Welcome

Welcome to the home page of Cheltenham Vegetarians And Vegans. We are a group serving Cheltenham and the surrounding area. We meet up once a month for talks, pub meetings, film showings etc. and aim to promote the benefits of a plant based diet and help people become vegan, vegetarian or to reduce the amount of animal products in the food they eat and make Cheltenham a more vegetarian/vegan friendly place to live.

We warmly welcome new members to join our friendly, supportive and go-ahead group and, as well as vegans and vegetarians, we are open to anyone who is interested in reducing their consumption of animal products.

Please note: The best way to contact us is by using our Email address (cheltenhamveggroup@yahoo.co.uk)

We are an informal group, there are no membership fees to pay or forms to fill in, just feel free to turn up at any of our events and introduce yourself.

Find us on facebook https://www.facebook.com/groups/241871464035/?fref=ts

Why Vegetarian (or Vegan)?

People Land Air Water Efficiency Animals Health

  1. Every year in the UK we feed our livestock enough food to feed 250,000,000 people while in the world 30,000,000 people die of starvation
  2. 20 vegetarians can live off the land required by one meat eater
  3. Every 3 seconds a child dies of starvation somewhere in the world
  4. If Americans reduced their meat consumption by 10% it would free 12,000,000 tons of grain - enough to feed 60,000,000 people (the population of Great Britain)
  5. If all Americans became vegetarian, it would free enough grain to feed 600,000,000 people (the population of India)
  6. Intensification in animal farming has displaced 1,000,000's of people from their traditional lands - eg. indigenous people in south & central america, native americans in north america & crofters in Great Britain - this is continuing today
  7. People displaced from their lands into cities succumb to dietary deficiency, diseases, parasites & opportunistic diseases
  8. In third world countries 1 in 10 babies die before their first birthday
  9. The UK imports $46,000,000 worth of grain from third world countries to feed our livestock
  10. Due to overgrazing 850,000,000 people live on land threatened by desertification & over 230,000,000 already live on land so severely desertified that they are unable to sustain their existence & face imminent starvation
  11. 1,000,000,000 people in the west gorging on meat & dairy leave 1,000,000,000 to waste away & 3,500,000,000 teeter on the brink
  12. LAND
  13. If they continue to clear American forests to raise cattle at the present rate, in 50 years there will be none left
  14. 1 acre yields 165 lbs of beef or 20,000 lbs of potatoes
  15. 8/10 of cultivated land in the UK is used to grow food for animals (14,732,000 hectares)
  16. It takes 16lbs of high protein soya to produce 1 lb of beef
  17. Since 1945 in the UK we have lost 95% of flower meadows, 50% of ancient woodlands, 40% of heathlands, 50% of wet lands & 224,000 km of hedgerows all due to animal farming
  18. Pressure on land due to meat farming leads to soil erosion 6billion tons/year in the USA
  19. If everyone went vegetarian upto 90% of land used for animal farming could be taken out of production & used to replant woodlands, leisure activities etc.
  20. 25% of Central america's forests have been destroyed for cattle grazing since 1960
  21. Between 1966-1983 38% of the Amazon rain forest was destroyed for cattle grazing
  22. 90% of cattle ranches established on cleared forest land go bankrupt in less than 8 years as the land becomes barren due to nutrient loss & overgrazing
  23. Overgrazing by cattle is destroying the land & increasing desertification, nearly 430 million acres in the USA alone has suffered a 25-50% reduction in yield since first grazed
  24. An inch of topsoil takes 200-1000 years to develop - yet in the USA they have lost around 1/3 of their prime topsoil in 200 years (around 7 inches) due to animal farming
  25. Land will be lost due to rises in sea level due to global warming due to animal farming
  26. AIR
  27. The destruction of the rainforest by cattle farmers is destroying the lungs of the planet & reducing the worlds capacity to replenish our oxygen supply
  28. The 1,300,000,000 cattle in the world emit 60,000,000 tons of methane per year (methane is a greenhouse gas & leads to global warming)
  29. Burning of forests, grasslands & agricultural waste associated with animal farming releases 50-100,000,000 tons of methane per year
  30. Combining these figures, 25% of methane emissions are due to animal farming (not including the billions of sheep, pigs & poultry so the real figure is much higher)
  31. Fertilizer used to grow crops to feed to animals releases nitrous oxide - thought to account for 6% of the greenhouse effect
  32. Fertilizer, weedkiller & pesticides sprayed on crops enter the atmosphere creating a noxious carcinogenic cocktail
  33. CFCs are released into the air from refrigeration units used to store decomposing flesh (meat), milk & butter - CFCs are destroy the ozone layer
  34. Ammonia from animal urine also pollutes the atmosphere
  35. CO2 is released by burning oil & petrol in lorries, ships, abattoirs, dairies, factories etc. associated with meat & dairy production
  36. Emissions from large chemical plants which produce fertilizer, weedkiller & other agricultural chemicals are also poisoning our air
  37. WATER
  38. 25 gallons of water to produce 1lb of wheat & 2500 gallons to produce 1lb of meat
  39. UK farm animals produce 200,000,000 tonnes of slurry (liquid excrement) every year, the majority of which ends up in our rivers
  40. Bloody waste water from abattoirs ends up in our rivers
  41. In the USA every second humans produce 12,000 lbs of effluent while farmed animals produce 250,000 lbs
  42. Nitrates & pesticides used on crops grown to feed livestock end up in our rivers
  43. Meat & dairy farming uses 70 litres of water per day per animal in the UK or 159,250,000,000 litres per year in total
  44. The water used to produce 10 lbs of steak is equivalent to the average consumption of water for an entire household for an entire year
  45. Depletion of groundwater reserves to grow crops for animals & to supply abattoirs will lead to greater water shortages
  46. Aquafers (stores of underground water) in the San Joaquin valley in the USA are being drained at the rate of 500,000,000,000 gallons/year to produce meat
  47. 18% of all agricultural land in the world is irrigated & as global warming increases (partly due to animal farming) it will cost $200,000,000 to keep these systems going
  48. The water used to produce a 1000 lb beef steer is enough to float a Destroyer battleship
  49. The liquid waste from the various parts of the meat & dairy industry flow into the rivers & from there into the seas polluting them & encouraging huge algal blooms to grow
  50. EFFICIENCY
  51. To produce 1calorie of energy from meat takes 60 calories of petrol, whereas growing grains & legumes to directly feed people produces 20 calories for each calorie of fuel used ( thats 1200 times more efficient)
  52. Meat & dairy farming uses billions of gallons of oil to run tractors, fuel ships & lorries (to move animal feed & animals), pump billions of gallons of water to irrigate fields & run slaughterhouses, power refrigeration units to prevent the corpses from decomposing & to power sewage plants to clean up some of the pollution produced
  53. Cattle convert only 6% of their energy intake (mainly grains & soya) into flesh, the remaining 94% is wasted as heat, movement (which is why they keep many animals in very close confinement), hair, bones, faeces etc
  54. 1lb of beef takes 1 gallon of petrol to produce
  55. A family of four eating beef for a year uses enough petrol to run a car for 6 months (obviously depending on how far you drive!)
  56. If the full ecological cost of meat was passed onto the consumer - the price would be quadrupled (at least)
  57. The EC spends $100,000,000's to subsidise animal production resulting in lakes of unwanted milk & mountains of unwanted meat & butter. This money could be better spent encouraging organic fruit, vegetable & grain production
  58. In the USA in 1979 145,000,000 tons of crops were fed to cattle resulting in only 21million tons of animal bodies - the cost of the wasted crops was $20,000,000,000
  59. Between 1950 & 1985 grain production in Europe & the USA increased massively but 2/3 was fed to animals
  60. 70% of all grain is fed to animals
  61. Eating vast quantities of animal flesh, eggs, milk & butter is a luxury that most of the planet can not afford
  62. ANIMALS
  63. Fishing with drift (and other modern) nets weakens & destroys ecosystems by indiscriminately killing billions of sea creatures & disrupting the sea bed
  64. Fishermen's nets kill 10 times as many other animals as the fish they are hoping to catch
  65. Fish caught in nets die an agonising slow death of suffocation
  66. Each year 15,000,000,000 land animals are slaughtered for food & an unknown but much larger number of sea creatures (including 1000's of dolphins caught accidentally)
  67. Chickens are crammed into battery cages with upto 3 other birds, they are unable to even spread their wings & many can not even stand up
  68. Unwanted male chicks (because they can't lay eggs) are gassed or pulped while their sisters go to the battery sheds
  69. Chicks are debeaked without anaesthetic to prevent them injuring each other in the unnaturally confined conditions they are kept in - this is equivalent to having your fingernails pulled out without anaesthetic
  70. Modern farming methods using growth hormones & artificial lighting mean that many chickens out grow their bones, resulting in fractured & broken legs
  71. Sows are kept tethered in stalls 1.3 x 1 metre on concrete or slatted floors - they can not even turn around
  72. Poultry raised for meat are kept in windowless broiler sheds, with around 20-30,000 in each shed, they live in an area of 10-20 cm square - fighting due to overcrowding is common & like battery hens they commonly suffer from supperating bed sores
  73. Broilersheds are artificially lit 23 hours a day to produce rapid growth
  74. Animals travel between farms & to slaughter in overcrowded transporters with no food or water - resulting in stress, injuries & deaths - legal requirements are widely ignored
  75. 95% of poultry suffer injuries before being killed & 30% suffer broken bones
  76. Problems with stunning practices mean that many animals have their throats slit while still conscious (around 6% of cattle or 200,000 per year) & are then dipped in tanks of scalding water (to loosen feathers, bristles etc.) again while fully conscious
  77. 4000 animals die spurting their blood out every minute in a British slaughterhouse
  78. Calf leather comes from animals killed at just 2 weeks old
  79. Cows were fed on the ground up remains of other cows & sheep - the result is thought to be BSE (mad cow disease) in the USA cattle are fed partly on recycled plastic pellets
  80. Cows only give milk for 10 months after they have a calf - so they are routinely artificially inseminated (ie. mechanically raped) to keep them pregnant & milking - their calves are taken away (usually at 12 hours old) for meat or export to veal crates
  81. Cows would naturally live upto 20 years but are slaughtered after 5-7 years when their milk production begins to fall
  82. In the UK animals are killed by first being stunned with electricity or a captive bolt gun (ie. a bolt is fired into their heads) before having their throats slit & being plunged into boiling water - all this happens on a production line with the animals being hung upside down from a moving conveyor belt - this is factory farming
  83. "Animals are those unfortunate slaves & victims of the most brutal part of mankind" - John Stewart Mill (philosopher)
  84. Veal calves are confined in stalls in the dark, unable to move & are fed on pigs blood , chocolate & dried milk (we are drinking the rich fresh milk of their mothers)
  85. Cows naturally produce 5 litres of milk per day for their calves - under the intensified systems of modern farming they produce 25-40 litres per day - resulting in swollen & inflamed udders - at this rate they are soon worn out
  86. Large areas of land are under monoculture to grow crops to feed to animals - these areas are wildlife deserts supporting fewer & fewer species.
  87. HEALTH
  88. Vegetarians have a 20% lower rate of mortality from all causes (ie. they live longer & don't get sick as often)
  89. Meat is full of traces of antibiotics, hormones, toxins produced by stress & pesticide residues that become concentrated from all the crops they have eaten
  90. Fish contain heavy metals & other pollutants -many of which originated on farms
  91. The world health organisation recommends a diet low in saturated fat, sugar, salt & with plenty of fibre - exactly what you get on a vegan/vegetarian diet
  92. Farmed animals contain upto 50% saturated fat in their bodies
  93. Vegetarians have 24% reduced risk of getting heart disease & Vegans a 57% reduction (heart disease is the biggest killer in the UK accounting for 50% of deaths)
  94. Obesity is rare in vegetarians, obesity is related to many diseases
  95. Vegans & vegetarians have lower blood pressure & cholesterol levels - high levels are associated with heart disease, strokes & kidney failure
  96. Vegetarians have a 50% reduced risk of dying of diabetes
  97. Vegetarians have a 40% reduced level of cancer than the general population thought to be because they have a higher intake of vitamins A,C & E
  98. Vegetarians have a reduced risk of developing gall & kidney stones
  99. 80% of food poisoning is due to infected meat (faeces, bacteria etc.) after all meat is decomposing flesh - most of the rest is due to salmonella in eggs
  100. Osteoporosis due to calcium loss from bones is mainly due to the sulphur content in meat & casein protein in milk that cause calcium to be lost in the urine - the countries with the highest meat & dairy consumption are those with the highest levels of brittle bones
  101. 50% of people do not have the enzyme to digest milk properly & milk allergy is related to asthma & eczema
  102. Meat eaters have double the rate of Alzheimers disease as Vegans & Vegetarians - some people also think that Parkinsons disease is also linked to meat eating
  103. Egg yolk is a dense concentration of saturated fat & the white is high in albumin protein associated with leaching calcium into your urine. Butter is 80% saturated fat, cream is 40% saturated fat & cheese is 25-40% saturated fat
  104. Meat eaters are two and a half times more likely to get bowel cancer than Vegetarians
  105. The cling film used to wrap meat in supermarkets & butchers contains chemicals linked to falling sperm counts in men
  106. Chinese people (living mainly on a vegetarian diet) consume 20% more calories than Americans but Americans are 20% fatter
  107. Of 2,100,000 deaths in the USA in 1987, 1,500,000 were related to diet (ie. meat & dairy

AND I COULD GO ON !

If you've read this far, I hope that you are beginning to see that the Meat & Dairy industry is a major contributor to misery on this planet. It is destroying the health of people in rich countries, starving those in poor countries, it is torturing & killing billions of animals every year and in the meantime it is one of the major factors in the destruction of the environment - so what does the meat & dairy industry have to say in it's defence?

Well their only real point is usually "Meat is tasty" - fair enough a lot of people enjoy the taste of meat - but there are plenty of delicious alternatives (just consider the huge range of vegetarian dishes in Indian cooking - one of the oldest & most sophisticated cuisines in the world) and if you really crave meat & dairy, nowadays there are plenty of healthy non animal alternatives - just look in the supermarket & health food shop. So I hope you will agree it's pretty pathetic to consider all the evidence & then say "well I know you're right about the environment & health & the animals - but I just love my meat"