Let’s consider our use of animals. They are our contemporaries on this planet and have as many rights as we have. A change in how we treat them can make life more meaningful for them as well as for us. How often do we see an animal kill a human for food or to use his skin or other parts for clothing? It is never done. Why, then, do we humans treat our animal neighbors with such disrespect?
Someone may respond that we must eat, and animals were provided to us to be food. Others may add that animal skins and feathers make our lives more comfortable and pleasant. However, in the beginning of man’s sojourn on Earth, he ate fruits and vegetables and used plant materials for clothing and decoration.
Is it true that the first humans were vegans, people who did not use animal products in any way? Did the first human refuse to eat honey or eggs or milk from cows? If so, perhaps we should all become vegans as our ancestors were.
Today, the vegan life style is becoming more accepted. In some supermarkets it is possible to buy a vegan cookie, meat which is actually processed plant material which is made to resemble meat, vegan cheese and even vegan dog food so the dog can also become a true vegetarian.
What is involved in the vegan life? A strict vegan will use no animal products at all for any reason. He will not use leather. He will not visit a zoo or animal show. He will not eat meat, honey, milk products, eggs or anything which has derived from animals. He will not use products which have had animal testing of the products. He is against the killing of animals for any human use of the animal’s body.
It appears that this involves a lot of changes in our modern lifestyles. Our cooking methods will change drastically. Of course, we can buy vegetable oil instead of using animal fats. We can find proteins in plant products such as nuts or beans. However, where do we get some elements which are found only in animal products? Some vitamins are found only in milk or other animal products. Among those are calcium and vitamin B12. The only alternative seems to be to use supplements of those missing elements.
However, a sweet tooth type of person wants sweets. The sweetest natural thing that comes to mind is honey, but it is an animal product, one which vegans avoid. It is possible to buy a vegan cookie for the person who wants something sweet. However, they are expensive compared to more normal cookies on the grocery shelf. When one checks to see the ingredients of a vegan cookie, he sees that they have no gluten, little or no sugar, and whole grains. Some were not even cooked in an oven in which animal products were ever used.
If a person has the funds, he can buy a vegan cookie whenever he craves sweets. He must be careful, though. Some of those vegan sweets contain egg whites, which is non-vegan.
One wonders if it is really possible to be a true vegan for a lifetime. A healthy adult can live on a vegan diet. What about the very young people or the older or sickly people? Can they also be vegans? Immunizations often are made from animal products. Smallpox vaccines come from horses, for example. How about babies? A baby cannot be fed a vegan cookie when he is a newborn. He can’t eat apples or beans or nuts. He needs a calcium-filled liquid called milk. His mother has a lot of that available in her body and it seems very accessible. However, that is an animal product.
Thinking about it, vegan living does not seem so natural. Nature provides for the needs of human bodies through the two kingdoms in biology, the plant kingdom and the animal kingdom. Let’s get back to nature; a Big Mac with lettuce and tomato seems natural to me.