Save the Planet & Yourself…Be a Vegan Environmentalist!

whynotvegan
Courtesy of Pam Gigous, Joy of Vegan. http://www.joyofveganrecipes.blogspot.com

The longer I experience life as a vegan the more I am convinced all humans should be eating a plant based diet. Now, I know that sounds extreme but in addition to my personal journey, I have been studying psychology, nutrition, and social justice issues which have intersected and highlighted the myriad of ways humans benefit physically, emotionally, psychologically, and spiritually from eating plants instead of animals or animal products. This is the beginning of an ongoing blog series on historic and current topics involving veganism, psychology, feminism, and environmentalism.

the-difference
Courtesy of The Vegan Review

Some people would say it’s hard to go vegan but honestly, it’s simple. Empower yourself with knowledge about the experience of the animals whose bodies we are using, abusing, consuming, and destroying, along with the devastating impact animal agriculture has on the environment. Read books, read blogs, read articles (watch out for fake news!), watch documentaries, visit some local farms or dairy, make connections to the beings who give us their milk, eggs, and flesh. Connect with natural world; observe the consequences raising animals for food or fashion has on the earth and water. And then once you have gathered enough information and prepped your mind as well as your pantry, just stop eating animals and buying animal products. Just STOP. You make the real, honest connection that meat is animal flesh from a body, a body that belonged to a creature who wanted to live, a body that shared many of the life experiences as other animals, even humans.

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Courtesy of One Voice for Animal Rights onevoiceforanimalrights.tumblr.com

Make the connection that leather is dried skin, most people are wearing some dead animals’ dried skin on their feet. Do you really want to be walking around in the skin of another sentient being? It’s a bit creepy, if you think about it. We have created special words to help us disconnect from the commercialization (and oppression) of other Earthlings. For me, animal products are exponentially less appealing when we call them what they are, body parts, pieces of dead animals who probably had terrible lives and a negative impact on the environment.

“Eating meat doesn’t just harm animals – it can also harm you! Consuming flesh takes a terrible toll on human health, taxing your digestive system and increasing your risk of life-threatening disease. Authorities such as the British Medical Association confirm that vegetarians have lower rates of obesity, coronary heart disease and high blood pressure.

The meat industry also endangers public health on a global scale, from fostering deadly viruses to contributing to starvation in the developing world.” (http://www.peta.org.uk/issues/animals-not-eat/meat-health)

So you decide you love animals and you don’t want to eat them because you love them so you stop eating them because who needs extra cognitive dissonance anyway? Start with one meal- no meat, then do a day, then go for two days, then a week and before you know it, you will never want to eat flesh or bodily secretions ever again. There are so many options for delicious meals without meat, a ridiculous amount of free recipes online, as well as many different support groups, social media groups, meet ups and so on. There are plenty of writers who focus on the abundance of physical health benefits of a well balanced vegan diet so I’m not going to focus on that in this blog series. Similarly, while the oppression and abuse of other sentient beings is never acceptable, animal cruelty and exploitation are not the focus here. I am primarily interested in using this space to examine the ways plant based diets and vegan lifestyles help people experience improved mental health, emotional health, and perhaps even a deeper connection to their own spirituality.

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Courtesy of Alys Barr, The Wild Life. http://www.the-wild-life.com

“Between 1993 and 2002 there was 6 times increase in the amount of antipsychotic medications prescribed to children and teens. Studies show that ADHD and possibly depression and other psychiatric illnesses in children may be related to their habitual diet.  

In many studies, high intake of animal protein (meat, fish, and dairy) has been linked to increased incidences and severity of behavioral and mood disorders in children. Also, toxins from fermentation of animal protein residues in the human colon have been shown to correlate with exacerbation of symptoms and/or negative behavior in these disorders.  

Studies have also shown that in utero exposure to N-nitroso compounds in cured meats is associated with increased incidence of childhood brain tumors. By contrast, research has shown that vegetarian and vegan children tend to score higher on average on IQ tests then non-vegetarian children.” http://www.wholevegan.com

I believe that veganism is the answer to many of our global, communal, and personal problems, so much so that I wrote a song about it. Here are the lyrics:

NO BODY

I’m done with blood,

no more replacing trees with mud

I won’t pay for the killing of our planet, of other Earthlings.

(Chorus)

We can save all of us, just take my hand,

Protect the water, honor the land.

We will choose compassion, we will save the Earth,

…Go vegan and no body gets hurt.

(Verse 2)

When I look into their eyes

and I hear their cries-

haunting me in the dead of night-

endless suffering, the animals’ plight.

(Bridge)

The most important thing is to stop oppressing,

stop consuming other beings.

LOVE is the choice for me.

*We can save all of us, just take my hand,

Protect the water, honor the land.

We will choose compassion, we will save the Earth,

…Go vegan and no body gets hurt.

(Verse 3)

So I’m gonna go green,

for the planet, animals, you, me,

to slow climate warming

and end animal farming.

*We can save all of us, just take my hand,

Protect the water, honor the land.

We will choose compassion, we will save the Earth,

…Go vegan and no body gets hurt.

 

Words & music by Jesse Maclaine, Aural Elixir.

 

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