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Why Vegan?

Imagine a vegan. Let me guess what you’re imagining. A hipster chaining themselves to a tree, or somebody with no protein, or a pretentious know - it - all. Well, that’s a bit harsh! Vegans tend to get a bad rep; however, there are many benefits of being vegan. There are environmental, health, and animal rights reasons.

James Cameron correctly states, “This may surprise you, because it surprised me when I found out, but the single biggest thing an individual can do to combat climate change is to stop eating animals.” In fact, according to the Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences, if everybody in the world went vegan, food - related emissions would decrease by 70% by 2050. It does not seem fair that our environment has to suffer for humans' desire for a satisfying meal when there are other options that are just as good. There are healthier, plant - based alternatives. It also affects the amount of water we are using. One person who goes vegan will save approximately 219,000 gallons of water a year. This is because it takes 1,000 gallons of water to produce one gallon of milk and about 4 million gallons of water per ton of beef. Going vegan cuts your carbon and water footprint in half. It’s the best way to help our environment!

Gandhi puts it best when he stated, “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” Animals are being bred to suffer and die in farms and slaughterhouses. Many people think, how can I, one person, help to end animal cruelty by going vegan. Well, the average vegan saves the life of about 30 animals in just one month. That is just one person! Also, by refusing to buy animal products and byproducts, you help reduce the demand for animals, which will help less animals suffer. It’s sad because naturally hens lay about 12 to 20 eggs per year, that is how it is supposed to be. However, domesticated chickens are genetically manipulated to produce approximately 250 to 300 eggs in one year! That is about 230 more eggs than they are supposed to produce! This is unhealthy for humans and unsafe for the animals, it can lead to painful and fatal reproductive disorders in animals. Another way animals are abused in the meat and dairy industry is that every year, 6 billion male chicks are killed by suffocation and being ground up alive due to the fact that male chickens cannot lay eggs! Animals are more than just their byproducts. The best way to stop animal cruelty is to go vegan!

Einstein once said, “Nothing will benefit human health and increase the chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet.” To answer the most asked question, yes... we get enough protein! Vegans get plenty of protein through foods such as seitan, tofu, lentils, chickpeas, green peas, quinoa, nuts, and nutritional yeast. Vegans get the right amount of protein through doing what you should do in any diet, being mindful of what you consume. In addition, being vegan has proven to help heart health. Many animal products contain very high amounts of saturated fats. According to the American Heart Association, eating saturated fats increases the amount of cholesterol in your blood, which raises your risk for heart disease and stroke. A long - term Oxford study comparing meat - eaters, vegetarians, and vegans showed that vegans and vegetarians had a 22% lower risk of Congenital heart disease than meat - eaters. Arkansas’s own Bill Clinton went vegan after coping with heart disease, and he admits that he has noticed a big difference in his health since becoming vegan. In addition to better heart health, going vegan can also lower your risk of cancer. Researchers tracked 70,000 volunteers who were either meat - eaters, vegetarians, or vegans. They found that out of those three groups, vegans had the lowest rates of cancer, next was vegetarians, then meat - eaters were at the highest risk for cancer. Plant foods contain more fiber which helps remove excess hormones that could lead to certain types of cancer. Vegans also consume more soy products, and soy has been associated with a lower risk of breast cancer. In addition, The World Health Organization, showed that processed meats are a big contributor to colorectal cancer, or colon cancer. Many studies have also shown that high - fat dairy products have led to an increased risk of breast cancer and prostate cancers. A vegan diet can also reduce your type 2 diabetes risk by a third. Probably one of the most amazing vegan statistics that I have heard is that a strict plant - based diet has been shown to reverse type 2 diabetes in 84% of patients. Going plant - based vegan can tremendously improve your health!

There are so many different reasons to go vegan! If you have compassion for animals and want to stand up for the cruelty in the meat and dairy industry, going vegan is the best way to make a stand. If you’re sick of watching our environment deteriorate as a result of greenhouse gases, go vegan! If you’re wanting to better your health, or even reverse existing health problems, go vegan! There are so many reasons to go vegan, so stand up for your world, animals, and your own health!


Sadie Kirk

Parkview Arts and Science High School Junior

Little Rock, Arkansas


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