The Year of the #Vegan

The Year of the Vegan by Andrew Ⓥ Kirschner

by Andrew Kirschner on Tuesday, December 28, 2010 at 2:12pm

When I tell people I’m a vegan, they tend to respond with one of the following questions:

1. Where do you get your protein?

2. Where do you get your B-12?

3. What can you eat besides carbs?

These questions are laughable given the obesity and disease rates in America and the amount of people who exist on diets of sugar, high fructose corn syrup, partially hydrogenated oil, saturated fats, processed and other toxic foods. It shows how divorced people have become from reality and reminds those of us who care about the welfare of animals, our health, clean air, land, and water, how much work we have ahead of us to educate our fellow citizens.

The success of the animal killing industry depends heavily on concealing the truth about factory farming and what people actually eat. The casting of aspersions on the health benefits of a plant-based diet originates from  the same industry that has killed millions of Americans with the ingredients they inject into the animals they inhumanely confine, torture, slaughter, and sell for massive profits that have them laughing all the way to the bank. Watch the movie The Insider and learn about how the tobacco industry concealed the truth about niccotine as they watched it kill millions of people. These corporations do not care one iota about your health, the environment, or animal welfare. They care about money and they will lie to you until you die in order to make it.

In response to these questions, I usually ask: Where do you get your fiber, B-6 and B-12, Omega 3 and 6, protein, vitamins A, B, C, D, E, K, selenium, chromium, potassium, magnesium, and iron? Is it in the cake, cookies, ice cream, cheeseburgers, soda, doughnuts, hot dogs, tacos, french fries, candy, chips, or Lucky Charms you eat? Or, what do you do to combat the pesticides, growth hormones, antibiotics, feces, and chemicals in the animals you’re eating that are causing millions of meat eaters like you to die of cancer and heart disease?

I eat organic foods in their original state, unaltered by processing plants that fill them with artificial preservatives, hormones, antibiotics, processed feed, broths, and artificial flavoring to give them taste they don’t have. Who do you think is healthier? I get more protein in my diet from eating raw organic foods than people who eat animals. Animals eaters have been duped by the meat industry into believing that eating animals is healthy and necessary to survive. It’s not. Consider reading The Food Revolution by John Robbins. It’s a good place to start if you want to educate yourself based on facts rather than propaganda.

The American Dietetic Association (ADA), the world’s largest organization of food and nutrition professionals, issued a summary of a vegetarian/vegan diet. Unlike studies and propaganda published and funded by companies hiding behind the meat industry, such as the so-called Center for Consumer Freedom (CFC), the ADA is a non-profit enterprise comprised of professional dietitians, researchers, and educators that has sought to maintain the health of American citizens for generations.

Here are a few of their findings on vegetarian/vegan lifestyles:

1. Vegetarian/vegan diets are appropriate for all individuals during all stages of life, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, and adolescence. Vegetarians and vegans meet or exceed the requirements for protein intake and tend to have more optimal protein consumption than omnivores.

Carl Lewis, Vegan/Olympic Gold Medal Winner

Carl Lewis, Vegan/Olympic Gold Medal Winner

2. Vegetarian/vegan diets tend to be lower in saturated fat and cholesterol, and have higher levels of dietary fiber, magnesium and potassium, vitamins C and E, folate, carotenoids, flavonoids, and other phytochemicals.

3. Vegetarian/vegan diets are associated with a number of health advantages, including lower blood cholesterol levels, lower risk of heart disease, lower blood pressure levels, and lower risk of hypertension and type 2 diabetes. Vegetarians/vegans tend to have a lower body mass index (in other words, they’re not as fat), and lower overall cancer rates. HEART DISEASE AND CANCER ACCOUNT FOR 50% OF THE DEATHS IN THE UNITED STATES.

Laziness, apathy towards the welfare of animals and the planet, selfishness, and a lack of intellectual curiosity are the major barriers to transitioning to a vegan lifestyle. I’m grateful for any food I eat as I know millions of people are starving throughout the world. People are spoiled when it comes to food. Previous generations were grateful simply not to know hunger. Educate yourself and you may change. Educate others and they may change too.

Imagine looking in these children’s eyes and telling them you can’t give up chicken. They would allow you to amputate a limb if you promised them nothing other than a vegan meal three times a day. What has happened in our country that people have become so far removed from the reality of life for millions of downtrodden people that they are unwilling to make a simple change? I know the compassion for a vegan lifestyle exists in all of you. I hope you decide to let it live.

Sometimes people caution vegans to be careful not to offend people when they discuss veganism. There’s a terrible double standard when we talk about animal abuse. If we share information about someone abusing a dog, people are rightfully outraged. They want the offender imprisoned or killed. If we post information about factory farmers dropping a conscious chicken in scolding hot water, bolting a cow in the forehead and failing to kill him and cutting his limbs off while he is alive, or slicing off a pig’s feet while she squeals, some of the same people get mad and tell vegans to stop preaching.

These animals experience pain, fear, and suffering equally. The only difference in their misery is in people’s minds. Vegans speak for all animals — not just the cute and cuddly ones. We are not speciests and we will never stop being a voice for those who don’t have one. Calling standing up for animals “preaching” is a defense mechanism employed by those who don’t want to face their complicity in the torture and killing of animals. We’re not fooled or dissuaded.

When it comes to saving the lives of animals, vegans don’t worry about offending people. Nobody is more offended than we are that millions of self-titled compassionate and educated people needlessly continue to support and fund the inhumane confinement, torture, and slaughter of billions of factory farm animals for no reason other than to satisfy their taste buds. In Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer, the author explains that 99% of animals eaten today come from factory farms.

The animals you eat are tortured before they reach your plate. You need to know that and you need to think about it. It matters. Once you know about the horrors of factory farming, and you do now, you are no longer absolved of guilt. If you continue to buy and eat meat, you’re funding animal cruelty. The good news is you can end your suport of these inhumane practices today by choosing a vegan lifestyle.

The Vegan Revolution is coming. The number of people adopting a vegetarian and vegan lifestyle is soaring. Vegan restaurants and grocery stores are sprouting up everywhere. People are starting to recognize the health benefits, the compassion it shows towards animals, and how it will sustain our environment. The United Nations recently released a report on the necessity of the world moving to a meat and dairy-free vegan diet. More and more people will continue to make the transition to veganism. Their conscience will catch up with them eventually. This is the year of the vegan. Billions of animals are counting on it, the earth depends on it, and so may your life.

Thank you for keeping an open mind.

On behalf of billions of helpless factory “farm” animals, we see the agony in your eyes, we hear your cries for help, and we will do everything we can to end your misery. We stand united with millions of vegans throughout the world. We will never stop fighting for you.

Andrew Ⓥ Kirschner

CLICK HERE to read Andrew’s original post on facebook!

Vegan: it does a planet good

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