Beitrag20. August 2018

Why to go vegan?

I think a lot of people who start to eat healthier come to a point where they have to explain their eating habits to others.

I think a lot of people who start to eat healthier come to a point where they have to explain their eating habits to others. Why can't you come with us to this restaurant? Can't we just go to Burger King? What's wrong with this salad? This is especially true for vegans, at least in my personal experience. So what is the vegan diet?

Vegans simply don't eat anything that comes directly or indirectly from animals (except natural the act of dusting a blossom). For an easy start, you may have this list in mind

  • no meat (neither pork, beef, chicken, lamb or cangaroo)
  • no fish and no sea food
  • no milk and other dairy products
  • no cheese (especially)
  • no eggs
  • no honey

But beware of some pitfalls. If you want to live strictly vegan, there are some nasty ingredients, you also have to avoid.

  • Gelatin is made out of the bone marrow of a pig or a pork and is used in gummy bear sweets, jello, mousses and a lot of other stuff
  • Many wines and vinegars, especially red wines are also cleared with gelatin. This goes also for a lot of soft drinks from apple juice to lemonades depending on the brand
  • A lot of non german beer brands (including e.g. Guinness) clear their products with isinglass, which is a substance from a fish's swim bladder
  • Some of the famous E food additives are not vegan like E 120 carmine (red colour coming from a coccid insect), E 322 lecithine (could come from egg protein), E 901 bee wax, E 904 shellac (also from a coccid) and several others with potential animal origin

Why should you turn to a vegan diet?

Actually there are 3 major reasons for becoming a vegan and personal taste is actually not even one of them. Believe me no one wants to look on every package to see which E additives are used. So we directly go to the important stuff.

Reason 1: The Animals

Most vegans are animal friends or even animal activists. The life of an animal is not worth less than the life of a human. But even if you are not such a radical mind with genes to actively fight against animal inequality, you will definitely sooner or later see, that things go very wrong in the meat industry.

There are too many of us and therefore the demand for meat and animal products is much too high to be able to produce this in a human and non-painful way for the animals.

It starts with the obvious. Just go for some real world documentaries on chicken farming, cow slaughter processes and pig stables.

But even processes that are established for centuries are crude. A cow, that should give milk for example, needs one pregnancy and one calf per year. The calf is then separated from its mother directly after birth and kept within listening distance, which is a torture for the cow and the calf. And that's just for having a product, that is specially designed by nature as a nutrition for a calf. Humans in their firs months have to get accustomed to this product and some of them have an intolerance against it for their lifetime.

Reason 2: Health

There are several aspects in the health area. The most important ones are the lack of cholesterol in almost every meal, which is especially good for a bureau worker with genetical predisposition for heart disease reaching back several generations like me.

Secondly you automatically eat fresher and more conscious, buy more organic products, giving me vitamins en masse without taking any pill. And adding to that, things like antibiotics in cheap meat, moldy and rotten products and rainbow colored slices of sausage are a thing from the past.

And thirdly for me most importantly, by restricting to only vegan products the temptation is gone to go for a snack, a donut, a piece of cake or chocolate while working. You will quit convenience food, microwave stuff and deep frozen pizza automatically because any of these products surely contain ingredients you don't eat as a vegan.

Reason 3: The Environment

To me the most important aspect overall was to reduce my personal ecologic footprint. I try to find a low energy flat, quit my car some years ago and drink water directly from the tap.

But did you know that CO2 coming from industry, cars and heating is actually not the main reason for the greenhouse effect? No, it's stock farming, giant cattle herds in South America and the US.

A cow produces methane which has a 28 times higher greenhouse potential than the same amount of CO2 and remains much longer in the atmosphere because the resorbation rate is lower.

For an equivalent to a delicious well hung rib eye steak from good Argentinian beef in a restaurant in my neighborhood, I could easily get into a Porsche Cayenne, drive from Hamburg to the Côte d'Azur and back and have an even more delicious vegan meal there  -  both have the same impact on the greenhouse effect.

Final Words

Three important reasons as I think. And as I said, personal taste is