Veganism - WINNER
by Rebecca S. (15)
(New Hartford, CT, USA)
As animal activism awareness spreads, more people are making the switch to vegetarianism, and better yet, veganism. Restaurants are serving more vegan options, and local grocery stores carry vegan alternatives. With all the new vegan resources, it is becoming easier to cut out dairy, eggs, and meat from the American diet. The question most people ask is, “Why veganism?” The answer is simple: veganism benefits the animals, helps the environment, and improves human health.
Factory farming has become a huge problem in the United States. The treatment of animals in these factories is horrible. Animals are locked in cages, which are so small that the animals are unable to behave naturally in them. The animals have no free roaming time, and their cages are not even big enough to stand in. Animals raised for slaughter are fed growth hormones to make them overweight. The treatment of these animals is quite poor. The unlucky animals that are bred for slaughter are not the only animals treated unethically; animals in dairy farms are also treated poorly. Although the animals are in terrible health and have miserable lives, they are kept alive for dairy or egg production until they are no longer productive. The best way to stop the problem is to eliminate animal products from the diet completely. Because this is too big of a change for many people, another good way to improve the wellbeing of animals is to support local and organic farms. Organic farms have certain standards they must follow; therefore, the treatment of animals is significantly better. Such standards give the animals the ability of free roaming or more space to move around.
By raising livestock, more food and land is consumed. Farms require large quantities of food in order for the animals to have a meal. Think about how big a cow is - a lot of food was used to fatten it. Another reason why factory farming is detrimental is because in order for the factories to be built, land is needed. Forests and wild animal habitats are destroyed and many trees are cut down in order to create enough space for the factory farm. In short, every bit of the factory farm’s existence is a detriment to the environment.
Not only does veganism support the animals and the environment; it also has health benefits. It has been proven that by becoming vegan, there is a lesser chance of high cholesterol, obesity, and heart disease. It is easier to maintain a healthy weight by becoming vegan because there are no saturated fats in vegan foods. A common misconception about veganism is that vegans do not receive a good variety of nutrients; however, a plant-based diet actually contains a more healthful variety of calcium, protein, and vitamins than a meat-based diet does.
The hardest part about becoming vegan is giving up favorite foods. Although not impossible, it is hard to find strictly vegan restaurants. This is one of the sacrifices you need to make by becoming vegan.