Why Going Vegan/Vegetarian Could Be the Best Decision You Make
March 6, 2018
Brad Pitt, Jennifer Lopez, Miley Cyrus. What do these celebrities have in common?
All of these celebrities have made the vow to cut animal products from their diets and opt for a vegan/vegetarian diet.
You may be thinking that this is just a new fad or something that is popular at the moment; however, most of these celebrities, as well as regular people, have a real purpose for this lifestyle change.
The difference between vegetarian and vegan is that vegetarians don’t eat meat or animal fat, only eggs and dairy, or one or the other. Vegans don’t eat any animal products. This means no meat, eggs, or dairy.
What’s fueling this movement? The easy answer is compassion.
Undercover journalists at various publications, some as large as Rolling Stone magazine, have uncovered some of the heinous treatments that meat plants give the animals prior to slaughter, such as mother sows being crammed into cages in which they barely fit, and castrating baby male piglets without any form of anesthetic.
A lot of these animals are given just a mere electric shock to render them “unconscious” so that they don’t feel anything when killed, however, these animals aren’t ever fully stunned unconscious, but rather dazed. This means they feel and experience everything done to them.
This is a side of animal cruelty that hardly crosses our minds when we look at our plates. Discoveries like this make people want to change the way they eat. In case you think “this isn’t cruelty, I’m sure they raise them right and kill them quickly,” it’s important to note that several states such as Montana, Kansas and Nebraska have introduced “Ag Gag” laws and passed them.
These are laws that prohibit undercover journalists and activists from smuggling cameras into farms and factories and documenting what goes on behind their walls. Journalists or activists who break this law will receive a fine equal to the loss the farms suffered due to the discoveries made by the perpetrators.
Another concern for the push of veganism is environmental protection. It is shown that veganism reduces one’s carbon footprint.
Slaughterhouses and dairy plants account for a significant amount of the planets emissions of greenhouse gases. Dairy plants emit substantial amounts of methane gas due to the large quantities of cow waste they produce everyday.
Also, it combats world hunger. An estimated 70 percent of grain grown in the United States goes to feeding livestock, and land is always taken and set aside to raise livestock. This land could be used to grow food for humans rather than raise livestock.
The final reason that people are going vegan is for health. Vegans are more likely to have lower blood sugar levels and higher insulin sensitivity, which decreases the risk of getting Type 2 diabetes by 50 to 78 percent. It can also reduce the risk of certain cancers due to the fact that one’s intake in processed foods will be much lower, as well as decreasing the risk of heart disease from not consuming any animal fat.
Being vegan and vegetarian is a whole lot easier, and cheaper, than it seems. Things like nuts, grains, legumes, pasta, etc. are significantly cheaper than meat, and they last longer as well. It’s just a matter of being creative. All of your favorite foods can be veganized, such as veggie hot dogs and veggie burgers. Toast using vegan butter brands such as Smart Balance taste the same, to our surprise.
If you’re a college student on the run, there are places where it’s easy to get cheap vegan food, such as Taco Bell. If you’re a vegetarian, just order your food with beans instead of beef, and if you’re vegan, take out the cheese and sour cream and substitute with guacamole or pico de gallo (tomatoes, onions and cilantro)
If you want something more restaurant-like and not fast food, there are specific vegan restaurants such as the Loving Hut on Van Ness and Floradora, just steps from the Fresno City College campus. There are also chain restaurants like Yard House at the River Park shopping center, which has a specific vegan menu with faux meats and salads.
For anyone who changes their mind, PETA sends free vegan starter kits to people who sign up for a kit. It’s a great guide to get started on this new journey. Good luck!