“If you knew what I knew, you would be vegan too.” When asked why I’m vegan I sometimes spew this out as a simple and quick answer. Most people are against animal cruelty however if you choose to eat animals you are directly funding animal cruelty. There is no such thing as ethical slaughter.
This may seem harsh to some people – I get it. I used to be there, I used to love some animals and eat others. We live in a world where as a society we speciesism ingrained into our culture. ‘Speciesism‘ is the idea that being human is a good enough reason for human animals to have greater moral rights than non-human animals. … a prejudice or bias in favour of the interests of members of one’s own species and against those of members of other species. It’s also what causes us to have a pet dog that we treat like family and also eat bacon. Pigs are actually considered the fifth-most intelligent animal in the world—even more intelligent than dogs. They also have excellent object-location memory and possess a sophisticated sense of direction too. They are curious, playful and loving, and deserving of our love and protection.
I would encourage everyone to be armed with knowledge about veganism so you can understand that it is far beyond a bunch of hippies eating salad, it is a lifestyle – one that is embraced by all walks of life. Well-planned vegan diets follow healthy eating guidelines and contain all the nutrients that our bodies need. It’s not for the rich and privileged. Most of the food I eat is super cheap – rice, sweet potatoes, beans, bananas, and apples make up a good portion of my intake and I’m a 200lb athlete. They are all cheap and vitamin-packed foods.
Here is a list of Documentaries and books that have had a huge impact on my life and armed me with the knowledge to really understand what veganism is all about!
Cowspiracy (available on Netflix)
Now that it’s well into the 21st century, mainstream society has accepted that taking care of the planet is a good idea. There has never been a better time to draw attention to the link between animal agriculture and ecological crises such as climate change, ocean dead zones, and water shortages. “Cowspiracy” manages to do exactly that while simultaneously calling out several environmental organizations for ignoring — or even obscuring — the truth about animal agriculture’s impact on the planet.
What The Health (available on Netflix)
This film explores the health benefits of a plant-based diet and exposes the reluctance of health and nutrition organizations to point out the negative effects of consuming animal products.
Earthings (available online)
“Earthlings” is packed with graphic footage of violence against animals, so it can be difficult to watch. At the same time, most will still consider it to be essential viewing for anyone who might use or consume animal products. For curious meat-eaters who seek the truth about the industries they support, or vegans who wish to understand the full extent of humanity’s brutality toward non-human animals, “Earthlings” is required viewing.
Forks Over Knives (available on Netflix)
was promoting the benefits of a whole-food, plant-based diet. Among various experts in vegan nutrition, “Forks Over Knives” features T. Colin Campbell, author of “The China Study,” the comprehensive scientific resource on the health benefits of the vegan diet. Check out the “Forks Over Knives” cookbook, which contains more than 300 plant-based recipes.
The Game Changers (available on Netflix)
It could be said that “The Game Changers” has generated more hype than any other vegan documentary out there. Featuring names like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Scott Jurek, Dotsie Bausch, Derrick Morgan, and Morgan Mitchell, “The Game Changers” aims to inspire by showing the athletic power of a plant-based diet and challenge “the world’s most dangerous myth: that meat is necessary for protein.”
Dominion (watch on its website)
With hidden cameras and aerial drones, “Dominion” takes the animal cruelty found in the food system under the spotlight for all to see. A host of celebrity names like Joaquin Phoenix, Kat Von D, Sadie Sink, and Sia feature in the film. “Dominion” sold out across the country at its various premiers and has motivated many to leave animals off their plate for good.
Fast Food Nation (the book)
This book had a huge impace on me and was what made me first turn vegetarian around 2004. The author looks at the fast-food industry, from the slaughterhouses and packing plants that turn out the burgers to the minimum-wage workers who cook them to the television commercials that entice children to eat them with the lure of cheap toys and colorful playgrounds. Once I found out that 99.9% of our meat comes from factory farms that was it for me…