The World Vegan Day will be celebrated on November 1 every year.
Vegan is a way of life without animal exploitation, especially, but not limited to what we eat. Vegans eat no animal products – no meat, fish, chicken, eggs, milk or even honey. Sanctuary for Health and Reconnection to Animals and Nature (SHARAN) is a non profit organization campaigning for a Vegan India.. They have enlisted the following benefits of being a vegan:
1. Less suffering from starvation: Today more than 40% of all the grain grown is fed to animals. All this food could be -given or made available- to starving human beings. Eating lower on the food chain is much more efficient. It is said that one billion humans could be saved from starvation if Americans ate just 10% less meat. Imagine what the world would be like if no one ate any meat.
2. Less Water shortages: The world is heading towards a drinking water shortage. On an average it takes 500 litres of water to produce 1 kg of potatoes, 600 for 1 kg of wheat, 2000 for 1 kg of rice, but up to 100,000 -for 1 kg of beef. India is the world’s largest exporter of beef. 69 billion land animals are slaughtered each year for food. That’s a lot of water saved if the whole world goes vegan.
3. More trees, forests greenery: Our diminishing forests are seriously threatened by grazing animals. 260 million acres of virgin forest in the world have been cleared for cropland to support a meat-centred diet with about 50 million more acres going every year to create more grazing lands or grow animal fodder.
4. More wildlife: More wildlife habitat means more wildlife.
5. More available energy: Eating animals or their products is energy intensive. It is said that the world’s petroleum reserves would last for only 13 years if all humans were meat eaters but 260 years if all humans were vegetarian. Every single bit of meat and dairy has to be stored in refrigeration. That alone is energy intensive. The production of meat is also energy intensive -growing food for feed, transporting it to the farm animals (this currently happens across continents), transferring animals to stockyards, then slaughter houses, then packaging units to stores and finally into the consumers fridge or freezer till its eaten.
6. Less global warming: The WHO and FAO released a joint 400 – page document called Livestock’s Long Shadow which notes that livestock produce more greenhouse gases than all the vehicles combined!
7. Less pollution of land, air, and water: Manure lagoons from concentrated animal feeding operations pollute our land, air and water supply. The high concentration of manure in the rivers and lakes kill billions of fish and aquatic life and leads to a growing number of abnormalities of marine animals.
8. Better health, less money spent on healthcare: Heart disease and hypertension are the largest causes of death on the planet. Only animals produce cholesterol and animal products are full of saturated fats. We are killing ourselves with our forks. Heart disease, hypertension diabetes, cancer and obesity are all linked to excess animal protein consumption. Healthcare costs would drop dramatically.
9. More social justice: What humans do to animals, they also do to each other. Racial discrimination and species discrimination are connected. Today discrimination, exploitation, sexual exploitation and violation, rape, murder etc have more animal victims than human victims but this is not even being acknowledged by the vast majority. By stopping these injustices on animals, and by attributing every form of life rights, we will create a more just society especially amongst humans.
10. Compassion for other living creatures: 69 billion land animals and countless more sea animals die every year to feed 7 billion humans that could have thrived on plants. Every animal fights till the last for the only thing it owns, its own life.
11. To be amongst celebrities: Bill Clinton, Alicia Silverstone, Amala Akkineni, Ellen DeGeneres, Bryan Adams, James Cromwell, Heather Mills McCartney, Michelle Pfeiffer, Carl Lewis, Kenneth Williams, Mike Tyson, Ruth Heidrich, Venus Williams, Rupert Murdoch, Steve Wynns and many more are all vegan and thriving.
Source: The Times of India