There’s a new frontier of consumerism amongst us, and its being driven by living a plant based lifestyle. In this year alone, a lot of gems have been given to the masses regarding our state of health and how we can take that information to create the necessary change we need in our lives. Daily there’s mounting evidence exposing the truths of the animal agricultural industry and its impact on health, environment & climate change, and cruelty to animals. According to The Vegetarian Resource Group, a poll was conducted in 2016 that 37% (8 million adults) of the US Population are now identifying as vegetarian. Between the time span of 2005-2015 the beef industry saw 19% decline in consumption of red meat along with fish, poultry, pork, and dairy milk. Now why are we, yes “we”, are we moving in the direction of eating less meat? Well let me go ahead and break that down for you. My name is Artinces “Fabulously Vegan” and I dedicate my life to not only being vegan but spreading the love, awareness, and the fabulousness of this here vegan lifestyle.

What is a Vegan?

A vegan is a person that does not consume nor wear anything from an animal. No fish, no butter, no dairy, no cheese, (usually people freak out when I say no cheese) is to be eaten nor does one wear leather, fur, and suede. A vegan person does not support animal cruelty in any facet, including animal testing. I know reading this you’re wondering why anyone would choose to lead a vegan lifestyle. There are many benefits to eating a plant based diet and abstaining from wearing such clothing. When someone adopts the vegan lifestyle, it is a universal understanding that is a choice of compassion and relief of oppression from all beings of life. Yes, every day vegans choose to fight oppression in our diets and habits. It is not only rewarding for our own wellbeing, but for the world around us. It is truly a remarkable way to be the change we want to see in the world. Life is precious and it is time that we treat it as such!

 Well literally, as I’ve said above life is truly precious. In the last ten years the consumption of meat and the animal agriculture industry has become a known leading cause to preventable diseases. The World Health Organization (WHO) attributes the industrial animal agriculture to diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, and most recently obesity. Unfortunately, with the growing expansion of meat factories the number of these preventable diseases ISN’T SLOWING DOWN. 1 out of 3 adults worldwide suffer from hypertension, in America 26% adults are obese, and 1 out of 10 adults are diabetic. Children as young as 8 years of age eating the Standard American Diet better known as the S.A.D (that acronym alone should terrify you) diet are now subjected to showing early signs of heart disease.

Now consider this, what if I told you by eating a beef burger you are not only forcing your body to ingest harmful chemicals that was most likely pumped into the cattle before consumption, but also beef is directly linked to CANCER! “I think we have enough information to say we know a steady diet of red meat is not in your best interest.” Mary Ann Bauman MD, and a spokesperson for the American Heart Association. This known fact isn’t only causing consumers to leave the cattle alone in the pasture, big fast food chains such as McDonald’s, Burger King, and Wendy’s are considering the option for a veggie burger. The lesson in this is THE FORK HAS SPOKEN! We are waking up and becoming aware of the dangers of meat consumption and how we can prevent many of the diseases affecting our communities and our loved ones.

I know you’ve heard of that song from years ago. Well I’m assuming you have, but just in case you’re not tuned in of this powerful message I’ll share the lyrics with you.

“We are the world, We are the children, We are the ones who make a brighter day So, let’s start giving, There’s a choice we’re making, We’re saving our own lives, It’s true we’ll make a better day, Just you and me.”

This ladies and gents was written by the legendary musical geniuses, Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie. I know what you’re thinking, that’s mad corny! But hey hear me out, or rather read me at least. We live on planet needing fresh air to breathe, water to drink, and soil to grow the plants we rely on. We are the reflection of the environment we live in. Our choices DO MATTER.

According to data, over the last 50 years human activity is the cause of increased carbon dioxide and greenhouse gas emissions being trapped in the atmosphere. What does that have to do with me one might wonder? Well if you think the hurricanes experienced in Texas, the floods in India & Sierre Leone, or the tsnamis in Japan, Greenland, and Thailand are something-well we haven’t seen anything yet!

Animal Agriculture is responsible for at least 18% of carbon dioxide being released and livestock along with its byproduct and is responsible for over 50% of greenhouse gases worldwide! What does all of this mean, it means the Earth is overheating and Mother Earth will act accordingly. There will a number of deaths increasingly due to climate change, and our lives as we know it will be in the hands of the unpredictable. We are becoming more susceptible to the dangers of global warming every moment of our lives while being ignorant to the lives of others.

As I’ve mentioned before, being vegan is a life of compassion and being an advocate of fighting oppression for animals. Veganism overstands, my made up vernacular to express an immense sentiment of empathy, that sentient beings are subjected to harsh treatment and unnecessary killing for our entertainment, liking, and our blissful ignorance. We consider the lives of the voiceless and choose to be activists to sustain the rights of animals who in the end have feelings just like us.

For example, dairy consumption is one of the most cruel practices in the animal agriculture industry, it is unethical to cows. Cows just like us create milk in their bodies to feed their young. However, for cows to produce milk they are subjected to artificial insemination. Once female cows have given birth, their young is taken away within one day, while the mother is in distress she is searching and yearning for her new born. The mother will then repeat this process in confinement and harsh conditions. She is tied and restrained from movement while repeatedly being impregnated against her will. What is unknown to the masses is the heart-breaking process in which milk arrives at your neighborhood grocery store. There’s no love cruelty and being vegan creates the awareness so we can choose to eat and live differently. It is a lifestyle that isn’t only harmonious and abundant in health but also advantageous for all lives in existence. It is essentially a lifestyle made all of us.

How can you can you become vegan?

Take it slow! Start eating at least one plant based meal per day and become friends with vegans! I’m friendly and love meeting new people! Google search some awesome vegan blogs and recipes. My blog, “Fabulously Vegan” has recipes and discusses the practical ways to adopt a vegan lifestyle. As they say, “Rome wasn’t built in a day” but someday every little brick placed created a masterpiece. What are you waiting for??? Go Vegan <3