For a good amount of time I didn’t use my vote. I found it daunting to figure out everything there was about the different parties, what they stood for, their track-record, pros & cons and so on. The final and most daunting task of them all was to compare all of them with each other to try and figure which one was worthy of my vote. I’m currently 31 years young and I only started voting recently. For some this might seem insane, but for me it made a lot of sense. Here is the story of why I started using my vote.
A few years back, my mom got a stroke which left her paralyzed on the right side of her body. I could see how much of a struggle it was for her to get back into society. Staying motivated to do exercises for so many years, with little to no result, can be a really big challenge. It left her depressed, angry and frustrated. She got more and more strokes as the time went by and it seems like for every step forward she took, she also went two steps back. I also remember when I was young that my grandmother was sick a lot. She had multiple heart attacks which restricted her movement due to the stress it had on her heart. I also remember how she was before she got sick, and the difference in mood and freedom was, of course, very different.
Background and politics
In 2014, I went vegan. The reason for this was mainly to try and avoid suffering the same fate as my mom and grandmother. There are also other members of my family that have gotten sick with diabetes and/or cancer. These diseases are among the top killers and disablers in the world, leaving many family members heartbroken. When I asked my medical doctor if there was anything I could do to try and prevent the same fate as my family, he basically said they could monitor my cholesterol, and give me medication to reduce it if it ever got high. So when I found out that a plant based diet can prevent most cases of heart disease, I felt the need to spread the message. I think everyone deserves to be informed about the the health benefits of plants and the dangers of eating animal products. In today’s society, due to money and politics, this information does not always reach the public. In this video from Bite Size Vegan, you can see why the media usually doesn’t cover these sorts of things. Here, passionate people try and convince the schools in the US to offer healthy options in school cafeterias, since processed meat is cancer causing. In this video, a representative from the media, who’s vegan, talks about why she is the only one covering this case. She informs the school board that the absence of the other journalists has to do with where they get their paycheck from, that is, the meat, dairy and egg industry. It’s therefore somewhat remarkable when a political party proudly and openly suggests to reduce the meat intake back here in Norway.
Disease and commercials
The World Watch Institute informs that animal agriculture is the the leading cause of why infectious diseases spreads to humans (time: 1.39.00), and the World Health Organization, American Heart Association, Food and Agriculture Organization, and World Cancer Research Fund reports that not eating enough plants is a major cause of lifestyle diseases. Just eating one more serving of fruits or vegetables a day would prevent 30.000 deaths every year in the US alone. When my medical doctor doesn’t even know about this stuff, what chance does a normal citizen with no medical or nutrition background have? Well, in Norway it’s illegal to make commercials for alcohol and tobacco. The reason for this is because it’s detrimental to the health, so, in other words: Everything that harms the body, you can’t make commercials of. As I already covered in a previous blog post, I think there should be warning labels on meat-packages to inform the consumer about the dangers of meat, just like with tobacco. That way, people will get the information they need and can then make an informed decision.
A political party in Norway, Miljøpartiet de Grønne (MDG), are working on creating more vegetarian options in the food stores to reduce the amount of greenhouse-gasses and the suffering among the animals in the agriculture industry. Having someone that is this open to reducing animal products in Norway is very refreshing and, in my opinion, very important. Not only that, they are also trying to change the laws to reduce suffering among animals and stop certain commercials that promote meat consumption. Because of these reasons, in addition to global warming and the fact that so many people are dying from not eating enough plants, I thought to myself that a party like MDG is worthy of my vote. This is what finally lead me to vote for the first time in a long while. I believe veganism is one of the most important causes there is on the planet since it can help end world hunger, stop the leading causes of infectious,- and lifestyle diseases, reverse the environment damage, and so much more.
That being said, this blog post is not intended to promote MDG, it’s just to inform the audience about changes in politics, funding, and why you don’t always see animal agriculture being covered in the media and in political campaigns. There is no denying it now, we are at a tipping point where we will probably start seeing many more political debates in the future. Such as, animal welfare, tax-money reducing the price of animal products instead of health promoting products, animal testing, selective breeding, and a whole lot of other things related to animal agriculture. I’m excited to see where we’ll go from here 🙂
The animals needs a voice: (in Norwegian)
EU wants to stop animal testing: (in Norwegian)