Veganism: The Logical Argument

At the mention of the word “vegan,” one might picture a greasy, skinny hippie stinking a bit too much of marijuana and preaching their lifestyle to anyone who will listen. This image couldn't be further from the truth. To recap, a vegan diet is one where a person only eats plants—this means no meat, eggs, or dairy. Vegan diets’ popularity is surging, especially amongst young people; for example, in Britain, the number of people following a vegan diet has risen 360% in the past ten years. For those clinging onto their bacon and fried chicken, putting their hands over their ears and denouncing an even slight possibility that a vegan diet could be an option, there is a logical argument behind veganism—and it’s not as preachy as you may think.

 

The Environment

It’s rarely known and rarely talked about: meat consumption and agriculture is one of the biggest culprits of pumping greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. By 2050, the food sector could account for half of the total greenhouse gas emissions. If the world went vegan, these emissions could be cut by approximately 70%. A plant-based diet can cut the average individual’s carbon footprint by 50%. In addition, the agricultural industry uses one-third of Earth’s fresh water—one hamburger is the equivalent of taking a shower that lasts two whole months. In a time where drought is a very real problem, it could be worth thinking about swapping a beef burger to a veggie burger; in addition, agriculture is responsible for 91% of the Amazon Rainforest’s destruction—more so than palm oil. Simply by eating less animal products and replacing them with a plant-based diet, your environmental impact will be immediately felt. And with climate change being the most pressing problem of the Millennial generation, it’s time to take action. In fact, the UN has said that a global movement towards a vegan diet is essential to save the world from hunger and famine.

 

Health

Animal products—including meat, eggs and dairy—have been linked to be major causes of developing diseases such as cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease. In fact, consuming dairy products is thought to be completely unnatural and could be harming our health. Contrary to popular belief, dairy products have little-to-no benefit for bones. Dairy products have been linked to cancer, especially prostate, breast, and ovarian cancers. As well, cow’s milk has been a common cause of developing allergies in children. Cow’s milk is not designed for human consumption. Eating a plant-based diet can reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes; as well, it eliminates most cholesterol from one’s diet. In addition, individuals who eat a vegan diet report a lower body mass index (BMI), higher energy, healthier skin, healthier nails, as well as reduced PMS, bad breath, body odour, and migraines.

 

Animals

There cannot be a discussion about the vegan diet without discussing animals. In the US, 38,627 animals are slaughtered per minute, and tens of billions slaughtered per year. Individuals are socialized to view certain animals such as chickens, cows, and pigs as food, but others such as cats and dogs as pets. And those animals are treated horrifically by the meat and dairy industries. A significant lack of regulations allows for abuse. In the egg industry, males are considered useless and are killed immediately; females are kept in battery cages for their entire lives, and “free-range” hens are de-beaked to stop them from killing each other due to the close conditions, and when they are done laying eggs, they are killed. Cows can only produce milk if they give birth—like humans—and so are forcibly impregnated, then their foals are removed at birth and either sold for meat or more dairy. Pigs are intelligent creatures who are also forcibly impregnated and slaughtered. Consuming animals causes unnecessary suffering to innocent creatures; it does not have to be this way.

Consuming animals is not vital to our survival, and causes unnecessary harm to the environment, our health, and to animals. There are plenty of vegan alternatives to your favourite foods, and vegan options are becoming more widespread. If you’re wondering how to make a difference; this is how. Your body, the Earth, and animals will thank you.