Meet the residents of Harmony Farm Sanctuary! We are home to almost 130 rescued farm animals. And we are vegan for them! Why, you ask, let's get into that.
Approx. 70 billion animals are farmed for food around the world every year. Around two-thirds, almost 50 million, are raised in intensive factory farms. In the US, 99% of meat, dairy, and eggs come from factory farms. This kind of animal agriculture prioritizes profit above everything else. Animals live in cramped conditions (pens, crates or cages) and lack access to important natural behaviors such as nesting, foraging and play. Most taken away from their mother within 24 hours. Crowded animals frequently inflict injuries on each other out of stress and frustration. Excessive weight gain is commonplace along with mutilation of beaks, ears, tails, horns and even live shredding. Lives are cut short as most animals sent to slaughter average 3-6 months of age. This has to stop! And you have the power!
Being vegan for just 1 month will save:
33,000 gallons of water
1,200 LBS of grain
900 SQ FT of forest
600 LBS of CO2
and 30 ANIMALS!
So where to start??
One resource I found helpful are the many documentaries created to make you think twice about your relationship with food and the life around you. Documentaries offer a chance to dive deep into many different aspects of veganism, from how animals are mistreated to how eating plants can greatly benefit your health. It is important for you to do your own research! Being vegan for 5+ years I have watched my share of these documentaries and found them incredibly eye opening - especially when it comes to the ethical argument of veganism. I knew when I watched these documentaries I couldn't support these industries and the cruelty they inflict. The list is long but I thought I'd give you a short list of 5 to start with. Some will be easier to watch than others, but you will be a better person for it.
If you're more of a reader, here's a list of highly recommended books:
EATING ANIMALS, by Jonathan Safran Foer
THE CHINA STUDY, by Dr. T. Colin Campbell
HOW NOT TO DIE, by Dr. Michael Greger
THE FACE ON YOUR PLATE, by Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson
HOW TO GO VEGAN, by Veganuary
Whether you want to start incorporating more plant based meals into your diet, or you're a long term vegan looking to change your cooking game, there's likely a cookbook for your needs. But with the sheer number of vegan cookbooks in print, it can feel daunting trying to find the right one. That's why I did some of the legwork for you:
OH SHE GLOWS, by Angela Liddon
BOSH, by Henry Firth & Ian Theasby
THE COMPASSIONATE COOKBOOK, by Ingrid Newkirk
CROSSROADS, by Tal Ronnen
FORKS OVER KNIVES, by Del Sroufe
We'll continue to explore in our next posting. Thanks for taking the time to read this and for doing your part in saving as many animals as possible by changing your relationship with food. Trust me, you'll wish you did it sooner.
Shari, Harmony Farm Sanctuary, Volunteer