In the age of climate change and moral enlightenment, it seems a good time to stand against the exploitation of the environment and animal cruelty. So, is it actually time for all of us to become vegan?
As the world falls into a terrifying spiral of climate catastrophe, now, more than ever, is the time to make life-changing decisions and take definitive steps in order to prevent the worst. Many people are therefore questioning their habits, daring to think about things they would not have otherwise considered at all. But there's far more to veganism than self-interest in keeping the human race going. Humanity is driving hundreds of thousands of species to extinction, so even if there were no climate crisis (which there is), we should still think about whether our way of life is actually okay.
With all that's going on around the world, then, it's important to ask: is it about time for all of us to go vegan? Here are some reasons why we should.
Have you ever seen a non-human animal cry out in pain when mistreated? Think about your dog, your cat, or any pet you've ever had. Would you be okay with locking them up in dreadful conditions, torturing them, and killing them after a life of suffering?
It's easy to dismiss animal suffering when you don't see it directly. It happens somewhere, probably far away, so it's not your problem, right? You are not the one torturing them, after all. So why should you care?
Well, when your money goes into the pockets of the people that do, you're giving them all they need to keep going. Buying meat motivates the industry to continue and effectively promotes the torturing of non-human animals. Still, it's easier when you don't see it directly.
While a vegetarian doesn't eat meat, they can eat animal-based products like dairy or eggs. A vegan avoids any animal-based product whatsoever, even in other areas of life such as clothing. Veganism is thus a lifestyle, not only a diet.
But consider that going vegan will save around 200 animals per day on average. The single best way to stand against animal cruelty is not to buy or consume any animal products whatsoever. Keep in mind that vegetarianism is not actually enough here: the dairy and egg industry causes just as much suffering as the meat industry.
If you take care and visit a nutritionist (which you should do regardless of whether you're a carnivore, vegetarian, or what have you), going vegan can have some of the greatest health benefits of any diet. Generally speaking, vegans are less likely to suffer from cancer, heart disease, diabetes, cholesterol, or high blood pressure. A well-rounded vegan diet provides all the nutrients the body needs, from protein to fiber and minerals. While meat eaters can also get these nutrients, they come at the expense of saturated animal fat, which is terrible for you.
Even in terms of weight management, veganism rules any other diet. On average, vegans are up to 20 pounds lighter than meat eaters, without sacrificing the kind of energy that temporary weight-loss diets involve.
The animal industry is one of the biggest culprits to blame for the climate crisis we're currently suffering—and whose effects are bound to get worse by the year. The production of meat pollutes the soil and atmosphere due to its necessary multi-layered processes, from the industrial agriculture required to sustain animal population, to the wasteful practices of mass slaughtering. According to several international research and monitoring organizations, including the United Nations, animal agriculture is responsible for the emission of more greenhouse gases than almost any other industry out there. Even if you combined all of the world's transportation systems you still wouldn't come close to the damage the animal industry causes on the planet.
It also uses an enormous amount of resources, including water. On average, a single person can save up to 219,000 gallons of water a year just by going vegan. Land use and the destruction of the ocean habitats are other important considerations.
Humans are also negatively affected from large-scale animal farming—and not only in terms of individual health. Consider that we need as much as 13 pounds of grain for every 1 pound of meat, which means enormous waste in terms of food. World hunger is not a matter of lack of resources, but a matter of terrible administration and a particularly close-minded approach when it comes to food production and distribution. We're feeding and torturing cows rather than feeding starving children for the sake of a few people who want to keep eating hamburgers—and it's bad even for the latter! No one really wins in this situation, which makes this practice one of the single most absurd habits humans have come up with.
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Makes you more attractive
Since vegans tend to have more energy than the average meat-eater, they end up being more attractive too. Think about it: that extra energy shows in many ways. Self-care, self-maintenance, a healthy lifestyle, less saturated fats to deal with—all of this adds up. The healthier a person is, the better they look. If the extra energy goes into exercising, well, all the better. Also, there's something attractive in socially responsible people, at least for someone like me. Whichever way you look at it, there's no downside in this regard.
Now, I agree that a holier-than-thou attitude doesn't help sway meat-eaters to change their ways. So, do keep in mind that I am not yet a vegan myself: this is not coming from a self-righteous place. I'm in the process of changing my habits, though; as it really seems like it's the better choice by far.
As for the downsides to veganism, well, most of them revolve around taste. Yeah, you might miss meat and animal-based products. Yeah, vegan food might not taste as nice at first. Yeah, it's often inconvenient—especially in a society that's designed for carnivores. But the pros outweigh the cons by far. Plus, as more people become vegan, more tasty and readily-available options are becoming mainstream. Soon, there will really be no excuse—so might as well start saving the world sooner rather than later.
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