Here is the article the Shorthorn published!
Although it was awesome that the column got published to raise awareness about veganism, a lot of it was cut out because of a word limit. :( Despite a request, the full version has not been posted online by the Shorthorn yet. It’s okay, we’ll post it on here instead! :)
Please click “Read More” to read the full post. I stuck with the minimum reasons to go vegan, and it was still over the word limit. Oops!
Here it is:
The best way you can help your health, animals, and the environment is to consider the benefits of a vegan lifestyle.
The business of animal agriculture has caused much damage to our health—research increasingly shows that animal products are detrimental to human health. In a world of endless fast food chain restaurants serving up hormone-injected burgers, fried chicken, and mercury-laden seafood, not to mention chemical additives and preservatives, is it even a shock that we are the first generation that may not outlive our parents? Cardiovascular diseases are the number one cause of deaths in Western countries; these diseases are caused by diets high in cholesterol and saturated fats, which are found in meat, dairy, and eggs. Whole, plant-based foods have no cholesterol and contain lots of fiber that helps detoxify our bodies. Despite the misconceptions that protein and calcium are hard to obtain in a vegan diet, nutritional figures indicate that plant sources of protein and calcium, such as beans, whole grains, legumes, and leafy green vegetables, are actually much easier for our bodies to absorb than their animal product counterparts. On average, vegans tend to have more energy, live longer and have lower rates of heart disease, cancer, and dementia. The best cure is prevention, and a colorful vegan diet with a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes, is a delicious way to keep ourselves healthy.
Not only is our society’s blind consumption of animal products reflecting negatively on our health, it is also taking an enormous toll on the world’s resources. The massive amounts of water and grain being used to raise animals for food could solve the world hunger crisis at least two times over; if these resources were distributed more wisely, we could prevent the unfortunate reality in which a child dies of hunger every five seconds. It is simple math—it takes fewer resources to produce plant-based foods and it’s more efficient for humans to consume nutrients and energy directly from plants, rather than consuming them second-hand from animal products. Deforestation and climate change are also negative side effects of raising animals for food. Attention must be also be brought to the fact that the total global greenhouse gas emissions from said industry—that accounts for the largest source of methane, which is 23 times more potent than carbon dioxide—is more than the emission totals for all modes of transportation combined. The United Nations, for one, has repeatedly urged world citizens to drastically reduce, if not eliminate, our intake of animal products, to lessen the impacts of climate change—it has been cited to be the most powerful action an individual can take to protect the environment. If the environment does not interest you, dear readers, I invite you to consider the plight of the multitude of climate refugees who suffer displacement from their homes due to the environmental disasters induced by our changing climate. Our choices are changing human lives across the globe. <
Actually, our choices are changing all lives across the globe, not just human lives. Factory farms produce the vast majority of the animal products that are consumed and used today in Western countries. Due to a word limit, I will spare you the descriptions; the brutal truth about the torture and exploitation of animals in these facilities is well-documented by undercover investigations and documentaries like Earthlings. Efficiency is essential for modern animal agriculture; the animals’ wellbeing will never be a priority for the meat and dairy corporations that profit from their suffering and death, because profit is their first and foremost concern. Some companies will label their products as “organic” or “grass-fed” to appeal to the concerned consumer, but in reality, the laws regarding these practices have so many loopholes that the animals are treated virtually the same way as other factory-farmed animals. Even if the animals were treated well, which is rare, that does not make up for the fact that they will be slaughtered for human use anyhow. I sincerely invite the reader to question the ethical implications of our society’s willing acceptance of the objectification and murder of other beings. To take a stand against this oppressive paradigm of violence, the boycott of animal products is necessary.
Our consumer choices have an impact. We can choose to stand up against corporate oppression and environmental degradation, and instead, we can choose to stand for peace and the health of our planet and all of its inhabitants, humans and animals alike. I want readers to realize that we all have the potential to change the world with our consumer choices—the facts may be depressing, but the fact that our daily choices make differences is empowering.
If you are interested in making the transition to a vegan lifestyle, whether gradually or overnight, the Vegan Club applauds you and we are here to offer our support, advice, and recipes!
For more information, please check out the following resources:
· Facebook.com/veganclubuta or firstname.lastname@example.org
· Forks Over Knives, a great documentary on the plant-based health revolution, now streaming on Netflix!
· http://www.earthlings.com/ (complete documentary can be viewed here)
Posted by Ann.