Before transitioning to veganism, I did not know what being a vegan was or cared to know. Even as an activist in college, I was so conditioned by society to have excuses, I didn’t even know they were just from pure culture and marketing. Such as, “Well, it is already dead, what can I do? Might as well eat it,” or “Animals are not like us, they are not smart, they have no idea,” or “But I love the taste so much.” In all honesty the truth of the matter that I was so dearly missing did not come until after I was vegan. This is because I did not realize this, but animal products are addicting and we are taught to be addicts.
If you are already reading this and you currently consume animal products then you are probably already rolling your eyes. It is almost instinctual the way we are so reliant on animals that we don’t even care about the science of how or why. Why is this? Why do we, people who want free will, who want to be presented facts before making a decision seem to have our minds already made up for us?
The reason why seems outlandish but is the absolute truth. According to the North American Meat Institute “The meat and poultry industry’s economic ripple effect generates $864.2 billion annually to the U.S. economy, or roughly 6% of the entire GDP.” Anyone who has that kind of money is not just going to go away once people recognize the hypocrisy. The crazy thing is that they knew this too. They learned from the Tobacco industry to take power before any information got out that both industries harm human health. When it came out in the McGovern Report in the ’70s that meat and dairy were bad for people and that we were already consuming too much, the lobbyists for each industry swooped in, buried the report and took over to make sure nothing could shake their industry again.
Don’t think you are brainwashed? Let’s try a game I call fill in the blank!
- Happy Cows Come From (Blank).
- Beef: it’s what’s for (Blank).
- Yo quero (Blank).
- (Blank) Lovin’ It
- Eat More (Blank) – hint: written by statue cows on billboards across America
- If it doesn’t get all over the place, it doesn’t belong in your (Blank)
You all probably filled in all these blanks or got really close to it. Isn’t it crazy how after years even if we don’t eat at those places they are still in our minds? That is marketing for you. I have worked in the marketing industry since I was 17 years old and I can tell you that is exactly what they wanted. The company’s job is to make a profit, not to keep people healthy, or save lives, or do good. They often do campaigns like this to sell and then try to seem like they are helping the world but I guarantee if you read their business plan and mission statement it is not to “make the world a better place” it is to make x amount of dollars in x amount of years.
Some more fun facts of the truth about the Meat and Dairy industry is that we pay for them to exist with our tax dollars – vegan, meat eater, regardless. “The American government spends $38 billion each year to subsidize the meat and dairy industries, but only 0.04 percent of that (i.e., $17 million) each year to subsidize fruits and vegetables,” according to David Robinson Simon, a lawyer for sustainable practices in the United States. In his book Meatanomics, he describes in more detail how the meat industry is gladly making money from us, knows what it is doing to animals, and does not care about the wellfare of Americans.
Though this is not only an American problem, it is international now. All across the world people are upset with the practices of the Meat and Dairy industry destroying our rainforests such as the Amazon which is 70 percent gone due to cattle farms. Climate change is real and is effected by this, to learn more about climate change facts I suggest watching or going to Cowspiracy’s website. Either way there is no way you can call yourself an environmentalist after reading those facts if you consume animal products.
What these companies do to animals is shocking as well. Such as “free range” means nothing – they are still kept in crates out of the sun for their entire lives – Direct Action Everywhere has great live videos of animal rescues so you can see the conditions for yourself and it is even geotagged where they are. Once you ditch animal products, you realize that animals do have a “personhood” psychologically and are typically sweet to humans. You can see what we do to them in return. And you should stomach seeing it if you contribute to these cruelties because that is the only way you will realize looking into that animal’s eyes as it cries out for mercy, family, and love as it is brutally killed – that is murder. I used to think it was so stupid when people said meat is murder, but watch all of these videos and tell me if it is any different, that if a human was raised that way if you still felt that since it was less intelligent it deserved to die by your hand.
Lastly, it is absolutely unhealthy to consume Meat and Dairy and according to a Harvard study and is linked to heart disease. Also good go-tos for facts on why it is unhealthy is Kaiser Permanente, Nutrition Facts, and the China Study from Cornell University which also show that eating plant based is the healthiest. That is why the American Medical Association (AMA) has officially agreed to encourage all hospitals go to plant based eating.
There is an abundance of facts on all the sites mentioned here and I guarantee if you read all of the sites, and all of the documentation, and the sources you will come to the same conclusion that you have been marketed misinformation. That those marketing campaigns and what your parents told you when you were growing up was all caused by these industries and the power that they have.
So yes, after learning all of this, I found being vegan is quite the opposite of being crazy.