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

Advertisements

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 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 its human nature

“To many animals, nature is a very cruel, harsh, and unforgiving experience. The planet “Mother Earth” has always been Predators vs Prey. As humans it seems like we have just followed these rules of nature… ”

well its the story that’s been perpetuated the most by society, yet the story that has been painted by a multitude of philosophers and scientists before us is a little more broad, there is also a large amount of cooperation, animals that work together to make life easier for the both of them. There is also compassionate acts by humans and animals with no apparent survival reason. — Or maybe it’s just less on the surface since cooperation among groups can ultimately lead to better survival. Obviously predator and prey relationships are apparent, however there are also many other types of relationships, detrivores, scavengers, photosynthesizing organisms, chemoheterotrophs — organisms that survive off of all sorts of chemicals — sulfur, nitrogen etc. microorganisms are the oldest creatures on the planet, and have much better adapted themselves to all environments than we have. We have largely followed a slim pickings set of traits found in nature. Namely, depleting resources faster than they are able to regenerate at the cost of our own value of life. In addition to, naming ourselves top predator. These both are choices, not facts or necessities for being human on earth. Yet it is definitely a necessity for a diversity of relationships and a wise use of resources for the survival of certain organisms on the planet.

Help! I live with omnivores!

I was messaged by someone who lives with 5 other people and all eat meat, I shared with her my story of how I managed to transition to vegan when I also lived with 5 others who ate meat.

“When I first went vegan, I actually was living with 5 others in an apartment who were all also eating meat. I did it because I wanted to do something healthy for myself — the previous year I had been pretty heavy into partying, and felt like I needed to do something good for myself (i was also already vegetarian at the time). So I decided to commit 21 days to being vegan in addition to sugar and bread free. I ate rice, beans, steamed greens and cooked vegetables for basically every meal and for snacks I would have fruit, dried fruit, nuts and seeds. I’m not saying it was easy, my roommates would make cinnamon rolls and we’d go shopping together and I’d have to deny all of the stuff I was used to eating. But I kept telling myself, 21 days.. in 21 days I will eat all of this stuff again. Then 21 days came… and honestly.. I felt so good and proud of myself for making it 21 days.. I thought.. well.. what’s one more day? How many days could I go? After a little over a month — The purity of my diet started fading, I eased back into sugar and other stuff..seemed  too hard to resist long term at that time. But I maintained being vegan — I think I cheated once on a non-vegan cookie — but other than that I was vegan for a full year, until I went to India — And I decided to eat like the locals ate.. which I don’t think was a good idea.. I fell off the bandwagon (still vegetarian though).. and for the next year I had multiple illnesses.. until I finally went vegan again. It also helps to have a good recipe book — I started with — Sarah Kramers, ‘la dolce vegan’ and  I’d often share with my roommates some of the food from the recipes and they absolutely loved it when I cooked!! To this day they have memories of how I used to torture them with the smells of what i was making but I often shared lol so it was okay. ‘This Crazy Vegan Life’ was what inspired me to do a 21 day fast, and she breaks down the 21 days into recipes and how-to’s .. her recipes are super healthy too http://www.christinacooks.com/christinas-books/this-crazy-vegan-life Another great way to maintain focus is to watch documentaries like, ‘Forks over Knives’, ‘Darthlings’ ‘Got Facts on Milk’ ‘Cowspiracy’ ‘Eating’  and ‘Food Matters'”