Veganism Essay, Research Paper
Veganism can dramatically alter ones life forever, often producing deep emotional
changes. Although choosing veganism is a source of great joy, it can also create friction among
family and friends. Cultural pressures, the demand for conformity, and the personal desire for
acceptance can challenge a vegans confidence and self-esteem.
Because vegans so acutely see and feel the suffering of the world, and are at odds with
many widely accepted social customs, some will invariably experience occasional bouts of the
Vegans who experience anger, pain, or frustration for extended amounts of time may
become depressed and exhausted from maintain such strong emotions. Feelings of loneliness,
isolation, or rejection can compound matters, leading to despondency in an otherwise emotionally
healthy person. Holidays and celebrations such as birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, and
reunions are opportunities to reconnect with family and friend and feel like a part of the broader
culture. However, most gatherings center around customs and practices that are very upsetting to
vegans. Meat is typically the center of the holiday table and the focal point of picnics and
barbecues. Although most happy occasions are intended to convey a spirit of fellowship and
conviviality, they can be extremely uncomfortable and unpleasant experiences for vegans.
Consequently, it is not surprising that many vegans feel torn over their allegiances and may
distance themselves from family and community celebrations. They may opt instead to participate
in alternative festivities or start their own traditions with others who share their perspectives and
The most difficult challenge for me in being a vegan is the separation and distance. I often
feel far from others who are not vegan. It is no longer comfortable for me to sit down at a table
where animal products are being served. I feel that I know too much, and it is so painful to be
aware of the profound suffering and misery that is represented on the table. This is especially true
at celebrations such as Passover, Christmas, Thanksgiving, etc… where the the holiday is about
freedom and gratitude. Oppressing and harming others while we speak words of thanksgiving
feels hypocritical and wrong to me.
People who profess to be animal advocates yet eat meat, eggs, or dairy products or wear
leather shoes and belts apply contrary rules of ethics. They are known as people with selective
compassion. Their actions imply that one group of animals the one they represent has a greater
right to life than another and suggest that sacrificing habit, fashion, and beauty, comfort, or taste
is a worse evil than taking an animal s life or making an animal suffer
Some activities vegans are against are rodeos, marine mammal parks, circuses, zoos,
fishing, racing( dog and horse) and hunting which is probably the worst activity.
Hunting, hunters proclaim, instills in its devotees such noble qualities as self-reliance,
ruggedness, discipline, and courage. But in fact, hunters skulk about the forest in camouflage,
wait in ambush for their victims, and kill at a long range with overpowering, technological
weapons, often going to extraordinary lengths to lure their unsuspecting prey into a violent death.
Equally important is the fact that hunters are rarely in any danger from the animals that they hunt.
They inflict pain and death on creatures who cannot hurt them. Even animals who could pose a
threat, such as bears or cougars, would normally run rather than fight a human unless they are
cornered or protecting their young. Hunters entrap and frequently shoot terrified animals in the
back as they flee for their lives. Often, hunters tempt animals with a false promise of a mate, and
then kill the trusting creatures who are duped by their bait. Also 17 million animals are trapped in
the United States each year for fur, many traps are so painful that the animals chew through their
own limbs to escape.
Some materials Vegans do not wear consist of leather, wool, fur, etc. Most people
believe that shearing is not only harmless, but necessary to rid sheep of excess wool foisted on
them by nature. Like much information about animal-agriculture practices, this, too, is a myth.
Merinos are the most commonly raised wool producing sheep. Their unnatural skin folds and
excessive coats cause severe heat exhaustion and fly infestations. To reduce fly problems, the
sheep are subject to mulesing, a surgical procedure performed on about 20 % of Australia s 150
million sheep. The great majority of wool used for clothing in the United States comes from
Australia, which produces nearly one-third of the world s supply. Mulesing involves cutting large
strips of flesh off of the hind legs of 4 week old lambs. Another procedure is called tail docking,
designed to maintain the salable condition of the wool surrounding a sheep s anus, whereby the
tail and some skin are cut off with a knife. Because of economic and logistic considerations, these
procedures are performed on fully conscious lambs without analgesic, producing varying degrees
of acute pain that may last for hours or even days. Sheep, like most farmed animals, have been
genetically manipulated. Previously sheep shed their wool naturally. Today modern sheep,
however, produce abnormally excessive amounts of wool. As a result, they are no longer capable
of shedding their wool and must be shorn. Sheep shearers are paid by piece rate; the more sheep
sheared, the more money they earn. Therefore, speed alone dictates the shearing process.
Because there is no incentive to deal with the animals carefully, the sheep are often violently
handled. As a result, sheep are frequently cut and injured during a shearing. After being sheared,
the animals must endure extreme weather conditions without protection. A closely shaven sheep
is more sensitive to cold than a naked human, since a sheep s natural body temperature is much
higher than ours, roughly about 102 degrees. During cold weather, hundreds of thousands of
sheep die of exposure or freeze to death, and in hot weather, freshly shorn sheep suffer painful
Leather must be treated to prevent it from rotting or becoming extremely rigid in the cold
or flaccid in the heat; thereby rendering it unusable. Treatments to leather are environmentally
unsound; in addition, they preserve the animals skin and make it incapable of biodegrading.
Leather tanneries not only emit a foul odor, but also produce a host of pollutants, including lead,
zinc, formaldehyde, dyes, and cyanide based chemicals. Tannery runoff contains those toxic
substances as well as large amounts of hair, proteins, salt, sludge, sulfides, and acids, which are
discharged into rivers and groundwater. Furthermore, workers in the tannery are exposed to
carcinogenic substances such as coal, tar derivatives, toxic chemicals, and noxious waste.
Purchasing leather goods supports the ongoing contamination of our air, land, and water from
The United States cattle industry produces 158 million tons of waste per year, and live
stock production is the number one cause of water pollution in the United States. From 1960-
1985, over 40% of the Central American rainforests were destroyed to create grazing land for
cattle. Understandably, dairy farmers want the public to desire their products and feel good about
using them. Even though human beings are the only creatures on Earth that consume another
animal s milk after growing old enough to not need it anymore. As a result, the dairy industry has
painted a utopian but highly fallacious image of modern dairy production. Impressions aside,
dairy is a big business and with all business, interests boil down to the bottom line. 70% of dairy
cows and 25% of heifers are bred artificially. Genetic manipulation is customary and rampant.
Dairy cows suffer the entirety of their brief lives enduring illness and pain caused by barbaric
confinement practices, rigorous automatic milking systems, endless cycles if pregnancies, artificial
inseminations, drugs, hormones, and genetic manipulations, prior to facing the ultimate horror of
death, making dairy production certainly as brutal and murderous a trade as meat production. But
because the dairy industry is shrouded with in civic approval leveraged by powerful lobbying
force, it receives extensive governmental subsidies, has a stranglehold on our federally funded
school lunch programs, and has carried favor with the medical and healthcare communities. The
blood and tears that go into every glass of milk are masked by manipulative marketing crusades,
couched in political pretense, and made virtually invisible to an oblivious and trusting public,
making dairy products perhaps even more distasteful to vegans than meat.
Chickens wingspan is 30 to 32 inches and four to six chickens are typically crowded into a
16 inch wide cage making it impossible to stretch their wings or walk Since they are in such a
confined space they go insane just like anyone would, they turn to cannibalism and pecking at
each other usually eating their eyes. So to stop these acts, handlers have come up with a method
called debeaking where they cut off the chickens beaks. When they do this, they are cutting
through bone, cartilage, and delicate soft tissue.
Male chicks are of no use to the egg industry because they can not produce eggs and do
not grow large enough to be sold profitably for meat. Consequently, they are disposed of by the
quickest and cheapest methods, most often suffocation(thrown into a garbage bag), gassing,
drowning, or being ground up alive for animal feed. All egg hatcheries commit these atrocities.
Whether they provide hens for factory farms or free range farms, approximately 200 million male
chicks die these ways each year.
This is just a brief rundown of why Vegans are the way they are. They see life for what it
really is and stop their everyday routine to be conscious about the suffering around them. They
are the people who act out in defense and voice their opinions on society to say that what people
are doing is wrong, hurtful, and evil. Society must open its eyes and realize it is being force fed
death, disease, and suffering from all of the dead bodies of other animals just to make a profit.
Some Vegans and Vegetarians:
Einstein, Ghandi, Jesus Christ, Voltaire, Thoreau, Leonardo DaVinci, Mark Twain, Plato,
You are what you eat – American proverb
People often say that humans have always eaten animals, as if this is a justification for
continuing the practice. According to this logic, we should not try to prevent people from
murdering other people, since this has also been done since the earliest of times. – Isaac Singer
Think of the fierce energy concentrated in an acorn. You bury it in the ground, and it
explodes into a great oak. Bury a sheep, nothing happens but decay -George Bernard Shaw
You put a baby in a crib with an apple and a rabbit. If it eats the rabbit, and plays with
the rabbit, I ll buy you a new car – Harvey Diamond