I’m sorry to break the news to you, but there is nothing humane about dairy farming, no matter how nice all these magic farms seem (which every single non-vegan seems to live just across the street from, waving to farmer dave every morning you get your paper).
I grew up on a farm. Literally. From my room window I could see cow, goats, chickens, pigs, emu, ducks, and quail. I raised these animals. I murdered them with my hands. I skinned them. I cut them up and ate them… and there’s nothing in my life that I regret more than these acts. I was a monster.
Besides that, it still is irrelevant when you think of the simple fact that you are not a cow, so why are you consuming a cow’s milk? You in no way, shape, or form are required to eat cheese (it’s actually pretty bad for you an shouldn’t be eaten anyway), so why imprison the cow, rape her, then take her children away to be murdered for baby cow mean (aka veal), or raised in prison until they themselves are able to produce milk or be slaughtered for more meat. It’s unjustifiable.
Go ahead and read the basic page for dairy cows on wikipedia and tell me it doesn’t make you want to throw up
and that’s just the really nice, dairy council funded page about how things work….
A collection of powerful videos you might want to check out.
Meet Your Meat*
Forks Over Knives
Fat Sick and Nearly Dead
Films for Action
Holocaust on a Conveyor Belt
What a Difference a Day Makes (music by Moby)
Speciesism: The Movie*
The Ghosts in our Machine*
~Edit: I’ve added your suggestions below:
The Gerson Miracle
River of Waste
Gary Yourofsky’s Inspirational Speech at Georgia Tech
More than Honey
Death on a Factory Farm
Hungry for Change
The Beautiful Truth
Maximum Tolerated Dose
Behind the Mask*
*Some of these videos contain graphic material. I’ve marked the ones I know of.
Do you have any favourites you’d like to add?
I’ve posted this a few times before, but I wanted to share it again for new followers. Let’s see if we can get over 10,000 notes!
Resources for eating vegan on a budget!
- Vegan on $15 a Week
- 18 Tips for Minimizing Your Food Costs + Final $2 a Day Menu
- Vegan Dollar Menu (Vegan for $3 a Day)
- Eating Vegan on $21 a Week (The Food Stamp Budget)
- Eating a Healthy Vegan Diet for Less Than $5 a Day
- Vegan on $10 a Day (or less!)
- Vegan on a Budget: Tips for Creating Delicious and Affordable Meals
- 6 Tips to Eat Vegan on a Budget
From a pro-beef article published by the PennState College of Agricultural Sciences (just in case you were worried about that ‘nasty vegan propaganda’): "The reality is there is no evidence whatsoever that grass-fed beef has any advantage for safety, human health, or impact on the environment than grain-fed beef… there is a 500% increase in greenhouse gas emissions for each pound of beef produced from grass-fed compared to grain-fed cattle. Uncontrolled nitrogen and phosphate release to the environment, 35% more water use, and 30% more land use for grass-fed cattle compared to grain-fed increases the environmental impact of strictly grass feeding."
Beef from grass fed cows has been promoted as a source of Omega 3s, but "it would require a person to eat 41/2 pounds of cooked grass-fed beef daily to meet the minimum daily requirement" (whereas it would take about two glasses of omega 3 soy milk to reach the same requirement).
There are also claims that it is safer from contaminants and infection, such as E. coli, but contamination has little to do with what method of raising an animal to slaughter them: “contamination happens in a processing plant and has nothing to do with how or where the animal was raised. Cattle in all types of environments-feedlots and pasture- have been shown to have the virulent form of E. coli in their digestive tract, and it requires the special care that is taken in beef processing plants to prevent meat contamination”.
There is no doubt that “grass-fed”, “free range” animal productions use more land and water, producing more greenhouse gas emissions and aiding in water pollution. These animal productions are shown to differentiate very little from their standardized counterparts in terms of consumer health: they may have less fat, but they’re still the same product linked to disease. They’re not “vitamin enhanced” or “cancer fighting”, as in there is no scientific proof towards these claims.
Are they bad for your health? You know, I really don’t give a shit if they are. Veganism is not about your health - you’re destroying the planet and causing the death and exploitation of billions of sentient animals. I don’t care if you eat doughnuts 3 times a day, rub tobacco into your teeth, and purposely infect yourself with a deadly disease. Veganism is not about your health. You can choose to be healthy if you want, but when you start making choices for others - who gets to live and die, whether our environment will be able to sustain our species - those aren’t personal choices, those aren’t opinions, that’s not freedom. It’s oppression.
So as you may have seen, I recently wrote an article about b12 and as you may also have seen it received some backlash for not being supported by dietitians in the vegan community. I admit that I wrote the article in a hurry on my way to work one day, so I did not take the time to adequately cite my sources. Which brings us to this post, in which I cite studies almost exclusively.
Let me start by saying that B12 deficiency is increasingly common and it is not because of vegans. A study by the USDA predicts that nearly 40% of the US population is low on b12 (you may note that only 2.5% of the US is vegan as of 2009), so obviously not eating animal products isn’t the whole issue. The USDA agrees:
Oddly, the researchers found no association between plasma B12 levels and meat, poultry, and fish intake, even though these foods supply the bulk of B12 in the diet. “It’s not because people aren’t eating enough meat,” Tucker said. “The vitamin isn’t getting absorbed.”
B12 is vital to our health and it’s important for everyone, vegans and carnists, to periodically monitor their B12 levels.
Now how do you develop a B12 deficiency? It’s is most often caused by an inability to absorb the vitamin due to
- Atrophic gastritis, in which your stomach lining has thinned
- Pernicious anemia, which makes it hard for your body to absorb vitamin B12
- Surgery that removed part of your stomach or small intestine, including weight loss surgery
- Conditions affecting the small intestine, such as Crohn’s disease, celiac disease, bacterial growth, or a parasite
- Heavy drinking
- Immune system disorders, such as Graves’ disease orlupus
- or Long-term use of acid-reducing drugs (x)
It is not often caused by an inadequate dietary intake because the requirements for B12 are so low and our body recycles so much of it. The following is from an article by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition:
The enterohepatic circulation of vitamin B-12 is very important in vitamin B-12 economy and homeostasis (27). Nonvegetarians normally eat ≈2-6µg of vitamin B-12/d and excrete from their liver into the intestine via their bile 5-10 µg of vitamin B-12/d. If they have no gastric, pancreatic, or small bowel dysfunction interfering with reabsorption, their bodies reabsorb ≈ 3-5µg of bile vitamin B-12/d. Because of this, an efficient enterohepatic circulation keeps the adult vegan, who eats very little vitamin B-12, from developing vitamin B-12 deficiency disease for 20-30 y (27) because even as body stores fall and daily bile vitamin B-12 output falls with body stores to as low as 1µg, the percentage of bile vitamin B-12 reabsorbed rises to close to 100%, so that the whole microgram is reabsorbed.
Studies of normal patients with no stores of cobalamin have shown that only 1 microgram per day is required to quickly reverse early pernicious anemia. A dramatic increase in young red blood cells and reticulocytes and a rise to normal hemoglobin and hematocrit was observed within days. The minimum daily requirement (MDR) for cobalamin appears to be even lower, 0.2-0.25 micrograms per day absorbed from food is adequate for normal people.
An additional non-dietary source of absorbable vitamin B-12 may be from bacteria in the small intestine of humans (Herbert 1984, Albert 1990). Intestinal bacteria can produce 5 ug of cobalamins and 95 ug of B-12 analogues per 24 hours. Thus, vitamin B-12 deficiency can be attained by inadequate ingestion over decades, defective absorption or utilization (metabolic defects), increased requirement (pregnancy, hyperthyroidism), increased excretion (alcoholism), or increased destruction as by megadoses of vitamin C(Herbert, 1994). The most common cause of omnivore vitamin B-12 deficiency is a defect in gastric/pancreatic metabolism, small intestinal dysfunction or age-dependent loss of gastric secretory activity (Herbert 1984).
It is usually said that B12 is only produced in our large intestines, below the ileum, where B12 is absorbed, but the presence of some bacteria in the small intestine suggests otherwise. From Nature.com:
In man, physiological amounts of vitamin B12(cyanocobalamin) are absorbed by the intrinsic factor mediated mechanism exclusively in the ileum1. Human faeces contain appreciable quantities of vitamin B12or vitamin B12-like material presumably produced by bacteria in the colon2, but this is unavailable to the non-coprophagic individual. However, the human small intestine also often harbours a considerable microflora3–6and this is even more extensive in apparently healthy southern Indian subjects6. We now show that at least two groups of organisms in the small bowel,PseudomonasandKlebsiella sp., may synthesise significant amounts of the vitamin.
Of course it would seem that more research still needs to be done to determine how much bioavailable B12 is produced in the small intestine under normal conditions.
What about dietary sources of B12? I’ve read many times that animal products are the only foods that contain the vitamin and it’s often used as an argument for why we’re “meant to eat meat.” This is not true. B12 isn’t produced by plants or animals. It’s produced by bacteria. Early humans most likely obtained B12 from cobalt-rich soils (that have since been depleted) and fecal contamination due to poor hygiene. Most plant sources today have only trace amounts of B12, but there are still some plants with bioavailable sources.
Foods with active B12:
In the vegan group, total vitamin B-12 intake correlated significantly (r = 0.63, P < 0.01) with serum vitamin B-12 concentration. The vegans consuming Nori and/or Chlorella seaweeds (n = 16) had serum vitamin B-12 concentrations twice as high as those not using these seaweeds (n = 5) (mean 221 pmol/L, range 75-408, vs. 105, 35-252, P = 0.025). In the longitudinal study, six of nine vegans showed slow, but consistent deterioration of vitamin B-12 status over a 2-y observation period. On the basis of these results we conclude that some seaweeds consumed in large amounts can supply adequate amounts of bioavailable vitamin B-12.
That is the most reliable evidence I’ve found because it is the only study that correlates ingestion of the food to raising B12 levels in the human body. However, there are some other foods that pass the standard tests for levels of active B12 that humans can absorb.
Assays of vitamin B-12 in Spirulina Pacifica using the standard US Pharmacopeia (USP) method to measure total corrinoids reveals an average activity of about 7 micrograms per 3 grams of Spirulina (one serving size). Using the O. malhamensis assay in parallel to specifically measure human-active cobalamins the assay exhibits an average activity of 2.5 micrograms per 3 grams of Spirulina. These figures demonstrate that about 36% of the total corrinoid vitamin B-12 activity in Spirulina is human active.
Zero or trace levels (0.01-0.09 µg/100 g dry weight) of vitamin B₁₂ were determined in porcini mushrooms (Boletus spp.), parasol mushrooms (Macrolepiota procera), oyster mushrooms (Pleurotus ostreatus), and black morels (Morchella conica). By contrast, black trumpet (Craterellus cornucopioides) and golden chanterelle (Cantharellus cibarius) mushrooms contained considerable levels (1.09-2.65 µg/100 g dry weight) of vitamin B₁₂. To determine whether C. cornucopioides or C. cibarius contained vitamin B₁₂ or other corrinoid compounds that are inactive in humans, we purified a corrinoid compound using an immunoaffinity column and identified it as vitamin B₁₂ based on LC/ESI-MS/MS chromatograms.
Many fermented foods such as tempeh, kimchi, and kombucha have been shown to improve B12 levels as well, but due to variations in production and processing, they are not reliable standard sources. Each source would need to be tested individually. Also many foods (nutritional yeast, non-dairy milks, cereals and dairy products) are now fortified with B12. Fortified foods have proven to be the most reliable in supplying B12, even to non-vegans.
Organic, wild-grown produce is said to obtain B12 because the soil hasn’t been depleted as on industrial farms, but again, it would need to be determined on a case-by-case basis. Because human-feces is known to contain significant amounts of B12, Veganic farming and other organic farms that use human-composted manure would probably be your best bet.
One thing that is is true is that vegans tested typically have B12 serum levels that are lower than normal, but this doesn’t necessarily mean they’re more likely to be B12 deficient. Keep in mind that the normal serum ranges are based on carnists, not vegans. It’s been theorized that vegans may not need as much B12 because their diet doesn’t have as many gut inhibitors and they have generally healthier digestive systems. Again, more research needs to be done, but one study found that even though vegans did have low B12 levels, they didn’t show signs of macrocytosis (a typical sign of early deficiency).
To conclude, yes, B12 deficiency is a big issue, No, it is not just a problem for vegans, Yes, there are plant-based sources of B12, and no, you do not need to buy supplements just because you do not eat meat.
Now if you want to buy supplements just to be safe, be sure to get a low-dosage one, as there is some controversy over too-much B12 and more research needs to be done. And if any carnist tries to tell you your diet is “unnatural” because you need to supplement, kindly remind them the animals they eat would be B12 deficient, if it weren’t for vitamin supplements too.
Diet for a new world, may all be fed by John Robbins
You’re preaching to the choir, anon. You don’t think I already know this! It’s common knowledge.
Whether an individual person pays money to go to a dogfight or simply not choose to spend their money that way, there WILL STILL be a dogfight, so why care? One little individual not spending money on dogfighting doesn’t prevent dogfighting from existing.
Whether an individual person pays money for child prostitution or simply not choose to spend their money that way, there WILL STILL be child prostitution, so why care? One little individual not paying for child prostitution doesn’t prevent child prostitution from existing.
Whether an individual arms dealer sells weapons to terrorists or simply decides to not do that, there WILL STILL be terrorists armed with weapons, so why care? One little individual deciding not to sell arms to terrorists doesn’t prevent terrorism from existing.
I think the morale of the story is if that an individual’s sole decision doesn’t completely eradicate an entire industry from existing, then there’s no point in actually doing it for something as stupid as the principle of it. Because as the economic law of supply and supply states:
- You don’t have to give a shit about what you personally demand in this world, just so long as OTHER PEOPLE DO IT!!
No meat, no milk, no wool, no silk,
No eggs, no honey, my choice, my money..
No shooting, no snares, no coursing of hares,
No circus, no zoo, no rodeo too..
No fur, no leather, no saddle, no tether,
No eggs, no fish, no cruelty’s my wish..
No feathers, no suede, no…
vegetarians who agree with the basic principles of veganism but continue to exploit animals nd buy animal products make me soooOOoo uncomfortable
please just don’t associate yourself with animal rights if you buy any product from an animals thanks im not sorry if i hurt ur feelings
trash of the dairy industry
Reminder: the dairy industry has to dispose of calves so that we can take their mother’s milk. At the very best, they’ll be kept alive for up to six months, chained to a stall, and killed for veal or calfskin leather; or if they’re female, they’ll get to grow up to have their babies stolen from them as well while being milked until milk production wanes at 2-3 years old (1 sixth of their natural lifespan) when they’ll be sent to slaughter for cheap burger meat.
Aaand this is why I hate people and want to be a vegan
What’s stopping you?
Sorry but this is complete bullshit..
I’ll be happy to listen to your arguments.
This is horrifying…
WHAT IN THE EVER LIVING FUCK LIKE NO
MY GRANDPARENTS OWN A DAIRY FARM AND THE ONLY THING WE WOUKD DO WITH THE CALVES IS SEPERATE THEM FROM THEIR MOTHERS SO THE MOTHERS PRODUCE THE MOST MILK THEY CAN NATURALLY THEN WE JUST TAKE THE MILK WE PUMP OUT AND PUT IT IN BIG BOTTLES FOR THE CALVES LIKE NO THIS DOESNT HAPPEN, THEN IF WE DONT WANT THE CALVES WE SELL THEM SIMPLE AS THAT
aside from the fact that the great majority of the dairy produced in this country is done on factory farms and not down on gram and gramps farm, what do you think happens to the calves you separate and sell? that they go on to live happy, carefree lives of uninterrupted bliss in sunny pastures? no. they live miserable lives as veal calves, they’re sent to the same servitude as their mothers, or this shit. give it the fuck up already.
"If we don’t want them, we just sell them"
The fact that you see nothing wrong with selling a baby (even if it was to a magical happy pasture) to keep their mother for her milk is truly, truly disturbing…
vegan foodies, this is your new bible. if anything, just for the monterey jack recipe, which i cannot get over. it is so amazing. i don’t even cook with it much, i just eat it out of the fridge. so far i’ve also made the smoked provolone, cream cheese, meltable cheddar, munster, and the american oat. not all of the textures have turned out that well, but it was probbaly just due to user errors because the flavors have all been great. i’m definitely looking forward to trying the cannolis and a lot of the other amazing sounding recipes. i highly recommend buying it