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Today the choices people make and the way that they live their everyday lives will affect the whole world and at some point in time it will affect the whole world greatly. Day by day people live their lives causing corruption to our planet and putting their own health and the health of others at risk maybe without even noticing it. Something so small as your diet can affect the whole world by a long shot. Everything is connected to everything and so every decision will affect everything else. What does it matter what people eat? Well, it matters a lot, this essay all starts with meat. in one year each year billions of animals are born and raised on a farm where they spend their whole life’s being mistreated right before they are slaughtered and sold to grocery stores around the world to feed the human race. However, there are a few problems with how this is business works. The productions of meat on factory farms are harmful to not only harmful to animals but also to the planet and even your own health. People consume so much meat that more and more animals need to be raised causing more pollution and damage to our resources. There are many untold secrets about slaughter houses that are kept from the public for a reason. If more people were educated on the lives of farm animals and how factory farms are truly damaging the earth more people wouldn’t eat meat. There is only one earth and there’s only ever going to be one earth, the decisions we have been making will affect our future and not in a positive or beneficial way. There are many ways of life and business that are harmful to ourselves, and to everyone and everything around us. If only we could all attempt to live a healthier life style for ourselves we could also create a healthier and cleaner home for everyone else, wild life, and the environment. This life style is veganism.  

Humans have been eating meat for millions of years. The way we have evolved over time by rising and killing live stock for food has affected the whole world and everyone on it. Today in the United States around 35 million cows, 115 million pigs, and 9 billion birds are raised on factory farms their wholes and slaughtered for food each year (ProCon.org). There are many things wrong with the amount of animals being killed for food and way it is being done, it is not only harmful or effective towards animals but even our own health and the environment. Eating too much red meat and pork is harmful to your health because of the amount of salt and saturated fat that comes from it and can cause life threating diseases and heart attacks. Besides your own health the production on factory farms causes pollution and releases greenhouse gases into the air increasing global warming and climate change. According to recent studies production of meat has caused 54% more pollution than meatless diets (ProCon.org). A lot more water usage is needed for raising animals for food, producing so much meat doesn’t help conserve water which is much needed especially in places like California. If the whole world ate at least one meatless or vegan meal a day or one meatless meal a week we could save higher amounts water each year. These are all things that are way too big for us to think and be concerned about. People just cannot appreciate the things they have and what it takes for these things to be so easily available for us. People are missing the bigger picture and believe that meat isn’t a problem. More people need to start caring about these things because they are important and can so easily affect everyone and everything.   

One of the first beneficial gains someone can receive from a meatless diet is physical and mental health. Many studies have shown the differences in health and life long benefits between people who eat meat verses vegans/vegetarians. It is proven that a meatless diet can provide the same nutrients every healthy person needs in their everyday intake and even more benefits appose to consuming meat. What makes a meatless diet better than one with meat is the pure nutrients a vegan or vegetarian would receive from the pure whole natural foods that come straight from the earth. What could be healthier than that? Leaving meat off your plate can even lower ones risk form life threating diseases people get from eating too much saturated fats, salts, grease, and oils such as; heart disease, high blood pressure, strokes, kidney stones, type 2 diabetes, and cancer. A vegan/vegetarian diet is much cleaner and lighter than one involving meat and it will provide you with lots of energy different from what you would feel from eating meat. The digestive system is what takes up most of one’s energy in a day, that’s way meat eaters will sometimes feel sluggish or tired after a big meal instead of energized and awake. This lifestyle will also help maintain a healthy weight for your body and help promote weight loss for those suffering from obesity or anyone wanting to lose weight. This lifestyle is truly one of the healthiest and purest ways to live and will give you lifelong strong benefits.

The difference in the amount of pollution that comes from a meat eating diet and a vegan or vegetarian diet are huge in comparison and can be highly affective. More energy and resources are needed to produce meat than for what is needed to grow natural foods like fruits, vegetables and whole grains. 7 times more energy is needed to raise large amounts of animals on a factory farm all at once until they are slaughtered and shipped to marketing. Factory farms emit harmful gases into the air such as carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide. These greenhouse gases are the leading cause of global warming and climate change (onegreenplanet.org). Global warming has been an issue for many years now and the earth’s temperature still continues to increase over years. Factory farm that raise animals for food are not helping this situation but in fact are only contributing to it. If people tried to help this problem by eating less meat we could conserve energy and decrease pollution by so much. Statistics have shown that if people cut at least one serving of meat in their diet it can be equivalent to keeping 500,000 cars from driving on the road. We all have the power to decrease pollution simply by what we choose to eat. with the amount of corruption already on earth it’s good that we can help in this area if we cared about it. And if you don’t care now, later you will.            

Eating no or less meat in your diet also conserves water. Nearly 50% of the earth’s water goes to raising animals for food on factory farms. Farmers need water for the crops that’s their animals need to eat and drink so that they are able to grow into the big fat juicy cheese burger everyone wants. The earth is 75% water and it is all the water that ever was on earth. Nobody really absorbs the truth that so much goes into something as simple as a cheese burger. It takes thousands more gallons of water to produce just one pound of meat than it would take to grow one pound of wheat. People and every living creature need water for lot of things. Less meat means would mean the food that would normally be grown and fed to animals for food could feed to the hungry in poor countries. It seems as if not too many people cared that the earth could be losing too much water and the idea of limited water or water for higher prices is too farfetched for people to accept but it is indeed real and can happen. People are too impatient and naïve about this subject and completely forget the value, time, money, water, and energy it takes the make an In-N-Out double cheese burger and it is very disappointing.

The production of meat also takes up land and destroys rainforests. According to researchers factory farms take up about 30% of land on earth and destroy millions of acres of our rainforest to create more room for animals raised on farms (onegreenplanet.org). If more people maintained a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle we wouldn’t need so many farms for animals to be raised and killed and we could have more land to build whatever we need such as; houses, stores, hospitals and highways. Our planet is so beautiful and has so much potential, it is such a shame that so much land and rainforests have been taken up and destroyed by this one business. Rainforests are important, they are responsible for cleaning our air and atmosphere and are homes to other wildlife. Having less rainforests means we receive less help from the trees that clean our air and less protection from the harmful UV rays of the sun that damage our ozone layer. Cutting down rainforests also takes away from our resources used for wood and paper. This means that we would need to plant more trees to cut down apart from what we could have already been using for our needs and demands only creating even more labor, energy, and pollution. Trees are going to be cut down regardless, not having to destroy rainforests for factory farms would help maintain reliable resources without having to create and destroy new ones. Do you ever fear that one day we will run out of land on earth. More land cannot be created, what we have now is all we have.

In the world only about 3.3% adults and 4% of youth eat meatless diets, the rest all eat meat daily. Counter arguments are usually the same arguing and denying meat as being unnatural or unethical and claim that eating meat is how life and nature is supposed to be works. It is true that humans have been eating meat for centuries but that is not to say that it is the only way of life. Humans first started eating meat for survival reasons, now, we are more evolved and don’t need to be raising and eating so much meat because we simply don’t need it as much as if it were that vital. Meat eaters argue that humans naturally crave the savory flavor of meat which is not true. If meat was cooked without the spices used to flavor the meat more people wouldn’t enjoy the taste of meat as often. Meat eaters also argue that meat is the only healthy source of protein in a human’s diet and that vegans and vegetarians are unhealthy. Meat is not a necessity, anyone can get the same amount of nutrients and protein from a plant based diet and still be just as healthy and even healthier at that. Lastly one of the most shocking arguments against a meatless diet coming from meat eaters is that not eating meat doesn’t help save the environment. Most counter augments are more than less invalid and miss the bigger picture of the topic. Meatless diets do help the environment because they help decrease the amount of pollution that already exists on earth. Veganism/vegetarianism are not just some lifestyles, they contribute a lot to decreasing air pollution, conserving water, and creating a healthier and cleaner planet for every living creature.  

Our lives, the lives of others and the planet are much bigger than meat. Meat is no longer a necessity instead it is for the pleasure of your taste buds. It is disturbing to know that billions of animals are being held in inhumane environments and slaughtered at the mercy of humans. An animal doesn’t deserve to die just because someone is hungry for a bacon cheese burger. This way of living is harmful in many ways and people are too brainwashed to see it or care about it. This is a serious issue that can be helped and prevented if more people took precaution of their daily, weekly, monthly intake. Humans are not only damaging themselves and animals by eating meat but also our planet and everyone on it. We can all help make the earth a better home by simply changing our diets. Even eating just one meatless or vegan meal a week would help by a lot. Yes, veganism and vegetarianism are both a choice of life but so is eating meat. People need to stop treating this lifestyle like it is so unnatural and has no value. Before attacking or challenging a vegan or vegetarian about their diet think about how much they are contributing to the health of our planet. This is a very ecofriendly lifestyle; their goal is help not harm, instead of being so close minded people should be more supportive about the topic. Please consider leaving meat off your plate for the benefit of yourself and everyone around you. Thank you.        

Works Cited

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Jeppsson, B., et al. “Effect of vegan and meat protein diets in mild chronic portal-systemic encephalopathy.” Hepatic Encephalopathy in Chronic Liver Failure. Springer US, 1984. 359-367.

Key, Timothy J., Gwyneth K. Davey, and Paul N. Appleby. “Health benefits of a vegetarian diet.” Proceedings of the Nutrition Society 58.02 (1999): 271-275.

Moe, Sharon M., et al. “Vegetarian compared with meat dietary protein source and phosphorus homeostasis in chronic kidney disease.” Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology 6.2 (2011): 257-264.

Leitzmann, Claus. “Vegetarian diets: what are the advantages?.” Diet diversification and health promotion. Karger Publishers, 2005. 147-156.

Turner, J. “Factory farming and the environment.” SCN News 21 (2000): 29-31.

Pluhar, Evelyn B. “Meat and morality: Alternatives to factory farming.” Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 23.5 (2010): 455-468.

Fox, Nick, and Katie Ward. “Health, ethics and environment: a qualitative study of vegetarian motivations.” Appetite 50.2 (2008): 422-429.

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