My new blogger friend, Margaret, asked me why she should go vegan if she can get eggs and dairy from humanely raised sources. I thought I’d share my answer to her, and I’d love to hear what others of you have to say on this topic.
Why go vegan? Isn’t being a vegetarian enough?
Until two years ago, I didn’t understand why vegans didn’t eat eggs or dairy. Since cows and chickens aren’t killed to produce eggs and milk, what’s wrong with it? I’ve since learned that the majority of eggs and milk we consume come from factory farms where animals suffer horribly.
But is it still wrong to eat eggs and dairy if you take the suffering out of the equation? I believe that vegans are divided about this. Some would argue that it is still wrong because you are exploiting the animals and using them for your benefit. Others might concede that in this situation it is okay.
For myself, even if I could get eggs and dairy from animals that were humanely raised, I still wouldn’t consume them. For one, I don’t believe that eggs and dairy are healthful. They’re often promoted as wholesome foods, but research has shown that they contribute to diseases including cancer, heart disease and diabetes.
I’m also wary about the “humanely raised” labels farmers use. I’m sure that some farms that use such labels care about their animals and treat them well, but many do not. Humanely raised labels are often deceptive and don’t necessarily mean that animals are raised in humane conditions.
Birds raised for meat, for example, may be sold as “free-range” if they have government certified access to the outdoors. In order to fulfill this, a door needs to be open for only five minutes a day.
Why don’t I find a farm that I personally check out to make sure they treat their animals well and get my eggs and dairy from them? Other than the health reason I mentioned above, I’d be promoting eating eggs and dairy as well as farms that are deceptive about their humanely raised labels and I don’t want to do that.
I’ve been on an egg and dairy-free diet for more than two years and I love it! I admit that it was a challenge at first (especially giving up cheese), but once I learned how easy it was to replace these items with delicious alternatives it was a cinch. It’s not the life of denial I thought it was going to be at all. I love my vegan diet and lifestyle and this is what I want to promote.
“I think it is very important not to support an industry that uses the very important issue of nonhuman animal liberation by pretending to be humane.” – Annie, author of Vegan Grammie Annie blog
“Cows milk is meant for calves not young and adult humans! Mention drinking human breast milk to someone and it’s the grossest thing ever yet they’re happy to drink from a cows breast?” – Poppy, author of Bunny Kitchen blog
“Not only is the meat, dairy and egg industries one and the same, literally because spent cows are processed into ground beef, calves into veal and male chicks ground up into animal feed, but using cows for milk or chickens for eggs is illogical. Nonhuman animals are individuals not resources for humans to use as they please.” – Quote from the author of the blog, Vegan Social Justice
A few articles of interest on this topic
Photo courtesy of howtobecomegorgeous.com.