Why Vegan?!


The first time I told people I was vegan, the overwhelming response was: “Why?!” or, even more prevalent, “What will you eat!?” Never fear, curious bystanders. After a year, I am still alive! Which most certainly means I have not starved to death.

There is a lot of stigma when it comes to a plant based diet. I think this mostly has to do with the discomfort that comes with educating people about a subject that they are not fully aware of, or that they wish weren’t true. Who really wants to be told that eating a double cheese burger is bad for them, right? When you challenge world views, you immediately put people on the defensive. In a lot of cases, what you say is viewed as an attack on the way a person understands and perceives nutrition, whether it is subconscious or not. In other words, you are attacking their own personal nutritional paradigm. As a result, stereotypes arise to make light of the fear and discomfort people experience. Veganism, and plant based eating, is associated with a lot of negative stereotypes. I think it is also important to note how gender roles play into this.

Eating meat is connected to masculinity in American culture. Perhaps images of a muscular bearded man with a rifle ready for the hunt comes to mind when thinking about meat. Take this quote from a recent ABC report: “To the strong, traditional, macho, bicep-flexing, All-American male, red meat is a strong, traditional, macho, bicep-flexing, all-American food,” the authors wrote. “Soy is not. To eat it, they would have to give up a food they saw as strong and powerful like themselves for a food they saw as weak and wimpy.” [1] We personify meat. Meat is linked to the characteristics we want as a society: strength and power. It seems a strange simplification. But that is really what it comes down to. In contrast, vegetables are seen as feminine and weak. (That is not to say that everyone feels this way about their food. My point is that it is a catalyst for stereotyping.) Taking the vegetables = lame paradigm even further, vegans are often seen as pretentious; with the sole purpose of making you feel bad about your choices. Take this excerpt from ‘The Simpsons’ for an example of an on-point satire that describes how many many people view the plant based lifestyle:

‘Lisa: Oh, the earth is the best! That’s why I’m a vegetarian.
Jesse: Heh. Well, that’s a start.
Lisa: Uh, well, I was thinking of going vegan.
Jesse: I’m a level 5 vegan — I won’t eat anything that casts a shadow.’

Level 5 Vegans are a whole ‘notha story. But for the most part, vegans get everything they need to not only survive, but thrive, from plant food. I promise! You don’t need a hunk o’ meat at every meal to feel full. But even I had the misconception of what being vegan was, before I jumped head first into it. Vegans are stereotyped as being skinny, extremist hippies. If you are a skinny, extremist hippie, that is just dandy! But it is my hope that society will begin to break free of those silly stereotypes and understand the benefits that plant foods can bring. But why become vegan? I admit, it is not easy when you are met with awkwardness and confusion from the masses. But the more that people learn about it, the more they will see that this lifestyle can only bring about positive change for health, for the environment, and for the wellbeing of all life.

Let me clear up a few misconceptions:

1. VEGANS CAN’T EAT ANYTHING!

(http://gfhealthyliving.tumblr.com/)

Click on this diagram above and zoom in. Look at the plethora of plant foods that are available for yummy yummy eats! When people think of plant food, they think of salad. I love salad as much as the next girl, but trust me; salad just don’t cut it. I can pretty much guarantee that any food has a vegan substitute.

2. VEGANS CAN’T GET ENOUGH PROTEIN!

Now this is a question that I get all the time, and what a fantastic question it is! There is a lot of misconception about protein. Did you know that leafy greens have more protein per calorie than meat? You would have to eat a lot of greens to get the equivalent of a steak of course, but I always thought that was a fun fact. Anyway, lettuce get down to the good stuff (see what I did there?).

It has been proven that eating a Whole Foods Plant Based Diet (WFPBD) actually gives you all the protein you need. The Estimated Average Requirement (EAR) for protein is 4-5%. The 4-5% represents the amount of protein we need, at a minimum, to replace our cells with the nitrogen they lost. Nitrogen is unique to protein and the only way to replace it is by consuming protein. Although we only need 4-5% at a minimum to function, the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) adds 2 deviations to the EAR to be certain that everyone (98% of the population) would get enough, making protein 8-10% of your daily caloric total. Although the RDA already doubles the EAR, the food pyramid recommends the average American to get 35% of their daily calories from protein! This provides an excess of protein that has been proven to promote cancers, heart disease, Alzheimers, as well as many other degenerative diseases. [3] I highly recommend you read ‘The China Study’ by Dr. T. Colin Campbell and watch the documentary ‘Forks Over Knives‘ which describe these findings in more detail. But in summation, The China Study shows how protein in such excess promotes cancer once a carcinogen is introduced into the system and the only way to get an excess of protein is through animal foods. Dr. T. Colin Campbell, as well as others, have studies that show how cancer can literally be turned on or off by reducing protein to the healthy range found in a Whole Foods Plant Based Diet. Eating a WFPB diet will automatically supply 8-10% protein which is in fact about double the minimum amount we need. So you will get the protein you need without promoting unwanted disease. I will repeat: PLEASE read ‘The China Study’ and or watch ‘Forks Over Knives.’ These are essential first steps in understanding the importance that nutrition plays. Watch A Presentation by Dr. Campbell Here!!!

The idea that ‘protein is the King of nutrients’ is associated with meat because it is considered to have the most Biological Value (BV) of protein. This means that animal protein promotes the fastest rate of growth because it is most similar to our own amino acid chains. So animal proteins are thought to be more efficient while plant proteins are referred to as ‘incomplete’ because they do not match our human amino acid profile. [3] However, plant proteins DO in fact fulfill all our dietary needs. There is also the idea that we must combine plant proteins to make them ‘complete.’ This was only assumed to be true because it was thought necessary to combine the amino acids to make them like animal proteins. But this is simply invalid. A WFPB diet will naturally provide you with proper variety and amount of protein. Take a look at this chart that shows the amount of essential amino acids from whole plant foods (WHO stands for World Health Organization btw, and btw stands for by the way):

Amino Acid (grams/day) Trp Phe Leu Ile Lys Val Met Thr Total Protein
WHO Recommends

.3

1.5

1.95

1.5

2.25

1.95

.8

.3

50

Corn

.48

4.47

8.76

3.0

3.0

5.0

1.5

3.3

78

Brown Rice

.52

2.3

4.0

2.2

1.8

3.3

.80

1.8

47

Potatoes

.8

3.6

4.1

3.6

4.4

4.4

1.0

3.4

82

Broccoli

2.3

8.9

12.1

9.4

10.8

12.7

3.7

9.2

248

Tomato

1.0

3.2

4.5

3.2

4.6

3.1

.81

3.6

110

The myth of combining proteins to make full proteins came about after Frances Moore Lappe’s book ‘Diet For a Small Planet’ was released in 1971. [4] In it, Lappe stated that plant foods do not contain all the essential amino acids like in animal foods. So, in order to be a healthy plant based eater, you needed to eat a combination of certain plant foods with proteins that complement each other to get all of the essential amino acids. However, in 1981 in a new edition of her book, Lappe disproved her own theory:

“In 1971 I stressed protein complementarity because I assumed that the only way to get enough protein…was to create a protein as usable by the body as animal protein. In combating the myth that meat is the only way to get high-quality protein, I reinforced another myth. I gave the impression that in order to get enough protein without meat, considerable care was needed in choosing foods. Actually, it is much easier than I thought.” [4]
“With three important exceptions, there is little danger of protein deficiency in a plant food diet. The exceptions are diets very heavily dependent on fruit or on some tubers, such as sweet potatoes or cassava, or on junk food (refined flours, sugars, and fat). Fortunately, relatively few people in the world try to survive on diets in which these foods are virtually the sole source of calories. In all other diets, if people are getting enough calories, they are virtually certain of getting enough protein.” [4]

So there ya have it. Plant proteins have different amino acid ratios from animal proteins. Humans use them less efficiently, which is actually beneficial for us in that it does not promote unwanted growth. [3] Plant proteins do not have to be ‘complete’ by combining different plant foods in a particular meal, or any time. A varied, whole food, plant-based diet provides all of the essential amino acids, and all the protein we need.

3. WE HAVE BEEN MILKING COWS, EATING EGGS, CHICKEN, AND PIGS FOR CENTURIES. SO WHAT GIVES?

Cows & Milk: Let me preface this explanation by stating that we human beings are the only species in the world that drink milk from another species post weaning. There is literally no other creature on earth who does this! Do keep this in mind. If you still don’t find this at least a little bit curious, watch this. Like all mammals, cows only produce milk when they give birth. So, to meet consumer demand, milking cows are kept pregnant by artificial insemination their entire lives. This is by no means their natural state! Imagine if someone was keeping you pregnant your entire life?! The stress this brings cuts their life expectancy from about 25 years to about 4-5. [5] Once the milking cows are deemed too weak, they are sent to slaughter.

American dairy cows produce 2.5 times as much milk today as they did in the 1950’s and about 10-20 times the amount they need to make to feed their calves. [7]

On top of that, every calf is immediately taken away from their mothers at birth. Male baby cows are prepared for veal by being forced in tiny quarters, so small that they are unable to move, thus making their muscles tender. “Every year, approximately one million calves are confined in crates measuring just two feet wide. They are chained by the neck to restrict all movement, making it impossible for them to turn around, stretch, or even lie down comfortably. This severe confinement makes the calves’ meat ‘tender’ since the animals’ muscles cannot develop. Published scientific research indicates that calves confined in crates experience “chronic stress” and require approximately five times more medication than calves living in more spacious conditions. It is not surprising then that veal is among the most likely meat to contain illegal drug residues which pose a threat to human health.” [5]

When we are children, we are told to ‘drink milk!’ for growth and strong bones because milk has a lot of calcium. But drinking milk actually depletes the calcium from our bones! Here is why: Just like all animal protein, milk increases the acid in the body. Your body, being the smart machine that it is, tries to correct its PH. Luckily, calcium is an excellent acid neutralizer. And guess where the biggest storage of calcium lies? In your bones! So the very same calcium that our bones need to stay strong is utilized to neutralize the acidifying effect of milk. Once the calcium is leached out of the bones, it leaves the body through urination. So the total result after this unfortunate process is an actual calcium deficit. This explains why countries like the U.S have the most Osteoporosis in the world!

It is understandable why statistics show that countries with the lowest consumption of dairy products, and animal protein in general, also have the lowest fracture incidence in their population. [3] But the sad truth is that most mainstream health practitioners ignore these proven facts. The milk industry is too huge to disappear over night. The ‘Got Milk’ campaigns and other ads only exasperate this by enforcing the wrong messages.

Casein is the protein from cow’s milk. It has been shown to promote cancer. I am going to once again mention ‘The China Study’ because it is not only considered the most comprehensive health study in the world, but is so applicable to this discussion. When Dr. T. Colin Campbell first discovered the cancer promoting properties in animal proteins, he was using casein as his animal protein of choice (However, he does prove the same to be true of all animal proteins while wheat and soy proteins were shown to have no adverse effects on the promotion of unwanted growth). He conducted his experiments on rats by inducing cancer through the carcinogen Aflatoxin. He then proceeded to give the controls either 20% or 5% casein in their daily diet. What he found was astonishing. The rats with 20% casein had a substantial amount of tumor growth while the 5% control had little to none. He also discovered that if the rats that had susbstantial growth were then dropped to a 5% casein regimen, the cancer decreased or disappeared. After 100 days of testing, the rats with 20% casein all died while the 5% control all survived. [3] He repeated the experiments for years with the same conclusions. It is important to remember that is is not only the casein in cow’s milk that produces these results, but all animal protein.

It is also notable that most cows are given antibiotics and injected with a genetically engineered form of bovine growth hormone (rBGH), a man-made or synthetic hormone used to artificially increase milk production, rBGH also increases blood levels of the insulin-growth factor 1 (IGF-1) in those who drink it. [7] Even if you get ‘organic’ milk, there is no way of knowing what you are really getting. A lot of companies have misused the word ‘organic’ in their favor. More on this in future articles! The links between casein and cancer are undeniable.

Chicken & Eggs: We have already discussed why animal protein is so detrimental to health, and eggs fit right into that category. But health aside, there has been a lot of concern about the treatment of chickens. “More than 7 billion chickens are killed for their flesh each year, and 452 million hens are used for their eggs. Ninety-nine percent of these animals spend their lives in total confinement—from the moment they hatch until the day they are killed. More chickens are raised and killed for food than all other land animals combined, yet not a single federal law protects chickens from abuse.” [11]

A growing number of people buy their peace of mind when choosing ‘free-range’ eggs because they believe they are helping to by-pass such abuse. Eggs and poultry may be labeled as ‘free-range’ if they have USDA-certified access to the outdoors. But This ‘access’ may mean that a chicken has a crack of sunlight to view from its cage with no physical freedom to the outdoors at all. No criteria, such as environmental quality, size of the outside area, number of birds, or space per bird, are included in the term ‘free-range.’ [9] The average free-range hen is debeaked at birth to prevent it from pecking at other chickens and itself because of the undeniable frustration that it will experience in its life. She will only have 1 to 2 square feet of floor space. [9] If a hen is so lucky to have access to the outside world, she must compete with many others. Although chickens can live up to 12 years, free-range hens are hauled to slaughter the same as battery-caged hens, after a year or two. [9]

It is an even sadder fate for male chicks. Deemed useless because of artificial insemination, and because they don’t grow quickly enough to be profitably raised for meat, male chicks are trashed at birth at all free-range and factory farms. Often, this means that the chicks will be thrown into a giant barrel, and suffocate on top of one another. Or, they will be thrown into shredders alive.

There is not a single federal law that protects chickens from cruelty. Yet, there is evidence that chickens are social, intelligent beings. Dr. Chris Evans, administrator of the animal behavior lab at Australia’s Macquarie University, says, “As a trick at conferences, I sometimes list chickens’ attributes, without mentioning chickens, and people think I’m talking about monkeys.” [11]

Pigs: Sir Winston Churchill was fond of pigs and reportedly said, “Cats look down on you; dogs look up to you; but pigs look you in the eye as equals.” [14] According to Donald Broom, Professor of Animal Welfare at University of Cambridge Veterinary School, who has been conducting mirror reflection tests with pigs: “Pigs have the cognitive ability to be quite sophisticated. Even more so than dogs and certainly more so than three-year-olds.” [14] After teaching pigs to control a special joystick with their snouts, researchers at Pennsylvania State University found that pigs could learn to play simple matching games by moving the cursor around a computer screen. The pigs demonstrated a similar capacity as primates for learning the task. Studies on this topic suggest that pigs might possess a degree of theory of mind, which is the ability to presume the intentions of others’ behavior. Michael Mendl, one of the researchers involved in the studies, believes the findings suggest that “pigs can compete with each other in quite complex and ‘cerebral’ ways.” [14]

Just imagining the torture they go through is unbearable. Piglets have their tails cut off and are castrated shortly after birth, all without any pain killers. Pigs die on the way to the slaughter houses from dehydration or from freezing conditions. “In fact 400,000 pigs who are unable to walk off the truck arrive at the slaughter houses each year. 100,000 arrive dead. These are the industry figures. Some speculate that the real numbers are much higher.” [15] Sometimes, pigs have their throats cut or are burned alive in a scalding tank (meant for hair removal) after improper stunning. This is no exaggeration. If you would like to see footage of this kind of treatment, watch this video.

These are the main contenders in animal cruelty, but it’s no picnic for turkeys, geese, and other animals either…South Park’s ‘Gobbles’ anyone?

In short, mostly all meat, milk, and eggs come from factory farms where horrendous conditions and constant misery is the standard. You may still believe Old MacDonald’s Farm still exists, but family owned farms are rapidly disappearing. Even the best alternative farms may rely on practices that most people would find outrageously cruel, just to keep up with the competition.

4. FISH AREN’T INTELLIGENT! WHO CARES ABOUT TUNA?

Fish respond to pain in the same way that mammals and birds do. They can recognize individual fish in their schools and learn to avoid nets by watching each other. Culum Brown, a University of Edinburgh biologist who is studying the evolution of cognition in fish, says, “Fish are more intelligent than they appear. In many areas, such as memory, their cognitive powers match or exceed those of ‘higher’ vertebrates, including nonhuman primates.” Dr. Theresa Burt de Perera of Oxford University says, “We’re now finding that fish are very capable of learning and remembering, and possess a range of cognitive skills that would surprise many people.” A report in the U.K.’s Sunday Telegraph further supported this claim: “Australian crimson spotted rainbowfish, which learnt to escape from a net in their tank, remembered how they did it 11 months later. This is equivalent to a human recalling a lesson learnt 40 years ago.” Furthermore, a scientific review presented to the Australian Veterinary Association completely disproved the myth that goldfish have three-second memories. Rather, scientists found that goldfish have memories and problem-solving abilities. One of the researchers said that after conducting the review, they wanted “to get the message out to vets to start looking more closely at fish and considering their welfare like they do other animals.” [12]

The U.S. fish industry slaughters more than 6 billion fish each year, and sport fishing and angling kill another 245 million animals annually. More than 40 percent of all the fish consumed each year are now raised on land or ocean-based aquafarms where fish are confined to filthy and crowded net or mesh cages where many suffer from parasitic infections, diseases, and debilitating injuries. “Conditions on some farms are so horrendous that 40 percent of the fish may die before farmers can kill and package them for food. Fish who survive are starved before they are sent to slaughter in order to reduce waste contamination of the water during transport. Salmon, for example, are starved for 10 full days.” [12]

What gets me the most are these facts:

In the wild, hundreds of billions of fish—along with ‘nontarget’ animals, including sharks, sea turtles, birds, seals, and whales—are caught each year in ocean-ravaging nets or dragged for hours on long-lines for the commercial fishing industry.” [12]

“This fish industry is destroying our ocean ecosystems. In fact, 90 percent of large fish populations have been exterminated in the past 50 years.” [12]

“Scientists have found that nearly 1,000 marine mammals—dolphins, whales, and porpoises—die each day after they are caught in fishing nets. By some estimates, shrimp trawlers discard as much as 85 percent of their catch, making shrimp arguably the most environmentally destructive fish flesh a person can consume.” [12]

The environmental case against eating fish is similarly compelling. A large number of formerly abundant fisheries are in collapse as a result of overfishing. A 2011 article published by the Washington Post states: “Over the past 100 years, some two-thirds of the large predator fish in the ocean have been caught and consumed by humans, and in the decades ahead the rest are likely to perish, too.” [12]

5. HOW CAN BEING VEGAN HELP TO SUSTAIN THE PLANET?

A vegan lifestyle will help fight world hunger. It takes an incredible amount of resources to harvest meat and animal products; resources that can instead be given to starving people. The numbers are astronomical: “About 2,000 pounds of grains must be supplied to livestock in order to produce enough meat and other livestock products to support a person for a year, whereas 400 pounds of grain eaten directly will support a person for a year. Thus, a given quantity of grain eaten directly will feed 5 times as many people as it will if it is eaten indirectly by humans in the form of livestock products…” [10]

One of my favorite facts is that the meat industry produces more carbon emissions than the entire transportation industry combined. When I first heard this, well I simply thought it an exaggeration. But, sadly it is true.

Researchers at the University of Chicago concluded that “switching from a standard American diet to a vegan diet is more effective in the fight against climate change than switching from a standard American car to a hybrid.” According to Environmental Defense, “if every American skipped one meal of chicken per week and substituted vegetarian foods instead, the carbon dioxide savings would be the same as taking more than half a million cars off U.S. roads.” [16]

According to the United Nations, raising animals for food, including land used for grazing and land used to grow feed crops, now uses a staggering 30 percent of Earth’s land mass. More than 260 million acres of U.S.forest have been cleared to create cropland to grow grain to feed farmed animals, and according to scientists at the Smithsonian Institution, the equivalent of seven football fields of land is bulldozed worldwide every minute to create more room for farmed animals. [16]

Raising animals for food is inefficient, because while animals eat large quantities of grain, soybeans, oats, and corn, they only produce comparatively small amounts of meat, dairy products, or eggs in return. It takes up to 16 pounds of grain to produce just 1 pound of meat, and even fish on fish farms must be fed up to 5 pounds of wild-caught fish to produce 1 pound of farmed fish flesh. 70 percent of the grain and cereals that we grow in this country are fed to farmed animals. Think of all the starving people worldwide that this grain can be feeding instead!! It takes more than 11 times as much fossil fuel to make one calorie from animal protein as it does to make one calorie from plant protein. It takes more than 2,400 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of meat, while growing 1 pound of wheat only requires 25 gallons.You save more water by not eating a pound of meat than you do by not showering for six months! [16]

Now, let’s talk about poop. Animals raised for food in the U.S. produce far more excrement than the entire U.S.human population, roughly 89,000 pounds per second, all without the benefit of waste-treatment systems. According to Oregon State University agriculture professor Peter Cheeke, factory farming constitutes “a frontal assault on the environment, with massive groundwater and air pollution problems.” There are no federal guidelines that regulate how factory farms treat, store, and dispose of the trillions of pounds of concentrated, untreated animal excrement that they produce each year. This waste may be left to rot in huge lagoons or sprayed over crop fields; both of these disposal methods result in runoff that contaminates the soil and water and kills fish and other wildlife. The concentration of parasites, bacteria, and chemical contaminants in animal excrement can wreak havoc on the ecosystems affected by farm runoff and can sicken people who live near these farms. “In the United States nearly all beef cattle spend the final months of their lives at feedlots, where they are fed a notoriously inefficient and resource intensive corn-based diet. Because they have digestive systems that rely upon fermentation, cattle emit huge amounts of methane, a gas connected to global warming. The methane produced by pigs and poultry likewise accounts for a lesser but still significant amount of greenhouse gasses. The United Nations estimates that animal agriculture is responsible for 18 percent of the total global warming effect stemming from greenhouse gasses. Beef and dairy cattle probably account for about 70 percent of animal agriculture’s contribution to global warming.” [16]

6. ANIMALS EAT OTHER ANIMALS IN THE WILD AND WE ARE ANIMALS TOO!

If only it were this simple. But, I’m afraid it just isn’t, because we have a choice. We are intelligent, evolved creatures with information and opportunities we have never had before. Sure, there are civilizations who, because of their harsh environment, have no other option but to eat animals. But for the majority of modern civilization, we can choose what we want to eat. For the first time in our human history, we have the opportunity to eat whatever we want from wherever in the world.

A lot of people have the approach that we deserve to eat what we kill because we have outwitted our prey. We use our higher intelligence as some kind of excuse. “It’s the circle of life,” right? Not exactly. We have the ability to, as the most technologically advanced species on earth, to live healthy lives without resorting to killing other animals. I believe we have a responsibility to the wellbeing of ourselves and our planet.

I have also heard the argument that “it is humane to eat animals because they would overpopulate and suffer even more in the wild.” This is just not true. As you have read, animals are raised as products for our consumption and suffer abominable lives. If they were in the wild, they certainly would not exist in such gargantuon numbers as they do in factories. They would be able to live out their natural lives. Even if some would be hunted by natural predators, they would be contributing to the natural balance of the environment. That is the circle of life. There is nothing natural about being slaughtered in a factory.

As Gandhi said “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” [17]

We would never put our own pets through that kind of treatment. So why would we do it to equally as intelligent, social, loving creatures if we have the choice not to? A lot of people, even when learning that this kind of treatment exists, turn the other way. They try to ignore it and go about their lives as usual because it is easier to. But the easy way is almost never the right way. If everyone finally took a stand, imagine the possibilities that would come about. Imagine world hunger disappearing. Imagine the health industry becoming more about prevention and education rather than pushing pills and potions for profit.

The next time you visit your grocery store or market, take a look around at all the produce and plant foods available to you. I’m guessing that you don’t even know what some of it is! (I’ve never even heard of kale a year ago!) And trust me, there are easy ways to adjust to a plant based lifestyle. You can do it overnight, like I did, or take it one step at a time. There are plenty of wonderful substitutes that make the switch easy and tasty. Start with switching from cow’s milk to almond or soy milk. My personal favorite is unsweetened almond milk. Next, switch from butter or margarine to Earth Balance, a blend of oils that tastes just like butter. Look in your grocery store for meat substitutes like Torfurky brand, tempeh, tofu, and seitan. Be sure to look out for future articles to help you along! I have never missed meat, eggs, or dairy since I have started this lifestyle. I know that I never will because there are so many delicious plant based recipes that will satisfy any craving. With the proof that plant-based diets are more beneficial for our own health anyway, why not try it?

As a general rule: Don’t trust anything! Always look at ingredients and do the research on the companies you are buying from. I come from a family of skeptics. My father has taught me to always look for peoples’ true motives and biases; to seek the truth. I encourage you all to do the same.

So with the information you have just read (and trust me, there’s WAY more), why choose to be another cog in such a damaging industry?

It’s time to evolve people.

 

Sources
[1] Gann, Carrie. “Men, Meat, and Masculinity Linked.” ABC News. 2012. Web. May 18 2012. <http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/health/2012/05/18/men-meat-and-masculinity-linked/>
[2] “Level 5 Vegan.” Urban Dictionary. Web. November 1 2012. <http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=level%205%20vegan>
[3] Campbell, T. Colin. “Nutrient Fundamentals II: An Overemphasis on Protein .” courses.ecornell.com. Cornell University. Web. 27 Oct 2012. <http://courses.ecornell.com/content/683349.80.16787.28395.2/tcc501/Module_06/Top>
[4] “Protein Combining.” Wikipedia. 2012. Web. 1 November 2012.<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protein_combining>
[5] “Dairy and Veal: A Cow’s Life.” Compassionate Action For Animals. Web. 1 November 2012. <http://www.exploreveg.org/issues/dairy.html>
[6] “Opinion on the Welfare of the Dairy Cow.” The Dairy Site. November 2 2009. Web. 1 November 2012. <http://www.thedairysite.com/articles/2188/opinion-on-the-welfare-of-the-dairy-cow>
[7] “The Destructive Dairy Industry.” Born Free USA. Web. 1 November 2012. <http://www.bornfreeusa.org/facts.php?more=1&p=373>
[8]  Goldschmidt, Vivian MA. “Debunking The Milk Myth: Why Milk is Bad for You and Your Bones.”  Save our Bones. Web. 1 November 2012. <http://saveourbones.com/osteoporosis-milk-myth/>
[9] “Frequently Asked Questions.” Vegan Action. Web. 1 November 2012. <http://vegan.org/frequently-asked-questions/>
[10] “Why Vegan?” Vegan Starter Kit. Web. 1 November 2012. <http://www.vegankit.com/why>
[11] “Chickens Used for Food.” People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. Web. 1 November 2012. <http://www.peta.org/issues/animals-used-for-food/chickens.aspx>
[12] “Fish Used for Food.”  People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. Web. 1 November 2012. <http://www.peta.org/issues/animals-used-for-food/fish.aspx>
[13] “Cows Used for Food.” People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. Web. 1 November 2012. <http://www.peta.org/issues/animals-used-for-food/cows.aspx>
[14] “More About Pigs. The Underestimated Animal.” The Humane Society of the United States. 2 November 2009. Web. 1 November 2012. <http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/pigs/pigs_more.html>
[15] “Pigs Used For Food.” People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. We.b 1 November 2012. <http://www.peta.org/issues/animals-used-for-food/pigs.aspx>
[16] “Meat Production Wastes Natural Resources.” People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. Web. 1 November 2012. <http://www.peta.org/issues/animals-used-for-food/meat-wastes-natural-resources.aspx>
[17] “Animal Rights.” Wikiquote. Web. 1 November 2012. <http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Animal_rights>

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