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Today is:
For You, For The Animals, For The World
By Meike Melansek

It has been six years since I was introduced to Meike and Miran - wonderful parents and my dear friends who live a very different life from my own. First of all, they live in Germany and secondly they exercise a strict, but fun vegetarian lifestyle. It wasn't until Meike gave me a book about connecting our diet and the environment that I began to open up to their food world. While you may agree or disagree with what Meike says below, I hope you open yourself up to learning and digesting the information she shares about her choices. Stay tuned next month for 2 recipes of yummy veggie dishes she cooks for her family, which includes hubby and 2 darling boys (one which is pictured here displaying his love for nature). I even took a few cooking pointers from her while visiting them in Germany! - Deesha Dyer

II believe in non-violent resistance. To not eat animals is my personal non-violent protest.

When I made the decision to stop eating meat 10 years ago it was mainly because I felt compassion for animals. Somehow it appeared more and more odd to me to eat pieces of dead creatures, which had been going through a short life full of captivity, pain and fear of death. It was depressing to eat their bodies - it was impossible for me to deny all these nuisances while eating a meal which contained meat. Today I feel better about myself and better about animals, knowing I am no longer contributing to their pain. I could never imagine going back – it's a question of awareness. The more I learn about the circumstances around being a vegetarian and the consequences, I feel proud and confirmed over and over that I am on the right track.

Being vegetarian is not just a personal thing about your preferences and your attitude towards animals; a vegetarian diet is THE choice if you want to live a healthier life and to save the planet too.

Unfortunately most people don't know about these facts - there are still a lot of false pretences in our heads, for example that a meat-free diet would cause deficiency signs or that you need meat to become tall, strong and healthy - which is not true. Fact is that a whole food-vegetarian diet guarantees an optimal coverage of all nutrients. Meat is nutritionally speaking not needed.

Moreover the consumption of meat is a risk factor for a range of diseases like diabetes, obesity, osteoporosis, cardio-vascular diseases, cancer, arthritis, inflammations, asthma, allergies and more. In addition meat can contain harmful contaminates, dioxins, germs, antibiotics and hormones. Vegetarians have better blood pressure and cholesterol values, they have less weight problems, and their immune defense works better. Within vegetarians you will find less arthritis-patients and very rarely diabetics.

Fresh Veggies at a Local Market

Not only does factory farming lead to the torture of animals and unhealthy effects on your own, it is also causing havoc on environment as well as supports global suffering. In an effort to avoid regulation, keeping the costs down and maximize its profits, the agriculture business has poisoned our water and air, helped push global warming further along, destroyed wildlife, fragile habitats and ecosystems and monopolized valuable land and water supplies. Livestock farming has a high impact on the climate warming – an even more significant impact than transportation has. Less meat in our diet would help to reduce the worldwide CO 2 emissions, concentration of methane in the atmosphere, and would therefore lower the greenhouse effect.

You see, there are a lot of reasons to quit meat for good. My personal prime reason is the respectfulness for life and living beings and my holistic thinking. Exploitation of fellow creatures and environment cannot be the path worth striving for. The desire not to cause undue harm to animals is a natural one and most people have compassion for suffering animals to some extent at some point in their lives. With my decision to be a vegetarian, I have just taken this feeling to its logical conclusion.

One thing that is puzzling me a lot is how differently most people value the various types of animals. Whereas lots of people would never ever consider eating dogs, cats and horses, they enjoy having pigs, cows and rabbits for dinner. Pets are treated as friends, farm animals like slaves. The majority think that killing animals for fur is cruel but at the same time they buy shoes, clothes, furniture made of leather. This appears to me a contradictory view and has a racist touch. For me every animal has the right to live a cruel-free life. Every species is worth to be saved from pain, torture and death. We shouldn't presume the right to end the life of any creature at least not for base motives like doubtable enjoyment and taste.

To drop meat and animal products from your menu isn't a sacrifice. The vegan diet offers an abundance of diversified dishes which are delicious, healthy and above all free of suffering.

I am aware that being vegetarian is not the most consequent strategy to boycott the cruelty of livestock farming. In fact, by consuming diary products and eggs as well as other animal products I still support the suffering of farm animals and even their killing. That's why I keep informing myself about possibilities to replace animal products with cruelty-free products, and the more I get to know about the various alternatives I learn that it is way easier to live a vegan life than I thought. I am not consequent in all aspects yet, but I try to reorganize as much as possible and am happy about each new product I find that is non-violent – step by step I make change.

"We all love animals. Why do we call some "pets" and others "dinner?"
~k.d. lang

"Nothing will benefit human health and increase chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet."
~Albert Einstein


To talk to Meike Melansek  you can contact her via email at

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