ETHICAL CHOICES FACTS

ETHICAL CHOICES

Ethics addresses questions of morality, such as what makes our actions right or wrong. Animal ethics focuses upon the constantly evolving way in which society thinks of nonhuman animals. Through our use of animals as goods for food, clothing, entertainment and companionship, animal ethics is something that we all interact with on a daily basis. Environmental ethics is the philosophy that considers extending the traditional boundaries of ethics from solely including humans to including the non-human world. There are many ethical decisions made by humans with respect to the environment.

WHY GO VEGAN?

Switching to a vegan lifestyle is accompanied with so many benefits (environmental, animal compassion, healthier living) that the real question you should ask is, “Why not?” By switching to a vegan lifestyle, you will see your health drastically improve, your negative environmental impact will diminish, and you will help save millions of animals worldwide. There is clear and overwhelming medical evidence that the incidence of heart disease, cancer, osteoporosis and diabetes is much less among vegans; obesity as well. Vegans are usually in better physical condition; their food has far lower levels of pesticides; and their immune systems work much better.

TOP 10 REASONS TO BECOME A VEGAN

People become vegans for a variety of reasons, including conscience, health, ethics and even family tradition. Veganism has become increasingly popular, while research has been providing support regarding multiple benefits of a plant-based diet. Animals, humans, and the environment all benefit from it. Below are the ten most important reasons to turn to veganism.

CONSUMPTION CRISIS: TIME TO MOVE BEYOND RECYCLING

Overpopulation is not what's bringing about ecological catastrophe; overconsumption is. Overconsumption is the state where consumption surpasses the planet’s natural replenishing capabilities. Living and consuming are interconnected activities. You can’t live without consuming. Water, food and air are consumed to support life. But we also consume much more than essentials, including goods and services such as electronics, furniture, appliances, cars, books, entertainment, and travel. There seems to be no end to the list of items and services we can’t live without.

ONLY VEGANISM CAN SAVE THE WORLD

A worldwide switch to diets that rely more on fruits and vegetables, and less on meat, dairy and eggs, could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by two thirds, save up to 8 million lives, and save $1.5 trillion. Extensive research by the University of Oxford, combing through reams of data from the UN Food and Agriculture Association, the World Health Organization, and countless studies, has resulted in crucial findings suggesting our eating habits must change...and must change radically.

GOING GREEN BY EATING GREEN

While there are many lifestyle changes you can make to help the environment, no other lifestyle decision can compare with the positive environmental impacts of veganism. Veganism is a compassionate lifestyle of daily decisions that reject the exploitation and harm of animals. Vegans do not consume food that is derived from animal sources, do not purchase products made from animal sources, do not use services in which animals are harmed, and do not involve themselves in activities that cause intentional harm or exploitation of living beings.

FAIR TRADE NOT FAIR FOR ANIMALS

Fair trade products appeal to socially and environmentally conscious consumers. Fair trade products seek to reduce poverty, child labor, gender inequity, workplace safety issues, and poor environmental practices. Fair trade helps to improve working conditions, sustainability, and fair terms for farmers and workers. When businesses and direct consumers pay sustainable prices for products, the injustices of conventional trade, which often discriminates against the poorest producers in the poorest countries, is reduced.

VEGANISM CAN END WORLD HUNGER

One of the top causes of world hunger is the focus on the production of animal-based foods. A breathtaking 925 million people all over the world, mostly in the underdeveloped and poor countries of Africa and Asia, are suffering from hunger. Out of those, 870 million are suffering from malnutrition. The 925 million hungry outnumber the current population of the European Union, United States, and Canada, combined. The world contains so many people plagued by hunger to almost fill up two continents.

VEGANICS: ORGANICS MEETS VEGANISM

Avoiding pesticides is the reason why some people prefer organic food. Many believe that to be ecologically responsible food should be grown naturally. For others, the most important factor is the reassurance that the crop harvesting process did not expose farm workers to dangerous toxins. For many vegans, their main reason is to ensure that no chemical substances were used to grow their food that could cause the suffering and deaths of animals. However, the food currently offered to consumers comes from a production system where animal exploitation is the standard, regardless of it being organic or not.

HEALTHY EATING FOR VEGANS

A vegan eating pattern is a healthy, responsible and humane option for you, the planet and animals. The key is to consume a variety of foods and the right amount of foods to meet your calorie and nutrient needs. Your protein needs can easily be met by eating a variety of plant foods. Sources of protein for vegans include beans and peas, nuts, and soy products (such as tofu, tempeh).

TIPS FOR VEGETARIANS

Vegetarian diets can easily meet all the recommendations for nutrients. The key is to consume a variety of foods and the right amount of foods to meet your calorie needs. Nutrients that vegetarians may need to focus on include protein, iron, calcium, zinc, and vitamin B12.

HOW TO BUY VEGAN AND ECO-FRIENDLY CLOTHES

Vegan clothes consist of clothing and shoes that are constructed without using animal products. By choosing vegan clothing, you ensure that no animals suffered or died to produce them. You also help protect the environment and wildlife from the devastating effects of animal agriculture. Although there are specialty stores that only sell vegan clothing lines, it is possible to buy vegan apparel from any retail shop. To do so, you need to know how to distinguish the vegan and non-vegan items and materials described in clothing labels.

HOW TO SHOP FOR CRUELTY-FREE PRODUCTS

It is unethical and absolutely unnecessary to submit animals to testing for the development of cosmetics or other household products. If you want to help animals, you have the power as a consumer to do so with your buying choices. Using animals during product development and testing is largely a consumer issue. It is not going to stop unless caring consumers stand up for animal rights and leverage their purchasing power. It is possible to stop the unnecessary suffering of millions of animals every year by putting an end to animal product testing through the adoption of informed, humane practices.

MAKE LESS WASTE

All the garbage you throw away is destined to end up in a landfill. What’s more, most of the items constituting your garbage (metal, plastic, paper, and everything else) was probably created using environmentally harmful methods. When you produce less trash, you ease up your environmental impact. Consider doing the following: Purchase reusable products, and avoid buying new ones. Take care of, and repair, the ones you currently own. Use glass containers instead of plastic. Stop using plastic bags and opt for reusable cloth. Don’t use disposable kitchenware; use reusable items.

LEAVE NO TRACE

Leave No Trace encourages people to get outdoors to enjoy nature, while doing so in a responsible manner. It refers to a set of outdoor ethics promoting conservation in the outdoors. It is built on seven principles: Plan Ahead and Prepare, Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces, Dispose of Waste Properly, Leave What You Find, Minimize Campfire Impacts, Respect Wildlife and Be Considerate of Other Visitors. The seven principles have been adapted to different activities, ecosystems and environments.

TREAD LIGHTLY

Tread Lightly! was started by the United States Forest Service in 1985 as a public awareness program. In 1990, Tread Lightly! became a nonprofit organization. The Tread Lightly philosophy encourages off-highway enthusiasts to enjoy the outdoors responsibly through stewardship to further the goals of responsible and ethical recreation.

EARTH FRIENDLY EATING

Animals and plants are being driven to extinction at unprecedented rates by animal agriculture. Animal farming has affected the environment and wildlife in detrimental ways. Our demand for meat has led to the loss of large numbers of animals, caused massive water and land pollution, and has been a major contributor to deforestation and greenhouse gas emissions. With world population coming close to 10 billion by 2050, it is predicted that meat production, which has already tripled in the last 30 years, will double by 2050. Livestock farming has already taken up about 25% of the Earth’s land area, with 70% of farmlands used for rearing animals.

VEGANISM

vegan (pronounced Vee-g'n) is someone who tries to live without exploiting animals, for the benefit of animals, people and the planet. A vegan is someone who does not eat any meat, poultry, fish, dairy products (milk, butter, cheese, cream etc), eggs, honey or any other animal derived by-products such as gelatin and whey. They also avoid wearing leather, suede, wool and silk - as these have all been obtained from animals - and toiletries, cosmetics and cleaning products that have been tested on animals or contain animal based ingredients. Instead, vegans choose from thousands of animal-free foods and products.

FOOD CHOICES

Understanding how animals are killed for food is clearly not a pleasant subject. However, all consumers have a right to be aware of how animals farmed for food production are killed, and to understand the extent of the killing involved, in order to make an informed choice as to whether or not they wish to be a part of it. The following explains what happens before meat, eggs, dairy and other animal products end up on the supermarket shelves. Each person who rejects animal products and goes vegan makes a huge difference. You can give this story a happy ending; go vegan and experience for yourself a lifestyle that is kinder to animals, people and the environment.

BEYOND THE DINNER PLATE

Being vegan does not stop at what you put in your body. What you put on your body needs a bit of thought too, as animal products seem to find their way into the most unlikely places. Vegans also attempt to refrain from purchasing household products made or tested on animals, and from exploiting animals by boycotting animal entertainment. With so many humane alternatives, why not choose vegan options?

VEGAN FAQ

WHAT WILL I EAT?

WHAT ABOUT EATING IN RESTAURANTS?

IS VEGAN FOOD EXPENSIVE?

HOW CAN I MAKE SURE I REMAIN HEALTHY?

WILL I NEED TO TAKE SUPPLEMENTS?

WILL I MISS CHOCOLATE/PIZZA/ICE CREAM/CHEESE/CAKE?

WHAT IF I EAT AT A FRIEND OR RELATIVE'S HOUSE?

NATURAL ALTERNATIVES FOR BATH AND BEAUTY PRODUCTS

Outer beauty is a reflection of our health. When healthy and well-nourished our skin glows, our hair is silky and our eyes are bright. Ironically, most “beauty” products are anything but healthy. Often laced with dozens of chemicals, conventional bath and beauty products are destructive to the planet's health as well as our own. Fortunately, simple and effective alternatives are waiting to be discovered in your kitchen cupboards. In fact, just three ingredients from your kitchen can make most of the products you use in your bathroom – oil, baking soda and vinegar.

OVER 100 USES FOR BAKING SODA

Baking soda, or bicarbonate of soda, can be used as a natural, non-toxic alternative for many cleaning and bath products. Drastically reduce your consumption, eliminate your use of toxic products, and save a lot of money with simple baking soda solutions. Using baking soda for bath and beauty needs, cleaning, deodorizing and other eco-friendly uses is easy. For solutions, stir together about 4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) of baking soda with 1 quart of water until dissolved. For pastes, stir together three parts of baking soda with one part water. For sprinkling, simply store baking soda in a jar or bottle with a shaker-type cap.

GUIDE TO VEGANIC GARDENING

In veganic gardening, manures and animal products are avoided, along with chemicals and toxic sprays. It is the same as avoiding consuming animal products in the vegan lifestyle; fertilizers such as bone and blood meal, fish emulsion, sludge from slaughterhouses, and manures are obtained from companies that enslave and exploit sentient creatures. Moreover, veganic gardening is a healthier and safer way of growing food, because it completely avoids spreading dangerous diseases that are endemic in intensive animal production facilities.

TOP 10 PHARMACEUTICAL PLANTS YOU CAN GROW YOURSELF

Plants have been the main source of substances for pharmaceutical use for millennia. The majority of medicines have a natural origin before they are fortified with synthetic substances by the pharmaceutical industry. You can avoid the intermediary process and produce your own pharmaceutical plants in your own backyard. Fresh herbs are cheap, can be grown easily, can help with a wide array of symptoms, and cause relatively fewer adverse effects than drugs.

GROW FRUITS & VEGETABLES FROM SCRAPS

Recycle your kitchen scraps and reduce your grocery bills by growing fruits and vegetables from the scraps you usually throw away. It's simple, easy and you can do it indoors. Potatoes: Potatoes can be grown from scraps. Allow a potato scrap with 1 to 2 eyes to dry thoroughly. Plant it in a small container and cover with a few inches of soil. As more roots appear, cover with additional soil.

FRUIT TREES SAVE YOU MONEY, PROVIDE HEALTHY FRUIT

Fruit trees can offer more return on effort than anything else in the garden. A single apple tree can produce up to 500 apples each season. Several fruit trees can offer 8 months of fruit for your family. Growing your own fruit saves you money, and ensures your fruit isn't laced with toxic chemicals. Fruit trees can be planted in early spring or in fall and are available in two options: bare-root and in containers.

PLANT ONLY ONCE VEGGIES

Many gardeners grow perennial plants and flowers, enjoying their ornamental beauty year after year. But did you know there are a variety of perennial vegetables that can also be planted once and enjoyed for years to come? They are also among the healthiest veggies and are an inexpensive, one-time purchase.