But what if I just have my own cow, without any implication to the rest of the world?

Where does the food come from to feed the cow… where do the babies go that you must breed to have cow milk… how do you justify the water consumption of the cow… just so you can have a little bit of animal protein when plant protein is just as good?

https://www.drfuhrman.com/library/protein-weight-loss.aspx?utm_source=email&utm_medium=Blast&utm_campaign=110915-protein-readmore#.VkKnTJVLcMo.facebook

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I love milk products tho…

I don’t know a single vegan who changed their diets because it was something that was particularly convenient for them. It does take practice… and sometimes it doesn’t sometimes the body, mind and heart… just say no to these foods we grow up being used to.. it just no longer feels good to us. Luckily there are options … ghee can be replaced with oil, butter can also be replaced with coconut oil and salt… or alternatively, you can make a vegan butter — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nPhVd1TDLGw orhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GHQGGAY0vo8 , bread, biscuits and pastries can often be vegan, depending on where you live, there may be some really great vegan options… otherwise, making your own is always a possibility, just google vegan bread recipes.. or whatever you are looking for and something will turn up! check out if fb has a group for vegans who live in your city, they will be able to help you find local vegan options in your area. It may seem like it’s too difficult.. but that is how it is with anyone who ever first thought about becoming vegan.. I was the same! The best thing to do.. is to practice.. go a week without milk… or atleast 21 days.. and see how you feel. I know when I first took milk from my diet… I saw such a shift, my acne cleared, my illnesses lifted.. I mean it made such a huge difference! Check out vegan recipes online, the more you try them, the more you will realize that living without milk is not only easy but sooo enjoyable and sooo tasty 🙂  You can also find recipes here: http://www.findingvegan.com/

But I like meat…

most people don’t become vegetarian or vegan because they don’t like meat. Luckily there are some amazing meat alternatives these days, where you can enjoy the texture without contributing to the brutality of the industry. Gardein is an excellent brand with many choices, tofurkey, or make your own from jackfruit, portobellos, eggplant, coconut, tofu, seitan, tempeh, beans, nuts, seeds or some combination

http://www.foodnavigator.com/Market-Trends/Plant-based-meat-that-matches-steak-for-texture-The-technology-is-unique-in-the-world?utm_source=AddThis_facebook&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=SocialMedia#.Vj1ZPMKUXR0.facebook

But why do you want to change me and my values…

I never said that. If clean water, clean air, full forests, healthy bodies, enough food for everyone are not part of your value system, that’s fine, you are the only person who can define your value system. There is nothing really more to talk about. I share about our food choices and their effect on our surroundings because yes, it matters to me. What we eat collectively creates the world we live in. People will make their choices, as long as people are aware of the consequences, that’s really my aim in having these discussions. My goal isn’t to change your value systems, my goal is share just how destructive some of our habits actually are. That’s it. I’m all for people having homes and employment despite what they eat. Absolutely. Everyone deserves a fair shot. I just also think that information should be spread about how our choices affect others.

But isn’t there some way to raise animals sustainably for consumption?

Not really. The level humans have already messed with ecosystems through animal breeding and care taking is far beyond any other activity that we’ve done so far.

As long as we are depending on animal products, the situation becomes more complicated because we are self managing a system that is largely unnatural– reproducing them more than they likely would otherwise, growth of numbers without natural predation, confined spaces that radically transform contained plant species and soil structure.
If we were to tear down our fences, and boundaries between homes, it might be a better way to raise animals… going with someone who herds them from place to place.. however in India that’s been done and it’s not been working for them, soils are degraded, plant species are few and many places are barren, so they end up feeding goats and cows trash.  It’s also unnatural because we use species outside of their natural habitat.  To me it boils down to, the unnaturalness of managing, breeding and living off of arbitrary species outside of their natural habitats  in confined spaces– especially at the expense of our health, ecosystem health and unnecessary suffering to the animals. No matter how you slice it, over the long term, with our human population it doesn’t fit that well.
Animal sanctuaries are something that I do like to support, because these animal industries do leave behind many sentient victims. In these situations, the animals are not being bred, but allowed to live out their lives free from abuse.  The number of animals in sanctuaries pales compares to animals on farms being bred.  But these living situations are still largely unnatural, they compact the soil, eliminate plant species.. it’s the nature of the game. If you have a large enough plot of land, this can be minimized with something like rotational grazing that allows soils a rest from the constant packing. It’s a common feature that in animal fields, from the weight and movement of these large herbivores they often create hardpans under the soil.  Trees are always a plus, but they also take away from ground space for easily accessible plants, which economically, may not give the same returns for the space in terms of food for the animals. Unless it’s a type of tree that animals are happy to eat, and managers are able to harvest leaves in unreachable places for the animals.  The more space an animal has, the better off the system will be, however large tracts of land, can promote the issue of deforestation, which happens regularly in the US, because of ‘grass-fed’ cattlehttp://www.worldwatch.org/node/549, http://www.pnas.org/content/111/33/11996 . Some large herbivores instinctually won’t enter forests, since it’s harder for them to see and escape threat. Maybe if the animals have no where else to go, they could become accustomed to it. I think pigs are pretty good in forest settings however, they are notorious for digging up roots and overturning soil. Which can be a good thing if you are getting ready for planting, but again, the most natural thing is for them to have access to large tracts of land, enough land that the forest floor can rejuvenate, while they wander around.  For 1 cow you need about 2.5 acres of land.  It comes with the rest of the problems however, water supply– 2,000 gallons of water goes into a gallon of milk. Animals are taxing on the environment, they are because we are breeding them in exceedingly unnatural supply, which they wouldn’t have gotten to that point in the wild.
Of course the smaller the animal, the less impact they will have on vegetation and soil, per amount of space given.
Otherwise to most sustainably consume animal products, if humans could learn how to hunt the weak and the sick from abundant populations of local animals that would probably be the least taxing on the environment– or already dead like roadkill.
But why cause unnecessary suffering when you don’t need to? Or damage your health by consuming animal products when you don’t need to.  There’s just no reason…. experiment more with vegan foods, arbitrary texture is not a good enough reason to  sacrificing our health, the planet and other animals… and those textures can be found in plants!! It’s really only about texture because, meat is typically always prepared with plants for taste.. and minerals, like salt and pepper.

But humans are at the center of the universe

It’s unfortunate but I see this all of the time. People claiming that human beings are the apex of all of creation.

So ultimately we humans believe that animals are resources, how is it then, that most find animal factory farming monstrous then?

Some claim humans have been using animals since the beginning of time, and why should we ever think about changing?

Do you really believe that if we have always used animals for, food, shelter, clothing, that that justifies it as sane or good? In the face currently of ecological collapse on multiple fronts –oceanic and all lands?

Humans have always been at war with one another since as long as we are aware of, does that make war good or sane?

Humans have traditionally had much lower life spans, about half of what we have today, does that make shorter life spans sane or good?

Today, our extent to animal manipulation is much more than it ever has been, are you then against this? Animal testing for pharmaceuticals, make-up, house hold products, random experimental designs for ‘science’.

To what extent do you believe animals more resemble plants or rocks than they do humans? To what extent do you believe that animals have no capacity to care for themselves or others or their life? To what extent are Humans more aware, more conscious, more able than animals?

We just happen to be really good with tools, apart from that, I only actually see animals being often times, much more intelligent than us. We are the only species, who has managed to shift the ecosystem so much, that not only are we annihilating our own species, but we are bringing just about every other species down with us. If that isn’t a huge failure of intelligence, I’m not sure what is.

Just because something is weaker than us, I’m not sure how that justifies us, making full use of it. It’s the patriarchal mindset, use what can be used for your own means. Use other races for slaves, because you can, use woman and children for sex and labor without their permission because you can. Use animals for all of your needs, because you can. Use the world and its resources for your needs in excess because you can, Take from the poor, the sick, the helpless and the weak, because they are vulnerable, and it will keep you in power.

This is the mindset of many of the dominant cultures of the world today, They have hidden the messages so cleverly, yet they are still so bold and vibrant since, these are the actions unfortunately much more common among humans than the choice of compassion on this earth.

Our societies have successfully taught humans that this is the normal way, the only way, to gain strength, to gain fortune.

However, what is true compassion, what does living in an ecosphere mean. What is true connection. We live in a world that hardly anyone dare enter, or attempt to understand. We are trapped in the mundane everyday existence of cleaning, working, driving, using our gadgets, absorbing ourselves in made up stories projected onto screens. We are numb. Yet the mystery of the universe, the divine in all creation is here, waiting to be discovered in the minute occurrences that we too often ignore on a daily basis.

Yet, if we choose to listen, if we choose to be present, we can find this unshakable propensity of wisdom, in nature, we are not limited to the spoken words of humans throughout the ages, of course they would be telling the story with the creature of their choice (their race, gender and religion of human) in the center, but that hardly is anything but a boastful lie, to imagine the world as only full to the extent of that one component. Humans can’t exist without the functions of the ecosystem on planet earth, we are hardly important.

We in fact, are so weak, so fragile, so small in the grand scheme of things. To believe humans are at the center of the stage above and beyond all other life. It’s the same mindset as the belief that the Sun rotated around the Earth, claiming everything is only about us. So arrogant, so boastful, so untrue. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TfP-XBUbMvs

But they taste so good tho

I can’t tell you the number of times, I’ve gotten this one, so i know I have other responses to this question floating around this website.

Yesterday, this was the response I gave for this.

well at least you are honest about it. It seems impossible, but the reality is, there are actually some pretty amazing meat free products that many people can’t even tell the difference. I have vegan friends who secretly use faux meat in food, that they make for their family, and their family raves about how good it was– they couldn’t even tell that it wasn’t meat! All it takes is a little effort to find an alternative. And the benefits are well worth it, lbs drop off easily, cholesterol falls to healthy levels, medicines like allergy medicines you thought you needed, suddenly are not needed any more this is only to name a small fraction of the health benefits — to reducing taking out animal products.”

Their response:

To each there own. It’s sad how some animals are tortured yes. I understand why you are vegan. I just like meat. So I don’t think about it!

My Response:

I guess, but ultimately we are all affected by the choices we make collectively. Our taxes go to subsidize meat, which otherwise would be way too expensive for regular use. And the environmental impacts of these choices, also effect our drinking water, soil quality and air quality. This has implications on our health, and even more implications for our childrens health, as they have to grow up in the world we leave behind. I see for you it’s about taste. I’m just expressing, why this is so important for me to talk about. Especially as meat and dairy are the reasons why we have such issues with heart disease, cancer, diabetes and obesity today. It’s hard to see the suffering, when there is a pretty easy way out.”