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A WELL-BALANCED VEGETARIAN OR VEGAN DIET CAN PROVIDE MANY HEALTH BENEFITS, SUCH AS A REDUCED RISK OF CHRONIC DISEASES, INCLUDING OBESITY, CORONARY ARTERY DISEASE, HYPERTENSION (HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE), DIABETES AND SOME TYPES OF CANCER. VEGETARIANS AND VEGANS ALSO HAVE LOWER RATES OF ILLNESS AND DEATH FROM A NUMBER OF DEGENERATIVE DISEASES.
The basic premise of veganism is an ethic of compassion to minimise suffering in the world. Any sentient being is capable of feeling pain. We vegans try to minimise harm to all sentient beings. Just about all products originating from nonhuman animals cause harm and a vegan avoids them all: flesh from slaughtered animals, dairy products from enslaved dairy cows in factory farms, eggs from battery hens living in situations resembling concentration camps and more.
Another bonus for vegans is that on a low-fat vegan diet you are far less likely to suffer from major 'diseases of civilisation' such as heart attacks, strokes and cancer.
A diet of plant-based foods is good for the Earth. Vegan foods require the least amount of land, water and energy to produce. Vegan foods also cause the least amount of soil erosion and pollution.
Most of the food crops that are grown in developed countries go towards feeding animals for the meat, dairy and egg industries, not for feeding humans. If we cut out our consumption of animal foods, we can live on a fraction of the cost to the Earth: costs in pesticides, fossil fuel input, arable land used, water used, water pollution and soil erosion. The Earth as well as the animals will thank you for turning vegan.
Millions of people around the world are questioning their dietary habits. The typical high fat, high cholesterol, high protein, low fibre, largely refined diet has been increasingly indicted as the prime contributing cause of heart disease, strokes, circulatory ailments; diabetes; various types of cancer and numerous other serious health problems. Public attention is also being drawn to the injustice and cruelty of preventing animals from living their own natural lives in glaring contrast to the brutal realities of the appalling conditions in which our slave 'food-animals' are usually raised and slaughtered.
Another major source of urgent concern is that the greatest waste of natural resources, the worst producer of desert and famine, a prime motive for the despoiling of vitally needed tropical rain-forest and the most wasteful use and pollution of precious water supplies, all involve the raising, feeding and slaughtering of livestock for food. The terrible ecological results of this human short-sightedness and callousness may in many areas be passing the point of irreversibility.
Thoughtful, caring people realise there has to be a better way and there is. Veganism is an ethical way of living without the use of animal products such as meat, fish, poultry, eggs and dairy foods. Vegans enjoy a plant based diet including wholefoods as basic sources, such as vegetables, grains, legumes, fruit, nuts, and seeds. A typical vegan cookbook lists wide varieties of delightful recipes for soups, entrees, salads, dressings, vegetable dishes, casseroles, sauces, 'dairy substitutes', breads, pasta, pizzas and deserts (icecreams, puddings, cakes, pies and biscuits) - all made without ingredients of animal origin. This is the time tested total vegetarian system that is nutritionally balanced, helpful and humane, ethically and scientifically sound, naturally rich in vitamins and minerals, high in fibre and complex carbohydrates, low fat and low sodium and contains no cholesterol.