Why do we need a Vegetarian Network?
Vegetarianism is growing and becoming more mainstream, but vegetarians are still only a small portion of the U.S. population. We want to change that. To that end, in February 2007, Vegetarian Network of Dallas (VegNod) was founded with the belief that a vegetarian network would support each vegetarian as an individual and vegetarians as a group, as there is great strength in numbers.
VegNod provides an option to those who wish to be a part of a community of like-minded individuals. We support and encourage our members to become vegetarian activists and convince others to join our lifestyle.
The mission of VegNod is to spread the adoption of vegetarianism through promoting the understanding and respect for vegetarianism and the vegetarian lifestyle.
It is VegNod's vision to create a supportive vegetarian community that welcomes vegetarians and those seeking to learn about vegetarianism alike, while consistently adhering to the vegetarian lifestyle core beliefs of compassion, healthy diet, and environmental responsibility.
Why Be a Vegetarian?
VegNod realizes people come to vegetarianism for many different reasons and we respect each person's choice. VegNod supports any and all reasons for adopting the vegetarian lifestyle. And, just so each of us understands the other's points of view, here are a few of the reasons why those of us who have chosen this path believe it is the right lifestyle for us:
The vegetarian diet is a powerful and pleasurable way to achieve good health. The vegetarian menu is plant-based and includes a wide variety of plant foods that are satisfying, delicious, and healthful.
As a population, vegetarians have much lower cholesterol levels than meat-eaters. Heart disease is less common in vegetarians. Vegetarian meals are typically low in saturated fat and usually contain little or no cholesterol, since cholesterol is found only in animal products such as meat, dairy, and eggs. Vegans consume no animal products and as such, have a cholesterol-free diet.
The type of protein in a vegetarian diet is another important advantage. Many studies show that replacing animal protein with plant protein lowers blood cholesterol levels, even if the amount and type of fat in the diet stays the same. Those studies show that a low-fat, vegetarian diet has a clear advantage over other diets.
Research studies show that vegetarians experience lower rates of cancer, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, high blood pressure and a host of other maladies that plague our species.
Vegetarianism is a healthy dietary choice for men, women, and children. Early adoption of a plant-based diet can stave off many chronic diseases once thought to be part and parcel of the human aging process.
VegNod rejoices in these health benefits and gladly supports all who do the same.
According to a new report from the United Nations and the Food and Agriculture Organization, farmed animals are a top contributor to today's serious environmental problems. The report found that livestock produced 35% to 40% of all methane emissions (which have 23 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide), 65% of nitrous oxide (which is 320 times as warming as carbon dioxide), and 64% of ammonia, which contributes to acid rain.
In addition to climate changes, the growth of global meat production adds immensely to water pollution and the reduction of forests for livestock grazing.
Nearly 30% of the Earth's entire land surface is used for grazing animals, and that amount is expected to grow because the global livestock sector is growing faster than any other agricultural sub-sector.
Animal agriculture is a great threat to the continuation of life on our planet and the overall health of Earth, our one and only place to live.
VegNod believes that it would be shortsighted in the extreme to ignore the reality that animal agriculture is a major contributor to the future destruction of the habitability of our planet.
Every year, billions of sentient, feeling beings are confined, under the most cruel of conditions, in factory farms that deny them the realization of even the most basic elements of their true nature and utterly wastes their lives. These wretched creatures go through life in fear and without ever feeling the sun on their backs or the wind on their faces. They are deprived of child rearing and normal socialization with those of their own species. Farmed animals are objectified as cogs in the wheel of production and forced to eke out a miserable and lonely existence until they die in terror, just so humans can eat their flesh. We think this is incontrovertibly wrong.
Humans must stand up for animals for they are the weakest among us and are completely unable to protect themselves. Animals are at the mercy of humankind. As such, we must be the voice for the suffering voiceless, even when it is inconvenient for us to do so.
VegNod does not advocate for discourtesy or violence in this quest, as such is not usually a successful tactic for winning hearts and minds. We also recognize that we cannot act in such a way that impairs our ability to earn a living. But, we must not be unreasonably cowed or frightened to speak out for what is right. Indeed, we are obligated to do so when we are at all able.
Therefore, VegNod supports those vegetarians, who chose the course of activism and regards them as friends and valued colleagues in the fight against injustice.
Above all, VegNOD is an animal advocacy outreach organization. We encourage our members to get actively involved in speaking for animals in real life and not just on the internet.
We pledge that we will not rest until non-human animals are allowed to live unmolested by human animals.
us in our just quest by participating in direct actions for
animals, among which are demonstrations, leafleting and other forms of
public education, writing campaigns, boycotts and contact with our
Speak for animals and give voice to the voiceless. They have no one, but us.