I Am Vegan...

Because of this beautiful article from This Vegan Life.
Because cashew/soy/rice/hemp/almond/oat/hazelnut milks do not come from a mommy cow. And they taste amazing.

Speaking of non-dairy milk, because I stopped drinking breast milk when I was a baby. I do not need to consume the breast milk of another mom, and I definitely do not need to be drinking the milk of another species. Gross.
Because we don't NEED to consume, wear, or exploit a single animal for our food/clothing/entertainment. We just don't.
Oreo at Animal Acres. (Photo © Cameron O'Steen)
Because of Farm Sanctuary. And Animal Acres. And Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary. And The Gentle Barn. And Catskills Animal Sanctuary. Basically, every single farmed animal sanctuary around. Period.

Because of animal protection organizations like Mercy For Animals, who spend their days giving farmed animals a voice by sharing undercover investigation videos with the public. And because it finally hit me - every single time I try to educate myself about the plight of farmed animals, I come across a video like the one below. And every time I watch one, every single fiber of my being points me in the direction of vegan living.
Warning: this video contains graphic imagery. Please be prepared - both emotionally and physically - before you watch this. I watched this myself when it first debuted, and it was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do. But if you haven't seen an animal abuse video before, it is essential to knowing why we continue to fight for these animals. 
Because ice cream, cheese, steak, lobster, shrimp, ham, scrambled eggs, a glass of cow’s milk, and a bowl of chicken noodle soup are not essential for my health or well being. They just taste good. And that is not enough of a reason to continue eating them, when there are compassionate alternatives that taste just as good and do no harm to any living thing. 
Photo © Connie Pugh
Because of nutritionally packed, belly-satisfying plant protein like tempeh, tofu, seitan, chickpeas, black beans, navy beans, any beans!, cashews, peanuts, almonds, walnuts, and broccoli. Yes, broccoli! (for those who didn’t know, broccoli has, ounce for ounce, more protein than steak!)

Speaking of delicious vegan food, Gardein. Daiya. Purely Decadent. Field Roast. Tofurky. The list just keeps growing...

Because I will live longer, climb higher, run faster, and be stronger as a vegan. 
Because our bodies do not need more cholesterol than we produce. And it just so happens to be that not a single plant-based food has even a drop of cholesterol. Hmm....

Because they need us to care. 
Because living vegan allows me to be a kinder person to human beings.
 Because there are just too many awesome vegan restaurants out there to not be vegan. 
Because even president Bill Clinton is trying it! 
 Because the UN implores us to switch to a plant-based diet. 
Because living vegetarian is not enough: 
After one or two years of producing eggs at an unnaturally high rate, female fowl are classified as "spent hens.” No longer financially profitable for factory farmers, they are slaughtered. (Source: www.dosomething.org)

A cow's natural lifespan is about 25 years, but cows used by the dairy industry are killed after only four or five years. An industry study reports that by the time they are killed, nearly 40 percent of dairy cows are lame because of the intensive confinement, the filth, and the strain of being almost constantly pregnant and giving milk. Dairy cows' bodies are turned into soup, companion animal food, or low-grade hamburger meat because their bodies are too "spent" to be used for anything else (Source: www.peta.org)

Because this kind of stuff shouldn’t happen. Ever:
Huge open-air waste lagoons, often as big as several football fields, are prone to leaks and spills. In 1995 an eight-acre hog-waste lagoon in North Carolina burst, spilling 25 million gallons of manure into the New River. The spill killed about 10 million fish and closed 364,000 acres of coastal wetlands to shellfishing.  (Source: www.ndrc.org)
 Because of what the Lorax said:

Unless someone like YOU
Cares a whole awful lot,
Nothing is going to get better.
It’s not.

What are YOUR reasons for living (or choosing today to start living) vegan? Add them to the comment section below. Have a fabulous, fun, compassionate 


M.J. said…
CurlyLocks said…
I just watched Mercy for Animal's "Farm to Fridge" video and am feeling so incredibly upset. I wish my omnivore friends would watch such a video or read a book like "Eating Animals."

On a more positive note, my husband watched "Forks Over Knives" and CNN's "The Last Heart Attack" and seems to have been influenced by the message. Last night, I made a yummy grilled fake-chicken salad with Gardein's new Chick'n Strips. I have him using almond milk or soy milk at home.

So...why am I happy to be vegan? For so many reasons...for better health, for the love and welfare of animals, for leaving a smaller carbon footprint... I'm so much more at peace with myself!
Loved this post!

I am currently going from vegetarian to vegan, and I need posts like this to spur me on and remind me why it's so important. I know all of this already but it helps so much to see it written down. I was tempted to eat some (dairy) chocolate just now, but read this in the nick of time :-)

P.s. I am (trying to be...) vegan because I can have peace of mind and know that I am making a difference

You made my heart swell. Thank you for such a beautiful post.
Anonymous said…
I made the switch from vegan to vegetarian almost 3 months ago. It has been easier and more rewarding than I thought it would be. I guess I am vegan for love. -Josh Wenglin
Rae Sikora said…
This was a great one....And, another kiss worthy idea: We no longer buy the asceptic boxes of non-dairy milks. It is so easy to make your own nut and seed milk. A handful of soaked nuts or seeds in a powerful blender filled with water. Whiz til smooth. (add sweetener and vanilla or chocolate if that is what you like...we like plain). Run through a clean piece of cheesecloth or clean nylon stocking to strain. (There are also nutmilk bags you can buy to strain it). We love not throwing away a kirgillion containers. And it is so inexpensive. My favorite is sunflower milk made with raw sunnies. Enjoy@
Lindsay said…
These are all beautiful comments! Ruth - I absolutely love what you said, and Rae - that's a great idea! Steve and I still use the boxes - we need to get on the homemade non-dairy milk wagon now. :) xoxo Happy Labor Day!
chelsea said…
My reasons for living vegan:
Less weight on my heart from the suffering. Finally living in line with my values. Nutritional yeast. Piggies are too cute!
I live in a town that has very few veg friendly restaurants (all the salads are packed sky high with meat and eggs and cheese), but I count this as a good thing because it saves me money. Not only that, but my husband and I love to cook together. Win win.
Sasha Star said…
i went vegan after becoming a yoga teacher. we learned all about ahimsa (non-harming, non-killing) if we don't live our yoga in our everyday lives what good does it really do. being vegan is the most beautiful way to live ahimsa to me. and it brings such clear joy to my heart and spirit. that's the biggest reason for being vegan for me, JOY! Om Peace, to all beings everywhere.