Veganism is often looked down upon or even ignored. However, there are many reasons to go vegan. Veganism has drastic health benefits and environmental benefits. Veganism also helps to abstain from causing unnecessary harm to animals. Therefore, people should start considering adopting a vegan lifestyle.
Veganism is the practice of abstaining from consuming and hurting animals in any way (Mancilla 1). In 1944, Donald Watson invented the term “vegan” for people who did not consume dairy and eggs such as vegetarians (A Brief History of Veganism 2). However, veganism isn’t that current (Mancilla 1). For example, supporters of Jainism abstain from causing harm to animals (Mancilla 1). According to Mancilla, “the concept of flesh-avoidance can be traced back to ancient Indian and eastern Mediterranean societies” (1). Veganism has been around for quite some time.
Humans exploit unnecessary harm to animals (Mag 4). For example, humans use animal fur to make clothes when there are other alternatives such as faux fur (Mag 4). Another example is that humans can acquire all the nutrients in a vegan diet, so the usage of animal products is unnecessary (Mag 3). In factories, animals are often mistreated (Mag 5). For example, male chickens and laying hens are often killed in factories because they are no longer productive (Mancilla 2). The animals in factories also go through very painful processes. For instance, female cows are impregnated using painful methods (Mag 6). When the calves are born they are most likely to be raised for slaughter or to produce milk in the future (Mag 5). Chickens also go through a painful process where they are debeaked (Mag 5). The animals are usually in horrible living conditions (Mag 4). For example, many animals are so cramped in extremely crowded places or in small cages that the animals are not able to move at all (Mag 4,5). The animals also have very little access to light during transportation or when placed in factories (Mag 5). McPherson states, “If it is wrong to make animals suffer, then it is wrong to kill animals (2). Humans can stop unnecessary harm to animals by adopting a vegan lifestyle.
Veganism is a great way to help benefit the environment. If a significant amount of the population went vegan, It would save vast amounts of water (Mancilla 5). According to Coleman, “Animal agriculture consumes on average 55 trillion gallons of water annually” (2). Animal agriculture also uses large amounts of water to produce a very little quantity of meat (Coleman 2). According to Coleman, “PBS reports that citizens in the U.S. consume nearly 50 billion burgers per year” ( 1). Remarkably large amounts of water are used to produce those fifty billion burgers per year. Consuming fewer animal products can also help reduce air pollution (Mancilla 5). Emissions increase because of the constant use of transportation (Coleman 2). Consuming fewer animal products means less transportation of animals which can help reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Animal agriculture causes large amounts of greenhouse emissions (Mancilla 5). Reducing the consumption of animal products can help decrease more greenhouse emissions than the reduction of car usage (Mancilla 5). Livestock also increases emissions from nitrous oxide (Coleman 2). Nitrous oxide causes more harm to the environment than carbon dioxide (Coleman 2). Animal agriculture takes up too much land. Large quantities of land have been destroyed just for animal production (Coleman 1). Meat raised on land from rainforests destroys to more than fifty square feet of the forest (Coleman 1). Veganism is a great option to help benefit the environment.
A vegan diet has many health benefits. The BMI of a vegan is typically lower than the BMI of a non-vegan (Craig 2). A lower BMI can help lower the risk of cancer (Craig 2). A lower BMI can also decrease blood lipids and can help protect a person from heart disease (Craig 1,2). Vegans consume higher amounts of foods such as whole grains and soy that can protect people from cardiovascular disease (Craig 2). Vegans tend to eat more fruits and vegetables than non-vegans which can help reduce blood cholesterol and reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases such as ischemic heart disease (Craig 2). According to Craig, “Vegans consume considerably more legumes, total fruits and vegetables, tomatoes, allium vegetables, fiber, and vitamin C than do omnivores” (2). These foods and nutrients help protect against several cancers. For example, Fiber and vitamin C in a vegan diet can help reduce the risk of stomach cancer (Craig 2). Fruits such as tomatoes can help decrease the risk of prostate cancer (Craig 2). A vegan diet typically consists of soy milk since a vegan diet does not include cow milk. According to Craig, “Data from the Adventist Health Study showed that consumption of soy milk by vegetarian protected them against prostate cancer” (2). A vegan diet can also benefit women (Craig 2). For example, the consumption of soy products at a young age can lower the risk of breast cancer in women (Craig 2). Research has proven that bone health requires a variety of different nutrients and foods (Craig 2). Bone health isn’t limited only to nutrients like calcium or protein (Craig 2). For example, vegans do not have to worry about bone health if the diet consists of sufficient amounts of calcium and vitamin D because the vegan diet consists of many other nutrients that protect bone health (Craig 3). A regular vegan diet also helps bone metabolism because of the high consumption of fruits and vegetables (Craig 3). A well-planned vegan diet can result in many health benefits.
Veganism needs to be taken into consideration because there are many valid reasons for adopting this lifestyle. Veganism can benefit the environment and human health. Veganism is also a way to avoid unnecessary harm toward animals. For further research, people can research on other people who have adopted a vegan diet while having many allergies. People can also compare the environmental benefits before and after the increase of the vegan population.
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