Why go vegan?

Cow copy

I became vegetarian in April 1989 whilst on a trip to Koblenz in Germany. My coach party had no clue what meat we were eating one evening in the hotel restaurant and a rumour passed around the tables that it was possibly “horse”. I was sickened and later gave my reaction great thought. I wondered why I would be so grossed out at the thought of horse, but not cows, pigs, sheep and chickens. Surely all animal life is equally sacred? I stopped consuming flesh overnight and never once hankered after it.

My journey into veganism took a lot longer and I had a stop-start approach over many years as I was hooked on the taste and convenience of dairy. I always purchased plant milk instead of cow’s milk with the weekly shopping yet I would consume any type of cheese, free range eggs and products containing them. As someone looking to develop spiritually, my conscience was growing evermore uncomfortable until I finally cut all animal produce from my diet, phased out my leather shoe collection and began to source the most ethical cosmetics.

Prior to fully changing my diet to that of a vegan, one day I prayed to God whilst I was on a train as I like to have all my important decisions divinely confirmed. I asked something like “Is veganism right for me? Is it the best way to live? Please give me a sign”. Ten minutes later as I was getting off the train, a lady walked down the carriage towards me, going for the same door. She was talking on her mobile phone and I caught “… and it has to be vegan!“. Wow. On further biblical research we are taught the world commenced with plant based living and the future Kingdom of God for believers will be the same. There will be no killing whatsoever.

“Better a meal of vegetables where there is love than a fattened ox with hatred” – Proverbs 15.17.

The Meat Industry

Why has society taught us to cherish some animals and abuse others? How is it that we may sit at a dining table patting our dog’s head with one hand whilst placing cow parts into our mouths with the other? Choosing neatly cellophane packaged animal anatomy from supermarkets disassociates us from the violence involved in its production yet I believe the majority of the human race would go meat free it they had to personally kill and prepare animals for the dining table.

Watching films such as “Earthlings”, “Forks over Knives”, “Cowspiracy” and “Food Choices” educates us and may move us in to act in compassionate ways we have never previously considered. Even if sentient beings were all killed humanely for food this does not make the action acceptable when we have such an abundance of tasty and nutritious alternatives easily available. Slaughter house film footage explicitly shows us that animals do not wish to die, whatever the method. Whilst I love to see cattle peacefully grazing in fields, pet them and enjoy cow licks when the opportunity arises, I would prefer they ultimately became extinct due to a growing vegan movement rather than continue to suffer the horror of abattoirs for centuries to come.

Ever stood in front of a cow and salivated? Thought not.

Overconsumption of any type of meat encourages colon cancer, breast cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, type 2 diabetes, gout and parasitic diseases. There are plenty of plant-based mock meats available in supermarkets and health stores which are useful transitioning foods, however I wouldn’t recommend eating them on a frequent basis since any processed food is never the optimum choice for great health.

Legumes such as lentils, chickpeas and beans are natural and inexpensive ways of obtaining protein and iron as well as fibre and other vitamins and minerals.

The Fish Industry

It has always been claimed that fish have no feelings yet studies in 2003 have shown they have nociceptors, sensory nerve receptors which activate the sensation of pain in the brain. Scientists from the University of Edinburgh injected bee venom into the lips of rainbow trout. The fish immediately responded by rubbing their mouths along the bottom of their tank whilst rocking their bodies in agitation; their breathing pattern changed and they displayed defensive behaviour.

Suffice to say when shoals of fish are netted away from their habitat for human food consumption or hooked by the mouth purely for “sport” they suffer terribly.

Crustaceans also have sophisticated nervous systems. They suffer high stress when confined in crowded tanks, when they have their claws taped shut and physically react in pain when cooked alive in boiling water. They are intelligent creatures and during experiments learnt to avoid pain causing stimuli. Many fish including shell fish are bottom feeders, feasting on all manner of pollutants, debris and sewage, in turn absorbed by those choosing to eat them.

Fish, in particular salmon, is widely promoted as being a valuable source of omega 3 fatty acid chains. This is an essential fatty acid which we must obtain from our diet to ensure optimum heart and brain health. Due to the ingestion of industrial pollution fish contain high levels of mercury, a poisonous toxin which attacks our kidneys and brain.

The alternative is to have a daily tablespoon of flaxseed or hemp seed oil which contains ALA or a small handful of walnuts plus DHA and EHA capsules which will meet our requirements. To replace fish on the plate, the high protein low fat option of tofu may be easily seasoned and cooked to individual preference.

The Dairy Industry

I have never had an urge to run across a field, position myself underneath a cow, latch on to a teat and start drinking. Maybe you feel the same? Milk is produced for calves and they would naturally suckle for up to a year. Instead, they are separated from their mothers within a couple of days of birth causing immense distress to mother and baby. Male calves are killed for veal or raised for beef and the females are weaned on milk replacement feed before maturity where they are subjected to continual bouts of artificial insemination and industrial milking.

Dairy cows are regularly injected with bovine growth hormones to produce around 10 times more milk than they would by themselves. Frequent use of milking equipment often leads to mastitis, painfully infected udders, which seep pus into the milk supply. Milk is one of the biggest allergens in the human diet and is responsible for discomfort of sinuses, digestion and skin.

Substitute milks made from soya, almond, cashew, hemp and coconut are widely available as are other substitute products such as vegan cheese (try any one by Vegusto!), cream and yoghurts. Alternative sources of calcium include broccoli, kale, rocket and cabbage, green beans, tofu, dried figs, tahini and blackstrap molasses.

The Egg Industry

New born male chicks are thrown live into a grinder or gassed since they are of no financial purpose. Millions of female chickens spend their lives confined in indoor battery farm cages with very little space to move. They are routinely de-beaked without anaesthetic to stop them pecking their neighbours out of frustration. Free-range chickens may mean they have only a little more room to move around in so the term can be misleading.

The American Egg Board no longer allows egg companies to use the words “healthy,safe” or “nutritious” in their advertising campaigns. Their high cholesterol content damages the artery linings and may lead to heart disease. There is also a risk of type 2 diabetes and salmonella poisoning.

An alternative is the Follow Your Heart Vegan Egg available from health stores. This product is made with algal flour and makes a delicious scrambled breakfast.

The Honey Industry

Bees collect honey for their own nutritious food yet are maintained in hives to produce it purely for human consumption. The colony are fed a fructose solution in place of their natural diet and “smoked” to keep them calm when their keepers approach to access the honey. Often the queen bee has her wings clipped with scissors to prevent swarming.

Alternatively, agave syrup, maple syrup or stevia can be used to sweeten foods plus pure fruit jams are available from supermarkets and health stores.


Vegan diets comprising mostly wholefoods and raw fruit and vegetables are the best health insurance. I noticed a huge difference in my physical and mental energy and overall wellbeing from switching to a vegan diet. My sense of smell increased plus medical results showed my cholesterol level fell and my iron level increased. I also enjoy meal planning and cooking far more than I ever did and I have a greater interest in food in general. Happily the world is now waking up to the growing vegan lifestyle with many plant based options becoming available in restaurants and cafes.

Of the 45 nutrients humans need to survive only 2 cannot be reliably sourced from the plant kingdom. The first is vitamin B12 (cobalamin) to guard against megaloblastic anaemia and nerve damage. B12 is from soil bacteria which usually gets washed off our plants. The second is vitamin D to guard against osteoporosis, unless one lives in a hot climate where sun exposure automatically produces it in the body. Deficiencies in these nutrients can occur in omnivore diets as well as vegan diets, however daily supplementation is cheap and easy.


The Environment

UK Epidemiologist, Peter Scarborough of Oxford University states if we all switched to veganism our dietary carbon footprint would be halved, greatly reducing global warming. The following figures show greenhouse gas emissions per a 2,000 calorie a day diet in pounds of CO² equivalents (carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide):

High meat (more than 3.5 ounces a day) – 15.9

Moderate meat (1.75 – 3.5 ounces a day) – 12.4

Low meat (less than 1.75 ounces a day) – 10.3

Pescatarian – 8.6

Vegetarian – 8.4

Vegan – 6.4

Further Thoughts

Most of the scientific health information which puts a positive health slant on meat and dairy consumption to influence the masses are studies funded by the industries themselves in order to keep their profits huge. Instead of being led by propaganda I invite everyone to self-enquire. Ask if these media messages have the best interests of animals, humans or the environment.

There has never been an easier time in history to go vegan since more and more alternative food options are being offered up in the mainstream. We can all change our diet and lifestyle so that we are not taking part in the prolific cruelty and abuse of animals, fish and insects and in time phase these practices out. We can be the healthiest we have ever been on a diet focused on colourful plant goodness.

Lana with carrots

We can refuse to buy leather and woollen goods, boycott “entertainment” establishments such as zoos and racing stadiums and actively seek out toiletry and cosmetic products which have not been tested on animals nor contain animal derived ingredients.

May we all realise our moral responsibility and consciously break our links in the chain of suffering. 

Useful information

General explanation of veganism


Nutrition manual


Dr Neal Banard


Dr Michael Greger


For vegan meal restaurant options and health stores near you


For cruelty-free shoes and cosmetics


General information



  1. I have thoughts about going vegan but never really took the steps. I have stop eating certain meats though like pork etc. I mostly eat seafood, turkey and chicken. It’s not great but it’s a start right?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is a great post that I haven’t discovered until now Lana. I dropped meat more than twenty years ago, and chicken a bit later. I’m not a vegetarian though because I eat fish and sea foods and diary products. Had actually a discussion with my husband a couple of days ago in which we talked about the go vegen alternative. He has always been worried about the nutrition issue (insuffiencient iron, omega 3 etc) if we changed to a vegen diet, and in particular, the possible negative consequencies for the children who are growing up. I’m quite ready for a vegen diet, my daughter at 13 is also positive. The boys at 6 and 10 are a bit too young to make a decision on their own. Meat has never been a big consumption in our family and I’m thinking of cutting down the consumption further and replace it with vegen alternatives, so it would be a gradual process. A great read! Good you also included the vegen alternatives in the post.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I believe in you Lana 😊
        Not only health-related effects but also the way of taking distance from animal exploitation. We grew carrots, cabbages and potatoes in the garden last year, it was a success. Will grow vegetables this year too. Moving towards a greener life.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I just saw a video on facebook earlier today about how they treat cows in their dairy farms. omg it was so horrible and sad. It was so upsetting. I have been drinking almond and cashew milk as a dairy alternative lately so now I think I want to go all in… all vegan everything!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. My sister has been Vegan for about a year now, I’ve seen the results in her and she is feeling overall healthy. I am allergic to Gluten, Chickpeas, Green peas, Soy, and Lentils so for me protein would be a huge struggle. I consume a lot of veggies and the main animal protein I consume is chicken (Green-wise), organic eggs, and some fish occasionally. What would you suggest for someone with my dietary struggle?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. We only need around 20% of our daily intake of food to be from protein sources so it is not difficult to manage. Protein is in all vegetables and grains. Plus you can eat nuts, seeds, peanut butter, tahini etc and all other beans you are not allergic to like kidney beans, butter beans, aduki beans for good sources etc.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Just finished reading your post, and it is absolutely amazing and super informative. Wish I could share this with the whole world! Scary to think animals are being treated in such a way in this day and age when there are so so many other options for us all to eat and consume. I’ve been vegan nearly 3 months now and cut out fish, meat and all dairy straight away after a sudden realisation, similar to your personal experience. Like you, I also feel a lot better on a plant-based diet (health-wise). A new documentary from the makers of Cowspiracy has been released too and it’s really good! Called ‘What The Health’. Definitely worth a watch. Thanks again for sharing this,
    Love and Light,
    Emma x

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Hiya! I recently started a 30 day vegan pledge and I’m super excited for it! Loved this post for all the links and info. It’s amazing how much we don’t realise the impact of our eating habits on our world. And I’m finding that in this modern age, it really has never been easier to go vegan despite the mass amount of animal products left right and center. Thank you! xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for stopping by Vanilla! I am glad I was able to offer some encouragement with your new lifestyle. Here is a recipe for baba ghanoush which you may enjoy, an Eastern Mediterranean dish, it’s Arabic name meaning “pampered daddy”

      3 tablespoons vegetable oil for frying
      2 large aubergines
      1 tablespoon tahini
      2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
      1 teaspoon cumin
      1 teaspoon onion granules
      1 teaspoon sesame seeds
      A small handful of coriander, roughly chopped
      Juice of one small lemon
      Salt & pepper

      Heat oven to 175°C.
      Peel aubergines and cut into chunks.
      Fry the aubergine with the garlic, cumin and onion granules for approximately 10 minutes.
      Allow to cool a little then blitz in food processor with the lemon juice, tahini, salt and pepper.
      Gently reheat through.
      Place in a small serving dish.
      Sprinkle with sesame seeds and coriander.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Also, I’d love to hear your thoughts on Christianity as it relates to a healthy diet. I’ve often wondered why the church isn’t leading the way on eating healthy (taking care of our “temple”) as a way to worship God but can’t really put it into words yet.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I know Ben – I agree! I will write a Christianity post soon enough and why I no longer engaging in paganism. I have left new age lifestyle behind after many years. Unfortunately many Christians believe being vegetarian/vegan is new age practice?! No – just a compassionate one 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Ok great. I am following you now, so I’ll be on the lookout for that post. Meanwhile, I’m about to write one about a neighbor of mine that keeps inviting me to go hunting! He knows I don’t eat meat but still wants me to hunt deer with him :/ I can’t even kill an ant, much less a beautiful deer!

        Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m a vegan as well, and loved reading this. Solidifies my belief even more! I do occasionally eat honey, which will be the last to go… but I think I’m nearing the point where I need to let go.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Great post, I am currently on the path to veganism, also having a little trouble with dairy 😦 My partner and our 3 boys are all vegan. Thank you for your informative and inspirational post.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for visiting my post. How lovely you whole family are vegan to support you. There is so much information about. I just saved a recipe on making vegan cheese by blending in a processor… cooked potato and carrot with olive oil, lemon juice, S&P, garlic/onion powder and a little Marmite. I cannot wait to try it 🙂


      1. Exactly, I must add that I am so proud to live in the second (or third) most vegetarian/vegan capital in Europe 🙂 and veganism is not that expensive as many people think… all we need is to give ourlove a chance and choose vegan ❤

        Liked by 1 person

      2. There is still misguidedness like this week I saw an article in a magazine about vegan hair products but it was just extolling the virtues of chemical free products not that they are cruelty free and why this should be the norm. Sighs….

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I find the application of chemicals a figment of human imagination so if someone agrees to apply chemicals it’s ok, but I disagree with killing others. Hopefully, the world will become plant based very soon 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  10. i feel like I need to do this, I don’t eat red meat or pork. I could easily never eat chicken again. id struggle giving up fish and eggs…..milk is a bit meh to me anyways. so I agree with you

    Liked by 1 person

      1. yeah but I live on eggs and fish. I gave up other stuff easily, this id struggle with grrr. im gonna give it a try I think


  11. Great post! I’ve been vegetarian more than half of my life. Completely eliminating dairy products has been more of a challenge for me, though. Especially with macaroni and cheese loving kids. 😛


    1. There are so many vegan cheeses – you are spoilt for choice in US more than UK. No-one used to love cheese more than me – I attended festivals in its name! If I can let go I know anyone can. If you watch how cows are treated it breaks your heart. I love cows – I kiss them 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. One if the very best decisions I ever made. Suggest if you are interested start with one day a week being vegan and have fun with recipes 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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