OPINION: Veganism is Good for the Environment

by Katherine Monsef

Graphics Designer

Vegans seem to have garnered a bad reputation in recent years due to the common stereotypes of being smug hippies who constantly brag about their vegan lifestyle. In reality, many of the vegan members of society partake in this lifestyle because of its benefits to the animals, environment, and their own bodies. Yet not all vegan or vegetarians are motivated by animal rights, focusing more on the lifestyle’s health and environmental benefits.

If more people were to consume less or even eliminate animals products from their diet, they could actively save the environment. While the farming industry seems to consume a lot of land, almost 70 percent of the grains grown are harvested for livestock consumption. With the world’s growing population, humans must save the land and crops for their own consumption, instead of breeding countless livestock which they need to feed for years before slaughtering. Eating more vegetables and less meat would also help supply more food to other countries with very limited farming ability.

In addition, with our population multiplying daily, access to fresh water becomes difficult. Animals tend to drink more water than humans. Therefore, if we do not need as many livestock to feed and supply with water, humans will have more pure drinking water available.

Among many environmental benefits, being vegan actually reduces risks of chronic diseases and can reduce weight. Many who eat plant-based proteins find that they contain fewer calories, which leads to weight loss. Lots of participants also find that their complexion clears significantly.

While many may think that this seemingly extreme dietary regimen is not feasible, they often forget to find substitutes for meat and dairy and keep track of their bodies’ needs. Some people with iron deficiencies believe that only red meat can supply this nutrient, when in fact many plants have iron in them. If the iron provided by plants is not enough, vegans can easily consume vitamins or other supplement pills. They also make pills for calcium, protein, and just about every other substances the body may be deficient in.

Even if a meatless lifestyle does not appeal to you, there are other efforts that can be made which benefit your body and the world in which you live. Just eliminating meat for one day a week or trying to eat locally sourced, smaller portions of meat will have some effect. Instead of assuming something like this is too difficult, just push yourself to try this diet and reap the benefits.

(Sources: Global Citizen, Health)

Categories: Opinion

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