Why Are You Vegan?

Posted in: Activism, Plant-Based, Vegan in ScPA, Vegan Living

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I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: I get a lot of questions as a vegan. I really appreciate this opportunity to help inform people. That being said, I understand that this might be overwhelming for some vegans. What do I say, and how do I say it without offending someone? Because of this, I put together a list of common questions I get as a vegan and how I respond to them.

Also, I know that you love animals, that’s why you’re here. Please consider supporting the Animal Advocates of South Central PA on Friday, May 7th for Give Local York! We organize large community events, volunteer at animal rescues, help distribute food to people in need, and much, much more. This means that by supporting us on May 7th, you will help to better our community as a whole. Thank you, and enjoy the article!

Why are you vegan?
Ethics. I simply respect animals too much to eat them. To me, there really isn’t a difference between the chickens, fish, cows, and pigs…and my dogs. I wouldn’t eat my dogs, so I refuse to eat the other animals.

Is bread vegan?
As with most things, it depends on the bread. Sometimes bread is made with eggs or milk, but most of the time, it isn’t. So yes, bread is usually vegan, but it depends on the brand.

What’s wrong with eggs?
Are you sure that you want to know? If so, on the large scale egg farms, many cruelties take place. The hens are crammed into extremely tiny cages, and they suffer numerous injuries as a result of it. They get sick from the tight quarters, and the closeness also drives them to peck each other. Another part of the egg industry is hatching new egg laying hens. Shortly after the male chicks hatch, they are either ground up or suffocated because they are not needed by the egg industry. The chicks that get to stay alive then go under a painful debeaking procedure without anesthesia. Their beak tips are chopped off from their face. None of this also mentions the workers, who also suffer as a result of the decrepit working conditions.

What’s wrong with milk?
Again, are you sure that you want to know? If so, in the dairy factories, the cows are constantly mistreated. On a daily basis, cows are forcibly impregnated. Their tails are cut off, they are sprayed with high pressure hoses, and they are forced to live in their own waste. One of the worst things that happens on dairy farms deals with the mother cows and their babies. Their calves are taken from them. This causes the mothers much grief and anxiety. Many of these calves will go on to become cows used in the production of dairy products, but those individuals who are not…are used to create veal. This is why I do not support the dairy industry.

Would you eat an animal that died of natural causes (ex. Someone accidentally hit a deer with their car)?
Although I would personally not eat an animal like that, I would not be ethically opposed to it since it was an accident and eating the meat would not be at the hands of animal cruelty. I personally would not choose to eat the animal because the thought of eating meat still doesn’t sit right with me, and since it has been years since I have had any, I do not know how my body would react.

What is something that is vegan that would surprise me?
Oreos are actually vegan! Even though they have a cream filling, the brand makes it without dairy products. See, there are even vegan things that you enjoy to eat!

What is something that is not vegan that would surprise me?
Gummy bears and any products containing gelatin are not vegan. This includes Jello, gummy worms, and even some mints. Gelatin is an odd combination of animal byproducts, including tendons and ligaments.

Where do you get your protein?
The way most people think about protein is actually an advertising myth. We really do not need as much protein as you think. As long as you are getting enough calories eating real food, you are not going to get sick from a protein deficiency. That being said, nuts, seeds, beans, legumes, and tofu are all amazing sources of vegan protein.

Why won’t you help prepare or work with the non vegan food?
I just do not feel comfortable handling animal products. How would you feel if someone asked you to serve dog or cat meat? I feel the same way about the animals or their bodily products that are being served. I do not want any part of that.

Now, after you have read the above responses, I feel like I should mention one further instruction. Approach the people asking these questions, no matter how ridiculous they may seem, in a non hostile manner. People tend to be more receptive to information if they do not feel personally attacked.

I wish you all luck in navigating the complex world of vegan questions, and I hope that my answers will help!



Savannah Conley is a 17 year old senior at Eastern High School, in York County, Pennsylvania. She will be attending the United States Air Force Academy and pursuing a degree in Astronautical Engineering. She is an avid animal lover, animal rights activist, member of Animal Advocates of South Central PA, and a regular volunteer at Second Chance for Life Rescue Ranch. Savannah has been vegan for four years. Her interest in moving to a compassionate lifestyle was driven by her strong belief in the ethical treatment of all creatures.

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