Animal Rights and Vegan Advocacy
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Knowledge Base

The Knowledge Base is created by combining the outlines from several sections of the site into one large outline.  Once all the Basic Section articles and Objection Section articles are completed, it will provide a fairly broad resource of knowledge for vegan advocates.

As articles get written, they will automatically be added to this Knowledge Base.

Basics
An Introduction to Veganism
 Talking Points OutlineArticle
  • 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
      • Details: The evolution of veganism's definition.
        • 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 vegetarianwas 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.”2“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.
        • 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."
            • Source3“The Vegan News No. 3 May 1945.” Issuu, May 1945. https://issuu.com/vegan_society/docs/the-vegan-news-no.-3-may-1945
        • 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.”4“History | Vegan Society.” The Vegan Society. Accessed October 13, 2017. https://www.vegansociety.com/about-us/history
      • Extra: Watson on the spiritual destiny of man.
        • 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."5Watkins, Donald. “The Vegan News - No. 1.” UK Veggie, November 1944. http://ukveggie.com/vegan_news/
    • 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.
    • Extra: Veganism's definition has implications.
      • The definition of veganism started as the practice of eating only 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-ubiquitous—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.
    • Extra: 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.
  • Concern for animals has a rich history.
    • Context
      • 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.
        • Extra: Notes on the vegetable diet in Genesis.
          • 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."6Genesis 1:29
      • 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.
      • Extra: The word vegetarian in historical context.
        • 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.
        • 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.7“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 veganmeant when it was later coined and what the word vegan, as it relates to diet, means today.
    • Pythagoras (570 BCE–490 BCE)
      • Pythagoras 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.8Huffman, 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/
      • Extra: More on Pythagoras.
        • 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.9Magee, 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."10Porphyry, “Porphyry, Life of Pythagoras Translated by Kenneth Sylvan Guthrie,” 1920, http://www.tertullian.org/fathers/porphyry_life_of_pythagoras_02_text.htm
        • Pythagoras had a band of followers known as Pythagoreans. Until the 19th century, when the word vegetarian came into usage, the Pythagorean Dietmeant what vegetarian means now. 11Zaraska, 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)
      • Leonardo da Vinci said he would not let his body become "a tomb for other animals, an inn of the dead."12White, 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.13Horowitz, David. “History of Vegetarianism - Leonardo Da Vinci (1452-1519).” International Vegetarian Union, July 19, 2002. https://ivu.org/history/davinci/hurwitz.html
      • Extra: More on da Vinci.
        • 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."14White, 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."15McCurdy, Edward. The Mind of Leonardo Da Vinci. Dover Ed edition. Dover Publications, 2013, 78.s
        • 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.”
            • Source16da 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."17Horowitz, 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. Nevertheless, this should not be presented as da Vinci's quote, because it is not.
    • Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792–1822),
      • Shelley, called the first celebrity vegan by one biographer,18Davis, 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."19Shelley, 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.20Ibid.
      • Extra: More on Shelley.
        • Shelley is a poet, best known for Ozymandias and Ode to the West Wind.
        • 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.)"21“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)
      • Tolstoy 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."22Tolstoy, 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."23Ibid., 58-59.
        • Extra: More on Tolstoy.
          • 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. 24Tolstoy, 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.25Tolstoy, Leo. 1900. The First Step: An Essay on the Morals of Diet, to Which Are Added Two Stories. Albert Broadbent. 51
          • 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."26Tolstoy, 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." 27Ibid., 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."28Ibid., 53-54.
    • George Barnard Shaw (1856–1950)
      • Shaw 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."29Richards, 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/
        • Extra: More on Shaw.
          • Shaw was a playwright with over 60 plays, winner of the Nobel Prize in literature, author of Caesar and Cleopatra, and Oscar recipient for an adaption of his play Pygmalion.30“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.”
          • Source31Richards, 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/
          • 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
    • Mahatma Gandhi (1869–1948)
      • Gandhi believed that "the more helpless a creature, the more entitled it is to protection by man from the cruelty of man."32Gandhi, 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,33Gandhi, 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.34“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.
      • Details: Gandhi's vegetarian mission.
        • 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."35Gandhi, 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).36“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.
      • Extra: More on Gandhi.
        • He believed that "the more helpless a creature, the more entitled it is to protection by man from the cruelty of man."37Gandhi, Mahatma. Autobiography: The Story of My Experiments with Truth. Courier Corporation, 1948, 208
        • 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 Buddhist 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."38Mahatma, 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.39Gandhi, 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".40Mahatma, Gandhi. “The Moral Basis of Vegetarianism.” International Vegetarian Union, November 20, 1931. https://ivu.org/news/evu/other/gandhi2.html
    • Extra: 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".41Franklin, 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."42Ibid., 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."43Ibid., 48-49.
  • The case for veganism is strong.
    • Context
      • To go vegan, one need not believe that animals and humans deserve equal moral consideration—or that animals have rights.
    • Veganism is based on the belief that we should not unnecessarily harm animals.
      • 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 animals44“Meat Production Continues to Rise.” Worldwatch Institute, September 29, 2017. http://www.worldwatch.org/node/5443 and more than a trillion sea animals45Mood, 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.
    • Using animals for food is not necessary.
      • 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,46“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,47“Becoming a Vegetarian.” Harvard Health Publications Harvard Medical School, March 18, 2016. https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/becoming-a-vegetarian Kaiser Permanente,48Phillip 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,49Ask 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!"50“Understanding Vegetarianism & Heart Health.” Cleveland Clinic, December 2013. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/understanding-vegetarianism-heart-health
        • Details for each health organization
          • Mayo Clinic
            • Mayo Clinic is the "largest integrated, not-for-profit medical group practice in the world"51“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.52About 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."53“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 Medical School
            • HMS has a faculty of over eleven thousand 54Facts 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.55“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."56“Becoming a Vegetarian.” Harvard Health Publications Harvard Medical School, March 18, 2016. https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/becoming-a-vegetarian
          • Kaiser Permanente
            • Kaiser Permanente is one the United States' largest nonprofit health plans, with over eleven million members.57“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."
            • Source58Phillip 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."
            • Source59Ask A Nutritionist: Plant-Based Diets.” NewYork-Presbyterian, March 30, 2017. https://healthmatters.nyp.org/plant-based-diet/
          • 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.60Stoller, 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."61“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.62“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."63“Vegetarian Diets.” Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. December 2016. http://www.eatrightpro.org/resource/practice/position-and-practice-papers/position-papers/vegetarian-diets
        • Details: Quotes from the official position statement.
          • "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."
          • "These diets are appropriate for all stages of the life cycle, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, adolescence, older adulthood and for athletes."
          • "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."
          • "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."
          • Source64“Vegetarian Diets.” Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. December 2016. http://www.eatrightpro.org/resource/practice/position-and-practice-papers/position-papers/vegetarian-diets
        • Extra: More on the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
          • 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."65“About Us.” Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Accessed August 2, 2017. http://www.eatrightpro.org/resources/about-us
      • The dietetic associations of other countries, including Canada,66“Healthy Eating Guidelines for Vegans.” Dietitians of Canada, November 2017. https://www.dietitians.ca/Downloads/Factsheets/Guidlines-for-Vegans.aspx England,67“British Dietetic Association.” The Vegan Society. Accessed August 3, 2017. https://www.vegansociety.com/society/whos-involved/partners/british-dietetic-association and Australia,68“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.
        • Extra: More on other dietetic associations.
          • 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."69“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."70“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.”71“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."72“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/
        • Extra: Why dietetic associations are more authoritative.
          • 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."73Adams, 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.74Castillo, 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.75Stacey 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
      • 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.
        • Details: Notes on scientific consensus.
          • 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 a scientific consensus.
      • Extra: Three additional points on the viability of a vegan diet.
        • Even 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.76“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.
            • Source77“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: Notes on the USDA dietary guidelines.
              • In its dietary guidelines, the USDA reinforced the idea that nutrition and health are closely related.78“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."79D. 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
        • 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."80George 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.81“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.82Medina, 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.
            • Source83100 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 and other purposes.
      • 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.
        • Extra: Notes on harms.
          • Farmed animals also suffer from high rates of disease and mortality.
          • 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.
      • 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.
        • Details: Some points on humane labeling.
          • 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 certification.
              • 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.
                • Source84“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."86Moyer, 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.87Stempel, 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."88“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.
                • Source89Direct 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 (used for dairy and flesh)
              • Dehorning
                • Dehorning is done to beef cows as well as dairy cows. 90M’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."
                  • Source91“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, whether it be by applying acid, burning off, sawing off, or cutting of with a gigantic clipper.92M’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.93“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."94M’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.95“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 Industry96Casey 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."97“Animal Dehorning Videos.” H.W. Naylor Co., Inc | dehorning.com, 2015. http://www.dehorning.com/videos
            • Cows used for dairy lead 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.98Rouge, 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.
                • Source99“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.100Julie 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.101Annaliese, “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"102Ruth 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.
                      • Source103“’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,104Blayney, 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.105Wyatt 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.106“Age of Animals Slaughtered.” Accessed February 23, 2018. http://www.aussieabattoirs.com/facts/age-slaughtered
              • An advertisement stating "Humane Milk is a Myth" 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.
                • Source107Mills, 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."
                  • Source108“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 Eggss
              • 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.109“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…"110Dan 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.111Blakemore, 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.112Cheng, 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.113Jamieson, 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"114Rutherford-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.
                • Source115Stevenson, 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."116“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."
                  • Source117Jabr, 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.”118Leary, 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."119“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.
      • 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.
        • Details: 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
          • Source120“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 2014121“Ending Factory Farming,” Farm Forward, accessed March 19, 2018, https://farmforward.com/ending-factory-farming/
      • 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.
      • Extra: The lives of nonhuman animals are rich.
        • 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.122Bekoff, 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.
              • Rogers believes that ranking animals by the complexity of cognition is unjust.
                • 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”123Rogers, 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)
            • 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."
              • Ethologist Marc Bekoff agrees with Rogers that ranking animals by the complexity of cognition is unjust.
              • He says 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” 124Bekoff, 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."
              • 125Smith, 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.” 217126Rogers, 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."127Grillo, 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."128Edgar, 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."129Smith, 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."
          • Source130Grillo, 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.
          • Source131Bekoff, 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.
            • Source132“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)."133Planellas, 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.
            • Source134Bekoff, 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."
              • Source135Philip 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."136Bekoff, 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."137Darwin, 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."138Ibid., 34
            • Darwin called the "love of all living creatures, the most noble attribute of man.139Ibid., 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 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.
      • Extra: an expanded way of thinking about veganism
        • 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"
        • Source140The 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.
    • 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.141“Becoming a Vegetarian.” Harvard Health Publications Harvard Medical School, March 18, 2016. https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/becoming-a-vegetarian 142“Vegetarian Diets.” Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. December 2016. http://www.eatrightpro.org/resource/practice/position-and-practice-papers/position-papers/vegetarian-diets 143“Understanding Vegetarianism; Heart Health.” Cleveland Clinic, December 2013. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/understanding-vegetarianism-heart-health 144Ask 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,145“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."146Phillip 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
      • Extra: the large and growing movement toward plant-based nutrition.
        • Medical doctors are increasingly recommending a plant-based diet to lower our risks for chronic diseases and sometimes reverse our leading killers.
          • 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." 147VEGAN 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."148Greger, 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."149VEGAN 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." 150Campbell, 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."151What 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."
            • Source152Ostfeld, 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.153O’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.”154“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.155Campbell, 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.156Campbell, 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.157Klaper, 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.158“Home Page - DoctorKlaper.Com.” Michael Klaper, M.D., Nutrition-Based Medicine. Accessed April 5, 2018. https://doctorklaper.com/
          • Kaiser Permanente Doctors
            • Four medical doctors writing in the Permanente Journal state that the 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.159Tuso, 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
          • 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.
        • 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."160Campbell, 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."
            • Source161Ibid., 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." 162Ibid., 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.
              • Source163Ibid., 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.164Ibid., 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.165Ibid., 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."166Ibid., 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.167Ibid., 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.
              • The 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.168Ibid., 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.
              • Source169Ibid., 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.
              • Source170Ibid., 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."
          • Source171Ornish, 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."
          • Source172“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."
          • Source173“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."174“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."
          • Source175Phillip 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."176Christopher 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,177Goodland, Robert, and Jeff Anhang. “Livestock and Climate Change.” Worldwatch Institute. Accessed April 4, 2018. http://www.worldwatch.org/node/6294 accounts for 80 percent of deforestation rates in the Amazon,178Yale 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,179“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,180Victor Paine. “What Causes Ocean ‘Dead Zones’?” Scientific American. Accessed June 8, 2017. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/ocean-dead-zones/. depletion of fish,181“FAO Statistical Yearbook 2012.” United Nations FAO. Accessed April 4, 2018. http://www.fao.org/docrep/015/i2490e/i2490e00.htm runoff and water pollution,182Bhanoo, 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.183“Water Footprint.” Waterfootprint.org. Accessed November 28, 2017. http://waterfootprint.org/en/resources/interactive-tools/product-gallery/ 184“Water Footprint Assessment Manual - The Global Standard.” Accessed November 28, 2017. http://waterfootprint.org/en/resources/publications/water-footprint-assessment-manual-global-standard/
        • Details: Notes on specific environmental harms.
          • 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.185“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. 186Doran, PT and MK Zimmerman (2009). Examining the scientific consensus on climate change. Eos Trans American Geophysical Union. 90(3): p. 22.187Anderegg, 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.188Jackson, 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 2009 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. 189“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)".190Nation, 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."191“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.
                • Source192Goodland, 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.193“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."194“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."195“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).196 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.
          • Deforestation and extinction
            • Yale says that "Cattle ranching is the largest driver of deforestation in every Amazon country, accounting for 80% of current deforestation rates."197Yale 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 the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, forest destruction averaged 2 million hectares a year, equivalent to 7 football fields a minute.198“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."199“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.200 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.201Yale 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.202Victor 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 2048.203“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 even 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."204Bhanoo, 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
              • Source205“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.206“Water Footprint Assessment Manual - The Global Standard.” Accessed November 28, 2017. http://waterfootprint.org/en/resources/publications/water-footprint-assessment-manual-global-standard/
        • Extra: Scientific consensus.
          • There is a developing consensus among scientists that animal agriculture is a significant cause of environmental devastation. 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.
            • Source207Christopher 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/
        • Extra: Land Use Connection
          • 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.208Steinfeld, 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.
      • 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"209Quotes 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."210“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 and another eight hundred million are unable to lead a normal life because of chronic hunger.211Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). “Hunger Facts,” 2014. http://www.fao.org/about/meetings/icn2/toolkit/hunger-facts/en/
        • Details: Hunger and starvation facts.
          • "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."
          • Source212Food 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.213Richard 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.214Cassidy, 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 215Jason 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/MathenyG._2003_Defense_of_Vegin_J._Agric_Ethics.pdf 216“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.
        • Details: Cornell Study says we could feed 800 million more.
          • 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.217“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
        • Extra: A Study in theNational Academy of Sciences concludes we could feed 350 million additional people.
          • "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.218Shepon, 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
      • 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 24 calories of plant feed to produce one calorie of food from animals.219An 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.
        • Details: Number of plant calories to produce one animal calorie, by product.
          • Beef: 100
          • Milk: 14
          • Shrimp: 14
          • Pork: 10
          • Chicken: 9
          • Fin Fish: 8
          • Egg: 13
          • The unweighted average of these 7 numbers is 24.
          • Source220World Resources Institute. “Creating a Sustainable Food Future.” World Resources Institute, 2014. http://www.wri.org/sites/default/files/wri13_report_4c_wrr_online.pdf.
        • Extra: Feed conversion ratios from the University of Kentucky.
          • 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 221“Poultry Production Manual.” March 25, 2014. http://www2.ca.uky.edu/poultryprofitability/Production_manual/Chapter2_Broiler_ production_facts_and_figures/Chapter2_chicken_consumption.html.
        • Extra: Feed conversion ratio for protein is 10 times.
          • 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."222Jason 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/MathenyG._2003_Defense_of_Vegin_J._Agric_Ethics.pdf
      • Extra: Slaughterhouse workers suffer.
        • 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."
          • Source223“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."
          • Source224Peggy 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.225“The Psychological Damage of Slaughterhouse Work,” PTSD Journal, accessed March 22, 2018, http://www.ptsdjournal.com/posts/the-psychological-damage-of-slaughterhouse-work/
    • Extra: 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.”226“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.”227Messina, 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.”228Flynn, 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.229Springmann, 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. 230Campbell, Nelson. PlantPure Nation. Documentary, 2015. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3699150/ 33:30
    • Extra: 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.231Siebert, 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."232Ann Kannings, Leo Tolstoy: Life & Words (Ann Kannings, 2014)
    • Extra: 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 233Will Tuttle, World Peace Diet: Eating for Spiritual Health and Social Harmony, 34880th edition (Lantern Books, 2004), 64.
  • 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."234George 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.
  • 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.”235Regan, 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.
  • 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 2017.236“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.237VeganRevolution. 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.238“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
    • Details: Athletes are going vegan.
      • The movie "The Game Changers" documents the rise in vegan athletes.239VeganRevolution. 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.240Longo, 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.241Rodio, 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.242Steele, 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.243English, 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."244Kirkova, 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.245“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.
          • Source246Lupica, 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."
          • Source247Murray-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.248Loria, 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,
          • Source249Wenzlaff, 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."
        • Source250Winfield, 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.”
          • Source251Capps, 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.
    • Extra: 2012 Gallop poll on number of vegetarians.
      • According to a 2012 Gallop poll, 5% consider themselves to be vegetarian and 2% consider themselves to be vegan.252Newport, Frank. “In U.S., 5% Consider Themselves Vegetarians.” Gallup.com, July 26, 2012. http://news.gallup.com/poll/156215/Consider-Themselves-Vegetarians.aspx
  • 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.”253Thoreau, 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.
      • Details: Thoreau's full quote.
        • 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."254Thoreau, Henry David. Walden. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2017. 118
  • 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.
  • Meta
    • Contributors
      • Greg Fuller—Author
      • Issac Nickerson—Copy Editor
      • Carolyn Blackman—Proofreader
    • Revisions
      • 12.02.2017 First published—glf
      • 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
      • 2018-07-04 Copy edited article only—isn
      • 2018-11-20 Restructured outline to reflect the article with all other information in "Extra" and "Details" nodes.
Getting Started with Going Vegan
 Talking Points OutlineArticle
  • Context
    • Once you decide to go vegan, you will undoubtedly spend some mental cycles pondering the best way to go about making this happen. There are so many ways to go about it—and the process is so personal—that it's virtually impossible to lay out a strict blueprint that will work for everyone.
    • Instead, we provide you with some general tips that we hope you will find helpful in your transition. Beginning vegans have used all sorts of strategies to get started. We can share with you some hopefully useful information from our own experiences and those that have been shared with us.
    • A good general rule is to proceed as rapidly as you can but not so fast you feel overwhelmed and give up. Keep in mind that once the transition has been made, your new ways of eating and purchasing will become second nature.
  • Make a commitment.
    • Perhaps the most important way to start is to make a commitment—a promise to yourself to follow some course of action. Once you read the tips below, particularly the ones involving strategies, commit to the strategies you have chosen and stick to the commitment. Make the commitment as strong as possible and as concrete as possible.
  • Get support.
    • It's a good idea to seek out support and encouragement from other vegans in your area. Often you will find local vegan Meetup and Facebook groups that gather for potlucks, dining out, and other activities. People in these groups are usually happy to answer questions about cooking and other topics. To find these groups in San Diego, for example, search Google for "Vegan meetups near San Diego"—or search Facebook for "Vegans San Diego."
    • In addition to local groups, there are several national and international Facebook groups with a stated mission of helping beginners. One such Facebook group is "New Vegan Support," with over fifty-seven thousand members and dozens of posts per day. The group is open for anyone to join, but it's a private group, so only members can see your posts.
  • Realize that perfection is impossible.
    • Animal products are near ubiquitous—they can be found in bags, car tires, glue, and a wide range of other products for which there are no viable substitutes or for which alternatives are difficult to obtain.
    • Vegans seek to eliminate harm to animals, according to the most widely accepted definition of veganism, “as far as is possible and practicable."255“History | Vegan Society.” The Vegan Society. Accessed October 13, 2017. https://www.vegansociety.com/about-us/history
    • So don't get frustrated because you can't be perfect. There are no perfect vegans.
  • Choose a grocery transition strategy.
    • Here are a few overall strategies you might choose in purchasing groceries.
    • Transition all at once. Not everyone finds it agreeable to immediately throw out existing supplies of meat, eggs, cheese, milk, and processed foods that have animal ingredients. This is, however, the best way to proceed, as it shows the highest commitment and encourages success. In being exposed to the information that contributed to your decision to go vegan, you have likely lost at least some of your appetite for animal products. If this is true for you, then this option is the most viable.
    • As food runs out. With this strategy, you run down existing supplies and replace animal products with vegan items when the supply of any particular item is exhausted. Some choose this method because they are on a tight budget.
    • A hybrid strategy. A compromise approach between the above two strategies is to throw out the items that are most obviously animal, such as meat, eggs, cheese, and milk, and then replace other things that have smaller quantities of animal ingredients as they run out.
    • A meal or a food at a time. Some have chosen to eat vegan for breakfast for a week, then also lunch for the next week, then also dinner. Others have chosen to replace one food at a time. For example, you might decide to replace animal milk with plant milk this week and then meat with either vegan meats or whole-food recipes the next week. And so on.
  • Learn new recipes and how to veganize your favorites.
    • There are plenty of vegan recipes available with a quick online search. There are many vegan recipe books as well. And, as you start to interact with other vegans at meetups—and on Facebook and other platforms—exchanging information on recipes and recipe books will become a joy.
    • You can also make your favorite recipes vegan by substituting ingredients. Just search for "how to veganize recipes," and you will be connected to several articles discussing how to accomplish this.
  • Learn how to read food labels.
    • Many foods have ingredients with names that obscure that the ingredients are derived from animals. Here is a list of ingredients that typically are animal in origin: albumin, aspic, casein, cod-liver oil, collagen, elastin, gelatin, honey, isinglass, keratin, lactose, lard, pepsin, propolis, royal jelly, shellac, tallow, some vitamin D3, and whey.256“A Vegan’s Guide to Reading Food Labels.” Vegan Food & Living, February 23, 2018. http://www.veganfoodandliving.com/a-vegans-guide-to-reading-food-labels/
      • Details
        • Albumin: egg white
        • Aspic: a jelly made from meat stock
        • Casein: milk protein
        • Cod-liver oil: oil pressed from the fresh liver of the codfish
        • Collagen: protein found in skin and connective tissue
        • Elastin: elastic protein from ligaments and the aorta
        • Gelatin: a gel made by boiling various animal parts
        • Honey: food made by bees for bees
        • Isinglass: a sheet made from fish bladders; used to filter some wines and beers
        • Keratin: from the skin, bones, and connective tissues of animals such as cows, chickens, pigs, and fish
        • Lactose: a milk sugar
        • Lard: animal fat
        • Pepsin: a digestive enzyme of the stomach
        • Propolis: used by bees in the construction of their hives
        • Royal jelly: secretion of the throat gland of the honeybee
        • Shellac: a coating made by insects
        • Tallow: animal fat
        • Vitamin D3: often derived from an animal source, such as sheep’s wool, but may also be obtained from lichen
        • Whey: a milk by-product
    • Be aware that glycerine, glycerol, lactic acid, mono or diglycerides, and stearic acid can be from animals or plants.257Ibid. Hopefully, the label will indicate if they are plant derived.
  • Plan for eating out.
    • Before eating out at an establishment, it's good to check out their online menus and call beforehand with any questions about what is vegan and what can be made vegan.
    • That said, you should never hesitate to ask your server for clarifications, but you may find everything goes a little smoother if you come prepared.
    • A little preparation before you go might be a little less awkward for you, particularly if you are new to veganism and eating out with friends or family who are not vegan.
  • Choose cruelty-free entertainment, clothing, furniture, and sundries.
    • After making progress on food, it's time to consider your purchases in other areas of animal exploitation. With a little research, you will find that zoos, aquariums, rodeos, and circuses are not as innocuous as you may have thought.
    • If you haven't already, you will also learn that leather, wool, and silk are products of cruelty and exploitation. Some adopt the strategy of using existing non-vegan furniture, clothing, and shoes until they wear out before replacing them. Sometimes this is for financial reasons. Others donate them to a charity to avoid the waste that comes from trashing them. And others argue we should trash these items to avoid continuing to participate in any way to the exploitation these items represent.
    • Soaps, cosmetics, sundries, and various home products often contain animal products or are tested on animals. If you haven't looked into this already, you might be shocked at the horrors done in the name of product testing. Several online guides are available to help you purchase vegan and cruelty-free products. One such guide that does a good job of elucidating the topic is Redfin Real Estate's "The Ultimate Guide to Make Your Home 100% Cruelty-Free and Vegan."258“The Ultimate Vegan and Cruelty-Free Guide for Your Home.” Redfin Real-Time, January 2016. https://www.redfin.com/blog/vegan-cruelty-free-home-guide
  • Be prepared for the social ramifications.
    • It's not unusual for those new to veganism to feel a little isolated from family and friends during mealtime. You will experience various degrees of understanding and acceptance from those you care about.
    • As time moves forward and they see how important your commitment is to you, most everyone will accept your choices. Many will admire your conviction.
    • You need to keep in mind the reasons you became vegan, remember what it was like to not be vegan, and give others time to accept and embrace your compassionate way of living.
    • Here's one thing that will be very gratifying: it's very likely that some of your family and friends will eventually become vegan because of the example you set and your conviction. With this in mind, it's helpful to think of others as pre-vegans.
  • Bring a vegan dish when asked over for dinner.
    • There is no need to panic when you're asked over for dinner by friends, acquaintances, or family. If your hosts don't know you're vegan, you should mention it to them as nonchalantly as possible. Then you should offer to bring a delicious vegan dish that can be enjoyed by everyone.
  • Keep educating yourself.
    • As you have no doubt discovered, there is a wealth of information available on veganism. Our Helpful Resources article lists sites, videos, articles, and books that will be helpful to you on your journey of discovery.
    • A link on the Helpful Resources post does not mean that we are in total agreement with everything that is presented on the linked page—or that we agree with everything the author or organization has ever said or written. But we think these links are generally good sources of information and, where applicable, scientifically sound.
  • Think of going vegan as the adventure it is.
    • Many have found leaving animals off the plate to be an adventure, discovering new foods, recipes, and tastes they have never before experienced. Like many changes, being vegan will soon be second nature.
  • Meta
    • Contributors
      • Greg Fuller — Author
      • Isaac Nickerson — Copy Editor
    • Revisions
      • 2018-06-24 First published (WIP)
      • 2018-07-21 First copy-editing pass finished
Objections
“We need animal products to be healthy.”
 Talking Points OutlineArticle
  • Context
    • Why This Topic Is Important
      • The question of whether any nutrients necessary for good health can only be obtained from the animal kingdom is an important one.
      • Here's why: One of the main ideas of veganism is that it’s wrong to cause unnecessary harm to animals. If a certain nutrient necessary for good health could only be sourced from animals, some suffering might be deemed necessary, depending on the nature of the nutrient.
      • For veganism to be valid, it is not necessary to show that a vegan diet is beneficial, only that it's adequate for good health. Showing that a vegan diet has benefits does lend credence to the viability of a vegan diet, however, so we do a bit of that here.
    • The health benefits of a whole-food, plant-based diet should not be exaggerated.
      • Vegans are not altogether free of health problems. But the evidence is strong that the plant-based eating pattern promotes good health and lowers your risk for many ailments.
    • Extra
      • What if it is discovered that we need animal products to be healthy?
        • Veganism would still be relevant because we would be ethically obliged to consume only those animal products needed—and only in the smallest amounts needed and in the least harmful manner. Some vegans would choose to suffer the health consequences.
  • Prominent health organizations embrace a vegan diet.
    • Harvard Medical School
      • 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."259“Becoming a Vegetarian.” Harvard Health Publications Harvard Medical School, March 18, 2016. https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/becoming-a-vegetarian
      • HMS has a faculty of over eleven thousand 260Facts 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.261“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
    • Mayo Clinic
      • Quote: "A well-planned vegetarian diet [defined to include a vegan diet] is a healthy way to meet your nutritional needs."262“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
      • Mayo Clinic is the "largest integrated, not-for-profit medical group practice in the world"263“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.264About Us - Mayo Clinic Facts.” Mayo Clinic. Accessed August 2, 2017. http://www.mayoclinic.org/about-mayo-clinic/facts-statistics
    • Cleveland Clinic
      • Quote: "There really are no disadvantages to a herbivorous diet! A plant-based diet has many health benefits, including lowering the risk for heart disease, hypertension, Type 2 diabetes, and cancer. It can also help lower cholesterol and blood pressure levels, plus maintain weight and bone health."265“Understanding Vegetarianism & Heart Health.” Cleveland Clinic, December 2013. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/understanding-vegetarianism-heart-health
      • 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.266Stoller, 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/
    • 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."
      • Source267Phillip 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
      • Kaiser Permanente is one the United States' largest nonprofit health plans, with over eleven million members.268“Fast Facts About Kaiser Permanente.” Kaiser Permanente Share, 2017. https://share.kaiserpermanente.org/article/fast-facts-about-kaiser-permanente/
    • 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."
      • The author of the article quoted above, although not named in the article, states that he or she is a vegan and defines a plant-based diet as "a diet that’s completely free of animal products and byproducts—no meat, seafood, poultry, dairy, or eggs."
      • Source269Ask 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."270Adams, 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.271Castillo, 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.272Stacey 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)
      • 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."
        • Source273“Vegetarian Diets.” Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. December 2016. http://www.eatrightpro.org/resource/practice/position-and-practice-papers/position-papers/vegetarian-diets
      • 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."274“About Us.” Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Accessed August 2, 2017. http://www.eatrightpro.org/resources/about-us
    • 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."275“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."276“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.”277“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."278“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.279“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.
      • Source280“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.281“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."282D. 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
  • 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.
  • Related objections are weak.
    • Whenever the subject of vegan nutrition is discussed, it's almost certain that related objections will be presented, bringing forth various fallacies and myths about certain aspects of a vegan diet. None of these objections can withstand scientific scrutiny.
    • The comprehensive edition of Brenda Davis's book Becoming Vegan283Davis, Brenda, and Vesanto Melina. Becoming Vegan: The Complete Reference to Plant-Based Nutrition. Com edition. Summertown, Tennessee: Book Pub Co, 2014  provides the most exhaustive treatment of vegan nutrition—and in the process provides answers to these objections, fallacies, and myths.
    • We provide summarized responses to the most frequently presented health-related objections, drawing on the expertise of Brenda Davis and others in the Objections Section of this website.
  • Meta
    • Purpose
      • The purpose of this article is to demonstrate conclusively that animal products are not necessary for good health and to show how this ties in to the argument for veganism.
    • Contributors
      • Greg Fuller — Author
      • Isaac Nickerson — Copy Editor
      • Jan Garret — Research
    • Revisions
      • 2017-09-06 Outline only written with research pending
      • 2017-09-11 Copy editor's first pass —isn
      • 2017-09-15 Outline revised, article and clipboard text written
      • 2017-09-18 Copy editor's second pass —isn
      • 2017-10-24 Added a citation in the Article Tab and points in the Outline Tab to support the statement that the USDA is a friend of animal agriculture. —glf
      • 2017-11-27 Made minor edits. —isn
“Plants are sentient and have feelings too!”
 Talking Points OutlineArticle
  • Context
    • This objection is not presented out of a concern for plant happiness but instead:
      • As an accusation of inconsistency.
        • "You don't really care about all sentient beings, only animals."
      • Implicitly as a reductio ad absurdum.
        • "So we can't eat plants or animals now? We must eat something. Since plants and animals are both sentient, it doesn't make any difference which we eat."
    • Provocative clickbait titles do not engender credibility.
    • The "Extra" node of this outline presents two weaker arguments often used by advocates and explains why they are weak.
  • Plants differ from animals in ethically significant ways.
    • Plants cannot feel pain.
      • Plants lack a brain, a central nervous system, and pain receptors.
      • Plants may know they are being eaten via mechanoreceptors, but they don't care.
        • According to Daniel Chamovitz, Dean of Life Sciences at Tel Aviv University:
          • Plants have nerve-cell pressure receptors (mechanoreceptors), not pain receptors (nociceptors).
          • "Plants can feel themselves being eaten—they just don't have the capacity to give a shit."
          • Source284Biologist “We Asked a Biologist If Plants Can Feel Pain.” Vice. Accessed July 26, 2017. https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/xd74nd/we-asked-a-botanist-how-sure-science-is-that-plants-cant-feel-pain-302
    • Plants cannot experience emotions.
      • Emotions are processed in the hippocampus and amygdala regions of the brain—neither of which are present in a plant.285Rand S. Swenson, M.D., Ph.D., “Review of Clinical and Functional Neuroscience.” Dartmouth Medical School, 2006. https://www.dartmouth.edu/~rswenson/NeuroSci/chapter_9.html
    • Plants have no self-awareness or sense of the future.
      • Thinking requires a brain, and without thought, there can be no self-awareness or sense of the future.
    • Plants do not have desires, preferences, or interests.
      • There is no evidence that plants have the cognitive ability to have these traits.
  • You kill many more plants by eating animal products than by eating plants.
    • Animals are inefficient at converting plants to edible animal matter.
      • This inefficiency is in part because of the calories expended for metabolism as well as the calories and food that go into producing nonedible parts, such as bones, cartilage, feathers, fur, fins, skin, and organs.
    • As indicated by feed-conversion ratios, it takes twenty-five pounds of feed to produce one pound of beef, nine pounds of feed to produce one pound of pork, and five pounds of feed to produce one pound of chicken.
      • Edible-food conversion ratios:
        • Chicken: 4.5 to 1
        • Pork: 9.4 to 1
        • Beef: 25.0 to 1
        • Carp: 2.3 to 1
        • Source286Professor Smil Vaclav. “Eating Meat: Evolution, Patterns, and Consequences.” Population and Development Review 28, no. 4 (2002): 599–639, http://home.cc.umanitoba.ca/~vsmil/pdf_pubs/PDR2003.pdf
        • Extra
          • Calculating feed-conversion ratios is fraught with complexity. A good discussion of the difficulties of calculation and the various ways these calculations can be performed is on the A Well-Fed World website at awfw.org/feed-ratios/.287
            “Animals Are Inefficient Converters of Food.” A Well-Fed World, October 26, 2015. http://awfw.org/feed-ratios 
  • There is no reason plants would experience pain.
    • Because pain is a response to avoid tissue damage by withdrawing or fleeing, and since plants have limited ability to withdraw or flee, there is no reason they would have evolved to feel pain.
    • Leonard da Vinci realized this. In one of his notebooks, he said, "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.”288da Vinci, Leonardo. Leonardo Da Vinci’s Note-Books: Arranged and Rendered into English with Introductions. Empire State Book Company, 1908, 130
  • Some plants depend on being eaten for the survival of their species.
    • Some plants depend on being eaten to enhance the chances that their species will survive. The indigestible seeds of the plants will be spread over a wide geographical area as the plants are eaten by animals and then deposited in the animals' excrement.
  • At a visceral level, you know plants and animals are different.
    • We all sense the difference between pulling up a dandelion and slitting the throat of a chicken.
    • Watching someone mow the lawn doesn't evoke the same reaction as watching someone kick a dog.
  • Plants are sentient and intelligent only by the very broadest definitions.
    • Plants are sentient only in a way similar to how bacteria and other single-cell organisms are sentient or intelligent.
    • That is, plants generate and respond to chemical and electrical signals.
  • Meta
    • Purpose
      • The purpose of this post is to present the reasons why the objection is not valid.
    • Contributors
      • Greg Fuller — Author
      • Isaac Nickerson — Copy Editor
    • Revisions
      • 2017-02-17 First published —glf
      • 2017-03-25 Reworded for clarity and to fix broken links —glf
      • 2017-07-25 Revised to better comply with newly published guidelines —glf
      • 2017-07-31 Changed structure to place most important points first —glf
      • 2017-08-08  Edited Workflow with Isaac's copy edits —glf
      • 2017-08-21 Minor changes —glf
      • 2017-08-23 Copy editor's pass —isn
      • 2017-11-27 Edited Leonardo da Vinci quote —isn
      • 2018-01-29 Added two talking points and table of contents
      • 2018-02-10 Copy editor's second pass —isn
      • 2018-03-10—glf
        • Added an extra node to the outline to provide additional information on the complexity of calculating feed conversion ratios
        • Added a sentence to explain why animals are inefficient food sources
      • 2018-06-24 Edited most recent changes —isn
“Protein is a problem for vegans.”
 Talking Points OutlineArticle
  • Context
    • Perhaps the most frequently asked question to vegans is, "Where do you get your protein?" The implication is that the plant proteins from a vegan diet lack quantity, quality, or completeness.
    • We should be vigilant about all of our nutritional requirements, including protein. But the evidence does not justify the near-obsessive level of concern that we have regarding protein. Here, we will show that plants can easily satisfy all our protein needs and then point out that in some ways plant protein is advantageous to animal protein.
  • Plants readily supply abundant and complete protein.
    • Abundant protein can be found in such plant foods as beans, peas, broccoli, lentils, peanuts, quinoa, spinach, tofu, corn, and many others. A peanut butter and jelly sandwich contains more protein than a McDonald's hamburger 289The calculation assumes two slices of whole wheat bread and two tablespoons of peanut butter, and broccoli has twice as much protein per calorie as steak.290Fuhrman, Joel, and Mehmet Oz. Eat to Live: The Revolutionary Formula for Fast and Sustained Weight Loss. Reprint edition. Little, Brown and Company, 2005, 138
      • Details
        • Protein Amounts in a selection of foods:
          • Black beans, boiled, one cup: 15.2 grams
          • Chickpeas, boiled, one cup: 14.5 grams
          • Peanut butter, two tablespoons: 8.0 grams
          • Bulgur, cooked, one cup: 5.6 grams
          • Lentils, boiled, one cup: 17.9 grams
          • Broccoli, one cup: 4.6 grams
          • Green peas, one cup: 8.6 grams
          • Quinoa, cooked, one cup: 11.0 grams
          • Spinach, boiled, one cup: 5.4 grams
          • Tofu, firm, one-half cup: 19.9 grams
          • Corn, ten ounces: 7.2 grams
          • Whole wheat bread, one slice: 2.7 grams
          • Source291“CRON-O-Meter: Track Nutrition & Count Calories.” Accessed October 10, 2017. https://cronometer.com/
        • "A peanut butter and jelly sandwich contains more protein than a McDonald's hamburger."
          • A McDonald's hamburger supplies 13 grams of protein.292“McDonald’s Nutrition Calculator.” McDonalds. Accessed October 9, 2017. https://www.mcdonalds.com/us/en-us/about-our-food/nutrition-calculator.html
          • A peanut butter and jelly sandwich provides 15 grams of protein:
          • Two slices of commercially prepared whole wheat bread: 3.6 grams per slice = 7.2 grams
          • Two tablespoons of peanut butter: 4.0 grams per tablespoon = 8.0 grams
          • Total: 7.2 + 8.0 = 15.2 grams
          • Source293“Food Facts, Information & Calorie Calculator.” Self Nutrition Data. Accessed October 9, 2017. http://nutritiondata.self.com/
    • The quantity of protein is not the only concern—some feel that the quality of protein in plants is lacking. Yet authorities agree that if you eat a variety of plant foods and consume sufficient calories, then you get sufficient and complete protein—all nine essential amino acids, in the proportions needed.
    • The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics even says that "using the terms 'complete' and 'incomplete' to describe protein is misleading." They further state that "eating a variety of plant foods will supply all the protein you need."
      • Quote: "Vegetarian, including vegan, diets typically meet or exceed recommended protein intakes, when caloric intakes are adequate. The terms 'complete' and 'incomplete' are misleading in relation to plant protein. Protein from a variety of plant foods, eaten during the course of a day, supplies enough of all indispensable (essential) amino acids when caloric requirements are met."294Melina, Vesanto, Winston Craig, and Susan Levin. “Position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: Vegetarian Diets.” Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics 116, no. 12 (December 2016): 1970–80. doi:10.1016/j.jand.2016.09.025
    • The British Dietetic Association agrees: "As long as you’re eating a mixture of different plant proteins you’ll be getting all the essential amino acids your body needs."295“Food Fact Sheet | Vegetarian Diets.” British Dietetic Association, March 2016. https://www.bda.uk.com/foodfacts/vegetarianfoodfacts.pdf
    • Dr. Andrew Weil sums it up best: "Research has discredited that notion, so you don’t have to worry that you won’t get enough usable protein if you don’t put together some magical combination of foods at each meal."296Weil, MD, Dr. Andrew. “Vegetarians: Pondering Protein?” DrWeil.Com. Accessed October 4, 2017. https://www.drweil.com/diet-nutrition/nutrition/vegetarians-pondering-protein/
    • Finally, Harvard Medical School, Mayo Clinic, Cleveland Clinic, Kaiser Permanente, NewYork-Presbyterian, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the Dietitians of Canada, the British Dietetic Association, the Dietitians Association of Australia, and others have declared a vegan diet to be not only sufficient but advantageous. They would not make this pronouncement if there were a problem with getting complete protein from plants.297See http://justiceforanimals.org/objections/quote-we-need-animal-products/ for citations
  • Essential amino acids are manufactured only by plants.
    • Many people are surprised to learn that the essential amino acids, the building blocks of protein that we must get from food, are manufactured only by plants. When we eat animals, we are getting essential amino acids originally made by plants that were then eaten by animals.
    • Since all the essential amino acids are made only by plants, it's illogical to believe we must eat animals to get them.298Davis, Brenda, and Vesanto Melina. Becoming Vegan: The Complete Reference to Plant-Based Nutrition. Comprehensive edition. Summertown, Tennessee: Book Pub Co, 2014, 83
  • Protein deficiency is rare.
    • Hospitals don't have kwashiorkor units.
      • You will find cardiovascular, endocrinology, hematology, nephrology, oncology, pulmonary, and rheumatology units at your local hospital. You would be hard pressed to find a unit for treating kwashiorkor, the protein-deficiency disease. It is almost unheard of in the developed world, and when it happens, the underlying cause of the protein deficiency is a calorie deficit.299Allowances, National Research Council (US) Subcommittee on the Tenth Edition of the Recommended Dietary. Protein and Amino Acids. National Academies Press (US), 1989. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK234922/
    • It's difficult to design a protein-deficient vegan diet.
      • Dr. Joel Fuhrman "tried to compose a natural-foods diet deficient in any required amino acid. It was impossible."
        • Complete quote: Dr. Joel Fuhrman "tried to compose a natural-foods diet deficient in any required amino acid. It was impossible. Almost any assortment of plant foods contained about 30 to 40 grams of protein per 1,000 calories. When your caloric needs are met, your protein needs are met automatically."300Fuhrman, Joel, and Mehmet Oz. Eat to Live: The Revolutionary Formula for Fast and Sustained Weight Loss. Reprint edition. Little, Brown and Company, 2005, 139
      • Registered Dietitian Jeff Novick states that if you run the numbers, "any single whole natural plant food, or any combination of them, if eaten as one’s sole source of calories for a day, would provide all of the essential amino acids and not just the minimum requirements but far more than the recommended requirements."
        • Complete quote: "Today, if you calculate the amount of each essential amino acid provided by unprocessed plant foods and compare these values with those determined by Rose, you will find that any single whole natural plant food, or any combination of them, if eaten as one’s sole source of calories for a day, would provide all of the essential amino acids and not just the minimum requirements but far more than the recommended requirements."301Novick, Jeff. “The Myth of Complementary Protein.” Forks Over Knives, June 3, 2013. https://www.forksoverknives.com/the-myth-of-complementary-protein/
  • Animal protein carries health risks.
    • Animal protein promotes disease.
      • According to Dr. Joel Fuhrman (and others), animal protein promotes cancer, bone loss, and kidney disease. It also raises cholesterol and accelerates aging.302Fuhrman, Joel, and Mehmet Oz. Eat to Live: The Revolutionary Formula for Fast and Sustained Weight Loss. Reprint edition. Little, Brown and Company, 2005, 140
    • Animal protein is associated with higher mortality risk.
      • A study published in the JAMA Internal Medicine in August, 2016, the largest study yet to examine the effect of different sources of protein, found that animal protein is associated with higher mortality risk while plant protein is associated with lower mortality risk.303Massachusetts General Hospital. “High Animal Protein Intake Associated with Higher, Plant Protein with Lower Mortality Rate.” Science Daily, August 1, 2016. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/08/160801113654.htm
    • Animal protein is packaged without fiber.
      • When you eat mostly animal protein, you may not be getting enough fiber in your diet. Fiber is packaged with plant protein and does not exist in animals. While a protein deficiency is rare, fiber deficiency is rampant, with only 3 percent of Americans meeting the daily requirements for fiber. Most get less than half the requirement.
        • Quote: "Less than 3% of Americans get even the recommended minimum adequate intake of fiber. That’s something we really have to work on. On average, we get only about 15 grams a day. The minimum daily requirement is 31.5, so we get less than half the minimum."304Greger, Dr. Michael. “Where Do You Get Your Fiber?” NutritionFacts.Org, September 29, 2015. https://nutritionfacts.org/2015/09/29/where-do-you-get-your-fiber/
  • You need less protein than you may think.
    • For a 150-pound person (based on your ideal or healthy body weight), the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) calculates to 54 grams of protein—or 34 grams when you remove the built-in safety factor.
      • The RDA is 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of ideal or healthy body weight. A safety factor of almost double is built into the RDA. Ideal body weight is used because extra fat tissue requires relatively little protein.305Davis, Brenda, and Vesanto Melina. Becoming Vegan: The Complete Reference to Plant-Based Nutrition. Comprehensive edition. Summertown, Tennessee: Book Pub Co, 2014
    • The average American consumes 100 grams of protein per day, which is unhealthy.
    • Source306Fuhrman, Joel, and Mehmet Oz. Eat to Live: The Revolutionary Formula for Fast and Sustained Weight Loss. Reprint edition. Little, Brown and Company, 2005, 139
  • The strongest animals get their protein from plants.
    • Vegans get their protein from the same source that the strongest animals on the planet get their protein—plants. These animals include elephants, rhinoceroses, hippopotamuses, and horses.
    • It's also noteworthy that almost all the land animals we eat, namely cows, pigs, and factory chickens, get their protein from plants.
    • Although these nonhuman examples don't prove anything specific to humans, they do suggest that since plants alone are capable of providing the protein needed by these animals, plants alone might also provide the protein that humans need.
  • Some prominent bodybuilders rely on vegan protein.
    • Kendrick Farris, the only American weight lifter to compete in the 2016 Olympics, the gold-medal winner at the two Pan American Championships before that,307Cave, James. “Kendrick Farris, The Only Male U.S. Weightlifter In The Olympics, Is Totally Vegan | HuffPost.” Huffington Post, August 10, 2016. https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/kendrick-farris-olympics-vegan_us_57ab6be7e4b0db3be07ccc07  and whom Men's Fitness Magazine called America's strongest weight lifter, is 100 percent vegan.308Rodio, 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.309Steele, 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.310English, 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."311Kirkova, 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.312“Bios Page.” Vegan Bodybuilding & Fitness. Accessed October 11, 2017. http://www.veganbodybuilding.com/?page=bios
    • Although the preceding examples are from the sport of weight lifting because of its obvious connection to protein, endurance athletes need protein too. So we'll briefly mention that Scott Jurek, the world's most dominant ultramarathon runner, is also vegan.313Finn, Anna. “Vegans in the Rise of Ultra Running - One Green Planet.” One Green Planet, April 12, 2012. https://www.onegreenplanet.org/lifestyle/vegans-in-the-rise-of-ultra-running/
  • Extra
    • The myth of incomplete plant protein has several origins:
      • The book Diet for a Small Planet.
        • Frances Moore Lappé, in her 1971 book, invented the theory of "protein complementing"—the idea that only certain combinations of foods supplied essential amino acids in the proper ratios. In the 1991 edition of the book, she retracted the statement.314Novick, Jeff. “The Myth of Complementary Protein.” Forks Over Knives, June 3, 2013. https://www.forksoverknives.com/the-myth-of-complementary-protein/
      • Experiments in the early and mid-twentieth century on rats.
        • These experiments led researchers to believe that plant proteins are incomplete.
        • The research did not take into consideration the differences in (1) protein requirements between rats and humans, (2) human and rat physiology, and (3) laboratory conditions of rats and typical eating patterns of humans.
        • Source315Davis, Brenda, and Vesanto Melina. Becoming Vegan: The Complete Reference to Plant-Based Nutrition. Comprehensive edition. Summertown, Tennessee: Book Pub Co, 2014, 82
      • Science advisory by the American Heart Association (AHA).
        • An advisory published by the AHA in 2001 stated that "although plant proteins form a large part of the human diet, most are deficient in 1 or more essential amino acids and are therefore regarded as incomplete proteins.”316Jeor, Sachiko T. St, Barbara V. Howard, T. Elaine Prewitt, Vicki Bovee, Terry Bazzarre, Robert H. Eckel, and for the AHA Nutrition Committee. “Dietary Protein and Weight Reduction: A Statement for Healthcare Professionals From the Nutrition Committee of the Council on Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Metabolism of the American Heart Association.” Circulation 104, no. 15 (October 9, 2001): 1869–74. doi:10.1161/hc4001.096152
        • In response to a correspondence from Dr. John McDougall in 2002, the AHA acknowledged that "a vegetarian diet based on the AHA guidelines of 5 to 6 servings of whole grains and 5 or more servings of vegetables and fruit would, in fact, supply all of the amino acids necessary for health." Animal sources of protein were not mentioned.317“Plant Foods Have a Complete Amino Acid Composition.” Circulation, The American Heart Association, 105, no. 25 (June 25, 2002): e197–e197. doi:10.1161/01.CIR.0000018905.97677.1F
        • Much later in 2014, the AHA stated, as cited previously, "You don’t need to eat foods from animals to have enough protein in your diet. Plant proteins alone can provide enough of the essential and non-essential amino acids, as long as sources of dietary protein are varied and caloric intake is high enough to meet energy needs."318Association, American Heart. “Vegetarian, Vegan Diet & Heart Health.” Go Red For Women®, March 26, 2014. https://www.goredforwomen.org/live-healthy/first-steps-to-prevent-heart-disease-and-be-heart-healthy/vegetarian-vegan-diet-heart-health/
      • Beef-industry-funded research.
        • Research funded by the beef industry shows that adding animal protein to the diet of some people in some developing countries can improve nutrition.
        • The potential problem arises in developing countries that do not have sufficient variety in their diet; there are other developing countries that eat a primarily plant-based diet that do not demonstrate such a problem.
        • Excellent results can be achieved in developing nations by adding nutrient-rich legumes and vegetables, which are more affordable than beef. For example, peanuts, pigeon peas, and soybeans were introduced as crops for villagers in Malawi, with good results.
        • "In more-prosperous parts of the world today, vegans can select a well-balanced plant-based diet that supports their health and that of the planet far better than does a meat-centered diet."
        • Source319Davis, Brenda, and Vesanto Melina. Becoming Vegan: The Complete Reference to Plant-Based Nutrition. Comprehensive edition. Summertown, Tennessee: Book Pub Co, 2014, 82
  • Meta
    • Purpose
      • To counter the common objection to veganism that protein is a problem for vegans.
    • Contributors
      • Greg Fuller— Author
      • Isaac Nickerson— Copy Editor
    • Revisions
      • 2017-10-10 First Draft —glf
      • 2017-10-18 Copy editor's first pass complete —isn
      • 2017-10-23 Copy editor's second pass complete —isn
      • 2017-11-20  Edits for consistency —glf
      • 2017-12-02 Minor edits —isn
      • 2017-12-31 Added citation for "It is almost unheard of in the developed world, and when it happens, the underlying cause of the protein deficiency is a calorie deficit." —glf
      • 2018-09-17 Partial rewrite—glf
“Humans have souls—animals don’t.”
 Talking Points OutlineArticle
  • Context
    • This objection to animal rights and veganism posits the tenuous idea that how we treat animals should be tied to the presence or absence of a soul.
    • The belief that animals do not have souls is used as a justification for their exploitation and mistreatment—or, at a minimum, to assert that animals deserve considerably less moral consideration than humans because of this deficiency.
    • There is not even a consensus across cultures or religions on whether animals have souls or even whether souls exist at all. But because the belief in a soul (and, by implication, an afterlife) is widespread, this objection is worth exploring.
  • The existence of a soul is not relevant to a moral consideration for animals.
    • There is no logical reason having a soul should be a requirement for moral consideration.
    • Having immortality makes a difference about what happens when our bodies die but not about how we should be treated while we are alive.
    • The vileness of slitting the throat of a cow, chicken, goat, or any sentient being is unrelated to whether that being has a soul.
    • If you saw someone mercilessly kicking a dog or beating a pig with a whip, would your first thought be that this is perfectly OK because these animals do not have a soul?
  • Some believe that animals do have souls.
    • Context
      • If you believe that both humans and animals have souls, then this objection is defeasible.
    • Some believe the Christian bible teaches that animals have souls.
      • Context
        • We are only relating to a Christian perspective here, as most of our readers are from predominantly Christian countries.
      •  Elijah D. Buckner, in his 1903 book The Immortality of Animals, concludes, "The Bible, without the shadow of a doubt, recognizes that animals have living souls the same as man."320Buckner, E. D. The Immortality Of Animals: And The Relation Of Man As Guardian, From A Biblical And Philosophical Hypothesis. Kessinger Publishing, LLC, 2006, 38
      • Pope John Paul II declared to a public audience in 1990 that "also the animals possess a soul and men must love and feel solidarity with our smaller brethren."321“JPII Said Animals Do Have Souls…” Global Catholic Network, March 15, 2011. http://www.ewtn.com/v/experts/showmessage.asp?number=604934
      • Job 12:10 teaches that in God’s hand "is the soul of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind."
    • Many indigenous peoples believe that animals have souls.
      •  A number of Native American tribes not only believe that humans and animals have souls, and also believe the spirit, or soul, stays in the same world or journeys to another world after death.322Ojibwa. “Some American Indian Beliefs About an Afterlife.” Native American Netroots, June 22, 2016. http://nativeamericannetroots.net/diary/1936 323Danchevskaya, Oksana Y. “Concept of Soul among North American Indians.” Accessed September 13, 2017. http://www.se.edu/nas/files/2013/03/NAS-2011-Proceedings-Danchevskaya.pdf
  • The absence of a soul could elicit better treatment, not worse.
    • Philosopher Tom Regan believes that C. S. Lewis, one of the most important Christian theologians of the 20th century, turns this topic on its head.
    • According to Regan, C. S. Lewis believed that because animals do not have souls, they deserve higher moral consideration because there is no possibility they will enjoy compensation in an afterlife.
    • Source324Jackson Ethics Center. Animal Rights and Environmental Wrong, 2012. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1KJnHQmnivc , 25:45
  • Meta
    • Purpose
      • The purpose of this post is to explain the reasons why this objection is invalid.
    • Contributors
      • Greg Fuller — Author
      • Isaac Nickerson — Copy Editor
    • Revisions
      • 2017-07-01 First published —glf
      • 2017-09-12 Major rewrite to improve and conform to guidelines —glf
      • 2017-09-14 Copy editor's first pass —isn
      • 2017-09-17 Copy editor checked changes —isn
“Don’t force your values on me—what I eat is a personal choice.”
 Talking Points OutlineArticle
  • Context
    • This objection is made by those who are not aware of the implications of eating animals or by those who are aware but are unwilling to change.
    • This objection is often accompanied by, "I respect your right to be vegan; you should respect my right to not be vegan."
    • This objection is usually an implicit admonition to back off.
  • Personal choices are not necessarily ethical.
    • Example:
      • You may choose to be rude to someone because of their gender or color.
      • The fact that you are not restricted legally from an action does not imply the action is ethical.
    • "Personal choice" can be and has been used to defend all manner of indefensible positions:
      • "It's my personal choice to own slaves."
      • "It's my personal choice to pay women less money than men for the same work."
  • It's not just a personal choice.
    • It is a personal choice in the sense that it's a choice you can personally make.
    • For any choice to be only a personal one, all those affected must give consent.
      • I may choose to cut in front of you in the grocery-store line, but unless I get your permission, it negatively affects you.
    • If it involves harming others, then it is as much a social choice as it is a personal choice.
      • As the saying goes, "Your right to swing your fist ends where my nose begins."
  • This choice has a victim.
    • It is inescapable that eating meat and animal secretions (such as milk, cheese, and eggs) harms animals.
    • When we buy or eat animal products, we are not just ignoring the victim—we are complicit in the violence the victim has endured.
    • We are complicit because even though we are not inflicting harm directly, we are paying someone else to do so.
  • Awareness changes your perspective.
    • When you become fully aware of the harms resulting from eating animals or their products, it is impossible to view it as merely a personal choice.
    • When you take a little time to educate yourself on the atrocities inflicted on animals before they become the food on your plate, you will less likely choose to harm other sentient beings whose lives are as important to them as yours is to you.
  • Meta
    • Purpose
      • To show that eating animal products goes beyond being simply a personal choice, because others are harmed in the process.
    • Contributors
      • Greg Fuller — Author
      • Isaac Nickerson — Copy Editor
    • Revisions
      • 2017-02-23 First published
      • 2017-09-19 Rewritten to comply with guidelines and expanded somewhat
      • 2017-09-24 Copy editor's first pass —isn
“I can’t afford to be vegan—it’s too expensive.”
 Talking Points OutlineArticle
  • Context
    • Some have claimed that going vegan is expensive and, for some, unaffordable.
    • The implication is that eating a vegan diet is a luxury that only the affluent can afford.
    • This belief is often defended by pointing out that:
      • Some fruits and some vegetables are costly.
        • However, no one denies that we need fruits and vegetables.
      • Gourmet vegan restaurant items are expensive.
        • However, no one expects gourmet restaurant items to be cheap.
  • Vegan diets are usually less expensive.
    • 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 spend more.
    • 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."325“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."326Messina, 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/
    • 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."327Flynn, 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
    • Extra
      • The purported Voucher Codes Pro study, which claims that a vegan diet costs more, is a fabrication.
        • Several media outlets reported328Scott, Ellen. “It Costs an Extra £2,000 a Year to Have a Vegan Diet, Apparently.” Metro News, December 27, 2016. http://metro.co.uk/2016/12/27/it-costs-an-extra-2000-a-year-to-be-vegan-apparently-6345753/ 329Connor, Liz. “It Costs ‘an Extra £2,000 per Year to Be Vegan or Gluten-Free’, Research Suggests.” Evening Standard. Accessed September 22, 2017. https://www.standard.co.uk/lifestyle/london-life/it-costs-an-extra-2000-per-year-to-be-vegan-or-glutenfree-research-suggests-a3425741.html that vegans spend over £2,000 more annually on food, based on a study claimed to be made by UK-based Voucher Codes Pro. There is no evidence that such a study exists.330Starostinetskaya, Anna. “Fake Study Spreads Rumor That Veganism Is Expensive.” VegNews, December 26, 2016. http://vegnews.com/articles/page.do?pageId=8799&catId=1
  • Many common foods cost the same because they are already vegan:
    • Everything in the produce department.
    • All bulk items except jerky.
    • Most cereals.
    • Most bread products.
    • All grains and beans.
    • Most canned and frozen fruits and vegetables.
    • Most condiments, such as mustard, ketchup, pickles, relish, and sauces.
    • Most beverages.
    • Virtually all spices.
  • Vegan specialty foods are optional.
    • Some vegan items, such as burger patties and mayonnaise, are no more expensive.
    • Vegan milks cost no more than organic, hormone-free cow's milk.
    • Vegan cheeses and meats can be more expensive but are becoming less expensive as demand increases.
      • This is at least partially because of subsidies provided to the animal agriculture and feed industries.
    • Prepared foods will almost always cost more, vegan or not.
      • Many of these foods you can make yourself for considerably less.
  • Your medical bills may decrease.
    • A study published by the National Academy of Sciences calculates a health-care savings of over $1,067 billion annually with a vegan diet.331Springmann, 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 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.
  • Consider the cost to animals.
    • We are often willing to pay more for convenience. We are often willing to pay more for items that have a smaller carbon footprint. We are often willing to pay more for designer items.
    • Eating vegan is not more expensive. But even if it were, shouldn't we be willing to pay more for items that don't support, directly or indirectly, the breeding, enslavement, mutilation, and slaughter of sentient beings who have lives that are as important to them as our lives are to us?
  • Tips for saving on groceries:
    • Buy in bulk and at farmer's markets.
    • Shop seasonally.
    • Buy vegetables frozen, since they often cost less and are just as healthy.
    • Compare prices.
      • A pound of green peas costs around $1.30 at Walmart, Trader Joe's, and Whole Foods Market. The same pound of peas can be as high as $3.00 at many other grocery stores.
    • Limit vegan specialty foods, such as vegan meats and cheeses.
      • They are unnecessary.
      • They may be more healthy than animal-based meats and cheeses, but their nutrition value pales in comparison to whole foods.
  • Meta
    • Purpose
      • To show that a plant-based diet is not necessarily more expensive than a more carnivorous diet and can, in many cases, result in a lower grocery bill.
    • Revisions
      • 2017-03-31 First Published
      • 2017-09-29 Copy editor's first pass —isn
      • 2017-10-09 Added Mayo Clinic statement as an authoritative source. —glf
      • 2017-10-12 Copy editor's second pass —isn
    • Contributors
      • Greg Fuller — Author
      • Isaac Nickerson — Copy Editor
“It’s OK to eat animals that have been treated well—I only eat certified humane, pasture-raised, cage-free, free-range products.”
 Talking Points OutlineArticle
  • Context.
    • People are becoming increasingly concerned about the welfare of animals used for food. This concern is spawned by undercover videos, social-media postings, documentary movies, and reporting by the press.
    • Some people hope to act on that concern by buying products that bear one of the humane-certification labels or that brandish some other designation, such as cage freefree-rangegrass fed, or organic, thinking that such purchases cause little or no harm to the individuals whose flesh and secretions have been packaged for sale.
    • First, we explain why—even if specific humane claims are true—using animals for food is still not humane. Because using animals for food is still not humane, it's not necessary to show that the humane-sounding labels and certifications are misleading. But we do so anyway just so there can be no doubt. We also reveal that cruel practices are systemic to the process of using animals for food.
    • After the evidence is presented, it's easy to conclude that these labels have little to do with the well-being of the animals but are designed to at once assuage our guilt and compel us to spend more.
  • Animals are harmed by depriving them of their lives.
    • Research by cognitive ethologists and neurobiologists has confirmed that the animals we exploit for food, including fish, have desires, preferences, and emotions. They have a sense of themselves, a sense of the future, and a will to live. They have families, social communities, and natural behaviors.332Bekoff, Mark, Colin Allen, and Gordon Burghardt. The Cognitive Animal: Empirical and Theoretical Perspectives on Animal Cognition. A Bradford Book, 2002
    • In these ways and others, they are like us, and what happens to them matters to them. They each have an inherent value apart from their usefulness to us.
    • So even if humane-sounding labels were aboveboard, using animals for food is still not humane because we are depriving them of the only life they have and a life they value.
    • This is true no matter how the killing is done, and it is true not only for animals used for meat but also for animals used for dairy products and eggs. Those used for dairy and eggs, like those used for meat, are slaughtered very early in their lives. They are slaughtered when their reproductive systems are used up and they are no longer profitable. None of the animals we use for food are allowed to live out their lives.
      • Details: Age of Animals Slaughtered vs. Natural Life Span.
        • Note
          • The equivalent human age was calculated based on an 80-year human life span.
        • Broiler Chickens
          • Natural Life Span: 8 years
          • Age at Slaughter: 5–7 weeks
          • Percentage of Life Lived: < 1.2%
          • Equivalent Human Age at Slaughter: 1 year
        • Laying Hens
          • Natural Life Span: 8 years
          • Age at Slaughter: 18 months
          • Percentage of Life Lived: < 18.75%
          • Equivalent Human Age at Slaughter: 15 years
        • Beef Cows
          • Natural Life Span: 15–20 years
          • Age at Slaughter: 18 months
          • Percentage of Life Lived: 7.5%
          • Equivalent Human Age at Slaughter: 6 years
        • Dairy Cows
          • Natural Life Span: 15–20 years
          • Age at Slaughter: 4 years
          • Percentage of Life Lived: 20%
          • Equivalent Human Age at Slaughter: 16 years
        • Pigs
          • Natural Life Span: 10–12 years
          • Age at Slaughter: 5–6 months
          • Percentage of Life Lived: 3%
          • Equivalent Human Age at Slaughter: 3 years
        • Source333Age of Animals Slaughtered.” Accessed February 23, 2018. http://www.aussieabattoirs.com/facts/age-slaughtered
    • Taking the life of anyone who wants to live is to harm that individual, regardless of their species. Just as we would not consider killing for food humane if it were done to dogs, cats, or humans, then by any measure of fairness and justice, it is not humane when done to other sentient beings.
    • Humane slaughter is an oxymoron. Humane means showing compassion or benevolence. To slaughter is to kill or butcher someone who does not want to die. Slaughter is a violent act, not an act of compassion or benevolence.
  • Humane-sounding labels and certifications are mostly meaningless.
    • Context.
      • Here we address the most common labels and certifications. Some labels and certifications cover some forms of abuse, and others cover different forms of abuse, but none address all forms of abuse. But even if they did, the standards are often not enforced.
    • Free-Range.
      • The USDA standard for free-range requires only that chickens are given some access to the outdoors. There are no stipulations for the size or quality of the outdoor space, and there is no requirement that the chickens actually spend time outdoors.334“FSIS.” Food Safety Inspection Service, USDA, http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/food-safety-education/get-answers/food-safety-fact-sheets/food-labeling/meat-and-poultry-labeling-terms Also, the claim does not have to be verified through inspections.335“What Does ‘Free Range’ Mean?” Greener Choices | Consumer Reports, April 25, 2017. http://greenerchoices.org/2017/04/25/free-range/
      • So it's not surprising that investigations by Consumer Reports (and others) reveal that most chickens labeled free-range spend their lives confined inside a crowded chicken house. The free-range space itself may be nothing more than an enclosed concrete slab that the chickens never use. These individuals lack the room even to turn around, much less engage in their natural behaviors of preening, nesting, foraging, dust bathing, and perching.336“What Does ‘Free Range’ Mean?” Greener Choices | Consumer Reports, April 25, 2017. http://greenerchoices.org/2017/04/25/free-range/
      • This has led Consumer Reports to say that "'free range' is one of the most potentially misleading labels because of the discrepancy between what it implies and what is required to make the claim."337“What Does ‘Free Range’ Mean?” Greener Choices | Consumer Reports, April 25, 2017. http://greenerchoices.org/2017/04/25/free-range/
      • Extra.
        • Only one percent of eggs are from free-range hens that have the option to go outdoors, but like the other 99 percent, even those hens have likely never actually been outdoors.338“A Hen’s Space to Roost.” New York Times, August 15, 2010. http://graphics8.nytimes.com/packages/pdf/weekinreview/20100815-chicken-cages.pdf
        • Jonathan Foer, in his well-researched and fact-checked book339Yonan, Joe. “Book Review: Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer,” November 22, 2009. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/11/20/AR2009112001684.html Eating Animals, sums it up well in saying that "the free-range label is bullshit" and "should provide no more peace of mind than 'all-natural,' 'fresh,' or 'magical.'"340Foer, Jonathan Safran. Eating Animals. Little, Brown, 2009, 102
    • Cage Free.
      • Consumer Reports advises you to “ignore cage-free claims” for chickens.341“A ‘Cage-Free’ Claim: Does It Add Value?” Greener Choices |Consumer Reports, March 5, 2018 http://greenerchoices.org/2018/03/05/cage-free-add-value/ "'Cage-free' does not mean the chickens had access to the outdoors." It only means the chickens were not confined to a cage.342What Does ‘Cage Free’ Mean?” Greener Choices | Consumer Reports, February 6, 2017. http://greenerchoices.org/2017/02/06/cage-free-mean/
      • Cage free chickens, like free-range chickens, may be confined not by a cage but by crowding so extreme that turning around and engaging in those previously mentioned natural behaviors of preening, nesting, foraging, dust bathing, and perching is difficult or impossible. Such extreme crowding in large metal warehouses is the norm, with each chicken allowed less than a square foot of space.343ibid.
      • Extra.
        • Other conditions inside the warehouses add to the misery of the confined birds. To mention only one, for brevity's sake: the ammonia-laden air in the chicken houses is so noxious that the birds commonly suffer respiratory disorders, severe flesh and eye burns, and even blindness.344“Ammonia Toxicity in Chickens.” PoultryDVM. Accessed October 25, 2018. http://www.poultrydvm.com/condition/ammonia-burn
    • Pasture Raised.
      • According to Consumer Reports, “government agencies have no common standard that producers have to meet to make a 'pasture raised' claim on a food label, no definition for ‘pasture,’ and no requirement for the claim to be verified through on-farm inspections.”345“Pasture Raised” Greener Choices | Consumer Reports, April 4, 2017, http://greenerchoices.org/2017/04/26/pasture-raised/
    • Grass Fed.
      • The USDA-regulated grass fed label in the United States requires that the bovine is fed grass their entire life. The designation has only to do with feeding and does not prohibit routine cruelties, such as dehorning, castration, confinement, harsh living conditions, rough handling, and lack of veterinary care.
      • Enforcement is weak,346“Labeling Guideline on Documentation Needed to Substantiate Animal Raising Claims for Label Submissions.” USDA FSIS, n.d. https://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/wcm/connect/bf170761-33e3-4a2d-8f86-940c2698e2c5/Label-Approval-Guide.pdf?MOD=AJPERES and the animals are still slaughtered at an early age.347Whisnant, DVM, Patricia. “FAQ Grass Fed Beef.” American Grass Fed Beef (blog). Accessed October 25, 2018. https://www.americangrassfedbeef.com/faq-grass-fed-beef.asp
        • Details: Enforcement.
          • Enforcement is weak. The regulation states that "the addition of the grass fed claim for products formulated with grass fed beef is a type of claim that can be approved through a request for blanket approval." This means that an on-site audit is not required. Instead, the producer must submit documentation to FSIS, the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service.348“Labeling Guideline on Documentation Needed to Substantiate Animal Raising Claims for Label Submissions.” USDA FSIS, n.d. https://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/wcm/connect/bf170761-33e3-4a2d-8f86-940c2698e2c5/Label-Approval-Guide.pdf?MOD=AJPERES
        • Details: Age of Slaughter.
          • While bovines that finish feeding with grain in a feedlot are slaughtered when about one year old, grass fed animals are allowed to live no longer than two years of their 15-to-20-year life span.349Whisnant, DVM, Patricia. “FAQ Grass Fed Beef.” American Grass Fed Beef (blog). Accessed October 25, 2018. https://www.americangrassfedbeef.com/faq-grass-fed-beef.asp
    • Organic.
      • Some have the perception that organic means humanely raised, but that is not the case. Organic farmers are free to treat their animals no better than non-organic farmers. This is because the USDA, which controls the organic label in the United States, ruled that the label does not allow "broadly prescriptive, stand-alone animal welfare regulations."350Whoriskey, Peter. “Should ‘USDA Organic’ Animals Be Treated More Humanely? The Trump Administration Just Said No.” Washington Post, December 15, 2017. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2017/12/15/should-usda-organic-animals-be-treated-more-humanely-the-trump-administration-just-said-no/
      • Consumer Reports informs us that while there are organic standards relating to animals, they lack clarity and precision, letting producers with poor standards sell poultry and eggs.351“Do You Care about Animal Welfare on Organic Farms?” Greener Choices | Consumer Reports, February 6, 2018. http://greenerchoices.org/2018/02/06/care-animal-welfare-organic-farms/
    • Certified Humane Raised and Handled.
      • Consumer Reports says that "we do not rate Certified Humane as a highly meaningful label for animal welfare, because the standards do not have certain requirements that a majority of consumers expect from a 'humanely raised' label, such as access to the outdoors."352“Certified Humane Raised and Handled.” Consumer Reports—Greener Choices | Consumer Reports, January 30, 2017. http://greenerchoices.org/2017/01/30/certified-humane/
    • Whole Foods's Global Animal Partnership (GAP) Certified.
      • The Open Philanthropy Project criticized GAP for having weak enforcement and for providing only slight improvements over standard factory farming conditions.353“Global Animal Partnership.” Open Philanthropy Project, March 26, 2016. https://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/us-policy/farm-animal-welfare/global-animal-partnership-general-support  For example, according to Consumer Reports, "standards for slaughter do not exist at any level for chickens and there is no limit on their rate of growth."354“Global Animal Partnership Step 5+.” Greener Choices | Consumer Reports, May 23, 2017. http://greenerchoices.org/2017/05/23/global-animal-partnership-step-5/
      • GAP doesn't even publish standards for dairy cows, arguably the most abused of any of the farmed mammals.
    • American Humane Certified.
      • According to Consumer Reports, "the requirements fall short in meeting consumer expectations for a 'humane' label in many ways."355“American Humane Certified.” Consumer Reports—Greener Choices | Consumer Reports, January 11, 2017. http://greenerchoices.org/2017/01/11/american-humane-certified/
    • United Egg Producers Certified.
      • Consumer Reports says that while the label is verified, "it is not meaningful as an animal welfare label because certain basic conditions, such as the freedom to move, are not required."356“United Egg Producers Certified.” Greener Choices | Consumer Reports, March 23, 2017. http://greenerchoices.org/2017/03/23/united-egg-producers-certified/
        • Details: Freedom to Move.
          • According to Consumer Reports, "the UEP Certified guidelines allow continuous confinement in crowded cages in dimly lit buildings without natural light and fresh air. Hens only have to be given enough space to stand upright, with a minimum space requirement of 8 by 8 inches for white laying hens kept in a cage. Producers keeping their hens in cages do not have to allow the hens to move freely, perch, dust bathe, or forage, and nest boxes are not required. While the label is verified, it is not meaningful as an animal welfare label because certain basic conditions, such as the freedom to move, are not required."357“United Egg Producers Certified.” Greener Choices | Consumer Reports, March 23, 2017. http://greenerchoices.org/2017/03/23/united-egg-producers-certified/
    • USDA Process Verified.
      • According to Consumer Reports, Process Verified claims can be written by the manufacturers themselves—and the claims do not have to be meaningful to the welfare of the animals.358“USDA Process Verified.” Greener Choices | Consumer Reports, March 7, 2017. http://greenerchoices.org/2017/03/07/usda-process-verified/
        • Details: Process Verified.
          • Consumer Reports says, "the USDA Process Verified shield means that one or more of the claims made on the label have been verified by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Both the claim and the standard behind the claim can be written by the company; the USDA only verifies whether the standard has been met, not whether the claim is a meaningful one. The label adds credibility to meaningful claims like 'no antibiotics, ever,' but also allows for claims with lower standards that mostly reflect the existing industry norm and add little value, such as 'raised without growth-promoting antibiotics.'”359ibid.
    • Animal Welfare Approved.
      • This is the only certification that Consumer Reports says has strong standards, yet the standards still allow for mutilations360“Animal Welfare Approved.” Greener Choices |Consumer Reports, November 16, 2016. http://greenerchoices.org/2016/11/16/awa-label-review/ and other injustices.
      • Also, products with this label are challenging to find. A search using their own product finder reveals that it's unlikely you will find any products with this label at a grocery store near you.361“Find Products.” A Greener World. Accessed October 4, 2018. https://agreenerworld.org/shop-agw/product-search/
    • Certified Sustainable Seafood.
      • Sustainability has nothing to do with the treatment of the fish. Fish typically die of suffocation because they are left in the air, or they die by having their throats slit while they are alive. Although our concern for fish is typically less than it is for other animals, research in cognitive ethology and neurobiology reveals that fish show intelligence, feel pain, display emotions, and have many of the other characteristics of the land animals we use for food.362Balcombe, Jonathan. What a Fish Knows: The Inner Lives of Our Underwater Cousins. Scientific American / Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2016.
      • Not only that, but the sustainability claim itself is suspect. In a piece titled "Is Sustainable-Labeled Seafood Really Sustainable?" NPR reports that scientists and other experts believe fisheries are being certified that should not be. In addition, fish are being incorrectly counted, rendering the claims of sustainability doubtful.363“Is Sustainable-Labeled Seafood Really Sustainable?” NPR.org, February 11, 2013. https://www.npr.org/2013/02/11/171376509/is-sustainable-labeled-seafood-really-sustainable
    • Backyard Chickens.
      • Although backyard chickens are not associated with a certification or label like the others that we are covering here, they deserve a closer look. A considerable number of people regard the practice of keeping chickens in the backyard for food as innocuous. These backyard chickens are of the same or similar variety as those on industrial farms—the very farms that account for most of the cruelties outlined below.
      • Baby chicks often die in transport. A quick search will find numerous reports of chicks being shipped alive to backyard hobbyists and dying in transport—and reports of those that make it being greatly stressed.
      • Backyard chickens, like those on industrial farms, have been selectively bred, which stresses their bodies. Here are just a few examples out of many:
        • Laying hens are bred to lay large eggs, which stresses their reproductive systems and causes such problems as osteoporosis, bone breakage, and uterus prolapse.364Jamieson, 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
        • Another stressor for laying hens is the number of their eggs, which is the result of selective breeding. 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.365Cheng, 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
        • Chickens used for meat have been bred to grow at an unnaturally fast rate and have large breasts. This selective breeding comes with serious welfare consequences: leg disorders; skeletal, developmental, and degenerative diseases; heart and lung problems; respiratory problems; and premature death.366Stevenson, 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
      • In the hatcheries from which backyard chicken hobbyists order baby chicks, the males are either ground alive in macerators, gassed, or smothered to death soon after they are hatched. This is because the laying hens are selectively bred for producing eggs, not meat, rendering the males useless for their intended purpose.367Blakemore, 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/
      • Backyard hens are likely to be slaughtered when egg production wanes, preventing them from living out their natural lives. As one hobbyist euphemistically put it, "when the expenses outweigh the value, then changes have to be made."368“At What Age Do You Kill a Laying Hen?” BackYard Chickens. Accessed November 2, 2018. https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/at-what-age-do-you-kill-a-laying-hen.837302/
  • Cruelty and suffering are systemic in using animals as commodities for profit.
    • The abuses inflicted on farmed animals are many and often severe, and they're part of the normal operations of exploiting animals for food. These abuses include confinement, crowding, mutilation, deprivation of natural behaviors, debilitating selective breeding, cruel handling, separation from their offspring, and, of course, slaughter.
    • Because many of the abuses are systemic, they cannot be humanely-labeled away. To be profitable, animal agriculture depends on animals being mistreated. For any label or certification to omit all animal abuses would render the products unaffordable by all but the most affluent.
    • The cruelty stems in part from the attitudes that surround the commodification of animals, as exemplified by a piece in Hog Management, which recommends that farmers "forget the pig is an animal—treat him just like a machine in a factory."369Prescott, Matthew. “Your Pig Almost Certainly Came from a Factory Farm, No Matter What Anyone Tells You - The Washington Post,” July 15, 2014. https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2014/07/15/your-pig-almost-certainly-came-from-a-factory-farm-no-matter-what-anyone-tells-you/
    • Here are a few specific examples of cruelty not covered earlier. These are allowed under many, if not most, labels and certifications.
      • The early separation of calves from their mothers, depriving the calves of the love and milk of their mothers and depriving the grieving cow of her nurturing instinct370University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna. (2015, April 28). Early separation of cow and calf has long-term effects on social behavior. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 26, 2018 from http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/04/150428081801.htm
      • Painful debeaking of chickens, depriving them of their ability to engage in preening and foraging371Welfare Implications of Beak Trimming.” American Veterinary Medical Association, February 7, 2010. https://www.avma.org/KB/Resources/LiteratureReviews/Pages/beak-trimming-bgnd.aspx^^“UPC Factsheet - Debeaking.” United Poultry Concerns, Inc. Accessed March 28, 2018. https://www.upc-online.org/merchandise/debeak_factsheet.html
      • Forcing a hesitant animal to move by any methods necessary, including whipping, prodding, dragging, and forklifting (the evidence for this can be seen in numerous videos and the several firsthand accounts in the book Slaughterhouse by Gail A. Eisnitz)
      • The dehorning of cows, which one professor of animal science calls "the single most painful thing we do,"372Dehorning: ‘Standard Practice’ on Dairy Farms,” ABC News, January 28, 2010, done via acid, burning, sawing, or cutting with a gigantic clipper373M’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
      • The clipping of teeth and tails of piglets, a painful procedure usually performed without medication and which may also result in infections, tumors, and the suppression of natural behaviors374“Welfare Implications of Teeth Clipping, Tail Docking and Permanent Identification of Piglets.” American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), July 15, 2014. https://www.avma.org/KB/Resources/LiteratureReviews/Pages/Welfare-implications-of-practices-performed-on-piglets.aspx 
  • Humane-sounding labels and certifications may be best thought of as marketing.
    • The animal agriculture industry is aware of the growing concern for animals and know that if they appear to be uncaring, sales and profits will decline. They also know that few will examine these humane-sounding claims to see if they are true. So these labels and certifications give the appearance of being humane, assuaging the guilt of compassionate buyers.
    • They may also engender higher profits, because the industry also knows that concerned, kindhearted consumers are willing to pay more for products they perceive to be humanely produced.
  • You cannot buy products made from animals that have been treated humanely.
    • Even if you buy into the idea that it’s OK to eat animal products as long as the animals are treated well, there is virtually no chance that the animals have, in fact, been treated well, regardless of what label is on the package. While certain labels may represent less suffering for some of the abuses, other abuses remain. The mitigation of some of the cruelties does not justify the remaining ones.
    • As we have shown and as exposed via Consumer Reports and other sources, the standards for these humane-sounding labels are weak and they often go unenforced.
    • The life of any farmed animal can only be described as one of commodified, abusive servitude ending in brutal slaughter. When viewed objectively, free from the fog of our cultural norms, their treatment and slaughter, no matter the label or certification—and by any standard of fairness and justice—cannot be considered humane.
  • Meta
    • Contributors
      • Greg Fuller — Author
      • Isaac Nickerson — Copy Editor
    • Revisions
      • 2018-11-07 Initial post completed —glf
      • 2018-11-16 First editing pass completed —isn
      • 2018-11-20 Published—glf
“Eating animals is natural—it’s part of the circle of life and we are apex predators on top of the food chain.”
 Talking Points OutlineArticle
  • Context
    • In objecting to veganism and animal rights, some invoke a series of statements centering around the idea that eating animals and their secretions is natural. These statements often include a reference to the circle of life, apex predation, and the idea that humans are on top of the food chain—all in an attempt to prove that the eating of animal flesh, chickens' eggs, and cow's milk by humans is as natural as the laws of physics.
    • Here we show that these declarations are not germane to the case for veganism. But even if they were, they are still defeated by taking a closer look at the assertions, which we do.
  • Assertions as to what is natural are not pertinent to the validity of veganism.
    • Simply put, the case for veganism is that it’s wrong to cause unnecessary harm to animals. Eating products made from animals harms animals, and because we don't need animal products to be healthy, the harm is unnecessary. The issues of harm and necessity are covered in our article "An Introduction to Veganism."
    • So even if the practice of eating animals were natural, even if it were somehow part of some nebulous circle of life, and even if we were apex predators on top of the food chain—all that would still not justify causing unnecessary harm to others.
  • Naturalness says nothing about rightness.
    • The occurrence of a behavior in the natural world says nothing about the morality of the behavior.
      • Rape, defined as forced sexual intercourse, is not unusual in other species. Amphibians, reptiles, birds, fish, and mammals engage in the practice.375Palmer, Craig T. “Rape in Nonhuman Animal Species: Definitions, Evidence, and Implications.” Journal of Sex Research26, no. 3 (August 1989): 355–74. https://doi.org/10.1080/00224498909551520
      • Infanticide is committed by dolphins, lions, and baboons.376Thompson, Helen. “Why Some Mammals Kill Babies of Their Own Kind.” Smithsonian, November 13, 2014. https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/why-some-mammals-kill-babies-own-kind-180953318/
      • We would not say these behaviors are moral, but we could not deny that they are natural in the sense that they occur in nature.
  • Our natural abilities suggest we are not natural predators, much less apex predators.
    • We may be apex predators in the sense that we are not eaten by other species, but this is a consequence of our not living in a more natural environment, such as the wilderness, as well as our ability to use our mental faculties to avoid being eaten. It is not because of physical strength or agility, as is the case with other apex predators, such as the African wild dog, the lion, or the tiger.
    • Natural predators have physical characteristics that allow them to seize and kill their prey, rip and tear their prey's flesh, and then eat the raw flesh.
    • Humans are not so good at this. Although we have developed tools that overcome our physical limitations, we don't have what it takes to do this unaided. Also, we insist on cooking the flesh we eat, which no other species of flesh eater does.
  • Our physiology and anatomy suggest that flesh is not a natural food for humans.
    • A comparative review of the physiology and anatomy of animals reveals that humans match closely with herbivores, not omnivores or carnivores. We cover this topic in more depth in our post in response to the assertion that "humans are natural omnivores—we digest meat, have canine teeth, and have front-facing eyes."
    • As that post demonstrates, the length of our intestines, the structure of our teeth, nails, jaw, mouth opening, and facial muscles, our digestive enzymes, our stomach acidity, our ability to detoxify vitamin A, and our urine concentration all point toward humans being herbivorous.377Mills, Milton R. “The Comparative Anatomy of Eating.” VegSource Interactive Inc 26 (1996). https://www.scribd.com/doc/94656/The-Comparative-Anatomy-of-Eating
  • There is nothing natural about how we get our meat, dairy, and eggs.
    • Selective breeding has resulted in farmed animals that produce far more flesh, far more eggs, and far more milk than their forebears would produce in a natural environment.
      • Dairy cows produce more than three times the amount of milk they did several decades ago, which burdens them and results in their development of unnaturally large udders.378Blayney, 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
      • An egg-laying hen produces more than 300 eggs per year, but the jungle fowl from which they were bred lay four to six eggs in a year.379Cheng, 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
      • Also, laying hens are bred to lay large eggs, which they are not evolved for; this stresses their reproductive system and causes such problems as osteoporosis, bone breakage, and uterus prolapse.380Jamieson, 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
      • The modern broiler chicken is unnaturally large and has been bred to grow at an unnaturally fast rate and have large breasts. This selective breeding causes numerous afflictions: leg disorders; skeletal, developmental, and degenerative diseases; heart and lung problems; breathing difficulty; and premature death.381Stevenson, 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
    • Farmed animals are far from natural—they could not survive in a natural environment. In our contrived animal agriculture system, the concepts of "natural," "circle of life," "apex predation," and "food chain" simply don't apply.
  • We shouldn't base our morality on animal behavior.
    • We humans have moral agency, meaning we can judge the consequences of our actions. This implies a degree of responsibility, or duty, to do what is right.
    • Nonhuman animals seem to lack the ability to fully contemplate the moral consequences of their actions.382Regan, Tom. The Case for Animal Rights. University of California Press, 2004. 152-154
    • But even if they could, that does not mean we should model our morality on the behaviors of other species. Instead, we should use our moral agency to make ethical decisions, not invoke nebulous and impertinent concepts of what is natural to justify behaviors that unnecessarily harm others.
  •  Meta
    • Contributors
      • Greg Fuller — Author
      • Isaac Nickerson — Copy Editor
    • Revisions
      • 2018-09-08 Initial post completed —glf
      • 2018-09-25 Copy editor's first pass on article only —isn
“With all the problems in the world, we should spend our time helping humans first, then animals.”
 Talking Points OutlineArticle
  • Context
    • This objection is one that vegans and animal rights activists hear a lot.
    • It is often expressed something like this: "There are so many problems in the world and so much human suffering, we should focus on these pressing human concerns rather than spend our time and energy on animals. Maybe after we make real progress on human problems, we can then help the animals."
  • Living vegan does not take more time.
    • Context
      • Insofar as this objection is addressed to vegans who are not also animal rights or vegan activists, it assumes that just living a vegan life takes an inordinate amount of time—time that could be spent helping humans.
    • Vegans go about their lives in the same way as everyone—going to work, preparing recipes, eating out, buying groceries, and embarrassing their children in front of their friends.
    • Once you learn a few new recipes (or adapt your favorite ones) and choose brands of underarm deodorant and toothpaste that are not tested on animals, it takes no more time to be vegan than to not be vegan.
  • Vegan activism does benefit humans.
    • Context
      • Animal rights and vegan activists do spend time helping animals, but that time is also helping humans, as well as helping the earth that sustains both human and non-human animals. To the extent that vegan activism succeeds, humans benefit in a number of significant ways. There is perhaps no other cause that embodies so many benefits on so many fronts.
    • 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.
    • Human Health
      • The 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.383Tuso, 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
    • Human Equity and Impoverishment
      • 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.384Cassidy, 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
    • 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.385Siebert, 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.
    • The Environment
      • We should do all we can to minimize harming the environment that sustains us all. The significant contributions of animal agriculture to climate change, depletion of fish, destruction of wildlife, deforestation, water depletion, and other environmental issues would all be eliminated.386Hyner, Christopher, and J.D. Candidate. “A Leading Cause of Everything: One Industry That Is Destroying Our Planet and Our Ability to Thrive on It.” Stanford Environmental Law Journal (SELJ). Accessed September 23, 2017. https://journals.law.stanford.edu/stanford-environmental-law-journal-elj/blog/leading-cause-everything-one-industry-destroying-our-planet-and-our-ability-thrive-it
  • All oppression has the same roots.
    • One of the problems plaguing the world is the oppression of others based on color, gender, ethnicity, or sexual identity. These problems are all rooted in the indefensible notion that others are less valuable because they differ in some way that is not pertinent. It’s the same with our exploitation of animals.
    • All forms of oppression are interconnected. If we taught our children at an early age to value the lives of all sentient beings, it is unlikely they would grow up to hate and oppress other humans because of these irrelevant differences.
  • The objection is disingenuous.
    • The people who raise this objection would not raise the same objection to people who:
      • Volunteer at the local humane society for the benefit of companion animals.
      • Volunteer to organize gratuitous events, such as a game-day tailgating party.
  • The objection presents a false choice.
    • There is no reason why one cannot work both for humanitarian causes and for animal rights causes.
    • Many vegan and animal rights activists, if not most, are engaged in other causes that directly help humans.
      • They volunteer to feed the homeless, deliver meals to the elderly, work with drug addicts, and work with a variety of issues, such as civil rights, women's rights, and other causes of which humans, not animals, are the beneficiaries.
    • As Tom Regan said, "We can do both; we should do both."
      • When presented with the objection that we should spend our energies helping humans instead of animals, Professor Tom Regan very simply and eloquently said, "We can do both; we should do both."387“Tom Regan; Animal Rights.” WEEAC. Accessed September 23, 2017. http://goo.gl/Mpa9BD
  • Meta
    • Purpose
      • To counter the objection that vegans and animal rights activists should spend their time helping humans rather than animals.
    • Contributors
      • Greg Fuller — Author
      • Isaac Nickerson — Copy Editor
    • Revisions
      • 2017-03-22 Initial post completed —glf
      • 2017-09-23 Rewritten to conform to guidelines, expanded, and reorganized- —glf
      • 2017-09-30 Copy editor's first pass —isn
      • 2018-09-30 The URL to the Tom Regan citations contained a "--" which WP automatically and unfortunately changed to a single dash. I replaced the two links with a google shortened URL.—glf
“There are no true vegans. Animal products are in car tires and everywhere.”
 Talking Points OutlineArticle
  • Context
    • Some have objected to veganism on the grounds that there are no true or pure vegans by virtue of the widespread inclusion of animal-derived products in many everyday items. This complaint, at best, reveals a lack of understanding about the definition and essence of veganism. At worst, it is an attempt to apply standards to veganism that would not be applied to any other cause or movement.
  • Vegans seek to minimize harm to animals, not be perfect.
    • Vegans seek to eliminate harm to animals, according to the most widely accepted definition of veganism, "as far as is possible and practicable." There are some items containing incidental amounts of animal products for which there are no viable substitutes or for which substitutes are very difficult to obtain. Automobile tires are one such example.
    • This situation is beyond our control in the short term. It would be nonsensible to say that because we can't be perfect vegans, we shouldn't do anything. With the wide variety of fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds available to most—as well as an increasingly large selection of processed vegan foods—it is not at all logistically difficult for most to adopt a vegan diet. Adopting a vegan diet would eliminate, by far, most of the unnecessary suffering and slaughter that we pay others to inflict on animals.
  • Once we stop eating animals, other uses will be eliminated or greatly reduced.
    • The incidental use of animals in everyday products will take care of itself as veganism gains acceptance and people adopt a vegan diet. Many of the products used, for which there are already alternatives, are byproducts of the slaughter process. As animal slaughter becomes less commonplace, nonanimal substitutes will be used and new substitutes will be developed.
  • No one objects to other worthy causes just because perfection is unobtainable.
    • It would be difficult to think of any movement or cause in which perfection is obtainable. No one would say that because we will never completely stop discrimination, we shouldn't try to do what we can. No one would say that because we will never stop child abuse completely that we shouldn't even try. No one would say, for any worthwhile cause, that if we can't do everything, we shouldn't do anything. It seems disingenuous to apply such a standard of purity or perfection to veganism while ignoring it for other causes.
  • Meta
    • Context
      • Purpose
        • The purpose of this piece is to counter the objection to veganism that there are no true vegans or pure vegans because of the widespread inclusion of animal products in many everyday items.
    • Contributors
      • Author: Greg Fuller
      • Copy Editor: Isaac Nickerson
    • Revisions
      • 2018-01-16 First Published —glf
      • 2018-01-28 Copy editor's first pass —isn
“Veganism would devastate the economy and cause massive unemployment.”
 Talking Points OutlineArticle
  • Context
    • The claim that veganism would devastate the economy and cause massive unemployment seems to be one of the most concerning objections to veganism and animal rights. After all, animal agriculture is a major segment of the economies of all industrialized nations. This objection is, however, defeated by a closer examination of the topic.
  • Economies will have ample time to adjust.
    • It's beyond improbable that everyone would go vegan at once. It will happen gradually, over a period of years or maybe even decades. As with past shifts in consumer preferences, economic resources and jobs will shift to accommodate the movement away from animal products.
    • Such shifts are not unusual. We are now witnessing a shift away from fossil fuels to more sustainable sources of energy, including a switch from gasoline-engine-powered cars to electric cars. The trend toward internet sales is continuing to cause job movement. In the past, we have seen a shift from an agrarian economy to an industrial economy to an information economy. In all these cases, new opportunities are created as others are diminished or eliminated.
  • Most would choose principles over a beneficial economic impact.
    • Although people frequently make purchasing choices based on pricing and principles, it seems that few make choices on the basis of their national economy.
    • Imagine a country named Tobaccastan, whose economy depended on the sale of cigarettes. If you lived there, would you refuse to stop smoking because it would hurt the economy if everyone quit? Would you sacrifice your health and the health of others for the health of the economy? This example, while not perfect, does shed light on the nature of our purchasing choices.
  • Veganism benefits the economy.
    • As illustrated here and by other sources, animal agriculture unnecessarily harms innocent animals, is destructive to the environment, damages human health, and contributes to human impoverishment. The last three of these put a strain on the economy. Because of this, veganism is a net benefit to any economy, especially over time.
  • Meta
    • Context
      • Purpose
        • The purpose of this piece is to counter the objection to veganism that it would devastate the economy and result in loss of jobs.
    • Contributors
      • Author: Greg Fuller
      • Copy Editor: Isaac Nickerson
    • Revisions
      • 2018-01-22 First Published —glf
      • 2018-01-30 Copy editor's first pass —isn
“Humans are natural omnivores—we digest meat, have canine teeth, and have front-facing eyes.”
 Talking Points OutlineArticle
  • Context
    • Those objecting to veganism often bring up one or more in a series of related complaints: that a vegan diet is not natural, that humans are omnivores and can digest meat, or that canine teeth and front-facing eyes are indications we are predators and not prey.
    • These protests are adequately dismissed with the first point below, which explains why they are not pertinent to the validity of veganism and therefore cannot diminish the case for veganism.
    • Although no further exploration of these claims is necessary once their lack of pertinence is demonstrated, we expound on these claims in case you're interested. It turns out that even if the objections were pertinent, they'd be nevertheless weak.
  • The case for veganism does not depend on humans being natural herbivores or having specific physical traits.
    • Vegan diets are beyond sufficient for human health.
      • Even if humans were natural omnivores and our teeth and eye locations supported that assertion, the science is clear that a strictly herbivorous vegan diet is not only adequate but also beneficial to our health.
      • This is confirmed by Harvard Medical School, Mayo Clinic, Cleveland Clinic, Kaiser Permanente, NewYork-Presbyterian, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics operating in the United States, the Dietitians of Canada, the British Dietetic Association, the Dietitians Association of Australia, and others.
      • These prominent organizations and others could only have made statements declaring the adequacy and salubriousness of a vegan diet if science supported such statements.
      • Cleveland Clinic even explicitly states, "There really are no disadvantages to a herbivorous diet!"388“Understanding Vegetarianism & Heart Health.” Cleveland Clinic, December 2013. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/understanding-vegetarianism-heart-health
    • The case for veganism has nothing to do with this issue.
      • Simply put, the case for veganism is that it's ethically wrong to cause unnecessary harm to animals. Because it's not necessary to eat animal products for nutrition, any claims that we are natural herbivores are rendered meaningless.
  • The evidence is strong that we lean toward being herbivorous.
    • Context
      • The fact that humans are behavioral omnivores and are able to get nutrition from both plants and animals says nothing about what is natural or optimum.
    • Our anatomy and physiology suggest that we are more herbivorous than omnivorous.
      • Context
        • A number of notable people have observed that anatomical and physiological traits of humans closely match herbivores'.
      • Dr. Mills's The Comparative Anatomy of Eating shows we more closely match herbivores in eighteen traits.
        • In all cases, humans more closely match herbivores.
        • A summary of Dr. Mills's traits comparison:
          • Intestines
            • Small intestine
              • Carnivore: 3–6 times body length
              • Omnivore: 4–6 times body length
              • Herbivore: 10–12+ times body length
              • Human: 10–11 times body length
            • Colon
              • Carnivore: Simple, short, and smooth
              • Omnivore: Simple, short, and smooth
              • Herbivore: Long, complex; may be sacculated
              • Human: Long, sacculated
          • Teeth
            • Incisors
              • Carnivore: Short and pointed
              • Omnivore: Short and pointed
              • Herbivore: Broad, flat, and spade shaped
              • Human: Broad, flat, and spade shaped
            • Canines
              • Carnivore: Long, sharp, and curved
              • Omnivore: Long, sharp, and curved
              • Herbivore: Dull and short or long (for defense) or none
              • Human: Short and blunted
            • Molars
              • Carnivore: Sharp, jagged, and blade shaped
              • Omnivore: Sharp blades or flattened
              • Herbivore: Flat with cusps vs. complex surface
              • Human: Flat with nodular cusps
          • Saliva
            • Carnivore: No digestive enzymes
            • Omnivore: No digestive enzymes
            • Herbivore: Carbohydrate-digesting enzymes
            • Human: Carbohydrate-digesting enzymes
          • Stomach
            • Stomach type
              • Carnivore: Simple
              • Omnivore: Simple
              • Herbivore: Simple or with multiple chambers
              • Human: Simple
            • Stomach acidity with food in stomach
              • Carnivore: ≤ pH 1
              • Omnivore: ≤ pH 1
              • Herbivore: pH 4–5
              • Human: pH 4–5
          • Chewing
            • Carnivore: None; swallows food whole
            • Omnivore: Swallows food whole or simple crushing
            • Herbivore: Extensive chewing necessary
            • Human: Extensive chewing necessary
          • Nails
            • Carnivore: Sharp claws
            • Omnivore: Sharp claws
            • Herbivore: Flat nails or blunt hooves
            • Human: Flat nails
          • Jaw
            • Type
              • Carnivore: Angle not expanded
              • Omnivore: Angle not expanded
              • Herbivore: Expanded angle
              • Human: Expanded angle
            • Joint location
              • Carnivore: On the same plane as molar teeth
              • Omnivore: On the same plane as molar teeth
              • Herbivore: Above the plane of the molars
              • Human: Above the plane of the molars
            • Motion
              • Carnivore: Shearing; minimal side-to-side motion
              • Omnivore: Shearing; minimal side-to-side motion
              • Herbivore: No shearing; good side-to-side, front-to-back motion
              • Human: No shearing; good side-to-side, front-to-back motion
            • Major muscles
              • Carnivore: Temporalis
              • Omnivore: Temporalis
              • Herbivore: Masseter and pterygoids
              • Human: Masseter and pterygoids
          • Mouth opening vs. head size
            • Carnivore: Large
            • Omnivore: Large
            • Herbivore: Small
            • Human: Small
          • Facial muscles
            • Carnivore: Reduced to allow wide mouth gape
            • Omnivore: Reduced
            • Herbivore: Well developed
            • Human: Well developed
          • Liver
            • Carnivore: Can detoxify vitamin A
            • Omnivore: Can detoxify vitamin A
            • Herbivore: Cannot detoxify vitamin A
            • Human: Cannot detoxify vitamin A
          • Kidney
            • Carnivore: Extremely concentrated urine
            • Omnivore: Extremely concentrated urine
            • Herbivore: Moderately concentrated urine
            • Human: Moderately concentrated urine
        • Source389Mills, Milton R. “The Comparative Anatomy of Eating.” VegSource Interactive Inc 26 (1996). https://www.scribd.com/doc/94656/The-Comparative-Anatomy-of-Eating
        • Michael Bluejay summarized Mills's finding in a convenient chart.390Bluejay, Michael. “Humans Are Natural Plant-Eaters—in-Depth Article.” Michael Bluejay, December 2015. https://michaelbluejay.com/veg/natural.html
      • Percy Bysshe Shelley wrote an entire book on the subject.
        • Shelley was a poet, not a scientist, but it's interesting to note that he wrote an entire book, A Vindication of Natural Diet, published in 1884, that drew on comparative anatomy to argue that humans were best suited to a vegetable diet.
          • Source391Shelley, Percy Bysshe. A Vindication of Natural Diet. Percy Bysshe Shelley. Kindle e-Book, A public domain book. Vegetarian Society, 1883. http://amzn.com/B0076QXQJI
          • This predates Dr. Milton Mills's work, discussed above, by over 100 years.
    • Evolution and anthropology may support the contention that we are more herbivorous.
      • Biologist Rob Dunn declares in Scientific American that "human ancestors were nearly all vegetarians." In making that assertion, and in questioning the validity of paleo claims, he deems it important to look at the diets of our ancestors at the time our guts were evolving. He states that for primates, a group to which humans belong, plants "were our paleo diet for most of the last thirty million years during which our bodies, and our guts in particular, were evolving. In other words, there is very little evidence that our guts are terribly special and the job of a generalist primate gut is primarily to eat pieces of plants."392Dunn, Rob. “Human Ancestors Were Nearly All Vegetarians.” Scientific American Blog Network, July 22, 2012. https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/guest-blog/human-ancestors-were-nearly-all-vegetarians/
      • Dr. Colin Barras, a paleontologist and science writer, believes that "archaeologists tend to emphasise the role of meat in ancient human diets, largely because the butchered bones of wild animals are so likely to be preserved at dig sites. Edible plants may have been overlooked simply because their remains don’t survive so well."393Barras, Colin. “Ancient Leftovers Show the Real Paleo Diet Was a Veggie Feast | New Scientist.” New Scientist, December 5, 2016. https://www.newscientist.com/article/2115127-ancient-leftovers-show-the-real-paleo-diet-was-a-veggie-feast/
    • Our inability to kill and eat animals and process meat without sophisticated tools is telling.
      • Omnivores and carnivores who eat animals have the athletic prowess and anatomical features necessary to not only catch and kill their prey but also to tear and rip apart the carcass and process it for eating.
      • Humans lack these features and must use sophisticated tools, such as spears and knives, to accomplish these tasks.
    • The adverse effects of eating animal products suggest that we are more herbivorous.
      • Supporting the contention that our evolution and physiology are herbivorous is the overwhelming scientific evidence that eating animal products contributes to all manner of health problems, including increased risk for obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.394M.D, Michael Greger, and Gene Stone. How Not to Die: Discover the Foods Scientifically Proven to Prevent and Reverse Disease. 1 edition. New York: Flatiron Books, 2015 395“The China Study: The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted and the Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss and Long-Term Health: Thomas M. Campbell II and T. Colin Campbell: 8580001064130: Amazon.Com: Books.” Accessed January 12, 2018. https://www.amazon.com/China-Study-Comprehensive-Nutrition-Implications/dp/B006DUKW0E/ref=tmm_hrd_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1515791692&sr=1-1 396Davis, Brenda, and Melina Vesanto. Becoming Vegan: The Complete Reference to Plant-Based Nutrition (Comprehensive Edition). Accessed January 12, 2018. https://www.amazon.com/Becoming-Vegan-Reference-Plant-Based-Comprehensive/dp/1570672970/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1515791822&sr=1-1 397“PlantBasedResearch | An Online Library of Research Relevant to Plant-Based Nutrition.” Accessed January 12, 2018. http://plantbasedresearch.org/
    • Extra
      • Widely reported but unverified quote:
        • The following quote will only be incorporated into the Article Tab and Clipboard Tab if an original source is found.
        • "Most of mankind for most of human history has lived on vegetarian or near-vegetarian diets.” —American Dietetic Association, now the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
  • The notion of a natural diet is problematic.
    • The concept of a natural diet might make some sense in the context of gatherers and hunters. But since the invention of agriculture, with its selective breeding of both plant and animal species, the label loses its meaning.
    • To make the claim that humans are natural omnivores, one needs to define what is meant by "natural" in this context.
      • If by "natural" you are referring to the ability to obtain nutrients, then humans are omnivores, as we can digest both plants and meat. But, as shown earlier, that still cannot negate the case for veganism.
      • If you mean it's natural because it's nutritionally the best diet for humans, then you are on shaky ground. There's an increasingly large body of research, as mentioned and cited above, supporting the contention that the closer we are to a varied herbivorous diet, the greater our general health and the lower our risk for a multitude of chronic diseases.
    • The claim that humans are natural omnivores can be thought of as an example of the naturalistic fallacy. That is to say, being natural doesn't make something ethically or nutritionally sound.
  • Canine teeth are not indicators of dietary requirements.
    • Context
      • As elaborated on earlier, the argument for veganism does not depend on humans having any specific physical traits.
    • Hippopotamuses, gorillas, camels, and saber-toothed deer all have sizable canines, and all are herbivorous.
    • Sizable canines in herbivores are often used as much for defense as for eating.
    • The relatively short, blunted canines in humans can assist in biting into hard, crunchy plants (such as apples) and ripping vegetable matter, preparing the food for grinding by the other teeth.
    • Our canines are not adequate to kill animals or tear raw flesh for eating.
  • Front-facing eyes are not necessarily indicative of predator status.
    • Context
      • As elaborated on earlier, the argument for veganism does not depend on humans have any specific physical traits.
    • The claim is made that since many prey animals have eyes on the side of the head and many predator animals have eyes on the front of the head, it follows that humans, who have eyes on the front of the head, are designed to eat copious amounts of meat.
    • The point is made moot, however, not only by the fact that the argument for veganism does not depend on physical traits but also by the fact that our closest relatives in the animal kingdom, the primates, have eyes in the front of the head.
      • At least three advantages of frontal eyes for primates have been proposed:
        • Binocular vision is crucial for the manipulation of plant foods.
          • A study titled "Binocularity and brain evolution in primates," published by the National Academy of Sciences, concludes that "fine-grained stereopsis [binocular vision] is likely to be critical for the visually guided, delicate manipulation of plant foods."398Barton, R. A. “Binocularity and Brain Evolution in Primates.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 101, no. 27 (July 6, 2004): 10113–15. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.0401955101
        • The ability to "see through" foliage.
          • Theoretical neurobiologist Mark Changizi proposes in the Journal of Theoretical Biology the "X-ray vision" hypothesis. According to Changizi, front-facing eyes gave our ancestors the advantage of being able to "see through" the cluttered foliage in the forest. You can see this effect, he states, by placing a finger in front of your eyes and noting that the finger does not block the view of anything behind it.399Changizi, Mark A., and Shinsuke Shimojo. “‘X-Ray Vision’ and the Evolution of Forward-Facing Eyes.” Journal of Theoretical Biology 254, no. 4 (October 21, 2008): 756–67. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jtbi.2008.07.011
        • Arboreal locomotion requires accurate depth and distance perception.
          • The depth and distance perception afforded by front-facing eyes was useful to our ancestors in jumping from branch to branch and tree to tree.
          • This idea was proposed in 1922 by Edward Collins and has subsequently been expanded and refined.
          • Source400Goldman, Jason G. “Evolution: Why Do Your Eyes Face Forwards?” BBC, October 28, 2014. http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20141013-why-do-your-eyes-face-forwards
  • Meta
    • Context
      • Purpose
        • The purpose of this piece is to counter the objection to veganism that humans are natural omnivores because of our eating habits or other traits.
    • Contributors
      • Author: Greg Fuller
      • Copy Editor: Isaac Nickerson
    • Revisions
      • 2018-01-12 First published —glf
      • 2018-01-24 Copy editor's first pass —isn
“B12 is a problem for vegans, so a vegan diet is not natural.”
 Talking Points OutlineArticle
  • Context
    • This objection seeks to invalidate veganism and animal rights by asserting that vitamin B12 is problematic for vegans and that the need for B12 supplementation proves that a vegan diet is not natural. We show that even though it is true that most nutritionists recommend vegans supplement for B12, that fact does not make a vegan diet unnatural, and neither does it invalidate veganism.
    • B12 is produced by microorganisms in the soil and in the intestines of animals, including our own. The amount we produce is not sufficient to prevent deficiency.401Campbell, T. Colin, and Thomas M Campbell. The China Study: The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted and the Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss and Long-Term Health. 1 edition. Dallas, Tex: BenBella Books, 2004
    • B12 deficiency can be a serious issue and should not be taken lightly. While it's true that B12 can be obtained by eating animal flesh, getting adequate B12 through vegan sources is easy and inexpensive, as discussed below.
  • B12 supplementation is very inexpensive.
    • If concern over B12 is what's keeping you from becoming vegan, then the twelve cents a week that it costs to buy B12 supplements is a small price to pay to avoid harming animals—and to reap the health benefits and other positive consequences of veganism.
    • The "twelve cents a week" figure is based on Nature Made brand B12, sold at Walmart and other stores, in the biweekly dosage recommendation explained below. 402“Nature Made Vitamin B-12 Dietary Supplement Timed Release Tablets, 1000mcg, 190 Count.” Walmart.com. Accessed January 30, 2018. /ip/Nature-Made-Vitamin-B-12-Dietary-Supplement-Timed-Release-Tablets-1000mcg-190-count/36168191
  • Getting adequate B12 is easy.
    • For daily supplementation, dietitian Jack Norris (among others) recommends 25–100 micrograms of B12 in the form of cyanocobalamin.403Norris, Jack. “Daily Needs.” Vegan Health. Accessed January 30, 2018. https://veganhealth.org/daily-needs/ 
    • For biweekly supplementation, Norris (among others) recommends 1,000 micrograms twice a week in the form of cyanocobalamin.404ibid.
    • According to dietitian Brenda Davis, you can also get adequate B12 through fortified foods by consuming three servings of B12-fortified foods daily, with each serving supplying at least two micrograms.405Davis, Brenda, and Vesanto Melina. Becoming Vegan: The Complete Reference to Plant-Based Nutrition. Com edition. Book Pub Co, 2014. 221 Nondairy milk, breakfast cereals and bars, vegan meat substitutes, and nutritional yeast are commonly fortified with B12. This method requires more diligence and planning than supplementation.
  • The need for B12 supplements may be an artifact of modern living.
    • Countering the argument that our need for B12 supplementation proves that a vegan diet is not natural, Dr. Michael Klaper, T. Colin Campbell, Dr. Alan Goldhamer, and others believe that before our modern way of life, we would have gotten adequate B12 from the soil. Unlike previous times, during which one might say we lived a more natural life, our fruits, vegetables, and root crops are now grown in sterile soil and thoroughly washed, eliminating the B12 that would naturally be present in the food.
    • Supporting quotes:
      • Dr. Alan Goldhamer and Dr. Doug Lisle
        • "Upon reflection, we should note that in a more primitive setting, human beings almost certainly would have obtained an abundance of vitamin B12 from the bacterial 'contamination' of unwashed fresh fruits and vegetables, regardless of their intake of animal products. Human vitamin B12 deficiency is very unlikely to occur in such a setting. Only very small amounts of dietary vitamin B12 are needed because our bodies do a fabulous job of recycling this essential nutrient. A person living in the ancestral environment regularly would have consumed fresh fruits and vegetables that were not consistently, fastidiously cleaned, as we routinely do today. Our current unusual degree of hygiene is useful for combating many health threats, but may leave long-term, strict vegans vulnerable to the potential problem of vitamin B12 deficiency."406Goldhamer, Alan, and Doug Lisle. “Vitamin B12 Recommendations for Vegans | TrueNorth Health.” True North Health Center, May 26, 2010. http://www.healthpromoting.com/learning-center/articles/vitamin-b12-recommendations-vegans
      • Dr. T. Colin Campbell
        • "Vitamin B12 is made by microorganisms found in the soil and by microorganisms in the intestines of animals, including our own. The amount made in our intestines is not adequately absorbed, so it is recommended that we consume B12 in food. Research has convincingly shown that plants grown in healthy soil that has a good concentration of vitamin B12 will readily absorb this nutrient. However, plants grown in 'lifeless' soil (nonorganic soil) may be deficient in vitamin B12. In the United States, most of our agriculture takes place on relatively lifeless soil, decimated from years of unnatural pesticide, herbicide and fertilizer use. So the plants grown in this soil and sold in our supermarkets lack B12. In addition, we live in such a sanitized world that we rarely come into direct contact with the soil-borne microorganisms that produce B12. At one point in our history, we got B12 from vegetables that hadn’t been scoured of all soil. Therefore, it is not unreasonable to assume that modern Americans who eat highly cleansed plant products and no animal products are unlikely to get enough vitamin B12."407Campbell, T. Colin, and Thomas M Campbell. The China Study: The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted and the Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss and Long-Term Health. 1 edition. Dallas, Tex: BenBella Books, 2004
      • Dr. Michael Klaper
        • "In earlier times, humans acquired vitamin B12 in the same way. Our ancestors spent most of their daytime hours foraging for foods and most of their calories came from roots and tubers pulled up from the ground. Those plant parts were eaten without first being washed in (modern-day) chlorinated drinking water. As a result, humans ingested bacterial B12 from the surface of root vegetables, just as the grazing animals did (and do).
        • "When humans were thirsty, they would drink their fill from a stream and, in so doing, swallowed more B12-producing organisms in the stream water. Later, when wells were dug, vitamin B12 was present in almost every bucket of well water.
        • "Thus, until the beginning of the 20th century, humans (vegan or not) lived more earth-connected lives, ate harvested plants and drank from streams, rivers, and wells. As a result, there were ample B12 flowing through human bodies from the same, natural sources as swallowed and ingested by grazing animals, which means even vegans could expect to handily meet B12 needs without consuming animal flesh or dairy products.
        • "Now, however, traditional sources of B12 have been virtually obliterated by our modern, sanitized lifestyle. Root vegetables are now scrubbed and washed with chlorinated water, virtually eliminating every trace of natural B12 in the process.
        • "These days, few of us drink water from streams or wells and virtually all of our drinking water is chlorinated, which kills B12-producing organisms. Note: Although chlorination of water has eliminated a traditional source of B12, it also prevents water-borne diseases such as cholera, dysentery, and typhoid fever, which is of great benefit.
        • "As a consequence of the absence of traditional sources of B12, modern-day vegans must rely on vitamin B12 supplements to meet their B12 needs."408Klaper, Dr. Michael. “Vitamin B12 Basics.” Michael Klaper, M.D., Nutrition-Based Medicine, January 27, 2017. https://doctorklaper.com/answers/answers27
  • Prudence is advisable for any dietary regimen.
    • Everyone should take care to ensure they are not nutrient deficient no matter what their eating pattern. B12 is not the only nutrient of concern: according to the US Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (ODPHP), Americans are commonly deficient in seven nutrients: vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E, folate, vitamin C, calcium, and magnesium.409“Scientific Report of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, Part D Chapter 1.” Health.gov ODPHP, 2015. https://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015-scientific-report/06-chapter-1/d1-2.asp
    • In order to overcome these deficiencies, the ODPHP recommendation is to adopt a USDA healthy eating pattern,410ibid. such as a vegan diet.411“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/
  • The idea of a natural diet is problematic.
    • If a vegan diet is unnatural because of a need for supplementation, then perhaps being over fifty years old is unnatural, because those over fifty are commonly deficient in B12 and supplementation is recommended for anyone over fifty.412Institute of Medicine, and Food and Nutrition Board. Dietary Reference Intakes for Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Vitamin B12, Pantothenic Acid, Biotin, and Choline. 1 edition. Washington, D.C: National Academies Press, 2000. 306
    • Supporting quote:
      • "Because 10 to 30 percent of older people may be unable to absorb naturally occurring vitamin B12, it is advisable for those older than 50 years to meet their RDA mainly by consuming foods fortified with vitamin B12 or a vitamin B12-containing supplement."413ibid.
    • Following a similar line of reasoning, perhaps the proverbial standard American diet is unnatural because of the common deficiencies of the seven nutrients mentioned previously.
    • This idea of a natural diet might make some sense in the context of gatherers and hunters, but since the invention of agriculture, with its selective breeding of both plant and animal species, the label loses its meaning.
    • Also, the claim that a vegan diet is not natural is an example of the naturalistic fallacy. That is to say, being natural doesn't make something ethically or nutritionally sound. Hemlock is natural but not recommended for consumption.
  • Meta
    • Context
      • Purpose
        • The purpose of this piece is to counter the objection to veganism based on the need for B12 supplementation.
    • Contributors
      • Author: Greg Fuller
      • Copy Editor: Isaac Nickerson
    • Revisions
      • 2018-01-30 First published —glf
      • 2018-02-12 Copy editor's first pass —isn
“If we all go vegan, farm animals will either overrun the world or become extinct.”
 Talking Points OutlineArticle
  • Context
    • We often hear two related but opposite objections to animal rights and veganism—that if everyone went vegan, animals would either overrun the world or become extinct.
    • Of course, animals can't both overrun the world and become extinct at the same time. Yet these complaints are sometimes voiced, oddly enough, one after the other by the same person.
    • Neither objection has merit.
  • As more people become vegan, we will gradually stop breeding animals to be slaughtered.
    • Animals will not overrun the planet, because people will not all go vegan at once. Over fifty billion land animals are currently slaughtered annually for food.414“Meat Production Continues to Rise.” Worldwatch Institute, September 29, 2017. http://www.worldwatch.org/node/5443
    • As more people go vegan, the demand for animal products will decrease, resulting in less breeding and slaughter.
    • Animal agriculture, as a profit-driven business sector, will breed into existence only the number of animals that will cover projected sales. It's a simple matter of supply and demand.
  • Farm animals are genetic anomalies that we shouldn't continue to breed.
    • Farm animals are far different from their natural ancestors. After decades of carrying out selective breeding without regard for the well-being of the animals being bred, we have sadly made them freaks of nature.
    • Broiler chickens are a prime example.
      • Chickens raised for meat have more than doubled in weight in the past century, from 2.50 pounds in 1925 to 6.18 pounds in 2017.415“U.S. Broiler Performance.” The National Chicken Council (blog), September 26, 2017. http://www.nationalchickencouncil.org/about-the-industry/statistics/u-s-broiler-performance/
      • Through selective breeding, a chicken's breast has been engineered to now be huge in relation to the rest of the chicken's body.
      • The growth of these unfortunate birds has been accelerated to such an extent that the slaughter weight is reached in fewer than fifty-seven days. The excess weight and rapid growth cause leg problems, skeletal abnormalities, heart and lung disease, footpad dermatitis, ascites and acute heart failure, and high mortality.
      • Walking becomes so painful that the birds move only to get food and water, spending most of their time lying down.
      • Source416“Out of Sight, Out of Mind.” Georgians for Pastured Poultry, 2012. https://www.ciwf.com/media/1141326/outofsight-full-report.pdf
    • Other farm animals suffer similar deformities from selective breeding; the aim of such breeding is to produce the most meat, milk, and eggs in the shortest possible time with the least expense and the most profit.
    • These innocent individuals deserve our moral consideration, but it makes no sense for them to carry on as species, except for perhaps as small numbers of individuals in sanctuaries.
    • Their bodies are frail from selective breeding, their capacity to positively contribute to the ecosystem is diminished due to their lack of independence from the agricultural systems that created them, and they cannot live on their own in the wild.
    • They are creations of humankind and should be allowed to fade from existence.
  • Animal agriculture is likely the greatest cause of species extinction.
    • It's ironic that one would be concerned about the extinction of selectively bred farm animals when animal agriculture is a major cause of species extinction—most likely the greatest cause of species extinction—launching the planet into what scientists call the sixth mass extinction.
    • According to a systematic review published in Science of the Total Environment in 2015, which analyzed over 140 research papers and studies, "animal product consumption by humans is likely the leading cause of modern species extinctions, since it is not only the major driver of deforestation but also a principle driver of land degradation, pollution, climate change, overfishing, sedimentation of coastal areas, facilitation of invasions by alien species, and loss of wild carnivores and wild herbivores."417Machovina, Brian, Kenneth J. Feeley, and William J. Ripple. “Biodiversity Conservation: The Key Is Reducing Meat Consumption.” Science of The Total Environment 536 (December 2015): 419–31. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2015.07.022
    • Another study, published in 2015 in Science Advances, confirms what many scientists have been saying, reporting there being "an exceptionally rapid loss of biodiversity over the last few centuries, indicating that a sixth mass extinction is already underway."418Ceballos, Gerardo, Paul R. Ehrlich, Anthony D. Barnosky, Andrés García, Robert M. Pringle, and Todd M. Palmer. “Accelerated Modern Human–induced Species Losses: Entering the Sixth Mass Extinction.” Science Advances 1, no. 5 (June 1, 2015): e1400253. https://doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.1400253
    • The studies cited here are just a couple of the many studies made by scientists in the last few years that reach essentially the same conclusions.
  • In summary, eating animals is the problem, not the remedy.
    • I hope you can see the absurdity in first declaring that we have to eat farm animals because they may overrun the earth if we don't and then proceeding to continue breeding said animals that might overrun the earth.
    • We have shown not only that will animals not overrun the earth but also that animal extinction is caused by eating animals and is remedied by the world going vegan, not the other way around.
  • Meta
    • Contributors
      • Author: Greg Fuller
      • Copy Editor: Isaac Nickerson
    • Revisions
      • 2018-02-01 Submitted to copy editor —glf
      • 2018-02-19 Copy editor's first pass —isn
“A vegan diet is not for everyone—it made me sick.”
 Talking Points OutlineArticle
  • Context
    • Occasionally we hear of someone who says they got sick, didn't feel well, or lacked energy on a vegan diet. While this is the opposite of what most new vegans experience, it's heard enough to warrant a response.
    • More often than not, these kinds of assertions are made without a professional diagnosis. And without a diagnosis, it's hard to say the cause of this for any one individual.
    • Nevertheless, we examine some possibilities and try to shed a little light on the topic, offering the following points gleaned from firsthand reports, personal experience, and those qualified to weigh in.
  • Keep in mind that we know of no nutrients that must come from animal products.
    • When the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Mayo Clinic, Harvard Public Health, Cleveland Clinic, and others say that plant-based diets are adequate and even advantageous,419Citations for each of the organizations mentioned are provided at http://justiceforanimals.org/objections/quote-we-need-animal-products-to-be-healthy/ they do not say "except that certain people must have meat, dairy, or eggs." Nor do they qualify their statements by pointing out nutrients that are difficult to obtain unless you eat animal products.
    • Science knows of no nutrient that cannot be obtained—and obtained in sufficient quantities for good health—outside the animal kingdom.
  • Realize that your malady may be caused by something other than your diet in general or your vegan diet in particular.
    • When you combine the fact that people get sick or feel bad for a multitude of reasons with the fact that self-diagnosis is often wrong, it seems at least possible that your troubles may not be caused by a vegan diet—or even by any diet at all. People get sick all the time and attribute that to various reasons, often without adequate justification.
  • Bio-individuality does not confer a need for animal products.
    • Sometimes the claim is made that because we are all different a vegan diet is not for everyone. It's true that bio-individuality may justifiably cause you to restrict or supplement your diet, but such restrictions have no connection to a vegan diet.
    • For example, if you have an allergy, you should avoid foods that trigger that allergy. If you are prone to kidney stones, you may decide to restrict oxalates and sodium.420“Kidney Stones | Health Topics | NutritionFacts.Org.” Accessed August 9, 2018. https://nutritionfacts.org/topics/kidney-stones/ If you have absorption problems with any particular nutrient, you may want to supplement for that nutrient. People with diabetes will want to minimize fatty foods and added sugars.421Barnard, Neal. “Does Sugar Cause Diabetes?” Text. The Physicians Committee, August 7, 2017. https://www.pcrm.org/nbBlog/does-sugar-cause-diabetes
    • But there is no scientific basis for saying that any given individual should not eat vegan because that individual is unique. The color of our hair and eyes, our height, and our body proportions, for instance, do not dictate which foods to eat. Some attempts to link physical or physiological traits to an optimum diet (attempts such as the blood-type diet), are regarded by the scientific community as lacking credibility.422“The Blood Type Diet: An Evidence-Based Review.” Healthline, June 4, 2017. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/the-blood-type-diet-review
  • Your body may need more time to acclimate.
    • Your body may need more time to adjust to the new way of eating. Some feel sickly and weak when they first start on a vegan diet. Then, as their body adjusts, these feelings go away and the nutritional advantages of a plant-based diet start to be realized.
  • You may be eating too much vegan junk food.
    • The science is clear that leaving animal products off the plate reduces your risks for chronic disease,423Citations for several prominent health organizations are provided at http://justiceforanimals.org/objections/quote-we-need-animal-products-to-be-healthy/ but that alone does not guarantee a healthy diet. You might not be getting enough nutrients because you are consuming too much vegan junk food, such as Oreos, potato chips, and cola.
  • You may not be getting enough calories.
    • Animal products and vegetable oils are calorie dense, while fruits and vegetables are nutrient dense.
    • It takes about 500 calories to fill a stomach with fruits and vegetables but about 1,000 calories to fill a stomach with meat.424Novick, MS, RD, Jeff. “Calorie Density Approach to Nutrition & Weight Management.” Forks Over Knives (blog), June 19, 2012. https://www.forksoverknives.com/the-calorie-density-approach-to-nutrition-and-lifelong-weight-management/
    • So if you are eating the same volume of plant foods as you previously ate of animal foods, it's possible you are not getting enough calories.
  • You may have introduced a food that causes a mild allergic reaction.
    • When you adopt a vegan, plant-based diet, it's likely you will be eating a number of foods you didn't previously consume. It's possible that one of those foods will contain an allergen.
  • Your body might need a different mix of macronutrients.
    • If your metabolism is high or you are an endurance athlete, you might benefit from a higher percentage of complex carbs.
    • If you are a bodybuilder or you have a job that constantly rips muscle tissue that needs to be rebuilt, you may need more protein. But before you go wild with the protein, please read our answer to the objection that vegans struggle with that nutrient.425http://justiceforanimals.org/objections/quote-protein-is-a-problem-for-vegans/
  • You may be deficient in vitamin B12.
    • All vegans should take care to ensure that they are getting adequate B12. Known symptoms of B12 deficiency include fatigue and weakness, but a deficiency can also lead to more serious disorders.426“Don’t Vegetarians Have Trouble Getting Enough Vitamin B12?” The Physicians Committee, October 13, 2010. https://www.pcrm.org/health/diets/vegdiets/dont-vegetarians-have-trouble-getting-enough
    • If you started a vegan diet recently, your chance of being deficient in B12 is probably small unless you started with a deficiency. This is because your body normally stores enough to last well over a year.427Folate, Institute of Medicine (US) Standing Committee on the Scientific Evaluation of Dietary Reference Intakes and its Panel on. Estimation of the Period Covered by Vitamin B12 Stores. National Academies Press (US), 1998. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK114329
    • We cover this more fully in our response to the objection that “B12 is a problem for vegans, so a vegan diet is not natural,” which includes recommendations for supplementation. Virtually all professionals familiar with the topic recommend that vegans supplement for B12.
  • You may be one of the few people who need to supplement with more than vitamin B12.
    • Dr. Michael Klaper believes that it's possible some people may not be able to adjust to a vegan diet without supplementation beyond B12.
    • He provides a discussion of the physiological process that may be at work in these cases and suggests a regiment of supplementation that might address the problems. He also offers suggestions on what to do if, after 12 months of supplementation, your situation has not improved.428Klaper, M.D., Michael, and John Allen Mollenhaur. “The Failure to Thrive–Speculations on the Nutritional Adequacy of 100% Plant-Based Diets.” Nutrient Rich Superfoods (blog), November 11, 2012. https://nutrientrich.com/premium/the-failure-to-thrive-speculations-on-the-nutritional-adequacy-of-100-plant-based-diets-by-michael-klaper-m-d.html 429Klaper, Michael. “Vegan Health Study.” Vegan Health Study by Michael Klaper, M.D., January 4, 2017.(https://veganhealthstudy.org/ 430Plant Based Science London. Why Giving Up Meat Makes You Feel Ill-Carnitine! Dr Michael Klaper, 2016. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ps4RN9RezEQ 431Klaper, M.D., Michael. “Thriving on a Plant-Based Diet.” Michael Klaper, M.D., Nutrition-Based Medicine, November 2015. https://doctorklaper.com/webinars/thriving-on-a-plant-based-diet/
    • It's a good idea to get a professional diagnosis for any suspected nutrient deficiency, as some supplements can be harmful.432Novick, MS, RD, LD, LN, Jeff. “Q & A’s.” JEFF NOVICK. Accessed August 9, 2018. https://jeffnovick.com/RD/Q_&_As/Entries/2012/10/18_Supplements.html
  • You may be using the vegan diet as an excuse, subconsciously or not.
    • It's true that a small number of people have health-related issues that are triggered by the transition to a vegan diet. But it's also likely that in some cases, such issues are used as an excuse to give up on their vegan diet. And for some, this could be on a subconscious level.
    • Humans are experts at rationalization, as Ben Franklin realized when he said, "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."433Franklin, Benjamin. The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin. AmazonClassics, 2017. 48-49
  • Some do well on the second attempt.
    • Some have reported that on the second attempt at eating vegan, they did not experience any problems and instead felt better, as most of us have experienced.
    • Given the benefits of veganism to the animals, the planet, the starving and impoverished, and your own health,434http://justiceforanimals.org/basics/an-introduction-to-veganism/ please consider trying again, taking into consideration the information presented above.
  •  Meta
    • Contributors
      • Greg Fuller — Author
      • Isaac Nickerson — Copy Editor
      • Deborah Pageau B.Sc.  — Research
    • Revisions
      • 2018-08-09 Initial post completed —glf
      • 2018-09-17 Copy editor's first pass on article complete —isn
      • 2018-09-26 Added a talking point for B12 —glf
      • 2018-10-08 Copy editor's pass on point for B12 —isn
“God gave us dominion over animals and put them here for us to eat—and the Bible condones eating them.”
 Talking Points OutlineArticle
  • Context
    • This piece addresses several related objections to veganism and animal rights that center around religion. These objections seek to justify eating animals based on scripture and theology, enlisting several questionable or misconstrued ideas—that we have dominion over animals, that animals were put here for us to eat, and that scripture condones eating them.
    • Another related objection involving the question of souls is addressed separately in "Humans have souls—animals don’t."
    • Here we assume the perspective of the Christian religion, as Christianity is the predominant religion in the countries of most of our readers. See the last talking point for Christian, Jewish, and Muslim initiatives supporting veganism and vegetarianism.
  • Times were different then.
    • The Bible was likely written between 1400 BC and 100 AD, with much of the text centered around people living in the desert or semi-arid lands.435“When Was the Bible Written?” Biblica(blog), July 28, 2016. https://www.biblica.com/resources/bible-faqs/when-was-the-bible-written/
    • The people in those times and places most likely did not have available to them the abundance of fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, and grains that most of us enjoy today.
    • Nor did they have the science we now have that clearly shows we do not need to eat the flesh of animals or products that come out of animals to be healthy.436Fuller, Greg. “A Response to ‘We Need Animal Products to Be Healthy.’” Justice For Animals, October 29, 2016. http://justiceforanimals.org/objections/quote-we-need-animal-products-to-be-healthy/
    • It is not our intent to judge harshly the dietary choices of those whose circumstances differ from our own in the availability of foods or knowledge of nutrition.
    • But for people today to use circumstances of a time and place entirely removed from them as a justification for making choices that result in unnecessary suffering seems at a minimum, uncaring.
  • Because the Bible does not require us to eat animal products, we are each free to follow our own conscience.
    • Research reveals that most, if not all, Bible scholars who have addressed this issue (e.g., Rich Deem437Deem, Rich. “Should Christians Eat Meat or Should We Be Vegetarians?” God and Science. Accessed August 21, 2018. http://www.godandscience.org/doctrine/vegetarian.html ) believe that the Bible permits us to eat meat but does not require it. You would be hard-pressed to find a Christian scholar, philosopher, or cleric who believes that God requires us to eat animal products. If such people exist, they are outliers.
    • Because the Bible does not require us to eat animal products it would seem that each of us is free to follow our conscience on such matters. Even the conservative Christian group Focus on the Family,438Campaign, Human Rights. “10 Things You Should Know About Focus On The Family.” Human Rights Campaign. Accessed August 10, 2018. http://www.hrc.org/resources/10-things-you-should-know-about-focus-on-the-family/ which supports a literal interpretation of the Bible,439“How Do I Interpret the Bible?” Focus on the Family, April 27, 2009. https://www.focusonthefamily.com/faith/the-study-of-god/how-do-we-know-the-bible-is-true/how-do-i-interpret-the-bible says that "the New Testament makes it abundantly clear that followers of Jesus are free to follow the dictates of their conscience when it comes to matters of dietary regimen."440“Vegans, Vegetarians, and the Bible.” Focus on the Family, August 9, 2012. https://www.focusonthefamily.com/family-q-and-a/faith/vegans-vegetarians-and-the-bible
    • They further state that the idea that "vegetarianism was part of God's original purpose and plan for both man and the animals" is "not an unreasonable assumption."441“Vegans, Vegetarians, and the Bible.” Focus on the Family, August 9, 2012. https://www.focusonthefamily.com/family-q-and-a/faith/vegans-vegetarians-and-the-bible
  • The Bible seems to condone many practices that we no longer deem acceptable.
    • It's not difficult to find passages in the Bible that seem to support slavery, the subjugation of women, death for adulterers, and many other practices we now renounce, but Bible scholars have hermeneutically rejected the idea that Christianity is compatible with such beliefs. Since the Bible is contradictory on the subject of eating animals (discussed below), it’s hard to see why the same kind of reasoning does not also apply here.
  • The word dominion carries the obligations of stewardship and responsibility.
    • According to Genesis 1:26, "God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth."
    • Some believe this verse gives us permission to do whatever we wish to animals and the environment.
    • But many Bible scholars believe that the word dominion, in the context of this Bible verse and in its original Hebrew meaning, carries with it the obligations of stewardship and responsibility.442Bible Dominion Stewardship Responsibility - Google Search.” Google Search. Accessed August 21, 2018. https://www.google.com/search?q=bible+dominion+stewardship+responsibility
    • Today's animal agriculture industry, it could be argued, is the opposite of stewardship and responsibility, both in its disregard for the lives and suffering of animals, and its environmental destruction. See "An Introduction to Veganism" for details and citations.443Fuller, Greg. “An Introduction to Veganism.” Justice For Animals, May 29, 2018. http://justiceforanimals.org/basics/an-introduction-to-veganism/
  • The Bible does not support the notion that animals were put here for us to eat.
    • As is discussed below, Genesis 1:29 states that God gave man plants to eat for meat, with no mention of eating animals. Since the timeline of the Bible shows that animals were already created when that assertion was made, it's hard to argue that the Bible supports the notion that God put animals here for humankind to use for food.
  • The Bible presents the vegan diet as an ideal.
    • It could be argued from the Bible that God's original plan was for leaving animals off the plate. Genesis 1:29, which is of before the fall, states that "God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat."
    • And perhaps Isaiah 11:6–9 foresees a return to a meatless diet in depicting a world where carnivores coexist peacefully with herbivores, saying that "they shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain.” Wolfs and lambs, leopards and goats, and calves and lions shall lie down with each other, and “the lion shall eat straw like the ox."
  • Because the Bible seems to contradict itself on the topic of eating meat, it's hard to draw conclusions from the Bible.
    • While there are passages in the Bible that, at face value, seem to condone eating meat, there are also passages that seem to forbid it. For example, to quote the English Standard Version of the Bible, Romans 14:21 declares that "it is good not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything that causes your brother to stumble," while 1 Corinthians 10:25 says to "eat whatever is sold in the meat market without raising any question on the ground of conscience."
    • There are other similar passages in the Bible that either seem to be for or against eating animal flesh—so many, in fact, that it's hard to reach any definitive conclusion from them.
    • Verses that seem to be mostly against eating meat (these are from the English Standard Version of the Bible):
      • Leviticus 3:17: It shall be a statute forever throughout your generations, in all your dwelling places, that you eat neither fat nor blood.”
      • Leviticus 19:26: “You shall not eat any flesh with the blood in it. You shall not interpret omens or tell fortunes.
      • Isaiah 11:6–9: The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, and the calf and the lion and the fattened calf together; and a little child shall lead them. The cow and the bear shall graze; their young shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. The nursing child shall play over the hole of the cobra, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the adder's den. They shall not hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain; for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.
      • Isaiah 66:3: “He who slaughters an ox is like one who kills a man; he who sacrifices a lamb, like one who breaks a dog's neck; he who presents a grain offering, like one who offers pig's blood; he who makes a memorial offering of frankincense, like one who blesses an idol. These have chosen their own ways, and their soul delights in their abominations;
      • Acts 15:29: That you abstain from what has been sacrificed to idols, and from blood, and from what has been strangled, and from sexual immorality. If you keep yourselves from these, you will do well. Farewell.”
      • Romans 14:21: It is good not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything that causes your brother to stumble.
    • Verses that seem to mostly support eating meat (these are also from the English Standard Version of the Bible):
      • Genesis 1:29: And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food."
      • Genesis 9:3: "Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. And as I gave you the green plants, I give you everything."
      • Leviticus 11:1–47: "And the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying to them, “Speak to the people of Israel, saying, These are the living things that you may eat among all the animals that are on the earth. Whatever parts the hoof and is cloven-footed and chews the cud, among the animals, you may eat. Nevertheless, among those that chew the cud or part the hoof, you shall not eat these: The camel, because it chews the cud but does not part the hoof, is unclean to you. And the rock badger, because it chews the cud but does not part the hoof, is unclean to you."
      • Deuteronomy 12:20: "When the Lord your God enlarges your territory, as he has promised you, and you say, ‘I will eat meat,’ because you crave meat, you may eat meat whenever you desire."
      • Deuteronomy 14:1–29 "You shall not eat any abomination. These are the animals you may eat: the ox, the sheep, the goat, the deer, the gazelle, the roebuck, the wild goat, the ibex, the antelope, and the mountain sheep"
      • Deuteronomy 14:21: "You shall not eat anything that has died naturally. You may give it to the sojourner who is within your towns, that he may eat it, or you may sell it to a foreigner. For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. You shall not boil a young goat in its mother's milk."
      • Acts 10:9-15: "The next day, as they were on their journey and approaching the city, Peter went up on the housetop about the sixth hour to pray. And he became hungry and wanted something to eat, but while they were preparing it, he fell into a trance and saw the heavens opened and something like a great sheet descending, being let down by its four corners upon the earth. In it were all kinds of animals and reptiles and birds of the air. And there came a voice to him: 'Rise, Peter; kill and eat.'"
      • Romans 14:2: "One person believes he may eat anything, while the weak person eats only vegetables."
      • 1 Corinthians 10:25: "Eat whatever is sold in the meat market without raising any question on the ground of conscience."
  • There are Bible scholars who believe the Bible directly supports vegetarianism.
    • Although you would be hard pressed to find a Bible scholar who believes the Bible requires we eat animal products, it's not difficult to find Bible scholars who believe that the Bible directly supports abstaining from animal products.
    • Richard Alen Young, who teaches the New Testament at Temple Baptist Seminary, is one such scholar. In his book Is God a Vegetarian?: Christianity, Vegetarianism, and Animal Rights, he uses biblical ethics to make an argument for vegetarianism.444Young, Richard Alan. Is God a Vegetarian?: Christianity, Vegetarianism, and Animal Rights. Open Court, 2012
  • Religion-focused vegetarian and vegan associations can help you sort this out.
  • Meta
    • Contributors
      • Greg Fuller — Author
      • Isaac Nickerson — Copy Editor
    • Revisions
      • 08/22/2018 Initial post completed —glf
      • 09/19/2018 Copy editor's first pass on article complete —isn
Rebuttals
Copenhagen Cheese Research Shows Its Holes
 Talking Points OutlineArticle
  • Context
    • This is not at all pertinent to the argument for veganism.
    • Even if the health claims for cheese were true, we would still need to avoid cheese and all animal products because it's wrong to cause unnecessary suffering.
  • High-fat cheese reported being healthful.
    • A University of Copenhagen study445Raziani, F, T Tholstrup, MD Kristensen, ML Svanegaard, C Ritz, and A Raben. “High Intake of Regular-Fat Cheese Compared with Reduced-Fat Cheese Does Not Affect LDL Cholesterol or Risk Markers of the Metabolic Syndrome: A Randomized Controlled Trial.” Medscape, 2016. https://www.medscape.com/medline/abstract/27557654 has been reported to show that a diet rich in cheese might be good for health.446U.K. Telegraph, High Fat Cheese: The Secret to a Healthy Life?, Sept 20, 2016
  • The study was 100% funded by the dairy industry.
    • 50% funded by the Danish Dairy Research Foundation, Danish Agriculture and Food Council (Denmark)
    • 50% funded by the National Dairy Council (United States), the Dairy Farmers of Canada (Canada), Centre National Interprofessionel de l’Economie Laitière (France), Dairy Australia (Australia), and Nederlandse Zuivel Organisatie (Netherlands).
    • Source 447see author notes here
  • Industry-funded research is not reliable.
    • An article in the Journal of the American Medical Association concluded that "industry-sponsored nutrition research, like that of research sponsored by the tobacco, chemical, and pharmaceutical industries, almost invariably produces results that confirm the benefits or lack of harm of the sponsor’s products, even when independently sponsored research comes to opposite conclusions.”448JAMA, Food Industry Funding of Nutrition Research
  • Dairy is harmful.
    • Dairy has many health risks.
      • contributes to cardiovascular disease and diabetes,
      • results in higher risk for certain cancers, particularly prostate and breast cancer
      • may cause lactose intolerance symptoms, including gastrointestinal distress, diarrhea, and flatulence
      • contains contaminants that range from hormones to pesticides.
      • yet has little or no benefit for bones
      • Source 449PCRM, Health Concerns About Dairy Products
    • Dairy cows are harmed and suffer greatly.
      •  they endure several cycles of artificial insemination, pregnancy, calf separation anxiety and unnaturally excessive milking before they become unable to produce milk.450freefromharm.org, "Ten Dairy Facts the Industry Doesn't Want You To Know
      • Then they are slaughtered, often for hamburger meat.
  •  Meta
    • Purpose
      • To show that the recent Copenhagen cheese research, and the way it is reported in the media, is misleading and potentially damaging to our health.
    • Contributors
      • Greg Fuller —Author
      • Carolyn Blackman —Proofreader
    • Revisions
      • 1.20.2017 First Published —glf
      • 2.7.2015 Added Meta —glf

Footnotes   [ + ]

1.“History | Vegan Society.” The Vegan Society. Accessed October 13, 2017. https://www.vegansociety.com/about-us/history
2.“History | Vegan Society.” The Vegan Society. Accessed October 13, 2017. https://www.vegansociety.com/about-us/history
3.“The Vegan News No. 3 May 1945.” Issuu, May 1945. https://issuu.com/vegan_society/docs/the-vegan-news-no.-3-may-1945
4.“History | Vegan Society.” The Vegan Society. Accessed October 13, 2017. https://www.vegansociety.com/about-us/history
5.Watkins, Donald. “The Vegan News - No. 1.” UK Veggie, November 1944. http://ukveggie.com/vegan_news/
6.Genesis 1:29
7.“History of Vegetarianism - Extracts from Some Journals 1843-48.” International Vegetarian Union. Accessed October 18, 2017. https://ivu.org/history/vegetarian.html
8.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/
9.Magee, Bryan. The Story of Philosophy. DK Pub., 1998. 15
10.Porphyry, “Porphyry, Life of Pythagoras Translated by Kenneth Sylvan Guthrie,” 1920, http://www.tertullian.org/fathers/porphyry_life_of_pythagoras_02_text.htm
11.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
12.White, Michael. Leonardo: The First Scientist. 1st edition. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2000, 131
13.Horowitz, David. “History of Vegetarianism - Leonardo Da Vinci (1452-1519).” International Vegetarian Union, July 19, 2002. https://ivu.org/history/davinci/hurwitz.html
14.White, Michael. Leonardo: The First Scientist. 1st edition. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2000, 131
15.McCurdy, Edward. The Mind of Leonardo Da Vinci. Dover Ed edition. Dover Publications, 2013, 78.
16.da Vinci, Leonardo. Leonardo Da Vinci’s Note-Books: Arranged and Rendered into English with Introductions. Empire State Book Company, 1908
17.Horowitz, David. “History of Vegetarianism - Leonardo Da Vinci (1452-1519).” International Vegetarian Union, July 19, 2002. https://ivu.org/history/davinci/hurwitz.html
18.Davis, John. “Shelley—The First Celebrity Vegan.” Vegsource.com, January 5, 2011. http://www.vegsource.com/john-davis/shelley---the-first-celebrity-vegan.html
19.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
20.Ibid.
21.“History of Vegetarianism - Shelley - Extracts from Writing on the Vegetable Diet.” Accessed October 19, 2017. https://ivu.org/history/shelley/prose.html
22.Tolstoy, Leo. 1900. The First Step: An Essay on the Morals of Diet, to Which Are Added Two Stories. Albert Broadbent. 61, 6
23.Ibid., 58-59.
24.Tolstoy, Leo. 1900. The First Step: An Essay on the Morals of Diet, to Which Are Added Two Stories. Albert Broadbent.
25.Tolstoy, Leo. 1900. The First Step: An Essay on the Morals of Diet, to Which Are Added Two Stories. Albert Broadbent. 51
26.Tolstoy, Leo. 1900. The First Step: An Essay on the Morals of Diet, to Which Are Added Two Stories. Albert Broadbent. 61, 6
27.Ibid., 50.
28.Ibid., 53-54.
29.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/
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32.Gandhi, Mahatma. Autobiography: The Story of My Experiments with Truth. Courier Corporation, 1948, 208
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34.“Mohandas K. Gandhi (1869-1948).” International Vegetarian Union. Accessed October 16, 2017. https://ivu.org/history/gandhi/index.html
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37.Gandhi, Mahatma. Autobiography: The Story of My Experiments with Truth. Courier Corporation, 1948, 208
38.Mahatma, Gandhi. “The Moral Basis of Vegetarianism.” International Vegetarian Union, November 20, 1931. https://ivu.org/news/evu/other/gandhi2.html
39.Gandhi, Mahatma. Autobiography: The Story of My Experiments with Truth. Courier Corporation, 1948, 208
40.Mahatma, Gandhi. “The Moral Basis of Vegetarianism.” International Vegetarian Union, November 20, 1931. https://ivu.org/news/evu/other/gandhi2.html
41.Franklin, Benjamin. The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin. AmazonClassics, 2017. 38
42.Ibid., 23.
43.Ibid., 48-49.
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139.Ibid., 105
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161.Ibid., 1:29
162.Ibid., 51.01.
163.Ibid., 35:48.
164.Ibid., 44:30.
165.Ibid., 48:52.
166.Ibid., 46:40.
167.Ibid., 51:45
168.Ibid., 37:06.
169.Ibid., 37:06.
170.Ibid., 40.47.
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398.Barton, R. A. “Binocularity and Brain Evolution in Primates.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 101, no. 27 (July 6, 2004): 10113–15. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.0401955101
399.Changizi, Mark A., and Shinsuke Shimojo. “‘X-Ray Vision’ and the Evolution of Forward-Facing Eyes.” Journal of Theoretical Biology 254, no. 4 (October 21, 2008): 756–67. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jtbi.2008.07.011
400.Goldman, Jason G. “Evolution: Why Do Your Eyes Face Forwards?” BBC, October 28, 2014. http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20141013-why-do-your-eyes-face-forwards
401.Campbell, T. Colin, and Thomas M Campbell. The China Study: The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted and the Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss and Long-Term Health. 1 edition. Dallas, Tex: BenBella Books, 2004
402.“Nature Made Vitamin B-12 Dietary Supplement Timed Release Tablets, 1000mcg, 190 Count.” Walmart.com. Accessed January 30, 2018. /ip/Nature-Made-Vitamin-B-12-Dietary-Supplement-Timed-Release-Tablets-1000mcg-190-count/36168191
403.Norris, Jack. “Daily Needs.” Vegan Health. Accessed January 30, 2018. https://veganhealth.org/daily-needs/ 
404.ibid.
405.Davis, Brenda, and Vesanto Melina. Becoming Vegan: The Complete Reference to Plant-Based Nutrition. Com edition. Book Pub Co, 2014. 221
406.Goldhamer, Alan, and Doug Lisle. “Vitamin B12 Recommendations for Vegans | TrueNorth Health.” True North Health Center, May 26, 2010. http://www.healthpromoting.com/learning-center/articles/vitamin-b12-recommendations-vegans
407.Campbell, T. Colin, and Thomas M Campbell. The China Study: The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted and the Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss and Long-Term Health. 1 edition. Dallas, Tex: BenBella Books, 2004
408.Klaper, Dr. Michael. “Vitamin B12 Basics.” Michael Klaper, M.D., Nutrition-Based Medicine, January 27, 2017. https://doctorklaper.com/answers/answers27
409.“Scientific Report of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, Part D Chapter 1.” Health.gov ODPHP, 2015. https://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015-scientific-report/06-chapter-1/d1-2.asp
410.ibid.
411.“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/
412.Institute of Medicine, and Food and Nutrition Board. Dietary Reference Intakes for Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Vitamin B12, Pantothenic Acid, Biotin, and Choline. 1 edition. Washington, D.C: National Academies Press, 2000. 306
413.ibid.
414.“Meat Production Continues to Rise.” Worldwatch Institute, September 29, 2017. http://www.worldwatch.org/node/5443
415.“U.S. Broiler Performance.” The National Chicken Council (blog), September 26, 2017. http://www.nationalchickencouncil.org/about-the-industry/statistics/u-s-broiler-performance/
416.“Out of Sight, Out of Mind.” Georgians for Pastured Poultry, 2012. https://www.ciwf.com/media/1141326/outofsight-full-report.pdf
417.Machovina, Brian, Kenneth J. Feeley, and William J. Ripple. “Biodiversity Conservation: The Key Is Reducing Meat Consumption.” Science of The Total Environment 536 (December 2015): 419–31. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2015.07.022
418.Ceballos, Gerardo, Paul R. Ehrlich, Anthony D. Barnosky, Andrés García, Robert M. Pringle, and Todd M. Palmer. “Accelerated Modern Human–induced Species Losses: Entering the Sixth Mass Extinction.” Science Advances 1, no. 5 (June 1, 2015): e1400253. https://doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.1400253
419.Citations for each of the organizations mentioned are provided at http://justiceforanimals.org/objections/quote-we-need-animal-products-to-be-healthy/
420.“Kidney Stones | Health Topics | NutritionFacts.Org.” Accessed August 9, 2018. https://nutritionfacts.org/topics/kidney-stones/
421.Barnard, Neal. “Does Sugar Cause Diabetes?” Text. The Physicians Committee, August 7, 2017. https://www.pcrm.org/nbBlog/does-sugar-cause-diabetes
422.“The Blood Type Diet: An Evidence-Based Review.” Healthline, June 4, 2017. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/the-blood-type-diet-review
423.Citations for several prominent health organizations are provided at http://justiceforanimals.org/objections/quote-we-need-animal-products-to-be-healthy/
424.Novick, MS, RD, Jeff. “Calorie Density Approach to Nutrition & Weight Management.” Forks Over Knives (blog), June 19, 2012. https://www.forksoverknives.com/the-calorie-density-approach-to-nutrition-and-lifelong-weight-management/
425.http://justiceforanimals.org/objections/quote-protein-is-a-problem-for-vegans/
426.“Don’t Vegetarians Have Trouble Getting Enough Vitamin B12?” The Physicians Committee, October 13, 2010. https://www.pcrm.org/health/diets/vegdiets/dont-vegetarians-have-trouble-getting-enough
427.Folate, Institute of Medicine (US) Standing Committee on the Scientific Evaluation of Dietary Reference Intakes and its Panel on. Estimation of the Period Covered by Vitamin B12 Stores. National Academies Press (US), 1998. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK114329
428.Klaper, M.D., Michael, and John Allen Mollenhaur. “The Failure to Thrive–Speculations on the Nutritional Adequacy of 100% Plant-Based Diets.” Nutrient Rich Superfoods (blog), November 11, 2012. https://nutrientrich.com/premium/the-failure-to-thrive-speculations-on-the-nutritional-adequacy-of-100-plant-based-diets-by-michael-klaper-m-d.html
429.Klaper, Michael. “Vegan Health Study.” Vegan Health Study by Michael Klaper, M.D., January 4, 2017.(https://veganhealthstudy.org/
430.Plant Based Science London. Why Giving Up Meat Makes You Feel Ill-Carnitine! Dr Michael Klaper, 2016. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ps4RN9RezEQ
431.Klaper, M.D., Michael. “Thriving on a Plant-Based Diet.” Michael Klaper, M.D., Nutrition-Based Medicine, November 2015. https://doctorklaper.com/webinars/thriving-on-a-plant-based-diet/
432.Novick, MS, RD, LD, LN, Jeff. “Q & A’s.” JEFF NOVICK. Accessed August 9, 2018. https://jeffnovick.com/RD/Q_&_As/Entries/2012/10/18_Supplements.html
433.Franklin, Benjamin. The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin. AmazonClassics, 2017. 48-49
434.http://justiceforanimals.org/basics/an-introduction-to-veganism/
435.“When Was the Bible Written?” Biblica(blog), July 28, 2016. https://www.biblica.com/resources/bible-faqs/when-was-the-bible-written/
436.Fuller, Greg. “A Response to ‘We Need Animal Products to Be Healthy.’” Justice For Animals, October 29, 2016. http://justiceforanimals.org/objections/quote-we-need-animal-products-to-be-healthy/
437.Deem, Rich. “Should Christians Eat Meat or Should We Be Vegetarians?” God and Science. Accessed August 21, 2018. http://www.godandscience.org/doctrine/vegetarian.html
438.Campaign, Human Rights. “10 Things You Should Know About Focus On The Family.” Human Rights Campaign. Accessed August 10, 2018. http://www.hrc.org/resources/10-things-you-should-know-about-focus-on-the-family/
439.“How Do I Interpret the Bible?” Focus on the Family, April 27, 2009. https://www.focusonthefamily.com/faith/the-study-of-god/how-do-we-know-the-bible-is-true/how-do-i-interpret-the-bible
440.“Vegans, Vegetarians, and the Bible.” Focus on the Family, August 9, 2012. https://www.focusonthefamily.com/family-q-and-a/faith/vegans-vegetarians-and-the-bible
441.“Vegans, Vegetarians, and the Bible.” Focus on the Family, August 9, 2012. https://www.focusonthefamily.com/family-q-and-a/faith/vegans-vegetarians-and-the-bible
442.Bible Dominion Stewardship Responsibility - Google Search.” Google Search. Accessed August 21, 2018. https://www.google.com/search?q=bible+dominion+stewardship+responsibility
443.Fuller, Greg. “An Introduction to Veganism.” Justice For Animals, May 29, 2018. http://justiceforanimals.org/basics/an-introduction-to-veganism/
444.Young, Richard Alan. Is God a Vegetarian?: Christianity, Vegetarianism, and Animal Rights. Open Court, 2012
445.Raziani, F, T Tholstrup, MD Kristensen, ML Svanegaard, C Ritz, and A Raben. “High Intake of Regular-Fat Cheese Compared with Reduced-Fat Cheese Does Not Affect LDL Cholesterol or Risk Markers of the Metabolic Syndrome: A Randomized Controlled Trial.” Medscape, 2016. https://www.medscape.com/medline/abstract/27557654
446.U.K. Telegraph, High Fat Cheese: The Secret to a Healthy Life?, Sept 20, 2016
447.see author notes here
448.JAMA, Food Industry Funding of Nutrition Research
449.PCRM, Health Concerns About Dairy Products
450.freefromharm.org, "Ten Dairy Facts the Industry Doesn't Want You To Know