Ditching meat for plants

Nearly half a billion animals have been killed by the Australian bush fires. All over social media people post, heartbroken on behalf of the lovable koalas who have lost their lives. However, people do not seem to express this same compassion for all animals.
In the United States alone, according to Mercy for Animals, 25 million farm animals are slaughtered each day. Why aren’t we concerned about their lives? Both animals, just like you and me, want to live. Animals are sentient beings. They feel the same pain we do, and they do not deserve to suffer on behalf of our appetites.
We as a society turn a blind eye to the injustices animals face every day when it’s beneficial to us. We are responsible for the deaths of so many innocent animals.
People don’t need to eat animal products. There are many different and healthier ways for people to get their needed nutrients for the day. As being vegetarian and transitioning into veganism, the biggest question I am asked is this: Where do you get your protein? Quinoa, nuts, seeds, lentils, spinach, peas… just to name a few. Meat is not the only source of protein out there. (Not to mention red meat leads to heart disease!)
There are also countless plant-based alternatives for your non-vegan cravings. For instance, I never thought I would be able to give up chicken. I always had cravings for wings or chicken nuggets. As a vegetarian, I can still fulfill these cravings. My freezer is still full of chicken nuggets. The only difference is that they are now made of soy and other plants instead of dead animals. Additionally, I found that buffalo cauliflower is a great alternative for buffalo wings.
I do acknowledge that it can be difficult for some to cut out all meat and dairy products cold turkey. This process can be done gradually over time. I first began by reducing my meat consumption, eating only chicken. Eventually after finding chicken alternatives, I was able to eliminate meat from my diet. The same can be done with dairy products.
No one would blatantly say they support animal abuse or murder. Everyone would agree that’s not cool, right? But that is exactly what you are supporting by eating your morning bacon and drinking cow’s milk.
Now, I bet you’re wondering what is so wrong about cow’s milk. We are the only species on the planet that drink milk past infancy and from another lactating species. In the dairy industry, cows are intensively confined with little to no concern for their well-being. Seriously, check out some photos of their living conditions. It’s gruesome.
Next, cows produce milk for one reason and one reason only: to nourish their young. Just like humans. According to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), factory farm operators force cows to continuously produce milk by impregnating them using artificial insemination. After the mothers give birth, their calves are ripped away from them causing them both great distress. The mother calves can be found screaming and crying in distress for days. The young male calves are shipped away to be slaughtered for veal, while the females repeat the same life cycles as their mothers. Make the switch to nut, soy, or oat milk. This way, no animals are harmed.
Contrary to popular belief, humans are not the superior species. The lives of defenseless animals are no less valuable than ours. Murder is murder. It is no less tragic when a cow dies than when a human dies. No innocent animal deserves to die. As Mahatma Gandhi said, “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”