Plate Up for the Planet

by Frederique Laprise on November 6, 2017 - 4:57pm

Plate Up for the Planet

According to The Vegan Society, veganism is “a way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as is possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose”. Veganism is an easy way to live a healthier lifestyle, help the environment, all while saving the lives of  many innocent animals.

Health impact of veganism



Many people think that meat and milk are of utmost importance in one’s diet. However, this myth has been proven to be wrong. In fact, both the British Dietetic Association and the American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics concur that a well-planned vegan diet can contain the nutrients our bodies need. Furthermore, becoming a vegan has many positive repercussions on our health because it not only improves our eating habits, but it also makes us learn more about nutrition and cooking. Here is a link to affordable vegan recipes: https://www.vegansociety.com/resources/recipes/budget



Moreover, going vegan not only eliminates our consumption in saturated fats from meats, milk and eggs, but it also decreases our chances to have cancer by not eating any processed meats according to the World Health Organization. Additionally, vegan diets can lower blood pressure and cholesterol, and reduce rates of heart disease and type 2 diabetes.



Environmental impact of veganism



What is known as the “Western diet” is constituted of mainly animal based products like red meat, chicken, pig, etc. In fact, the meat production in the world has quadrupled since the 1960s. There were four and a half more tones of pigs produced in 2013 compared to 1961. It doesn’t stop there either. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the world meat production will have almost double by 2050. This statistic is important because meat productions leads to global warming through: widespread pollution, deforestation, land degradation, water scarcity and species extinction.



In fact, 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.” Considering that one in nine people are undernourished, it is safe to say that veganism is a good solution for many of our world problems.



Also, the U.N. predicts that the world will only have 60% of the water it needs left by 2030. In other words, 13 years from now we could be missing 40% water in the world that is substantial for many different species, including us. It’s hard to see how this water loss is connected to the production of meat, but it takes 15 500 liters of water to produce one kilogram of beef, while it takes 180 liters and 250 liters to produce  respectively one kilogram of tomatoes and one kilogram of potatoes. Knowing that the livestock sector is the largest sectoral source of water pollution, it is safe to say that revising our diets won’t be of any harm.


Vegan Movement and Animal Rights



Animals, just as humans,  are complex species. As some people says, they might not have the capacity of reasoning, but they do have emotions and can feel pain. A professor at Cambridge University, Dr. Donald Boom, states that, through the analysis of their brainwaves, cows get excited as they solve problems. Therefore, by confining these animals in small areas, they cannot express their joy. Being stuck in small enclosures has many other consequences on these animals. It is said that 95% of hens from egg-laying industry are found in crowded room and have illnesses, broken bones and dehydration issues.

Conventional farmers are cruel in the way that they raise the animals. Hens are constantly under stress, because, compare to natural hens, they have to lay 30 times more eggs and due to the compact space they are raise. Also, newborn cows are separated from their moms within less 12 hours due to the rich milk the cow produces. Meanwhile, the calves are place in another room where they are feed with “special” milk to make them fatter.

The meat production industry also contains lots of disrespectful policies in regard of animal killing. Generally, there is no use of painkiller before mutilating the animal in question. In fact, it is said that that 200 million male chicks are killed every year by babar methods: by suffocating or grounding them alive.

Therefore, vegan is a perfect way of living in order to save life of species by discouraging the consumption of meat and products related.



We can conclude that veganism not only has many health benefits, but also helps reduce our carbon footprint, and save the lives of many animals. Switching your diet is a simple step to a healthier, more ecological way living.

 

1. https://www.vegansociety.com/go-vegan/health

2. https://www.vegansociety.com/go-vegan/environment

3. https://www.vegansociety.com/resources/environment/food-security

4. https://www.vegansociety.com/resources/environment/water-requirements

5. https://www.peta.org/issues/animals-used-for-food/animals-used-food-factsheets/vegan-diets-healthy-humane/

6. https://navs-online.org/articles/veganism-animal-rights/

 
 
 
 
 
 

Comments

I agree with you when you say that "Veganism is an easy way to live a healthier lifestyle, help the environment, all while saving the lives of many innocent animals".
In fact, according to an article I read written by the American Dietetic Association and Dietitians of Canada, having a vegetarian diets offers a high number of nutritional benefits, such as a lower levels of saturated fat, cholesterol, and animal protein as well as higher levels of carbohydrates, fibre, magnesium, potassium, folate, antioxidants such as vitamins C and E, and phytochemicals.
Furthermore, vegetarians have been reported to have lower body mass indices than non-vegetarians, which is healthier for you. Also, it has been proven that vegetarians have a lower rates of death from ischemic heart disease, lower blood cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure, and lower rates of hypertension, type 2 diabetes, and prostate and colon cancer. With all of these benefits, I do not see why people would not turn to vegetarianism. While a number of federally funded and institutional feeding programs can accommodate vegetarians, few have foods suitable for vegans at this time. It is now time to convert people to vegetarianism. In the article it is mentioned that dietetics professionals have a responsibility to support and encourage those who express an interest in consuming a vegetarian diet, which is perfect to spread vegetarianism among the population. They can play key roles in educating vegetarian clients about food sources of specific nutrients, food purchase and preparation, and any dietary modifications that may be necessary to meet individual needs. Menu planning for vegetarians can be simplified by use of a food guide that specifies food groups and serving sizes. There is no reason to not be vegetarian after reading all its benefits to the human body. And as your article mentions; it does not only benefits us but also helps the environment and saves the lives of many innocent animals. Let's think about it!

Reference:
"Position of the American Dietetic Association and Dietitians of Canada: Vegetarian Diets." Canadian Journal of Dietetic Practice and Research 64, no. 2 (Summer, 2003): 62-81. https://proquest-crc.proxy.ccsr.qc.ca/docview/220823659?accountid=44391.