• My ‘Mundo Sano’ •

• Korie Gallagher •

Shirts that I wear almost everyday to spread the word. On the left, the black shirt reads “The only difference is your perception” and is made by Alba Paris. The red shirt on the left says “Vegan” and is made by a local lady who was selling them at the Vegfest here in Colorado this summer.

It was New Year’s morning, snow was falling down on every object, turning them white with their touch. I sat on the living room couch, thinking about my decision I said yes to. “What was it going to be like?” “Will there be difficulties?” “How will everyone think of me from now on?” I swipe those thoughts away in my mind as one is dominant above the rest; “Did I really commit to become vegan?”

If you do not know already, being vegan means to refuse participation in any animal cruelty. This includes not eating any dairy, eggs, or meat from the flesh of the animals. In addition to diet, wearing any makeup tested on animals (leather, down, wool, etc.) is also prohibited. It may seem very limiting, but if anything, veganism more freeing.

To me, veganism can be the solution for most of the world’s problems. Just a few facts about veganism can prove it. If every person on the planet went vegan, world hunger can be solved over 14 times. In fact, according to PETA, it takes more than 2,400 gallons of water to produce a pound of beef v. the 25 gallons it takes to grow one pound of wheat.

According to a United Nations report, animal agriculture is the leading cause of climate change, contributing 51% of all greenhouse gases. Also on the health side, the vegan lifestyle is proven to stop and even reverse a number of diseases, including heart disease, strokes, cancer, and diabetes.

If you are worried about your protein, know that all plants are the producers of this molecule. For example, a whole cooked chicken has 24g while a cup of soy beans have 29g. Another interesting fact to know is that one egg is equal to the effect of five cigarettes based on a study conducted by Dr. Greger. The egg yolk has a lot of cholesterol that can clog up the arteries in your heart. When you compare them, both can result to heart attack or disease, a health hazard that everyone approaches at one point with themselves or others.

My wall where I keep vegan posters and brochures. Reminds me everyday what my goals are in veganism.

Furthermore, milk plays a major role in your body as well. Studies credited from Mercy for Animals show that milk affects your bones by weakening them, not making them strong, as we are raised to think. The hormones in cow milk can also play a part in the appearance of acne, since the specific hormones in cow milk are to meet the needs of a baby cow who needs to grow to 1,500 pounds in only a year.

When you sum up all of these scientific facts, it is no wonder that
more people are getting obese and climate change is coming towards us faster than we predicted. This might make you think about your options. However, unless you are a health freak (like I am), falling into the cycle of using animal products again might be more pleasing after a while with no guilt.

What I discovered that convinced more people to try veganism is the realization of the animal cruelty behind your favorite food, beauty, and fun. To start, when we think about animals being raised for human consumption, we picture the animals that are cared for and being “humanely” killed. However, animals in this industry almost always live in factory farms without seeing the sun, without drinking clean water and food, and without having space to roam around. The results of these conditions are that most livestock are raised with a type of sickness, cannibalism, and death. Then, when it comes time for the animals to be killed, the workers in the slaughterhouses do not always kill the animals in a timely manner. Contrary to popular belief, animals are often still conscious while witnessing their own kind being killed. This process is similar in what happens in fur farms and fur trades around the world. In zoos and circuses, the animals can develop mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety because of the confined spaces they are in.

A vegan thanksgiving dinner cooked by myself with fake holiday roast, stuffing, green bean casserole, and mashed potatoes.

In my eyes, this horrendous treatment of animals is what I call speciesism; discriminating species that are not human. An example that I like to give people is to imagine if you were hanging out with your friends on a Friday night. Everyone walks into a town street and across the road is a barn. All of a sudden, the farmer is dragging a dog from the building and starts to beat it up. What would you do in that situation? I would like to think you would take action to stop that from happening, such as calling police or asking the farmer to stop. Now I want you to replace the dog with a pig. Would you react differently?

Now, when thinking about transitioning into a vegan lifestyle, there are many ways to do it. One way is to go cold turkey, and another is to take everything in moderation. Going into a vegetarian or pesce-vegetarian diet can start you off so when the time comes, the transition is not as extreme.

Mya Rose, a vegetarian herself, explains how her vegetarian lifestyle works for her; “Well, I plan to possibly go vegan in the future when I have my own salary and live on my own. But, for now I am using vegetarianism as a way to ease into it. That is a big change already!”

Being vegetarian helps save the suffering of others. In a single year, vegetarians or pesce-vegetarians save at least 24 animals. Just starting out in this lifestyle could open up people to various other options.

When veganism first came out as an idea, it was mostly rejected. But now in the 21st century, veganism has even been labeled the leading food trend in 2017 and 2018. And it is not hard to know why. Footage shot in the animal industry is infiltrating mainstream media, and people are finding amazing health results from changing their diet. If this trend vegan continues, eventually eating plant based and switching to man made materials will be the new norm. I personally think this trend will continue to grow, snowballing down a hill, and could even go global.

Caden Walter, a meat eater, believes this could also happen, explaining “If humans do not wipe us out before such a point, then possibly it could happen.”

When I first went vegan, I thought the world would never change into the vegan mindset and vegans would be all doomed. But what I have learned is that when you keep going, you can inspire new people everyday to have meatless Mondays or switch to non-cruelty makeup. This creates a chain reaction that does not stop easily, and as I approach one year of being vegan, I wonder how many others are just starting their journey. It makes me smile with happiness knowing that this movement is growing through more people everyday.