Veganism Essays

Essay Introduction

Going through the daily routine of life, the things around us start to become normal: the clothes we wear, the people we see, and the behaviors we exhibit. But what about the food we eat? Nowadays, the Standard American Diet is deemed just that, standard. Not many people question the food they put into their bodies. When taking a closer look, though, is the food industry truly trying to keep us healthy? Or are food products slowly killing us and our planet?

Research Paper on Veganism

Today’s standard diet, consisting heavily of animal products, has been found to have detrimental effects on human health. For example, experts have concluded that “each 50-gram portion of processed meat eaten daily increases the risk of colorectal cancer by 18%” (Aubrey 1). In addition, those that consume high levels of red meat intake have “elevated risks, ranging from 20% to 60%, of esophageal, liver, colorectal, and lung cancers” than do those that consume less red meat. Also, “the use of eggs was recently shown to be associated with a higher risk of pancreatic cancer” (Craig 1). These statistics are becoming more and more significant in modern society. According to data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey in 2014, “more than 2 in 3 adults were considered to be overweight or have obesity” (National 1).

This is a growing epidemic. A study conducted in 2017 ranked the United States as the number one country of obese citizens, clocking in at “109,342,839 people” considered to be dangerously overweight (Renew 1). Furthermore, “about 90% of Americans aged 2 years or older consume too much sodium, which can increase their risk of high blood pressure. In 2015, more than 37% of adolescents and 40% of adults said they ate fruit less than once a day, while 39% of adolescents and 22% of adults said they ate vegetables less than once a day” (Future 1). Limiting the amount of meat, one consumes may greatly reduce these statistics and contribute to better overall health for humans.

Argumentative Essay Examples on Veganism

Plant-based eating is an alternative to the Standard American Diet. This lifestyle excludes all animal products: meats, dairy, eggs, fish, and gelatin. Over the past few years, veganism has been growing exponentially in popularity. In fact, “there’s been a 600% increase in people identifying as vegans in the U.S. in the last three years,” says an article written in January of 2018 (Future 1). This increasing attention is not without reason. When not consuming animal products, one naturally tends to replace such foods with more whole plant foods.

Fortunately, “a higher consumption of fruit and vegetables, which are rich in fiber, folic acid, antioxidants, and phytochemicals, is associated with lower blood cholesterol concentrations, a lower incidence of stroke, and a lower risk of mortality from stroke and ischemic heart disease. Vegans also have a higher consumption of whole grains, soy, and nuts, all of which provide significant cardioprotective effects” (Craig 1). Thanks to countless meat, dairy, and even egg replacements, becoming vegan in today’s world is not the daunting task it may have been in the past. However, it is not necessary to become completely vegan. Simply incorporating more plant-based items into one’s diet can have extremely beneficial effects.

Thesis Statement for Veganism

If more people were to eat more plant-based items, this would inevitably result in healthier bodies and, therefore, longer lives. As a result, the earth’s population would grow. This seems as though it would have a negative effect on our planet. In reality, veganism is much more sustainable than current animal agriculture practices.

Titles: Veganism and Environmental Sustainability

Livestock cultivation today has an extremely harmful effect on the earth. For example, “livestock is responsible for 65% of all human-related emissions of nitrous oxide – a greenhouse gas with 296 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide, and which stays in the atmosphere for 150 years” (Newman 1). Furthermore, “A farm with 2,500 dairy cows produces the same amount of waste as a city of 411,000 people” (Newman 1). The act of raising animals for meat, along with the high demand for animal products, is quickly depleting the earth’s resources.

Specifically, “within the Amazon rainforest— the home for at least 10 percent of the world’s known biodiversity— 91 percent of deforestation is caused by livestock” (Hansel 1). Alternatively, plant-based agriculture has much less of an influence on our environment. Studies have shown that “a varied vegan diet requires about a third of the land needed for conventional Western diets; 3.5 billion humans could live off the food currently fed to livestock” (The Vegan Society 1). Therefore, a diet lower in animal-based products is more suitable to handle a possible increase in the human population than a Standard American Diet would be.

Nutritional Concerns in a Plant-Based Diet: Addressing Common Misconceptions

A common concern when considering a plant-based diet is consuming enough calories and nutrients to sustain healthy bodily functions. Several people worry that, without eating animal products, constant hunger and fatigue are unavoidable. However, eating a sufficient amount of calories, vitamins, minerals, and nutrients will prevent these issues. Reaching the necessary protein intake on this diet, in particular, is often questioned. However, it has been found that plant foods alone can give a person sufficient amounts of protein daily. “When you eat a diet based on fruit, vegetables, tubers, whole grains, and legumes, about 10% of your total calorie intake will be from protein” (Pulde 1).

According to Harvard Medical School, the Recommended Dietary Allowance for protein is “a modest 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. . . For a relatively active adult, eating enough protein to meet the RDA would supply. . . 10% of his or her total daily calories” (Pendick 1). Evidently, protein requirements can easily be met while following a plant-based diet. Another area of concern is vitamin B-12. One can either consume a B-12 supplement for this or “regularly consume vitamin B-12–fortified foods, such as fortified soy and rice beverages, certain breakfast cereals. . . and B-12–fortified nutritional yeast” (Craig 1).

Calcium and vitamin D sources for vegans can be found in “soya, rice and oat drinks, calcium-set tofu, sesame seeds and tahini, brown and white bread, and dried fruit, such as raisins, prunes, figs, and dried apricot” (NHS 1). Iron is supplied in “dark-green leafy vegetables, such as watercress, broccoli and spring greens, and nuts” (NHS 1). Lastly, foods such as “flaxseed oil, rapeseed oil, soya oil, and soya-based foods, such as tofu and walnuts,” are excellent for providing omega-3 fatty acids (NHS 1).

The Economics of Veganism: Cost Comparison between a Plant-Based Diet and Animal-Based Diet

Expenses play a large part in people’s decision to eat more plant-based or not. There is an assumption that vegan foods tend to cost more than animal-based foods. However, studies have shown that “vegetarians are said to save at least $750 per year on groceries” when compared to meat-eaters (LIVEKINDLY 1). An article published in 2015 details a research study published in the Journal of Hunger & Environmental Nutrition. The study compared government-recommended weekly meal plans, which included meat, with seven-day plant-based meal plans.

The results found that “the U.S. Department of Agriculture-recommended plans cost an extra $14.36 per week, while the vegetarian diet had about 25 more servings of vegetables, 14 more servings of whole grains, and eight more servings of fruit per week” (Poppick 1). Diets richer in plant foods are evidently less expensive than animal-based diets while including more fruits, vegetables, and nutrients required for humans.

While eating more plant-based may seem daunting, there are several notable figures that have entered this lifestyle. Ellen Degeneres, the famous talk show host, follows a vegan diet. She once stated, “As much as the [vegan] diet seems like a sacrifice, it’s helping me” (Bell 1). Degeneres report feeling more energized and overall happier while eating plant foods. In addition to television personalities, several successful athletes also live a plant-based lifestyle. Scott Jurek, an ultramarathon runner, is one example. He won the “Hardrock 100 mile race seven consecutive times, set numerous course records, and has the American 24-hour distance record” (Great Vegan Athletes). He has even been described as the greatest ultramarathoner of modern times.

Jurek is a paradigm of a healthy vegan diet, proving that people can be strong even without consuming meat. On the other hand, numerous people have experimented with veganism and been disappointed. Bill Clinton, for instance, ended his relationship with animal products after a quadruple bypass surgery in 2004. This transition helped him lose over twenty pounds, but Clinton’s doctor, in a New York Times article, admitted that “the former president does occasionally indulge in fish and other lean proteins” (Taylor 1). Clinton is a great example of someone who prefers to consume a small amount of animal products rather than none at all. Incorporating more plant foods over animal foods has kept the man much healthier than he was prior to this dietetic change.


Evidence suggests that more plant-based diets are extremely beneficial for human health, reducing the risks of cancer and illness by significant amounts. Such a diet also aids the preservation of our environment, as well as financial spending. While going completely vegan is a rewarding option, simply incorporating more whole-food, plant-based items into one’s diet is also valuable for many reasons.

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