Topics: Veganism, Vegetarianism, Water pollution Pages: 10 (4016 words) Published: December 28, 2012
Although I am not a vegan and I do understand how Animal products are readily available and easy to produce, and the toll they take on our planet is devastating; veganism is the only way to save the planet and the people from the major health problems and environmental issues that pose a serious threat. With all the money that goes in to these industries many things are kept from the public unless you do research. In the developed world, heart disease and cancer ravish the land and kill millions each year; heart disease alone kills approximately 17 million people each year and cancer, approximately 7.6 million each year (World Health Organization). Two of the top causes of death in the developing world are starvation, killing approximately 60 million people each year, and unclean drinking water which causes approximately 3.6 million people to die each year (World Food Program; United Nations Development Program). What ties these millions of yearly deaths together is the meat/dairy industry and the consumption of its products. The main goal of this paper will be to inform you, the reader, about how simple and healthy the solution to these serious issues is; how a vegan diet is the only option to save the planet and the people. The simple solution to these serious issues is to remove the biggest contributor, the meat and dairy industries and their products, from this deadly equation. Although that sounds like an impossible task, to completely remove two billion dollar power-players in the food industry, but it is possible for you to do something. If just one person stops their intake of meat/dairy they are not only saving themselves but they are actually making a measurable difference in the fight against world hunger and disease; additionally, if that one person tells another who tells another, the difference made is even greater. This lifesaving, earth preserving diet is called a vegan diet; a follower of the diet, known as a vegan, is defined by Merriam-Webster a person who “consumes no animal food or dairy products”, this includes honey. Although you may be familiar with the concept, an important clarification to make is the difference between vegan and vegetarian. As previously stated, a vegan consumes absolutely no animal products or derivatives whereas a vegetarian consumes no meat, but will consume dairy and other nonmeat animal products such as gelatin and egg. There are a few things to clarify before this paper delves further. A vegan diet has been proven, and well covered in “Health Effects of Vegetarian and Vegan Diets” by Timothy Key, that contrary to popular belief, a vegan diet does not have any risk of being deficient in vitamin B12, iron, calcium, or any other vitamin/mineral. Vitamin deficiency is not a risk because all of the minerals humans need are in plants (36). Furthermore, protein is not an issue because all of the protein vegans need is available in vegan foods. Evidence of this is clear in vegan athletes such as 9 time Olympic medalist and holder of 20 world records, Paavo Nurmi. Because of how the meat and dairy industries contribute to the health issues in the developed world and how they contribute to starvation and poor water in the developing world is complicated and lengthy to explain, this paper will first have a brief overview of the general concepts that will be gone into more detail later in the paper. It has been well documented by many medical researchers, such as John McDougall MD, that a diet laden with animal products contributes to higher concentrations of bad cholesterol and fat. These higher concentrations, particularly of cholesterol, lead to clogged arteries and lifestyle related heart diseases such as coronary artery disease which causes the deaths of approximately 17 million people each year in the developed world (World Health Organization). Simply cutting out animal products from people’s diets yielded results congruent with what may seem like common sense, that doing so...
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