As many of you already know, Jane and I became vegan because of her family medical history (cancer, heart disease, diabetes....). We don't consider ourselves animal rights activists, although we believe that cruelty to animals (and humans) should have no place on this earth. Our focus in this blog is about food, and why it makes sense to eat vegan. Occasionally, something comes to our attention, like Earthlings, which needs to be shared. But for the most part, our focus is the vegan diet.
When we set out on our vegan journey we struggled a bit. The new eating regimen required more effort than the old, eating out posed all sorts of challenges, and we weren't sure how we would define veganism for ourselves. But we were up for that challenge. Our health was more important. We also both thought that if, over time, our bloodwork didn't support the great health benefits touted by the book that inspired us: Dr. Neal Barnard's Program for Reversing Diabetes (which promises more health benefits than improved diabetes, i.e. a reduction in LDL cholesterol and triglycerides), then we might look for a family farm where we could buy locally-made dairy products, because milk and cheese were the things we missed most.
Today, we stumbled across a blog post at All's Well That Ends Vegan:
Even "dairy cows" from organic and small farms end up at these slaughterhouses
No one seems to be talking about this much either. What an opportunity to tell the public that no matter what "treatment" the animals receive on the "farm", they all end up on the same trucks, for the same torturous journey on the road, to the same slaughterhouses, to the same horrific end. People who call themselves vegetarians, but eat dairy products, especially seem to be missing this point. Ugh.
And just in case you didn't already know, the trip to the slaughterhouse for those "happy cows" (and any other animal off to the slaughterhouse) is inhumane. Often, the animals are driven for hundreds of miles. They are exposed to the elements, crammed together, and not given any food or water on this trip [because who wants to deal with additional waste product?]. They're scared, uncomfortable, hungry and thirsty, and have no room to move around. To put that in perspective: we complain about flying!
So, for us, that was the end of the image of they idyllic family farm. I'm pretty sure that I can safely say Jane and I will be vegan for the rest of our lives. We might still step off the path and consume the occasional slice of real pizza (accompanied by a side order of guilt), because the rest of our lives will hopefully be a long time, and we LOVED pizza. But after having had our eyes opened to the atrocities we perpetuate as a species, we can never go back, we're vegans!