vegan

Empathy & Emotional Bias // Veganism


On this random picture of my sweet dog, I would like to talk about emotional bias and empathy. I’ve been reading up on it and it’s interesting and something I want to share. It explains why many people are veggies/vegans and so many more are not. Many people stop eating meat because of empathy. When I think of young pigs being gassed to death I feel as if I were in their shoes. I’d be suffocating and terrified. Even though I did eat a little meat through my teenage years, I didn’t eat a lot and I certainly didn’t eat any pigs or cows. I could empathise with them greatly. However, when I thought about eggs being laid or cows being milked, I didn’t feel as if it was a bad thing so I didn’t feel empathetic. When I found out, from vegan activists, that almost one in two baby chicks were being killed at a day old as they weren’t needed and that dairy cows only lived a quarter of their lives before being killed for meat, and that their babies either had the same fate as them or they were killed for veal, I was able to see how that it wasn’t enough for me to just not eat meat. I was still paying into the industries that kill. If someone can’t empathise with animals being killed in the first place, then they might not consider that it is morally wrong to eat them. In my eyes, it has nothing to do with whose life is more important (a humans or an animals) but whether one can SUFFER.
Which takes me on to my next point about emotional bias. As humans we are emotionally biased to our own kind. If animals could talk they would tell us that their own kind was the best. There are so many things that makes humans better than animals and vice versa. Just because we appear more intelligent and have the ability for moral reasoning doesn’t make us better than them. In fact, we could argue that humans have done more bad to the planet than good. But of course we would always take a humans side over an animals because we have an emotional bias. We feel a lot more empathy for a human than an animal because we are one. Humans have also been well known to have an emotional bias of people of the same race to them. Black people were slaves once because white people thought that they were better than them, which is truly shocking to many. Vegans and vegetarians don’t hold this strong emotional bias of other species as meat eaters do.

Now look at this picture of my dog. If anyone took him and killed him I’d be beyond devastated because I am emotionally attached to him. Just because I’m not attached to every other animal being killed, raised for meat or not (really doesn’t matter to me), it doesn’t mean I want them to suffer. I don’t hate people who eat meat. I think they just lack empathy for animals and have a stronger emotional bias towards humans than me.

Taken from my Instagram. Follow me: @sarahnityxo

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vegan · Veganism

The Difference Between A Vegetarian And A Vegan

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The only viewpoint here I can give is my own. I have never eaten a lot of meat. I thought it was disgusting because of what it was. At the start of 2015 I told everyone that I had become a vegetarian. A couple of people asked me why and that was that. A year later I told everyone that I had become a vegan. 9 months on and people are still asking me questions. They get more and more ridiculous over time.

So, what changed for me? Becoming a vegan was not an easy decision. I wanted to give it a go and not tell anyone. So the first time I did and I failed. I had hardly anything to eat. The second time I found so much I could eat and am still continuing to do so. I also had a lot more knowledge on the way animals were treated. I will never go back to eating animal products ever again.

As a vegetarian, I did not want to consume meat. To me, meat isn’t something you just eat. You’ve paid someone to raise, confine, kill and package a dead being. Equality is rooted deep in my core. To align my values with my actions, I had to stop eating it. The fat and gristle I was continuously repulsed with was just a reminder of where the product came from. At that time, I didn’t feel strongly about what others did. They all have different beliefs, or so I thought. Ultimately, I do believe (or hope) that most people do strive for equality and are against animal cruelty but eat meat for convenience, tradition and social reasons. Oh, and don’t forget those who make jokes about how good bacon tastes.

As a vegan,  I do not want to consume any animals products and I am completely against any kind of animal cruelty and exploitation. I never did but it took people showing me how wrong it was, for me to realise what I was doing. I also realised that dairy cows live two decades less than they should as they are sent off for slaughter and their young are slaughtered a few days old or have the same fate as their mothers. Also that thousands of day old chicks get killed for being male. So as a vegetarian I was still paying for animals to die. As a vegetarian I didn’t know that in order for a cow to produce milk, it has to be pregnant. So they are inseminated. I truly believed they just kept producing milk and had to be milked. Yeah, dumb I know but many still do believe this. So when you hear farmers saying that the cows get milked willingly, it’s because that producing all that milk (by the way the cows were bred by humans to produce way more milk than their calf needs) and it’s uncomfortable and they want it out of them. Like when we need to urinate, we use a bathroom.

As a vegan, I think that animals are deserving of freedom and equality, just as humans are. However, we all know that the human race is far from equality and free from suffering but it’s something we are striving for. That’s why I am also striving for a world where no animals are made to suffer at the hands of a human. That’s why as a vegan, I don’t just want the animals that I could have potentially eaten to not be eaten. I don’t want anyone to eat them.

As humans, we have the power to protect all creatures. We can help them live comfortable, happy, free and the way they would want to live. They don’t want to be used, as much as we don’t want to be used. They don’t want to be killed, just as we don’t want to be killed. It’s not humane. We should treat others as we would want to be treated.

Yet people think it’s extreme to care so deeply and it’s normal to be selfish and go with the crowd. Some think it’s laughable and cute to have taken an interest in animal welfare. As a vegetarian I was left alone but as a vegan I am not. I try to look at it positively though. If people are talking about it and asking me questions, I can try to normalise it. I can try to show them that it’s the right thing to do. I can try to get them to make more compassionate decisions.

If you are interested in hearing more. I highly recommend the Youtube Channel Bite Size Vegan. Her videos are absolutely amazing at explaining veganism. I recommend the following video. It includes a story about a cow who hid her calf in the grass because the farmers kept taking her calves away and how farmers trick people into thinking that the meat and dairy industries to be anything but cruel.

Thank you for reading.

Opinion

Deliciously Ella’s Sweet Potato Brownies Review // Guilt Free Eating

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Deliciously Ella is a blog, and now two books, by Ella Woodward. After transferring to a plant based diet free from gluten, preservatives and processed junk food, including refined sugar, she has ridden herself of the awful symptoms she experienced from having POTS. On her blog and in her books she creates and shares recipes of healthy food. My sister bought me her first book for Christmas and I have enjoyed looking through it and making some of the recipes. As a fussy eating, acid reflux suffering vegetarian, I find it hard to find healthy foods to eat. I also used to hate cooking – this book has changed that. So much so, that I pre-ordered, and now own, her new book.

Deliciously Ella

Ella’s 1st and 2nd books.

If you think that the ingredients are going to be expensive, let me tell you that you are wrong. They aren’t expensive. The brown rice flour only cost me £1.89. The cacao powder was £4.99 from Tesco but will last me so long as you only need a small amount to create a lot of flavour – half the amount of cocoa powder you would use. 

I also love the smoothie bowl from the second book. I add almond butter to it and I was surprised by how much protein, not to mention vitamins and nutrients that it has in it. A great breakfast for a vegetarian. I don’t even like avocados but this smoothie bowl has some in and you can’t even taste it nor can you taste the almond butter – lots of goodness without the nasty taste!

I could say lots of good things but I mustn’t waffle on. Let me get back to the brownies. I do not have a steamer so instead used a colander over a saucepan full of boiling water which worked perfectly well. I do not currently have a food processor but I do plan on getting one in the future so I used my smoothie blender which took a little work and I had to pull a few lumpy bits out but we got there in the end. So if you don’t have a steamer or a processor don’t worry you can work around it like I did. My blender is a cheaper version of the Nutribullet but works just as well. There were no other issues I faced whilst preparing and cooking. I waiting 20 minutes and checked it with a fork which came out dirty so put it on for another 5 minutes and it came out clean. 

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I only had a Pyrex dish so this is how it turned out. Yes I was too eager to taste it before photographing it. I was only going to have a bite but it tasted really nice so I ended up having more!

I was a little worried about these because I had read on a tabloid newspaper article that they weren’t worth the hassle. It really wasn’t a hassle in my opinion. There were other bad reviews too. I can see why the brownies wouldn’t be to everyone’s taste because you can taste the dates in them and I think that people are trying to compare them to chocolate brownies that are full of unhealthy ingredients and you shouldn’t do that. You cannot compare healthy food to unhealthy food. They are in a completely different category to each other.

The matter of the fact is that healthy food will never taste like unhealthy food but your tastes buds do change after eating this way for pretty short time and you will end up preferring to eat this way, without your stomach and energy levels complaining. This way you can feel good and positive about eating completely guilt free brownies.

This recipe is from her first book but you can also find it on her blog here.