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Why people become vegans: The history, sex and science of a meatless existence

Vegans aren’t simply moral high-grounders. Vegans do believe it’s moral to avoid animal products, but they also believe it’s healthier and better for the environment.

Editor The ARK Center

JOSHUA T. BECK: ‘At the age of 14, a young Donald Watson watched as a terrified pig was slaughtered on his family farm. In the British boy’s eyes, the screaming pig was being murdered. Watson stopped eating meat and eventually gave up dairy as well. Later, as an adult in 1944, Watson realized that other people shared his interest in a plant-only diet. And thus veganism – a term he coined – was born. Flash-forward to today, and Watson’s legacy ripples through our culture. Even though only 3 percent of Americans actually identify as vegan, most people seem to have an unusually strong opinion about these fringe foodies – one way or the other…

Like other alternative food movements such as locavorism, veganism arises from a belief structure that guides daily eating decisions. They aren’t simply moral high-grounders. Vegans do believe it’s moral to avoid animal products, but they also believe it’s healthier and better for the environment. Also, just like Donald Watson’s story, veganism is rooted in early life experiences. Psychologists recently discovered that having a larger variety of pets as a child increases tendencies to avoid eating meat as an adult. Growing up with different sorts of pets increases concern for how animals are treated more generally’. SOURCE…

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