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Opinion: McCluskey argues for veganism

by Reegan McCluskey

Opinion Editor

As diet fads come and go, veganism, which emerged in 1944, has stood the test of time. People who choose to go vegan often receive ridicule from others who disagree with the diet. Many who refrain from participating believe that this specific diet requires unnecessary planning and hassle. But why not give this new lifestyle a chance?
The stigma around veganism includes the idea of being too over-the-top or cautious because they cannot eat any animal product including eggs, milk, or honey. However, some people choose this particular lifestyle because they don’t have any other choice. Millions of people around the world have allergies and the vegan diet is very accommodating to those sensitivities. For example, lactose intolerance affects over 65 percent of the world’s population. A vegan diet does not allow the drinking of milk or other dairy products, so can be a good choice for those with lactose intolerance.

Some individuals choose this strict diet based on the belief that the human race is actively taking part in the destruction of the Earth. Vegans disapprove of fattening and killing animals for consumption. Of course, a nice, delicious, juicy burger with a side of fries and a creamy chocolate shake sounds amazing, but stores and fast food spots don’t show customers the process behind these items. Companies keep thousands of cows or chickens in confined areas. These inhumane “farms” over-feed the animals to add extra juicy flavor. With help from environmentalists and vegans, change can begin in the food industry.
Additionally, vegans avoid the toxic preservatives in many manufactured foods. In an article from Renew Bariatrics, a poll on the world’s obesity concluded that the USA is the most obese country in the world. This alarming fact comes from the unhealthy food options available in US stores. A large number of restaurants don’t think about health concerns, so if the company can make a meal that sells and doesn’t cost much, they will mass produce it. Vegans ignore these excuses for food and feed their bodies natural food instead.    

Although I love the idea behind the entire movement, I have personally never tried to go 100 percent vegan. For a large part of my life I was vegetarian. However, veganism takes the vegetarian lifestyle to the next level in regards to its strict guidelines. As more people hop on the vegan bandwagon, companies have begun supplying food for vegan customers. Stores and startups such as Urban Remedy and Juice Co., located here in Los Gatos, have many options for customers on a vegan diet. These particular companies provide nutritious juices and smoothies that help cleanse and supply alternate options for healthy snacks. Changing to this diet not only helps the environment, as vegan foods supply the body with a countless amounts of necessary minerals such as Vitamin C and E. Veganism also greatly diminishes the chance of cardiovascular disease and breast cancer. Help improve your life and the environment today; choose veganism.
(Sources: Genetic Homes Reference, Nursing Degree, Quora, Renew Bariatrics)

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