Why we do what we do at MLV
Updated: Aug 3, 2019
We are so excited!
Welcome to More or Less Vegan and this is our first post! We are so excited to get this site going so we can start helping you, our reader, educate yourself on how to fuel your body in ways that are sustaining, ethical, and nourishing. Here at More or Less Vegan we believe a plant based diet comes first, that animals should live their fullest happiest lives, and that we should eat and take everything with respect and thanksgiving.
Why plant based? There are so many reasons! One, the health benefits are astounding. There have been so many longitudinal studies that show a plant based diet significantly reduces risk for heart disease, diabetes, obesity and even mental health issues like depression. Check out this quick little read published by Harvard Medical School in 2018. The author Kathy McManus is Director of the Department of Nutrition and Director of the Dietetic Internship at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, a teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School in Boston. In addition, she serves as the Director for Nutrition at Dana Farber Cancer Institute, and the Director of Nutrition and Behavior Modification Programs for the Program for Weight Management at the Brigham.
Article link here: https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/what-is-a-plant-based-diet-and-why-should-you-try-it-2018092614760
Another resource to look into would be Dr. T Colin Campbell. Thomas Colin Campbell is an American biochemist who specializes in the effect of nutrition on long-term health. He has become known for his advocacy of a low-fat, whole foods, plant-based diet. Here are some links for you to see what he’s about and all the research he’s done in the science of nutrition.
Another reason to eat plant based brings us to More or Less Vegan’s second belief: animals should live their fullest happiest lives. We would like to first address those out there that say “Animals don’t know the difference” or say that “Animals don’t know any better”. Animals do think and feel at a higher level than many of you would assume. Please read this article from National Geographic! We’re hoping it will change your mindset. National Geographic interviewed a man named Carl Safina who wrote a book called Beyond Words: How Animals Think and Feel. If you don’t know much about Carl Safina, check out his website carlsafina.org and learn more about his research and how he advocates for all animals. Anyway, the interview he did with National Geographic really hits on the key points about his book and expresses how animals have thought processes, emotions, and social connections that are important to them, just like they are important to us as humans.
Article link here: https://news.nationalgeographic.com/2015/07/150714-animal-dog-thinking-feelings-brain-science/
Now that we know animals have thoughts and feelings, a plant based diet can literally save lives. Did you know that 56 billion animals are killed worldwide each year just for human consumption? And most of those animals are killed in Factory Farms. What are factory farms? We’re glad you asked. Pace University of Law wrote an overview of factory farming and it is so informative. In the article they give you the basic definition: “As defined by the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, a factory farm is a large industrialized farm, especially a farm on which large numbers of livestock are raised indoors in conditions intended to maximize production at minimal cost.” So right off the back we see that factory farms are not focused on the animals, but focused on how to maximize their profit (at the cost of animals lives). The overview even talks about how there are no federal laws that protect animals in factory farms, and that factory farms are exempt from all animal cruelty laws. This is a short, but such a good read because it is a factual summary about factory farms.
Article link here: https://libraryguides.law.pace.edu/factoryfarming
Why do factory farms exist? Well according to the US Department of Agriculture, Americans eat over 220 pounds of meat per year. Now if you multiply that by the 327.2 million people that live in america, you get 71,984,000,000 POUNDS of meat! That’s just under 72 BILLION pounds of meat that just Americans eat each year. How else is the food industry supposed to supply the US with the amount of meat we eat? Factory farming is the answer to that. But what if everyone started to eat plant based? If we could even lower the US meat consumption to 100 pounds of meat per year per person, that would make a significant decrease in meat demand and would lessen the need for factory farms.
Love your Food
And the last belief we live by is eating with appreciation, respect and thanksgiving. We live in a day and age where we travel less than 10 minutes to a grocery store, have our food lavishly laid out for us, and we can pick absolutely anything even if it’s not in season. We’re spoiled. And when individuals are spoiled, it’s hard to be appreciative. So let’s be mindful of where are food comes from and how much work goes into getting the food onto your plate. From seed to fruit, from harvesting to shipping and more, there are so many processes that go into this. A good trick is to imagine and put yourself in the shoes of everyone it takes to get you your food (farmer, inspector, driver, harvester, even the clerk at the store). This can really help you appreciate the hard work that went into your food. And if you can’t imagine it, then do it! A great way to grow an appreciation and respect for your food is to grow some yourself. There are many different plants you can grow at home, even if you live in the middle of the city in an apartment: things like tomatoes, cilantro, basil, rosemary, spring onions, lettuce, dark greens, and so much more!
Here is an article written by Amy Pamensky (She’s a holistic nutritionist and eating psychology coach who specializes in helping women to stop the battle with food and love their bodies) called Bringing Gratitude to our Food System. In her article she gives ideas on what we can do to grow an appreciation for our food. She has great ideas, and we encourage you to check out the article.
Article link here: https://chopra.com/articles/bringing-gratitude-to-our-food-system
More or Less Vegan thanks you for taking the next steps to improve your health and educating yourself on the food system. We hope that as you read our posts that it inspires you to make the changes you deem important to make your health and our world a better place.