The 99 Reasons to Switch from Vegetarian to Vegan

cow and calf

You’re almost there. Going vegetarian is a huge step in improving your health and the environment. But there are many reasons to go even further and taking the vegan plunge. Need a little motivation? Here are 99 reasons.

  1. Most dairy cows are fed diets high in GMOs.
  2. Sometimes, they eat other cows.
  3. Not by choice, but because farmers choose to feed dead cows to living cows.
  4. They’re also fed antibiotics.
  5. Lots and lots and lots and lots of antibiotics.
  6. It’s not just because of the risk of infections (there are many).
  7. But because it boosts their weight.
  8. And milk production.
  9. And yet, they’re still given growth hormones.
  10. So are chickens.
  11. And goats.
  12. And sheep.
  13. Cows have also been given controversial ingredients like asthma drugs.
  14. It’s possible that you “can’t give up cheese” because of an opiate in there meant for baby cows.
  15. Cows and sheep and goats, like humans, only make milk when pregnant or shortly after.
  16. To keep them lactating with “fresh milk”, these animals are repeatedly impregnated in forcible rape-like scenarios.
  17. When they do give birth, those cute little girl cows become dairy cows.
  18. Those cute little boy cows become veal.
  19. All while their mothers are tethered to painful machinery that extracts the milk intended for their babies.
  20. Dairy cows who become too tired or injured to move are beaten.
  21. Dragged.
  22. Left for dead.
  23. They develop mastitis and other infections.
  24. Infected teats leak bacteria and pus into your milk.
  25. Eating dairy that’s high in growth hormones has been linked with menstrual cycles appearing in girls as young as 7.
  26. Dairy can cause acne.
  27. And allergies.
  28. And digestive issues.
  29. Some researchers think dairy allergies are rampant but most people have just become conditioned to the symptoms.
  30. And there’s really no need to drink it.
  31. Nondairy milks are just as delicious.
  32. And more nutritious.
  33. And they’re cruelty-free.
  34. Almond milk is rich in vitamin E.
  35. Hemp milk is full of healthy omega fats.
  36. Soymilk is high in polyphenols.
  37. Nondairy yogurts are just as active in gut-friendly probiotics.
  38. But without the shame.
  39. Nondairy ice cream can satisfy any sweet tooth.
  40. And without the guilt!
  41. Most vegan “cheese” is actually good for you.
  42. No heart disease.
  43. No obesity.
  44. No high cholesterol.
  45. No upset stomach.
  46. No acne.
  47. Or eczema.
  48. Or diarrhea.
  49. Vegan cheese made from cashews can actually reduce cholesterol levels.
  50. And prevent heart disease.
  51. And improve your digestion.
  52. Improve your skin tone.
  53. Give you more energy.
  54. If you saw how happy cows could be, wouldn’t you want to avoid participating in their suffering?
  55. Egg-laying hens live in unthinkably obscene factories.
  56. They are deprived of light.
  57. Of fresh air.
  58. Of room enough to stretch out their wings.
  59. The stench of ammonia from their waste can be blinding.
  60. And it makes it hard to breathe.
  61. Sometimes, they’re deprived food and water to force another egg-laying cycle.
  62. They are forced to share tiny cages with other birds.
  63. They fight with each other.
  64. Become cannibals.
  65. Their talons become deformed in wire cages.
  66. They can never stretch out both wings at a time.
  67. If they’re ‘cage-free’ that can just mean being stuck in a large dark shed with thousands of other birds.
  68. When they’re baby chicks, they have their beaks seared off without anesthetics.
  69. Boy chicks, who can’t lay eggs, have been dumped into meat grinders WHILE FULLY AWAKE.
  70. Chickens are naturally curious and intelligent creatures.
  71. Some research finds them to be as intelligent as 3-year-olds.
  72. But they’re thrown around in factory farm settings like rocks.
  73. Grabbed by their fragile legs.
  74. When they’re too old or diseased to make eggs, they’re sent off to slaughter.
  75. They witness all the other chickens being grabbed and tortured.
  76. Imagine how horrible that would be to a 3-year-old.
  77. Egg substitutes made from chia or flax seeds are great for your heart.
  78. And your skin.
  79. And your digestive system.
  80. And your conscience.
  81. You can bake anything with flax or chia just as you would an egg.
  82. But no risk of salmonella.
  83. Or listeria.
  84. Or E. coli.
  85. Or who knows what else.
  86. You can make a vegan omelet with tofu.
  87. Or quiche.
  88. Or scramble.
  89. Or a frittata.
  90. And let’s not forget the bees. Because honey isn’t vegan for many reasons.
  91. Bees may be very different from humans or even cows, but they show signs of intelligence.
  92. And pleasure.
  93. And abilities to feel pain.
  94. Plus, honey is bee vomit. For real.
  95. But then it’s stolen away from the bees.
  96. Commercial beehives can kill bees during honey extraction.
  97. When bees sting during the process, they die.
  98. Just one pound of honey can take bees on a journey of more than 50,000 miles and the pollination of more than two million flowers.
  99. And we just steal away their hard work for a bit of sweetness? Not very sweet…is it?

 Find Jill on Twitter @jillettinger

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Image: Razvan Antonescu