You Are What You Eat
Vegetarianism is undoubtedly growing in popularity as awareness of the diet/lifestyle escalates. To those partaking in the idea, the absence of meat in a diet can often seem beneficial enough as far as healthy nutrition is concerned. While there are various plausible explanations for not consuming meat, those same explanations can also justify the absence of animal products, as well.
If you are already a vegetarian, why not take it a step further? By not eating meat you are already halfway there to a diet that is not only good for you & your fellow animals, but also the environment: veganism! By cancelling out the consumption of things such as dairy, honey & eggs, you are making the transition from vegetarian to vegan, & also gaining a greater knowledge of what you’re really eating...
Us humans over time have earned our spot at the top of the food chain, which in turn evolved our cultural nourishment regime into one revolving around animals as a whole, not just their meat. Just about every part of every animal can be & is used for different purposes. For instance, as an article by Discovery magazine states, “Cow feet and hooves are rendered for human and pet food, gelatin, glue, buttons,
handles, lubricants, cow-
heel jelly, bonemeal, soaps, the foam in fire extinguishers,
and fertilizers,” (Klinkenborg). Just to name one example. Essentially, by only avoiding meat, you can still intake countless animal parts- purposefully or not.
A common concern with a vegan lifestyle is not receiving enough nutrition, or enough of the right foods. This issue can easily be prevented by finding assorted alternatives to the things that a vegan diet could lack (i.e., protein). There are alternatives sources for anything you could possibly be deficient of with a vegan diet. When followed correctly, a vegan diet can do incredible things for your well-being. According to The Vegan Society, a web organization devoted entirely to the idea of veganism & promoting such lifestyle, “Balanced vegan diets are often rich in vitamins, antioxidants and fiber and can decrease the chances of suffering from diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke and some cancers,” (The Vegan Society).
Research has been done into the matter of whether or not diets high in animal proteins can be linked to a higher risk for heart disease (see Fig. 1). Being a controversial topic, Colin & Thomas Campbell conducted research of their own into the matter in order to answer the question of what diet is best for human health & longevity. Their research found that there was in fact a correlation between higher animal-protein consumption & heart disease rate (Campbell).
If health & well-being isn’t enough of a reason to make the modification, consider the environment. The agriculture behind animal processing & such leaves a harsh imprint on the environment. Further research into the issue shows, as stated by the Vegan Action webpage, “The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization has linked animal agriculture to a number of other environmental problems, including: contamination of aquatic ecosystems, soil, and drinking water by manure, pesticides, and fertilizers; acid rain from ammonia emissions; greenhouse gas production; and depletion of aquifers for irrigation,” (For the Environment).
Alas, deciding to eat vegan is often easier said than done. I asked five people with different nutrition habits to follow a vegan diet for five days. All five were between the ages of 16-18, were moderately to very active, & in good health. After the five-day trial, the participants answered questions about the experiment such as what all they ate, how difficult they felt it was, & whether or not they felt any benefits from the altered nutrition plan. As expected, the hardest transition, & the participant who struggled the most, was not a vegetarian nor did she follow any diet plan so-to-speak. The two participants who followed a...
Cited: Campbell, Colin, and Thomas Campbell. Heart Disease Death Rates for Men Aged 55 to 59 Years and Animal Protein Consumption Across 20 Countries. Digital image. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Feb. 2014.
“For the Environment.” Vegan Action. River City Give Camp, 2014. Web. 3 Mar. 2014
Klinkenborg, Verlyn. Modica, Andrea. “Cow Parts.” Discover. Kalmbach Publishing Co., n.d. Web. 25 Feb. 2014.
The Vegan Society. N.p., n.d. 23 Feb. 2014.
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This paper came as a much bigger struggle than any before this. When I chose to research & write about veganism, I didn’t take time to consider how vast of a topic it was. Not to mention the fact that some people weren’t even sure what veganism was. My first draft was not good, I am fully aware. I wasn’t sure what all I wanted to cover or where I was going with anything. I wanted to be concise & avoid being vague, which was tough. My draft that I submitted for teacher review was quite possibly worse because I forgot to save what I had changed before submitting it… Major apologies. Being myself, a person who overthinks everything imaginable, I entirely over thought every aspect of this paper. I would be lying 100% if I said this paper was easy to construct. No aspect of is was easy. Getting people to go vegan, being concise, researching veganism: HARD. Half of the sites I visited while researching veganism were either super biased or an in-depth rant on why meat is necessary & veganism is stupid. One of the sources I used has caused me so much irritation. I know it’s a credible source because I did a TON of research into it, but I could not find the publisher or publishing date... My lanta. My writing skills are still far from where I plan to get them. I’d like to think that I have decent word choice & voice (unintentional rhyme), but I don’t think I am a very smooth writer. I am super ambiguous at times & I often jump from topic to topic without tying the two together. Even if this paper is deemed unsuccessful, I can at least come out of this with a much greater understanding of parenthetical citations-which I knew almost nothing about before-, how to properly cite a source, & also veganism. I basically scrapped my entire first paper & this one, the final one, is hopefully more in the right direction. My original was all over the place. Not good. Almost none of it is existent in the final draft. I have spent an incredible amount of time working on this paper. I’m currently going on three-ish hours of typing & 4 cups of tea. Booyah. I just want this paper to be generally okay. I’m assuming I’ll still have flaws, but I’m at least hoping I have improved from D1 to D2...
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