My name is Alejandra. I am 16 years old and am concerned about the future of our planet. I am in M5 and my Personal Project is based on the benefits of veganism. I have organised a vegan day the 6th of February at our school where the cantina menu will be completely plant-based. My intention is to raise awareness about how helping both the planet and the animals that inhabit it at the same time is easier than you think. So, here are 7 reasons why you should go vegan:
You must be living under a rock if you haven’t noticed a drastic rise in the green movement for the past few years. This movement has occurred as the impacts of climate change have become globally known. As a society, we have evolved along with our planet and throughout the years the solutions to combat climate change have started to become abundantly clear. Believe it or not, vegan diets go hand in hand with saving our ecosystem since they don’t contribute to the death of billions of animals and the degradation of our planet as we know it today. Furthermore, 1 football field is cleared every second to graze animals and grow feed crops! Raising livestock is the predominant cause of environmental destruction, and anyone interested in pursuing a sustainable / eco-friendly lifestyle should question the negative impacts of their food choices on the environment.
Vegan diets are linked to a great amount of health benefits. In fact, it is proved that changing to a plant-based diet reduces the risk of developing several important diseases such as; cancer, arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, cardiovascular disease and poor kidney function. Animal-based diets are high in cholesterol levels, and even though there are other factors which affect cholesterol levels and heart disease, ( such as smoking, blood pressure, and body weight ) it is proven that the most significant cause is dietary cholesterol. So an answer to your question, yes, vegan diets are sustainable and healthier than meat-based diets. In fact, plant-based diets help weight loss, and if you’re aiming to lose weight, a plant-based diet is the most adequate and effective.
The United Nations sustainable development goal number two; Zero Hunger can be accomplished by transitioning to a vegan diet. If instead of growing vast amount of crops that are fed to livestock which people in developed countries eat, we transformed those crops into food, the whole population could be fed! Doesn’t it sound ridiculous how much water, land and grains we are devoting to animals only for people in developed countries to eat?
Despite the common thought that if you are an athlete you shouldn’t be vegan, it is merely incorrect. Furthermore, a plant-based diet helps improve your results in all types of sports. Many reports have confirmed how animal protein hinders athletic performance and leads to chronic diseases. So if you are a football player, rugby, basketball, tennis, golf, a swimmer, let me tell you that you can transition to a plant-based diet with no risk of protein or nutrients deficiency. All you need is a clear, simple diet plan that contains all the necessary nutrient substitutes.
Water is a limited resource and before we know it, we will use up the little amount we have left. Currently, the human population is supported by an insignificant amount of water compared to the whole planet, and an important question is for how much longer will this be the case? Another United Nations sustainable development goals is Clean water and Sanitation, and at the present time, 11% of the world’s population does not have access to an adequate water supply. It is estimated that by 2050, more than half ( 52% ) of the world’s population will live in water-stressed regions. Water is not an unlimited resource and raising livestock uses a vast amount of it. But it is our responsibility to change this.
A very common misconception is that we believe that animals are ours to use. Since the beginning of time, we have been taught to think of certain animals as an abstract category “farm animals” which provide food and or clothing. We don’t associate the burger or the leather shoes to the actual animal behind the suffering, being just nameless, faceless packs and herds. The truth is “farm animals” like dogs and cats are animals with individual characteristics and emotions. They feel affection and happiness, as well as feel or sense pain and angst. By transitioning to a plant-based diet, you can save up to 100 animals’ lives per year.
The main reason why people don’t go vegan is because of burgers, pizza, ice cream and cheese. But the truth is you can go vegan and still eat all of your favourite foods. There are many different brands that taste unbelievably similar. As the demand for vegan products rises, the amount of companies producing innovative plant-based alternatives to meat and dairy rises simultaneously.
I would like to leave you with a final, fascinating and thought provoking fact: ‘2500 litres of water are needed to produce a hamburger.’ That is the equivalent of one month and a half of showering. This being said, by transitioning to a vegan diet you will help the environment, the animals and your own health. You will be ditching animal cruelty and adopting a new life style which is exciting to undertake.
Alejandra R (M5)