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Reasons to be Vegan

 

The time has come

Around 10% of the populations of IsraelSwedenItalyGermanyTaiwanthe US, and up to 40% of people in India eat plant based diets.  Nobel Prize winning economist Alvin Roth has even suggested we all might be vegan in 100 years.

Animal Liberation

Farmed animals are contained in a life which was not of their choosing, and then die young.  Female cows only make milk when they have recently had babies.  However, since humans want the milk it is not profitable to keep the calves.  As such, 100,000 male calves are shot by the dairy industry annually.  Similarly, 30 million surplus male chicks are gassed or shredded.  The conditions on farms are such that 12% of pigs die before they can be slaughtered.  Law breaking is common in slaughterhouses.

Labour rights

Slaughterhouses are difficult places to work, with low (and decreasing) wages.  The rate of non-fatal injury in the meat industry is two times higher than in all other manufacturing.  Workers also experience high rates of: fatality, repetitive strain disorder, problems relating to fume inhalation, illnesses from contract with ill animalssomatization, anxiety, anger, hostility and psychoticism.  Imagine the life of the poor person who kills your food.

Cultural change- content warning- violence again women and and children

Abattoir staff must desensitise themselves to violence in order to cope with the stress.  In turn, this desensitisation towards non-human animals can translate into violence toward human animals.  For example, it has been found that when slaughter houses are introduced to communities as a source of employment, domestic abuse and child abuse increase.  The same effects are not observed when a different factory is introduced.  Communities surrounding slaughter houses have shown a 166% higher rate of arrests for rape, when other factors are controlled for.  Likewise, it has been argued that the period of history when humans first started to kill animals on mass coincided with the period we started institutions to kill one another.  Meat free week might also be called nonviolence week.

Food redistribution

Farmed animals are fed half the world grain harvest70% of world soy harvest, and a third of world fish catch.

Land redistribution

Reduced consumption of animal products has benefits for both global food security and the environment.  Animal farms use more land than arable farms.  This is because 80-96% of the protein an animal eats does not remain in their body to be eaten by humans.  The outcome of this waste is high land requirements- globally animals are kept on 70% of agricultural land, and a further 33% of arable land is used to grow feed crops.  On average, 6kg of plant protein could have been produced for every 1kg of animal flesh.

Land use for cattle ranching in the Amazon rainforest- the primary cause of deforestation.

Resource redistribution

It takes 100 times more water to produce 1kg of animal compared to 1kg of grain.  To produce one calorie of beef requires on average 18 times more fuel calories than one calorie of grain.  Non-organic feed crops are grown using fertilisers made from mined phosphate, a finite resource.

Environmental regeneration

If UK citizens switched to vegetarian and vegan diets, then Greenhouse gas savings would be equivalent to taking half of the cars in the UK off the road.  As well as climate change, atmospheric pollution resulting from animal farming can cause respiration problemsand acid rain.  These are caused by emissions of the greenhouse gases methane, oxides of nitrogen, and not fully combusted carbon.  Furthermore, run-off from agro-chemicals and excrement can unbalance aquatic ecosystems, and the farming of animals depletes soil more than farming crops, due to problems such as compaction and desertification.

Fish repopulation

Ninety percent of the world’s large fish have disappeared, and close to one third of the world’s commercial fisheries have collapsed.  Additionally, fish farms have been sources of pollution and disease, which contaminate wild fish populations.

Better health

There are a variety of health benefits to being vegan.  For example, a couple of raw vegans in their 60s made the news by running a marathon every day for a year.  Nowadays we consume almost twice as much meat as in the 1960s, and so the health consequences may not yet be fully understood.  It has been found that eating processed red meat increases a person’s risk of mortality by 20%, and eating non-processed meat increases it by 13%.  Rates of physical and mental illness have been found to be higher among people living near factory farms, and the presence of a factory farm can decrease the value of houses by up to 40%.  Animal farms have also been sources of human diseases which mutated from animal diseases, and spread easily due to the crowding of animals.

Summaries of health evidence:

Viva Report 56 pages

Viva Report 'at a glance'

The Vegan Society review 3 pages

The Vegan Society health introduction page

Harvard blog

Oxford blog

British Dietetic Association- press release in support of The Vegan Society

Convinced?

Meat-free lifestyle links:

Mind Body Green:           Sources of protein

NHS:                                 The Vegan Diet advice about nutrition

Viva:                                  L Plate Vegan lists of vegan products you can easily buy

Animal Aid:                       Going Vegan website where you can sign up for a veganism trial, speak with others in a forum, ask questions of an agony aunt, and enter a prize draw

Going Vegan leaflet with recipes, nutrition advice, vegan products and shopping guide

Going Dairy Free guide to dairy alternatives, and how to give up dairy at your own pace

Meat Free for Under a Fiver affordable recipes

Vegan Society:            Vegan Pledge sign up to receive regular advice and recipes, and someone you can to ask questions

Supplements (you can also try yeast flake recipes for B vitamins, or Fairtrade food supplements with protein)

Many towns now have vegetarian and vegan groups, where experienced veggies are keen to help out people new to the lifestyle, or just interested.  You can usually find these with Facebook, or through the Vegan Society.

map

Local list:  N1 directory, veggie links, playground guides, children's cafe guides, local links, local Facebook groups, London baby/ children's websites, national what's on guides

Veggie Links     Top of page     Top of local list

 

Vegan and vegetarian cafe map and events calendar

Islington and Hackney vegan families Facebook page

List of other veggie Facebook groups

Family friendly veggie cafes in London blog

Top child friendly vegan festivals blog

Playground guides     Top of page     Top of local list

Islington Parks events

London with a Toddler

Playgrounds in London

 

Children's cafe guides      Top of page     Top of local list

Eating East with Kids

North London Mums

Stokey Parents

Tiny Table

Tower Hamlets Mums

Local links     Top of page     Top of local list

Local Buyers Club discount card get £2 off with the code HLONGCB2.  I use it in Epiczen and Planet Organic, and find it paid for it's self very quickly.

Stokey Parents

Babes About Town

North London Mums

Islington Council operate: Family Information Service website and Facebook page, Islington Family Directory, childcare information, fortnightly bulletin on childcare work

Islington Council Eventbrite page- has occasional baby clothes and cloth nappy swaps

Local Facebook groups     Top of page     Top of local list

Central London Mums

Islington

Islington Mums Facebook and Twitter

Islington Mums Meetups

Islington Parents

Islington SEND Parents

Islington N1 Mums

Islington Young Mums

Finsbury Park and Stroud Green Parents

Highbury Mums

Mums in Islington

Mums in Islington Babies and Young Children

Islington and Hackney Cloth Bum Mums

Hackney

Mothers of Hackney

Hackney Parents

Hackney Mums and Dads

London baby/ children's websites     Top of page     Top of local list

A Baby On Board

Angels and Urchins

Little London

London Baby

London Mums Magazine

Mother Hood

Mums MeetUp

The London Mother

The London Mum

Travel Mad Mum

National What's On Guides     Top of page     Top of local list

Day Out with the Kids

Families

Happity

Hoop

Islington.gov Directory

Kidadle

Kidsorted

Let's Go with the Children

MumsNet

NetMums

What's On for Little Ones

N1

What's on for children in N1

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To join the listings email livingwithwarmth@gmail.com

Adventure Playgrounds: 

Awesome CIC   

Islington Play

Baby Sensory     

Baby Sensory

Book Club

Little Owl

Buggy Fitness

Mamma Mia

MG Fitness

Outdoor Learning

The Garden Classroom

Park Events

Islington Parks