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An Introduction to Veganism

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Veganism is a way of living.

The word vegan was coined in 1944 by Donald Watson, founder of The Vegan Society. Being vegan is a “way of living which seeks to exclude  as far as possible and practicable  all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose.”1“History | Vegan Society.” The Vegan Society. Accessed October 13, 2017. https://www.vegansociety.com/about-us/history

More simply put, veganism is a way of living that minimizes harm to animals.

This way of living manifests itself in our choices for food, clothing, and entertainment and any item that may involve harm to animals.

Concern for animals has a rich history.

The word vegan may be relatively new, but the idea isn’t. We can see veganism as part of a continuum in the history of thinking about our concern for animals and our belief that animals are worthy of ethical consideration.

Long before and long after the term vegan was coined, a long list of notables were vocal on the topic. Only a few are mentioned here.

Pythagoras (570 BCE–490 BCE) abstained from eating animals because he believed that humans have a special kinship with animals  not because of their intelligence, but because of their emotional capacity to feel pleasure and pain.2Huffman, Carl. “Pythagoras.” In The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, edited by Edward N. Zalta, Summer 2014. Metaphysics Research Lab, Stanford University, 2014. https://plato.stanford.edu/archives/sum2014/entries/pythagoras/

Leonardo da Vinci (1452–1519) said he would not let his body become “a tomb for other animals, an inn of the dead.”3White, Michael. Leonardo: The First Scientist. 1st edition. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2000, 131 He loved animals, refused to eat them, and abhorred the idea of causing pain to them.4Horowitz, David. “History of Vegetarianism – Leonardo Da Vinci (1452-1519).” International Vegetarian Union, July 19, 2002. https://ivu.org/history/davinci/hurwitz.html

Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792–1822), called the first celebrity vegan by one biographer,5Davis, John. “Shelley  The First Celebrity Vegan.” Vegsource.com, January 5, 2011. http://www.vegsource.com/john-davis/shelley—the-first-celebrity-vegan.html expressed regret that “beings capable of the gentlest and most admirable sympathies, should take delight in the death-pangs and last convulsions of dying animals.”6Shelley, Percy Bysshe. A Vindication of Natural Diet. Percy Bysshe Shelley. Kindle e-Book, A public domain book. Vegetarian Society, 1884. http://amzn.com/B0076QXQJIIbid., location 271 He wrote a book, A Vindication of Natural Diet, which draws on comparative anatomy to show that a vegetable diet is best suited to humans.7Ibid.

Leo Tolstoy (1828–1910) also wrote a book pertinent to veganism, titled The First Step: An Essay on the Morals of Diet, calling for abstinence from animal food as the first step toward moral perfection. He says that the use of animal food “is simply immoral, as it involves the performance of an act which is contrary to the moral feeling  killing; and is called forth only by greediness and the desire for tasty food.”8Tolstoy, Leo. 1900. The First Step: An Essay on the Morals of Diet, to Which Are Added Two Stories. Albert Broadbent. 61, 6 He addresses attempts to deny harm to animals by saying, “we are not ostriches, and cannot believe that if we refuse to look at what we do not wish to see it will not exist.”9Ibid., 58-59.

George Barnard Shaw (1856–1950) was one of the many people who connected our slaughter of animals to the lack of world peace, saying, “While we ourselves are the living graves of murdered beasts, how can we expect any ideal conditions on this earth?” He is also responsible for the often repeated but rarely attributed quote, “Animals are my friends . . . and I don’t eat my friends.”10Richards, Jennie. “George Bernard Shaw Poem, ‘We Are The Living Graves of Murdered Beasts.’” Humane Decisions, January 15, 2015. http://www.humanedecisions.com/george-bernard-shaw-poem-we-are-the-living-graves-of-murdered-beasts/

Mahatma Gandhi (1869–1948) believed that “the more helpless a creature, the more entitled it is to protection by man from the cruelty of man.”11Gandhi, Mahatma. Autobiography: The Story of My Experiments with Truth. Courier Corporation, 1948, 208

As a young law student in London, he made the spread of vegetarianism (which then meant what veganism means today) his stated mission,12Gandhi, Mahatma. “Autobiography: The Story of My Experiments with Truth.” Accessed February 3, 2018. https://www.amazon.com/Autobiography-Story-My-Experiments-Truth/dp/1481076043, 52 and he carried out the mission by writing essays and giving speeches on the topic.13“Mohandas K. Gandhi (1869-1948).” International Vegetarian Union. Accessed October 16, 2017. https://ivu.org/history/gandhi/index.html It seems he honed his activist’s skills on being a voice for animals and then used those skills later to change the course of human history.

The case for veganism is strong.

To go vegan, one need not believe that animals and humans deserve equal moral consideration  or that animals have rights. The case for veganism is built on the simple belief that one should not unnecessarily harm animals  a belief that virtually everyone holds, except psychopaths.

What we differ on is what is meant by harm and whether any harm inflicted is necessary. So let’s look a little deeper into the ideas of harm and necessity.

Here we focus on the question of necessity and the harms that come about from using animals for food, because this is by far the most prevalent. At least fifty billion land animals14“Meat Production Continues to Rise.” Worldwatch Institute, September 29, 2017. http://www.worldwatch.org/node/5443 and more than a trillion sea animals15Mood, A, and P Brooke. “Estimate of Fish Numbers.” Fishcount.org, July 2010. http://www.fishcount.org.uk/published/std/fishcountstudy.pdf are slaughtered or killed every year for food, dwarfing all other methods of animal exploitation combined.

Necessity. The most common attempt to justify the harm resulting from eating animal products is to say that it’s necessary to consume animal products to be healthy. Yet the evidence is overwhelming that plant-based diets are nutritionally complete and healthy. Mayo Clinic,16“Vegetarian Diet: How to Get the Best Nutrition.” Mayo Clinic. Accessed August 2, 2017. http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/vegetarian-diet/art-20046446 Harvard Public Health,17“Becoming a Vegetarian.” Harvard Health Publications Harvard Medical School, March 18, 2016. https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/becoming-a-vegetarian Kaiser Permanente,18Phillip J Tuso, MD, Mohamed H Ismail, MD, Benjamin P Ha, MD, and Carole Bartolotto, MD, RD. “Nutritional Update for Physicians: Plant-Based Diets.” The Permanente Journal – The Permanente Press – Kaiser Permanente – Permanente Medical Groups, 2013. http://www.thepermanentejournal.org/issues/2013/spring/5117-nutrition.html NewYork-Presbyterian,19Ask A Nutritionist: Plant-Based Diets.” NewYork-Presbyterian, March 30, 2017. https://healthmatters.nyp.org/plant-based-diet/ and others have all said that a totally plant-based diet is not only sufficient but advantageous. Cleveland Clinic adds that “there really are no disadvantages to a herbivorous diet!”20“Understanding Vegetarianism & Heart Health.” Cleveland Clinic, December 2013. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/understanding-vegetarianism-heart-health

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is the largest nutrition-focused organization in the world, with over one hundred thousand credentialed professionals.21“About Us.” Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Accessed August 2, 2017. http://www.eatrightpro.org/resources/about-us In an official position paper, they say that vegan diets “are appropriate for all stages of the life cycle, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, adolescence, older adulthood and for athletes.”22“Vegetarian Diets.” Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. December 2016. http://www.eatrightpro.org/resource/practice/position-and-practice-papers/position-papers/vegetarian-diets

The dietetic associations of other countries, including Canada,23“Healthy Eating Guidelines for Vegans.” Dietitians of Canada, November 2017. https://www.dietitians.ca/Downloads/Factsheets/Guidlines-for-Vegans.aspx England,24“British Dietetic Association.” The Vegan Society. Accessed August 3, 2017. https://www.vegansociety.com/society/whos-involved/partners/british-dietetic-association and Australia,25“Vegan Diets: Everything You Need to Know – Dietitians Association of Australia.” Dietitians Association of Australia. Accessed August 3, 2017. https://daa.asn.au/smart-eating-for-you/smart-eating-fast-facts/healthy-eating/vegan-diets-facts-tips-and-considerations/ have also made pronouncements on the viability of a vegan diet.

When the major health organizations, the major research institutions, and the dietetic associations all say that there is no need to eat animals and animal products, that constitutes a scientific consensus on the topic.

Harm. Farmed animals are subjected to confinement, crowding, mutilation, deprivation of natural behaviors, debilitating selective breeding, cruel treatment, separation from their offspring, slaughter, and other injustices.

These abuses are well documented in animal agriculture websites, documentary movies, and videos of undercover investigations, some at “certified humane” facilities. That they occur, and that they occur at certified humane facilities, cannot be plausibly denied.

But even if we treated them well up until the time of slaughter, there is no way to humanely slaughter someone who does not want to die. And there is no way to humanely exploit the reproductive systems of birds for eggs or mammals for milk and cheese, whose lives are also taken when they are no longer profitable.

The central issue is that in using animals for our own purposes, we are depriving them of their freedom and their lives  the only lives they have, and lives that are valued by each of them. And we are doing this unnecessarily.

Whether we eat animal products, use them for entertainment, hunt them for sport, wear them for clothing, or do research on them, we are harming them. Vegans seek to eliminate their participation in all forms of animal exploitation and harm.

The benefits of veganism to humans are substantial.

Veganism is first and foremost a way of living that is fair and just to animals. That said, the bonus benefits of sustainability, social justice, and health are substantial and should not be ignored.

Some people become vegan, or at least adopt a vegan diet, for one of these other reasons. They often come to appreciate and embrace all of veganism’s implications and benefits as they become more aware.

Better health. Research vetted by the major medical and nutrition-focused organizations mentioned earlier shows that adopting a vegan diet will reduce your risks of the chronic diseases that plague modern meat-eating societies, including heart disease, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, cancer, high cholesterol, high blood-pressure levels, obesity, and poor bone health.26“Becoming a Vegetarian.” Harvard Health Publications Harvard Medical School, March 18, 2016. https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/becoming-a-vegetarian 27“Vegetarian Diets.” Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. December 2016. http://www.eatrightpro.org/resource/practice/position-and-practice-papers/position-papers/vegetarian-diets 28“Understanding Vegetarianism; Heart Health.” Cleveland Clinic, December 2013. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/understanding-vegetarianism-heart-health 29Ask A Nutritionist: Plant-Based Diets.” NewYork-Presbyterian, March 30, 2017. https://healthmatters.nyp.org/plant-based-diet/

Kaiser Permanente, a nonprofit insurer and medical provider with over eleven million members,30“Fast Facts About Kaiser Permanente.” Kaiser Permanente Share, 2017. https://share.kaiserpermanente.org/article/fast-facts-about-kaiser-permanente/ even asks their physicians to recommend a plant-based diet to their patients, especially those with high blood pressure, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, or obesity. They go on to say that research shows plant-based diets “may also reduce the number of medications needed to treat chronic diseases and lower ischemic heart disease mortality rates.”31Phillip J Tuso, MD, Mohamed H Ismail, MD, Benjamin P Ha, MD, and Carole Bartolotto, MD, RD. “Nutritional Update for Physicians: Plant-Based Diets.” The Permanente Journal – The Permanente Press – Kaiser Permanente – Permanente Medical Groups, 2013. http://www.thepermanentejournal.org/issues/2013/spring/5117-nutrition.html

Environmental concerns. An article in Georgetown Environmental Law Review sums it up nicely, calling animal agriculture the “one industry that is destroying our planet and our ability to thrive on it.”32Christopher Hyner. “A Leading Cause of Everything: One Industry That Is Destroying Our Planet and Our Ability to Thrive on It.” Georgetown Environmental Law Review, October 23, 2015. https://gelr.org/2015/10/23/a-leading-cause-of-everything-one-industry-that-is-destroying-our-planet-and-our-ability-to-thrive-on-it-georgetown-environmental-law-review/

Animal agriculture is responsible for up to 51 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions,33“World Bank Confronts Sustainability Criticism | Business Ethics.” Business Ethics Magazine (blog), March 9, 2011. http://business-ethics.com/2011/03/19/1900-world-bank-confronts-sustainability-criticism/ accounts for 80 percent of deforestation rates in the Amazon,34Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. “Cattle Ranching in the Amazon Region.” Global Forest Atlas, June 6, 2014. http://globalforestatlas.yale.edu/amazon/land-use/cattle-ranching and is a major contributor to species extinction,35“Evidence of Species Loss in Amazon Caused by Deforestation.” ScienceDaily. Accessed June 8, 2017. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/08/150824064927.htm. ocean dead zones,36Victor Paine. “What Causes Ocean ‘Dead Zones’?” Scientific American. Accessed June 8, 2017. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/ocean-dead-zones/. depletion of fish,37“FAO Statistical Yearbook 2012.” United Nations FAO. Accessed April 4, 2018. http://www.fao.org/docrep/015/i2490e/i2490e00.htm runoff and water pollution,38Bhanoo, Sindya N. “Amish Farming Draws Rare Government Scrutiny.” The New York Times, June 8, 2010, sec. Environment. https://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/09/science/earth/09amish.html and water wastage.39“Water Footprint.” Waterfootprint.org. Accessed November 28, 2017. http://waterfootprint.org/en/resources/interactive-tools/product-gallery/  40“Water Footprint Assessment Manual – The Global Standard.” Accessed November 28, 2017. http://waterfootprint.org/en/resources/publications/water-footprint-assessment-manual-global-standard/

The extreme devastation of the planet caused by animal agriculture prompted Howard Lyman, a former cattle rancher, to say, “You can’t be an environmentalist and eat animal products”41Quotes from “Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret.” Accessed May 25, 2018. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3302820/quotes and that “to consider yourself an environmentalist and still eat meat is like saying you’re a philanthropist who doesn’t give to charity.”42“Cowspiracy – Encore | Animal Liberation Victoria.” Accessed May 25, 2018. https://www.alv.org.au/articles/cowspiracy/

Human social justice. In developing countries, almost five million children under the age of five die of malnutrition-related causes every year,43Richard Oppenlander. “The World Hunger-Food Choice Connection: A Summary.” Comfortably Unaware, 2012. http://comfortablyunaware.com/blog/the-world-hunger-food-choice-connection-a-summary/. and another eight hundred million are unable to lead a normal life because of chronic hunger.44Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). “Hunger Facts,” 2014. http://www.fao.org/about/meetings/icn2/toolkit/hunger-facts/en/

It seems almost criminal that 80 percent of the world’s starving children live in countries where food is given to livestock that will then be shipped to and eaten in more affluent countries.45Richard Oppenlander. “The World Hunger-Food Choice Connection: A Summary.” Comfortably Unaware, 2012. http://comfortablyunaware.com/blog/the-world-hunger-food-choice-connection-a-summary/.

Studies show we could feed many times more people if we grew human food instead of growing animal food and feeding animals.46Cassidy, Emily S., Paul C. West, James S. Gerber, and Jonathan A. Foley. “Redefining Agricultural Yields: From Tonnes to People Nourished per Hectare.” Environmental Research Letters 8, no. 3 (2013): 034015. doi:10.1088/1748-9326/8/3/034015 47Jason Gavericy Matheny, “Least Harm: A Defense of Vegetarianism From Steven Davis’s Omnivorous Proposal,” January 30, 2003, http://fewd.univie.ac.at/fileadmin/user_upload/inst_ethik_wiss_dialog/Matheny__G._2003_Defense_of_Veg__in_J._Agric_Ethics.pdf 48“U.S. Could Feed 800 Million People with Grain That Livestock Eat, Cornell Ecologist Advises Animal Scientists,” Cornell Chronicle, August 7, 1997, http://news.cornell.edu/stories/1997/08/us-could-feed-800-million-people-grain-livestock-eat This is because animals are very inefficient at converting animal feed into animal products.

The inefficiency is because most of the calories fed to an animal go to basic metabolism for daily living and for producing body parts that are not eaten, such as bones, rather than for producing the flesh and secretions that we eat.

According to a peer-reviewed study published by the World Resources Institute in 2014, titled “Creating a Sustainable Food Future,” it takes on average 30 calories of plant feed to produce one calorie of food from animals.49An average of the figures for various farmed animals from this study: World Resources Institute. “Creating a Sustainable Food Future.” World Resources Institute, 2014. http://www.wri.org/sites/default/files/wri13_report_4c_wrr_online.pdf.

Animal rights philosophy strengthens the case for veganism.

As mentioned earlier, the validity of veganism does not depend on believing that animals have rights. Nevertheless, the philosophy of animal rights strengthens the rational foundation of veganism.

According to philosopher Tom Regan, author of The Case for Animal Rights, “the philosophy of animal rights stands for, not against, justice. We are not to violate the rights of the few so that the many might benefit. Slavery allows this, child labor allows this, all unjust social institutions allow this . . . but not the philosophy of animal rights, whose highest principle is justice.”50Regan, Tom. “Animal Rights Speech by Tom Regan.” WEEAC , 1989. http://www.weeac.com/animal-rights–by-tom-regan.html

Whether or not you identify as vegan, embodying the ideas behind veganism is to live in a way that exemplifies the fairness and justice for animals that Regan is addressing. The idea of animal rights may seem odd at first, but it’s actually well grounded.

The objections to veganism are weak.

After reading some of this material, you may have questions and concerns about veganism and animal rights. The Objections Section of this site addresses your concerns, objections, doubts, questions, and, yes, sometimes excuses.

We agree with Donald Watson, who, at the age of 92, said that veganism is “meeting every reasonable criticism that anyone can level against it.”51George D Rodger, “Donald Watson: In His Own Words: Part Two,” The Veggie Blog (blog), December 15, 2002, http://www.happycow.net/blog/donald-watson-2/ The case for veganism is strong, while the objections to veganism are weak.

Veganism is on the rise.

According to a 2017 Global Data Research report, the number of people who identify as vegan in the U.S. has grown five hundred percent in the three years from 2014 to 2017.52“Top Trends in Prepared Foods 2017: Exploring Trends in Meat, Fish and Seafood; Pasta, Noodles and Rice; Prepared Meals; Savory Deli Food; Soup; and Meat Substitutes.” Accessed November 15, 2017. https://www.reportbuyer.com/product/4959853/top-trends-in-prepared-foods-2017-exploring-trends-in-meat-fish-and-seafood-pasta-noodles-and-rice-prepared-meals-savory-deli-food-soup-and-meat-substitutes.html 

This is reflected in the rapidly growing number of vegan choices in restaurants and grocery stores, as well as the proliferation of vegan celebrities, vegan public figures, and vegan professional athletes.53VeganRevolution. It’s a New Era of Veganism  Game Changers First Trailer. Accessed May 27, 2018. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bMQ1rzz9t5w Veganism is going mainstream.54“Vegan Is Going Mainstream, Trend Data Suggests.” Accessed November 15, 2017. https://www.foodnavigator-usa.com/Article/2015/03/17/Vegan-is-going-mainstream-trend-data-suggests

Getting started is an adventure.

Many have found leaving animals off their plate to be an adventure, discovering new foods, recipes, and tastes they had never before experienced. Like many changes, being vegan will soon be second nature. See our Getting Started with Going Vegan article in the Basics Section of this website.

You can be on the right side of history.

There may be nothing else you could do that would have such positive consequences on so many fronts, to the benefit of both humans and animals, than going vegan and leaving animals and animal products off your plate.

Being vegan will prevent the suffering of many innocent lives who would have otherwise been born or hatched into a system of brutality, and being vegan will give you the peace of mind that comes with knowing you’re no longer using your purchasing power for products made with violence.

In addition, the other benefits to humans are substantial. The science is clear that it will lower your risk of chronic disease, diminish your footprint on the planet, and promote a more efficient food system better capable of feeding the world’s starving, hungry, and impoverished.

Henry David Thoreau said he had no doubt that it’s the “destiny of the human race, in its gradual improvement, to leave off eating animals.”55Thoreau, Henry David. Walden. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2017. 118 This is your chance to be on the right side of history before it becomes the norm.

Outline

The content in the article and clipboard tabs has been copy-edited, but the outline has not, pending some restructuring.

 Talking Points OutlineKnowledge Base
  • Context
    • The article provides a broad, sweeping overview of veganism, covering its definition and history, the simple case for veganism, and the implications of veganism for both human and non-human animals. The article is a summarized from this outline, which provides much more detail.
  • Veganism is a way of living.
    • Donald Watson and his wife Dorothy coined the word Vegan in 1944 before he founded the Vegan Society.
      • Watson was unhappy that the word vegetarian had morphed to include dairy and thought that a new word for non-dairy vegetarian was needed.
      • The word vegan was formed from the first three and last two letters of ‘vegetarian.’ In the words of Donald Watson, it marked “the beginning and end of vegetarian.”56“History | Vegan Society.” The Vegan Society. Accessed October 13, 2017. https://www.vegansociety.com/about-us/history He also founded the Vegan Society, which early on was known as The Non-Dairy Vegetarians”. The society is still active today.
    • Watson thought that humankind would eventually “view with abhorrence the idea that men once fed on the products of animals’ bodies.”
      • In the first issue of the Vegan Society newsletter, The Vegan News, Watson said “We can see quite plainly that our present civilisation is built on the exploitation of animals, just as past civilisations were built on the exploitation of slaves, and we believe the spiritual destiny of man is such that in time he will view with abhorrence the idea that men once fed on the products of animals’ bodies.”57Watkins, Donald. “The Vegan News – No. 1.” UK Veggie, November 1944. http://ukveggie.com/vegan_news/
    • The currently accepted definition came in 1988.
      • The definition of veganism embraced by The Vegan Society changed over the years, but by 1988 the Vegan Society’s definition of veganism, and the one most cited today, is: “a philosophy and way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing, or any other purpose.”58“History | Vegan Society.” The Vegan Society. Accessed October 13, 2017. https://www.vegansociety.com/about-us/history
      • More simply put, veganism is living in a way that minimizes harm to animals.
    • Veganism’s definition has implications.
      • Veganism is defined is a way of living that manifests itself in our choices for food, entertainment, and clothing.
      • The definition of veganism started as the practice of eating non-animal foods, and is now more broadly defined “as a way of living” with the goal of avoiding exploitation of animals for any purpose.
      • The phase “exclude, as far as possible and practical” is an important part of the definition of veganism. Animal products are near-unbiquitious  they may be found in plastic bags, tires, paint, asphalt and other products. The fact that such products can’t be totally avoided does not diminish the idea of veganism.
    • Being vegan is not all-consuming.
      • Although veganism provides a barometer for many of our choices, veganism is not all-encompassing and doesn’t consume our lives. We vegans go about our lives the same as non-vegans   we get the kids ready for school, go to work, buy groceries, wash the car every 6 months, watch an occasional movie, and eat out every now and then.
    • Extra
      • The first definition of veganism came in 1945.
        • The cover of the third issue of The Vegan News, dated May 1945 stated:
          • “VEGANISM is the practice of living on fruits, nuts, vegetables, grains, and other wholesome non-animal products.”
          • “VEGANISM excludes as human food: flesh, fish, fowl, eggs, honey, and animals’ milk, butter, and cheese.”
          • “VEGANISM aims at encouraging the manufacture and use of alternatives to animal products.”
          • Source59“The Vegan News No. 3 May 1945.” Issuu, May 1945. https://issuu.com/vegan_society/docs/the-vegan-news-no.-3-may-1945
  • Concern for animals has a rich history.
    • Context
      • The word vegan may be relatively new, but the idea isn’t.
        • Extra
          • The idea of a vegetable diet is at least as old as the book of Genesis in the Christian Bible, which reported that the inhabitants of the Garden of Eden were given “every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.”60Genesis 1:29
      • We can see veganism as part of a continuum in the history of thinking about our concern for animals and our belief that animals are worthy of ethical consideration.
      • Long before and long after the term “vegan” was coined, a long list of notables has been vocal on the topic.
      • In considering veganism in a historical context, keep in mind the word vegetarian is older than the word vegan, and when it first started being used, it meant what the word vegan means today.
        • Extra
          • The first recorded use of the word vegetarian was in England in 1842. At that time, the word meant a diet without any animal products.61“History of Vegetarianism – Extracts from Some Journals 1843-48.” International Vegetarian Union. Accessed October 18, 2017. https://ivu.org/history/vegetarian.html , which is what the word vegan meant when it was later coined and what the word vegan, as it relates to diet, means today.
      • We will mention a few of the notables who followed the spirit of veganism before the word vegan became mainstream.
    • Pythagoras (570 BCE-490 BCE)
      • Pythagoras, an influential Greek philosopher and mathematician, invented the word philosophy, and first applied the word cosmos to the universe, and first used the word theory in the way it’s used today. He introduced the idea of a square, and a cube, and the whole idea of applying mathematical operations on geometric shapes. Perhaps he is best known for the Pythagoras’ Theorem.62Magee, Bryan. The Story of Philosophy. DK Pub., 1998. 15
      • In his work “Life of Pythagoras”, Porphyry, another ancient Greek philosopher, wrote that Pythagoras “not only abstained from animal food, but never in any way approached butchers or hunters.”63Porphyry, “Porphyry, Life of Pythagoras Translated by Kenneth Sylvan Guthrie,” 1920, http://www.tertullian.org/fathers/porphyry_life_of_pythagoras_02_text.htm
      • He believed that humans have a special kinship with animals, not because of their intelligence, but because of their emotional capacity to feel pleasure and pain.64Huffman, Carl. “Pythagoras.” In The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, edited by Edward N. Zalta, Summer 2014. Metaphysics Research Lab, Stanford University, 2014. https://plato.stanford.edu/archives/sum2014/entries/pythagoras/ .
      • Pythagoras had a band of followers known as Pythagoreans. Until the 19th century, when the word ‘”vegetarian” came into usage, the Pythagorean Diet meant what vegetarian means now. 65Zaraska, Marta. Meathooked: The History and Science of Our 2.5-Million-Year Obsession with Meat. 1 edition. New York: Basic Books, 2016. 119-120
    • Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519)
      • Da Vinci was ahead of his time, not only in designing bicycles, airplanes, and helicopters, but also in his attitude toward animals.
      • He was “a man imbued with an uncommon compassion for all living things.”
      • Da Vinci loved animals, refused to eat them, and abhorred the idea of causing pain to them.66Horowitz, David. “History of Vegetarianism – Leonardo Da Vinci (1452-1519).” International Vegetarian Union, July 19, 2002. https://ivu.org/history/davinci/hurwitz.html
      • In refusing to eat animals, he said he would not let his body become “a tomb for other animals, an inn of the dead.”
      • Source67White, Michael. Leonardo: The First Scientist. 1st edition. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2000, 131
      • He bought birds in cages just so he could free them.
        • “The mere idea of permitting the existence of unnecessary suffering, still more that of taking life, was abhorrent to him. Vasari tells, as an instance of his love of animals, how when in Florence he passed places where birds were sold he would frequently take them from their cages with his own hand, and having paid the sellers the price that was asked would let them fly away in the air, thus giving them back their liberty.”68McCurdy, Edward. The Mind of Leonardo Da Vinci. Dover Ed edition. Dover Publications, 2013, 78.s
      • Extra
        • He refuted the idea that plants feel pain hundreds of years before that specific objection to veganism became the calling card for those objecting to veganism.
          • “Though nature has given sensibility to pain to such living organisms as have the power of movement, – in order thereby to preserve the members which in this movement are liable to diminish and be destroyed, – the living organisms which have no power of movement do not have to encounter opposing objects, and plants consequently do not need to have a sensibility to pain, and so it comes about that if you break them they do not feel anguish in their members as do the animals.”
            • Source69da Vinci, Leonardo. Leonardo Da Vinci’s Note-Books: Arranged and Rendered into English with Introductions. Empire State Book Company, 1908
        • A widely attributed quote is fictional.
          • The following quote comes from a fictional portrayal: “I have from an early age abjured the use of meat, and the time will come when men such as I will look upon the murder of animals as they now look upon the murder of men.”70Horowitz, David. “History of Vegetarianism – Leonardo Da Vinci (1452-1519).” International Vegetarian Union, July 19, 2002. https://ivu.org/history/davinci/hurwitz.html
          • Although the quote itself is fictional, it seems to be true to his character, according to several of his biographers as well as his own notebooks.
    • Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)
      • In his autobiography, Benjamin Franklin reveals that he resolved to abstain from animal food at the age of 16. He liked the taste of fish but viewed “the taking of fish as a kind of unprovoked murder since none of them had, or ever could do us any injury that might justify the slaughter”.71Franklin, Benjamin. The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin. AmazonClassics, 2017. 38
      • He was reproached for his refusal to eat flesh.
        • He said “My refusing to eat flesh occasioned an inconveniency, and I was frequently chid for my singularity.”72Ibid., 23.
      • He later returned to eating fish, after being seduced by the smell of frying fish  food he once enjoyed. He admitted it was a rationalization in the famous quote “So convenient a thing is it to be a reasonable creature, since it enables one to find or make a reason for everything one has a mind to do.”
        • “Hitherto I had stuck to my resolution of not eating animal food, and on this occasion I consider’d, with my master Tryon, the taking every fish as a kind of unprovoked murder, since none of them had, or ever could do us any injury that might justify the slaughter. All this seemed very reasonable. But I had formerly been a great lover of fish, and, when this came hot out of the frying-pan, it smelt admirably well. I balanc’d some time between principle and inclination, till I recollected that, when the fish were opened, I saw smaller fish taken out of their stomachs; then thought I, “If you eat one another, I don’t see why we mayn’t eat you.” So I din’d upon cod very heartily, and continued to eat with other people, returning only now and then occasionally to a vegetable diet. So convenient a thing is it to be a reasonable creature, since it enables one to find or make a reason for everything one has a mind to do.”73Ibid., 48-49.
    • Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822)
      • Shelley is a poet, best known for Ozymandias and Ode to the West Wind.
      • One writer described him as “the first celebrity vegan.”74Davis, John. “Shelley  The First Celebrity Vegan.” Vegsource.com, January 5, 2011. http://www.vegsource.com/john-davis/shelley—the-first-celebrity-vegan.html
      • Shelly’s book, A Vindication of Natural Diet, draws on comparative anatomy to show that a vegetable diet is best suited to humans. 75Shelley, Percy Bysshe. A Vindication of Natural Diet. Percy Bysshe Shelley. Kindle e-Book, A public domain book. Vegetarian Society, 1884. http://amzn.com/B0076QXQJI
      • The ethical argument appears when Shelley regrets that “beings capable of the gentlest and most admirable sympathies, should take delight in the death-pangs and last convulsions of dying animals.76Ibid., location 271
      • Extra
        • His essay, “On the Vegetable System of Diet” more directly addressed injustice toward animals.
          • “If the use of animal food be, in consequence, subversive to the peace of human society, how unwarrantable is the injustice and barbarity which is exercised toward these miserable victims. They are called into existence by human artifice that they may drag out a short and miserable existence of slavery and disease, that their bodies may be mutilated, their social feelings outraged. It were much better that a sentient being should never have existed, than that it should have existed only to endure unmitigated misery. (The attachment of animals to their young is very strong. The monstrous sophism that beasts are pure unfeeling machines, and do not reason, scarcely requires a confutation.)”77“History of Vegetarianism – Shelley – Extracts from Writing on the Vegetable Diet.” Accessed October 19, 2017. https://ivu.org/history/shelley/prose.html
    • Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910)
      • Leo Tolstoy wrote War and Peace, Anna Karenina, and other plays and novels, and a 74-page book titled The First Step, on the morals of diet. 78Tolstoy, Leo. 1900. The First Step: An Essay on the Morals of Diet, to Which Are Added Two Stories. Albert Broadbent.
      • He felt that in slaughtering animals, “a man suppresses within himself, unnecessarily, the highest spiritual capacity, that of sympathy and pity toward living creatures like himself, and by violating himself becomes cruel.79Ibid., 51
      • He addressed attempts at denial saying “we are not ostriches, and cannot believe that if we refuse to look at what we do not wish to see it will not exist.”
        • Today, we often hear of people who refuse to watch movies like Earthlings, and Youtube videos of systemic and commonplace cruelties. Tolstoy had something to say about this: “We cannot pretend we do not know this. We are not ostriches, and cannot believe that if we refuse to look at what we do not wish to see it will not exist. This is especially the case when what we do not wish to see is what we eat.”80Ibid., 58-59.
      • In calling for abstinence from animal food as the first step toward moral perfection, he said that the use of animal food “is simply immoral, as it involves the performance of an act which is contrary to the moral feeling  killing; and is called forth only by greediness and the desire for tasty food.”81Tolstoy, Leo. 1900. The First Step: An Essay on the Morals of Diet, to Which Are Added Two Stories. Albert Broadbent. 61, 6
      • He described a slaughterhouse with its smell of blood, the trembling of creatures being skinned, dismembered and twitching while still alive, with men walking about the scene “preoccupied with money dealings and calculations.”
        • He visited a slaughterhouse, “constructed according to the new and improved system practiced in large towns, with a view to the animals suffering as little as possible.” because “he wanted to “see the truth of the matter.” 82Ibid., 50. So Temple Grandin wasn’t the first to try and fail to construct a humane slaughterhouse, a house where sentient beings who value their lives are unnecessarily made to lose the lives they value.
        • He describe the smell of blood, the trembling of creatures being skinned, dismembered and twitching while still alive, with men walking about the scene “preoccupied with money dealings and calculations” with the morality of killing “as far from their minds as were questions about the chemical composition of the blood that covered the floor of the chambers.”83Ibid., 53-54.
    • George Barnard Shaw (1856-1950)
      • Shaw was a playwright with over 60 plays, winner if the Nobel Prize in literature, author of Caesar and Cleopatra, and Oscar recipient for an adaption of his play Pygmalion.84“George Bernard Shaw.” Biography.com. Accessed October 23, 2017. https://www.biography.com/people/george-bernard-shaw-9480925
      • He wrote the poem Living Graves, expressing the idea that “we are the living graves of murdered beasts, slaughtered to satisfy our appetites.”
      • Shaw became a strict vegetarian (meaning vegan) in 1881 at the age 25 and remained so until his death.
      • Among his many quotes regarding our use of animals, he said “Animals are my friends…and I don’t eat my friends.”
      • He said there were “dozens of vegetarian restaurants in London, which he visited frequently.
      • Shaw was opposed to all forms of cruelty to animals, including using them for research.
      • His will contained instructions for a parade of animals rather than mourning coaches “in honor of the man who perished rather than eat his fellow creatures.”
      • He made several pertinent quotes regarding animal rights and veganism.
        • “Animals are my friends  . . .  and I don’t eat my friends.”
        • “I choose not to make a graveyard of my body with the rotting corpses of dead animals.”
        • “A man of my spiritual intensity does not eat corpses.”
        • “While we ourselves are the living graves of murdered beasts, how can we expect any ideal conditions on this earth?”
        • “The worst sin toward our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them: that’s the essence of inhumanity.”
        • “Vivisection is a social evil because if it advances human knowledge, it does so at the expense of human character.”
      • He wrote the poem Living Graves about our treatment of animals.
        • Living Graves
          • We are the living graves of murdered beasts,
          • Slaughtered to satisfy our appetites.
          • We never pause to wonder at our feasts,
          • If animals, like men, can possibly have rights.
          • We pray on Sundays that we may have light,
          • To guide our footsteps on the path we tread.
          • We’re sick of War, we do not want to fight –
          • The thought of it now fills our hearts with dread,
          • And yet – we gorge ourselves upon the dead.
          • Like carrion crows, we live and feed on meat,
          • Regardless of the suffering and pain
          • We cause by doing so, if thus we treat
          • Defenseless animals for sport or gain,
          • How can we hope in this world to attain
          • The PEACE we say we are so anxious for.
          • We pray for it, o’er hecatombs of slain,
          • To God, while outraging the moral law.
          • Thus cruelty begets its offspring – WAR
          •   George Bernard Shaw, Playwright
      • Source85Richards, Jennie. “George Bernard Shaw Poem, ‘We Are The Living Graves of Murdered Beasts.’” Humane Decisions, January 15, 2015. http://www.humanedecisions.com/george-bernard-shaw-poem-we-are-the-living-graves-of-murdered-beasts/
    • Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948)
      • The spread of vegetarianism was Gandhi’s stated mission as a young law student in London.
        • He states in his autobiography that the spread of vegetarianism became his mission: “The choice was now made in favour of vegetarianism, the spread of which henceforward became my mission.”86Gandhi, Mahatma. “Autobiography: The Story of My Experiments with Truth.” Accessed February 3, 2018. https://www.amazon.com/Autobiography-Story-My-Experiments-Truth/dp/1481076043, 52
      • In advancing that mission, he wrote articles and gave speeches on vegetarianism.
        • He wrote at least 22 articles in The Vegetarian newsletter of the London Vegetarian Society (1891-1896).87“Mohandas K. Gandhi (1869-1948).” International Vegetarian Union. Accessed October 16, 2017. https://ivu.org/history/gandhi/index.html and spoke before the London Vegetarian Society.
      • He believed that “the more helpless a creature, the more entitled it is to protection by man from the cruelty of man.”88Gandhi, Mahatma. Autobiography: The Story of My Experiments with Truth. Courier Corporation, 1948, 208
      • It may not be a stretch to say honed his activist’s skills on being a voice for animals, and then used those skills later to change the course of human history.
      • His views on animals seemed to be guided by his belief in ahimsa, the principle of non-violence toward all living beings, and part of the Hindu, Jain, and Buddist traditions.
      • He went further than many vegans by saying that he would prefer death to eating meat.
        • “If anybody said that I should die if I did not take beef-tea or mutton, even on medical advice, I would prefer death.”89Mahatma, Gandhi. “The Moral Basis of Vegetarianism.” International Vegetarian Union, November 20, 1931. https://ivu.org/news/evu/other/gandhi2.html
      • He believed that animal and human life to be equal in value.
        • “I hold today the same opinion as I held then. To my mind, the life of a lamb is no less precious than that of a human being. I should be unwilling to take the life of a lamb for the sake of the human body.90Gandhi, Mahatma. Autobiography: The Story of My Experiments with Truth. Courier Corporation, 1948, 208
      • He believed that we should “just emphasize the moral basis of vegetarianism.”, not the “physical consequences”.91Mahatma, Gandhi. “The Moral Basis of Vegetarianism.” International Vegetarian Union, November 20, 1931. https://ivu.org/news/evu/other/gandhi2.html
  • The case for veganism is strong.
    • Veganism is based on a belief almost everyone already holds.
      • The people mentioned earlier believed that eating animals was not necessary for good health. The view at that time was based largely on anecdotal evidence. They also knew, based more on direct observation, that eating animals was unjust to those animals. They may or may not have made a formal argument for veganism, but that may be because they thought it was obvious.
      • To go vegan, one need not believe that animals and humans deserve equal moral consideration, or that animals have rights. The case for veganism is built on the simple belief that one should not unnecessarily harm animals  a belief that virtually everyone holds, except psychopaths.
      • Of course, what we get hung up on is determining what is meant by harm, and deciding if any harm inflicted is necessary. So let’s look a little deeper into the ideas of harm and necessity.
      • Here we address the question necessity and the harms that come about from using animals for food because those uses are by far the most prevalent. At least fifty billion land animals92“Meat Production Continues to Rise.” Worldwatch Institute, September 29, 2017. http://www.worldwatch.org/node/5443 , and more than a trillion sea animals93Mood, A, and P Brooke. “Estimate of Fish Numbers.” Fishcount.org, July 2010. http://www.fishcount.org.uk/published/std/fishcountstudy.pdf are slaughtered or killed every year for food, dwarfing all other methods of animal exploitation combined.
      • As we will explain if it’s not already obvious, it’s an understatement to say that slaughtering and otherwise using animals for food is harmful to animals. We will also explain why it’s not necessary for human nutrition  a proposition some are unclear about but science is not.
    • Using animals for food is not necessary.
      • Context
        • The most common attempt to justify the harm resulting from eating animal products is to say that it’s necessary for our health and nutrition.
        • Yet leading health organizations and dietetic associations  the ones who specifically study nutrition, say that a plant-based diet is not only sufficient but health promoting.
      • Prominent health organizations embrace a vegan diet.
        • Harvard Medical School
          • HMS has a faculty of over eleven thousand 94Facts and Figures | HMS.” Harvard Medical School, 2017. https://hms.harvard.edu/about-hms/facts-figures and are consistently ranked the number one research medical school in the United States.95“Best Medical Schools (Research) Ranked in 2017 | US News Rankings.” US News Education. Accessed August 1, 2017. https://www.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-medical-schools/research-rankings
          • Quote: “Nowadays, plant-based eating is recognized as not only nutritionally sufficient but also as a way to reduce the risk for many chronic illnesses.”96“Becoming a Vegetarian.” Harvard Health Publications Harvard Medical School, March 18, 2016. https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/becoming-a-vegetarian
        • Mayo Clinic
          • Mayo Clinic is the “largest integrated, not-for-profit medical group practice in the world”97“Mayo Clinic Facts and Highlights – MC2045 – Doc-20078949.” Accessed August 1, 2017. http://www.mayoclinic.org/documents/mc2045-pdf/doc-20078949 with over four thousand five hundred physicians and scientists.98About Us – Mayo Clinic Facts.” Mayo Clinic. Accessed August 2, 2017. http://www.mayoclinic.org/about-mayo-clinic/facts-statistics
          • Quote: “A well-planned vegetarian diet [defined to include a vegan diet] is a healthy way to meet your nutritional needs.”99“Vegetarian Diet: How to Get the Best Nutrition.” Mayo Clinic. Accessed August 2, 2017. http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/vegetarian-diet/art-20046446
        • Cleveland Clinic
          • Cleveland Clinic is a highly regarded medical system with one thousand seven hundred staff physicians representing one hundred twenty medical specialties, and it helps patients from all over the world.100Stoller, James K. “The Cleveland Clinic: A Distinctive Model of American Medicine.” Annals of Translational Medicine 2, no. 4 (2014). doi:10.3978/j.issn.2305-5839.2013.12.02. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4200609/
          • Quote: “There really are no disadvantages to a herbivorous diet! A plant-based diet has many health benefits, including lowering the risk of heart disease, hypertension, Type 2 diabetes, and cancer. It can also help lower cholesterol and blood pressure levels, plus maintain weight and bone health.”101“Understanding Vegetarianism & Heart Health.” Cleveland Clinic, December 2013. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/understanding-vegetarianism-heart-health
        • Kaiser Permanente
          • Kaiser Permanente is one the United States’ largest nonprofit health plans, with over eleven million members.102“Fast Facts About Kaiser Permanente.” Kaiser Permanente Share, 2017. https://share.kaiserpermanente.org/article/fast-facts-about-kaiser-permanente/
          • Quote: “Healthy eating may be best achieved with a plant-based diet, which we define as a regimen that encourages whole, plant-based foods and discourages meats, dairy products, and eggs as well as all refined and processed foods.”
          • Quote: “Physicians should consider recommending a plant-based diet to all their patients, especially those with high blood pressure, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, or obesity. Research shows that plant-based diets are cost-effective, low-risk interventions that may lower body mass index, blood pressure, HbA1C, and cholesterol levels. They may also reduce the number of medications needed to treat chronic diseases and lower ischemic heart disease mortality rates.”
          • Source103Phillip J Tuso, MD, Mohamed H Ismail, MD, Benjamin P Ha, MD, and Carole Bartolotto, MD, RD. “Nutritional Update for Physicians: Plant-Based Diets.” The Permanente Journal – The Permanente Press – Kaiser Permanente – Permanente Medical Groups, 2013. http://www.thepermanentejournal.org/issues/2013/spring/5117-nutrition.html
        • NewYork-Presbyterian (health-care delivery system)
          • Quote: “Plant-based diets are believed to be an effective means of treating chronic disease, including diabetes. They also combat obesity and lower blood pressure and the risk for cardiovascular disease.”
          • Source104Ask A Nutritionist: Plant-Based Diets.” NewYork-Presbyterian, March 30, 2017. https://healthmatters.nyp.org/plant-based-diet/
      • Nutrition-focused dietetic associations endorse a vegan diet.
        • Context
          • The endorsement of totally vegan diets by dietetic associations is more authoritative because human nutrition is their primary concern and the focus of their research and training.
          • This is in contrast with medical doctors, who typically receive little training in nutrition.
            • “Most US medical schools (86/121, 71%) fail to provide the recommended minimum 25 hours of nutrition education; 43 (36%) provide less than half that much.”105Adams, Kelly M., W. Scott Butsch, and Martin Kohlmeier. “The State of Nutrition Education at US Medical Schools.” Research article. Journal of Biomedical Education, 2015. doi:10.1155/2015/357627
            • In one study, doctors averaged receiving a failing grade on a test on nutrition.106Castillo, Marigold, Ronald Feinstein, James Tsang, and Martin Fisher. “Basic Nutrition Knowledge of Recent Medical Graduates Entering a Pediatric Residency Program.” International Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health 28, no. 4 (November 1, 2016): 357–61. doi:10.1515/ijamh-2015-0019
            • U.S. News provides a good overview of medical doctors’ training in nutrition.107Stacey Colino. “How Much Do Doctors Learn About Nutrition?” US News & World Report, December 7, 2016. http://health.usnews.com/wellness/food/articles/2016-12-07/how-much-do-doctors-learn-about-nutrition
        • The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND)
          • Formerly known as the American Dietetic Association (ADA), the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is the “world’s largest organization of food and nutrition professionals” with “over 100,000 credentialed practitioners.”108“About Us.” Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Accessed August 2, 2017. http://www.eatrightpro.org/resources/about-us
          • Formal position statement:
            • Quote: “It is the position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics that appropriately planned vegetarian, including vegan, diets are healthful, nutritionally adequate and may provide health benefits for the prevention and treatment of certain diseases.”
            • Quote: “These diets are appropriate for all stages of the life cycle, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, adolescence, older adulthood and for athletes.”
            • Quote: “Plant-based diets are more environmentally sustainable than diets rich in animal products because they use fewer natural resources and are associated with much less environmental damage.”
            • Quote: “Vegetarians and vegans are at reduced risk of certain health conditions, including ischemic heart disease, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, certain types of cancer, and obesity.”
            • Source109“Vegetarian Diets.” Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. December 2016. http://www.eatrightpro.org/resource/practice/position-and-practice-papers/position-papers/vegetarian-diets
        • Dietitians of Canada (DC)
          • Quote: “A healthy vegan diet has many health benefits including lower rates of obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer.”110“Healthy Eating Guidelines for Vegans.” Dietitians of Canada, November 2017. https://www.dietitians.ca/Downloads/Factsheets/Guidlines-for-Vegans.aspx
        • The British Dietetic Association (BDA)
          • Quote: “Well planned vegetarian diets [defined to include a vegan diet] can be nutritious and healthy. They are associated with lower risks of heart disease, high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes, obesity, certain cancers and lower cholesterol levels.”111“Vegetarian Diets.” British Dietetic Association, March 2016. https://www.bda.uk.com/foodfacts/vegetarianfoodfacts.pdf
          • The BDA and the Vegan Society formed an alliance to “work together to show that it is possible to follow a well-planned, plant-based, vegan-friendly diet that supports healthy living in people of all ages, and during pregnancy and breastfeeding.”112“British Dietetic Association.” The Vegan Society. Accessed August 3, 2017. https://www.vegansociety.com/society/whos-involved/partners/british-dietetic-association
        • Dietitians Association of Australia (DAA)
          • Quote: “With good planning, those following a vegan diet can cover all their nutrient bases, but there are some extra things to consider.”113“Vegan Diets: Everything You Need to Know – Dietitians Association of Australia.” Dietitians Association of Australia. Accessed August 3, 2017. https://daa.asn.au/smart-eating-for-you/smart-eating-fast-facts/healthy-eating/vegan-diets-facts-tips-and-considerations/
      • The US government says a vegan diet is healthy.
        • In its dietary guidelines for 2015–2020, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) acknowledged that a vegan diet is a healthy eating pattern.114“USDA Food Patterns: Healthy Vegetarian Eating Pattern.” Dietary Guidelines for Americans, Eighth Edition. Accessed August 4, 2017. https://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015/guidelines/appendix-5/
        • This is particularly telling since the USDA is a strong supporter of animal agriculture:
          • Of the $246 billion in subsidies to agriculture between 1995 and 2009, 63% supported crops directly grown for livestock feed while only 20% supported grains for human consumption.
          • Fresh fruits and vegetables  called “specialty crops” by the USDA  do not receive subsidies.
          • Subsidies for dairy producers amounted to $4.8 billion from 1995 through 2009.
          • The USDA provided $3.5 billion between 1995 and 2009 for the Livestock Compensation Program, livestock feed assistance, and livestock emergency assistance.
          • In 2009, the USDA spent $793 million for beef, pork, poultry, eggs, and fish.
          • In 2009, the USDA spent more than $623 million to buy dairy products  mostly cheese.
          • The USDA administers programs to help producers market their products, such as the Got Milk? campaign.
          • Source115“Agriculture and Health Policies in Conflict: How Subsidies Tax Our Health: Government Support for Unhealthful Foods.” Text. The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, April 13, 2011. http://www.pcrm.org/health/reports/agriculture-and-health-policies-unhealthful-foods
          • Extra
            • In its dietary guidelines, the USDA reinforced the idea that nutrition and health are closely related.116“Nutrition and Health Are Closely Related.” Dietary Guidelines for Americans, Eighth Edition. Accessed August 4, 2017. https://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015/guidelines/introduction/nutrition-and-health-are-closely-related/
            • Dr. Neal Barnard, founding president of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), noted that “even with its flaws, the new Dietary Guidelines report is a major advance.”117D. Neal Barnard. “New Dietary Guidelines: The Good, the Bad, and the Downright Confusing.” The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, February 19, 2015. http://www.pcrm.org/nbBlog/index.php/new-dietary-guidelines-the-good-the-bad-and-the-downright-confusing
      • The scientific consensus is that plant-based diets are nutritionally complete and health-promoting.
        • Scientific consensus is the collective judgement of a group of scientists on a particular question in a particular field of inquiry. Scientific consensus implies general agreement, not unaminity.
        • That the dietetic associations, various health organization, and most researchers are in agreement on this topic means that there is scientific consensus.
      • It is impossible to name even one required nutrient that must come from animals.
        • Even though certain vested interests have insinuated that certain nutrients must come from the animal kingdom, there is no convincing evidence to support this. If such evidence existed, the prestigious organizations mentioned herein would not have endorsed and praised a vegan diet.
      • Every vegan is at least anecdotal evidence that it’s not necessary to use animals for nutrition.
        • Donald Watson, mentioned earlier, lived to the age of 95 and never took any medications.
          • During an interview in 2002 at the age of ninety-two, and three years before he died at the age of ninety-five, Watson noted that he:
            • was twenty years older than the average age of males at death,
            • was still able to do the things he wanted to do like climb mountains,
            • that he had gone through life without pain, illness, or any kind of medicine, and no supplements except those added to his foods like soy milk,
            • and that he was keener now that he was when he started.
            • Source
              • “I’m still here at all, nearly 20 years older than the average age of death of males in this country, suggests that there is something in long term veganism, particularly as I’m still able to do all the things I want to do, or most of them, able to climb mountains on fine days, and that I’ve gone through a long life virtually without pain or illness or any kind of medicine, orthodox or fringe, and even without dietary supplements, apart from those that nowadays find their way into proprietary vegan products like soya milk and so on, as a result of which, having outlived all my critics, I’m a keener vegan now even than I was when I started! And I do feel we’re onto something really big! I don’t want to turn this preliminary comment into a soliloquy because I know you have questions to ask, but my overall feeling is one of great gratitude to veganism as I’ve interpreted it. I’ll say no more about that.”118George D Rodger, “Donald Watson: In His Own Words: Part One,” The Veggie Blog, December 15, 2002, http://www.happycow.net/blog/donald-watson-1/
        • Will Tuttle, the author of World Peace Diet, has been vegan for over 30 years, does not go to doctors, and hasn’t taken a pill in over 35 years.119“Dr. Will Tuttle – Bio,” World Peace Diet, accessed March 13, 2018, http://worldpeacediet.org/bio.htm
        • Alex Hershaft, age 83, an animal rights pioneer, founder of FARM, looks like he’s in his 60’s.
        • Dr. Ellsworth Wareham, now 103-year-old, vegan and retired heart surgeon.
          • Dr. Ellsworth has been vegan for 40-50 years.
            • He doesn’t remember precisely when he became vegan, but based on what was reported he said in a New York Times article, it is now somewhere between 40 and 50 years. Since he grew up in a Seventh Day Adventist community, it is likely he was a vegetarian before that.120Medina, Jennifer. “Loma Linda Frets About Unhealthy Inroads.” The New York Times, December 18, 2011, sec. U.S. https://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/19/us/loma-linda-calif-frets-about-first-mcdonalds-outlet.html
          • Dr. Ellsworth worked until he was 95.
          • He says his memory is as good as when he was 20.
          • He says he is in great health and doesn’t have an ache or a pain.
          • He attributes his good health to his vegan diet.
          • He is motivated to keep going by making a contribution  before it was surgery, now it is by speaking about preventative medicine.
          • Source121100 Year-Old Shares Secrets to Long Life – CNN Video. Accessed April 6, 2018. https://www.cnn.com/videos/health/2015/04/08/exp-human-factor-dr-ellsworth-wareham.cnn
    • We harm animals when we use them for food.
      • Farmed animals are subjected a variety of abuses.
        • Confinement
        • Crowding
        • Mutilation
        • Deprivation of natural behaviors
        • Debilitating selective breeding
        • Cruel handling
        • Horrid living conditions
        • Separation from offspring and families
        • High rates of disease and mortality
        • Violent slaughter
          • Many people don’t realize this, but animals raised for milk and eggs, in addition to suffering the harms, are also slaughtered after they become non-productive.
        • Loss of life.
      • The list of abuses mentioned above occurs to animals marketed as being humanely raised.
        • Whole Foods Market Global Animal Partnership is one such humane program.
          • Whole Foods products must follow “basic animal welfare standards” to receive certificaton.
          • The standards are from the Global Animal Partnership’s (GAP) 5-Step Animal Welfare Rating.
          • There are 5 steps, or levels of welfare.
          • You get to decide with your purchasing dollars, which of the animal’s needs are not being met  which level of cruelty you are willing to accept. Pay more  less cruelty; pay less  more cruelty.
            • Actually you don’t, as the availability of products across levels in restricted.
          • Step 5 calls for no physical alterations. This means that up until that stage alterations, otherwise known as mutilations, are acceptable.
          • Only at Step 5 are chickens allowed to perch.
            • Source122“GAP Chicken Standards.” Global Animal Partnership. Accessed April 2, 2018. https://globalanimalpartnership.org/5-step-animal-welfare-rating-program/chicken-standards-application/
            • Perching / Roosting is a natural behavior that is natural to all chickens. Broilers have been bred to be so large they have difficulty roosting and must sleep on the ground.
          • There are no standards for dairy cows.
        • Labels like “free range” and “cage-free” are prime examples.
          • Free range is usually meaningless.
            • USDA Definition of Free Range for Chickens
            • What free range means in practice
              • A tiny door leading to a small concrete slab beside a chicken house holding hundreds of chickens.
              • The term free-range does not carry any other conditions such as the number of chickens, space per chicken, or environmental quality.
          • Cage-free is also meaningless.
            • It just means they are not in a cage. It doesn’t mean they are not crowded to the extent that they cannot engage in natural behaviors, such as
        • Audits are infrequent, done by outside contractors, and announced (not suprise), and do not result in decertifications.
          • Research reveals no loss of certifications.
          • GAP audits are required every 15 months.
          • PETA sued Whole Foods Market on the grounds that the program deceived customers into paying higher prices for certified products.
            • According to the complaint, “the entire audit process for Whole Foods’ animal welfare standards is a sham because it occurs infrequently and violations of the standards do not cause loss of certification…Standards that are not actually enforced create a false impression of ensuring a more humanely treated, higher quality animal product   when in fact they ensure no such thing.”124Moyer, Justin Wm. “Whole Foods’ Expensive, ‘Humanely Treated’ Meat Is a ‘Sham,’ PETA Lawsuit Claims.” Washington Post, September 22, 2015, sec. Morning Mix. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2015/09/22/why-that-expensive-humanely-treated-whole-foods-meat-might-be-a-sham/
            • The case was dismissed on a technicality, not because the deceptions were proven false, but because the complaint did not raise a consumer safety issue.125Stempel, Jonathan. “Whole Foods Wins Dismissal of PETA Lawsuit over Meat Claims.” Reuters, April 27, 2016. https://www.reuters.com/article/whole-foods-mrkt-lawsuit/whole-foods-wins-dismissal-of-peta-lawsuit-over-meat-claims-idUSL2N17U11E
          • The Open Philanthropy Project confirmed these suspicions.
            • For most animals on the program, GAP offers only offers small improvements over standard factory farming.
            • Standards are not properly audited and enforced.
            • Source
              • “In our view, the most credible criticism of GAP is that its standards are not as strict or rigorously enforced as they might be. In particular, a large portion of the 290 million animals covered by GAP standards are chickens and turkeys kept in Step 2 facilities, which represent only a slight improvement on standard factory farming conditions. We also think there have been issues with GAP’s contract auditors failing to properly enforce GAP’s standards. However, we believe these concerns are outweighed by the value of bringing new large producers into a regulatory scheme for the first time, under which they can be audited, regulated, and pushed toward higher standards. We are heartened to see that GAP is strengthening its broiler chicken standards,13 and we hope that this grant will allow it to improve its standards and enforcement of those standards further.”126“Global Animal Partnership.” Open Philanthropy Project, March 26, 2016. https://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/us-policy/farm-animal-welfare/global-animal-partnership-general-support
        • Undercover investigations at human certified farms show that the standards are not enforced and abuses still occur.
          • An undercover investigation reveals horrendous conditions for Whole Foods chickens.
            • An undercover investigation at Pitman Family Farms revealed that even the lowest level stipulation of “no cages no crowding”, which is supposed to be adhered to for all animal foods sold at Whole Foods, is not even close to being enforced.
            • According to one investigator of a Whole Foods certified chicken house they “replaced cages of wire with cages of flesh.”
            • The video shows:
              • Crowding
                • Congestion so bad that in some areas the hens were piled on top of each other.
                • In other cases, birds received no more than a square foot of space.
                • Chickens that had lost all or most of their feathers from the crowded filthy conditions. You could see the rashes, inflammation.
              • Filth
                • Filth, stench, feces everywhere. Many of the birds were covered in feces and so weak that they could not clean themselves.
                  • Have to live their entire life in suffocating stench of feathers, dander, urine, and species.
                • Some were stuck in manure so deep it could be described as a manure pit. They were almost buried in their own feces.
                • Some were splayed out on filthy concrete floors barely able to breathe.
              • Sickness and Disease.
                • Sickness and disease were common.
                • Some we so sick you could hear them struggling to breathe.
                • Some hens didn’t have the strength to stand on their own two legs.
                • Some barely able to move or respond to anything around them.
                • Birds were found dead and dying.
                • Chickens that had lost half their body weight.
            • Investigators were overwhelmed by the constant cries of distress.
            • Source127Direct Action Everywhere. Truth Matters: DxE Investigators Expose “Humane” Fraud at Whole Foods. Accessed April 2, 2018. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yU4PJCuslD0
        • Under the requirment that farms be profitible, animals are still treated as units of production, not as living, breathing, sentient beings.
        • Humane labels are designed to make us feel better about what we are eating, and to pay more. They seem to be more about marketing than about compassion.
      • Some of the harms are systemic to the system.
        • Some of the cruelties are systemic to the production processes such that removing one or more of the cruelties would raise the price of the product, often to such an extent the product would no longer be affordable except to the richest among us.
        • No matter which kind of harm we are talking about, conscious beings, beings that have a life they value, are hung up to bleed, passed around on conveyor belts, dragged through electrified water, sliced up into different products, and packaged in cellophane because we like to eat them.
        • In the end, they are all slaughtered and lose a life they value.
      • A few examples illustrate the cruelty inherent in using animals for food.
        • Cows
          • Dehorning
            • Dehorning is done to beef cows as well as dairy cows. 128M’hamdi, Naceur, Cyrine Darej, and Rachid Bouraoui. “Animal Welfare Issues Concerning Procedures Of Calves Dehorning.” Department of Animal Sciences, National Institute of Agronomy of Tunisia and Hiher School of Agriculture of Mateur, Bizerte, Tunisia, 2013. https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/bb0c/c30d478e27e67107dd7a89ee09f09533ea5a.pdf
            • Dehorning is painful.
              • ABC News exposed the cruelties of the dehorning, which is a standard practice, accomplished by burning off the horns with a hot iron, most of the time without anesthesia.
              • Undercover video footage clearly shows the animals in excruciating pain as they can be seen screaming, thrashing their heads, swishing their tails, bellowing, trying to escape, and collapsing to the ground.
              • The report quotes Temple Grandin, a professor of animal science at Colorado State University as saying “The research is clear. The dehorning is the single most painful thing we do.”
              • Source129“Dehorning: ‘Standard Practice’ on Dairy Farms,” ABC News, January 28, 2010, http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/dehorning-standard-practice-dairy-farms/story?id=9658414
              • A report by The Department of Animal Sciences, National Institute of Agronomy of Tunisia and Hiher School of Agriculture of Mateur, Bizerte, Tunisia, confirms that all methods of dehorning cause pain, wheter it be by applying acid, burning off, sawing off, or cutting of with a gigantic clipper.130M’hamdi, Naceur, Cyrine Darej, and Rachid Bouraoui. “Animal Welfare Issues Concerning Procedures Of Calves Dehorning.” Department of Animal Sciences, National Institute of Agronomy of Tunisia and Hiher School of Agriculture of Mateur, Bizerte, Tunisia, 2013. https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/bb0c/c30d478e27e67107dd7a89ee09f09533ea5a.pdf
            • Dehorning is unregulated and performed on 85% of cattle.
              • According to a report by the American Veterinary Medical Association, dehorning, which is unregulated in the US and performed 85% of the time without anesthetic or analgesics for pain, is performed to eliminate the single major cause of carcass wastage and so that cattle require less feeding space, are easier to transport, a less prone to injury, and to bring more money when sold.131“Dehorning and Disbudding of Cattle” (American Veterinary Medical Association, July 15, 2014), https://www.avma.org/KB/Resources/LiteratureReviews/Documents/dehorning_cattle_bgnd.pdf
            • Even when anesthetics are used, they may not be effective.
              • A report by The Department of Animal Sciences, National Institute of Agronomy of Tunisia and Hiher School of Agriculture of Mateur, Bizerte, Tunisia, states that pain relief methods may not be effective, are costly, and that “pain relief may be limited by the availability of drugs for farmers to use and the scarcity of veterinarians in farm animal practice.”132M’hamdi, Naceur, Cyrine Darej, and Rachid Bouraoui. “Animal Welfare Issues Concerning Procedures Of Calves Dehorning.” Department of Animal Sciences, National Institute of Agronomy of Tunisia and Hiher School of Agriculture of Mateur, Bizerte, Tunisia, 2013. https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/bb0c/c30d478e27e67107dd7a89ee09f09533ea5a.pdf
            • Dehorning causes lasting damage.
              • Even when used, after the anesthetic wore off, calves displayed the behavioral changes to those dehorned with anesthesia, including a reduction in play behavior. This would indicate that either the pain is lasting or the spirit of the animal has been extinguished.133“Dehorning and Disbudding of Cattle” (American Veterinary Medical Association, July 15, 2014), https://www.avma.org/KB/Resources/LiteratureReviews/Documents/dehorning_cattle_bgnd.pdf
            • Extra
              • Dehorning Media
                • Video: Casey Affleck Exposes Mutilation of Cows in Dairy Industry134Casey Affleck Exposes Mutilation of Cows in Dairy Industry, 2012, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kWscTrpBVOM
                • Videos: One does not even have to rely on an undercover video to see this brutal practice at work. There are videos at an animal industry site dehorning.com where you can see different procedures. The videos are accompanied by the warning “Some of these videos may contain disturbing images. The practices shown here are not necessarily typical of all livestock producers.”135“Animal Dehorning Videos.” H.W. Naylor Co., Inc | dehorning.com, 2015. http://www.dehorning.com/videos
        • Cows Used for Dairy
          • The life of a dairy cow is a miserable life.
            • Cows must become pregnant to produce the milk and cheese on our plates and in our foods.
            • Typically, the cow is artificially impregnated.
              • Gaps in production would be costly, so unless this is her first pregnancy, this happens while she is still being milked.
              • The first step in the process is the extraction of semen from the bull.
                • The most commonly used method involves the use of a teaser bull.
                  • False mounting is considered an effective way to stimulate a bull. A large bull is walked him up to the “teaser” bull from behind, who is tied up and unable to move. Pheromones from a female cow in heat are released, and it prompts the large bull to mount the teaser bull, usually causing severe shredding of the skin on the thighs and stomach of the “teaser” bull. You can see the scars on their bodies.
                  • A human waiting with an artificial vagina ready to grab the bull’s penis once it’s about to ejaculate. Sometimes they miss, and the “teaser” bull is even further violated. Both bulls are severely violated sometimes every day, multiple times.
                • The second method is electroejaculation.
                  • A rod which supplies electrical shock is inserted into the rectum, and seminal fluid is collected in what is called a “loving cup”. Either way, however it’s done, this is a violation.
                • Bulls are typically subjected to this treatment two or three days per week, with two or three ejaculates per day.
                • Source
                  • The information of semen collection was gathered by watching various training videos for animal agriculture and from an educational page at Colorado State University.136Rouge, Melissa. “Semen Collection from Bulls.” Colorado State University | Pathophysiology of the Reproductive System, September 2, 2002. http://www.vivo.colostate.edu/hbooks/pathphys/reprod/semeneval/bull.html
              • An AI (artificial insemination) gun carrying the bull semen is inserted into the cow’s vulva.
              • The entire arm of the worker is inserted up the cow’s anus to aid in guiding the AI gun through the cervix.
              • Source137“Artificial Insemination Technique Takes Care and Practice,” Drovers: Driving the Beef Market, March 10, 2011, https://www.drovers.com/article/artificial-insemination-technique-takes-care-and-practice
              • In no way could this be considered to be a consensual penetration. It is a violation of a gentle, dignified, and motherly animal.
            • A calf is born and soon taken away from the mother.
              • The separation occurs soon after birth and prevents the from calf from nursing.138Julie Føske Johnsen et al., “The Effect of Nursing on the Cow-calf Bond,” Applied Animal Behaviour Science 163 (February 1, 2015): 50–57, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.applanim.2014.12.003
              • The separation causes stress and anxiety to both the mother and the newborn calf.
                • Bovine moms have strong maternal instincts.To whatever extent they are not restrained at the time, they will chase after their young as their newborn is being hauled away on a tractor cart or pickup truck (google “cows chasing calves”).
                • As widely reported and confirmed by a dairy farmer, they have been known to cry and bellow for days and sometimes weeks after their young are taken away.139Annaliese, “Why Dairy Farmers Separate Cows & Calves (see author’s comment),” Modern Day Farm Chick, February 19, 2017, http://moderndayfarmchick.com/2017/02/19/why-dairy-farmers-seperate-cows-calves/
                • Research published in the journal Applied Animal Behaviour Science described the social bond between mother calf and her baby as a preferential mutual, affectionate, emotional attachment that is relatively long lasting and survives temporary separations”140Ruth C. Newberry and Janice C. Swanson, “Implications of Breaking Mother-Young Social Bonds,” Applied Animal Behaviour Science 110, no. 1–2 (March 2008): 3–23, http://www.appliedanimalbehaviour.com/article/S0168-1591(07)00119-0/fulltext
                • The baby calf will never know the love, affection, and nuturing of its own mother.
                  • If the baby calf is male, he will be raised for veal, which is known to be especially cruel.
                    • They are raised in narrow crates to small to even turn around in, preventing normal muscle development to keep the flesh tender, and making social development impossible.
                    • The are intentionally starved of iron, causing anemia, but keeping their flesh pale.
                    • Bob veal calves are slaughtered in just a few weeks.
                    • Source141“’Humane Veal’  Really?,” @berkeleywellness, August 7, 2017, http://www.berkeleywellness.com/healthy-eating/food/article/humane-veal
                  • If the baby calf is female, she will be subjected to same life as her mother.
            • The cow is restrained and stilled for the milking machines attached to her teats, to take the milk intended for the calf.
              • With selective breeding and other techniques, cows produce more than 3 times the amount of milk than they did several decades ago,142Blayney, Don P. The Changing Landscape of US Milk Production. US Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, 2002. https://www.ers.usda.gov/webdocs/publications/47162/17864_sb978_1_.pdf?v=41056 burdening the cow and producing unnaturally large udders.
            • The cow goes through the same impregnation, birth, stealing of her young, and milking cycle 4 or 5 times. She is repeatedly impregnated while she is still being milked.
            • When her reproductive system is spent, she is slaughtered, often for hamburger meat.143Wyatt Bechtel, “Dairy Cattle Beef up Beef Industry,” AgWeb – The Home Page of Agriculture, November 6, 2014, https://www.agweb.com/article/dairy-cattle-beef-up-beef-industry-wyatt-bechtel/
            • Dairy cows, which have a natural lifespan of 15 to 20 years, are typically slaughtered when 4 to 6 years old.144“Age of Animals Slaughtered.” Accessed February 23, 2018. http://www.aussieabattoirs.com/facts/age-slaughtered
          • An advertisement stating “Humane Milk is a Myth” ad was upheld by regulators.
            • UK’s advertising regulator, the Advertising Standards Authority, dismissed a complaint by the dairy industry that a sign stating that “Humane Milk is a myth  don’t buy it” was misleading.
            • The dairy industry claimed that the advertisement was misleading and did not accurately reflect the way dairy cows were mistreated in the UK.
            • The text of the ad:
              • “Humane Milk is A Myth. Don’t Buy It. I went vegan the day I visited a dairy. The mothers, still bloody from birth, searched and called frantically for their babies. Their daughters, fresh from their mothers’ wombs but separated from them, trembled and cried piteously, drinking milk from rubber teats on the wall instead of their mothers’ nurturing bodies. All because humans take their milk. Their sons are slaughtered for their flesh and they themselves are slaughtered after 6 years. Their natural lifespan is 25 years. I could no longer participate in that. Can you?”
            • The claim that the ad was misleading was dismissed, and the ad was cleared for publication.
            • Source145Mills, Jen. “The Dairy Industry Tried to Block This Vegan Advert from Appearing.” Metro (blog), July 26, 2017. http://metro.co.uk/2017/07/26/the-dairy-industry-tried-to-block-this-vegan-advert-from-appearing-6808843/
        • Chickens
          • Debeaking:
            • Is painful.
            • Causes lasting suffering.
            • Impairs feeding.
            • Causes lice from impaired preening.
            • Causes loss of exploratory pecking.
            • Source
              • “Hens must adapt to a new beak form and therefore, feeding behavior is altered (i.e., the bird’s ability to consume feed is impaired). Related behaviors may also be less effective as trimmed birds have been shown to carry more lice. This may be because birds are slower to respond and less effective at removing material from their feathers (when trimmed with a hot-blade debeaker). This reduced responsiveness has been equated to helplessness-related passivity and, as such, a state of suffering.”
              • “Muscovy and Pekin ducks that were bill-trimmed spent significantly less time engaging in bill-related behaviors such as preening, feeding, drinking and exploratory pecking, and more time resting than their non-trimmed counter-parts for the first two weeks following trimming with scissors. 6 There was evidence of feather pecking in the pens of trimmed ducks, however, it was not as extensive as feather pecking in non-trimmed ducks.”
              • Source146“Welfare Implications of Beak Trimming.” American Veterinary Medical Association, February 7, 2010. https://www.avma.org/KB/Resources/LiteratureReviews/Pages/beak-trimming-bgnd.aspx
        • Chickens Used for Eggs
          • The vast majority of layers still live their lives in battery cages, unable to preen or spread their wings.
            • In 2009, 95% of all egg production is from hens kept in cages.147“Animal Husbandry Guidelines for U.S. Egg Laying Flocks 2016 Edition.” United Egg Producers, 2016. http://uepcertified.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/UEP-Animal-Welfare-Guidelines-20141.pdf
          • Cage-free chickens are frequently subjected to overcrowding.
            • According to Dan Flynn, who has more than 15 years experience in food safety, writing for Food Safety News, says that “overcrowding and a lack of access to the outdoors are frequently cited at operations billed as cage-free . . .”148Dan Flynn, “Cage-Free Hens Don’t Improve Egg Food Safety, Nutrition Levels,” Food Safety News, March 1, 2017, http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2017/03/cage-free-hens-dont-improve-egg-food-safety-nutrition-levels/
            • As you can see for yourself by the abundance of pictures available with a quick Google. the crowding is severe, restricting or eliminating the chickens’ ability to express their natural behaviors of nesting, perching, dust-bathing, and pecking. Videos show chickens bumping into each other and squawking in agitation.
          • All males and some weak, struggling females in laying hen hatcheries are ground alive.
            • Laying hens are bred to lay eggs, and the breasts or males is not profitable, so the males are ground alive in a macerator. The female hatchlings are sold to a broad range of producers, including those keeping backyard chicken coops.
            • The majority of chicks are ground up before they reach three days of age.149Blakemore, Erin. “Egg Producers Pledge More Humane Fate for Male Chicks.” Smithsonian, June 13, 2016. https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/egg-producers-pledge-more-humane-fate-male-chicks-180959394/
          • A laying hen produces more than 300 eggs a year, but the jungle fowl from which they are bred lay 4 to 6 eggs in a year.150Cheng, H.-W. “Breeding of Tomorrow’s Chickens to Improve Well-Being.” Poultry Science 89, no. 4 (April 1, 2010): 805–13. https://doi.org/10.3382/ps.2009-00361
          • Laying hens are bred to lay large eggs which they have not evolved for, stressing their reproductive system, and causing such problems as osteoporosis, bone breakage, and uterus prolapse.151Jamieson, Alastair. “Large Eggs Cause Pain and Stress to Hens, Shoppers Are Told,” March 11, 2009, sec. Finance. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/retailandconsumer/4971966/Large-eggs-cause-pain-and-stress-to-hens-shoppers-are-told.html
          • When clutches of eggs are removed, the hen’s instinct is to lay more, and the cycle continues.
            • “If a chicken’s eggs are removed on a regular basis, she will continue to lay, in a futile attempt to follow her instincts and form a proper brood. In fact, a chicken’s nesting instincts are so strong that they will continue to try to build a brood whether or not there is a rooster present to fertilize their eggs…It is believed that chickens cannot tell which eggs have been successfully fertilized”152Rutherford-Fortunati, Rutherford-Fortunati on. “Do Chickens Mourn the Loss of Their Eggs?,” June 29, 2012. http://gentleworld.org/a-chickens-relationship-with-her-eggs/
          • The hen lays not only larger eggs, but more eggs than she would in a natural environment.
        • Chickens Used for Meat
          • The modern broiler chicken is unnaturally large and has been bred to grow at an unnaturally fast rate and have large-sized breasts. This selective breeding comes with serious welfare consequences:
            • Leg disorders: skeletal, developmental and degenerative diseases are common.
            • Heart and lung problems, breathing difficulty, and premature death are common.
            • Source153Stevenson, Peter. “Leg and Heart Problems in Broiler Chickens.” Compassion in World Farming, January 2003. https://www.ciwf.org.uk/media/3818898/leg-and-heart-problems-in-broilers-for-judicial-review.pdf
          • Mutilations including de-toeing, clipping, beak trimming and other surgical procedures performed without anesthetic.
            • A group of veterinarians and other experts appointed by Parliament to look into farming practices concluded, “There is no physiological basis for the assertion that the operation is similar to the clipping of human fingernails. Between the horn and bone [of the beak] is a thin layer of highly sensitive soft tissue, resembling the quick of the human nail. The hot knife blade used in debeaking cuts through this complex horn, bone and sensitive tissue causing severe pain.”154“UPC Factsheet – Debeaking.” United Poultry Concerns, Inc. Accessed March 28, 2018. https://www.upc-online.org/merchandise/debeak_factsheet.html
        • Fish
          • Fish feel pain.
            • A 2018 article in Smithsonian Magazine, titled “It’s Official: Fish Feel Pain” reviewed the current research that leaves virtually no doubt that fish feel pain.
              • Fish have nociceptors, also know as pain receptors.
              • Both mammals and fish produce opioids to alleviate pain.
              • Their brain activity during injury is analogous to that in terrestrial vertebrates: nociceptors are stimulated and electrical activity to the brain ensues.
              • The same article summarized some experiments have been designed and carried out by researchers verifying that fish consciously experience pain.
                • “In one study, researchers dropped clusters of brightly colored Lego blocks into tanks containing rainbow trout. Trout typically avoid an unfamiliar object suddenly introduced to their environment in case it’s dangerous. But when scientists gave the rainbow trout a painful injection of acetic acid, they were much less likely to exhibit these defensive behaviors, presumably because they were distracted by their own suffering. In contrast, fish injected with both acid and morphine maintained their usual caution. Like all analgesics, morphine dulls the experience of pain, but does nothing to remove the source of pain itself, suggesting that the fish’s behavior reflected their mental state, not mere physiology. If the fish were reflexively responding to the presence of caustic acid, as opposed to consciously experiencing pain, then the morphine should not have made a difference.”
                • “In another study, rainbow trout that received injections of acetic acid in their lips began to breathe more quickly, rocked back and forth on the bottom of the tank, rubbed their lips against the gravel and the side of the tank, and took more than twice as long to resume feeding as fish injected with benign saline. Fish injected with both acid and morphine also showed some of these unusual behaviors, but to a much lesser extent, whereas fish injected with saline never behaved oddly.”
                • “Several years ago, Lynne Sneddon, a University of Liverpool biologist and one of the world’s foremost experts on fish pain, began conducting a set of particularly intriguing experiments; so far, only some of the results have been published. In one test, she gave zebrafish the choice between two aquariums: one completely barren, the other containing gravel, a plant, and a view of other fish. They consistently preferred to spend time in the livelier, decorated chamber. When some fish were injected with acid, however, and the bleak aquarium was flooded with pain-numbing lidocaine, they switched their preference, abandoning the enriched tank. Sneddon repeated this study with one change: rather than suffusing the boring aquarium with painkiller, she injected it straight into the fish’s bodies, so they could take it with them wherever they swam. The fish remained among the gravel and greenery.”
              • Source155Jabr, Ferris. “It’s Official: Fish Feel Pain.” Smithsonian, January 8, 2018. https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/fish-feel-pain-180967764/
            • The American Veterinary Medical Association, which could in no way be mistaken for an animal rights organization, confirms that fish feel pain.
              • In 2013, the American Veterinary Medical Association published guidelines for the euthanasia of animals, which included the following statements: “Suggestions that finfish responses to pain merely represent simple reflexes have been refuted by studies. . . .  considerable evidence is accumulating suggesting it is appropriate to consider the possibility of pain perception in these species.”156Leary, Steven L, and American Veterinary Medical Association. AVMA Guidelines for the Euthanasia of Animals: 2013 Edition, 2013. https://www.avma.org/KB/Policies/Documents/euthanasia.pdf
            • The Farm Animal Welfare Council confirms that fish feel pain, and that being cold-blooded is not pertinent.
              • “Evidence that the term pain is applicable to fish comes from anatomical, physiological and behavioural studies whose results are very similar to those of studies on birds and mammals. The fact that fish are cold-blooded does not prevent them from having a pain system and, indeed, such a system is valuable in preserving life and maximising the biological fitness of individuals. The receptor cells, neuronal pathways and specialised transmitter substances in the pain system are very similar in fish to those in mammals.”157“Farm Animal Welfare Council Report on the Welfare of Farmed Fish.” The National Archives, September 1996. http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20110909181913/http://www.fawc.org.uk/reports/fish/fishr004.htm
          • Fish are routinely pierced with hooks, thrown around, and cut open while alive. Fish can only breath in water, but they left to drown, or suffocate if you prefer, in air.
      • Undercover videos make it impossible to deny the abuses.
        • Anyone who can bear watching the numerous videos of undercover investigations and farm animal rescues, some of which are taken at farms having a humane certification, cannot plausibly deny the agony and suffering that takes place on a massive scale.
        • A complete catalog of the violence and mistreatment inflicted on these animals would fill volumes.
        • Consider watching documentary movie Earthlings, or one of the many videos that document what happens to animals before they become food on our places. Earthlings is available free with a quick Google.
        • These videos are beyond unpleasant to watch. The animal agriculture industry has worked very hard to keep this information out of mind and out of sight. They have spent millions to paint an idyllic picture of cows in pastures and happy chicken in unconfined coops, and dairy cows happily lazing the days away. The reality, even for those whose flesh and secretions end up in the grocery cooler with a humane stamp, is far from being idyllic.
        • Examples of what you will see in the videos:
          • Milk cows covered with urine and feces, some with pus from open sores oozing onto the floor as cows are being milked.
          • Beef cows on a feedlot standing in their own excrement with no escape.
          • Pigs being kicked, jabbed and beaten to try to get them to move.
          • Chickens being grabbed by the neck or legs and being slammed into crates for shipping to slaughter.
          • Fish so crowded in restricted pens of fish farms that they can’t turn around, some being forced to the top of the pen and pushed into the air by the fish below.
        • It’s telling if you can’t watch these videos.
          • If you can’t watch these videos, maybe it’s your heart trying to tell you something.
          • When you watch these videos, it makes you feel bad about how these animals have to live their lives and then be slaughtered, only because we like the way they taste.
          • If you say you don’t want to watch what happens, perhaps it’s the essence of your being telling you that it’s wrong.
          • It would seem that you are already vegan in your heart.
      • The ultimate harm is that our food choices cost them their lives.
        • Slaughtered animals live abbreviated life.
          • Age of Animals Slaughtered vs Natural Lifespan
            • Context
              • The equivalent human age was calculated based on an 80-year human lifespan.
            • Broiler Chickens
              • Natural Lifespan: 8 years
              • Age at Slaughter: 5-7 weeks
              • Percentage of Life Lived: < 1.2%
              • Equivalent Human Age at Slaughter: 50 weeks
            • Laying Hens
              • Natural Lifespan: 8 years
              • Age at Slaughter: 18 months
              • Percentage of Life Lived: < 18.75%
              • Equivalent Human Age at Slaughter: 15
            • Beef Cows
              • Natural Lifespan: 15-20 years
              • Age at Slaughter: 18 months
              • Percentage of Life Lived: 7.5%
              • Equivalent Human Age at Slaughter: 6
            • Dairy cows
              • Natural Lifespan: 15-20 years
              • Age at Slaughter: 4 years
              • Percentage of Life Lived: 20%
              • Equivalent Human Age at Slaughter: 16
            • Pigs
              • Natural Lifespan: 10-12 years
              • Age at Slaughter: 5-6 months
              • Percentage of Life Lived: 3%
              • Equivalent Human Age at Slaughter: 3
            • Source158“Age of Animals Slaughtered.” Accessed February 23, 2018. http://www.aussieabattoirs.com/facts/age-slaughtered
        • Slaughter is a violent act against someone who is innocent.
          • It’s a violent process. It’s a bloody process, even for those slaughtered in the US under the humane slaughter act. It’s a process that we can scarcely bear to watch, even on video. Slaughterhouses do not have glass walls, but are designed for denial.
        • Killing must be justified.
          • Self-defense against an animal attack or benevolent euthanasia may be valid justifications. But slaughtering for the pleasures of the palate, just because you like the taste of someone, is in no one’s book adequate justification. Many other choices for good nutrition are readily available to almost everyone reading this.
          • Killing someone who does not want to die is causing harm to the individual killed, and that implies a burden of justification on the ones responsible for the killing, whether directly by wielding the ax or by paying someone else to do the killing.
        • Killing healthy young animals for food can never be humane or compassionate.
          • Each has a life that matters to them just as your life matters to you.
          • Humane slaughter is an oxymoron  an absurd contradiction. Slaughter is a violent act which deprives the one being slaughtered of their life  a life they value.
          • There is no way to humanely kill someone who doesn’t want to die.
        • There is no escape for farm animals.
          • Animal farms, chicken houses, hog farms, and feedlots are prison houses where every single inmate is treated as a product, a thing, and every single inmate is on death row. There is no escape.
        • Extra
          • Factory farms account for 99 percent of animals slaughtered in the US.
            • According to a calculation based on the USDA Census of Agriculture, factory farming accounts for more than 99 percent of all farmed animals raised and slaughtered in the United States. and virtually all seafood comes to us by way of industrial fishing or factory fish farms.
              • Source: Farm Forward calculation based on U.S. Department of Agriculture, 2012 Census of Agriculture, June 2014159“Ending Factory Farming,” Farm Forward, accessed March 19, 2018, https://farmforward.com/ending-factory-farming/
  • The lives of nonhuman animals are rich.
    • Context
      • The fields of neurobiology and cognitive ethology are revealing just how emotionally rich and intelligent the lives of non-human animals are.
      • Definitions
        • Intelligence is the faculty of understanding: capacity to know or apprehend (Webster’s Unabridged).
        • Cognition is the more complex processes of the brain, such as thinking, reasoning, problem-solving, remembering, imagining, or communicating.
        • Sentience is “the ability to feel, perceive, or be conscious, or to experience subjectivity.160Bekoff, Marc, and 2013 04:27 pm ET. “After 2,500 Studies, It’s Time to Declare Animal Sentience Proven (Op-Ed).” Live Science, September 6, 2013. https://www.livescience.com/39481-time-to-declare-animal-sentience.html
        • Subjectivity means having a sense of self.
        • Consciousness is (Webster’s Unabridged):
          • 2: the state or activity that is characterized by sensation, emotion, volition, or thought: mind in the broadest possible sense: something in nature that is distinguished from the physical
          • 1a: awareness or perception of an inward psychological or spiritual fact : intuitively perceived knowledge of something in one’s inner self
          • 1b: inward awareness of an external object, state, or fact
          • 3: the totality in psychology of sensations, perceptions, ideas, attitudes, and feelings of which an individual or a group is aware at any given time or within a particular time span   compare stream of consciousness
        • Ethology is the study of animal behavior.
        • Cognitive ethology is the branch of ethology that examines the conscious processes, beliefs, rationality, and emotions of non-human animals.
      • Experts
        • Lesley J Rogers:
          • Was professor of Neuroscience and Animal Behaviour at the University of New England (1993-2007) and is now an Emeritus Professor.
          • Specializes in brain development and behavior.
          • Is the author of seven books on the cognitive capabilities of a wide range of species.
        • March Bekoff
          • “Marc Bekoff, Ph.D., is professor emeritus of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Colorado, Boulder, and co-founder with Jane Goodall of Ethologists for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. He has won many awards for his scientific research including the Exemplar Award from the Animal Behavior Society and a Guggenheim Fellowship. Marc has published more than 1000 essays, 30 books, and has edited three encyclopedias.”
      • Both Rogers and Bekoff believe that ranking animals by the complexity of cognition is unjust.
        • Leslie J Rogers is concerned that The Great Apes Project will result in giving preference to forms of life more like us when other forms of life are just as deserving of moral consideration. We should not be granting rights “only to our closest genetic relatives.” She addresses the problem of ranking animals according to their supposed awareness or intelligence, which she says, “are impossible to assess on any single criterion”161Rogers, Lesley J. Minds Of Their Own: Thinking And Awareness In Animals. 1 edition. Boulder, Colorado: Routledge, 1998. 194
        • Instead of using human-centered IQ testing to rank animals, Rogers feels that we should recognize that “there are many different intelligences,” plural, rather than ranking all species on the same scale of intelligence (Ibid., 57).
        • There is no reason to think that different species use the kind of intelligence or the same cognitive processes to carry out similar activities. She believes that are no conclusive reasons to think that one species is more intelligent than another, and that it’s presumptive to rank animals on a human scale of intelligence (Ibid., 57)
        • Ethologist Marc Bekoff agrees, stating that ranking animals on a cognitive scale and pitting them against each other as to who is smarter and more emotionally developed, or less intelligent and less emotionally developed, is silly and even dangerous, considering how these comparisons can be used to claim that “smarter animals suffer more than supposedly dumber animals” whereby “dumber” animals may be treated “in all sorts of invasive and abusive ways” 162Bekoff, Marc. “Are Pigs as Smart as Dogs and Does It Really Matter?” Psychology Today, July 29, 2013. http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/animal-emotions/201307/are-pigs-smart-dogs-and-does-it-really-matter
        • We need to overcome our prejudiced attitudes toward nonhuman animals and appreciate them for who they are. They are not easily ranked in some convenient hierarchy based on human attributes.
    • Chickens live rich lives.
      • Context
        • Science is challenging the idea that complex cognitive abilities correlate with brain size  an idea that has not fared well for chickens.
          • “Current theories regarding the evolution of these seemingly advanced cognitive abilities correlate more complex behavior with increases in brain size, yet recent work with captive fowl has demonstrated that they also possess many of these same capabilities, but do not have the predicted changes in brain size.”
          • One possible explanation “is that the size and density of neurons within the brain and the connectivity between the different regions of the brain may be more important in determining cognitive function than the overall brain volume or brain region ratios typically measured. This means that efficiency or connectivity would be more important than simple size.”
          • 163Smith, Carolynn L, and Jane Johnson. “The Chicken Challenge – What Contemporary Studies Of Fowl Mean For Science And Ethics.” Between the Species: An Online Journal for the Study of Philosophy and Animals 15, no. 1 (February 23, 2012). https://doi.org/10.15368/bts.2012v15n1.4.
          • In her book “The Development of Brain and Behavior in the Chicken,” neurobiologist Leslie J Rogers says “it is now clear that birds have cognitive capacities equivalent to those of mammals, even primates.” 217164Rogers, Lesley J. The Development of Brain and Behaviour in the Chicken. First edition. Wallingford, Oxon, UK: CABI, 1995.
        • Chickens have rich emotional, social, and cognitive lives.
        • The following original sources were summarized by Robert Grillo in an excellently researched article titled “Chicken Behavior: An Overview of Recent Science.”165Grillo, Robert. “Chicken Behavior: An Overview of Recent Science.” Free From Harm, February 7, 2014. https://freefromharm.org/chicken-behavior-an-overview-of-recent-science/
        • The quotes below are from this article, which sites credible sources for each claim about the lives of chickens.
      • Emotions
        • “Hens respond with empathy to chicks distress.”
          • Chickens have “the ability to be affected by, and share, the emotional state of another.”166Edgar, J. L., J. C. Lowe, E. S. Paul, and C. J. Nicol. “Avian Maternal Response to Chick Distress.” Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B: Biological Sciences 278, no. 1721 (October 22, 2011): 3129–34. https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2010.2701 This is known as empathy.
        • “Form strong interspecies bonds with others.”
        • “Express emotions like grief, fear, enthusiasm, anxiety, frustration, friendship, and boredom.
        • “Pleasure seeking, dust-bathing, sun-bathing, forging  all elicit great contentment.”
      • Memory
        • “Anticipation of future events and rewards.”
        • “Long-term memory of individuals and events.”
        • “Retention and application of past learning.”
      • Problem Solving
        • “Chicks demonstrate complex skills such as self-control, basic arithmetic, physics, and geometry.”
        • “Creative, flexible decision making, ability to break from routines to solve novel challenges.”
      • Social
        • Birds can assess themselves and compare themselves with others.
          • “Regardless of the underlying cognitive mechanisms, it does appear that the birds are capable of self-assessment and comparisons between themselves and others.”167Smith, Carolynn L, and Jane Johnson. “The Chicken Challenge – What Contemporary Studies Of Fowl Mean For Science And Ethics.” Between the Species: An Online Journal for the Study of Philosophy and Animals 15, no. 1 (February 23, 2012). https://doi.org/10.15368/bts.2012v15n1.4.
        • “Domestic chickens seek to express same behaviors as those found in jungle foul ancestors.”
        • “Complex hierarchy, with specific status for each individual member, maintains stability in groups.”
        • “Recognition of up to 100 individuals in the group by physical features and recognition of distinct social status for each individual.”
        • “Socially dominant individuals tend to be group leaders from whom others learn.”
        • “Sophisticated coordination of group activities such as foraging, nesting, and group defense.”
      • Source168Grillo, Robert. “Chicken Behavior: An Overview of Recent Science.” Free From Harm, February 7, 2014. https://freefromharm.org/chicken-behavior-an-overview-of-recent-science/
    • Fish are social, have intelligence, and show emotions.
      • Fish develop cultural traditions and can even recognize themselves and others.
      • They also show signs of cooperation and reconciliation.
      • The level of mental complexity that fish display is on a par with most other vertebrates.
      • Source169Bekoff, Marc. “Fish Are Sentient and Emotional Beings and Clearly Feel Pain.” Psychology Today, June 19, 2014. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/animal-emotions/201406/fish-are-sentient-and-emotional-beings-and-clearly-feel-pain
      • Fish show emotional states and are capable of learning.
        • “An emotional state is more than a feeling. It is characterized by behavioural, physiologic, neurologic and genetic changes. Therefore, it is possible to run tests to infer if the response to a certain stimulus is associated with an emotional state.”
        • Now, a research collaborative has demonstrated for the first time that fish have emotional states triggered by the way they perceive environmental stimuli.
        • Source170“Emotional States Discovered in Fish.” PHYS.ORG, October 30, 2017. https://phys.org/news/2017-10-emotional-states-fish.html
        • Fish have brain structures with the same evolutionary origin as human’s amygdala, which is used to process emotions, and the hippocampus, which supports learning.
          • So says Sonia Rey Planellas, University of Stirling: “though the fish brain is organised differently from that of mammals, it also has structures with the same evolutionary origin as parts of the mammal brain we know play a key role in generating emotions (the amygdala) and supporting learning (the hippocampus).”171Planellas, Sonia Rey. “How Do We Know Whether Fish Have Feelings Too?” BBC, February 20, 2016. http://www.bbc.com/earth/story/20160220-do-fish-have-feelings
    • Animal consciousness has reached a scientific consensus.
      • Marc Bekoff, professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and author of 30 books, has stated that “after 2,500 studies, it’s time to declare animal sentience proven.”
        • Berkoff defines sentience as “the ability to feel, perceive, or be conscious, or to experience subjectivity.” The case for sentience is strong, he believes, even for fish.
        • Subjectivity, in this context, means having a sense of self.
        • Source172Bekoff, Marc, and 2013 04:27 pm ET. “After 2,500 Studies, It’s Time to Declare Animal Sentience Proven (Op-Ed).” Live Science, September 6, 2013. https://www.livescience.com/39481-time-to-declare-animal-sentience.html
        • “Marc Bekoff, Ph.D., is professor emeritus of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Colorado, Boulder, and co-founder with Jane Goodall of Ethologists for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. He has won many awards for his scientific research including the Exemplar Award from the Animal Behavior Society and a Guggenheim Fellowship. Marc has published more than 1000 essays (popular, scientific, and book chapters), 30 books, and has edited three encyclopedias.”
      • The Cambridge Declaration on Consciousness was signed at a scientific conference on the Cambridge campus on July 7, 2012.
        • The signing ceremony
          • A range of scientific disciplines were signators, mostly the majority being some branch of neuroscience.
          • The ceremony was witnessed by Stephen Hawkins, who is said to have endorsed the declaration.
          • The consensus was that it was time to make a statement for public consumption.
          • It was noted that the tools of neuroscience were evolving quickly, and some past assumptions were being discarded.
          • The scientist presiding over the signing, Philip Low, said that “It might be obvious to everyone in this room that animals have consciousness; it’s not obvious to the rest of the world.”
          • Source173Philip Low. Animal Consciousness Officially Recognized by Leading Panel of Neuroscientists, 2012. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RSbom5MsfNM&feature=plcp
        • The declaration said that:
          • “Abundant new techniques and strategies for human and non-human animal research have been developed. Consequently, more data is becoming readily available, and this calls for a periodic reevaluation of previously held preconceptions in this field.”
          • “The absence of a neocortex does not appear to preclude an organism from experiencing affective states. Convergent evidence indicates that non-human animals have the neuroanatomical, neurochemical, and neurophysiological substrates of conscious states along with the capacity to exhibit intentional behaviors.”
          • “Consequently, the weight of evidence indicates that humans are not unique in possessing the neurological substrates that generate consciousness. Non- human animals, including all mammals and birds, and many other creatures, including octopuses, also possess these neurological substrates.”
        • The declaration was important:
          • Not because we scientists didn’t know this.
          • Because of the prominence of the signators.
          • Because it included “lower” animals whose consciousness was in doubt.
          • It received widespread coverage, which included being memorialized by CBS’ Sixty Minutes.
      • Moral consideration for nonhuman animals is supported by Charles Darwin.
        • “Charles Darwin’s ideas about evolutionary continuity also strongly argue in favor of other animals being sentient and conscious beings and it’s important to stress that their sentience and consciousness does not have to just like ours to make them members of the sentience and consciousness club.”174Bekoff, Marc. “Dawkins’ Dangerous Idea: We Really Don’t Know If Animals Are Conscious.” Huffington Post (blog), May 16, 2012. https://www.huffingtonpost.com/marc-bekoff/animal-consciousness_b_1519000.html
        • Darwin devoted a chapter in “The Descent of Man” (1882) who object was to show that “there is no fundamental difference between man and the higher mammals in their mental faculties.”175Darwin, Charles. The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex – Charles Darwin. Google Books, 1882. https://books.google.com/books?id=fgWPufK2T1IC 126
        • Darwin believed that “the difference in mind between man and the higher animals, great as it is, certainly is one of degree and not of kind” and continued to say that “we have seen that the senses and intuitions, the various emotions and faculties, such as love, memory, attention, curiosity, imitation, reason, etc., of which man boasts, may be found in an incipient, or even sometimes in a well-developed condition, in the lower animals.”176Ibid., 34
        • Darwin called the “love of all living creatures, the most noble attribute of man.177Ibid., 105
        • Earlier, in 1838, Darwin wrote in one of his notebooks that “Man in his arrogance thinks himself a great work worthy of the interposition of a diety. More humble, and, I believe, true to consider him created from animals.”
        • Philosopher James Rachels argues in his book “Created from Animals.”, named for this quote, that:
          • There is a conflict between science and religion even though it was denied in the years after the publication of “Origin of Species” in 1859, and even today. Rachels think Darwin’s work was a treat to prominent beliefs.
          • We should take a more enlightened attitude toward non-human animals.
          • Extra
            • Dr James Rachels was a widely published author and philosophy professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He died of cancer in 2003. He was a proponent of animal rights. He wrote “The Elements of Moral Philosophy,” the most used textbook at the time on the philosophy of ethics.
    • The animals we eat are much like us.
      • They have desires and emotions just like us.
      • They have a sense of themselves, a sense of the future, and a desire to live just like us.
      • They have families, a social order, preferences in mating, and natural behaviors just like us.
      • They suffer just like us.
      • They deserve better.
  • The benefits of veganism to humans are substantial.
    • Context
      • Veganism is about avoiding causing harm to animals. But some people become vegan, or at least adopt a vegan diet, for other reasons. They often come to appreciate and embrace all of the implications of veganism as they become more aware. These other reasons have considerable benefits to humanity, and should not be ignored.
      • Consideration for both and humans and animals has been part of the movement from the beginning. So says a retrospective ebook published by The Vegan Society 70 years after it’s founding.
        • The benefits to humans, as expressed in the retrospective, are rather limited compared to what we now recognize as the benefits to humans. They include:
          • the idea that “the death rates for certain diseases almost doubling in a generation, is caused chiefly by wrong nutrition.”
          • “the foolishness of cycling our food through animals instead of eating plant food directly”
          • “the potential of the vegan diet to resolve food supply issues”
          • “the value of veganism to global food security”
          • Source178The Vegan Society. “E-Book Documenting the History of The Vegan Society Published.” The Vegan Society, November 14, 2014. https://www.vegansociety.com/whats-new/news/e-book-documenting-history-vegan-society-published
      • In consideration of that, veganism may be thought of as a way of living that emphases justice and compassion for animals, the reduction of harm to the environment, social equality for humans, and the promotion of human health.
    • For Health and Wellbeing
      • Medical doctors are increasingly recommending a plant-based diet to lower our risks for chronic diseases and sometimes reverse our leading killers.
        • Kaiser Permanente Doctors
          • Four medical doctors writing in the Permanente Journal state that he suffering and expense humans encounter due to health problems, including obesity, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and early mortality, can be mitigated and sometimes eliminated by a whole-foods, plant-based vegan diet.179Tuso, Philip J, Mohamed H Ismail, Benjamin P Ha, and Carole Bartolotto. “Nutritional Update for Physicians: Plant-Based Diets.” The Permanente Journal 17, no. 2 (2013): 61–66. doi:10.7812/TPP/12-085
        • Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn
          • Caldwell Esselstyn, M.D. says, “We can eliminate chronic illness if we can get people to eat whole food plant-based nutrition.” 180VEGAN 2017 – The Film 12:36 Dr. Esselstyn, along with Dr. Ornish, have both demonstrated that a plant-based diet can not only stop the progression of heart disease but can actually reverse it.
        • Dr. Michael Gregor
          • In his bestselling book “How Not To Die,” Dr. Michael Gregor sites hundreds of studies to show that the leading causes of death and illness are directly connected to our food choices, that various cancers, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, obesity, asthma, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s are linked to animal products, and that a whole food plant-based diet is the leading predictor of good health and long life.
          • “Most deaths in the United States are preventable, and they are related to what we eat. Our diet is the number- one cause of premature death and the number-one cause of disability.”181Greger, Michael. Why You Should Care About Nutrition | NutritionFacts.Org. Accessed April 5, 2018. https://nutritionfacts.org/video/why-you-should-care-about-nutrition/
          • Gregor says “If that’s all a plant-based diet can do, reverse the number one killer of men and women [heart disease], shouldn’t that be the default diet until proven otherwise, and the fact that it can arrest and reverse other leading killers, type 2 diabetes, and high blood pressure, would seem to make the case for plant-based eating simply overwhelming.”182VEGAN 2017 – The Film 13:13
        • Dr. Neal Barnard
          • Dr. Neal Barnard of Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) says that “The evidence supporting a whole foods plant-based diet is overwhelming. We have hundreds if not thousands of studies….Anyone who speaks against the benefits of a whole foods plant-based diet either just doesn’t know the facts, or they’ve got some economic interest that’s at play here. The facts are overwhelming.” 183Campbell, Nelson. PlantPure Nation. Documentary, 2015. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3699150/ 48:13
          • Comparing meat eaters, pescetarians, vegetarians, and vegans, Dr. Barnard says that vegans ” are the only group whose BMI smuggles into where we would like that average to be.”184What We Know About Plant-Based Diets – Dr. Neal Barnard. Accessed April 6, 2018. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2UPQfdIlzaA
        • Cardiologist Robert Ostfeld
          • He is founder and director of the Cardiac Wellness Program at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City.
          • Dr. Ostfeld recommends a plant-based diet for all his patients.
          • “The plant-based lifestyle is the best medicine I’ve ever prescribed.”
          • “The results have been amazing. My patients’ chest pain and shortness of breath have dramatically improved. Their cholesterol has plummeted, they have lost weight, and they are able to eliminate or reduce the need for multiple medications for problems such as hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol, and chronic pain.”
          • “Patients also describe benefits they may not have originally expected, such as more energy, improved complexion, clearer thinking, better sleep, fewer colds, improved erectile function, increased stamina, and more! In fact, patients have cried tears of joy from the results they have achieved.
          • “Frankly, I have fallen in love with being a physician all over again.”
          • Source185Ostfeld, Dr. Robert. “The Plant-Based Lifestyle Is the Best Medicine I’ve Ever Prescribed.” Forks Over Knives (blog), December 10, 2013. https://www.forksoverknives.com/the-plant-based-lifestyle-is-the-best-medicine-i-ever-prescribed/
        • Cardiologist Kim Williams
          • Kim Williams, president of the American College of Cardiology, advises his patients to go vegan.186O’Connor, Anahad. “Advice From a Vegan Cardiologist.” New York Times: Well (blog), August 6, 2014. https://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/08/06/advice-from-a-vegan-cardiologist/
          • Dr. Williams says, “there are two kinds of cardiologists: vegans and those who haven’t read the data.”187“Cardiologist Kim Williams, M.D. Wants To Eradicate Heart Disease.” Rich Roll, November 5, 2017. http://www.richroll.com/podcast/kim-williams/
        • Dr. James Marcum
          • Dr. James Marcum gets riled up when he sees the advertisements that say diet and exercise are not enough. He thinks they shouldn’t downplay the ability of people to take care of their own health. He says that for eighty to ninety percent of his patients if they would adopt a plant-based diet, their condition would dramatically improve.188Campbell, Nelson. PlantPure Nation. Documentary, 2015. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3699150/ 41:20
          • He raises the possibility that someday, if a doctor does not discuss moving from a meat-based diet to a whole foods plant-based diet with his or patients, it might be considered malpractice, just as it would be considered malpractice if a doctor didn’t suggest a lung cancer patient stop smoking. “We just want what best for our patients, and as a physician, as I come across new knowledge that’s evidence-based, as I see my patient’s lives change, as I see my life change, I would feel guilty, and I would feel great remorse, if I didn’t try to introduce these principles into my practice.189Campbell, Nelson. PlantPure Nation. Documentary, 2015. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3699150/ 50:00
        • Michael Klapper
          • Dr. Klapper has practiced medicine for 40 plus years and has helped people transition to a plant-based diet for 30 plus years.190Klaper, Michael. “Vegan Health Study.” Vegan Health Study by Michael Klaper, M.D., January 4, 2017. https://veganhealthstudy.org/
          • Dr. Klapper says is an outspoken proponent of the the abilities of the body to heal itself when provided the optimum fuel of a whole foods, plant-based diet.191“Home Page – DoctorKlaper.Com.” Michael Klaper, M.D., Nutrition-Based Medicine. Accessed April 5, 2018. https://doctorklaper.com/
        • All these doctors, and it seems the medical organizations and dietetic associations mentioned earlier, would agree that the healthiest diet is one that minimizes eating meat, dairy, eggs, and processed foods, and maximizes eating fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, mushrooms, herbs, and spices.
      • There’s a large and growing movement toward plant-based nutrition, as evidenced by a number of initiatives.
        • Plant Pure Nation’s Jumpstart program improved health in rural communities in 14 days.
          • The Jumpstart program is documented in the movie “Plant Pure Nation.”192Campbell, Nelson. PlantPure Nation. Documentary, 2015. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3699150/
          • Nelson Campbell and his team devised a two-week jumpstart nutritional program for rural, economically depressed communities.
            • They recruited an independent biometric testing company to take blood pressure, weight, waist size, give cholesterol and blood screenings, and other measurements. The tests were performed before the program started and after the program completed.
            • The participants were provided education on the link between nutrition and health.
            • During the two-day educational program, participants were informed of the link between nutrition and health. They were told that the program was about taking control out of the hands of industry and government and putting back to you.
            • The participants were fed two weeks of veganized traditional recipes: lasagna, spaghetti and vegan meatballs, meatloaf aka lentil loaf, and veggie burgers.
          • Jumpstarts were carried out in several communities.
            • Jumpstart 1: Mebane North Carolina, Population 12,000.
              • Mebane is Mayberry like. It’s the land of barbeque and fried food, in an area known as the stroke belt.
              • Like most communities, everything revolves around food  unhealthy food.
              • The team was apprehensive but also excited because they know that if it turns out good, in such a small town the news will spread like a virus.
              • Challenge: finding people to participate. The went around to the coffee shop, the local Christian bookstore, the eateries, and other places.
              • They finally got 16 people to agree to be on the program. The participants represented a cross-section of the community and included a politician, a business person, a journalist, and a local cattle-farming couple.
            • Jumpstart 2: ARCA Employees
              • Aubrey Meador, President, ARCA, who had participated in the first jumpstart and seen great result. He said that since it helped him that much, he wanted to see what it could do for his whole employee base.
              • Creating a better workplace environment and lowering healthcare costs were his motivations.
              • This jumpstart was presented as a case study for employers across the country.
            • Jumpstart 3: 50 people from two local churches.
              • They were told that this idea was more powerful than any medicine than that any doctor could ever prescribe.
          • Vision: A plant-pure nation where:
            • “Our kids grow up full of health and life.”
            • ‘We age gracefully, not wasting away in illness and in nursing homes.”
            • “The small family farmer becomes the foundation of our system of food production.”
            • “We no longer raise billions of animals for slaughter in inhumane conditions behind the public eye.”
            • “We help to restore the worlds climate, rainforests and topsoil.”
            • Source193Ibid., 1:29
          • Results
            • Various Participants
              • Every person had significant improvement in just 10 days.
              • One lady’s cholesterol started at 176 and went down to 139. “No way.” LDL went from 84 to less than 45.
              • One man’s triglycerides went from an at-risk 153 to 66. He stated he couldn’t get the best insurance rates because of triglycerides.
              • One unnamed participant express disbelief when informed his cholesterol went from 277 to 150, triglycerides went from 395 to 98. “Are you sure that’s accurate.? Holy Moley.” 194Ibid., 51.01.
            • Participant Tommy Privit, a Methodist minister:
              • Numerous issues, including Type 2 diabetes for 36 years, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and obesity.
              • Get wearisome having to keep up with the medications, and keep his health issues under control.
              • After four and a half months on a plant-based diet, he lost 40 pounds, and he said he is still losing.
              • He was talking seven medications, and at the time of filming, had gotten totally off of five of the seven.
              • Source195Ibid., 35:48.
            • Patty Jones, the owner of Pattycakes Childcare center:
              • Patty had recently been diagnosed as type 2 diabetic, and was put two medications, one for cholesterol and one for diabetes. She was told there is no cure for diabetes.
              • After 10 days, her cholesterol was down 60 points.196Ibid., 44:30.
              • Patty’s blood sugar started out at 340, ended at 125.
              • She has learned that she can eat her favorite food, fruits, without concern for diabetes.197Ibid., 48:52..
            • Paster Ben Morrow of Jeffries Cross Baptist
              • Morrow, pastor of this predominately black church in rural North Carolina, said from the pulpit: “Not only do our food choices matter when it comes to the cruel treatment of animals, and to the degradation of our land, food choices also matter because food choices can directly impact our health for better or for worse.” He announced remarkable results in weight, cholesterol, and blood sugar. “Those who tried this whole food plant-based diet for 10 days can testify which diet is better.”198Ibid., 46:40.
            • Michael McEntee, the biometric tester
              • “I’ve been testing for 26 years, we’ve tested millions of people, and I’ve never seen results like this, ” said Michael McEntee, founder of Impact Health, the company that did the testing for the jumpstarts.199Ibid., 51:45
          • Extra
            • Local chapters called Pods have been, and are being, set up in communities across the country.
            • Kentucky politics undermined a bill to fund the project.
              • Bill had enthusiastic sponsorship in Kentucky legislature.
              • They had a message that transcends political and cultural boundaries.
              • The bill had strong support initially. One legislator asked, “How could anyone be against it?.”
              • Animal agriculture lobby undermined the bill by lobbying.
              • The bill was watered it down to the point it was useless to proceed.
              • They decided to fund the program themselves.
            • Cattle farmers participated in a jumpstart.
              • A cattle farmer husband, who was skeptical at first, reported that he enjoyed everything he had eaten, that he slept well, and didn’t feel bloated.
              • The cattle farmer wife was asked how she felt about the idea the future of farming could be plants instead of dairy and livestock. She was nonplused, and stated that her family had always been progressive, and started in pickles  Lord Duplin Sweet Pickles and Lord Duplin Sour Pickles in the 1920’s, and then went to dairy and then to beef.
            • The movie addressed the perplexing cause versus treatment conundrum.
              • Rekha Chaudhary, MD, a Neuro-oncologist at the University of Cincinnati Neuroscience Institute, as well as several other practitioners, points out an odd conundrum.200Ibid., 37:06.
              • People can accept that nutrition is the cause of many of our chronic diseases, yet we have accepted the notion that pharmacology is the treatment of our chronic diseases. You take a blood pressure pill for your blood pressure and another pill for your diabetes. But if nutrition is the cause of the chronic disease why is nutrition not commonly thought of as a cure for the disease, or at least as the first line of treatment. It seems difficult for people to accept that.
              • Source201Ibid., 37:06.
              • The problem is not made better in the United States by the fact that the US is only one of two countries in the world where pharmaceuticals are allowed to advertise directly to the consumer. (New Zealand is the other.)
              • This advertising is highly effective. A Harvard study found that 3 or 4 people who ask for a drug from their physician, get it. Seventy percent of Americans are taking one drug, over 50 percent are taking two drugs, and 20 percent are talking 5 or more drugs.
              • Source202Ibid., 40.47.
        • Dr. Dean Ornish has established programs with hospitals and insurers, to reverse heart disease.
          • “Dr. Ornish’s Program for Reversing Heart Disease is the first integrative lifestyle program for reversing the progression of heart disease and other chronic conditions. Medicare is now covering this program under Intensive Cardiac Rehabilitation.”
          • “The Ornish Reversal Program network is growing rapidly, including national partnerships with many commercial payers such as Aetna, Anthem, Blue Shield of California, HMSA and others. Some of these insurers are covering members who have risk factors for coronary heart disease, and other conditions such as diabetes and early-stage prostate cancer.”
          • Source203Ornish, Dean. “Ornish Lifestyle Medicine | Find an Ornish-Certified Location.” Ornish Lifestyle Medicine. Accessed April 4, 2018. https://www.ornish.com/ornish-certified-site-directory/
        • Cornell offers a popular Plant-Based Nutrition certification program.
          • “Created by the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies, this revolutionary program will help you understand the importance of diet and nutrition for your life. Through video presentations, including over 25 experts (MDs, PhDs, RDs, RNs), research and perspectives are provided to emphasize why following a plant-based diet and lifestyle is optimal for health  including the prevention and reversal of diseases such as heart disease and diabetes  and how you can implement the proposed lifestyle immediately.”
          • “Consisting of three two-week courses (to be taken one at a time), this online certificate program provides you the opportunity to examine historic and contemporary research, learn the steps for practical application in your life, and be better prepared to engage in productive conversations with friends, colleagues, clients, or patients about the science and philosophy behind plant-based nutrition. Interactive elements throughout the course provide tools for learning and check understanding of content presented.”
          • What you will learn for $1,300:
            • “Understand the state of nutrition and reflect on your personal nutritional background.”
            • “Describe the role of macronutrients in the functioning of the body.”
            • “Recognize how government and industry can affect dietary choices and the environment.”
            • “Explain the role of nutrition in the development of chronic and degenerative diseases including cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.”
            • “Identify ways to implement whole food plant-based meals for you and your family.”
            • “Illustrate how a whole food plant-based diet can help improve strength, speed, and endurance for athletic performance.”
            • “Explore the psychological reasons we are drawn to foods that do not support health.”
            • “Summarize the relationship between diet and weight loss.”
          • Source204“Plant-Based Nutrition.” eCornell. Accessed April 4, 2018. https://www.ecornell.com/certificates/nutrition/plant-based-nutrition/
        • PCRM’s Food for Life program graduates are spreading the word.
          • “The Food for Life program is a community-based nutrition education program of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM).”
          • “With more than million people being diagnosed with cancer and 26 million people diagnosed with diabetes in the United States each year  and many more cases in other countries across the globe  there is an urgent need for a new direction in battling diseases. The Food for Life program is an innovative approach to a medical challenge. It aims first to prevent disease. When a disease has been diagnosed, it works for improving survival.”
          • “Designed by physicians, nutrition experts, and registered dietitians, each of our curricula includes information about how certain foods and nutrients work to promote health and fight disease. The classes work to translate complex scientific nutrition information into simple and easy meals. Each Food for Life nutrition and cooking class features a nutrition lecture and live cooking demonstration all within a supportive group setting.”
          • Source205“Food for Life: The Power of Food for Health | The Physicians Committee.” The Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine. Accessed April 4, 2018. http://www.pcrm.org/health/diets/ffl/classes
            • She trains people on who to prepare healthy meals, and is a frequent guest on the ABC morning talk show.
        • The International Plant-Based Nutrition Healthcare Conference is growing in attendance.
          • “The conference objective is to support the benefits of a plant-based dietary lifestyle through a review of current and progressive scientific research evidencing the preventive and disease-fighting capabilities of whole food, plant-based nutrition. Geared toward medical doctors from a variety of specialty areas, as well as allied healthcare professionals, the information on plant-based nutrition will be presented with a commitment to intellectual integrity, without bias or influence.”206“Sixth Annual International Plant-Based Nutrition Healthcare Conference | Plant-Based Nutrition Healthcare Conference.” Accessed April 4, 2018. https://pbnhc.com/overview
        • Kaiser Permanente encourages their physicians to recommend a plant-based diet to their patients.
          • Quote: “Physicians should consider recommending a plant-based diet to all their patients, especially those with high blood pressure, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, or obesity. Research shows that plant-based diets are cost-effective, low-risk interventions that may lower body mass index, blood pressure, HbA1C, and cholesterol levels. They may also reduce the number of medications needed to treat chronic diseases and lower ischemic heart disease mortality rates.”
          • Source207Phillip J Tuso, MD, Mohamed H Ismail, MD, Benjamin P Ha, MD, and Carole Bartolotto, MD, RD. “Nutritional Update for Physicians: Plant-Based Diets.” The Permanente Journal – The Permanente Press – Kaiser Permanente – Permanente Medical Groups, 2013. http://www.thepermanentejournal.org/issues/2013/spring/5117-nutrition.html
    • For the Planet
      • Context
        • We should do all we can to minimize harming the environment that sustains us all.
      • An article in Georgetown Environmental Law Review called animal agriculture “one industry that is destroying our planet and our ability to thrive on it.”
        • The title of the article is “A Leading Cause of Everything: One Industry That Is Destroying Our Planet and Our Ability to Thrive on It”
        • “Climate change. Ocean dead zones. Fisheries depletion. Species extinction. Deforestation. World hunger. Food safety. Heart disease. Obesity. Diabetes. The list goes on. There is one issue at the heart of all these global problems that is too often overlooked by private individuals and policymakers alike  our demand for and reliance on animal products.
        • Source208Christopher Hyner. “A Leading Cause of Everything: One Industry That Is Destroying Our Planet and Our Ability to Thrive on It.” Georgetown Environmental Law Review, October 23, 2015. https://gelr.org/2015/10/23/a-leading-cause-of-everything-one-industry-that-is-destroying-our-planet-and-our-ability-to-thrive-on-it-georgetown-environmental-law-review/
      • That animal agriculture is a leading cause of environmental destruction is not surprising given that:
        • In the U.S., 80% of all agricultural land is used to raise animals for food and grow grain to feed them  that’s almost half the total land mass of the lower 48 states (“Major Uses of Land in the United States” by Marlow Vesterby and Kenneth S. Krupa)
        • Animal agriculture uses 30% of the earth’s land.209Steinfeld, Henning. 2006. Livestock’s long shadow: environmental issues and options. Rome: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
          • This includes grazing and land growing feed crops.
      • There seems to be a developing consensus among scientists that animal agriculture is a significant cause, and in some cases the leading cause, of:
        • Climate change
          • Context
            • Climate change is real and caused by humans.
              • At least 198 international scientific organizations take the position that climate change is real and is caused by humans.210“List of Worldwide Scientific Organizations – Office of Planning and Research.” State of California Governer’s Office of Planning and Research. Accessed March 11, 2018. http://www.opr.ca.gov/facts/list-of-scientific-organizations.html
              • Studies show that 97% of scientists involved in research have reached a consensus that global temperatures are rising as the result of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse emissions from human sources. 211Doran, PT and MK Zimmerman (2009). Examining the scientific consensus on climate change. Eos Trans American Geophysical Union. 90(3): p. 22.212Anderegg, WRL, JW Prall, J Harold, and SH Schneider (2010). Expert credibility in climate change. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA. 107: p. 12107-12109.
            • Climate change has far-reaching negative consequences for the planet and all its inhabitants.
              • NASA warns that climate change will cause or contribute to droughts, heat waves, stronger hurricanes, sea level rise, flooding, more wildfires, declining water supplies, reduced agricultural yields, erosion, insect outbreaks, tree disease, an ice-free Arctic, compromised health.213Jackson, Randal. “Global Climate Change: Effects.” NASA | Global Climate Change. Accessed March 11, 2018. https://climate.nasa.gov/effects
          • Animal agriculture is likely responsible for more greenhouse gas emissions than the entire transportation sector combined.
            • Animal agriculture accounts for somewhere between 14 and 51% of GHG emissions depending on how it’s calculated.
            • The UN Report “Livestock’s Long Shadow” contends that livestock accounts for 18% of global greenhouse gas emissions.
              • A 390-page report titled “Livestock’s Long Shadow” was published in 2006 by the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) of the United Nations (UN).
              • The report concluded that “The livestock sector is a major player, responsible for 18 percent of greenhouse gas emissions measured in CO2 equivalent. This is a higher share than transport.”(page xxi)
              • The livestock sector generates 65 percent of human-related nitrous oxide, which has 296 times the Global Warming Potential (GWP) of CO2. This contributes significantly to acid rain and acidification of ecosystems.(page xxi)
              • “In all, livestock production accounts for 70 percent of all agricultural land and 30 percent of the land surface of the planet.”(page xxi)
              • “Expansion of livestock production is a key factor in deforestation, especially in Latin America where the greatest amount of deforestation is occurring – 70 percent of previously forested land in the Amazon is occupied by pastures, and feed crops cover a large part of the remainder.”(page xxi)
              • “We are in an era of unprecedented threats to biodiversity. The loss of species is estimated to be running 50 to 500 times higher than background rates found in the fossil record.”(page xxiii) The report attributes this largely to livestock.
              • The report warns that “the environmental impact per unit of livestock production must be cut by half, just to avoid increasing the level of damage beyond its present level.” (page xx)
              • There have been some valid criticism’s of certain portions of the report, but none that would disprove the tremendous negative impact of livestock on the environment.
            • The World Watch Report “Livestock and Climate Change” estimates that livestock is responsible for 51% of global greenhouse gas emissions.
              • A report titled Livestock and Climate Change published in the November/December 2009 edition of World Watch Magazine, a publication of the World Watch Institute. The report contested the UN’s “Livestock’s Long Shadow” by pointing out how the UN report undercounted greenhouse gasses (GHG).
              • This report was written by Robert Goodland and Jeff Anhang with the World Bank, anything but a left-leaning organization, and an organization with a less than stellular environmental record. 214“World Bank Confronts Sustainability Criticism | Business Ethics.” Business Ethics Magazine (blog), March 9, 2011. http://business-ethics.com/2011/03/19/1900-world-bank-confronts-sustainability-criticism/
                • “Jeff Anhang is an environmental specialist at the World Bank Group’s International Finance Corporation (IFC)”.215Nation, PlantPure. “PlantPure Nation Board of Advisors.” PlantPure Nation. Accessed March 6, 2018. https://www.plantpurenation.com/pages/plantpure-nation-board-of-advisors
                • Robert Goodland: “Until he retired in 2001, Goodland was the lead environmental adviser to the World Bank.”216“About | Dr. Robert Goodland.” Accessed March 6, 2018. https://goodlandrobert.com/?page_id=2
              • The two scientists who wrote the report wanted to understand what’s truly driving greenhouse gas emissions throughout the world.
              • The report calculated the total contribution of livestock to greenhouse gasses to be 51% of the annual worldwide GHG emissions.
              • Source217Goodland, Robert, and Jeff Anhang. “Livestock and Climate Change.” Worldwatch Institute. Accessed April 4, 2018. http://www.worldwatch.org/node/6294
              • The report was indeed peer-reviewed. Some reported it was not.218“Livestock and Climate: Whose Numbers Are More Credible? – Philly.” Philly.com, March 2, 2012. http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/earth-to-philly/Livestock-and-climate-Whose-numbers-are-more-credible.html
            • The EPA estimates global greenhouse gas emission for all of transportation to be 14%.
              • “Greenhouse gas emissions from this sector primarily involve fossil fuels burned for road, rail, air, and marine transportation. Almost all (95%) of the world’s transportation energy comes from petroleum-based fuels, largely gasoline and diesel.”219“Global Greenhouse Gas Emissions Data.” Overviews and Factsheets. US EPA, January 12, 2016. https://www.epa.gov/ghgemissions/global-greenhouse-gas-emissions-data
              • Extra
                • The EPA estimates greenhouse gas emission for transportation in the United States to be 27%.
                  • This includes “cars, trucks, commercial aircraft, and railroads, among other sources.”220“Fast Facts on Transportation Greenhouse Gas Emissions.” Overviews and Factsheets. US EPA, August 25, 2015. https://www.epa.gov/greenvehicles/fast-facts-transportation-greenhouse-gas-emissions
            • Researchers from the University of Chicago determined that you reduce greenhouse gas emissions more by changing to a vegan diet (1485 kg) than you do from switching to a Prius (953 kg).221 Gidon Eshel, and Pamela A. Martin. “Diet, Energy, and Global Warming.” Department of Geophysical Sciences, University of Chicago, 2005. http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/pdf/10.1175/EI167.1.
              • Greenhouse emissions are based on a CO2 equivalent calculation made by converting methane and nitrous oxide into their warming potential CO2 equivalents.
              • “Changing to a vegan diet” embodies changing from a “mixed diet with the mean American caloric content and composition.”
              • The calculation assumes a switch to a Prius from a mid-sized sedan  a Camry, not exactly a gas-guzzler, making the comparison more credible.
          • Researchers from the University of Chicago determined that you reduce greenhouse gas emissions more by changing to a vegan diet (1485 kg) than you do from switching to a Prius (953 kg).222 Gidon Eshel, and Pamela A. Martin. “Diet, Energy, and Global Warming.” Department of Geophysical Sciences, University of Chicago, 2005. http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/pdf/10.1175/EI167.1.
            • Extra
              • Greenhouse emissions are based on a CO2 equivalent calculation made by converting methane and nitrous oxide into there warming potential CO2 equivalents.
              • “Changing to a vegan diet” embodies changing from a “mixed diet with the mean American caloric content and composition.”
              • The auto calculation assumes a switch to a Prius from a mid-sized sedan  a Camry.
        • Deforestation
          • Yale says that “Cattle ranching is the largest driver of deforestation in every Amazon country, accounting for 80% of current deforestation rates.”223Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. “Cattle Ranching in the Amazon Region.” Global Forest Atlas, June 6, 2014. http://globalforestatlas.yale.edu/amazon/land-use/cattle-ranching
          • According to Smithsonian Research, just in the Amazon, rainforest destruction averaged 7 football fields a minute, mostly for animals and crops to feed them.
            • According to the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, forest destruction averaged 2 million hectares a year, equivalent to 7 football fields a minute.224“Smithsonian Researchers Show Amazonian Deforestation Accelerating.” ScienceDaily. Accessed June 8, 2017. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/01/020115075118.htm.
              • The study period was 1995 to 2000.
          • “Researchers studying plants, ants, birds, dung beetles and orchid bees in the Brazilian Amazon have found clear evidence that deforestation causes drastic loss of tropical forest biodiversity.”225“Evidence of Species Loss in Amazon Caused by Deforestation.” ScienceDaily. Accessed June 8, 2017. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/08/150824064927.htm.
          • Scientists say we are in the 6th mass extinction, the last one being the age of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago, and that we are losing dozens of species every day, and that, unlike extinctions in the past, current extinctions are caused almost entirely by human activities.226 The Center for Biological Diversity. “The Extinction Crisis.” The Center for Biological Diversity. Accessed June 8, 2017. http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/programs/biodiversity/elements_of_biodiversity/extinction_crisis/.
          • Extra
            • Brazil is home to approximately 200 million head of cattle, and is the largest exporter in the world, supplying about one-quarter of the global market.227Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. “Cattle Ranching in the Amazon Region.” Global Forest Atlas, June 6, 2014. http://globalforestatlas.yale.edu/amazon/land-use/cattle-ranching.
        • Ocean Dead Zones.
          • Nitrogen and phosphorous from agricultural runoff are the main cause of dead zones in oceans and lakes.228Victor Paine. “What Causes Ocean ‘Dead Zones’?” Scientific American. Accessed June 8, 2017. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/ocean-dead-zones/.
        • Ocean Depletion of Fish
          • According to the United Nations 2012 Statictical Yearbook:
            • Over 80% of global fish stocks are either fully depleted or overexploited.
            • If commercial fishing of our oceans continues at current levels, it is predicted that all species currently fished would be exhausted by 2048.
            • Source229“FAO Statistical Yearbook 2012.” United Nations FAO. Accessed April 4, 2018. http://www.fao.org/docrep/015/i2490e/i2490e00.htm
        • Runoff and Water Pollution
          • Manure runoff, nitrate levels, E. coli well poisoning is happening in non-factory farms.
            • Traditional Amish farming, not factory farms, is polluting the Chesapeake Bay with manure runoff six times the norm. The EPA found that majority were “managing their manure inadequately.” “Six of the 19 wells sampled contained E. coli bacteria, and 16 had nitrate levels exceeding those allowed by the E.P.A.”230Bhanoo, Sindya N. “Amish Farming Draws Rare Government Scrutiny.” The New York Times, June 8, 2010, sec. Environment. https://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/09/science/earth/09amish.html
        • Water Wastage
          • Water Usage: Gallons per Pound
            • Beef: 1847
            • Chicken: 518
            • Cheese: 380
            • Beans: 486
            • Corn: 146
            • Lettuce: 28
            • Rice: 299
            • Tomato: 25
            • Source
              • 231“Water Footprint.” Waterfootprint.org. Accessed November 28, 2017. http://waterfootprint.org/en/resources/interactive-tools/product-gallery/
              • The water footprint calculations are guided by the extensive guidelines in the form of a 200-page manual.232“Water Footprint Assessment Manual – The Global Standard.” Accessed November 28, 2017. http://waterfootprint.org/en/resources/publications/water-footprint-assessment-manual-global-standard/
      • The extreme devistataton to the planet caused by animal agriculture prompted Howard Lyman, a former cattle rancher, to say:
        • “you can’t be an environmentalist and eat animal products”233Quotes from “Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret.” Accessed May 25, 2018. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3302820/quotes
        • “to consider yourself an environmentalist and still eat meat is like saying you’re a philanthropist who doesn’t give to charity.”234“Cowspiracy – Encore | Animal Liberation Victoria.” Accessed May 25, 2018. https://www.alv.org.au/articles/cowspiracy/
    • For Human Equity and Social Justice
      • For the Impoverished
        • Hunger and Starvation Facts
          • “82% of the world’s starving children live in countries where food is fed to animals that are then killed and eaten by more well-off individuals in developed countries like the US, UK, and in Europe. One-fourth of all grain produced by third world countries is now given to livestock, in their own country and out.”235Richard Oppenlander. “The World Hunger-Food Choice Connection: A Summary.” Comfortably Unaware, 2012. http://comfortablyunaware.com/blog/the-world-hunger-food-choice-connection-a-summary/.
          • “In developing countries, almost five million children under the age of five die of malnutrition-related causes every year.”
          • “A total of 793 million are estimated to be suffering from chronic hunger, regularly not getting enough food to conduct an active life.”
          • “Between now and 2050, the global population is projected to rise from about 7 billion to 9.2 billion, demanding a 60 percent increase in global food production.”
          • Source236Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). “Hunger Facts,” 2014. http://www.fao.org/about/meetings/icn2/toolkit/hunger-facts/en/
        • We could feed many times more people if we grew human food instead of growing animal food and feeding animals. This is because animals are very inefficient at converting animal feed into animal products.
          • Jason Matheny at Johns Hopkins University says that if you prefer to just count only protein, growing plants will still produce 10 times more protein than pasturing beef cattle on the same amount of land. “In one year, 1,000 kilograms of protein can be produced on as few as 1.0 hectares planted with soy and corn, 2.6 hectares used as pasture for grass-fed dairy cows, or 10 hectares used as pasture for grass-fed beef cattle.”237Jason Gavericy Matheny, “Least Harm: A Defense of Vegetarianism From Steven Davis’s Omnivorous Proposal,” January 30, 2003, http://fewd.univie.ac.at/fileadmin/user_upload/inst_ethik_wiss_dialog/Matheny__G._2003_Defense_of_Veg__in_J._Agric_Ethics.pdf
          • According to a peer-reviewed study funded by the World Bank and published by the World Resouces Institute in 2014, it takes this many calories of plant feed to produce one calorie of animal product:
            • Beef: 100
            • Milk: 14
            • Shrimp: 14
            • Pork: 10
            • Chicken: 9
            • Fin Fish: 8
            • Egg: 13
            • Source238World Resources Institute. “Creating a Sustainable Food Future.” World Resources Institute, 2014. http://www.wri.org/sites/default/files/wri13_report_4c_wrr_online.pdf.
          • Because animals are so inefficient at converting the calories in plant feed to calories in meat, dairy, and eggs, many times fewer impoverished people can be fed by animal-based agriculture than by plant-based agriculture.239Cassidy, Emily S., Paul C. West, James S. Gerber, and Jonathan A. Foley. “Redefining Agricultural Yields: From Tonnes to People Nourished per Hectare.” Environmental Research Letters 8, no. 3 (2013): 034015. doi:10.1088/1748-9326/8/3/034015
          • The University of Kentucky Agricultural Science Department published the edible food conversion ratios by pounds of feed and the efficiency of protein conversion by percentage:
            • Chicken: 4.5 20%
            • Pork: 9.4 10%
            • Beef: 25 4%
            • Carp 2.3 30%
            • Source 240“Poultry Production Manual.” March 25, 2014. http://www2.ca.uky.edu/poultryprofitability/Production_manual/Chapter2_Broiler_ production_facts_and_figures/Chapter2_chicken_consumption.html.
          • “Replacing all animal-based items in the US diet with plant-based alternatives will add enough food to feed, in full, 350 million additional people,” according to study published in March 2018 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.241Shepon, Alon, Gidon Eshel, Elad Noor, and Ron Milo. “The Opportunity Cost of Animal Based Diets Exceeds All Food Losses.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, March 21, 2018, 201713820. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1713820115
          • If all the grain currently fed to livestock in the United States were consumed directly by people, the number of people who could be fed would be nearly 800 million, says David Pimentel, professor of ecology in Cornell University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.242“U.S. Could Feed 800 Million People with Grain That Livestock Eat, Cornell Ecologist Advises Animal Scientists,” Cornell Chronicle, August 7, 1997, http://news.cornell.edu/stories/1997/08/us-could-feed-800-million-people-grain-livestock-eat
      • For Slaughterhouse Workers
        • Context
          • Slaughterhouse workers are often immigrants and resettled refugees.
        • Slaughterhouse workers suffer psychologically and socially.
          • According to the PTSD Journal, slaughterhouse workers suffer from “domestic violence, social withdrawal, anxiety, drug and alcohol abuse, and PTSD” because of their participation in the act of slaughter. There is also “evidence of increased crime in towns with slaughterhouse factories.”
          • The article goes on to say that “These employees are hired to kill animals, such as pigs and cows, that are largely gentle creatures. Carrying out this action requires workers to disconnect from what they are doing and from the creature standing before them. This emotional dissonance can lead to consequences such as domestic violence, social withdrawal, anxiety, drug and alcohol abuse, and PTSD.There is also evidence that this work leads to increased crime in towns with slaughterhouse factories.”
          • Source243“The Psychological Damage of Slaughterhouse Work,” PTSD Journal, accessed March 22, 2018, http://www.ptsdjournal.com/posts/the-psychological-damage-of-slaughterhouse-work/
        • Slaughterhouse works have high rates of injury.
          • The high speed of the production lines that chop bodies into various cuts for consumption “causes a set of chronic physical ailments called musculoskeletal disorders, or MSDs, an array of injuries to workers’ muscles, tendons, ligaments and nerves, that cause sprains, strains, or inflammation.”
          • “Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) 2014 data that showed repetitive motion injuries among beef and pork processing workers were nearly seven times that of other private industries.”
          • “And 76 percent of workers in a Maryland plant had abnormal nerve conditions in at least one hand, according to a 2015 report by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.”
          • Source244Peggy Lowe, “Working ‘The Chain,’ Slaughterhouse Workers Face Lifelong Injuries,” NPR.org, August 11, 2016, https://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2016/08/11/489468205/working-the-chain-slaughterhouse-workers-face-lifelong-injuries
        • Slaughterhouses contribute to high crime rates.
          • Amy Fitzgerald, a criminology professor at the University of Windsor Canada, believes the reason communities with slaughterhouses have high crime rates is that workers are desensitized to the violence they see and commit while at work. This causes violent behavior outside of work.245“The Psychological Damage of Slaughterhouse Work,” PTSD Journal, accessed March 22, 2018, http://www.ptsdjournal.com/posts/the-psychological-damage-of-slaughterhouse-work/
    • For Our Pocketbooks
      • If you continue eating the same amount of fruit and greens but replace your meat with staples such as potatoes, beans, rice, oats, and corn, then it’s hard to see how you would not save money.
      • Mayo Clinic considers lower costs to be one of the benefits of meatless meals. In stating that meatless meals are budget-friendly and can be used to save money, they add that some plant-based proteins “tend to be less expensive and offer more health benefits than meat.”246“It’s Time to Try Meatless Meals.” Mayo Clinic, July 26, 2017. http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/meatless-meals/art-20048193
      • Registered dietitian Ginny Messina confirms, “replacing the meat, dairy, and eggs in diets with lower cost foods like grains, beans, and tofu isn’t just frugal, it’s much more healthful.”247Messina, Ginny. “The High Cost of Ethical Eating.” The Vegan RD, January 20, 2010. http://www.theveganrd.com/2010/01/the-high-cost-of-ethical-eating/
      • Research bears this out. A study published in the Journal of Hunger and Environmental Nutrition concludes that even an economic version of a government-recommended meal plan costs $745 more per year than a plant-based meal plan and provides “fewer servings of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains.”248Flynn, Mary M., and Andrew R. Schiff. “Economical Healthy Diets (2012): Including Lean Animal Protein Costs More Than Using Extra Virgin Olive Oil.” Journal of Hunger & Environmental Nutrition 10, no. 4 (October 2, 2015): 467–82. doi:10.1080/19320248.2015.1045675
      • A study published by the National Academy of Sciences calculates a health-care savings of over $1,067 billion annually with a vegan diet. That’s over $3,000 for each person in the United States. The savings are a result of less medical care needed because medical problems are less likely on a vegan diet.249Springmann, Marco, H. Charles J. Godfray, Mike Rayner, and Peter Scarborough. “Analysis and Valuation of the Health and Climate Change Co-benefits of Dietary Change.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 113, no. 15 (April 12, 2016): 4146–51. doi:10.1073/pnas.1523119113
        • The same study stated that everyone adopting a vegan diet would result in 8.1 million avoided deaths 129 million life-years saved per year.
      • Extra
        • According to Dr. John McDonough, Harvard Medical School Professor and Senate Healthcare Reform Advisor, in 2012 we spent 2.8 trillion dollars, about 8,912 dollars for every man, woman, and child in the United States. 250Campbell, Nelson. PlantPure Nation. Documentary, 2015. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3699150/ 33:30
    • For Preventing Violence
      • Educating others, especially children, to show civility toward animals can help in preventing violence to humans.
      • Studies show an undeniable link between cruelty to animals and violence toward humans.251Siebert, Charles. “The Animal-Cruelty Syndrome.” The New York Times, June 11, 2010, sec. Magazine. https://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/13/magazine/13dogfighting-t.html
        • This could be particularly applicable to workers engaged directly in the slaughter of animals, but it’s not unreasonable to think that consumer awareness of the violence intrinsic in our food might have a similar detrimental influence.
      • Leo Tolstoy was one of those who felt there was a link between our food choices and war. He said, “As long as there are slaughterhouses, there will always be battlefields.”252Ann Kannings, Leo Tolstoy: Life & Words (Ann Kannings, 2014)
    • For Peace of Mind
      • By embracing veganism, you gain the peace of mind that comes from knowing you are living your life in accordance with your own values of justice, fairness, and compassion.
      • Will Tuttle, the author of World Peace Diet, believes that “we can never reap joy, peace, and freedom for ourselves while sowing the seeds of harming and enslaving others.” P64 253Will Tuttle, World Peace Diet: Eating for Spiritual Health and Social Harmony, 34880th edition (Lantern Books, 2004), 64.
  • Animal rights philosophy strengthens the case for veganism.
    • As mentioned earlier, the validity of veganism does not depend on believing that animals have rights. Nevertheless, the philosophy of animal rights strengthens the rational foundation of veganism.
    • According to philosopher Tom Regan, author of The Case for Animal Rights, “the philosophy of animal rights stands for, not against, justice. We are not to violate the rights of the few so that the many might benefit. Slavery allows this, child labor allows this, all unjust social institutions allow this . . . but not the philosophy of animal rights, whose highest principle is justice.”254Regan, Tom. “Animal Rights Speech by Tom Regan.” WEEAC , 1989. http://www.weeac.com/animal-rights–by-tom-regan.html
    • Whether or not you identify as vegan, embodying the ideas behind veganism is to live in a way that exemplifies the fairness and justice for animals that Regan is addressing. The idea of animal rights may seem odd at first, but it’s actually well grounded.
  • The objections to veganism are weak.
    • There may be valid concerns about veganism, but there are no valid objections to veganism.
    • Donald Watson, at the age of 92, said that veganism is “meeting every reasonable criticism that anyone can level against it.”255George D Rodger, “Donald Watson: In His Own Words: Part Two,” The Veggie Blog (blog), December 15, 2002, http://www.happycow.net/blog/donald-watson-2/
    • The objections to veganism are addressed in the Objections Section of the JusticeForAnimals.org website.
  • Veganism is on the rise.
    • Veganism in the U.S. has grown 500% from 2014 to 2017.
      • The world really is changing.
      • According to a 2017 Global Data Research report, “6% of US consumers now claim to be vegan, up from just 1% in 2014.” Veganism in the U.S. has grown 500% from 2014 to 2017.
        • In this report, rising veganism is the top trend in prepared food.
          • “Rising veganism and awareness of the impact of meat consumption are driving demand for meat-free products substitutes.”
        • Ethical eating is also a trend.
          • “Consumers connect ethical and sustainable lifestyles with wellbeing and wellness, creating demand for more ethical prepared foods”.
      • Source256“Top Trends in Prepared Foods 2017.” Accessed April 6, 2018. https://www.reportbuyer.com/product/4959853/top-trends-in-prepared-foods-2017-exploring-trends-in-meat-fish-and-seafood-pasta-noodles-and-rice-prepared-meals-savory-deli-food-soup-and-meat-substitutes.html
      • Extra
        • According to a 2012 Gallop poll, 5% consider themselves to be vegetarian and 2% consider themselves to be vegan.257Newport, Frank. “In U.S., 5% Consider Themselves Vegetarians.” Gallup.com, July 26, 2012. http://news.gallup.com/poll/156215/Consider-Themselves-Vegetarians.aspx
    • Athletes are going vegan
      • The movie “The Game Changers” documents the rise in vegan athletes.258VeganRevolution. It’s a New Era of Veganism  Game Changers First Trailer. Accessed May 27, 2018. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bMQ1rzz9t5w
      • Gladiators were meatless.
        • The gladiators of ancient Rome were largely, if not totally, meatless.259Longo, Umile Giuseppe, Filippo Spiezia, Nicola Maffulli, and Vincenzo Denaro. “The Best Athletes in Ancient Rome Were Vegetarian!” Journal of Sports Science & Medicine 7, no. 4 (December 1, 2008): 565.
      • Bodybuilders are going vegan.
        • Kendrick Farris, whom Men’s Fitness Magazine called America’s strongest weight lifter, is 100 percent vegan.260Rodio, Michael. “America’s Strongest Weightlifter, Kendrick Farris, Is 100% Vegan,” August 10, 2016. http://www.mensfitness.com/life/entertainment/americas-strongest-weightlifter-kendrick-farris-100-vegan He adopted a vegan diet for ethical reasons.261Steele, Lauren. “Why America’s Best Olympic Weightlifter Is Vegan.” Men’s Journal. Accessed October 11, 2017. http://www.mensjournal.com/health-fitness/articles/why-americas-best-olympic-weightlifter-is-vegan-w434203
        • Patrik Baboumian, at the time of this writing, still holds the world dead-lift record five years after adopting a vegan diet. He claims that his meat-free diet gave him more energy and endurance in the gym than ever before.262English, Nick. “The 5 Strongest Vegans On Earth.” BarBend, January 3, 2017. https://barbend.com/strongest-vegans-on-earth/
        • Barny du Plessis, the 2014 amateur Mr. Universe champion, stated that after he went vegan he “found himself in better shape than ever” and “had more energy and endurance than ever before.”263Kirkova, Deni. “Vegan Mr. Universe, 40, Says Meat-Free Diet Has Made Him Stronger than Ever.” Metro News UK, September 24, 2015. http://metro.co.uk/2015/09/24/vegan-bodybuilder-40-aims-for-mr-universe-title-as-he-says-meat-free-diet-has-made-him-stronger-than-ever-5351168/
        • You need only take a look at the bios page of a single vegan bodybuilding site (http://www.veganbodybuilding.com/?page=bios) to realize this is a robust segment of the bodybuilding community.264“Bios Page.” Vegan Bodybuilding & Fitness. Accessed October 11, 2017. http://www.veganbodybuilding.com/?page=bios
      • Football players are going vegan.
        • Tom Brady
          • New England Patriots quarterback, is known to be “almost vegan,”
          • He has partnered with a vegan meal delivery service named Purple Carrot.
          • Source265Lupica, Diana. “NFL ‘Almost Vegan’ Athlete Tom Brady Partners With Plant-Based Meal Delivery Service.” Plant Based News, December 2, 2017. https://www.plantbasednews.org/post/nfl-vegan-tom-brady-teams-up-vegan-meal-kit-delivery-service
        • Colin Kaepernick
          • He recently played with the San Francisco Forty-Niners.
          • He started the practice of kneeling during the national anthem to stand against oppression.
          • Kaepernick decided to commit to veganism, “acknowledging how he cannot be silent during a time when oppression is present anywhere, whether that be human or non-human oppression.”
          • Source266Murray-Ragg, Nadia. “GQ’s Citizen of The Year Colin Kaepernick Is a Vegan Who ‘Will Not Be Silenced.’” LIVEKINDLY (blog), November 14, 2017. https://www.livekindly.co/gqs-citizen-of-the-year-colin-kaepernick-vegan/
        • Tennessee Titans
          • Over one-fourth of the Titans team is reportedly vegan now.267Loria, Joe. “Wow! More Than a Quarter of the Tennessee Titans Are Vegan.” Mercy For Animals, December 6, 2017. https://www.mercyforanimals.org/wow-more-than-a-quarter-of-the-tennessee
        • David Carter
          • Carter, now retired, was a defensive lineman for the Arizona Cardinals.
          • He is known as the 300-pound vegan.
          • Watching the movie Forks Over Knives got him started.
            • “It got me thinking, why do we need meat?” Carter said. “I need protein to be big and strong, but look at some of the largest and strongest animals in the world and none of them eat meat.”
          • When he became a vegan, all of his ailments dissipated, and his performance at practices and in the weight room improved.
          • “My food is my medication now,” said Carter,
          • Source268Wenzlaff, Rachel. “NFL Veganism? David Carter, Griff Whalen Have Broken the Mold.” NFL.com, September 28, 2016. http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000000711369/article/nfl-veganism-david-carter-griff-whalen-have-broken-the-mold
      • Basketball players are going vegan.
        • Wilson Chandler, Denver Nuggets
          • “Eating a vegan diet has changed my everyday living. I sleep better, I wake up in a better mood, I recover faster, I’m not so inflamed, not so achy. I feel better overall, in everything that I do. I can take in more information easier. My mind is just open.”
        • Kyrie Irving, Boston Celtics
          • “After forcing a trade out of Cleveland, Irving adopted a vegan diet and said his energy is up and his body feels amazing.”
        • Jahlil Okafor, Brooklyn Nets
          • “My knee was swelling up a lot and I couldn’t really get my knee to 100 percent, so I tried cutting out dairy and the swelling went down and I went full fledge on it and I feel great. It’s something I’m going to keep doing.”
        • Source269Winfield, Kristian. “NBA Players Explain Why They Are Going Vegan.” SBNation.com, October 25, 2017. https://www.sbnation.com/2017/10/25/16505120/nba-vegan-vegetarian-tracker-food-trend-wilson-chandler-kyrie-irving-damian-lillard-enes-kanter
        • John Sally
          • Former NBA player, Sally has gone around the country bringing the message of veganism.
          • “Though Salley originally went vegetarian out of health concerns years ago, he is now a committed vegan and outspoken animal rights activist.”
          • Asked in a recent interview: “If you were still playing basketball full time, would you be able to maintain a vegan lifestyle and still play to your greatest potential?” Salley replied, “If I had a vegan lifestyle when I was playing, I would still be playing.”
          • Source270Capps, Ashley. “NBA Star John Salley on Turkey-Free Thanksgiving And Why He’s a Vegan.” Free From Harm, November 17, 2013. https://freefromharm.org/videos/nba-star-john-salley-on-turkey-free-thanksgiving/
      • All kinds of athletes are going vegan.
        • The website greatveganathletes.com compiles a list of vegan athletes.
        • You will find vegan ultramarathon runners, volleyball players, racquetball players, skiers, wrestlers, martial artists, etc.
        • Some are Olympic athletes and gold medal winners.
      • The movie The Game Changers is documenting why athletes are becoming vegan.
    • New and older movies and videos are compelling people to try veganism.
      • Context
        • Some of the surge in veganism is driven by the new and older movies available on the topic.
      • Paid Movies
        • Health: Forks Over Knives (2011)
        • Eating You Alive (2016, Not yet fully released)
        • Health: What the Health (2017)
        • Ethics: Peaceable Kingdom (2012)
        • Environment: Cowspiracy (
        • General: Dominion (Coming Soon)
      • Free Movies and Videos
        • Health
          • Plant Pure Nation (2015 Movie)
          • Dr. Neal Barnard on Plant-Based Nutrition Essentials (2017 Presentation)
          • Don’t Eat Anything with a Face: Intelligence Squared Debate
        • Ethics
          • Earthlings (2005 Movie, Free on YouTube)
          • Speciesism (2013 Movie, Free on YouTube)
        • Environment
          • Food Choice and Sustainability by Dr. Richard Oppenlander (2016 Free on YouTube)
        • General
          • Vegan 2017  The Film (2017)
          • James Wildman: 101 Reasons to Go Vegan (2013)
    • More vegan food options are available.
    • More vegan restaurants are opening and existing restaurants are offering more vegan options.
    • More celebrities are becoming vegan.
  • Getting started is an adventure.
    • Some have an easier time getting started than others. If you have been eating meat, dairy, and eggs all your life it may seem a bit daunting at first. But like many changes, being vegan will soon be mostly effortless and second nature. See our “Getting Started with Going Vegan” article for help.
    • Going vegan can be an exciting adventure. You are going to be discovering foods and flavors you’ve never experienced before. It’s quite a journey of discovery.
  • You can be on the right side of history.
    • The animals we breed, exploit, and slaughter for a variety of purposes have not done anything to deserve their ill fate.
    • This will change only when we change our personal choices. There is power in the purse. As we stop eating them, wearing them and using them for entertainment, the injustices toward them will end.
    • Henry David Thoreau said, “I have no doubt that it is a part of the destiny of the human race, in its gradual improvement, to leave off eating animals.”
      • The full quote is “Whatever my own practice may be, I have no doubt that it is a part of the destiny of the human race, in its gradual improvement, to leave off eating animals, as surely as the savage tribes have left off eating each other when they came in contact with the more civilized.”271Thoreau, Henry David. Walden. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2017. 118
    • Going vegan is an opportunity, not only to live your life in a manner consistent with the values of compassion and justice you already hold, but also to be on the right side of history before it becomes the norm.
  • Meta
    • Context
      • The article provides a broad, sweeping overview of veganism, covering its definition and history, the simple case for veganism, and the implications of veganism for both human and non-human animals. The article is a summarized from this outline, which provides much more detail.
    • Contributors
      • Greg Fuller  Author
      • Issac Nickerson  Copy Editor
      • Carolyn Blackman  Proofreader
    • Revisions
      • 2018-06-29 Rewrote the entire article to be a more coherent structure and to be more consistent with the newly written guidelines for research and outlining  glf
      • 12.02.2017 First published  glf

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Footnotes   [ + ]

1.“History | Vegan Society.” The Vegan Society. Accessed October 13, 2017. https://www.vegansociety.com/about-us/history
2.Huffman, Carl. “Pythagoras.” In The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, edited by Edward N. Zalta, Summer 2014. Metaphysics Research Lab, Stanford University, 2014. https://plato.stanford.edu/archives/sum2014/entries/pythagoras/
3.White, Michael. Leonardo: The First Scientist. 1st edition. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2000, 131
4.Horowitz, David. “History of Vegetarianism – Leonardo Da Vinci (1452-1519).” International Vegetarian Union, July 19, 2002. https://ivu.org/history/davinci/hurwitz.html
5.Davis, John. “Shelley  The First Celebrity Vegan.” Vegsource.com, January 5, 2011. http://www.vegsource.com/john-davis/shelley—the-first-celebrity-vegan.html
6.Shelley, Percy Bysshe. A Vindication of Natural Diet. Percy Bysshe Shelley. Kindle e-Book, A public domain book. Vegetarian Society, 1884. http://amzn.com/B0076QXQJIIbid., location 271
7.Ibid.
8.Tolstoy, Leo. 1900. The First Step: An Essay on the Morals of Diet, to Which Are Added Two Stories. Albert Broadbent. 61, 6
9.Ibid., 58-59.
10.Richards, Jennie. “George Bernard Shaw Poem, ‘We Are The Living Graves of Murdered Beasts.’” Humane Decisions, January 15, 2015. http://www.humanedecisions.com/george-bernard-shaw-poem-we-are-the-living-graves-of-murdered-beasts/
11.Gandhi, Mahatma. Autobiography: The Story of My Experiments with Truth. Courier Corporation, 1948, 208
12.Gandhi, Mahatma. “Autobiography: The Story of My Experiments with Truth.” Accessed February 3, 2018. https://www.amazon.com/Autobiography-Story-My-Experiments-Truth/dp/1481076043, 52
13.“Mohandas K. Gandhi (1869-1948).” International Vegetarian Union. Accessed October 16, 2017. https://ivu.org/history/gandhi/index.html
14.“Meat Production Continues to Rise.” Worldwatch Institute, September 29, 2017. http://www.worldwatch.org/node/5443
15.Mood, A, and P Brooke. “Estimate of Fish Numbers.” Fishcount.org, July 2010. http://www.fishcount.org.uk/published/std/fishcountstudy.pdf
16.“Vegetarian Diet: How to Get the Best Nutrition.” Mayo Clinic. Accessed August 2, 2017. http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/vegetarian-diet/art-20046446
17.“Becoming a Vegetarian.” Harvard Health Publications Harvard Medical School, March 18, 2016. https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/becoming-a-vegetarian
18.Phillip J Tuso, MD, Mohamed H Ismail, MD, Benjamin P Ha, MD, and Carole Bartolotto, MD, RD. “Nutritional Update for Physicians: Plant-Based Diets.” The Permanente Journal – The Permanente Press – Kaiser Permanente – Permanente Medical Groups, 2013. http://www.thepermanentejournal.org/issues/2013/spring/5117-nutrition.html
19.Ask A Nutritionist: Plant-Based Diets.” NewYork-Presbyterian, March 30, 2017. https://healthmatters.nyp.org/plant-based-diet/
20.“Understanding Vegetarianism &amp; Heart Health.” Cleveland Clinic, December 2013. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/understanding-vegetarianism-heart-health
21.“About Us.” Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Accessed August 2, 2017. http://www.eatrightpro.org/resources/about-us
22.“Vegetarian Diets.” Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. December 2016. http://www.eatrightpro.org/resource/practice/position-and-practice-papers/position-papers/vegetarian-diets
23.“Healthy Eating Guidelines for Vegans.” Dietitians of Canada, November 2017. https://www.dietitians.ca/Downloads/Factsheets/Guidlines-for-Vegans.aspx
24.“British Dietetic Association.” The Vegan Society. Accessed August 3, 2017. https://www.vegansociety.com/society/whos-involved/partners/british-dietetic-association
25.“Vegan Diets: Everything You Need to Know – Dietitians Association of Australia.” Dietitians Association of Australia. Accessed August 3, 2017. https://daa.asn.au/smart-eating-for-you/smart-eating-fast-facts/healthy-eating/vegan-diets-facts-tips-and-considerations/
26.“Becoming a Vegetarian.” Harvard Health Publications Harvard Medical School, March 18, 2016. https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/becoming-a-vegetarian
27.“Vegetarian Diets.” Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. December 2016. http://www.eatrightpro.org/resource/practice/position-and-practice-papers/position-papers/vegetarian-diets
28.“Understanding Vegetarianism; Heart Health.” Cleveland Clinic, December 2013. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/understanding-vegetarianism-heart-health
29.Ask A Nutritionist: Plant-Based Diets.” NewYork-Presbyterian, March 30, 2017. https://healthmatters.nyp.org/plant-based-diet/
30.“Fast Facts About Kaiser Permanente.” Kaiser Permanente Share, 2017. https://share.kaiserpermanente.org/article/fast-facts-about-kaiser-permanente/
31.Phillip J Tuso, MD, Mohamed H Ismail, MD, Benjamin P Ha, MD, and Carole Bartolotto, MD, RD. “Nutritional Update for Physicians: Plant-Based Diets.” The Permanente Journal – The Permanente Press – Kaiser Permanente – Permanente Medical Groups, 2013. http://www.thepermanentejournal.org/issues/2013/spring/5117-nutrition.html
32.Christopher Hyner. “A Leading Cause of Everything: One Industry That Is Destroying Our Planet and Our Ability to Thrive on It.” Georgetown Environmental Law Review, October 23, 2015. https://gelr.org/2015/10/23/a-leading-cause-of-everything-one-industry-that-is-destroying-our-planet-and-our-ability-to-thrive-on-it-georgetown-environmental-law-review/
33.“World Bank Confronts Sustainability Criticism | Business Ethics.” Business Ethics Magazine (blog), March 9, 2011. http://business-ethics.com/2011/03/19/1900-world-bank-confronts-sustainability-criticism/
34.Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. “Cattle Ranching in the Amazon Region.” Global Forest Atlas, June 6, 2014. http://globalforestatlas.yale.edu/amazon/land-use/cattle-ranching
35.“Evidence of Species Loss in Amazon Caused by Deforestation.” ScienceDaily. Accessed June 8, 2017. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/08/150824064927.htm.
36.Victor Paine. “What Causes Ocean ‘Dead Zones’?” Scientific American. Accessed June 8, 2017. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/ocean-dead-zones/.
37.“FAO Statistical Yearbook 2012.” United Nations FAO. Accessed April 4, 2018. http://www.fao.org/docrep/015/i2490e/i2490e00.htm
38.Bhanoo, Sindya N. “Amish Farming Draws Rare Government Scrutiny.” The New York Times, June 8, 2010, sec. Environment. https://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/09/science/earth/09amish.html
39.“Water Footprint.” Waterfootprint.org. Accessed November 28, 2017. http://waterfootprint.org/en/resources/interactive-tools/product-gallery/
40.“Water Footprint Assessment Manual – The Global Standard.” Accessed November 28, 2017. http://waterfootprint.org/en/resources/publications/water-footprint-assessment-manual-global-standard/
41.Quotes from “Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret.” Accessed May 25, 2018. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3302820/quotes
42.“Cowspiracy – Encore | Animal Liberation Victoria.” Accessed May 25, 2018. https://www.alv.org.au/articles/cowspiracy/
43.Richard Oppenlander. “The World Hunger-Food Choice Connection: A Summary.” Comfortably Unaware, 2012. http://comfortablyunaware.com/blog/the-world-hunger-food-choice-connection-a-summary/.
44.Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). “Hunger Facts,” 2014. http://www.fao.org/about/meetings/icn2/toolkit/hunger-facts/en/
45.Richard Oppenlander. “The World Hunger-Food Choice Connection: A Summary.” Comfortably Unaware, 2012. http://comfortablyunaware.com/blog/the-world-hunger-food-choice-connection-a-summary/.
46.Cassidy, Emily S., Paul C. West, James S. Gerber, and Jonathan A. Foley. “Redefining Agricultural Yields: From Tonnes to People Nourished per Hectare.” Environmental Research Letters 8, no. 3 (2013): 034015. doi:10.1088/1748-9326/8/3/034015
47.Jason Gavericy Matheny, “Least Harm: A Defense of Vegetarianism From Steven Davis’s Omnivorous Proposal,” January 30, 2003, http://fewd.univie.ac.at/fileadmin/user_upload/inst_ethik_wiss_dialog/Matheny__G._2003_Defense_of_Veg__in_J._Agric_Ethics.pdf
48.“U.S. Could Feed 800 Million People with Grain That Livestock Eat, Cornell Ecologist Advises Animal Scientists,” Cornell Chronicle, August 7, 1997, http://news.cornell.edu/stories/1997/08/us-could-feed-800-million-people-grain-livestock-eat
49.An average of the figures for various farmed animals from this study: World Resources Institute. “Creating a Sustainable Food Future.” World Resources Institute, 2014. http://www.wri.org/sites/default/files/wri13_report_4c_wrr_online.pdf.
50.Regan, Tom. “Animal Rights Speech by Tom Regan.” WEEAC , 1989. http://www.weeac.com/animal-rights–by-tom-regan.html
51.George D Rodger, “Donald Watson: In His Own Words: Part Two,” The Veggie Blog (blog), December 15, 2002, http://www.happycow.net/blog/donald-watson-2/
52.“Top Trends in Prepared Foods 2017: Exploring Trends in Meat, Fish and Seafood; Pasta, Noodles and Rice; Prepared Meals; Savory Deli Food; Soup; and Meat Substitutes.” Accessed November 15, 2017. https://www.reportbuyer.com/product/4959853/top-trends-in-prepared-foods-2017-exploring-trends-in-meat-fish-and-seafood-pasta-noodles-and-rice-prepared-meals-savory-deli-food-soup-and-meat-substitutes.html 
53.VeganRevolution. It’s a New Era of Veganism  Game Changers First Trailer. Accessed May 27, 2018. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bMQ1rzz9t5w
54.“Vegan Is Going Mainstream, Trend Data Suggests.” Accessed November 15, 2017. https://www.foodnavigator-usa.com/Article/2015/03/17/Vegan-is-going-mainstream-trend-data-suggests
55.Thoreau, Henry David. Walden. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2017. 118
56.“History | Vegan Society.” The Vegan Society. Accessed October 13, 2017. https://www.vegansociety.com/about-us/history
57.Watkins, Donald. “The Vegan News – No. 1.” UK Veggie, November 1944. http://ukveggie.com/vegan_news/
58.“History | Vegan Society.” The Vegan Society. Accessed October 13, 2017. https://www.vegansociety.com/about-us/history
59.“The Vegan News No. 3 May 1945.” Issuu, May 1945. https://issuu.com/vegan_society/docs/the-vegan-news-no.-3-may-1945
60.Genesis 1:29
61.“History of Vegetarianism – Extracts from Some Journals 1843-48.” International Vegetarian Union. Accessed October 18, 2017. https://ivu.org/history/vegetarian.html
62.Magee, Bryan. The Story of Philosophy. DK Pub., 1998. 15
63.Porphyry, “Porphyry, Life of Pythagoras Translated by Kenneth Sylvan Guthrie,” 1920, http://www.tertullian.org/fathers/porphyry_life_of_pythagoras_02_text.htm
64.Huffman, Carl. “Pythagoras.” In The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, edited by Edward N. Zalta, Summer 2014. Metaphysics Research Lab, Stanford University, 2014. https://plato.stanford.edu/archives/sum2014/entries/pythagoras/
65.Zaraska, Marta. Meathooked: The History and Science of Our 2.5-Million-Year Obsession with Meat. 1 edition. New York: Basic Books, 2016. 119-120
66.Horowitz, David. “History of Vegetarianism – Leonardo Da Vinci (1452-1519).” International Vegetarian Union, July 19, 2002. https://ivu.org/history/davinci/hurwitz.html
67.White, Michael. Leonardo: The First Scientist. 1st edition. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2000, 131
68.McCurdy, Edward. The Mind of Leonardo Da Vinci. Dover Ed edition. Dover Publications, 2013, 78.
69.da Vinci, Leonardo. Leonardo Da Vinci’s Note-Books: Arranged and Rendered into English with Introductions. Empire State Book Company, 1908
70.Horowitz, David. “History of Vegetarianism – Leonardo Da Vinci (1452-1519).” International Vegetarian Union, July 19, 2002. https://ivu.org/history/davinci/hurwitz.html
71.Franklin, Benjamin. The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin. AmazonClassics, 2017. 38
72.Ibid., 23.
73.Ibid., 48-49.
74.Davis, John. “Shelley  The First Celebrity Vegan.” Vegsource.com, January 5, 2011. http://www.vegsource.com/john-davis/shelley—the-first-celebrity-vegan.html
75.Shelley, Percy Bysshe. A Vindication of Natural Diet. Percy Bysshe Shelley. Kindle e-Book, A public domain book. Vegetarian Society, 1884. http://amzn.com/B0076QXQJI
76.Ibid., location 271
77.“History of Vegetarianism – Shelley – Extracts from Writing on the Vegetable Diet.” Accessed October 19, 2017. https://ivu.org/history/shelley/prose.html
78.Tolstoy, Leo. 1900. The First Step: An Essay on the Morals of Diet, to Which Are Added Two Stories. Albert Broadbent.
79.Ibid., 51
80.Ibid., 58-59.
81.Tolstoy, Leo. 1900. The First Step: An Essay on the Morals of Diet, to Which Are Added Two Stories. Albert Broadbent. 61, 6
82.Ibid., 50.
83.Ibid., 53-54.
84.“George Bernard Shaw.” Biography.com. Accessed October 23, 2017. https://www.biography.com/people/george-bernard-shaw-9480925
85.Richards, Jennie. “George Bernard Shaw Poem, ‘We Are The Living Graves of Murdered Beasts.’” Humane Decisions, January 15, 2015. http://www.humanedecisions.com/george-bernard-shaw-poem-we-are-the-living-graves-of-murdered-beasts/
86.Gandhi, Mahatma. “Autobiography: The Story of My Experiments with Truth.” Accessed February 3, 2018. https://www.amazon.com/Autobiography-Story-My-Experiments-Truth/dp/1481076043, 52
87.“Mohandas K. Gandhi (1869-1948).” International Vegetarian Union. Accessed October 16, 2017. https://ivu.org/history/gandhi/index.html
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177.Ibid., 105
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193.Ibid., 1:29
194.Ibid., 51.01.
195.Ibid., 35:48.
196.Ibid., 44:30.
197.Ibid., 48:52.
198.Ibid., 46:40.
199.Ibid., 51:45
200.Ibid., 37:06.
201.Ibid., 37:06.
202.Ibid., 40.47.
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