Is a vegan diet better than a meat-eating diet?

Veganism is a growing movement around the world and in Australia but lots of people argue against veganism. A vegan is someone who doesn’t eat dairy meat eggs fish or honey and whose diet consists of plant-based foods. There are arguments for both sides. Factors include animal welfare, environmental concerns, wildlife, and health. Some people think that killing and eating animals is natural but other people say that we don’t have to eat meat to live. What is your opinion should humans go vegan?

 

The first argument that is often made in favour of eating meat is that humans are part of nature and that it is natural for animals to kill and eat other animals. But if an animal kills a human that animal would be put down or the species would be culled. For example, “The government of New South Wales has a program that deliberately kills sharks using shark nets.”     

“From 1962 to the present, the government of Queensland has targeted and killed sharks in large numbers by using drum lines and shark nets, under a “shark control” program—this program has also killed large numbers of other animals such as dolphins;”   However, animals don’t cull humans or other species. Therefore humans in modern societies are not natural predators! 

One of the negative consequences of people eating meat is land clearing. Land clearing is when people clear land for space or material, examples of land clearing are roads mines farming and lots more.  This is bad because trees suck in carbon emissions and supply oxygen and homes for animals and stop erosion. Cattle farming is a big problem because cattle supply the meat market for humans and add to greenhouse gasses. The Australian government  website states, “Today, most land cleared in Australia is used for cattle grazing.” Being vegan helps to stop land clearing and limit global warming.

The process of animals going from farm to fridge is cruel. This is because the conditions for animals subjected to intensive farming practices are often barbaric. For example,  pigs that are grown in cages suffer because the cages are much too small for them. They can’t move except to lie down, they can’t turn around and don’t get to walk around. They don’t get to see sunlight apart from the cracks in the walls and they get no exercise.  Even pigs grown in ’free-range’ environments in Australia are enclosed and have to walk and sleep in their excrement. Pigs often have bruises, sores and broken limbs and when they are young they get their testicles ripped out as well as their teeth. Furthermore, when animals get killed for meat it is cruel.  Pigs in Australia are thrown into abattoirs. They get electrocuted and then they go through a Co2 chamber and after that they get their throats slit. Co2 poisoning is said to be painless but videos such as Dominion show that it is painful and stressful and terrifying for the pigs. It is often just as cruel for other animals that get slaughtered in abattoirs. 

An argument against veganism is that packaging can be damaging to the environment. Many vegans buy plant-based foods from shops and it often has plastic packaging which is harmful to the environment.  People living off the land do less harm to the environment than those using plastic packaging. People living off the land include Aboriginal Australians and Alaskan Inuit. So it is possible to eat meat and still have a low environmental impact because people living off land don’t use packaging.

Another point in favour of veganism is that a properly planned vegan diet can be healthy for all stages of human life. There is less of a chance of getting a heart attack or heart disease and there is less of a chance of getting cancer. Rachael Bradford, a Brisbane nutritionist said that people who follow purely plant-based eating with no animal products generally have lower blood pressure.” She also said that they have a healthier weight, a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes or cholesterol problems.  An article from The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics states that a vegan diet is healthy for both children and adults. Therefore a vegan diet is healthy for everyone.   

Livestock farming around the world is badly affecting the Environment.  The Oxford Martin School of research stated in a 2016 article in The Guardian that “ intensive livestock rearing is a major cause of greenhouse gases.” There are roughly 1.5 billlion cows in the world. That is 1,500,000,000 cows. Cows emit 600,000,000,000 litres of methane per day. Methane gas is more damaging than CO2 emissions for the environment. It also uses a lot of water and grain to rear animals. 70 % of the grain that farmers grow goes to feed livestock. Water is increasingly in short supply around the world.  Therefore being vegan is good for the environment because there’s less livestock farming. 

In conclusion, being vegan is good for the environment, for animal welfare and your health. Therefore becoming vegan is the best single most effective action that anybody can take to slow down global warming.  What’s your opinion?  Would you go vegan?     

 By Levi  

                                                                                                       

                                                                                             

                                                                                                        

 

 

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