I Went Vegan For Many Reasons
by Carla Carrera
(Hemet, Ca. USA )
I recently decided to go to the "extreme" of being a vegan vs vegetarian, and for me the reason was simple; I love animals, and being a vegetarian doesn't prevent animal abuse. I also want to protect the environment, and the egg and dairy industry creates environmental hazards.
The more I read about what happens to the environment, the more I learned that farming is also changing the business world. Small farmers have been almost completely wiped out, which is another reason why I become vegan. Corporations have been taking over farming across most Westernized countries, which makes it nearly impossible for small farmers to compete with the prices they can offer grocery stores and restaurants.
I have a two-year old, and the more I read about milk, the more I wanted to stop eating dairy products. Dairy cows are injected with hormones and antibiotics, and their food is laced with pesticides. This is to decrease the amount of insects attracted to their feces, a major problem in industrial dairies. Residue from the hormones, antibiotics and pesticides are found in milk. These have been linked to cancer and compromised immune systems.
It sounds like you went through what many vegans did... you read one fact that disturbs you-- perhaps that animals are being abused on factory farms-- and as you read more about it, you realize there are other atrocities that you don't agree with either. Nothing happens in a vacuum, and especially not in huge corporations like the animal agriculture world.
I went vegan for many of the same reasons. For one, I couldn't stand the idea of eating animals and abhorred the abuse on the farms. Then I learned that eating animal byproducts like milk and eggs was really unhealthy for our bodies, and that the healthiest foods for us are plant foods. Then I learned that it's hard to truly call yourself an environmentalist if you still eat animal products. I also found out that people are starving across the world but we have enough grain to feed to cure world hunger, it's just that almost all of it goes to feed animals that feed wealthy people.
None of it added up, and for that reason, I decided to do no harm myself (or at least the smallest amount possible.)
Congratulations on going vegan and setting an excellent example for your son. I agree that the last thing you want to do is inadvertently feed him chemicals that cause cancer, and luckily there are so many other options for food for him.