Veganism is often mistaken for vegetarianism, which demands an elaborated discussion on what veganism precisely is and why there is a dire need to adapt to the said lifestyle.
Simply put, veganism is a way of living that firmly excludes animal exploitation of all sorts, be it for food, clothing, or anything else under the sun.
While veganism has been prevailing for eons, it has exploded in recent times due to better access to information and various OTTs releasing content that educates the viewers on the same and similar notions.
Should I Go Vegan?
For years, the dairy industry has spent enormous amounts on marketing to frame a false image in consumers’ minds, eliminating any skepticism that the masses might have towards consumption of the baby-calf-growth-fluid. To non-vegans, veganism often seems extreme and irrational, mostly due to ignorance and lack of information. Though, the world desperately needs you to be informed about the consequences of animal exploitation and cruelty because ignorance is gradually forcing us towards non-existence; here’s how:
While an estimated 790 million people do not have access to clean water, research suggests that it requires – get this – 15,000 liters of water (approx.) to produce a kilogram of beef and 1000 liters of water (approx.) to get 1 liter of cow milk.
But is water consumption the only concern of the environmental aspect of non-veganism? Certainly not!
Much to everyone’s surprise, the meat and dairy industry is a significant contributor to climate change as there are approximately
250 million dairy cows in the world, and a single cow releases anywhere between 160 to 320 liters of methane per day through farts and burps, which is detrimental to the health of the environment. According to USDA, “the manure from a dairy milking 200 cows produces as much nitrogen as is in the sewage from a community of 5,000-10,000 people.”
Moreover, huge pasturelands are required for feeding the animals, and such lands often ask for deforestation that, needless to say, degrades the environment.
To put things into perspective, by going vegan, we can reduce the land used for food production by approximately 70%; a meat diet is responsible for almost 20 times more greenhouse gas emissions; a meat meal consumes more than twice the amount of water required for a vegan meal.
While traditional studies have linked dairy-based diet to better health, recent studies have found numerous flaws with this linkage.
A non-vegan diet is prone to some severe diseases worthy of being considered before one gobbles down meat or dairy.
Consumption of meat and dairy has been proven to be a potential cause of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and even Alzheimer’s disease.
The potential diseases might eventually lead to premature death, raising intense concern about a non-vegan diet’s health effects.
What’s more, modern dairy farming practices include injecting cows with hormones to boost growth, and these hormones are further transferred into our system every time we consume dairy. The same can provoke breast and prostate cancer.
Modern practices require cows to be given antibiotics to prevent infections, the same when received by a human body causes antibiotic resistance, which is a primary concern of human existence.
Veganism firmly believes in the right to life and freedom for every creature, be it an animal or a human being, and strongly opposes taking life simply to consume them for food, clothing, et al.
In addition to the slaughtering, it has become necessary to shed light on how animals are made to live during the practice of animal husbandry. Cages are set up that are usually so little they deny movement of animals, let alone offering them decent living conditions.
Many vegetarians consume milk products deeming the dairy industry cruel-free; however, that can be tagged as a case of misinformation, again fueled by marketing gimmicks of the biggest brands (no, cows do not roam around happily, accompanied by their offspring, surrounded by trees).
An everyday dairy farm scenario includes forceful impregnation of cows, separating them from calves, which are then either raised and turned into dairy cows or slaughtered for food. When these cows become incapacitated of lactating, they are led to the slaughterhouse. The separation of the mother from her offspring leads to the deprivation of milk that is meant for its growth – a perfect case of human selfishness.
Pardon the straightforwardness – most cow milk glasses echo the voice of cows being raped, and it deafens every vegan-ear and pounds every informed heart.
Lactose is a sugar found in milk, and approximately 65% of the human population has shown to have a reduced ability to digest lactose after infancy, which can be marked as our body’s sign of refusing milk.
The majority of the non-vegan population’s biggest concern is the lack of protein in a vegan diet. To address the concern, it is useful to note that while meat and dairy have high protein content, various
vegan alternatives can be adapted that suffice for a human body’s protein requirement. Moreover, it is sometimes advisable to not obsess over protein consumption and pay heed to better protein absorption by the body.
Here is a list of vegan alternatives that are high in protein content:
● Soybean (36g protein / 100g serving)
● KidneyBeans (24g protein/ 100g serving)
● Chickpeas (19g protein / 100g serving)
● GreenLentils (25g protein / 100g serving)
● Tofu (8g protein / 100g serving)
● Oats (17g protein / 100g serving)
● Flaxseeds (3g protein / 2teaspoons)
● PumpkinSeeds (10g protein / 30g serving)
While those mentioned above are popular, many other vegan foods have abundant protein to offer, like nut butter, plant-based whey protein, green peas, nuts, and quinoa.
Sattu is an ingredient that steals the limelight when it comes to vegan protein. Just 100g of it contains a whopping 20.6g of protein. It is rich in fiber, cools down the body, and has many other benefits at its disposal.
This ingredient can prepare numerous delicious recipes like Sattu Shake, Sattu Paratha, and Sattu Chilla, to name a few.
To summarize, veganism is more than a diet – it is a pro-life, pro-environment lifestyle that the world needs to adapt to for sustainability.
Before we gulp down that glass of cow milk, we must remind ourselves of how it is extracted – by raping a cow, depriving a calf of its mother’s milk, injecting a cow with growth hormones, and rearing it in a not-so-pro-life condition.
Before we chew on meat, we must remind ourselves how it once was an animal whose life was taken away for it to be added to your bowl of salad for dinner.
Non-veganism is rape and murder in plain sight, and it calls for a revolution!
– Cowspiracy (Documentary on Netflix)
– Luke Coutinho: The Truth About Milk and Why it is Terrible For Our Health
– What The Health (Documentary on Netflix)