/' http-equiv='refresh'/> Vegan Outreach Lincoln and East Midlands: Veganism FAQ'S

Veganism FAQ'S

What is a vegan?
A vegan is someone who doesn’t eat animal products: meat, fish, milk products, eggs, or honey.Vegans also avoid fur, leather, and wool as these products are the result of animal expolitation. 
Vegan may well be the most mispronounced word in the English language. The correct pronunciation is Vee-Guhn.

Why should I become vegan?

Perhaps the most common reason that people adopt a vegan diet relates to concerns over animal exploitatiom. Worldwide over 55 billion farm animals and 90 billion marine animals are slaughtered each year for one reason only, for humans pleasure.

There are also very valid reasons for becoming vegan because of environmental reasons. To be totally honest if you call yourself an environmentalist yet eat meat you're not an environmentalist.
The United Nation’s Food and Agricultural Organisation has estimated that animals bred and killed for food generate roughly 18 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide – more than the entire transport sector combined. In the words of Caroline Lucas MP(Green): ‘A vegan driving a 4x4 does less damage to the planet than a meat-eater on a bicycle!
Animal farming is the number one source of methane – a greenhouse gas that is 21 times more powerful at trapping heat than CO2. It is produced during the digestive processes of sheep, cattle and other ruminants and is released from their untreated manure. A vegan diet has a far smaller impact on climate change than a non-vegan one.

What's the difference between a vegetarian and vegan?
A vegetarian still exploits animals by drinking milk , eating cheese/butter. They also often wear silk,wool, leather etc.  There is as much cruelty in dairy as there is in beef so to be honest vegetarianism is not helping reduce cruelty.
 We always welcome the chance to discuss why we believe that veganism is the consistant moral baseline with anyone, vegetarian,vegan or omnivore.

Why isnt honey vegan?
Honeybees, like other animals, have a complex central nervous system, which means they are able to experience pain and suffering.
Honey is usually taken from the hive in the spring and autumn. In the fall, beekeepers replace honey with white sugar syrup — a poor substitute for the bees’ natural food supply — or kill off the colonies to avoid maintaining the hives throughout the winter.
In a natural environment the queen honeybee would control the hive by choosing the hive’s location and by the number of eggs she produces. In a commercial bee operation the beekeeper manipulates the queen to keep honey production high. Queen honeybees are artificially inseminated after sperm is collected from a male bee by crushing his head and thorax, which forces the release of sperm by turning the bee inside out.Sperm from several males is collected in a syringe that will later be used to inseminate the queen. Queen honeybees have a natural lifespan of five years but most will be killed every one to two years. Many beekeepers will clip the queens wings or put her in a cage called a “queen excluder” to keep her from flying away and taking the hive with her.

Is it vegan to "own"pets?
In terms of reducing suffering, there is nothing inherently wrong in living with another animal. In terms of the specifics, it depends. If you were to take an animal from a shelter, you would be giving that individual a happy home and a good life (assuming you would be good to them). If you were to get an animal from a pet store, you would be supporting and expanding the breeding of animals for pets – which would, most likely, increase the overall suffering in the world. You also have to consider what you feed them, to not consume meat/dairy yourself but purchase it for another animal is hypocritical.

Can Dogs healthily be vegan?
The short answer is yes. We have three rescue dogs who have been vegan since the day they came to live with us many years ago. There's also a fantastic website called http://www.veggiepets.com where you can get vegan dog food and chews which our dogs adore.

If you want more detailed information there's a great book that can be downloaded free from http://www.vegandognutritionassociation.com/vegandognutrition.html.

Can Cats be vegan?
This is slightly more trickly than vegan Dogs as dogs are natural omnivores whereas Cats are carnivores.
Cats need some nutrients which aren't found in plant foods. So 'vegan cats' can be a controversial subject. However, some meat-based cat foods are also synthetically fortified.  There is no evidence that cats have any problems digesting plant proteins instead of animal ones if the transition is made slowly and backed up by good nutrition and a source of taurine.  Ensuring a source of taurine is important as taurine deficiency can cause blindness and heart defects.  Pre-prepared vegan cat food usually contains taurine or you can supplement home made meals with Vegecat powder.

Older cats can make a transition to a vegan diet too; it may simply take a little more time. Again Veggie Pets and Lembas do vegan Cat food

What do you eat?
A vegan diet includes all grains, beans, legumes, vegetables and fruits and the nearly infinite number of foods made by combining them. Many vegan versions of familiar foods are available, so you can eat vegan hot dogs, ice cream,meat,chease.

Where do you get your protein/B12 etc?
Vegans can get all the protein they need from legumes (e.g., beans, tofu, peanuts) and grains (e.g., rice, corn, whole wheat breads and pastas); calcium from broccoli, kale, collard greens, tofu, fortified juices and soymilks; iron from chickpeas, spinach, pinto beans, and soy products; and B12 from fortified foods or supplements.The vegan society does a great chewable multivitamin that has all the vitamins that a vegan could possibly miss if they were being a little unhealthy (including B12), it's very cheap at 4.99 for 3 months supply and tastes great!

It being vegan expensive?
It really depends on you and what you choose to eat. If you live on all the mock meats,cheeses etc then yes it will be slightly more than an omniverous diet but if you eat wholefoods (legumes,nuts,pulses,fruit and vegetables) then it will be likely cheaper especially if you shop at your local market. If you live in Lincoln  contact us if you're interested jouining our co-op , we order from www.lembas.co.uk, where you can buy things in bulk which is great for reducing cost.

Why do you care for animals so much when humans are dying all over the world?
We each have limited time, energy, and money to offer. The causes and cures of human suffering are complex, often distant, and difficult to address, especially by an individual. The causes and cures of animal suffering are often simpler and all around us. Making the choice to adopt a vegan diet can have a far-reaching effect on reducing suffering in the world. As I said earlier by being vegan you dramatically reduce your environmental footprint and this will do a lot to help those in countries like the Maldives who will be climate refugees if we keep going the way we are.

What's wrong with milk? The cow doesnt die...
In order to produce commercial quantities of milk, dairy cows are made pregnant. The resulting calf is a by-product of that process and the industry struggles to make use of the youngsters. Some males go for veal, while others are reared on for beef. A significant proportion of females join the dairy herd, but hundreds of thousands of calves, especially males are shot soon after birth. In any case the newborns are typically removed from their mothers within 24 hours and fed on milk replacer so that their mothers’ milk can be diverted for human consumption. When production – and, therefore, their economic value to the industry – starts to decline, dairy cows and laying hens are sent to slaughter. They will have lived for only a fraction of their natural lifespan. The dairy cow is one of the most exploited of all farmed animals. Subjected to a constant cycle of pregnancies (usually by artificial insemination), she is pushed to her limit and forced (through selective breeding) to produce vastly unnatural quantities of milk. Her calves are taken from her at one or two days old, so that the milk meant for them can be bottled up for humans. The repeated separation of mother and calf is incredibly distressing for both – cows have been known to bellow for days. Some of the female calves replace worn-out cows in the dairy herd. But males are often regarded as waste by-products because demand is limited for their ‘low quality’ flesh. Around 100,000 ‘surplus’ calves are shot every year, others are sent on punishing journeys to continental veal farms. Most dairy cows, at some point in their short lives, suffer from serious illnesses such as lameness and mastitis. The last is an acutely painful infection of the udders. Because of the pressures they face, most dairy cows, by the time they are five, are worn out and considered uneconomical. The next stop is the slaughterhouse. Naturally, they would live to be 25 years old.

What is vegan abolitionism? 
This has been taken from a very good website run by Professor Gary Francione.

The Six Principles of the Abolitionist Approach to Animal Rights

  1. The abolitionist approach to animal rights maintains that all sentient beings, humans or nonhumans, have one right: the basic right not to be treated as the property of others.
  2. Our recognition of the one basic right means that we must abolish, and not merely regulate, institutionalized animal exploitation—because it assumes that animals are the property of humans.
  3. Just as we reject racism, sexism, ageism, and heterosexism, we reject speciesism. The species of a sentient being is no more reason to deny the protection of this basic right than race, sex, age, or sexual orientation is a reason to deny membership in the human moral community to other humans.
  4. We recognize that we will not abolish overnight the property status of nonhumans, but we will support only those campaigns and positions that explicitly promote the abolitionist agenda. We will not support positions that call for supposedly “improved” regulation of animal exploitation. We reject any campaign that promotes sexism, racism, heterosexism or other forms of discrimination against humans.
  5. We recognize that the most important step that any of us can take toward abolition is to adopt the vegan lifestyle and to educate others about veganism. Veganism is the principle of abolition applied to one’s personal life and the consumption of any meat, fowl, fish, or dairy product, or the wearing or use of animal products, is inconsistent with the abolitionist perspective.
  6. We recognize the principle of nonviolence as the guiding principle of the animal rights movement. Violence is the problem; it is not any part of the solution.