Why Vegan

Introduction: What’s YOUR Motivation?

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The reasons more and more people are choosing to live vegan are wide and varied. Some want to be kind to animals and refuse to take part in hurting or killing them. Some are environmentally conscious. Some care about human rights, food justice, and world hunger. Some are concerned about their own personal health. And for more and more people, ALL of these things matter.

There is something positive and wonderful about living vegan. For many, there is happiness and sense of completeness that comes with living our lives aligned with our values.

Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.

– Mohandas Gandhi

Explore this section to learn more about how your consumer choices impact the world around you. The more you know, the more motivated you’ll become to live vegan and the easier it will be to stay on the vegan path.

+ About This Section.

You may have noticed that LiveVegan.org is designed specifically for those interested in HOW to live vegan – overcoming challenges and living joyfully on the vegan path.  “Why Live Vegan” is the section dedicated specifically to WHY.   Some information is similar to what you’ll find on many different vegan advocacy or animal rights sites.  We offer it here so that you can have easy access to the information.  We also link to outside sources in “Explore Your Vegan World.”

We’ve also included information not as widely available elsewhere.  Our visual representation of the core issue is an example.  You’ll also find here information about human rights that sometimes gets overshadowed by “human health” when looking at how animal agribusiness affects people.

And then, there is LiveVegan.org’s attention to animals as individuals.  For many of us now on the vegan path, making connections with individual animals changed our lives… and saved countless others. We know the numbers of lives being taken by animal agribusiness can seem overwhelming.  Getting to know the life stories of individual animals may help some people put their individual choices in perspective.  Your choices matter and have a direct impact on those with whom you share the world.

This section contains descriptions that may be emotionally painful to read.  Rather than surprising readers with graphic images, we offer those images in opt-in slideshows.  Graphic images, videos, etc. are sometimes important to relay information.  But once you “get it” and take steps to stop the horrors, we recognize that some of you may not want to expose yourself to the images again and again.  And we do hope you’ll explore LiveVegan.org again and again.

Thank you for opening your hearts and minds to consider the information presented here.  Once you’ve explored WHY, please have fun exploring the rest of the site, learning HOW simple choices can build a better life for you… and a better world for everyone. 

+ Understanding the Issues: Core Problem.

Here, as on many vegan advocacy sites, you’ll find we discuss interconnected issues impacted by our food choices – animals, the planet, food justice and human health.  While ALL of these issues are vitally important, it may be helpful to remember that the core problem is animal agribusiness – the keeping and killing of animals for human consumption.


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+ Supply and Demand.

Here at LiveVegan.org, we’re focusing on a very specific reason for the existence of animal agribusiness -- that of supply and demand.  Animal agribusiness does not exist by itself – it exists because consumers continue to pay for it.  Quite simply: The fewer animal products people consume, the fewer animals will suffer and die.

Beyond helping countless animals, you can help people caught in the vicious cycle, and you can help ease the burden on the planet – all simply by removing your support of animal agribusiness.  Affect positive change every day, at every meal by purchasing and consuming plant-based products instead of animal products.


+ Every Dollar is a Vote.

Each of your consumer choices is a vote for the kind of world you want to see.  Each of your choices in the past helped build the world of today.  And each of your choices from this moment forward will help build the world of tomorrow.  If you make consumer choices that go against our own values, you will continue to build an unbearable world unaligned with those values.  But when you make consumer choices aligned with your values of justice and compassion, you help build a world of justice and compassion. 

With each vegan choice, you stand up against violence.  You stand up for the meekest among us and the most oppressed.  You stand up for farmed animals and wildlife, for the hungry and starving, for workers, for farmers, for those on the other side of the planet and for those you’ll never meet.  With each vegan choice, you cast a vote for a better world.

+ Why Focus on Food?

The purpose at LiveVegan.org is to encouraging conscious consumer choices so that we can put an end to the use and killing of animals for food.  Over 99% of animals killed in the U.S. are killed for human consumption.  With the abundance of plant-based foods, this horror and killing is completely unnecessary.  And the results are devastating for society, for the environment, and for the animals themselves. 

The vegan ethic extends also to not using animals for fashion or entertainment, but our focus here is food.  We invite you to explore the vegan ethic by expanding your circle of justice and compassion to include all living beings with each of your consumer choices.  See Beyond Diet to learn more.

Why Live Vegan Overview.

Vegan choices are some of the most far-reaching positive, practical, and ethical choices we can make. Here’s a quick summary of the more detailed sections of Why Vegan:

+ For the Animals.

animals sanctuary cow veganAlmost everyone agrees that unnecessarily hurting and killing animals is morally wrong.  And it is clear that eating animals and animal products are not necessary for human health and happiness.  Still people continue to hurt and kill animals to eat them and their bodily excretions.  There is a disconnection between consumer choices and the impact of those choices.

Animals are being raped, confined, mutilated, and killed due to human habit pushed by a profiting industry. Even if we try to improve the treatment of the animals we use, we are still using them – using up living, feeling beings for our own desires.  And no matter the size of the animal operation, large or small, there are still inherent cruelties and unjust exploitation.  Animal agribusiness, regardless of size, involves controlled breeding, breaking up animal family structures, and the ultimate cruelty of taking lives. Learn more in Why Vegan > Animals > Details.






+ For the Planet.

earth trees bluesunOne of the most impactful things we can do as individuals to help save the planet is to live vegan.  Animal agribusiness is a leading threat to life on earth including being a leading contributor to climate change, species extinction, water pollution, water usage, deforestation (including cutting down rain forests), and the leader in publicly funded wildlife killing and displacement of wild animals due to wilderness destruction. Learn more in Why Vegan > Planet > Details.

+ For People.

iStock 000005252441SmallFor a Better Society: Actively ignoring the pain and suffering of animals, the plight of other people, and the destruction of the planet by making unthinking and uncaring consumer choices is taking its toll on individuals and on society.  Animals are bred specifically to be exploited and killed.  Animal farmers and slaughterhouse workers are paid to exploit and kill them.  Businesses are making a profit exploiting and killing.  Consumers of animal products pay for all of this, yet most consumers choose to ignore their role in the problems.  Supporting animal agribusiness perpetuates violence.  Vegan choices help end the cycle of violence. 

For Human Rights and Food Justice: When we make vegan choices, we stand up for indigenous people, for workers’ rights, for farmers who plant food for people, and we stand up against industrial classism and industrial racism. 

Food justice means everyone having access to healthy and sustaining food. In a world of food for profit, the more expensive (often resource-intensive foods) are reserved for those who can afford it. This is true on a global level.  Poor nations with millions of people going hungry still export edible grain to rich nations.  The rich nations in turn feed the grain to farmed animals, waste even more resources, and then kill and eat the animals.  Injustice happens on a national and community level as well. For example, it’s easy to find junk food in the inner city, but it’s difficult to find an organic apple.  If the healthy choices are being taken from people or are not available to people, this is food injustice.

Animal agribusiness – breeding, keeping, and killing animals for food – uses an enormous amount of resources. It is depleting the earth, cutting down trees, turning the farmable soil into deserts, and depleting our water.  How will future generations suffer because of our choices?  When we use more than our share, we are taking from others.  This goes against fundamental human rights.  

For Human Health: The number one causes of disease and early death in the U.S., cancer and heart disease, are conclusively linked to consuming animal products.  

Learn more in Why Vegan > People > Details.

For the Animals.

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The lives of animals are entirely in your hands. Your food choices help determine if they live or if they die. When you make vegan choices, you stand up for the meekest among us. You stand up for farmed animals and refuse to pay anyone to harm them on your behalf. You stand up for aquatic animals torn away from their homes, suffocated, or drowned. You stand up for millions of wild animals who are displaced and brutally killed to make room for farmed animals and profits; and you help rebuild the wild lands they call home. 

Animals Are Individuals (Huge Numbers and What They Mean)

The number of lives taken by the animal agribusiness industry is enormous.  The numbers can be overwhelming and even unimaginable. We’re not trying to overwhelm you; we offer statistics to give those who are interested some idea of the enormity of the problem.

Please remember that the staggering numbers are made up of INDIVIDUALS, each with his or her own personality, each with a deep desire to live, each afraid to die, each capable of experiencing pain and fear.  Each animal is also capable of playfulness and joy – if only we’d give them the chance to live their lives.

Knowing that a billion people are going hungry and millions are starving to death because we’re feeding farmed animals rather than feeding people, that hundreds of millions of acres of wild lands are being destroyed for animal agribusiness, or that billions of animals are treated as commodities and slaughtered as food – knowing the numbers doesn’t make any of these things any more or less morally wrong; they are simply wrong.

So, it’s not the numbers, but the very existence of these atrocities in ANY number that begs each of us to examine how our own consumer choices affect not only our own lives, but the lives of countless others.  You have the power, at every meal and with every consumer choice, to align your choices with your own values of kindness, justice, and compassion for other people, for the planet, and for animals.

For the Animals > Chickens

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When you live vegan, you choose to spare more than 27 chickens EVERY YEAR a horrible life and death.  When you say “No” to chickens’ flesh and eggs, you say “No!” to cruelty and killing.  You say “Yes” to compassion, “Yes” to justice, and “Yes” to a better way.

Getting to Know Chickens. Chickens are inquisitive, social animals. When given the opportunity, chickens like to spend their days together, scratching for food, cleaning themselves with dust baths, roosting in trees, and lying in the sun. 

Mother hens cluck to their unhatched babies who chirp back to their mothers and to one another from within their shells. The intelligence and adaptability of chickens make them particularly vulnerable to factory farming because, unlike most birds, baby chickens can survive without their mothers and without the comfort of a nest—they come out of the shell eager to explore and ready to experience life. 

animals sanctuary chickens sanctuary poplarsprings rachelRachel.  Rachel (pictured) was rescued from an egg-laying facility in Ohio where she and thousands of other chickens were being kept and used.  After a tornado tore the barns apart, rescuers were able to save many of the chickens trapped inside.  Rachel was one of the lucky ones.  She now spends her days walking around the sanctuary, dust bathing, and basking in the sun.  Her best friend is Nicholas the rooster who she likes to sleep next to on a perch every night.  Rachel favorite treats are grapes and rice. (Photo/Story courtesy of Poplar Springs Animal Sanctuary.)

The Use of Chickens by Animal Agribusiness

+ Each year in the U.S. alone, over NINE BILLION chickens...

Each year in the U.S. alone, over NINE BILLION chickens are bred and killed for their flesh.  Individual annual consumption of chicken flesh in the U.S. has jumped from an average 20 pounds per person in 1950 to over 80 pounds per person in 2010.

While most people like to think that the animals they are eating didn’t suffer (let alone die), over 99% of chickens raised for their flesh are "factory farmed" -- crowded into large sheds that hold as many as 30,000 birds, with each bird allotted less than one square foot of space.

+ Chickens on small-scale farms.

animals barn redRegardless of where they are bred and raised, whether on enormous factory farms or on small scale farms, chickens raised for their flesh live unnatural and shortened lives.  Commercially bred and kept chickens have been selectively bred to reach a profitable slaughter weight at a mere seven weeks of age.  Because they are bred to gain weight quickly, many chickens are crippled by their own weight and are unable to walk, to get to food and water, or to defend themselves from the other birds who trample them on the way to the feeding station.

Professor John Webster of the University of Bristol’s School of Veterinary Science says, “Broilers… are in chronic pain for the last 20% of their lives” (1).  To avoid lameness in the parent chickens used for continuous breeding in the “meat”/chickens’ flesh industry, their weight is restricted by severely limiting their access to food (2).

Over time, the buildings in which chickens are confined can fill with a poisonous stench of hydrogen sulfide, ammonia, and methane from the build-up of feces and urine. At just seven weeks, these often physically broken babies then panic as they are roughly handled, caged, and transported to slaughter facilities where they suffer the final ultimate cruelty of having their lives needlessly taken from them. 

+ What happens at the slaughterhouse?

animals slaughter slaughterhooksThere are no laws that govern the treatment of chickens while on farms, while being transported, or while being slaughtered. Chickens bred for their flesh and egg-laying chickens are shipped to slaughterhouses in all weather conditions without food or water. Millions of animals die every year as a result of heat exhaustion, freezing, or accidents during transport.

At a typical slaughterhouse, the panicked, squawking birds are hung upside-down in shackles by their weak and often crippled legs.  In an attempt to stop their struggling, their heads are dragged through an electrified "stunning tank” or metal slope (wires) which immobilizes the birds but does not kill them.  The industry wants them to be alive during slaughter because a beating heart aids the expulsion of blood from the severed neck arteries.

Many of the terrified birds, lifting their heads while struggling for their lives, dodge electrocution and are completely conscious when their throats are slashed. If the knife fails to properly slash the birds' throats, they are boiled alive in tanks of hot water used to facilitate feather removal. This happens so commonly that the industry coined a term for those boiled alive: “redskins.”

More information about what happens at slaughterhouses may be found here: http://www.veganoutreach.org/whyvegan/slaughterhouses.html

+ Egg industry.

animals chickens babychick eggChickens bred and kept for egg production suffer in even worse conditions for even longer periods of time than chickens bred and killed for their flesh.

For virtually every chicken born into the egg industry, whether they will live their short lives in factory farms or on small scale farms, the horror starts at the hatcheries.  Half of all chicks are born male.  Male chicks are of no economic value to the egg industry – they don’t lay eggs; and they don’t grow fast enough or large enough to be profitable to the “meat”/flesh industry.  They are economically “worthless.” 

So, upon hatching, male and female chicks are separated on conveyer belts. The baby males are tossed and piled alive into plastic bags, garbage cans, or dumpsters still struggling, wondering, and peeping for their mothers.  They are either left to suffocate, or dehydrate and die in the trash or they are dumped alive, kicking, and peeping into grinding machines to be used as farmed animal feed or fertilizer.  

At the hatchery, the female baby chickens (regardless of whether they are destined to be “cage-free” or to live their entire lives in cages), are prepared for the industry standard -- overcrowding and stress. Overcrowded and stressed chickens would peck and scratch each other to death.  And the overwhelming stress can cause hens to peck themselves.  The industry’s solution is to sear off the ends of the baby chicks’ sensitive beaks with a hot wire, blade, or laser.  The industry calls this de-beaking “trimming,” but it is not as benign as it sounds.  Chickens’ beaks are highly sensitive; it is how they determine their food sources after all.  Imagine having the front of your face “trimmed” off.

Caged hens are crammed five to seven birds into wire mesh cages stacked one on top of another. The hens live in physical and psychological misery, unable to turn stretch, flap their wings, or preen their entire lives. The birds are forced to stand on a sloping wire-mesh floor, which cuts and deforms their sensitive feet, while the wire-mesh walls rub off their feathers and bruise their skin. Chickens often get their feet stuck, are defecated on by the chickens constrained above them, and often live with the rotting corpses of chickens who have died in the horrifying conditions.

+ "Cage-free” facilities.

LV slideshow animals chickens cagefreeEven in commercial "cage-free" facilities, hens are typically confined in large windowless, stench-filled, cacophonous sheds with tens of thousands of other hens -- never seeing sunshine, never feeling a breeze, never touching the earth.  They still had their beaks seared off. See the Humane Facts to learn the definitions for and truth behind “cage-free,” “free-range,” “organic,” and other methods of production mistaken by well-meaning consumers to mean “humane.”

As one “cage-free” egg profiteer in Colorado put it, “The only time the ‘girls’ are exposed to daylight is when they are upside down on their way to the (slaughter) trucks” (3).

After an average of 18 months (hens naturally can live up 8-10 years), these young hens are used up or “spent” (no longer laying eggs fast enough to be profitable). They are often transported over long distances with no food or water in all weather extremes to slaughter plants where “caged” hens are killed alongside “cage-free” hens.  When transport and slaughter cuts too deeply into profits, “spent” hens may instead be tossed and crowded into onsite or portable gas chambers, killed, and disposed of.

Over 200 million female chickens are slaughtered each year after they are used up by the egg industry. And over 200 million male chicks are suffocated or ground up alive on their first day of life because they are economically worthless to the egg industry. 


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+ Backyard chickens kept for their eggs.

Keeping backyard egg-laying chickens has become more popular as more people want to move away from cruel and unhealthy commercial eggs, but haven't yet learned that they can easily live vegan. There are many ethical reasons for not jumping on this particular bandwagon:

Q: "It's not hurting the chickens, so why not eat eggs from backyard (even rescued) chickens?"

A: There are at least a few reasons why people choose not to consume eggs taken from backyard chickens. I’m not presenting these as reasons why *you* should not consume the eggs, but if the reasons resonate with you, you might reconsider how your choices align with your own values.

Where did the chickens come from? Almost all egg-laying chickens come from breeders or hatcheries. The breeding of animals for human use feels unethical to some people. This is especially true when breeding is forced (research “artificial insemination” to learn about some of the most barbaric cruelties inflicted upon animals by humans).

What happened to the males? Backyard hens are female. Males, in both the backyard chicken industry and in commercial egg profiteering, are considered worthless. They do not grow flesh fast enough for the chicken flesh industry and they won’t lay eggs. Once their sex is determined (usually at a day or two old), the males are discarded often just by being thrown away into dumpsters to suffocate and die, peeping; or thrown alive into grinders to be used for fertilizer and animal feed. There are obvious ethical considerations for people who care about animals.

Is this natural? Egg-laying chickens have been steadily selectively bred for decades to lay an unnatural number of eggs. This includes backyard chickens. The breeding industry has its own methods of cruelty including keeping breeders captive, killing most of the males immediately (don’t need as many roosters to breed), killing all the chickens when they are no longer profitable/productive. This relates to the ethics of breeding and use of animals for human habit and profit.

The health of the chickens. Two main issues here: a) Because the chickens lay an unnatural number of eggs, they tend to become calcium deficient and become ill. Some chickens will eat their own eggs (the shells mostly) to replace the lost minerals. But egg-laying chickens become nutritionally deficient relatively quickly. This leads to: b) Will the backyard chickens be taken care of by animal health professionals when they are ill? It is unlikely that most backyard chicken enthusiasts think this through or are willing to go through the expense of veterinary care. This is of course not true for everyone – it’s just an observation of the chickens in my neighborhood and the chickens I’ve seen abandoned at humane societies where they are usually “euthanized,” i.e. killed (especially roosters who are often not permitted by many municipalities because of noise).

The ultimate death of the chickens? How will old or sick chickens be cared for and their bodies deposed? Many backyard chicken enthusiasts are left with the emotionally difficult and ethically challenged task of killing. It may be rationalized as kindness and euthanasia at this point in the chicken’s life, but she was brought into the world by humans to be used by humans who will kill her when they are done with her. Some have ethical concerns about this.

The environment. Chickens eat, produce waste litter and need to be kept warm. On average, according to the USDA, chickens each produce 20-30 pounds of litter per year. Say we have a city with a housing density of 100,000 homes. Everybody has 6 chickens. 100,000 x 6 x 20 pounds = 12 million pounds of litter a year. Where does it all go in urban environments? This may sound ridiculous if there are only a few dozen households who keep chickens, but the intention of the enthusiasts is that everyone should get their eggs this way. Chickens also eat grain which must be grown somewhere – this is especially important in northern climates where they must also be kept warm. Grain and energy used for no other reason than to provide a food that is not necessary, but rather a desire. This points to an ethical question of the use of resources, urban health, waste management, etc.

Some vegans refuse to eat eggs from backyard chickens because it perpetuates the idea that the use/exploitation of non-human animals is acceptable. Eating eggs says that it is OK to eat eggs, it is OK to keep chickens, it is OK to use others for our desires. This is something many vegans would like to change – away from a paradigm of using and exploitation to one of cooperation, collaboration, and mutual respect.

Slideshow > Animal Agribusiness Tour

  • LV slideshow animals chickens viewerdiscretion
  • LV slideshow animals chickens babychicks 447x335
    Virtually all are born in hatcheries inside giant incubators aside thousands of other chicks. A few days later they are crammed into shipping crates and sent to farms. They will never meet their parents.
  • LV slideshow animals chickens babychicksdying
    Male chicks are considered worthless to the egg industry. LIve baby males are tossed into grinders or piled into dumpsters to die - still struggling, wondering, and peeping.
  • LV slideshow animals chickens debeaking chickens
    The industry’s solution to pecking is to sear off sensitive beaks.  Chickens’ beaks are highly sensitive; it is how they determine their food sources. Photos: UPC-online.org.
  • LV slideshow animals chickens sufferingnowater cok
    Chickens have been selectively bred in the flesh industry to grow to full weight in just 45 days. The excessively fast growth causes many chickens to collapse under their own weight, unable to reach water.
  • LV slideshow animals chickens eggs uncaged AllCreatures
    Even in commercial “cage-free” facilities, hens are typically confined in large windowless, stench-filled, cacophonous sheds with tens of thousands of other hens. Photo: All-Creatures.org.
  • LV slideshow animals chickens caged
    Caged hens are crammed 5-7 birds into wire cages stacked one on top of another. The hens are unable to flap their wings, or preen their entire lives. Photo courtesy of Farm Sanctuary.
  • LV slideshow animals chickens slaughter
    Chickens (killed for flesh) are slaughtered at about 45 days. Egg-laying hens are killed at about 18 months when no longer profitable. "Spent” hens may instead be crowded into onsite gas chambers, killed, and disposed of. Photo: Farm Sanctuary.
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For the Animals > Turkeys, Ducks, Geese, and Other Birds

animals turkeys turkeyfaceTurkeys have families, enjoy having their feathers stroked, and even enjoy listening to (and sometimes singing to!) music. In nature, turkeys can fly 55 miles per hour, run 25 miles per hour, and are among the most protective mothers in the world.

Gobbles. Gobbles is an adult domestic turkey who was found with two other turkeys, Gertrude and Eliot, in a dirty, cramped cage behind a restaurant in Washington, DC.  The owner of the restaurant said he was “fattening them up” for Thanksgiving.  Luckily for our turkey friends, it is illegal to keep livestock in the city.  Now Gobbles, Gertrude, and Eliot can walk around in soft grass, sunning themselves, and will be able to live out their lives at the sanctuary. (Story courtesy of Poplar Springs Animal Sanctuary.)

The Use of Turkeys by Animal Agribusiness

+ Each year in the U.S. alone, over 300 million turkeys...

Over 300 million turkeys are killed for their flesh every year in the U.S. alone. Turkeys have been selectively bred for their enormous "fleshy" breasts.  As a result, it is now impossible for domesticated turkeys to mate naturally.  Virtually every turkey commercially raised and killed for human consumption in the U.S. was a product of rape via artificial insemination. Because turkeys cannot reproduce naturally, humans use their hands and collection tools to painfully rape male turkeys to collect their semen, and then rape female turkeys to artificially inseminate them.

Turkeys raised for human consumption spend their entire lives confined to animal farms with no federal legal protection against cruelty or neglect.  They will live unnatural and abbreviated lives. These inquisitive birds are hatched in large incubators and never feel the warmth and protection of their mothers’ wings or feel the warmth of a nest.

To keep the birds from killing one another in stressful, crowded conditions, parts of the turkeys' toes and beaks are cut off, as are the males' snoods. All this is done without any numbing or pain relievers.

Millions of turkeys don't make it past the first few weeks of life before succumbing to "starve-out," a stress-induced condition that causes young birds to simply stop eating.

Turkeys are selectively bred, sometimes drugged, and sometimes genetically manipulated to grow as large as possible as quickly as possible to increase profits. Their unnaturally large size cause many turkeys to die from organ failure or heart attacks before they are even 6 months old (the age at which turkeys are typically slaughtered).

+ What happens at the slaughterhouse?

The slaughter of turkeys is similar to the slaughter of chickens and other birds. They are crammed into open-sided trucks and are transported without food or water in even the most extreme weather conditions without food or water, to a slaughterhouse where hundreds or even thousands of terrified and squawking turkeys struggle and call out in fear while being hung upside down, electrocuted, killed, and dismembered.

+ Turkeys on small-scale farms.

The very small minority of turkeys who live their lives on small scale farms usually come from the same hatcheries that use brutal artificial insemination practices on their parents.  Their lives are still ended prematurely and just like their brothers and sisters on factory farms, a “free-range” turkey struggles desperately not to be killed.

This series of photos in Esquire describes the process of butchering turkeys at home. From the author, I would like to say something nice about the killing a turkey. I would like to say that dragging the knife across the bird's throat is an elegant, silky motion. But that is not true. The bird dies loud and messy. It gurgles and twists and makes it known it wants it all to stop.”

For the Animals > Ducks and Geese

animals geese duck babypettingDucks and geese are sometimes overlooked when discussing cruelty to farmed animals, but these sensitive and very social birds are severely abused by the “meat”/flesh, foie gras, and down (feathers) industries. Ducks and geese are gregarious, social animals.  They fly and swim in formations that reduce air and water resistance for the birds in the rear. Ducks live in couples or groups, and pairs of geese mate for life, mourning for lengthy periods when their partners die.

animals sanctuary turkeysbirds sanctuary pasados gooseegooseandgladysGoose E. Goose and Gracie. Goose E. Goose (pictured right, standing left) and his girlfriend Gladys (pictured right, standing right) are a happy little couple who are inseparable. They are beautiful white geese who will greet you with a loud hello!  Goose E. Goose was rescued before he was "live plucked."  This is an excruciatingly painful form of abuse which is often conducted in factories to produce down comforters and pillows.  After he was brought to Pasado's, staff returned to the area and picked up Gladys so the two could be together again. (Photo/story courtesy of Pasado's Safe Haven.)

The Use of Ducks and Geese by Animal Agribusiness

+ Ducks and geese used for their flesh.

Ducks and geese raised for their flesh typically spend their entire lives crammed in dirty, dark sheds, where they suffer from injury and disease.  They are deprived of everything that is natural and important to them like water to bathe in, fresh air, and sunshine. Each year in the U.S., early 30 million ducks and geese die to be eaten by humans.

+ Ducks and geese used for their down feathers.

animals geese featherDucks and geese raised for down feathers (for pillows, jackets, beds, etc.) are PLUCKED ALIVE three to four times in their tortured lifetimes.  These gentle, loving animals have their legs tied behind them, their beaks clasped shut, and then have their feathers torn out of their bodies in clumps causing tremendous pain and trauma. For more details, visit http://www.upc-online.org/ducks/.

+ What happens at the slaughterhouse?

As with chickens, no laws regulate the slaughter of ducks, geese, or turkeys.  At the slaughterhouse, many birds survive the electric stunning process and are still conscious as their throats are slashed. Those who struggle and miss the knife are boiled alive and dragged through defeathering machines.

+ Ducks and geese used for foie gras (fatty liver).

Ducks and geese raised for foie gras (fatty liver) have pipes or tubes violently and painfully shoved down their throats three times daily to force 4 pounds of grain into their stomachs. The forced over-feeding causes the animals to form a diseased "fatty liver" that some diners consider a delicacy. When their diseased livers swell to up to 10 times their normal size, the birds are sent to slaughter.


Slideshow > Animal Agribusiness Tour
 

  • LV slideshow animals turkeys viewerdiscretion
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    Every day, thousands of peeping newborn turkeys are packaged for shipment from hatcheries. Photo: Compassion Over Killing.
  • animals turkeys artificialinsemination farmsanctuary
    Selectively bred for their large breasts, turkeys are unable to mate naturally. They are forcibly bred - males have their semen forcibly pressed out of them; and females are forcibly inseminated. Photo: Farm Sanctuary.
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    Due to the stressful conditions they will face, baby turkeys have the upper part of their beaks seared off to reduce injuries caused by pecking one another. Photo: Farm Sanctuary.
  • animals ducks factoryfarm vivausa
    Ducks raised for their flesh endure months in overcrowded conditions without water to swim in (their natural instinct is to bathe and swim).  Photo: VIVA USA.
  • animals ducks foiegras
    Ducks and geese are kept in captivity for breeding and for forced feeding. Forced feeding results in an enlarged fatty liver also known as foie gras. Photo: UPC-online.org.
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    Ducks and geese are force-fed with a food tube to cause enlarged, diseased fatty liver -- an expensive "delicacy" called foie gras.  Photo: of UPC-online.org.
  • animals geese liveplucked animalconnection blogspot com
    Geese and ducks are "live-plucked" for their down feathers (used in pillows, comforters, jackets, and more). Their feathers are ripped out of their bodies while fully conscious, sometimes many times in their lives. Photo: animalconnection.blogspot.com.
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    Turkeys gaining weight awaiting slaughter. Photo: Farm Sanctuary.
  • animals turkeys factoryfarm usda
    "Free-range" turkeys are born at the same hatcheries, usually have their beaks and sharp toes seared off, are force bred (unable to mate on their own), and slaughtered in the same slaughterhouses as their brothers and sisters confined to sheds.  Photo: USDA.
  • animals turkeys transport woodstock
    Turkeys packed and shipped for slaughter in any kind of weather, without water or food.  Photo: Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary.
  • animals turkeys slaughter farmsanctuary
    At the slaughterhouse, many birds survive the electric stunning process and are still conscious as their throats are slashed. Those who miss the knife are boiled alive and dragged through defeathering machines. Photo: Farm Sanctuary.
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If you’d like to explore further the lives and deaths of birds farmed for human consumption, there is an extensive range of information at United Poultry ConcernsMore information on what happens at slaughterhouses may be found here

 

For the Animals > Aquatic Animals

animals sea montageBy choosing to live vegan, each year you personally save dozens and perhaps hundreds of animals from a tortuous death by drowning or suffocation.* AND you help save our threatened oceans from an uncertain future. 

Some of us may have forgotten that the oceans used to teem with life.  Whales, dolphins, and sea turtles were common and abundant.  Schools of fish were so plentiful the waters would tumble and froth with life. 

But now our oceans are dying.  Industrial fishing has caused a global decline in fish populations to near extinction in most parts of the ocean giving rise to a rapidly increasing number of fish factory farms.  Massive nets which are miles long scrape the ocean depths and indiscriminately scoop up and suffocate everyone in their catch – turtles, seals, dolphins, whales and billions of struggling fish. 

Scientists are continually making new discoveries about the intricate and intimate lives of fish and other sea animals. Fish and Fisheries cited more than 500 research papers on fish intelligence. Most people agree that sea mammals such as whales and dolphins are intelligent and even majestic animals. Now, a growing body of evidence is proving that fish are smart too, that they can use tools, that they have impressive long-term memories, and that they even have sophisticated social structures. Fish feel pain, can experience panic, and show an overwhelming desire to avoid suffering and death (like other animals, like us!).

Their long-term memories help fish keep track of complex social relationships. Their spatial memory—equal in all respects to any other vertebrate — allows them to create cognitive maps that guide them through their watery homes, using cues such as polarized light, sounds, odors, and visual landmarks.

We’ve also found that invertebrates (animals without a “backbone”) like lobsters, shrimps, and crabs are also sensitive creatures, often with families and social structures, and are capable of complicated communication. Like dolphins, lobsters use complex signals to establish social relationships.  Like humans, lobsters have a long childhood; parents sometimes carry their young on their backs for up to nine month.  They sometimes walk hand-in-hand on the ocean floor, the old leading the young. Like humans, lobsters can live to be more than 100 years old. 

icon information button 3d greenDid you know? Mother crabs continue to feed and tend to their babies for several months after they are born, and work hard to keep their homes clean and comfortable for their young. Sea animals like other animals (like us!) are capable of experiencing pain, and struggle to avoid death.

 

The Use of Aquatic Animals by Animal Agribusiness

+ Killing fish, invertebrates, dolphins, seals, whales… and the oceans themselves!

Long-lining is one of the most widespread fishing methods. Ships unreel as many as 75 miles of line bristling with hundreds of thousands of baited hooks. The hooks are dragged behind the boat at varying depths or are kept afloat by buoys and left overnight, luring any animal in the area. Once hooked, some animals drown or bleed to death in the water, and many others struggle for hours until the boat returns to reel them in.

Gill nets ranging from 200 feet to several miles in length are held upright by floats, creating "walls of death." Fish are unable to see the netting, and unless the mesh size is larger than the fish, they get stuck. When they try to back out, the netting catches them by their gills or fins, and many suffocate. Others struggle so desperately in the sharp mesh that they bleed to death, often taking days to die.

Bottom trawlers catch fish and invertebrates such as shrimp. Enormous bag-shaped nets are pulled along the ocean floor, catching every rock, piece of coral, and fish in their paths. Large metal plates at each end of the net drag along the ground, keeping the net close to the ocean floor while stirring up sediment and forcing all the animals in the net's path into the closed end. Bottom trawling literally scrapes the ocean floor clean of life, ripping hundreds of tons of animals out of the ocean, squeezing some of them so tightly against the sides of the nets that their eyes bulge and burst out of their skulls. For hours, trapped fish are dragged tortuously along the ocean floor with netted rocks, coral, and ocean debris.

Regardless of the method used to catch them, if the fish are still alive at the end of their terrifying journey to the surface, most have their gills cut and bleed to death or are tossed onto ice to slowly freeze or suffocate to death.  This is a particularly cruel and painful death for cold-blooded animals because they can take a very long time to freeze or suffocate to death. Scientists estimate that fish endure up to 15 minutes of excruciating pain before they lose consciousness.

+ Factory farmed fish -- the new industry standard.

As global natural fish numbers continue to rapidly decrease due to commercial fishing, and as commercial fishing becomes less profitable, stationary factory farms of fish are a growing industry standard.  Over 40% of fish consumed in the U.S. are now bred and raised in factory farm conditions.  And that percentage continues to grow.

To increase profits, fish farmers crowd as many fish as possible into the smallest spaces possible. Because they are designed to navigate vast oceans and use all their senses to do so, many fish show signs of immense stress and confusion in the cramped conditions. The tight enclosures inhibit their ability to navigate properly and cause them to knock against each other and the sides of the enclosures, causing sores, infections, and death.

Industrial fish and shrimp farms are creating environmental dead zones.  Massive amounts of concentrated waste from these factory farms smother the ocean floor and choke the life from it. 

Fish are starved before they are sent to slaughter in order to reduce waste contamination of the water during transport. Salmon, for example, are starved for 10 full days. When factory farmed fish are transported to slaughter plants, the stress of the journey kills nearly 40% of them. Fish slaughter plants in the U.S. make no effort to stun live fish who are completely conscious when they hit the factory line. Their gills are cut and they are left to bleed to death; or they are gutted and dismembered alive, convulsing in pain, struggling in vain for their lives.

Slideshow > Animal Agribusiness Tour

  • fish viewerdiscretion
  • animals aquatic fish blueschool
    Living vegan, each year you personally save dozens and perhaps hundreds of animals from a tortuous death. AND you help save our threatened oceans. Photo: Fotolia.
  • animals aquatic lobster
    Invertebrates  like lobsters, shrimps, and crabs are sensitive creatures, often with families and social structures. Photo: Fotolia
  • animals aquatic fish deadfamilyoffish
    Regardless of the method used to catch them, if the fish are still alive at the end of their terrifying journey to the surface, most bleed to death or are tossed onto ice to slowly freeze or suffocate to death. This is a particularly cruel and painful death for cold-blooded animals because they can take a very long time to freeze or suffocate to death. Photo: Fotolia.
  • animals aquatic fish tunaslaughter
    Bluefin tuna can travel 40 miles/day. They are social animals, forming large peer schools in which individuals of similar size are found together. Photo: Fotolia.
  • animals aquatic fish netboat
    Nets scrape the ocean floor ripping hundreds of tons of animals out of the ocean. For hours, trapped fish are dragged tortuously along the ocean floor with ocean debris. Photo: iStock.
  • animals aquatic fish deadnet
    The numbers are staggering. Remember the individuals suffering and dying for no other reason than profit and habit. Photo: Fotolia.
  • animals aquatic bycatch dolphin
    Dolphins, sea turtles, seals, whales, and others get tangled in nets and hooked by long-lines. Unwanted species are considered "bycatch" - thrown overboard, dead or dying. Photo: New Zealand Government.
  • animals aquatic bycatch seal noaa
    For every pound of fish killed for human consumption, up to 14 pounds of “bycatch” (living animals like whales, dolphins, sea lions, sea turtles, and other fish) are killed and thrown away in the process. Photo: NOAA.
  • animals aquatic fishfarming
    Factory fish farms are the fastest growing means of “fish production.” They are overcrowded, suffering horrible lives and gruesome deaths. Photos: Fotolia (left), iStock (top right), Fotolia (lower right).
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*The numbers of sea animals killed for human consumption in the U.S. is difficult to calculate for several reasons: 1) There is a flux in the importing and exporting of flesh of sea animals around the world.  This skews consumption data in the U.S. against what we import but didn’t catch, and against what we caught but exported. 2) The industry frequently uses weight rather than number of lives in calculating catch and profits. 3). Billions of animals including whales, dolphins, seals and other mammals, and other sea animals are swept up in giant nets and pushed back dead into the sea when they are not of interest or profitable to the particular industry sector. And 4) billions of fish and other sea animals are scooped up and fed to factory farmed fish, chickens, cows, and other farmed animals who are then consumed by people. So humans kill and consume billions of sea animals indirectly by eating farmed animals.  Estimates range from tens of BILLIONS to over 50 BILLION fish and other sea animals being killed annually for U.S. consumption.  For a more detailed analysis, see the reports and sources at AnimalDeathCount.blogspot.com.

 

For the Animals > Cows*

cows tan

By choosing to live vegan, you help save the life of some of the most gentle, nurturing, family-oriented animals on the planet.  You stand up and refuse to kill cows for their flesh and for their milk.  You stand up for the mother-baby bond by refusing to support the dairy industry where animals are bred, used up, and killed by the dairy industry when they are no longer profitable.  Your vegan choices are a vote for justice and compassion.

Getting to Know Cows. Cows are gentle giants, large in size but sweet in nature. They are curious and clever animals who have been known to go to amazing lengths to escape death at slaughterhouses (they know what’s coming). These affectionate social animals prefer to spend their time together forming complex relationships and social structures.

Outside the animal agribusiness industry (on farmed animal sanctuaries, for example), cows can live up to 25 years.  They are killed after a fraction of this time when raised for food. Cows raised for “beef” are killed typically when they are between 9 and 30 months old. Dairy cows are slaughtered after they are no longer producing enough milk to be profitable, usually between 4-6 years.

Mother cows form extremely strong maternal bonds with their calves.  On dairy farms and cattle ranches, mother cows can be heard frantically crying out for their calves for several days after they have been separated (purposefully separated by humans to maintain profit and production).

animals sanctuary cows sanctuary beulaBeulah. Beulah (pictured right, standing left) was rescued along with her friend Caroline from a small dairy farm in North Carolina where they were removed because of criminal neglect. Norman, a black and white Holstein, also lives at the sanctuary. Norman was rescued from a veal facility; the male calf of a dairy cow, he was taken from his mother so humans could take her milk. Photo/Story courtesy of Poplar Springs Animal Sanctuary.

 

The Use of Cows by Animal Agribusiness

  • cows viewerdiscretion
  • animals cows dairy udders
    Regardless of whether they are kept on factory farms or on small scale farms, dairy cows are forcibly inseminated and kept perpetually pregnant in order to ensure a constant supply of milk. Cows, like other mammals (like humans) naturally produce milk for one reason – for their babies. 
  • animals cows dairy artificialinsemination
    Example of forced insemination. Semen is extracted using an electric prod on males, then inserted into females. The breeder forces his/her arm up the rectum to feel the uterine wall to guide the probe.
  • animals cows dairy animalsvoice
    Cows used for dairy have been bred to produce so much milk that their udders may swell and drag.. Twice a day, they are attached to milking machines. Photo: AnimalsVoice.org.
  • animals cows dairy calf farmsanctuary
    Calves are taken from dairy cows within 48 hours. The premature separation of a cow from her baby causes emotional suffering for both mother and offspring. This is Opie, who was rescued at the last minute by Farm Sanctuary. Photo: Farm Sanctuary.
  • animals cows dairy vealcalves farmsanctuary
    Female calves may be kept at the facility to replace “spent” mothers. If there is no need to replenish the herd, females will join the male calves to be either killed immediately (for “bob veal”) or confined to keep their muscles soft, then slaughtered for “veal." Photo: Farm Sanctuary.
  • animals cows dairy calffarm
    This is a dairy calf "farm". Profits are also made by selling males as “beef cows” to be killed at 18 months of age for “calf skin leather" and rennet, a complex of enzymes produced in the calf’s stomach to digest the mother's milk; it is used in the production of most dairy cheeses.
  • animals cows dairy downed farmsanctuary
    A "downed" cow, too week to stand on her own after years of constant milking, impregnation, and birth.  She is being hauled to slaughter. Photo: Farm Sanctuary.
  • cow slaughterhouse
    Typically at 5-6 years of age after being used up, a cow used for dairy is loaded up and trucked to a slaughterhouse where she will be killed. Cattle bred and kept for their flesh are sent to the same slaughterhouses at the age of 9 to 30 months (still babies themselves). 
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*Some say that "cows" are by definition female even though most people think of all bovine animals as "cows" whehter a bull (male), steer (castrated male), or cow (female). "Cattle" is the plural of bovines kept and killed for their flesh.  Interestingly, there is not an agreed-upon word for "one cattle" -- as if the individual does not matter.  Herein, we are using the name "cow" as it is more broadly recognized (as both male and female bovine animals); and so that we may address and honor the individuals.  We make specific clarifications of male, female, calf (baby cow), etc. where it might be helpful for better understanding.

For the Animals > Pigs

animals pigs pigletonshoulder

When you live vegan, you refuse to take part in this cruel, unthinkable, and completely unnecessary “industry.”  You choose compassion over killing, humanity over habit, and justice over industry profits. You spare these gentle and social animals from a horrible life and a gruesome death.

Getting to Know Pigs. When in their natural surroundings, pigs are social, playful, and protective animals who bond with each other, make nests, and relax in the sun. Pigs are known to dream, recognize their own names, can learn “tricks” like sitting for a treat, and lead social lives of a complexity previously observed only in primates. Many pigs even sleep in ‘pig piles,’ much like dogs. Some love to cuddle and others prefer space.

Pigs communicate constantly with one another. More than 20 of their oinks, grunts, and squeals have been identified for different situations, from wooing their mates to expressing hunger. Newborn piglets learn to run to their mothers' voices, and mother pigs “sing” to their young while nursing. Pigs don't "sweat like pigs"; they are actually unable to sweat.  That’s why they like to bathe in water or mud in order to keep cool.

animals sanctuary pigs sanctuary poplarsprings fernFern. Fern is a young pig found on the side of a highway in North Carolina.  She had fallen off a transport truck most likely destined for auction.  Fern’s special pig friend at the sanctuary is Avery.  They sleep together every night in their large barn and spend their days grazing in their pasture.  They like to lie in the mud to keep cool in the summer.  Fern’s favorite treats are melons and apples. (Photo/Story courtesy of Poplar Springs Animal Sanctuary.)

 

The Use of Pigs by Animal Agribusiness

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  • animals pigs farrowing crate2 farmsanctuary
    Female pigs (sows) used for breeding often spend their entire lives (4-6 years) in crates. They are forcibly impregnated again and again until their bodies are used up. Photo: Farm Sanctuary.
  • animals pigs farrowing farmsanctuary
     
    When female pigs (sows) are about to give birth, they are often kept in "farrowing crates" where, unable even to turn around, they will give birth and nurse their babies. Photo: Farm Sanctuary.
  • animals pigs castration docking COK
    According to the USDA, 100% of male piglets raised for food in the US are castrated - cutting and ripping out their genitals without painkillers. Most piglets also have their tails cut off without anesthesia. Photo: COK.net.
  • animals pigs factoryfarm farmsanctuary
    After 2-3 weeks, baby pigs are forcibly removed from their mothers to gain weight for eventual slaughter. Photo: Farm Sanctuary.
  • animals pigs factoryfarmjail
    Pigs are entirely at our mercy. Your food choices decide if they live or die.
  • animals pigs downedsow peta
    Even on small-scale farms, those who collapse are often left to die.
  • animals pigs transport peta
    When pigs reach a profitable “market weight” they are prodded and crammed into transport trucks. Industry reports indicate that more than 1 million pigs die on their way to slaughter. Photo: PETA.
  • animals pigs transport2
    Regardless of the size/method of the “farm,” pigs are kept and killed for profit or tradition. They want to live and are afraid to die.
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For the Animals > Sheep

animals sheep lambBefore learning about how sheep and lambs are used, many of people believe something like, “Taking wool from sheep is harmless – after all, it’s like a haircut and wouldn’t the sheep feel better after a haircut?”

Looking more closely, the model of exploitation of sheep is similar to the model of exploitation used by the egg and dairy industries. 

And while the animals raised primarily for their wool are not immediately killed for what is being taken from them, they suffer for years prior to ultimately being killed for their flesh (called “mutton”) and for their skin (“sheepskin”).  See how this model is similar to the model used by the dairy industry – taking milk from cows until they are unprofitable and then killing them for their flesh and skin.

The mothers of sheep raised for their flesh are put through the same cycle as pigs and dairy cows.  They are forcibly inseminated (increasingly, artificially insemination is being used to improve production timing and profits).  Their babies are taken from their mothers and either killed immediately or fed until reaching a marketable slaughter weight.  And the mothers are killed when they are no longer profitable.

icon information button 3d greenDid you know? One might be surprised to learn that most sheep in the U.S. are bred and used for their flesh (“lamb” or “mutton”), not for their wool.  According to the National Agricultural Statistics Services of the USDAabout 80% of all sheep in the industry are bred and used for their flesh; the other 20% are bred and used primarily for their wool.

animals sanctuary sheep sanctuary poplarsprings cloverClover is a six week old lamb who was abandoned by his mother when she gave birth to five babies and couldn’t care for all of them.  The sheep farmer who wouldn’t take the time to take care of him said Clover would die if someone wouldn’t take her.  Clover was brought to the sanctuary cold and dehydrated.  He is now happy and healthy.  He loves to run and jump and play in the grass.  He doesn’t know he’s a sheep yet, and likes to follow people everywhere.  Clover is very friendly and enjoys being petted.  His favorite treats are popcorn and small pieces of pear. Photo/story courtesy of Poplar Springs Animal Sanctuary.

 

For the Animals > Goats

animals goats kidwithgirl

Goats love to play and have fun.  If you’ve ever spent time with goats allowed to live their lives peacefully (on a farmed animal rescue sanctuary, for example), you know this -- you’ve seen them run and jump and play by themselves and with each other.

Before getting to know about goats and kids and how they are used, many of us might think they live good lives, graciously giving their milk and hair (cashmere and mohair) to humans.

Looking more closely, the model of exploitation of goats is similar to that of the sheep, cow dairy, and egg industry.

Goats are bred and raised for their flesh, hair, and milk.  As with cows, the operations are usually separate.  And like cows, female goats are continuously impregnated and give birth (1-2 kids per year) to ensure milk production.  Like cows, after the babies are born in the goat dairy industry, they are taken from their mothers.  This is emotionally wrenching for the mothers and for their babies who long for each other and call for each other.

animals sanctuary goats poplarsprings heidiHeidi was rescued from a starvation after being abandoned on a farm with 100 other animals.  Heidi was one of only a few survivors.  When rescued she was so weak she collapsed and couldn’t stand.  She was slowly nursed back to health and is doing well.  She spends her time playing with her best friend Camille, another rescued goat.  She enjoys grazing on grass and relaxing in her barn.  Her favorite treats are bread and carrots. Photo/story courtesy of Poplar Springs Animal Sanctuary .

 

The Use of Sheep and Goats by Animal Agribusiness

  • sheep viewerdiscretion
  • animals sheep feedlot usda
    According to the USDA, about 80% of all sheep in the industry are bred and used for their flesh ("lamb" or "mutton"); the other 20% are bred and used primarily for their wool. Photo: USDA.
  • animals sheep lamb animalsvoiceonline
    Many baby sheep are killed soon after being born for their soft wool and soft flesh ("lamb"). Photo: Animals Voice Online.
  • animals sheep shearing farmsanctuary
    While the sheep raised primarily for their wool are not immediately killed for what is being taken from them, they suffer for years and ultimately are killed for their flesh (called “mutton”) and for their skin (“sheepskin”). Photo: Farm Sanctuary.
  • animals sheep artificial insemination usda
    As with all farmed animals, breeding is managed by humans to bring the most profit. Here a female sheep (ewe) is being forcibly articially inseminated. Her baby will be either put into the wool industry, kept and killed for his or her flesh, or killed immediately for "lamb" and "lambskin." Photo: USDA.
  • animals goats dairy
    Like cows, female goats used for dairy are continuously impregnated to ensure milk production (giving birth to 1-2 kids per year) to ensure milk production. The babies are taken from their mothers - emotionally wrenching for the mothers and for their babies who call for each other.
  • animals goats babyfactoryfarm
    A female baby goat in the dairy industry may suffer the same fate as her mother.  Male kids are either sold to be kept/killed for their flesh or are immediately killed – usually by bludgeoning them on the head until they are dead. Photo: iStock.
  • animals goats transport compassioninworldfarming
    Goats are packed into trucks and taken to slaughter.  Goats, like all farmed animals, may be transported in any weather, without food or water.  Photo: Compassion in World Farming.
  • animals sheep transport compassioniniworldfarming
    Each animal is an individual. Each can suffer. Each has the drive to live and not to die.  Photo: Compassion in World Farming.
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For the Animals > Humane Alternatives

people shop producemanPolls by Gallup and Zogby indicate that people want farmed animals to be safe from harm.  And unfortunately, the majority of people believe that farm animal protection laws are much more widespread, enforced, and strict than they actually are.

Animal agribusiness capitalizes on the fact that most people oppose animal abuse and want farmed animals to be treated well.  Animal profiteers of the “meat”, dairy, and egg industries have embraced and marketed misleading labels such as "humanely raised," "cage free," "free range," and "organic."

Unfortunately for both animals and well-intentioned people, these and other labels are misleading.  They are vague, are either not regulated or are poorly enforced, and they have little if anything to do with the well-being of the animals being used. Don’t be fooled! Read more about what these terms really mean by visiting our educational website HumanFacts.org

Choosing plant-based foods over animal-based is the most powerful way to stand up against animal cruelty. The only truly humane option is to live vegan.

For the Animals > Wild Animals

animals wildanimals foxbaby

Countless millions of wild animals are displaced and/or killed to make room for farmed animals and animal agribusiness profits -- often using taxpayer dollars to do the killing.  Growing food for farmed animals and then eating those animals requires 10-20 times the amount of land as eating plant sources directly.  Living vegan, we can feed many more people on MUCH less land.  We can replant forests, bring back flourishing grasslands, and return wild lands to the wild animals who used to call them home.  Learn more in Why Vegan > For the Planet > Wild Animals.

 

 

 

For the Planet

planet earth cloudformation

One of the most impactful things we can do as individuals to help save the planet is to live vegan instead of consuming an animal-based diet.

Animal agribusiness is a major threat to life on earth including being a leading contributor to climate change, species extinction, water pollution, wasting of water, and deforestation (including cutting down rain forests). It is also the leader in publicly funded wildlife killing and displacement of wild animals due to wilderness destruction.

Eating fewer animal products moves food production away from animal agribusiness toward plant-based foods.  Plant-based food production uses dramatically less land. It eliminates the need for deforestation, uses less water, emits less greenhouse gases, saves lives, and conserves the world’s resources for future generations (1-10)

+ Climate change.

One of the top contributors to climate change is raising animals for food.  The United Nations and reports like this report from Worldwatch Institute found that raising animals for human consumption is a leading contributor to greenhouse gases.  The reports found animal agribusiness contributes to climate change more than all the planes, cars, trucks, and all other forms of transportation on the planet combined (12). Switching just two meals per week from animal products to vegan products reduces greenhouse gases more than buying all locally-sourced food (11).

Feeding massive amounts of grain and water to farmed animals and then killing them and processing, transporting, and refrigerating their flesh is extremely energy intensive. Also an enormous amount of carbon dioxide is stored in trees and released during the destruction of vast acres of forest to provide pastureland and to grow crops for farmed animals. Additionally, animal manure releases large quantities of carbon dioxide. Raising animals for human food is a recipe for global disaster (13).

According to the University of Chicago, a vegan diet prevents more tons of CO2 (compared to a “meat”-eating diet) than driving a hybrid car compared to a standard sedan (14)

More methane and nitrous oxide is produced  by the billions of chickens, turkeys, pigs, and cows on animal farms each year than from any other source. The methane is produced, both during digestion and from cesspools (“lagoons”) filled with animal feces. Scientists report that every pound of methane is more than 20 times more powerful than carbon dioxide at trapping heat in our atmosphere. The EPA shows that animal agriculture is the single largest source of methane emissions in the U.S. (15).

And nitrous oxide is about 300 times more potent as a global warming gas than carbon dioxide. According to the U.N., the "meat", egg, and dairy industries account for a staggering 65 percent of worldwide nitrous oxide emissions (16).

+ Water Usage

To feed and water farmed animals takes enormous amounts of water. To produce just one pound of "meat" requires on average 2500 gallons of water; a gallon of cows' milk requires 750 gallons of water. By simply choosing to live vegan, you can save over 1.3 MILLION gallons of water every year! That's so much water that being Vegan you could leave your shower on 24 hours a day 365 days a year and STILL you couldn't waste as much water as someone consuming a typical U.S. animal-based diet. (17)

"Meat"/flesh and dairy are subsidized heavily by U.S. tax payer dollars. If the water used to produce "meat" wasn't subsidized, "hamburger meat" from slaughtered cows would cost $35/pound. (18)

The Ogallala Aquifer, the major source of ground water in the high plains of the U.S. is being depleted at an alarming rate. Farmers on the outer edges of the aquifer are already running out of water causing a rapidly shrinking amount of farmable land. Without irrigation, the U.S. "breadbasket" is drying up. The Ogallala Aquifer isn't like rivers, lakes or most other aquifers -- it has no source of replenishment. It holds water that has been sealed underground for hundreds of thousands of years. Once it's gone, it's gone forever. (19)

In California, where 42% of water is used for livestock feed and production, water tables have dropped so low that in some areas the earth is sinking under the vacuum. Some U.S. aquifers are now at their lowest levels since the end of the last Ice Age. (20)

+ Pollution

The billions of animals kept and killed for human consumption not only use most of our water and eat most of our food... they excrete most of it as feces and urine. In the U.S., farmed animals produce 130 TIMES MORE EXCREMENT than the ENTIRE human population -- 86,000 pounds per second! That's enough to rebuild the Denver sky-line every 24 hours... out of farmed animal excrement. This concentrated slop pollutes our water, destroys our topsoil, and contaminates our air. (21)

The waste, containing vast amounts of nitrates, pathogens, and hormones, is stored in huge open cesspools, euphemistically dubbed by the "meat" industry as "lagoons." Much of this waste winds up in nearby waterways, killing aquatic life directly or through proliferations of algae blooms. Some of the waste leaks into the water tables, poisoning vital groundwater supplies.

Waste from mid-Atlantic pig and poultry factory farms has destroyed fish populations along the Eastern seaboard and in the Gulf of Mexico. Every summer, a "dead zone" in the Gulf, sometimes as large as Massachusetts, becomes void of life due to hypoxia – severe depletion of oxygen.

+ Air Pollution

Animal farms produce a stench that poses a major nuisance (and possibly hazard) to neighbors for miles around. According to a May 2003 article in the New York Times, "Around industrial hog farms across the country, people say their sickness rolls in with the wind. It brings headaches that do not go away and trips to the emergency room for children whose lungs suddenly close up. People young and old have become familiar with inhalers, nebulizers and oxygen tanks. They complain of diarrhea, nosebleeds, earaches and lung burns." The article goes on to describe how air pollution from hog farms appears to have caused permanent brain damage in nearby residents. (22)

+ Trees & Land

Many of us recycle paper because we want to save trees. But the number one reason for cutting down trees, including the destruction of the rainforest, is to clear land to grow food for farmed animals. In just one year, one person living vegan saves a full acre of trees. (23)

Clearing the trees and land to create space for grazing and feed crops for farmed animals are the primary contributing factors in land degradation and the loss of plant and animal species. Farmed animals are fed grains either as a replacement for grazing or in addition to grazing. Millions of acres of flourishing forests have been cleared displacing countless wild animals and destroying their habitat.

According to a 2006 United Nations report, "... the total area occupied by grazing is equivalent to 26% of the ice-free terrestrial surface of the planet. In addition, the total area dedicated to feed crop production amounts to 33% of totally arable land. In all, livestock [cows, pigs, chickens and other farmed animals] production accounts for 70% of all agricultural land and 30% of the land surface of the planet." In Latin America where the greatest amount of deforestation is occurring, pastures occupy 70% of previous forested land in the Amazon, and feed crops cover a large part of the remainder. (24)

+ Wild Animals

Under pressure from corporate welfare ranchers, the U.S. government kills tens of thousands of "predator" and "nuisance" animals each year using $20-30 million taxpayer dollars. In a single year, a partial list of animals killed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's "Animal Damage Control Program" included 86,502 coyotes, 7,158 foxes, 236 black bears, 1,220 bobcats, 80 wolves, 4.6 million birds, 9,000 beavers, 5,000 raccoons, and 200 mountain lions and many others. Over 400 companion dogs and 100 cats were also inadvertently killed. Extermination methods used include poisoning, shooting, gassing, and burning animals in their dens.

Wild animals are unable to compete with cattle for food and are dwindling in numbers. Pronghorns have decreased from 15 million in 1900 to fewer than 271,000 today. There were once over 2 million bighorn sheep; there are now fewer than 20,000. The elk population has fallen from 2 million to fewer than 455,000.

Animal agribusiness uses 10-20 times the amount of land needed to grow plant-based vegan foods. We could replant and return hundreds of millions of acres, replant the entire rainforest, and return wild lands to their rightful owners (wild animals who used to call them home) – we could do ALL of this and feed the entire human population if we lived vegan.

In the rush to kill tens of billion fish per year for human consumption, billions and billions of other wild animals are killed. For every pound of fish caught and killed for human consumption, up to 14 pounds of "bycatch" (other living animals like whales, dolphins, sea lions, otters, sea turtles, sharks and other fish) are killed and thrown away in the process.

Factory fish farms are the fastest growing means of "fish production." Nearly 50% of salmon and 65% of fresh water fish consumed spend their lives in captivity. They are overcrowded and suffer horrible lives and gruesome deaths.

These giant fish farms attract tens of thousands of birds and sea lions who are purposefully killed to keep them from eating the profits. While fish farmers like to promote fish farms as an alternative to depleting fish populations, many of the fish kept on factory farms are fed ocean-caught fish. It takes five pounds of ocean fish to produce one pound of farmed fish.

+ Oceans

The oceans used to teem with life. Whales, dolphins, and sea turtles were common and abundant. Schools of fish were so plentiful the waters would tumble and froth with life.

But now our oceans are dying... industrial fishing has caused a global decline in fish populations to near extinction in most parts of the ocean. Massive nets, miles long scrape the ocean depths and indiscriminately scoop up and suffocate everyone in their catch – turtles, seals, dolphins, whales and billions of struggling fish.

And industrial fish and shrimp farms are creating environmental dead zones – massive amounts of concentrated waste from these factory farms smother the ocean floor and choke the life from it.

We've run out of arable land on which to grow food crops for the staggering number of farmed animals. To make up for the land deficit, we've begun to cut down rainforests to grow food for farmed animals (see trees). Still not having enough land to grow food fast enough we also feed sea animals (fish and other animals) to farmed animals. One third of the world's sea catch is ground up as "fish meal" and fed to farmed animals (cows, chickens, etc.).

Bottom trawlers literally scrape the ocean floor clean of life, causing bottom trawling to be considered the underwater equivalent of clear-cutting forests by some. "Advances" in bottom trawling technology have dramatically expanded the range of the operations, killing fish and other animals who had previously been protected by their rocky habitats. Consequently, bottom trawling is one of the most environmentally damaging fishing techniques, killing animals and destroying endangered coral and other sea life.

Other methods of capturing sea life contribute to the problem. When sharks, sea turtles, birds, seals, whales, and other non-target species get tangled in nets and hooked by long-lines by species specific fishing vessel, any unwanted species is considered "bycatch" and are thrown overboard, dead or dying.

Estimates are that nearly 1,000 marine mammals (dolphins, whales, and porpoises) die EVERY DAY after they are caught in fishing nets. By some estimates, shrimp trawlers discard as much as 85% of their catch, making shrimp trawling one of the most environmentally destructive processes of turning living animals into food for humans.

 

 

For People

people handscircle

Animal agribusiness is responsible for a long list of human rights atrocities because of its overuse of arable land (using 10-20 times the amount of land and energy resources needed to grow plant-based foods).  The planet simply cannot support 7+ billion people on animal-based diets.  It is mathematically impossible (1). The equation is simple, the fewer farmed animals we feed, the more people we can feed.

This is resulting in starvation and cultural displacement.  Countries in which tens of thousands of people are starving to death every single day are exporting edible grains to rich countries so we can feed animals first and then kill and eat them.  Additionally, animal agribusiness is the #1 cause of displacing indigenous peoples – tearing down rainforests and taking over land lived on for countless generations.

Tragically, 80% of the world's hungry live in countries with food surpluses, much of which is fed to farmed animals who will in turn be eaten by well-to-do consumers in rich nations.  The sad irony is that the well-to-do consumers are dying from heart disease, strokes, diabetes, and cancer from eating animal products.

+ Food justice: classism and racism.

The poor and people of color are being exploited by a system built on supplying and even pushing tax-subsidized, inexpensive animal products while ignoring the need for and right to fresh, healthy fruits and vegetables.

In the U.S., the prevalence of diet-related disease especially disease correlated with consuming animal products, is highest among people of color. Government policies ignore this fact. According to the Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine, “Although unintentional, the U.S. Dietary Guidelines as they exist [promoting the consumption of animal products] are really a fundamental form of institutionalized racism...” (2)

Some telling facts: (3)

  • People eating vegan diets have far lower rates of heart disease, cancer, hypertension, obesity and diabetes than do those who eat “meat”/dairy. The USDA continues to push “meat”/dairy via industry-biased “Food Pyramid” and “Food Plate” and dietary recommendations meant more for industry profits than human requirements or human health.
  • Food policy and availability has led women of color are 50% more likely to be obese than white women.
  • African-Americans’ rate of cancer is 26% higher than whites’.
  • In the U.S., Hispanic women’s rate of heart disease is double that of white women.
  • Among Hispanic men, the diabetes rate is 54% higher than among white men.
  • Native American women have three times the rate of diabetes than white women.
  • While cows’ milk continues to be subsidized and pushed on U.S. school children, 25% of the white population, 70% of African Americans, 90% of Asian Americans, 53% of Hispanic Americans, and 74% of Native Americans are lactose intolerant. Lactose intolerance is also prevalent in those whose ancestry is Arab, Jewish, Italian, or Greek.
  • Environmentally hazardous factory farms and processing plants are more often located in communities of color.
  • More poor children and a disproportionate number of children of color depend on the National School Lunch Program, but the program is built using biased guidelines that benefit wealthy animal agribusiness over children’s health. 90% of the $3-4 billion program is used to buy cholesterol and fat-laden pork, beef, milk, cheese, and eggs.
  • Neighborhoods of color are targets of flesh/dairy industry billboard advertising. Affordable fruits and vegetables are difficult to find; instead fast food chains push unhealthy “bargains.”

+ Indigenous people.

People are losing their lives and their homes.  The animal agribusiness industry, however unintentional, systematically destroys indigenous people around the world for land to grow their “food animals”.  It started with the destruction of the Native American cultures in the 19th century and continues around the world. Native Americans were starved to death when the U.S. government subsidized the mass slaughter of the American bison (the buffalo) to make room for the profits of the first American “beef” barons.

Genocide continues in the tropical rainforests of Central and South America, as cattle ranchers slash and burn ancient tropical rainforest. Indigenous people who have lived in the rainforests sustainably for thousands of years are losing their entire way of life while the flesh and grain grown on their land is shipped to North America and Europe.

+ Human hunger and starvation.

In this day and age, in a world of plenty, it is difficult to understand how, all over the world, nearly a BILLION people are going hungry.  Up to 40,000 people starve to death every single day (4).  This doesn’t happen because there isn’t enough for everyone.  Even while people are starving, we are wasting enormous amounts of edible grain and even more land, water, and other resources to feed cows, pigs, chickens and other farmed animals so that we may satisfy our desire for “meat,” milk and eggs.  Food and resources that could be directed to people are instead being directed to non-human animals for industry profit.

The Earth can provide only so much food.  While the human population is growing and growing, the tiny amount of land on which we can grow food is not.  Because raising animals for food takes so much land, water and other resources, the Earth would be able to sustain fewer than 3 billion people on a “meat” and dairy based diet (5).  With a world population of nearly 7 Billion people, it’s easy to see that we need to find a better way. 

Vegan choices support a world where ALL may be fed.  Vegan choices require only a fraction of the land and far fewer resources than what is needed to produce animal products.  The equation is simple: the fewer animal products we consume, the more people we can feed.  If we ignore this simple fact, more and more people will be going hungry as the world population continues to grow.Millions of people, instead of supporting the export of disease and hunger, are taking personal responsibility (6). They are being the change they want to see in the world.  Their vegan choices are prolonging and bettering their own lives, easing the burdon on the planet, and making a life-sustaining commitment to future generations. 

+ Workers’ rights.

Workers are being exploited, injured and killed. Slaughterhouses and animal agribusiness facilities are some of the most dangerous and injurious places to work.  Desensitized to the plight of animals, these factories often also overlook the plight of the people who work there.  The jobs are dirty and dangerous and are often the last resort for those desperate for work.  The psychological and physical toll can be devastating.  The animal agribusiness industry has grown to flourish by exploiting the poorest and most desperate workers and then discarding them if they become demanding or injured.

A study released by Human Rights Watch, an international human rights group, reports slaughterhouse workers "suffer severe, life-threatening and sometimes life-ending injuries that are predictable and preventable." The study accurately states, “meat packing is the most dangerous factory job in America" (7).   Court documents prove several of the biggest slaughterhouse companies kept two sets of injury records, one for themselves and one for the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (8)

Slaughterhouses constantly replace immigrant workers in their dangerous and unpopular jobs. Poor people are recruited using Spanish radio ads and bussed up from Mexico and Central America (9).   The Immigration and Naturalization Services estimates one quarter of the slaughterhouse workers in Nebraska and Iowa are undocumented immigrants.  If workers are no longer needed or become too vocal or expensive, the slaughterhouses betray them and turn them over to the immigration authorities. The companies then seek out anyone who escaped the immigration raids to hire them back to the killing floor (10)

A common practice to minimize insurance costs is to offer health insurance to employees only after one year of employment. Since immigrant workers, legal or not, seldom spend more than a year in one factory, most slaughterhouse workers work without health insurance. In a 1994 article praising beef companies for minimizing insurance costs, one executive bragged that his firm's slaughterhouses had a 100% annual turnover (11).

+ Psychological well-being and community safety.

Workers on animal farms, slaughterhouse workers, and other in the animal agribusiness industry when trying to deal with the horrors they see and take part in, can suffer from ongoing bouts of depression, anger, and symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).  Exploiting, killing, and eating animals contributes to an overall desensitization to violence and to the suffering of others.  This has become a societal issue.

According to a study of communities surrounding slaughterhouses, “… findings indicate that slaughterhouse employment increases total arrest rates, arrests for violent crimes, arrests for rape, and arrests for other sex offenses in comparison with other industries. This suggests the existence of a “Sinclair effect” unique to the violent workplace of the slaughterhouse, a factor that has not previously been examined in the sociology of violence” (14).

Read The World Peace Diet by Will Tuttle and Melanie Joy’s Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows to learn more about how contributing to the suffering and death of billions of animals is impacting society as a whole. 

Here are a few other links (15) for more information regarding animal farm workers, slaughterhouse workers, and the psychological toll of the animal agribusiness industry:
http://www.blog.farmusa.org/tag/vegnews/
https://webspace.utexas.edu/hcleaver/www/meatfactory.html
http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2005/08/02/meatpackings-human-toll
http://www.upc-online.org/fall04/virgil.htm

+ Farmers’ rights.

Family farmers are being forced off the farm. In 1940, there were 6 million farms. By 2000, there were only 2.2 million farms. During roughly this same period, farm employment declined from 12.5 million in 1930 to only 1.2 million in the 1990s. This dramatic decline of the family farm took place during a period when the world population more than tripled and the U.S. per capita consumption of animal products more than doubled. Farming animals is bad business. (12)   Some telling facts:

  • Over 300 family farmers in the U.S. are forced out of farming every week.
  • The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health lists the suicide rate for farmers as double the U.S. national average.
  • Family farms are being wiped out because famers are forced by animal agribusiness to sell grain at prices lower than it costs to raise the crop. Five corporations control 80% of the animal flesh processing industry driving prices and profits to the industry and away from individual farmers.  Animal agribusiness requires more resources and results in fewer profits for the individual farmer.  Giant agribusiness corporations have dramatically increased profits since NAFTA's implementation. During the first seven years of NAFTA, Archer Daniels Midland's profits went from $110 million to $301 million; Cargill's net earnings from 1998 to 2002 rose from $468 million to $827 million.Meanwhile, family farmers struggle to cover their production costs.
  • Of all agricultural land in the U.S., 70% is used to raise animals for human consumption.
In the words of Harold Brown, a former dairy farmer turned vegan advocate, “Put the family back in farming… Eat lower on the food chain. By eating locally grown fruits, vegetables, grains and legumes, in place of factory-farmed “meat”, milk and eggs, you are supporting humane and environmentally sound agriculture” (13).

+ Wars for resources.

Farming animals not only wastes land, food, and water, it wastes oil and other resources.  Animal agribusiness requires more than 1/3 of all raw materials and fossil fuels used in the U.S.  Producing a single hamburger patty uses enough fossil fuel to drive a small car 20 miles. A vegan who drives an average car uses less gas than the average “meat”-eater who walks the same distance. (16)

+ Future generations.

Overusing resources means stealing from the future generations. People are using resources faster than they can be replaced. Species after species are becoming extinct (and extinct means forever!). Forests are being burned to the ground. Fertile land is being reduced to arid desert. Water is running dangerously low.

Animal agriculture is devastating land that could be used for sustainably farming crops. The process begins with clear-cutting of forests to grow animal feed crops. Without the plant growth to hold it in place, topsoil -- laden with minerals, fertilizer, and organic debris, is carried by the runoff of rain and melting snow into nearby streams. The insatiable demand for animal feed crops leads to the use of sloping land with greater runoff and arid land requiring irrigation. Irrigation now accounts for more than 80% of all water available for human use, leading to widespread water shortages. An animal-based diet requires 10-20 times more land than a plant-based diet.  by consuming plant-based foods, we can use a fraction of the land and resources for food production.  We can free up hundreds of millions of acres for replenishment and for wild animals.

The extent of waste is such that with a growing human population, in order to feed the world’s starving, it is urgent that we transition away from an animal-based diet.   In fact, keeping and killing animals in order to feed a growing world population is the number one threat to life on Earth. (See all references for Animals, Planet, and People).

+ Human health.

Eating vegan foods can be very healthful. In fact, many people initially choose to live vegan to improve their health.  See Live Vegan > Healthy Eating for more information.

The Health Dangers Attributed to Consuming Animal Products

The death and disease caused by the consumption of animal products is staggering.  The U.S. population is in the throes of an epidemic of obesity, heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and other chronic diseases. These deadly diseases are conclusively linked to consuming animal products (17)

Consider these facts (see John Robbins’ “Diet for a New America” and “The Food Revolution”):

  • 68% of all diseases in the US are diet related.
  • More than 2,500 Americans die each day from heart disease, the number one killer of both women and men.
  • According to the American Institute for Cancer Research, 40% of the world's cancer cases could be prevented through the adoption of diets rich in grains, fruit and vegetables.
  • The human body makes all the cholesterol it needs. Recommended daily intake of cholesterol – zero. Only animal products contain dietary cholesterol.  Vegan products contain no animal products and NO cholesterol.
  • The total costs and deaths from excess dietary fat far exceed costs and deaths from all forms of substance abuse, including tobacco, alcohol, and illegal drugs combined.
  • The majority of food-borne illnesses come from animal products.
  • Osteoporosis and kidney disease are linked to excess animal protein consumption.  The average North American on an animal-based diet consumes FOUR TIMES the minimum daily requirement of protein.
  • The U.S. has one of the highest rates of consumption of animal protein, which has contributed to one of the highest rates of osteoporosis in the world.
  • When animal proteins are eliminated from the diet, calcium losses are cut in half.
  • There is not one documented case in the U.S. of protein deficiency in anyone who was consuming enough calories.  Vegan diets provide plenty of protein (no, you don’t have to eat tofu or vegan “meats”). 
  • The average U.S. man who eats “meat”/dairy stands a 1 in 2 chance of dying of a heart attack, while a vegan male reduces that risk to only 1 in 25.
  • A woman who consumes dairy 3 or more times per week has 3 times the risk of breast cancer than a vegan woman.
  • A woman who consumes eggs 3 or more times per week has 3 times the risk of dying from ovarian cancer than a vegan woman.
  • A man who consumes animal products daily is almost 4 times more likely to die of prostate cancer than a vegan man.
  • The average Medical Doctor in the U.S. receives only 2.5 hours in nutrition training in 4 years of medical school.

  

Beyond Diet

food logo veganlogos

The purpose at LiveVegan.org is to encouraging conscious consumer choices so that we can put an end to the use and killing of animals for food.  Over 99% of animals killed in the U.S. are killed for human consumption.  With the abundance of plant-based foods, this horror and killing is completely unnecessary.  And the results are devastating for society, for the environment, and for the animals themselves. 

The vegan ethic extends also to not using animals for:

Fashion: Animals used for fur, leather, wool, feathers for clothing and in other ways (like down pillows, comforters, hair accessories, etc.) are used and abused in horrifying ways. More information is available in the. See specific animal information above. For more information, visit the fur and clothing information page at PETA. 

Entertainment: Animals in circuses, rodeos, aquariums, and other unnatural settings are constantly put in harm's way and live a life of imprisonment. For more information, visit the animals and entertainment information page at PETA.

Personal Care. Animals are used in cruel experiments to test many household cleaners and cosmetic products when existing products and more effective animal-free tests exist. Learn how to avoid supporting these unnecessary horrors using our Shopping Guides and by visiting the animals and experimentation page of PETA.

While the focus of LiveVegan.org is mostly on food choices, we invite you to explore the vegan ethic by expanding your circle of justice and compassion to include all living beings with each of your consumer choices.  

Vegan is more than what we buy or eat; it is a lifestyle dedicated to kindness and compassion for all.