“Worldwide, around 60 billion land animals [10 billion in the USA] and 90 billion marine animals [18 billion in the USA] are killed and eaten every year” (Adapt). The purpose of this paper is to examine veganism by discussing the health benefits of adopting this way of life, and the fact that the slaughter and unfair mistreatment of animals is reduced. I myself would like to become a vegan someday, and fully support veganism, however, I also support small farmers and ranchers because I come from a ranching family. To this end, I address the issues at stake on both sides of the equation.
The Benefits of Veganism
A vegan diet has been shown to assist people in losing weight, furthermore, it boasts a whole spectrum of other health benefits. Research has demonstrated that this regime may help protect people against various cancers and type 2 diabetes, and that it is instrumental in helping those with declining kidney function, and helping people keep their heart healthy (Petre). Interestingly, research shows that the Inuits from Greenland who consume high quantities of animals products, have incredibly high rates of cancer, and the worst longevity statistics in America (Adapt). Generally speaking, individuals following this form of diet obtain more specific nutrients. This is because when they turn away from a standard Western diet, they no longer consume meat and dairy products, and as a result, consume more whole foods such as pulses, seeds, nuts, peas, vegetables, fruit and whole grains. – All of which are extremely healthy. Several research projects have indicated that veganism is liable to offer a diet comprising advantageous plant compounds, antioxidants, and more fiber. It is also shown to have higher quantities of vitamins E, C and A, as well as folate, magnesium and potassium (Petre).
Conversely, when someone follows a badly planned vegan regime full of processed food and nutrient poor choices, they may well fall short of certain crucial nutrients. These comprise: zinc, iodine, calcium, iron, vitamin B12, and essential fatty acids (Petre). This nutrients can however, be taken the form of supplements.
As vegans do not consume any meat or dairy products, their intake of saturated fats is reduced. This gives them an excellent health boost, particularly in regard to their cardiovascular health. Their intake of carbohydrates such as grains and pulses are also beneficial as they empower the body with energy. And in the case of protein, the majority of Americans generally consume too much from sources which are not so healthy. Vegans, on the other hand, have access to healthy sources including: soy products, lentils, peas, nuts and beans. Also, as a vegan’s diet is normally high in fiber, it means that the exponent’s bowel function is very healthy, and this can help prevent cancer of the colon. A vegan diet is also plentiful in phytochemicals due to the high consumption of plant-based foods. These act as co-supports for the body’s antioxidants, empower protective enzymes, and heal and guard the body from cancers (Nursing Degree).
The need to reduce our carbon footprint is very clear, and one of the easiest ways to do this is by becoming vegan. The huge generation of animal products has a very negative effect on the environment due to the huge quantities of water and crops which are used for feeding the animals, not to mention the pollution caused by mass transportation and the other measures which get the meat and dairy products from farms to plates. In order to facilitate meat and dairy production, an enormous quantity of feed is used, and there is extreme deforestation due to the need for land to grow this animal feed (The Vegan Society).
The prevention of animal exploitation is not the only deciding factor as to why some people choose this way of life. Yet, for a large number of exponents, it is the major reason in their choice to become and remain vegan. An element of this may be down to their connection to animals, and many feel that every sentient creature has a right to freedom and life (Vegan Society). Vegans have the perspective that: “animals have an inherent right to be free and live completely unfettered by human domination” (Adapt). In the US alone, every egg, dairy and meat eater has helped to bring about the death of countless marine animals and 3,000 mammals during the course of their life. It can also be said that the reasons people give for the exploitation of animals, particularly profit, tradition, taste. convenience and habit, are: “barbaric reasons for causing intentional harm to them” (Adapt). The horrendous world hunger situation is due to the egg, dairy and meat eating societies because the billions of land and marine animals are constantly given half of the planet’s soy, oats, wheat and corn. In fact, every few seconds as the cow and pigs are fattened, there is a death somewhere on the planet due to malnutrition (Adapt).
Small Farmers and Ranchers
There are many small farmers and ranchers across the country, some of whom have been continuing a long held family tradition. These people are wholly reliant on their way of life for their income, as are those they employ to work the land and tend to the animals. Many people will never give up meat and dairy to become vegetarian or vegan, regardless of the enormous benefits to heath, the environment, and the avoidance of animal suffering and cruelty. As it is mainly large organizations which are no longer treating animals like animals, by shutting them off from daylight and natural pasture, it seems logical that small farmers and ranchers who work in a more traditional way and look after their livestock, should be the ones that are supported by those who purchase meat and dairy products. So as long as the animals are treated well, and slaughtered humanly, then myself and many other people can regard this as acceptable practice.
In summary, substantial research indicates that a vegan diet, as long as it is well planned, is extremely beneficial to health, and may help to ward off and ameliorate certain conditions such as heart disease, poor kidney function and type 2 diabetes. It may also aid in the prevention of certain cancers such as cancer of the bowel. Veganism also helps to pay a big role in reducing environmental carbon and pollution. If could also play a role in lessening world hunger. On the other side of the equation, from my perspective, small farmers and ranchers need to keep their livelihoods, and to that end, as long as the animals are well treated in have access to fresh air and pasture, they should be the best source of produce for meat eaters to support.
- Adapt. “Ethics.” N.d., http://www.adaptt.org/veganism/ethics.html Accessed 10 Apr 2017
- Nursing Degree. “57 Health benefits of Going Vegan.” N.d., http://www.nursingdegree.net/blog/19/57-health-benefits-of-going-vegan/
- Petre, Alina. “6 Science-Based Health Benefits of Eating Vegan.” Authority Nutrition.
N.d., https://authoritynutrition.com/vegan-diet-benefits/ Accessed 10 Apr 2017.
- The Vegan Society. “Why Go Vegan?” N.d., https://www.vegansociety.com/go-