Earlier this month, we asked fans on our Facebook page what their inspiration for going vegan was. We received hundreds of comments and heard many uplifting stories. Here are just some of the reasons people shared.
Watching PETA’s videos, such as “Meet Your Meat” or “Glass Walls”, narrated by Paul McCartney, was a popular reason for having gone vegan. Melanie said, “I never even questioned the ethics of eating meat until I watched some slaughter videos and was sickened by what I saw. I’ve not eaten meat since, and am now following the vegan path”. Films such as Vegucated, Forks Over Knives and Earthlings were also mentioned more than once! Here’s a handy guide to films that can help inspire you and others.
Some people, like Jay, mentioned environmental concerns. He said, “I have always been an environmentalist and I found out thanks to PETA that meat’s not green”. He’s right. According to the United Nations, raising animals for food is “one of the top two or three most significant contributors to the most serious environmental problems, at every scale from local to global”. Find out more here.
Many people go vegan for their own health, like Sarah, who wrote:
[I] [b]ecame ill and decided that I needed to make dietary changes so cut out red meat. Within a few weeks I stopped eating meat all together which I never thought I’d be able to do. After that I decided that I was in the best situation to go the whole way and give up animal products totally. I signed up for a local “eat vegan” campaign and have never looked back. That was 14 months ago.
It’s true that eating meat doesn’t just harm animals – it can also harm you! Consuming flesh takes a terrible toll on human health, taxing your digestive system and increasing your risk of developing life-threatening disease. Authorities such as the British Medical Association confirm that vegetarians have lower rates of obesity, coronary heart disease and high blood pressure. Find out more here.
For some, like Rachel, going vegan was a simple choice. She just wrote, “Common sense”, as her reason. But for others, a variety of events have helped them make the connection and decide to forgo eating animals.
Emma L wrote that she “[w]as a veggie nearly all my life, but the badger cull really opened my eyes to the horror of the dairy industry. Never looked back since. Best thing I’ve ever done!” The plight of British badgers as victims of the dairy industry did get many people reconsidering their support for the dairy industry. Bovine tuberculosis has been conclusively linked to the movement and intensive rearing of cattle in the meat and dairy industries, and one of the best ways protect badgers is to dump meat and dairy products from our diets, addressing the root of the disease.
Suzanne wrote that she “was breastfeeding my little boy and was watching a video on factory farming. It was on piglets breastfeeding from a mum in a tiny metal cage thing. I looked down at my boy and looked at the indignity of the mother and her piglets. From that moment I vowed never to eat meat again. I don’t miss it”. Realising that animals raised for food are sensitive, intelligent individuals who are subjected to exhaustion, pain, boredom, loneliness and fear in their short and miserable lives is perhaps one of the most powerful motivations for going vegan. For some, it is realising that there are really few differences between pigs on factory farms and the dog you grew up with. Or, like for Suzanne, most human mothers wouldn’t want to participate in causing other mothers to suffer since they have the same strong instincts to love and nurture their young as we do.
Emma A wrote, “I was sick of having animals suffer just so I could enjoy a meal”. Good point, Emma! With so many delicious vegan options available in supermarkets across the country, there’s no reason for animals to suffer. PETA’s free vegan starter kit outlines just how easy it is to ditch cruelty from your diet, wardrobe and life. Order yours at PETA.org.uk/vsk.
Saving the environment, improving your own health, preventing animal suffering – there are so many reasons to go vegan! Will you join thousands of others and start 2015 with a New Year’s resolution that will save lives and leave you feeling better than ever before?
Sign the pledge to embrace compassionate eating this January, and we’ll send you resources, recipes and tips every week to help you on your way.