Updated: Oct 12, 2020
The world we’re living in now provides us with literally anything we could think of. When it comes to food, anything you want to eat is merely a phone call away. However, despite the plethora of choices we are presented with every day, are you truly choosing wisely about what you are putting inside your mouth, most importantly, your body?
Little did you know, you could be a murderer without even realising it. Think about it, when you decide to have a piece of steak, a cow has to be killed because of your desire for that steak. Meanwhile, you actually have a choice to not to do so, to stop doing so, or even stop your friends from doing so.
By murderer, I mean an animal murderer. Animal lives are still lives, right?
If you have ever thought about going vegan, or have had doubts about going vegan, you are at the right place. Well, if you never ever think of doing so, then I’d like to ask you to read on since you’ve come to this point already, to see why and how you should go vegan; maybe you’ll be willing to try, even just for a meal or a day, which is already very important and a big step to help this planet earth that you’re living on.
Three basic, simple, and common reasons and advantages of going vegan:
Stop killing animals
“Animals are meant to be eaten. It’s their destiny.”
Picture this, when a steak is consumed, that means a slice of flesh had been cut off from a cow, and a cow had to be killed because for your want on a steak; imagine having a flesh cutting off from your arm, how scary does that sound to you? Some people say animals like cows are meant to be eaten, on the contrary, we were too meant to be eaten if we still lived in the jungle. We’ve always been a part of the animal kingdom, just because we have long evolved from chimpanzees, doesn’t mean that we’re not included in the animal category anymore. We are all part of nature as a whole.
Sadly, most unlucky cows are caught and forced to live in factory farms, then turn into a product for us. Not only are they treated inhumanely, but also unequally as an animal. They certainly don’t deserve to live such a cruel life.
In this anthropocentric world, we believe humans are more superior than non-humans, leading to a disparity between the two. The definition of what to kill is also defined by humans - mostly pigs, cows, and sheep. Humans seldom kill dogs or cats because they are seen as pets; we have this notion that they should be loved and kept at home. Why can cows be killed for food while dogs cannot? At the end of the day, whether it is a dog, pig, or a bird, they are all the same as “other animals” like elephants, lions, or meerkats, which should be all treated equally.
Try to take a step back and think about whether you consider your meat consumption is selfish. If it does make you wonder, meaning that you do find something wrong with it, then it’s time to make some changes on it, even if it’s bit by bit.
Overall health improvements
Having a plant-based/vegan diet not only makes you feel better but also healthier. Comparing fruits and veggies to meat, you already know which is healthier. Fruit and vegetables are known to contain different kinds of phytochemicals, such as antioxidant and anti-proliferative activities (Craig, 2009). The World Health Organisation and Food and Agriculture Organisation shows that a high intake of fruit and vegetables can help with cancer risk reduction while consuming whole grains is possible to reduce the risk of having colorectal cancer and is probable for type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Consuming nuts was also proven that it could reduce the risk of having cardiovascular disease. I’m not going to list out what type of veggies, fruits, nuts are better for certain organs or help with some certain disease. I’m not a nutritionist to tell you what to and what not to eat, but based on the research and studies, it definitely shows on the big picture that fruit, veggies, and nuts are beneficial to human bodies.
Besides, people always have this misconception of getting their energy. I’ve heard many of my male friends say they need to eat chickens and eggs to get proteins to get strong and big. As James Wilks explains in the movie, Game Changer, all protein actually originates in plants, while animals like cows, pigs, and chickens are just the middlemen, meaning that after they eat food like plants, fruits and grains, they process those proteins and vitamins to provide you the protein that you need. Then, why don’t we get the nutrients directly from plants, fruits and veggies ourselves?
Better for the environment
Humans kill for self-satisfaction, mainly to produce food. It does not seem to benefit the environment as a whole, or, to consider being productive for nature, but to damage the system of nature. Eating meat and having animal-based food have been normalised by humans decades ago, where we are so used to this notion of having the necessity to eat meat. But, this niche has to be changed.
As we are all part of nature, not eating meat, or cutting down on meat consumption, not only saves our animal friends, but also the planet earth – the place we are living in, in other words, our home.
Additionally, did you know ONE litre of dairy milk takes 628 litres of water to produce?
Cutting down on animal-based food like milk, which you might already have a carton or two in the fridge, will help save an immense amount of freshwater in the long term. Additionally, studies also show that agriculture takes up 70% of freshwater in the world.
JUST GIVE IT A TRY!
The above are some reminders for you on “why I should go vegan”. Don’t you reckon plant food does bring you more good than harm? And it is not as hard as you think to make the change if we take a step at a time.
You don’t have to go full-on vegan/vegetarian in the beginning. As simple as just starting with a plant-based diet, eating more plants than meat, changing a dish of meat to plants in a meal, or just cutting down on the usual portion of meat consumption in half, even as little as 1/10 of the usual portion, is a good start. The process of trying to cut down meat, maybe, once a week to once a day is highly appreciated, and these changes are important as these are the efforts you’re giving to help change this world a better and loving place by not eating our animal friends. Just keep in mind of the simple effects and reasons on why you should eat less meat. You don’t have to be a “professional” vegan, to know all their nutrients or how every single meat consumption leaves an impact on the earth, no; just go “part-time”, like me! While you’re being part-time vegan, you will earn a lot of experiences and mind-blowing knowledge in time which will push you to go further, and it will make you find the fun and meaning in doing so, AND A LOT OF EXPLORING!
REMEMBER! Small steps matter! Your will to change and to try is appreciated and important. You’ll slowly realise these steps will lead you so far, where you’re not only helping to make this planet earth a better place, but also your health!
How to cut down on meat easily – it’s all about exploring
Cook for yourself and your loved ones
Who doesn’t want to save some money right, eating more plants than meat is one of the tricks. You’re welcome.
When you cook for yourself, you get to explore replacements and try out a lot of interesting vegan recipes. Since each plant tastes different, you get to open up more doors for you to mix and match. I used to love salmon and avocado sushi rolls, and I reckon it’s not that common in Hong Kong. I came across this vegan salmon and avocado sushi roll recipe one day, and decided to give it a try. The salmon is replaced by tomato. At first, I did think it’s going to taste weird, but it turned out to be as good as the non-vegan version. Don’t forget tomatoes are cheaper than salmon too, but you have the same flavour. My aunt had a few bites and could NOT tell it’s tomato until I told her about it. Take your family to explore with you, and there you go, you’ve helped your family cut down on meat in a meal already.
Most importantly, Your wallet is happy, your health is happy, and the earth is happy, too!
If you don’t like cooking and have no one to cook for you, don’t be sad, go out and explore what’s good out there. I’m sure you’ll find the joy in it. If you’re one of those who can’t live without meat, let me tell you, those vegan restaurants will definitely surprise you because you won’t be able to tell the difference between animals and mock meat. In recent years, there’s an increasing amount of vegan restaurants in Hong Kong, giving not only vegans but people in general more choices to experience vegan food.
When you’re eating out, go explore a vegan restaurant, or you can still go to your favourite/ go-to restaurant, just cut down the meat portion that you’re ordering if you can and have a choice, maybe try something new and different that contains more plants. Or, make it a routine like following Green Monday. Then, do it more often once you’re used to it and comfortable with it.
Obviously, we have come so far on using machines to produce meat for humans, which is one of the things that humans are proud of. It is now very difficult to turn a written page back to white, but what we can do is to use our brand-new page properly. We can take a small step at a time. Eat your veggies, instead of eating your animal friends.
If we, humans, have the power to catch and kill animals, we also have the power to change our minds and actions to something better. It is impossible to turn this world back to its original place, but we can take a step at a time such as changing our diets, in order to turn this world into a better and loving place. Cutting down on meat consumption bit by bit will eventually lead to a big change.
The world needs more love among all living things.
Written by Cissy So
How Eating More Plants Can Save Lives and the Planet: https://www.pcrm.org/news/blog/how-eating-more-plants-can-save-lives-and-planet
Pancreatic cancer and intake of meat, fish, eggs and fats: https://cancerres.aacrjournals.org/content/65/9_Supplement/1369.3
Health effects of vegan diets: https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/89/5/1627S/4596952
Antioxidant and antiproliferative activities of common fruits: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12452674/