|¿What is VEGANISM?|
OF A VEGAN DIET
addition to the many personal benefits of an animal-free diet and the rejection
of the unjust and unnecesary cruelty inherent in all animal exploitation,
the adoption of a vegan diet, based on the principle of non-violence,
provides the right social conditions for greater environmental protection,
a reduction in world hunger and an improvement in the quality of life throughout
More than 2,500 years ago the great Greek philosopher and mathematician Pythagoras acknowledged the deep significance of an animal free-diet with the following words:
Most of the animals bred to satisfy the human demand for meat, milk and eggs come from intensive battery systems where they are routinely mutilated and mistreated and kept in appallingly overcrowded conditions which ignore their most basic needs and rights as living beings so as to extract the greatest possible profit from their exploitation.
Some of our most pressing environmental and social problems stem from extensive cattle breeding systems involving 1,300 million animals and 24 per cent of the earth's surface. To provide the necessary grazing space, millions of acres of virgin tropical forest in Central and South America are being destroyed, resulting in the extinction of countless species of birds, mammals, reptiles and plants. The techniques used by intensive battery systems are also responsible for the irreparable loss of valuable topsoil. While millions of people starve to death for want of the cereal crops that are taken and fed to animals, a similar number die of diseases caused by eating the flesh of those same animals. Moreover, vegans also help to protect the environment more effectively since the production of meat-based foods requires more than ten times as much water as vegan foods.
Animal fat and protein overload the kidneys and damage the circulatory system. A diet based on meat, fish, eggs and milk has a detrimental effect on human health, leading to problems such as atherosclerosis, hypertension, cancer, osteoporosis, diabetes and heart disease. A diet based on fruit, vegetables, cereals and pulses, rich in fibre and nutritional elements, is ideal for good health and clear arteries as it satisfies all our protein and fat requirements without any worries about cholesterol, which is found exclusively in animal products. Cows' milk contains the ideal proportion of protein and fat for calves, but it is totally unsuitable for human beings.
WHAT DO VEGANS EAT?
In addition to fresh fruits and vegetables, a vegan diet may include a great variety of dishes using ingredients such as cereals, pasta, bread, potatoes, pulses (beans, peas, lentils, chick peas etc.), rice, seeds and oily fruits, dry fruits, almond, cashew or peanut cream, soy milk, tofu, tempeh or textured vegetable proteins, which not only satisfy all our nutritional needs but provide a sufficiently delicious variety to please even the most demanding gourmet.