January 22, 2016

Why Go Vegan?

Veganism is the practice of abstaining from the use of animal products,

particularly in diet, and an associated philosophy that rejects the commodity status of animals.

The term ethical vegan is often applied to those who not only follow a vegan diet but extend the philosophy into other areas of their lives,

and oppose the use of animals for any purpose.


You care about your pets and invite them to share your home and your life. Your worry about their well being and happiness. Most animal lovers consider their pet a part of the family, able to feel joy and comfort, fear or suffering. If they were harmed in any way, you would be devastated.

Yet other animals are raised to be treated as products: only seen as valuable as their flesh or by-products. Vegans believe that all animals have rights – the right to be alive and free. Every animal wants to be happy and alive just as much as your pet at home. There is no innate difference between a dog or pig, a cat or cow. They can all experience pain equally.

Imagine if your cat, dog, or other pet had to endure the same things farm animals suffer everyday – pain and fear, lack of freedom or joy, and an early death.

Here at Tommy’s Holiday Fund, we believe that the same compassion we feel for companion animals should be given to all animals. THF’s all vegan Board of Directors made the choice to go vegan years ago, and we have never looked back. We urge you to do the same.

Please follow the links below and consider the several reasons for becoming vegan.

Why Go Vegan:

  • Stop Animal Cruelty
  • Improve Your Health and Prevent Disease
  • Preserve and Protect the Environment
  • Help ALL Animals


dog noseIf it is wrong to act violently to a dog or cat just for enjoyment or convenience,

how can we justify the horrible things we do to other animals?


cruelty banner

You might have an image in your head of what a typical farm looks like: green pastures, playful animals, and a smiling farmer.

The reality is much more gruesome.

As you learn more about the suffering of animals raised for food, imagine your beloved dog or cat in their place – imagine the anguish and horror of knowing it could have been prevented. You are encouraged to keep an open mind about the reality of these animals’ lives, and consider the belief that all feeling beings deserve a cruelty-free life.


Modern Animal Farming is Inhumane:

  • Vegan Outreach explains the practices of modern farming and the cruelty involved. This informative site covers such topics as terrible farm conditions, cruelties in animal transport, and the inhumane slaughter of farm animals:

For modern animal agriculture, the less the consumer knows about what’s happening before the meat hits the plate, the better. If true, is this an ethical situation? Should we be reluctant to let people know what really goes on, because we’re not really proud of it and concerned that it might turn them to vegetarianism?

Peter Cheeke, PhD | Oregon State U. Professor of Animal Agriculture

  • The ASPCA details the many cruel practices inherent to animal farming:

By the numbers, birds are by far the most abused type of animal in the United States. Approximately 8.5 billion chickens and 238 million turkeys are killed for their meat every year, while another 300 million languish in tiny cages producing nearly 100 billion eggs annually.

  • Choose Veg relates individual animals’ stories of survival and eventual rescue from modern factory farms.


Humane Meat is a Myth:

  • Peaceful Prairie Sanctuary provides first-hand experience with the impact “free range” or “family farms” has on the animals that reside there. This rescued farm animal sanctuary, located in Colorado, gives former farm animals a chance at a peaceful and happy life:

From backyard operations, to factory farms:
• All male chicks are killed in the course of egg production, whether at the hatchery or on the farm, because they do not lay eggs.
• All females used for eggs, milk, or breeding are killed at a fraction of their natural lifespan when their “productivity” declines.
• All females used for eggs, milk or breeding have their reproductive systems violated, manipulated and exploited.
• All animals exploited for eggs, milk or flesh have been genetically manipulated to increase their “productivity”.
• All animals raised for flesh are barely adolescent when they are violently killed.
• All animals used for human purposes are denied a natural life.

No matter how friendly the farmer is, or how bucolic the farm may appear, to the animals whose lives are manipulated and destroyed there, there is no such thing as “humane” farming.

  • Watch Earthlings, the documentary known as the “vegan maker.” This powerful film will show you the reality of modern farming and animal use:

EARTHLINGS is a 2005 American documentary film about humankind’s total dependence on animals for economic purposes.  Presented in five chapters (pets, food, clothing, entertainment and scientific research) the film is narrated by Joaquin Phoenix, featuring music by Moby, and was written, produced and directed by Shaun Monson.


Imagine – your pet or an animal you have loved, in the place of any one of the animals you have just read about.

You would be outraged and have an urge to stop the brutality these animals suffer.

This is the same emotional response ethical vegans have about animal use. Using a live being as a commodity is wrong.

Whether it be the chicken on your plate, the wool in your sweater, or the leather on your shoes: it all comes from a source of pain.

Go vegan to take a stand against animal cruelty!



Fruits and Veggie Graphic3You might have tried a new diet before for a variety of reasons: to lose weight, lower your cholesterol, or increase your longevity.

Veganism has been promoted as a fad diet to solve these concerns, yet there is plenty of medical research to back up vegan health claims.

The American Heart Institute states that those with a vegan or vegetarian diet:

“…have a lower risk of obesity, coronary heart disease (which causes heart attack), high blood pressure, diabetes mellitus and some forms of cancer.”

The following collection of links come from a variety of sources that all show the same thing:

Veganism is a healthy choice for all, no matter your age, activity level, or health concerns.



Nutritionists now believe that a well-thought-out vegan eating plan could be the most healthy way to live for most people.

  • Forks Over Knives lists the health benefits you can expect to see when you go vegan. Lower cholesterol, less risk of type II diabetes, and less inflammation are just a few of the advantages a vegan diet can have

Following a healthy, balanced vegan diet ensures a host of health benefits as well as prevention of some of the major diseases striking people in North America.

Changing your eating habits can help prevent prostate problems. Daily meat consumption triples the risk of prostate enlargement. Regular milk consumption doubles the risk and failing to consume vegetables regularly nearly quadruples the risk.


  • UFC reports on Mac Danzig, a former MMA and Ultimate Fighter Championship athlete who says:

Today you have processed meats and a lot of animals suffering unnecessarily for it. Now, some people just blow that off and don’t have a conscience about it or they just don’t care. They wouldn’t eat their dog but they feel that way about other animals. But for me, I just decided to stop eating meat. I didn’t want to contribute to all of that.

I’m not trying to change the world or wear that on my sleeve or make a political statement, because that just turns people away. I only have control over one person and that’s myself. And I feel good about it.

  • Watch the Documentary Forks Over Knives:  (Also available on Netflix) The feature film Forks Over Knives examines the profound claim that most, if not all, of the degenerative diseases that afflict us can be controlled, or even reversed, by rejecting animal-based and processed foods.


Veggie HeartYou want to be healthy and live a long, happy life.

You care about nutrition because you know how important it is to your physical well being.

The typical American diet is full of meat, dairy, and other animal products that are now considered by experts to be unhealthy.

After you read the articles above, you know that eating more vegetables and less meat is the key to a healthful diet.

Cardiovascular disease, cancer, and obesity are all just some of the health concerns that can be addressed by a well balanced, vegan diet.

Go Vegan for a healthier, longer life!



Animal Agriculture is one of the leading polluting industries on the planet. From greenhouse gasses to waster waste, raising livestock is wasteful and destructive to our planet. Read below to find out how adopting a vegan diet lowers your carbon footprint, resource usage, and waster waste.

Climate Change:

  • Vegan Outreach has compiled a detailed report on animal agricultural effects on the environment. By going vegan, you help reduce the pollution and waste produced Pond Gandhi quoteby this industry:

The livestock sector is a major player, responsible for 18 percent of greenhouse gas emissions measured in CO2 equivalent.… Livestock are also responsible for almost two-thirds (64 percent) of anthropogenic ammonia emissions, which contribute significantly to acid rain and acidification of ecosystems.

Environmental Destruction:

  • Down to Earth is a great source on the environmental destruction caused by the meat and animal industries.

Thirty percent of the earth’s entire land surface—a massive 70% of all agricultural land—is used for rearing farmed animals. Much of this is grazing land that otherwise would host natural habitats such as valuable rain forests. And, of the entire world’s land suitable for growing crops that would otherwise directly feed humans, a third of it is used to produce feed for farmed animals.



  • Peta describes the huge amounts of pollution caused by animal farms.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), animals on U.S. factory farms produce about 500 million tons of manure each year. With no animal sewage processing plants, it is most often stored in waste “lagoons” (which can be seen in aerial views of factory farms) or it gets sprayed over fields.

Water Waste:

  • One Green Planet persuades that if you consider yourself an environmentalist, veganism is the best choice for you and the planet:

To produce a day’s food for one meat-eater takes over 4,000 gallons; for a lacto-ovo vegetarian, only 1200 gallons; for a vegan, only 300 gallons.

  • The Vegetarian Society lists the many ways cutting out meat will save water. Be sure to follow the links for more information.

Estimates of the water required to produce a kilo of beef vary, from 13,000 liters up to 100,000 liters. The water required to produce a kilo of wheat is somewhere between 1,000-2,000 liters.

  • Watch the documentary Cowspiracy This film has changed the lives of many people who had their eyes opened to the benefits of veganism. I urge you to watch with an open mind and challenge your preconceived ideas about animals and what is considered healthy food.

Animal agriculture is the leading cause of deforestation, water consumption and pollution, is responsible for more greenhouse gases than the transportation industry, and is a primary driver of rainforest destruction, species extinction, habitat loss, topsoil erosion, ocean “dead zones,” and virtually every other environmental ill. Yet it goes on, almost entirely unchallenged.

You care about this planet, and want to leave a safe, clean world to future generations.

Factory farming and animal business is one of the leading causes of environmental ruin and pollution.

You don’t want to support an industry that’s very nature is destructive to our world.

By going vegan, you are boycotting animal agriculture and saying no to the pollution of our only home.


Go vegan to preserve the environment!


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There are so many more reasons to go vegan, we have just touched on the key reasons here.

You can help save animals, improve your health, and preserve the environment by making the change.

Veganism is going mainstream and it’s easier now, more than ever to live a compassionate, cruelty-free life.


Ready to go vegan? Click here to learn HOW!


When I was 88 years old, I gave up meat entirely and switched to a plant foods diet following a slight stroke. During the following months, I not only lost 50 pounds, but gained strength in my legs and picked up stamina. Now, at age 93, I’m on the same plant-based diet, and I still don’t eat any meat or dairy products. I either swim, walk, or paddle a canoe daily and I feel the best I’ve felt since my heart problems began.
  • Benjamin Spock, M.D.
The famous Dr. Spock pediatrician and author, (1903-1998)

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