Tuesday, July 29, 2008

What is Veganism?

Veganism, coined in 1944, is a philosophy and way of living that seeks to exclude, as much as possible, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose.

It also promotes the development and use of animal-free alternatives for the benefit of humans, animals and the environment.

In dietary terms veganism denotes the practice of avoiding all products derived wholly or partly from animals. While some people may become vegetarians strictly for the health benefits, most people become vegan to promote peace and compassion while reducing suffering.

Why veganism?

"Nothing will benefit human health and increase the chances for survival of life on earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet." - Albert Einstein

Choosing a vegan lifestyle is the single-most important thing you can do to help yourself, your fellow human beings, the animals and the planet, and while going vegetarian reduces a great amount of suffering and death for animals that are killed for their flesh, millions of other animals, such as dairy cows and egg-laying chickens, suffer in large factory farms.

As Gary Francione explains, "There is no morally significant difference between meat and dairy or between meat and fish. There is as much (if not more) suffering in a glass of milk as in a pound of steak."

This is because dairy cows tend to live longer than beef cows and dairy cows are confined to the miseries and horrors of factory farms. Once their usefulness is over, they too are slaughtered. A person who goes vegan helps reduce their suffering and death as well.

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