Eating animals causes misery on so many levels, beginning with the animals themselves, who are confined, forcibly inseminated against their will or forcibly masturbated to take their semen from them, separated from their children, and forced into exploitative slavery. Farmed animals are crammed into unnaturally small spaces, to keep the farming model financially profitable. But such crowding causes many issues.
To control herds or flocks of animals, they are routinely castrated without anesthesia. Their tails are chopped off and teeth are pulled or broken, again with no anesthesia, to stop them from attacking other animals in the cramped, abnormal, unhygienic conditions in which they are raised. Horns are painfully chopped off. Red-hot branding is inflicted upon animals to identify them as property. Chickens' and turkeys' beaks are cut or burned off so they won't peck at one another in frustration. The list of atrocities such as these is long. Industries that produce animal-based products such as leather, wool, down and fur have their own particular types of hell the animals endure. But these are all standard business practices in the industry.
Animals who serve no financial purpose, such as male calves and male chicks in egg-laying operations are cruelly killed shortly after birth or hatching, thrown away like garbage. Animals are transported, frightened and anxious, in trucks or on ships in sweltering heat or freezing cold, often without water or food to the point that many die just from the transportation aspect alone.
Once at a slaughterhouse they are brutally killed and hacked apart, often while their peers watch in horror, knowing their turn is next.
Free range, grass-fed, organic and other types of supposedly "humane" farming are anything but humane. Animals in these systems may have a little more room to live, but they are still cruelly denied the basic experiences their natural instincts would express. They are still exploited and end up at the same slaughterhouses as factory farmed animals. There is no way to raise animals for food without inflicting misery and pain upon them.
As if it is not enough that the animals are treated in these horrific ways, it is not much better for people who work in slaughterhouses, as these are some of the most oppressed workers in the world. Often coming from highly marginalized and vulnerable populations, they are forced to work in conditions that lead to PTSD and other mental dysfunction. Communities around slaughterhouse facilities bear the burden of higher rates of domestic violence, alcoholism and substance abuse.
People who eat meat, eggs and dairy products endanger their own health by eating these foods. In areas of the world where animal food consumption is high, such as the US, Europe, Australia, Canada, Asia, and increasingly, India, the top diseases and killers of people are heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke, some cancers, auto-immune disorders, osteoporosis and more. These diseases and the misery they cause patients can be largely avoided or often reversed when people quit eating animals. Animal foods are laden with harmful cholesterol, fat, hormones, and other destructive inflammatory elements.
Animal agriculture is a leading driver in environmental devastation.
By contrast, vegan is vitality - plant foods are sourced from life-affirming soil, energizing sunshine and nourishing water. Animals are not intentionally abused to create vegan foods. Plants offer abundant nutrition without the harmful elements of animal foods. Plants contain important nutrients vital to our health which are not found in animals. Plants are the foods that humans are physiologically constructed to eat. When we do, we thrive, and we make the world a kinder, safer, more sustainable place for everyone involved.
The choice to eat plants instead of animals is an easy one to make on an individual, personal level. Just make that next meal plant-based and keep going that way.
Learn to go vegan here.