Veganism - Non-Animal lifestyle

Veganism – Non-Animal lifestyle

Posted on February 04, 2013

A vegetarian is generally referred to as someone who does not eat meat, but who does eat dairy products and eggs. A vegan however, does not eat or wear anything that has required using a animal. Therefore vegans, in addition to abstaining from meat, don’t eat milk or cheese, don’t eat eggs or honey, and don’t wear leather, wool or fur. Most vegans also avoid using products that have been tested on animals.
Most packages of food in Western countries have a list of ingredients, so it is very easy to check to see if a food contains any animal products.

There is a fantastic overview of veganism at the Vegan Society of NSW website.

Excuses For Leather

People have always used leather
People have certainly been using leather for at least 600,000 years but we’ve been having wars and murdering each other just as long. The antiquity of a practice is neither a guarantee of its morality nor a justification for it.

Leather is environmentally friendly

Leather is far from environmentally friendly; its production involves the use of lead, zinc, formaldehyde and cyanide-based products. On the other hand, the synthetic alternatives can be just as bad. Environmentally speaking there is little to choose between them. The big difference is that the leather is a product of the suffering and death of millions upon millions or animals. The ethical choice is clear. But at the same time, every effort must be made to protect the environment. It seems that the best choice, whenever possible, is canvas.

There is no substitute for leather

When people say there is no substitute for leather they are usually referring to their footwear. But there are many alternatives. Canvas, for example, is a natural and hard-wearing material that will see you through most (if not all) of the year. Then there are plastics (even leather shoes usually have plastic soles) and rubber. More recently, advances have been made with waterproof and breathable synthetics like Goretex and there are now companies specialising in using materials that have the appearance and qualities of real leather. Canvas shoes are widely available but some of the newer products are not. Their availability will only increase with demand, so seek them out.

What if I made use of an animal that was already dead?

It is not the eating of meat that is wrong but the killing of animals unnecessarily. As meat eating is unnecessary and generally requires the killing of an animal, it usually follows that meat eating is wrong. If, however, you managed to obtain some meat without killing an animal (or by paying someone else to kill it for you) – for example, by stumbling across an animal that was already dead – then there is no moral objection to your eating it. Recent archaeological evidence suggests that early humans were much more inclined toward scavenging than hunting.

The animal was killed for food not leather

The animal was killed for profit and every last part of it was sold to achieve that profit. It makes no difference which particular parts you buy, the money all goes the same way. The skin actually represents up to 50% of the animal’s ‘value’!!

Dairy is good for you … isn’t it?

“I see TV ads all the time telling me that I need to eat dairy three times a day or I’ll suffer from osteoporosis, and my teeth will fall out.”
Do you believe that? Do you think that these ads are run as a community service announcement? The fact is that these ads are run for one purpose only – to sell more milk. Sure, many people (including doctors) believe this. But this is far from the truth.
If this was truly the case, why is it that the countries with the highest dairy intake, have the highest incidence of osteoporosis? Why is it that the countries with the lowest intake of dairy have the lowest incidence of osteoporosis?
The consumption of animal proteins causes loss of calcium – and the best sources of animal protein are milk and meat. The body will absorb calcium much better from vegetable sources. Magnesium assists in the absorption of calcium. Good sources of magnesium include beans, green leafy vegetables, whole grains and orange juice. Non-dairy sources of calcium include green leafy vegetables, almonds, asparagus, broccoli, cabbage, oats, beans, parsley, sesame seeds and tofu.

Interesting dairy facts

■Milk is full of casein. Casein is the main ingredient in adhesives and glues. Have you ever wondered why you’re always full of mucous, and why your children are always crying with ear infections or asthma?
■Dairy cattle are fed antibiotics as a matter of course. Recently, an organisation in the USA called Consumer’s Union tested milk in the New York metropolitan area and found the presence of 52 different antibiotics in milk samples!!
■Milk contains hormones that are fed to cattle.
■In an interesting scientific curiosity, nowhere else in the animal kingdom do two species share a common hormone – except cows and humans share one called IGF-1. Excess IGF-1 has been shown to be an accelerant in the growth of cancer in the human body.
All these facts and much more scientific data can be found on the NotMilk website (www.notmilk,com). We would encourage everyone who cares about their health, who cares about their family, to go to this website and read through it thoroughly. If you are NOT convinced after reading this that dairy is not only unnecessary to good health, but actually highly detrimental to your health, then nothing will convince you.
Remember, we have nothing to gain by telling you this information. The dairy industry has everything to gain by hiding it.

Source: US website

“There’s no reason to drink cow’s milk at any time in your life. It was designed for calves, not humans, and we should all stop drinking it today.”-Dr. Frank A. OskiFormer Director of Pediatrics, Johns Hopkins University
It’s not hard on the cow is it? There are huge number of cows suffering horrendously from overly large udders caused by over-milking, along with many other issues.

What about eggs?

All egg production involves cruelty, one of the reasons for this is because half of all chicks are killed because they are males and hence don’t lay eggs, so economics dictate they don’t live.
Also, all laying hens, regardless of the system they are used in, still undergo the stress of transportation and slaughter when their egg laying declines.

Vegans choose not to eat eggs at all.

Eggs are not essential to a person’s well being, nor are they essential to use as an ingredient in cooking, there are many substitutes for eggs in recipes.
We will look at some of the health myths of eggs and provides alternatives for substituting eggs in recipes.

Eggs and Health

The average egg contains 213 milligrams of cholesterol, entirely in the yolk. This is the most concentrated cholesterol level in any common food.
According to Dr Neal Barnard, president of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine in the USA, some people mistakenly believe that since our bodies use cholesterol we need it in our diet. Barnard says that the human body makes plenty of cholesterol for use and there is no need to add any.Barnard says eating even one egg a day can be hazardous to your health, because it raises cholesterol levels substantially. Extra cholesterol added to the human body ends up causing plaque which clogs the arteries. The higher your cholesterol, the more susceptible one is to develop coronary artery disease.
“There is no ‘good cholestererol’ as far as foods are concerned. Simply put, cholesterol in food raises your cholesterol level.” (Food For Life: How the New Four Food Groups can save your life, Neal Barnard, Harmony, 1993).
About 70 percent of the calories in eggs are from fat, and a large portion of that fat is saturated.
Saturated fat is the worse kind of fat. Saturated fat stimulates the liver to make more cholesterol.
Eggs have also been identified as being among the common triggers of arthritis and migraine. In the medical journal, The Lancet of October 12, 1991, researchers gave the results of a carefully controlled study that used a menu designed to avoid foods that trigger arthritis pain. Among the foods the controlled group avoided were eggs and many patients in the control group improved dramatically with pain either diminished gone away, and joint stiffness was no longer the routine morning misery. The same benefit has been seen for migraines.
Eggs can pose other health threats as well. Because eggshells are fragile and porous, eggs are perfect hosts for salmonella. Salmonella poisoning symptoms (vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal cramps and fever) are very similar to the flu and many people are often unaware they have been infected.

Replacing Eggs

Eggs are often used in baked products because of their binding and leavening properties. But there are many good substitutes for eggs.

Try one of the following next time you prepare a recipe which calls for eggs:

If a recipe calls for just one or two eggs, you can often skip them. Add a couple of extra tablespoons of water for each egg eliminated to balance out the moisture content of the product.
Eggless egg replacers such as Egg-Like, are available in many health food stores and supermarkets (in either the health or cooking sections). Egg replacers are egg-free and are usually in a powdered form. Replace eggs in baking with a mixture of the powdered egg replacer and water according to package directions.
Use one heaped tablespoon of soy flour or cornstarch plus tofu tablespoons of water to replace each egg in a baked product.
Use a quarter of a cup of mashed silken tofu in place of an egg.
In muffins and cookies, 1/2 mashed banana can be used instead of an egg, though it will change the flavour of the recipe somewhat.

*Borrowed from the Vegan Society of NSW website.

© 2013 – UGA blog

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