“Veganism is the practice of abstaining from the use of animal products, particularly in diet, and an associated philosophy that rejects the commodity status of animals,” according to Wikipedia. Followers of this practice are called vegans. They don’t eat meat, seafood, eggs, dairy (milk, cheese, etc.) and they don’t use animal products such as fur.
I used to think that vegans are close-minded, machine-like disseminators of mortifying propaganda against meat-eaters. The couldn’t care less about people who need their dose of protein. And the only thing they mind is animal rights. They are people who have been brainwashed by PETA.
As I became more mature & deliberately tried to be more aware of the world we all live in, I’ve realized that vegans are good people who do really care. Not everyone has been controlled by PETA, but they’re still obstinate on spreading gross photos.
PETA’s controversial propaganda may have produced a lot of vegan converts who wanted to protect animal rights at the start. But the current vegan trend, which significantly increased in recent years according to Google Trends, is a result of more people wanting to convert due to health reasons.
Although the vegan diet has received concerns due to the lack of essential nutrients such vitamin B12, calcium, iron and zinc, one study from the University of North Carolina showed that being vegan is the best diet for losing weight. Another study correlated the vegan diet to lower risks of heart disease and cancer.
More importantly, I’ve learned that being vegan is sustainable and good for the environment. I’ve been acquainted with a few vegans due to my interest in scuba and freediving. Although one started due to health reasons, they’re currently persevering because they are hoping for a future ocean that is clean and not empty of fish and corals. Some us of meat-eaters used to mock and cast doubt at their motives and persistence. But as we continued to dive more and explore more of the ocean, we have witnessed how the seas are dying. The corals are bleaching and there is considerably less fish than before.
The United Nations Environment Programme has labeled meat as the ‘world’s most urgent problem.’ It has also tagged meat production as a major contributor to climate change and environmental destruction. The World Economic Forum, on the other hand, said that the beef and dairy industry is responsible for more greenhouse gas emissions than the world’s biggest oil companies. And despite all these, the global meat industry still continues to grow.
I personally think that converting to veganism is not the answer, but is a huge step for a single person to combat climate change and actually save the world. Because mass production of processed meat consumes a lot more resources, the answer still lies in the big capitalist meat producers. They should be the ones adopting sustainable processes and practices.
If you decide to simply reduce eating meat or completely go vegan either way, you’ll contribute a tiny bit in lessening the demand for meat. What the world needs is a global shift in eating habits. We can’t change the world simply because we decided to. We’re just one compared to 6 billion of them. But if more and more tiny bits of contributions are combined, a small wave of change may actually be produced. And then you or we will be on our way to saving the world.
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