Tuesday, August 12, 2014
Reasons to Become a #VeganLeading physicians and nutritionists are calling dairy products "Liquid Meat", due to the nasty effect they have on our bodies! Did you know that most dairy products are full of saturated fat and cholesterol? Those dairy products have been linked to heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, autoimmune diseases and many cancers. Even fat-free dairy products are linked to many of these same problems!
For this review, I received a copy of Vegetarian to Vegan, by Sarah Taylor! I was very impressed with this book and I would highly recommend it to all of my readers. Becoming a #Vegan is like, taking your health into your own hands and promoting your health. It's a very informative book and it will surprise you in many different ways.
Do you know the difference between a vegan and vegetarian? Vegetarians don’t eat any flesh products, no meat, poultry or fish. While vegans, also avoid anything that comes from an animal, dairy products and eggs, but do eat vegetables, fruit, grains, beans, nuts and seeds. Vegetarians are most likely healthier than their meat-eating friends and family members, but many are overweight from eating high fat dairy products and eggs. They can also suffer from the same health issues as meat-eaters. Even though a vegetarian diet offers incredible benefits over the regular meat and dairy based diet, but it doesn't touch the suffering of the billions of animals in the dairy and egg industries! It's still extremely taxing on the environment and can sabotage your health.
That's where a vegan diet can solve all of those problems! The vegan diet does not cause harm on animals, minimal impact on the environment and is the optimal diet for human health. Many vegetarians complain that it's too hard to vegan and give up their favorite vegetarian foods, most of them say it's the cheese or chocolate.
Strong Reasons To Give Up Dairy!Have you ever heard how dairy cows and egg-laying hens are living in our country's factory farms? The dairy farms have decreased the need of cows by 50%, from about 22 million to 9.2 million between 1950 -2000 in the U.S, but have managed to triple their output per cow, while using less then half the number of cows. You probably are thinking, how can that be?
The poor cows pay heavily, as they are not machines and they do feel pain, as well as having emotions. By tripling a cow's natural production rate, it involves genetically and pharmaceutically manipulating the cow to produce more milk, than nature intended. The multitude of side effects are very disturbing.
You may think that the cows are in a grassy pasture, but nothing could be further from the truth! The majority of these poor cows are in factory farms, where they live in a building that house up to fifteen thousand cows!!! They are given a very small stall and the air quality is toxic, as well as unsanitary. They live under artificial lighting, stand in their own urine and feces. They fight off bacterial infections, viruses and respiratory illnesses, due to fact that they're living in waste and inhaling the toxic fumes. The cows rarely, if ever get to breathe fresh air or feel the sun on them.
Here are some other awful facts:
- Milking - The cows are hooked up to electric milking machines several times a day, which often cause cuts, injuries and in some cases repeated electric shocks! The vacuum pressure applied to the teats is also a major cause for a disease called mastitis.
- Pus in our Milk - Mastitis is a recurring problem that causes PUS to appear in the cow's milk. So, the cows are treated with antibiotics and their milk is not sellable until nearly all traces of the antibiotic are gone. The worst part of all of this, is that the U.S. regulations are actually allowing some pus and antibiotics to be in milk. The level of somatic cell counts (white blood cells that are pus) must not exceed 750,000 per milliliter. One glass of milk, then, can have 180,000,000 pus cells and still be deemable for human consumption! How does that make you feel? That's just gross!
- Dehorning - Dairy cows are usually born with horn tissue and if left alone would grow into horns. Dehorning is usually done with a searing hot blade, where they slice off the tissue or horn. They have also been known to use a handsaw, blade or chemicals to take the horns off. The worst part of all of this, is that they almost never use anesthesia. Dehorning is the single most painful procedures they have to go through!
- Artificial Insemination - In order for a cow to give milk they must be pregnant or nursing. Therefore, dairy cows are artificially inseminated over and over again! So, the poor cow is always pregnant or giving birth. The dairy cow will spend over 300 days each year in milk production and will be slaughtered in four years, usually due to the infections, disease or other health problems, caused by her living conditions.
- Separation - A cow's milk on a dairy farm is not intended for baby cows, it is intended for humans. The baby cows are not allowed to nurse their mothers, as they're taken from their mothers two hours after birth. The reason for this, is that the calf has a higher risk for cryptosporidium infection and respiratory disease. The calf will be fed with commercial milk replacer, made from dried milk powder or fed milk that has been deemed unfit for human consumption. The poor mother cows have been known to bellow for many hours or even days after her calf is taken.
There are plenty more illness, viruses and diseases that the dairy cows get, then after four years they're slaughtered. On the way to the slaughter house the poor cows are tortured. When they reach the front of the slaughter line, they are suppose to be shot in the head, with an electric stun gun or steel bolt to her brain and sometimes that doesn't happen. The cows that didn't get killed or at least knocked unconscious are slaughtered fully conscious and dozens make it to the station where the tails are cut off, the bellies are ripped open and the hides are pulled off. Does that make you sick enough, not to want to consume dairy products?
Strong Reasons To Give Up Eggs!
- Battery Cages - Laying hens are housed in battery cages, which are stacked in long rows on top of each other. Each cage holds many hens and are designed with a sloping floor, so the eggs roll down to the edge and drops into the gutter for collection. Feeding and watering is usually automated. The cages are made of wire, including the floor, so, when the hens urinates or defecates, it falls through the wire floor onto the birds below. Chicken feces is particularly high in ammonia, the stench is incredibly overpowering. Some of the poor birds fall out of the cages, get stuck between cages or their heads or limbs stuck in the bars of their cages. The birds are often overlooked and they die, because they can't get to their food or water. One building can literally hold hundreds of thousands of hens.
- Crowding - Battery cages are about the size of a filing drawer and each cage holds 8-10 hens. So, it's extremely tight for them and they can not stretch their wings. With this type of crowding, there is a high rate of infection, disease, foot and leg problems. As well as a condition called cage layer osteoporosis, but the worst problem is that they suffer from psychological distress, which is caused by not being able to walk, flap their wings, dustbathe, forage, perch or nest. The poor birds, like the cows are not able to see natural light or the elements. They are so frustrated that they start feather pecking, feather plucking, toe pecking, vent pecking and even cannibalism.
- Infections - Due to the over crowding of the stacked cages and the wire cages the hens are covered in feces and urine, which increase the possibility of illness. Usually when one hen gets sick, it'll get passed to the other hens. So, this environment becomes a breeding ground for bacteria. Salmonella and e-coli are rampant in egg laying facilities. Salmonella is three times higher in caged hens, than in free-range hens. The USDA found that e-coli is found in 99% of uncooked chicken meat. Staphylococcus aureus, clostridium perfringens, campylobacter and listeria are all prevalent, often in high amounts in the chicken, in the food industry. That's why there is thought that this is the major cause of food-borne illnesses and why consumers are cautioned to always cook their meat thoroughly!
- Beak Trimming - To help minimize feather pecking and other injuries between birds, farm workers trim the birds beaks by slicing off 1/3 - 2/3 of the beak with a sharp blade or infra-red beam. Even thought the beaks are trimmed, it doesn't help reduce the rate of wounds and cannibalism among the hens. It's a very cruel thing to do and no anesthetic is used! There are many sensitive nerve ending in the beaks and it is extremely painful for the hens. The beak trimming causes life-long chronic pain and discomfort, while decreasing their ability to eat or drink. They are unable to groom themselves, with the overcrowding issue and unsanitary conditions, so it creates a breeding ground for skin parasites. Beak Trimming leads to other issues as well.
- Light Dimming - To help reduce the feather pecking, the farmer's dim the lights, so the birds can not see each others wounds. That causes another issue, hens will not lay eggs in the dark, they need to have certain amount of light to produce eggs. Dimming the light also cause eye issues in the hens.
- Hatcheries - As the hens die or are slaughtered, they need to be replaced, so there are hatcheries for that purpose. The hatcheries have no use for the male chicks, because they don't lay eggs and laying hens are not bred to grow big and meaty like broiler chickens, they don't make good chicken meat either. Here's a real shocker, so all the male chicks are killed just after birth. They are either tossed into a grinder alive or they get tossed into the dumpster in a garbage bag, where they slowly suffocate.
- Forced Molting - After a full season of laying eggs, a hens production rate drops in the second and third laying season. So, the only way to increase the hen's production rate is called, forced molting or induced molting. Molting is feather shedding that happens at certain times of the year. Chickens molt their feathers, as old feathers become worn down or need to be replaced. It takes a lot of energy for a hen to molt, so hens do not lay eggs until they are finished molting. This also allows the hens reproductive tract to recover and rejuvenate. The egg production facilities don't want to waste time and as they force molting, to get her to re-invigorate her egg production levels. To do that, they almost starve the hen of most of her food and water up to 14 days. Some hens die, when they are forced into molting.
- Cage-Free, Free-Range and Organic Eggs - These hens may be cage-free and free-range, but do you really know what it means? The term cage-free only means that the birds do not live in a cage, but they're still extremely crowded, live in a huge warehouse covered in feces and filth, and not allowed outdoors! The USDA only requires that the free-range birds spend a part of their time outside. The five minute trip from the hatchery to the warehouse meets the USDA standard. These bird have the same issues as the birds in the battery cages, but worse. It's more common for the feather pecking and cannibalism in cage-free and free-range birds, then the battery caged birds. Just remember, that cage-free does not mean cruelty-free!!! Most cage-free hens still have their beaks cut off, pumped full of antibiotics and hormones, along with all the other issues that the caged birds have. Don't assume that the cage-free or the free-range hens were feed any differently then the caged hens. They were probably feed the same animal derived byproducts and genetically modified foods. Only eggs marked organic can be assumed to come from hens that had a organic diet. Another thing to remember, is that the most free-range hens come from the same hatcheries that killed all the male chicks. Organic eggs only implies that the hens were feed organic feed and were not given antibiotics or other drugs.
- Slaughter - Chicken are excluded from the humane methods of the slaughter act. Slaughter begins on the conveyer belt in the air, the chicken is held upside down by her fragile legs, which often break under her weight. She is dragged along the conveyer line, until she is over the electrified water bath, where her head will be lowered into the water and she is electrocuted. This is suppose to kill her or make her unconscious before she is slaughtered, but many hens are alive when they get slaughtered.
Did you know that the bee colonies has had a massive collapse, due to the use of systemic pesticides? The systemic pesticides are not sprayed on crops, but they're built into the seeds, so farmers don't have to spray pesticides. I did learn something very interesting, which I was rather shocked to learn. Bee keepers truck their bees around the country and rent their bees out for a few months at a time to farmers. They can be any where in the United States, which isn't natural for them. There is a debate, whether honey is a vegan or non-vegan food.
Dairy, Eggs and Health Issues:
The book continues to discuss health issues that are caused by dairy products. A study was done by T. Colin Campbell, PhD, the author of the China Study, which states that there is a link between cancer and dairy products. More studies were done and it was evident that casein is highly linked to cancer. People that are on a high fat diet and a low-fat (high protein) diet can have similar rates of cancer. A vegetarian can also be at risk for getting cancer, due to the animal protein and fat in cheese.
Another topic in this book is the link between hormone-related cancers and foods that contain naturally occurring hormones in them. There are cancers that are associated with organs that have high levels of hormones, such as breast cancer, ovarian cancer and uterine cancer. Cow's milk has very high levels of hormones in it, so now researchers are starting to think that these high levels of hormones are increasing the incidence of hormones-related cancers. The reasons for these increase in cancers is due to the factory farms. Cows today are kept pregnant and forced to lactate throughout their pregnancy, so the milk that comes from a cow in the latter half of her pregnancy has higher concentrations of estrogen and progesterone in it.
This chapter continues to discuss the Insulin-Like Growth Factor-1, which is a hormone found in your body that helps things grow, which effect every cell in your body, even the bad cells. So, a diet high in dairy products is associated with higher levels of circulating IGF-1 in the body.
It goes on to tell you about how dairy and egg products contain a lot of cholesterol and fat, which are highly linked to heart disease. With the high levels of fat and cholesterol entering the blood stream, the arteries can build up plaque that can completely clog up the artery.
My husband is going in for open heart surgery this week, because of a clogged artery. It was 95% blocked! We were quite shocked to learn that it was blocked. Today I talked to my husband's cardiologist and asked about cholesterol and how my husband's cholesterol has had good numbers for sometime, he said it was all the ratio of numbers in the cholesterol test, not just the cholesterol itself. My husband doesn't eat too much meat, eggs or drink too much milk, but he does have creamer for his coffee and he does love cheese. I can now see how eggs and dairy has screwed up his health!
As for me, as soon as I started reading this book, I gave up milk and started drinking Vanilla Almond Milk, which I think taste a whole lot better than milk! I rarely eat beef, chicken or eggs, but I also eat cheese, but I plan on giving it up. I won't miss the beef, chicken or eggs, but probably the cheese. I googled vegan substitute for cheese and there are other options. I found a great site called Vegan Outreach and it has some pretty awesome ideas!
After reading half of the book, you soon learn how dairy and eggs can affect your health. Dairy and eggs has some sort of connection with the following health issues:
- Heart Disease
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Lactose Intolerance
The journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry reports that there are up to 20 different pharmacologically active chemicals found in milk alone! Each of these chemicals have been associated with many different health issues, including:
- Liver Failure
- Endocrine Disruption
- Developmental Disorders
- Shortened Lactation in Nursing Women
- Altered Immune Function
- Central Nervous System Disorders
- Liver Function Disruption
- Kidney Function Disruption
- Reduced Fertility
Global Warming and Environmental Issues:
Did you know that the livestock sector emerges as one of the top two or three most significant contributors to the most serious environmental problems at ever scale from global to local? By raising cows for beef or dairy products, it increases global warming. Even raising chickens for their meat or eggs causes billions of fish to die in our waterways.
Here are other challenges facing our environment:
Air & Climate
- Air Temperature: Global Warming
- Greenhouse Gasses - Our Role in Increasing Greenhouse Gasses
- Daily Operations & Transportation
- Manure and Gasseous Emissions
- Air Quality
- Water Scarcity
- Water Pollution
- Animal Waste and Drug Residues
- Growing Feed
- Soil Erosion
- Deterioration of Soil Properties
- Loss of Natural Vegetation and Biodiversity
Other topics in this awesome book are, how to change from vegetarian to vegan and what types of foods to eat. Eating a healthy vegan diet can be summed up to nine things you can consume.
- Whole Beans
- Whole Grains
The book will tell you what foods to get your protein and calcium from. Soybeans are listed for both, but I disagree with soybeans being good for you. There is an article on Dr. Mercola's website called, Soy: Too Good to be True and it states, that soybeans and soy products are not healthy. Most doctors recommend that vegans take a Vitamin B-12 supplement. The best B-12 supplement to take is Methylcobalamin, not Hydroxocobalamin or Cyanocobalamin.
There are chapters devoted to Dining at Restaurants, Entertaining and Traveling. My favorite part of this book is the Dairy, Egg and Honey Substitutes, as well as all the awesome recipes!
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