Why become MeEGAN?
…I mean, why is she so great anyway?
For me there are 3 main very compelling separate reasons for giving up consuming edible animal products (EAPs). EACH enough on their own to convince you into reducing eating meat, seafood dairy and eggs – but put all together they become a gravitationally inescapable logic-hole. So as close to a no brainer as you will ever get IMHO.
IN SHORT: it’s better for you, it’s better for your family, it’s better for your planet and it’s better for billions of other sentient beings, some of whom are also not humans. So basically anything sentient that can feel pain and has emotions, however rudimentary, is better off if you drastically reduce or stop using EAPs. Has there ever been a better reason for doing ANYTHING in the history of …er…. history. I doubt it… and here’s why:
The best thing about these reasons is that you don’t even have to be a very nice person to see the logic – you just have to be smart. Because you can be a MeEGAN for very selfish reasons, however they are not that obvious until you start doing some research.
What you eat matters – is a good general film on the benefits of turning vegan for all the reasons outlined below.
MeEGANism is better for Your Own Health
There is a large amount of growing evidence that suggests that eating animal products, with all that they contain, in unmoderated amounts, is bad for your health. That means that eating meat, dairy and eggs every day, or at least many times a week can cause various heart, cancer and other health problems. I am not going to do a full analysis here, but here are some of the links to articles and films that make the case.
Forks over knives – describes the main findings of the China Study that links many “western” illnesses to animal product consumption. Very strong study and very compelling.
What the health – from the makers of Cowspiracy, which does employ some dodgy ambush interview documentary techniques – but its still compelling and accessible
Various research papers – it doesn’t take much to find a whole host of research articles extolling the benefits of a high percentage plant based diet – linked here is a great collection on PlantSpace – the wholefood vegan hub.
Plant based news – is also a good resource for up to date articles on various current vegan health issues.
MeEGANism is better for your Own Family – based on the above and on the assumption that it is better that you are around to care for your kids at least until they are 40 (and they are perhaps finally not dependent on you), then its better for your family if you are healthy into old age – so YOU eating less meat, dairy and eggs is better for them QED. Boom! Added to that if you can influence them to significantly reduce their EAP consumption and get used to this at a very young age then you are helping them live long and healthy lives and so on and so on… until in 2067 this comes true
MeEGANism is better for Your Environment
The evidence for this just keeps piling up as we start to become aware of all the energy that is taken into getting that steak on your plate. Feeding animals plants to get our calories is vastly less efficient than just eating the plants ourselves. OK so its not as tasty for some, but the point here is that animal products are massively energy inefficient foods given the nutrition they yield, especially when we know that we can get the same nutrition without relying on them. The basic principle here is that its not just the CO2 and methane that cows emit that is bad, its the whole energy and water intensive process that goes into feeding them, housing them, keeping them healthy in intensive farming conditions and then slaughtering and transporting them and freezing their limbs to get to your plate. Here are some links that make the case much better than me:
Half your carbon footprint – the article linked here suggests non-vegans have double the carbon footprint of vegans
George Monbiot article – regularly writes great articles in the Guardian – but this one has some good scientific links and makes a compelling case for saving the planet by turning MeEGAN.
MeEGANism is better for Reducing ALL Sentient Suffering
The animal welfare arguments are easy to grasp, even if you don’t agree with them. Much harder is just watching the meat-dairy industry in action and ignoring it. If you don’t watch these films and remain a carnist then you are agreeing to remain in a state of willful ignorance and are complicit in supporting an industry that is horrific in the way it treats animals as production units with no sense of empathy for the avoidable pain caused in the process. Hard to watch, but important to bear witness and then decide. After all, ignorance is bliss – but its still ignorance. Depends how do you want to think about yourself innit!
Dominion – a really difficult 2 hours of watching – but really powerful build up to the philosophy in the last 10 minutes that rounds it all up to deliver a powerful message questioning our dominion over animals that involves incredible suffering. Good to watch if you find yourself struggling to give up meat. Pushed me to move from 85% to about 95% MeEGAN.
Earthlings – I have just watched this in early Jan 2019 – for me it was very similar in format to Dominion, and covered a lot of the same ground. But there were importantly different sections. For example, the section on elephants getting beaten the shit out off to perform tricks in circuses was horrific, as was the sight of dolphins suffocating on land being clubbed or hacked at or even worse, just left to convulse in their own blood. Just imagine if that was you and your family- horrific! Great film for bolstering your MeEGAN vows.
Carnage – a lighter more humourous look at what the world might be like in 2067 when veganism is the norm and meat eaters are marginalised and seen as unempathic oddballs. Simon Amstell does a great job of envisioning a future animal welfare utopia in an accessible and often endearing self mocking way.
Okja – fun but dramatic story with some tough scenes towards the end designed to highlight the moral inconsistency of eating some animals (cows, pigs, chickens) rather than others (dogs, cats, hamsters). An well disguised animal right movie with some star performances.
Some other good resources
There is an ever increasing vegan presence in the world and online. Here are just a few of my favourites to get you started.
Plant based news – one of the main resources for gathering together news and opinions and videos on veganism
Reducetarian Movement – an organisation with very similar aims to this one but with a slightly different emphasis
If you have been reading this website sequentially then this is the last main page to read – but there is plenty more to be found on the forum page – including news, focus articles and comments discussions. Thanks or reading. Good luck becoming increasingly MeEGAN!