Veganism and Vegetarianism

Aubrie Hickmon, Editor-In-Chief

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If you’re one who likes to stay up-to-date on your trends, you may have noticed that going vegan or vegetarian is becoming more and more popular. There’s good reason for it to, and it has more than just health benefits for you.

According to Harvard Health Publishing, “Compared with meat eaters, vegetarians tend to consume less saturated fat and cholesterol and more vitamins C and E, dietary fiber, folic acid, potassium, magnesium, and phytochemicals (plant chemicals), such as carotenoids and flavonoids.” This can lead to many health benefits such as lower cholesterol, lower blood pressure, and lower body mass index. Of course personal health benefits are always important, but the most important reason why more people should become vegan or vegetarian is the environmental impact.

According to the United Nations, raising livestock creates more greenhouse gases than all of the emissions released by every car and truck in the world. By consuming no meat or poultry, you are reducing carbon dioxide emissions and methane production, which lead to a decrease in global warming. To produce one kilogram of beef, a little more than two pounds, it takes between around 3,500 gallons and 26,000 gallons of water, compared to between 260 and 525 gallons of water to produce one kilogram of wheat, according to the Food and Agricultural Organization of Rome.

In case that didn’t convince you that going vegan or vegetarian has substantial environmental impact, according to downtoearth.org, a website on eating organic and “going veggie,” it also helps to avoid further pollution of streams/rivers/oceans; reduces destruction of topsoil and tropical rainforests; reduces destruction of wildlife habitats and endangered species; reduces use of antibiotics, growth hormones, and chemicals; reduces your ecological footprint; and helps ensure environmental sustainability.

Personally, I believe having more of the world population become vegan or vegetarian is the key to begin slowing, and eventually reversing, the damage humans have done to this planet. I will be doing my part by beginning this lifestyle in college, so do yours too and join the veggie train.

 

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