Most people are trying to do the right thing. They don’t want to support animal cruelty and they want to be healthy and happy. We’ve found that as people learn more, more questions come up. That is normal and we want to help get you the information you need to make informed choices that align with your own values.
Animal Product Labeling
The Humane Myth
The word “humane” is a marketing term developed by the animal agriculture industry to try to make consumers feel better about buying their products. In fact, the term means nothing. Most animals on “humane” farms suffer the same intense confinement and mutilations as factory farmed animals and all are killed when they’re just babies.
The “Free Range” Myth
“Free range” is another marketing term created by the animal agriculture industry. It’s intended to make people think that the animals live outside in spacious fields. However, the reality is that most of these animals never see the outdoors.
“Free range” hens live packed by the tens of thousands in ammonia-saturated warehouses filled with feces and urine and are still subjected to bodily mutilations. There may be one small door leading to an outdoor pen but because of the sheer number of birds none of them will likely ever find the door, let alone spend any time outdoors.
What About Organic?
Organic only means that the animals were not given antibiotics. It tells you nothing about the treatment of the animals. Animals from organic farms still usually live in the same confined, overcrowded and filthy conditions as animals from non-organic farms. And because animals from organic farms do not receive antibiotics, they are usually much sicker. Udder infections are rampant on organic dairy farms and the infected pus is passed through the mother’s body and into the milk that consumers drink.
What about dairy is cruel? No animals are being killed when you milk a cow.
Unfortunately, veal and hamburger are directly linked to the dairy industry. By supporting one, you are supporting the other. Here’s what happens…in order for a cow to produce milk, she has to have just given birth (just like humans). So, to divert a mother cow’s milk to humans, her babies are taken away from her. Male babies usually are used for “veal” and females usually replace their mothers on the milk production line. Then, when a dairy cow is considered “spent” by the industry – usually after about 4 years – she is slaughtered and usually made into hamburger meat.
Can I get proper nutrition on a vegan diet?
Yes. But don’t just take our word for it. “It is the position of the American Dietetic Association that appropriately planned vegetarian diets, including total vegan diets, are healthful, nutritionally adequate and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases….they are appropriate for individuals during all stages of the life cycle, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood and adolescence and for athletes.” – Journal of American Dietetic Association 2009 July; 109(7):1266-82
It’s easy to get enough protein with a plant-based diet. A few daily servings of foods such as beans, lentils, nuts, seeds and soy as part of a well-balanced diet provides all the protein you need. You can read more about protein needs here.
Adults need 1,000 mg per day. Whole foods like broccoli, kale, beans, lentils and fruit are all rich in calcium. Many juices are also now fortified with calcium. More information about calcium needs can be found here.
Vitamin B12 is the one nutrient not found in plant foods in any reliable amount. Eat B12 fortified foods twice a day or take a daily supplement and you will be good to go.
Foods such as walnuts, canola oil, flaxseeds, hemp seeds or chia seeds are all packed with omega-3s. Incorporate these into your diet or take a vegan omega-3 supplement
I’m already vegan…
I already don’t eat any animal products, what else can I do?
You are not alone! Millions of people every year are reducing or eliminating animal products from their diets. Many of these people are also expanding their cruelty-free consumer choices to include household products and cosmetics that are labled as “not tested on animals”. They are also choosing to avoid entertainment sources that rely on animal exploitation, such as circuses and aquarium “shows”.