Explainers

The Food System: What It Is and How It Impacts Our Lives

what is a food system

Image via WeAnimals.org

Most people don’t think about food other than in terms of meal preparation. You need X, Y, and Z ingredients to make dinner for your family. What you might not be considering is the food system.

A food system takes into account everything that happens to a certain piece of food before it reaches your digestive system. When we take into account every step of the food system, regardless of our dietary choices, we can make more informed decisions about what and how we eat.

But why does that matter?

Essentially, the food system can have either a positive or negative impact on the environment, our bodies, and the other sentient creatures who live amongst us. Many people have never even heard the term “food system,” which means that there’s a serious lack of food awareness pervasive throughout our culture.

Puppy Mills: Millions of Dogs Suffer Needlessly to Create Pets

what are puppy mills

Image via WeAnimals

You’ve probably heard about puppy mills. You might even know about the inhumane conditions these dogs face. Nevertheless, millions of puppies are sold from these mass breeding operations every year.

Puppy mills exist because there’s sufficient demand for these operations to continue running. Many people prefer purebred dogs over mutts, so they’re willing to pay extraordinary prices for dogs whom they view as more valuable.

The problem is that buying dogs from puppy mills exacerbates a decades-long business model that’s rooted in animal abuse and cruelty.

Vegan Lifestyle: So Much More Than Just a Diet

vegan lifestyle

Image via WeAnimals.org

What is a vegan lifestyle? When we talk about veganism, many people hear the word “diet” as part of the overall conversation. After all, one of the most well-known aspects of the vegan lifestyle involves not eating meat or animal by-products.

However, by centering diet at the soul of the conversation, we might be doing a disservice to vegans. There’s far more to the veganism ethos than simply controlling what one puts in his or her mouth, and ignoring those facets of the vegan lifestyle denies its power.

If you’re thinking about going vegan or if you already consider yourself a vegan, it’s important to understand why you make specific choices as a consumer and human and why you choose to avoid things that other people consider commonplace.

Poultry Farming: The Shocking Reality of a Factory Farm Chicken

poultry farming

Did you know that more than 1 percent of households in the United States keep chickens as pets? Backyard flocks are becoming increasingly popular, with some calling chickens “the new dog.” Those facts make industrial poultry farming all the more revolting.

People sometimes raise chickens themselves because they want access to fresh eggs. Over time, however, they bond with these animals, give them names, and interact with them like they would any other pet.

If you’re familiar with poultry farming, however, you know that billions of chickens are denied such healthy relationships. Whether they’re raised to lay eggs or for their meat, chickens in factory farming operations suffer needless cruelty and death.

You might not be familiar with the poultry farming industry, but this guide will take you deep into the bowels of operations that treat chickens as nothing more than commodities.

Becoming Vegan: What You Need to Know to Make the Change

everything you need to know about becoming vegan

Becoming vegan is one of the best ways in which you can contribute to a healthier environment — as well as a healthier you. While becoming vegan might seem like a difficult process, it’s far simpler than you think.

Since you’re extracting meat, dairy, eggs, and honey from your diet rather than adding new things to it, you can easily avoid foods and other products that contribute to animal harm. Plus, if you focus on whole foods rather than their processed counterparts, you don’t have to worry about sneaky ingredients.

Before we get into the meat of this article — no pun intended — let’s answer some of the most common questions about becoming vegan.

Vegan Health: Why Plant-Based Protein Is More Than Enough

what is plant-based protein

If you’re thinking of going vegan — or if you’ve already made the switch — you might have heard an old familiar argument: But what about protein?!?! The truth is that plant-based protein is more than enough to meet your nutritional needs.

It’s a myth that you can only get protein from meat and animal by-products. Plenty of plant-based proteins exist, from soybeans and nuts to legumes and lentils. Many of these proteins have the added benefit of readily absorbing flavors from sauces, herbs, and spices, so they provide a veritable blank slate for your culinary repertoire.

Most importantly, you don’t have to miss out on anything when you’re vegan or vegetarian. There’s no reason to feel deprived, whether nutritionally or in terms of taste. Plant-based proteins keep you healthy and provide a cruelty-free alternative to meat.

To understand how a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle impacts your diet in terms of protein, you first have to understand protein and what it does for your body. Then you have to find fresh ways to work plant-based protein into your life.

Clean Meat: The Logical Solution to Factory Farming

clean meat in a lab

Clean meat is a relatively new idea and one that will likely be called numerous things as it grows. Some people and organizations are calling it “cultured meat,” “cruelty-free meat,” “cell-based meat,” and “lab-grown meat.” We’ll go for clean meat in this article.

The relationship between humans and other animals has been one of juxtaposition for thousands of years. Human desire for meat – whether for reasons of culture, society, or survival long ago – has resulted in predation, domestication, and the wide-spread industrial animal agriculture that is today harming the planet, the people, and of course the animals. But could clean meat help alter that relationship so we stop viewing other animals as edible products versus sentient beings?

Vegans and vegetarians don’t eat meat at all. They may eat “meat-like” products made from products like soy and grains, or they limit their diets to fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes, and the like. Either way, they don’t contribute to factory farming or the slaughter of animals for human consumption.

Dairy Cows: Their Tragic Role in Factory Farming

factory farmed dairy cows

We’ve all seen heartwarming photographs of dairy cows grazing on green calves and nursing their young. The reality for most dairy cows, however, is much different.

The law views animals as objects. In other words, they — and their byproducts — have value. If someone is willing to pay for an object, whether it breathes or doesn’t, a business can spring up around it.

Dairy cows are commercialized because they provide the milk that companies sell to consumers. Whether it’s in a gallon container, made into cheese, turned into butter, whipped into yogurt, or otherwise altered, it’s still a product.

Since dairy cows have the product, dairy farmers use them as objects. The cows are not viewed as sentient creatures but as means to ends.

vegetarian protein

Vegetarian? Here Are Your 27 Best Natural Protein Sources

If you’re thinking about becoming a vegetarian, or if you’ve already made the commitment, you’ve likely faced a popular question: Where can you get your protein?

Fear not – there are plenty of protein sources for vegetarians. You just have to know where to shop for your food.

Vegetarians don’t eat any meat at all, so they will not be getting protein from beef, poultry, fish, and other types of animal products. But that is not a problem. Instead, they arrange their diets to get the necessary macronutrients — fat, carbs, and protein — every day.

dairy farming

Dairy Farming: The Sad Reality About Your Milk and Cheese

Dairy farming has a wholesome ring to it. After all, it’s not about the unnecessary slaughtering of innocent animals. Or is it?

What you don’t know about dairy farming can hurt you.

Not only are dairy farms dangerous for the animals who produce dairy products, but they’re also dangerous for humans. Ordinary products you pick up at the supermarket could have a nasty impact on your health.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s talk about what dairy farming is and what it means for your diet, lifestyle, and commitment to animal safety.

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