What is "Good Food"?
"Veganism is a way of living that seeks to exclude, as far as possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing and any other purpose."
The Vegan Society
For the Animals
Animals are not ours to use; they have interests in living and they have a capacity to suffer much like we do. Speciesism: a form of prejudice that, just like racism, sexism and ageism, discriminates against other animals on the basis that they are not human. There is no reason we should give loving devotion to the dogs and cats that we share our homes with, while having no qualms about eating pigs or chickens.
More than 150 billion land and aquatic animals are killed each year, for human consumption. That’s about 4,700 animals every second. The vast scale of this industry is made possible by highly intensive and often mechanized treatment of animals. In practice this means cramped conditions, limited or no sunlight, branding, dehorning, castration, debeaking and other cruel treatments are standard.
Animals farmed for their secretions, still consumed by vegetarians, also suffer immensely during their lifetimes and when their production declines, they are sent to the same slaughterhouses as those animals farmed for meat. The meat, dairy, and egg industries are inextricably linked, and it is not possible to support one without buying into the others.
We don’t need to eat animals: the only reasons we do so are in the name of culture, taste and tradition. Every vegan can save over 100 animals per year: there is simply no easier way to help so many animals and prevent so much suffering than by choosing plant-based foods over animal flesh and secretions.
"The animals of the world exist for their own reasons. They were not made for humans any more than black people were made for white, or women created for men." ~ Alice Walker
For the Environment
Animal agriculture is the single most destructive industry on the planet. It is responsible for more green house gas emissions, water pollution, rain forest destruction than any other industry and is the leading cause of species loss.
More than just destructive, it is wasteful, consuming a third of our water (one hamburger requires 3000 litres of water to produce), huge tracts of land (livestock cover nearly half the earth's surface) and wasting crops that could be used to feed the hungry. It takes about 7kg of grain to produce just 1kg of beef.
A vegan diet cuts your carbon footprint in half, your water usage by 92% and you land usage by 94%, compared to that of a meat eater. Nothing else you can do has as big an impact on the environment.
"Nothing will benefit human health and increase chances of survival for life on earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet." ~ Albert Einstein
For our Health
Eating meat doesn't just hurt animals and the environment—it hurts people too. According to the American Dietetic Association, plant-based diets are much less likely to result in heart disease, some types of cancer, Type 2 diabetes, and even some auto-immune diseases. Vegans can get all the nutrients they need to be healthy (for example, plant protein, fibre, and minerals) without all the unhealthy components of animal products such as cholesterol and saturated animal fat. Many athletes choose a vegan diet specifically for its performance benefits, and on average, vegans are about 10 kg slimmer than meat-eaters.
Note: It is vitally important for vegans to ensure that their Vitamin B12 intake is sufficient. This may require supplementing.
"A mind of the calibre of mine cannot derive its nutriment from cows." ~ George Bernard Shaw