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Today I watched a documentary titled Cowspiracy on Netflix and, no exaggeration, it has opened my eyes in many a way and changed my entire outlook and perspective on life and the world around us. I was brought up to be a meat eater, and only managed a relatively short stint as a vegetarian last year. However I recently decided to try being a vegetarian again and, after watching this documentary, I've come to the decision that I wish to eat a vegan diet.
The decision wasn't difficult to make and it was instantaneous for me. Knowing what I know now. Seeing what I have seen. Having the facts laid out in front of me in such an easy to understand way. All of these factors make it impossible for me to support the meat and dairy industries any longer. The destruction these industries are causing to our planet is of an untold scale, and that's not to mention the suffering that the animals endure merely to fulfil our cravings for cheap meat and dairy.
Reading these facts has truly shocked me into waking up to the harm we're causing our planet. I thought that by being a vegetarian and trying to follow that diet that I was doing my part—but Cowspiracy has shown me that veganism is the only way to truly make an impact. Whilst being a vegetarian was a good start, this is the next step that I need to take in order to do my part for the planet - and part of that is sharing the facts too, being the journalist that I am. A vegetarian diet uses three times the land as a vegan one. Cows used for the dairy industry will still eventually be killed and used as beef when they no longer become profitable as dairy. Whilst being a vegetarian is a good start, this documentary has shown me that you're still not making the impact that is necessary if we're to save this planet from the crisis that is climate change.
Species are going extinct on an unprecedented scale due to deforestation and other issues—with the leading cause of these problems being the agricultural industry. This industry is creating huge amounts of waste and depleting us of our natural resources (water) which we need to survive. Just one hamburger requires 660 gallons of water to be produced. This is the equivalent to showering everyday for two months. 1,000 gallons of water goes into producing a mere one gallon of milk. Not only are these industries cruel, they're unsustainable. We simply cannot go on using so much water to produce so little produce, it's inefficient and simply illogical.
The cruelty we inflict upon livestock for our diets is unimaginable and many people simply don't know the realities of it. For instance, how do you think cows are able to produce milk? They don't just produce it for the sake of it, like human's don't. A female cow will be artificially inseminated in order to make them pregnant so that they can produce milk. The calf will be removed from its mother after only a few days and if it's female it will have the same fate as its mother and be raised for the dairy industry. If you're a male calf however then you will either be slaughtered and seen as waste or you will be raised for the beef industry. Cows cannot produce milk without being pregnant, so once a cow's milk is running out the process is repeated again. What kind of life is that to live?
I'm not going to go on too much and overload you with information, but I will say this:
I've woken up to the realities of the meat and dairy industries and how they're not only cruel but bad for our planet and they are simply unsustainable. The vegan lifestyle is becoming increasingly easier to live, with more plant based products being brought to market and prices going down due to increased demand. You can do your part to save the planet, and your conscience, by putting down that McNugget and saying no to this industry. If more of us refuse to partake in this production it will become more and more unprofitable to run the meat and dairy industry and it will be forced to find more alternatives.