friends: The animals. To think of animals, sentient beings, as inferior to humans amounts to Speciesism. Speciesism is what allows to be outraged when dogs are used for fighting, but to turn a blind eye to the millions of cows, pigs, and chickens are who abused, tortured, and slaughtered every year. The most ethical approach, one rooted in compassion, is to extend rights to all sentient beings, and not use them in any way that exploits them.
For my family: My current and future family needs a world that will produce for them, not one starved of resources. Factory farming and raising animals for food is a wholly inefficient way of producing calories, and wrecks havoc on the environment, from groundwater pollution, to emitting more greenhouse gases than all global transportation and industrial processes.
For these reasons and all their various facets and implications, I choose a vegan lifestyle. I urge you do the same. It’s not difficult, it’s healthy, and is a loving, compassionate way to live. Please contact me or any of the resources below for more information. Each one of us can make a difference, and it starts with how we live. Let’s do something that matters!
Vegan Outreach’s Starter Guide – a great primer on the topics above, and how to apply them
PETA’s Vegetarian/Vegan Starter Kit – available for free online and in print with a wealth of information
The Vegan Society’s “How To” On Veganism: Simple ideas from the first vegan group ever. They’ve also produced a great 30 minute film (displayed below) that covers just about every issue of veganism quite well. I highly recommend watching it.