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Animals are not ours to eat, wear, experiment on, use for entertainment, or abuse in any other way.

14 Steps That Will Evolve Your Views on Eating Animals

Still not sure about the whole “not eating animals” thing? Then read on!

(Thanks to Matt Stopera of Buzzfeed for the inspiration.)

Step 1: Realize That You’ve Been Played by the Meat Industry

This chart compares the meat industry’s advertising expenses (yes, just its advertising expenses) to the total expenses of organizations that promote vegetarian eating and/or meat-industry reform:

CountingAnimals.com

Step 2: Try to Imagine How Many Animals Are Killed for Food Each Year

In just the U.S. alone:

  • Land animals (mostly chickens) killed for food: 8 billion
  • Marine animals (fish and shellfish) killed for food: 100 billion

That’s 108 billion animals. Can you even comprehend that? No, you can’t.

Source: Counting Animals

Step 3: Realize That Vegan Eating Is Inevitable

Commander William T. Riker explains that humans in the 24th century eat synthetic meat and “no longer enslave animals for food purposes.” Yeah, that’s Star Trek, but do you really think that we can’t come up with a way to feed ourselves that’s less harmful to animals, the planet, our own health?

Step 4: Stop Wondering Where Vegans and Vegetarians Get Their Protein

Step 5: Read the Nutritional Labels on Food

Meat isn’t good for you—meat alternatives such as those made by Gardein and Boca are way healthier.

Boca Original Chick’n Nuggets

  • Calories: 180
  • Total Fat: 7 g
  • Total Carbohydrate: 17 g
  • Protein: 14 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

Source: http://bit.ly/SsFcC

McDonald’s Chicken McNuggets

  • Calories: 190
  • Total Fat: 12 g
  • Total Carbohydrate: 11 g
  • Protein: 10 g
  • Cholesterol: 30 mg

Source: http://bit.ly/9QM45k

Gardein Sweet and Tangy Barbecue Wings

  • Serving Size: 87 g
  • Calories: 130
  • Total Fat: 4 g
  • Saturated Fat: 0 g
  • Total Carbohydrate: 8 g
  • Sodium: 375 mg
  • Protein: 15 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

Source: http://bit.ly/9BS2QP

Tyson Any’tizers Honey BBQ Wings

  • Serving Size: 84 g
  • Calories: 190
  • Total Fat: 12 g
  • Saturated Fat: 3 g
  • Total Carbohydrate: 8 g
  • Sodium: 390 mg
  • Protein: 13 g
  • Cholesterol: 85 mg

Source: http://bit.ly/nPt6ZL


Step 6: Let Go of the Idea That Vegetarians Are All Scrawny, Pasty Hippies

Step 7: Let Go of the Idea That Vegetarians Are All Huge, Muscular German Dudes


Step 8: Look Inside Your Dog’s Mouth

Your “canine” teeth and his are not the same. And there’s a good reason for that: Dogs evolved their teeth for tearing raw flesh and crunching bones. Ours evolved for chewing and breaking down plant material.

Wikimedia Commons

Read more about the biological argument for dumping meat from your diet here.

Step 9: Meet Loreen Dinwiddie

Loreen Dinwiddie, likely the oldest person in the state of Oregon at the age of 109, credits her vegan diet with giving her a long life.

“It’s all there in the Bible,” she says.

Step 10: Look at How Happy These Rescued Animals Are

“Emily was rescued from a backyard butcher where she was starving, scared and very sick. When we brought her home it took a long time for her fever to break and for her to gain weight. Her nose ran for weeks and she looked so lethargic and depressed. Finally the life came back into her eyes and the hope came back into her heart. Now she is very friendly and follows us around for treats and attention.” —The Gentle Barn

“Forgiveness was rescued from a veal crate after being too sick to stand. After months of high temperatures and racking coughs he survived. He has sweet, sad eyes that melt your heart and bring tears to your eyes.” —The Gentle Barn

“Bella spent her whole life in a cage but now she loves the barnyard. She has so much to explore and learn about and so much lost time to make up for. She is making friends, learning how the sun feels on her back, rolling in sand for the first time and enjoying her freedom. She is not scared of us anymore and has much to be thankful for!” —The Gentle Barn

“Biscuit, shown here with his peeps, was found at a pumpkin patch; a favorite attraction for the kids. This little piglet rolled over for tummy rubs, took food gently out of their hands and had the patience of an angel. When, to our horror we found out that the plan was to slaughter him the day after Halloween, we brought him home to the barn instead. He now delights visitors with his 1,000 pounds of pure love.” —The Gentle Barn

Step 11: Look at the Consequences

 

Step 12: Watch This Video and Try Not to Cry

 

Step 13: Learn About Chick Culling

“Chick culling is the culling of newly hatched male chickens for which breeders have no use. In an industrial egg-producing facility, about half of the newly hatched chicks will be male and would grow up to be roosters, which do not lay eggs and therefore provide no incentive for the breeder to preserve. Most of the male chicks are usually killed shortly after hatching.” —Wikipedia

Mercy for Animals 

Every year, more than 100 million unwanted male chicks are ground up alive or tossed into plastic bags to suffocate. 

Step 14: Stop Telling Yourself That There’s a Difference Between the Animals in Your Home and the Animals on Your Plate

Sadie (the dog) gives Roxanne (the pig) a smooch! (Photo: Regina Huffman)

Kevin spoons with his feline sibling Delilah. (Photo: Romy Harding)

Congratulations! You’ve evolved!

You’ve made this pig very happy! Or maybe it’s just the vegan chocolate cake.

Sanctuary One

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  • MaidstoneUK says:

    It shocks me that so many people still think it’s acceptable to kill animals for food in this day and age. It has to be stopped for a happier future.

  • Oscar Delgado says:

    Well its hard to think that for every person in the world who take care or think about the animals are almost like another 10 who dont care about it
    ):

  • Mary says:

    IT is so good knowing that some people really care for animals & rescued them to give them a decent life. Those people that ground chicks alive are nothing but garbage. It is so cruel that people can do such atrocities. :(

  • 10 says:

    I’m 13 years old and I only don’t eat red meat. I want to be vegan but my family is sort of the family who wants me to be bigger and fatter since some of my relatives are jealous that I am not- they feed me and stuff this way and don’t want me to be vegan. How can I be vegan not just in food but in clothing too without them acting this way towards me? Please email me PETA. :)

  • sanjukta says:

    i dnt knw how to get synthetic meat…. i guess its not available in india….

  • umang jain says:

    i m 25 and have been vegetarian throughout my life n have never ever felt any need to eat animals. as per my thinking EATING ANIMALS FOR TASTE IS THE MOST SELFISH ACT in the world.

  • Sreekumar Pillai says:

    I am from Kerala,India. I have never taken meat and I stopped eating fish since 1998 after I saw a large fish with its head cut. I felt that fish is actually meat and they are similar to us humans. I am convinced that cruel food is not mine and my food need to be “satwic”.

  • lola says:

    I love you PETA

  • Daniel says:

    Humans would not have existed if they didn’t eat animals.

    I’m not saying it’s ok animals, I think it’s cruel, and the fact that killing others is a necessary thing to survive, makes me think this world is evil.

  • Alexis says:

    I’m 15 years old and I’ve been vegan for a year and 4 months, and it’s probably the thing in my life that I’m most proud of. Before I went vegan, I loved meat. I would always tell my mom to get ground turkey (typing that makes me feel gross) because I just loved it so much. Now, I am disgusted and saddened every time I see any animal product on a plate because I know what those poor animals had to go through just to be on that oblivious, selfish, and ignorant persons plate (with exceptions to those who aren’t able to have a vegetarian/vegan diet due to medical reasons.) I wish, however, that those who ARE able to have either of these lifestyles, would be more open-minded and considerate. These animals deserve to live too.

  • Laurie Armer says:

    I too am on my way to being a complete vegan. I still eat tuna though but I watched a documentary on the blue fin tuna and now I am even disgusted with myself that I am eating them. How can we quickly stop these horrific factory farms and the mega-rich corporations that profit from them? I want them to STOP NOW IMMEDIATELY!!! I wish I was a millionaire!! As well, I have requested the vegan starter package from Peta twice, and still received nothing. Is it because I am in Canada? Peta is in Canada too right? It’s not vegans that are a drain on the medical system, it’s animal consumers. I want Walmart, Loblaws et all out of the food industry now.

  • phorn84 says:

    I am not vegetarian or vegan, but there are certain meats I prefer not to include in my diet. I grew up in a rural area, and both raised and hunted my own food. I see nothing wrong with that. As an anthropologist, I know that the only reason that we exist as we do today, is because somebody noticed that animals were much more abundant than the plants the gatherers could find. I also have terrible soy, corn, wheat, whey, and nut allergies, so my vegetarian/vegan options are severely limited, unless I want to end up in the hospital after each meal. I agree that factory farms are terrible, and will call out anyone that willingly abuses animals, but participation in the food chain is kind of obligatory on this planet. Until they can engineer me with chloroplasts for photosynthesis, I’ll likely continue with my diet.

  • Alex36 says:

    I’m only twelve and I’ve been vegetarian for 3 years. Then I was looking on the peta website and I straight away decided to go vegan over a month ago, after looking at what the dairy industry did. Its not that hard and it makes you feel so much better that for your food nothing is being harmed or has suffered for it.

  • J Lee says:

    I’ve stopped eating meat about 9 months ago, then stopped dairy and cheese and recently also trying very hard to cut off fish and other seafood (and I’m almost there). I’ve always wanted to be vegetarian all my life but told myself that it would be too hard blah blah blah. Then something just clicked at the end of last year and I realized that I did not want to contribute to the suffering of other beings anymore and since then I feel so much happier and my soul feels a lot better. I consider this to be the best decision I’ve ever made in my life. I do not find it hard eating around others and at parties and gatherings. What I find it most difficult is that my partner is a meat eater/lover. He will not stop eating me because he says he loves it too much. He’s even watched Earthlings and admits that it’s very sad what happens to the animals but he doesn’t want to stop. He is able to disconnect to the awful reality. To him, an animal is an animal and meat is meat, they are not the same thing (even though he clearly knows that one comes from the other). He is supportive of my decision to become a vegan and even proud that I’m committing to it but he doesn’t want to participate. He’s even ok that I want to raise our future kids as vegans. I find it hard that we don’t share the same values :-( and it’s hard to watch him eat and enjoy his meat dishes so much.

  • Harshita Kalsi says:

    Such a beautiful article :) Thanks

  • Janet says:

    The more I read about cruelty to animals that end up as food on our plates, the more determined I am to become vegan. Over the past 3 years I have made a point of eating smaller portions of meat and have noticed a distinct improvement in my health. That should speak for itself.

  • Miceala says:

    Hey Shieni, check out this site for some awesome soy-and-nut-free vegan recipes:

    http://ohsheglows.com/categories/recipes-2/

    Another tip: seitan is an awesome soy/nut-free protein replacement. It’s made from wheat.

    Best of luck!

  • Leticia Vasconcelos says:

    I believe that animals eat animals and that we are nothing but one more species of animal…but the cruelty we apply on the killing should put humans in a different classification for we are not even worthy of being animals. For years i have been trying to get courage to watch a video such as the one on step 12, but never got to it. Today i watched a few mins and had to stop. A couple of hours later i forced myself to watch the whole video and i find myself crying and having the images go on and on inside my head. I have been cutting down on meats little by little, but now its all over. Tomorrow morning i will through all dead animals i have in my frezer out. My six months old son does not like the taste of meat and chicken, so now count us in as vegetarians.

  • Karen says:

    Just became a vegetarian, working on vegan. Stopped buying anything with leather and changed my household products. I am so PROUD of myself. Feels great!!! I will NEVER eat meat again!!

  • marsha says:

    question is, what does Peter Dinklage feed his dog ? If you wouldnt get someone else to harm another animla for you, what do you feed your dog ? I am vegetarisn with a dog, struggling to deal with minced raw meat whcih I have to feed her .. !

  • monike says:

    Im vegan for almost a year. I drove behind a truck full of white fluffy chickens and thought to myself well they are absolutely beautiful…that afternoon I ordered a chicken salad, I looked at my fork full of cucumber and a piece of chicken and my eyes finally opened! I thought to myself how can anyone kill those adorable white fluffy chickens just for us to eat it. That day I became vegetarian, a month later a vegan. I never get sick and I’m at peace knowing that all animals are equal to me no matter the size. Being vegan is literally being set free and becoming one with animals and life! I believe eating meat is like an alcoholic…its not good for you and you want to stop but never have the will power, it kills you…meat is something you want to stop eating but there’s no will, the only problem is that you dont just kill yourself but thousands of animal’s blood is on your hands! Eyes needs to be opened before we destroy everything

  • Peggy Moniz says:

    The picture of the pig eating a chocolate cake is from Pigs Peace Sanctuary. See more at pigspeace.org

  • RW1066 says:

    cam1218 – My best advice is never give up working toward veganism. Every single time you make the choice to eat vegan, you’re making a difference. Whenever you’re tempted by meat or dairy, remind yourself why you don’t want to eat those things. Explore foods you’ve never tried before – there is a whole world of foods out there that are healthy, delicious, and can be eaten without guilt. Focus on progress, not perfection, and you’ll find yourself eating vegan more often than not.

  • Marlene says:

    Here is my vegan video: Slaughter In The House http://youtu.be/5kxHp24qFPk

  • zyaree says:

    I’m vegetarian for my own choice, but I’m a veterinarian too and like a veterinarian I can’t agree about some of this thinks. The video that shows animals being killed without piety, only shows the ilegal practices that still remains. The European laws about animal wellbeing are so strict and forbide every of this practices; there are more slaughterhouses that follow the laws, than slaughterhouses than doesn’t follow it. Another thing I can’t agree, is about the teeth. The humans are omnivores by nature: our canines are designed for tearing meat, and our molars for crushing plants. I personally think that eating meat is not “evil” or “dangerous” for the planet. I think that is more important to awareness people, specially kids about the importance of animal wellbeing, and maybe tomorrow people can eat meat from animals killed with piety and raised happy. Support for PETA from Spain

  • erinf says:

    Those of you trying to go vegan, especially raw vegan, it is not easy, but definitely worth it. Those with peanut allergies can substitute nuts with seeds like sunflower. Soy can be replaced with legumes like black beans to make veggie patties. I have many raw vegan books I love, but have also spent time scouring the internet for any specific recipes I need. Good luck to you all!

  • Aspa says:

    My boyfriend is vegetarian and I decided to try a lifestyle without meat and processed food. I am now almost a year a vegetarian.
    Although I am doing quite well generally(I did not experience any health problems relating to iron deficiency for example, or I have a sufficient intake of protein) I gained weight mostly because of more carbs I ate.
    Do you have any ideas on how I could use some extra pounds with some recipes that are still high on protein but lower on carbs??(more like 2-5 pounds/ nothing radical)

  • Sha' says:

    Mark, I am the only Vegan in my family, and while yes it can be difficult at times, especially when I have to prepare different things for meals, it is well worth it. I can only assume that you changed due to your wife doing the cooking. Well here are my thoughts on that, if that is the case. I went Vegan after over twenty yrs of being with my husband. Veganism was my choice, not his. Therefore I still prepare meat dishes for him, although I dont like it, I feel I married a meat eater and was one myself. You were Vegan when you married and I am sure you have made friends during your twelve yrs of Veganism. Why is your choice to be Vegan any less important than their choice to eat animal products? Why is you being a Vegan, a headache for those who are supposed to care about and love you? Sounds like you either possibly surround yourself with people who do not respect you and your life choices/or you dont respect yourself enough to live your life as you desire. What it all boils down to is, how strong is you commitment to not contributing to killing and suffering. I am sorry if this sounds harsh, but is being Vegan causing your or your friends the headache? If its them, so what!!! Cook your own meals if its too much work for your wife and who cares what your friends think and say. Being Vegan can be challenging. But the best things in life, are worth fighting for.

  • Hannah says:

    I am just disgusted by the human race sometimes. These are beautiful creatures who deserve to live a long life and be OUTDOORS! We are a selfish race… I am a meat eater but recently I have cut back on the amount of meat I eat. Someday I want to take it out of my diet completely.

  • Rob says:

    in the future humans will look back at the way we treat animals with the same disgust that we have when we look back at how the Nazi’s treated jews, with the general consensus of “how did they let this happen?”

  • Justina86 says:

    After watching the speech of Gary Yourofsky on youtube, I decided to go instantly from vegetarian to vegan. That truly is the only way to be sane in this insane world.

  • Mark says:

    Hi Shieni – There are some really great raw recipe books called ‘Everyday Raw’ by Matthew Kenney and ‘Raw Food’ by Erica Palmcrantz that could help you. Good luck!

  • Mark Shin says:

    I was a vegan for 12 yrs but 2 yrs after being married I lost the will. I want to stop eating killed animals again without causing my friends and family a headache. I welcome positive ideas.

  • shieni says:

    i would like to go vegan. especially raw vegan .but i have kid with nut & soy allergy. it makes it so difficult to find recipes. anybody can give suggestion on vegan recipe books without nut ?

  • kathyd says:

    some friendly suggestions to the comments of cam1218: there is a lot of information online to help you transition. Suggest 1st taking a look at a vegan food pyramid, you can see where most of your nutrients should come from. Then, take a look at your lifestyle. If you need more fast food options, there are good choices for vegan options at Trader Joes, Whole Foods, and even Cub and the like are getting products for vegans. I keep frozen vegan prime grillers by Morning Star brand foods on hand for one. Find a good vegan cookbook or go online – there are tons of great recipes. Find a few good staple foods – trail mix with raisins, Ezekiel bread, are two of mine. I eat a lot of the same kinds of things, just skip the meat and add beans or any number of the fake meat products into the dish. First and foremost, the commitment. Then looking at lifestyle, decide on a few staple foods, get acquainted with some good recipes – plan a few meals a week, add one more each week, and before you know it, you are vegan.

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