Ich ernähre mich seit knapp ein Jahr vegan. Strikt seit Jänner 2019. Davor aß ich alles, wobei in den letzten Jahren nahm ich immer weniger tierische Produkte zu mir und da meine Mutter seit über 15 Jahren vegetarisch lebt, wuchs ich noch in einem vegetarischen Haushalt auf, in dem es sehr wenig Fleisch gab. Fisch hatten wir immer wieder einmal. Aber bereits früh war in unserem Haushalt die gesunde und ausgewogene Ernährung ein wichtiger Bestandteil. Bio-Produkte, wenig Pastik, regional und vor allem nachhaltig und saisonal kaufen. Dies sind Grundsätze, die ich teilweise von meiner Mutter mitbekommen hatte, aber auch nach meinem Unfall weiterverfolgte.
For good, sustainable and organic products, I like to spend more money. And in recent years, organic products have actually been very affordable. At least here in Austria. For a few cents more you usually get not only organic, but also more sustainable products. Unfortunately, a lot of organic is also imported. But this is another story.
Why do I go into this? Because I already in the early years created an awareness of what I put into my body and above all what I do not want to eat. Until 27 I ate meat. Although not in large scale but there were years before, meat was part of every meal. I was one of those people who believe meat is an important protein source. I was one of those “cool” kids who think that a meatless dish is not worth it and that a “real” man needs his meat. A popular belief that is still very widespread in the German-speaking area. A relic that comes from another time. A time when you had no choice what to eat. In the 50s and 60s, most people had nothing. With difficulty they had to run their small farms or businesses and see that enough food was on the table. Meat was valuable and you did not have it every day. In addition, the animals were not pumped with drugs, genetically modified food and other bad stuff that makes them grow unnaturally. Meat was pure at that time and hardly comparable to what many buy today in the supermarkets.
At the time, technology, science, and information were not ready enough to say you could survive without meat or animal products. The people had no choice. Either they slaughtered the animal or there was no food for the next few weeks. The comparison to today is terrifying and cruel. Every year, about 150 billion animals are killed. Economy and profit come first. Put into the narrowest cages or on a herd at the organic farm. Each animal has only one goal: to land as meat in the supermarket. Animals are transported 100 kilometers to be killed. We already know that animals can show empathy. We know that animals can feel pain and be sad. We know that an animal does not know the difference between “human” killing and traditional slaughter. And we know that an animal does not want to die to serve us as food. In the last minute 285360 animals were killed. Every second 4756 animals die. Why?
Already in school, we begin to learn that a dog is a pet and a pig is just a slaughter animal. Before that we do not know this difference. Before we are even cognitively ready to get the difference explained, all animals are the same. Not only that, all people are the same. We do not classify humans as a baby. We see every living being the same. But in the course of the young life, there is a proverbial brainwashing and suddenly we know the differences. Suddenly, we classify animals and later people, just because they are different and think differently or believe in other things. Many people believe that they stand above animals. We believe that we are masters of things and, thanks to our cognitive and communicative abilities, we have chosen to enslave animals and kill them for our pleasure and prosperity. Since 1950, meat consumption has increased. Consumption has doubled since then. In the post-war years, meat was his rare commodity, which is why in the years 1951/52 meat-free days were introduced. It was not until the mid-1950s that consumption of 48 kg per capita was reached again as in the pre-war years.
Austria ranks third in the EU for meat consumption and 15th in the world. 5.9 tonnes of meat are eaten by an average Austrian in his / her life. A number that you can not even imagine. 65 kg of meat is eaten by an Austrian every year. That’s five servings a week, though three servings per week are recommended as a maximum. But simply refraining from meat is not possible. It is part of our society, part of our tradition, right?. You can not throw it overboard. It was once a tradition to keep slaves, to torture or to stone people. Bullshit!!!! Eating meat has nothing to do with tradition or our origins. We are programmed to eat meat. We do not question it. Everyone knows the cruel truth and everyone knows that meat consumption is a serious problem for the climate. But to deal with the truth, to face facts and to seriously ask ourselves, if we make a big mistake here as humanity, that is too difficult.
Do not get me wrong, I do not despise anyone who eats meat. I have been eating meat for most of my life. And everyone has the right to decide for themselves. I also do not want to “convert” anyone. BUT someone who daily decides to continue supporting the pointless animal holocaust should at least be ready to face up to the facts. I fully understand that it is normal to want to elude unpleasant fact. No one likes to see sorrow, torment and heartbreaking images. But if you are still eating meat, take the time to look at the following documentation. It’s time to create awareness. It is time to start a dialogue and end the enslavement of the animals for our enjoyment and stubbornness for change. Animals are not here in this world to be enslaved, bred and killed by us. Every animal has a right to freedom and a happy life.
Yesterday I had an interesting conversation with my mother. As a vegetarian, she understands some aspects of my new way of life. But during the conversation we came to talk about milk and dairy products. She did not know (although as a child she had cows) that a cow does not naturally give milk 350 days a year. Through hormones and artificial insemination, cows are forced to give milk for years. The calf is separated from the mother shortly after birth and the milk can flow. Male pups are either killed or sold immediately and then killed. The female calves are raised to other dairy cows. The mother gives milk for about two months until re-fertilization takes place. A dairy cow is disposed of after about three years, as the constant milk production leads to diseases and infections. With disposed I of course mean being killed. A cow has a life expectancy of about 20 years, with cows that are well over 40 years old. But we decided to throw their life away after just 2, 3 years.
Today we live in a time when we carry every piece of information directly in our phones. There are studies, evidence and proof that meat and other animal products are not healthy in the long term. We know that factory farming and the consumption of animal products are destroying our planet. Livestock farming claims a huge share of the world’s land area. Pasture land and farmland used for animal feed account for almost 80% of agricultural land. According to this, one third of the global agricultural land is only used for the cultivation of animal feed. Ascending trend. And why? Because we do not want to change. You can survive without meat, milk and eggs. Not only that. On average, you live healthier and get older slower. Nevertheless, we are still stuffing ourselves with unhealthy foods, not only polluting the environment but killing masses of animals.
I decided to go for a purely plant-based diet because my stomach / intestines did not tolerate this heavy and unhealthy food due to a lot of stress and strain. In addition, the idea of the environment is close to my heart and to be honest: I am worried about our future and future children. I am afraid that we have already dug ourselves too deep into it and there is no way back anymore. And I do not want another animal to suffer because of me, get killed or otherwise treated cruelly. We are all part of this system and we have the power to say no to it. It takes a lot of discipline and responsibility. And it’s not easy, because it feels like an impossible fight.
Why does it really suck to be vegan? Every day I have to deal with the fact that everywhere animals are killed for no reason. Also, because of the fact that humans are “animal lovers”, have a dog, cat, or other pets, but then decide to eat meat and pay to have animals killed for them, it’s hard for me. Many people are not fully aware of it, suppress it or just do not want to hear it. Following the German motto: “Was ich nicht weiß, macht mich nicht heiß.” As an individual, I can make sure that no animals die in my name. I can ensure that my ecological footprint is reduced by consuming non-animal products. Each of us as a consumer has the power to make a difference. A new, healthier and more sustainable way to go. Sooner or later everyone will have to deal with this fact, as we can not treat this planet like that much longer. So my question is: Do you want to be part of the change or do you remain ignorant until it’s too late? Why do you really eat meat and why do you think there is a difference in dogs, cows or any other animal?
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