I decided on Christmas Eve of 2015 to do a 28 juice cleanse (The Juzcit juice cleanse is 100% vegan). I had originally planned on doing my cleanse from the 1st of January however, on Christmas Eve, I felt compelled to start immediately. I couldn’t really explain why so I just did it. If you would like to follow my journey, I filmed short video blogs each day of what I was doing and feeling throughout my cleanse.
One thing that I wanted to focus on during my cleanse was my mental and spiritual health. I understood from people that I had talked to that extended cleanses do not just cleanse the body, they also provide space to allow a cleansing of the mind and spirit. One way of doing this is by learning and opening the mind to new ideas. A few people had recommended that I watch some videos about food and the food industry. Then a suggested page showed up in my Facebook newsfeed that listed a heap of films that are recommended viewing for understanding the food industry and the impact that this industry has on the environment so I decided that I had been given the message enough times to listen.
I made a list of the videos that I wanted to watch and since I had plenty of time between Christmas and New Year, I proceeded to watch ‘Cowspiracy’, ‘Food Inc’, ‘Vegucated’, ‘Hungry for change’, ‘Food Matters’, ‘Fat, sick and nearly dead’ and ‘May I be Frank’ .
What I watched was both disturbing and eye opening. I immediately made the decision that I had to become a part of the solution to save the world from the disaster that is happening from the meat and dairy industries. This is how vegans save the world –
1. Reduce emissions/carbon footprint by way bigger amounts than any other individual process
I am a greeny and believe that we all must live sustainably on this earth. The agriculture, meat and dairy industry is currently destroying our planet. It is wiping out rainforests, it is polluting oceans, it is wiping out all manner of species of fish, birds and other wildlife that inhabit this planet with us. This industry is the largest emitter of greenhouse gases well above the oil and gas industry and the transport industry. The industry is sustained by a false economy with many wealthy countries subsiding the growing of crops to feed the billions of cows, chickens, turkeys, pigs and fish to ensure the cost of production of these meats remains low.
By choosing to become vegan, I am no longer a consumer of these products which means that I will have a greenhouse gas footprint that is 41.7% smaller than a meat eaters footprint and 13.9% smaller than a vegetarians footprint.1
2. Contribute to stopping world hunger
If all of the plant based food that was grown on the earth by farmers was used to feed people instead of animals there would be no reason for anyone to starve to death on this planet.2 The meat & dairy industry use a massive amount of ‘feed’ to produce the meat that is consumed by the people in wealthy countries that can afford it. This ‘feed’ is the grains and crops that could be feeding the 795 million people who are hungry and undernourished in the world of which 98% are living in developing countries2. The leading cause of world hunger is poverty. Wealthy countries policies on food production contribute to this poverty through subsidies and feeding animals for production before feeding starving and malnourished people. I personally will not support an industry so lacking in ethics and morals.
3. Reduce the suffering of animals
I am constantly amazed that with the outcry in the cosmetic industry about the suffering of animals used for testing that there is so little outcry for the suffering of animals in the meat and dairy industries. The movement toward ‘free range eggs’ has been a small step however, one thing that seems very evident is that large manufacturing industries will find a way around the rules to be able to call their products all sorts of pretty names like ‘free range’ but still treat animals in such appalling conditions that any normal person with a heart would cry to witness. By being vegan you can save over 100 animals from this fate every year! Every person can make a significant impact to the lives of these poor animals.
4. Protect people from ‘super bugs’ and outbreaks of salmonella and E. coli poisoning
The majority of antibiotics produced today are fed to animals that are bred in factories for meat and dairy production. This blanket mass medication approach can lead to bugs developing that are resistant to antibiotics and very threatening to human health. Further to this, contaminated water from these facilities can contain Salmonella and E. coli that is sprayed on fruits and vegetables, which can then be passed to humans3.
5. Reduce the strain on our medical system
Vegans are generally slimmer and have fewer cases of heart disease, cancer and diabetes than meat eaters1. This is not to say that you can’t be unhealthy and vegan. Being healthy is still dependent upon the quality and source of the food that you feed your body. If your vegan diet consists mainly of raw, whole, organic or spray free, locally grown fruit and vegetables, grains and legumes then you will be slim and have loads of energy. If your diet consists of processed and packeted foods that are full of sugar and have little nutritional value then vegan or not, you will find yourself lacking energy and vitality and becoming unwell.
So if you have always wanted to do something with your life that has a real lasting impact that benefits your local society and produces positive change in the world, become vegan.
- Fight Climate Change by Going Vegan – http://www.peta.org/issues/animals-used-for-food/global-warming/
- 2015 World Hunger and Poverty Facts and Statistics – http://www.worldhunger.org/articles/Learn/world%20hunger%20facts%202002.htm
- Factory Farms – https://www.aspca.org/animal-cruelty/factory-farms