Being Vegan

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Throughout history, humanity’s existence has always been defined by its correlation to the other animals that shared its environment. It is believed that the human race, from its earliest ancestors such as the Homo habilis and Homo erectus, began as scavengers who ate primarily vegetation and fruits, and interestingly enough, also included whatever protein they could derive from the carcasses of fallen animals. Anthropologists have discovered tools made of bones and stones with marked precision that was utilized by these early homo species to more easily derive whatever protein they can from corpses. The early men not only viewed animals as mere avenues to acquire protein, but have often times worshipped and respected them for their importance in the “web of life” which constituted of all animals and plants in the environment; many ancient religions and deities were centered on these “truths”. Several million years later, that early scavenger-human has evolved into the imaginative and masterful race of the Hominidae tree known as Homo sapiens or modern day man. Yet with the rise of human civilizations, we seem to have experienced a de-evolution in regards to our nature towards what was originally the source of our great strength: the animals we utilized in the name of progress. Where once man had respected the beasts of the fields by paying homage to the sacrifice they were making for the benefits of their community, now they are processed as mere “living” products; their lives are only a state in the process of transforming them into their intended design. So great has this transformation become that our entire society, to the smallest, most minute aspects of it, is laden with the testaments of our tyranny over the rest of the animal kingdom. Leather, derivative of the skins of living beings, is widely sold as a cheap, obtainable material which can be found in useless artifacts, such as novelty key chains or the inconspicuous lining of clothing. Our medicines and cosmetics are deemed safe for human use only after thousands of forced tests on helpless animals. In many countries, using living beasts in bloody combat sports is seen as not only acceptable, but crucial for “preserving” their culture. What characteristics we embodied throughout time as noble, such as compassion and restrain, are no longer practiced on these “inconsequential” beings, and unfortunately, it is to the disadvantage of the supposed noble human race. As it stands today, the population has become desensitized and/or ignorant to the horrors which occur in the race to acquire more of these animal-based products; in no better way is this exemplified than in our food culture today. Our meat heavy diets have begun to affect our health, our ethical perspectives. However, this is not an irrevocable path in which we have embarked on. As Dr. Carl Sagan, a physicist, has speculated in The Dragons of Eden, “While our behavior is still significantly controlled by our genetic inheritance, we have, through our brains, a much richer opportunity to blaze new behavioral and cultural pathways on short time scales” (Sagan 3); from his speculations, we can take heart at the fact that it is not too late to make a change. There exist many alternatives to the way things currently are administered, and are readily available in today’s age. Veganism, or abstaining from the consumption of animal products, as well as an associated philosophy that rejects the commodity projection on animals, is a much more preferable and beneficial dietary lifestyle because it allows us to accommodate to the way in which our bodies were designed to process foods, and allows us to eat our food without having to be in conflict with our ethical and moral values. The dietary aspect of veganism is a direct response in opposition to the immorality and inhumanity present in the manufacturing of animal based foods and its effects on the health of the human populace. Before one can begin to understand...
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