Why I am a Vegan

I've been a vegan for well over a decade, and vegetarian since 1981. Frequently, I'm asked "why?" This document is intended to share some of my reasoning, and perhaps inspire other people to also pursue a lifestyle less damaging to animals.

My original reasoning for shunning meat products, which I arrived at while in high school, is still the primary motivation: I have a moral objection to the raising of animals for consumption.

This ethical reasoning is based on the belief that animals raised for food often have uncomfortable -- even cruel -- lives, ended earlier than would otherwise occur. In fact, farm-raised food animals would not even have been born, except to end up as food. This, to me, is insane. If the same standard were applied to people, we'd raise people simply to be slaves (or food, or experimental subjects, etc.) and feel no guilt when their period of performance is complete and it's time to retire them.

Over the years, I've had many thoughts, discussions and readings on the matter of food, nutrition, ethics, and related topics. Some observations:

A few more thoughts:

To sum up: Meat is barbaric. Use of animals for food is evil, and indefensible.

Part of why I've posted this web page is for me to point to when people ask me, "why are you a vegan?" In short, my answer is that it's barbaric to consume animals. In most situations it's impolite to tell people to their faces (perhaps over the dinner table) that I believe they are behaving as unethical barbarians, patsy to the food industry, and pursuing an unhealthy lifestyle. So, instead, I'm writing it. I hope this little essay will change some people's minds.

During my time on Earth, I hope I can personally crawl from the barbaric era in which I was born to a somewhat higher level. Humanity has a long way to go, and I can't pretend to set any gold standards. I believe that avoiding consumption of animal products is a step in the right direction.

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