Essay Example on Vegan Diet
A wise man once said, “What we don’t change, we choose”. As humans, one of our greatest assets is our ability to change. We often forget to evaluate the implication of our action as it becomes a habit. One such habit is diet, we adopt a diet at a very early age and do not consider its impact until later in life - usually after a health condition. Who knew changing the world was as easy as fixing one’s diet? People should consider adopting a vegan diet to reduce the effects of climate change, limit animal cruelty and lead a healthier lifestyle.
To begin, people should consider adopting a vegan diet to reduce the effects of climate change. A recent study at the University of Waterloo states that “Omnivores generate emissions equivalent to driving nearly 15,000 kilometers. More than double the amount generated by vegetarians or vegans” (Chung, Emily). This is so because farms require vegetation to raise livestock. This vegetation is first transported to the farm giving off huge carbon emissions (the same amount of food that can be used to fight world hunger). Carbon dioxide is a form of greenhouse gas that traps heat into the atmosphere of Earth, giving rise to climate change. This means that being vegan could cut one’s dietary impact on the environment in half, lowering the rate of climate change. This does not end here, when an animal dies, a harmful gas called “Nitrous Oxide” is produced. This gas is 300 times more potent than Carbon Dioxide. “It is estimated that 6 million tons of nitrous oxide are produced by livestock each year, accounting for 65% of all nitrous oxide emissions” (Williams, Sage). “Livestock”, a very concerning subject on its own, is the farming of animals for human consumption. This means that humans alter nature’s cycle by a big value of 65% for their own consumption. It is said that we could reverse the effects of climate change if everyone chooses to go vegan.
To continue, people should consider adopting a vegan diet to limit animal cruelty. Humans are complicated beings. We say that we have meat because of our natural ability to do so, ignoring the fact that there is nothing natural in the way we source it. It is true that humans are omnivores who can consume both plants and animals. It is also true that it is the law of nature that the powerful consume the weaker one. However, this is where we - the intelligent species differentiate ourselves from other animals. No other animal raises another being only to have them for dinner. Would people be able to hunt their own animal as an omnivore today? All adult species are supposed to do that in wildlife. If the answer is yes, well and good, that’s the only acceptable way of having meat because the way people source animal products in the market is cruel and unnatural. The omnivore diet is unsuitable for the modern world. It aches to know that cattle do not receive their mother’s milk. Because of the high human demand - they are taken away and fed with milk replacers. Shortly after a female cow turns 1, they are artificially inseminated. Living in a cage the size of their own body, they are injected with hormones to keep producing milk. A cow’s life span should be around 20 years but due to the stress put on them, they barely make it to 5 - after which, they are slaughtered for their meat (“Cow’s Milk: A Cruel and Unhealthy Product”). How would you feel if you had to live your life serving as nothing more than a milk-producing machine? How would you feel to be injected with various hormones in order to keep producing milk? How would you feel to grow up with no mother and have your children taken away from you the second day itself? Not good. The easiest want to save them is to go vegan! Going vegan would bring the demand down, to save these poor lives. We often hear people say, “I am only one person, what impact could I possibly have?” - statistics suggest otherwise. An average person consumes 7000 animals in a lifetime (Durando, Jessica). This means that 7000 lives are affected by a single person’s decision. These 7000 lives undergo inhumane (or shall we say - very human) treatment where they are raised watching others like them be slaughtered - one by one and one day their day comes. Imagine the feelings that arise in them. Even the most “ethically sourced” animal products are far-fetched from their vegan counterparts. It is a lot easier to go vegan today anyways!
Furthermore, people should consider adopting a vegan diet to lead a healthier lifestyle. What more could someone ask for? On one hand, they save the environment and animals, on the other, they save themself! It is funny how most people fear that a vegan diet would not provide them with enough protein when their concern should be the exact opposite. A vegan diet can easily provide sufficient protein for even an athlete. According to cbc.ca, “People on non-vegan diets consume 150% to 250% of the recommended level of protein” (Chung, Emily). The real concern should be an excess of animal protein due to its link with various health conditions. “Animal protein is a major cause of weight gain, heart disease, diabetes, inflammation, and cancer,” says Michelle McMacken, MD, director of the Adult Weight Management Program at NYC Health + Hospitals. Moreover, research at The World Health Organization (WHO) also links colon cancer to animal protein (Davison, Courtney). Now, the cherry on the cake is that vegetarians live longer than non-vegetarians. According to the Adventist Health Study-2, “Vegetarian
men live to an average of 83.3 years, compared with non-vegetarian men, who live to an average of 73.8 years. Vegetarian women live to an average of 85.7 years, which is 6.1 years longer than non-vegetarian women” (Krantz, Rachel). This might very well be because of less animal protein, more nutrients from vegetables, and fewer hormones or pesticides (which is often a part of production for meat) in a vegetarian diet. “Eat your greens” is not so cliche after all!
To conclude, people should consider adopting a vegan diet to reduce the effects of climate change, limit animal cruelty and lead a healthier lifestyle. Staying a non-vegetarian is also a decision, becoming a vegan is also a decision. The alternatives are worth a try!