Here are some benefits of being vegan and how we contribute to the lives of animals, the environment and our own health in the course of one year.
The fundamental premise of veganism is to save animal lives, even if at a limited capacity. This means taking an ethical stance in favor of those who suffer throughout all levels of human consumption: food, clothing, accessories, cosmetics and events. In our daily lives, this seems like a long list of chores, but avoiding certain kinds of consumption is possible and can have many positive results. We become more aware and responsible with all forms of life.
Animal exploitation lies at the center of a series of harmful consequences, like the violation of animal rights as sentient beings capable of feeling pain, fear and demonstrating happiness and love. The environmental devastation promotes climate changes, increased pollution, emission of greenhouse gases, expropriation of native people and the expulsion and death of animals in their natural habitats. For humans, animal consumption might also be unhealthy.
“If anyone argued that discriminating and exploiting non-human animals is justified because they are less intelligent, or because we are stronger and more powerful, then we’d have to accept that this kind of exploitation may also be applied to humans who are weaker and less powerful. That would mean discriminating against members of our society who are too young, too old, too sick. Who would stand for that?” animal-ethics.org
The benefits of being vegan are in three fundamental concepts for the harmony of life on Earth: preservation of the dignity and life of all animal species, including humans, environmental protection and health.
How many lives can a vegan save in one year?
One vegan can save on average one animal per day and up to 582 animals per year. The author of this research is Harish Sethu, a professor at Drexel University in Philadelphia, US, a PhD in electrical engineering. This estimate was published by the website Counting Animals.
To reach this estimate, Harish used data about the amount of animals who were killed for food in the United States and population size. With most aquatic species being killed, the result was somewhere between 371 and 582 animals yearly.
To achieve a more accurate number, he had to exclude vegetarians and vegans and divide the total number of killed animals exclusively between the meat-eating population.
However, this research’s conclusion is fairly conservative, given that it doesn’t account for animals killed by the egg and dairy industries, which could make the figure even higher. It’s important to emphasize that the aquatic animals who are “accidentally” killed by the fishing industry, thousands of them, also don’t factor into this data.
Still, vegans’ generous and compassionate ideals save hundreds of lives every year.
According to a report about land use and climate change from the IPCC, an international panel that assists the UN, the scientis Marta G. Rivera Ferre explains how chicken and pork consumption currently represents 77% of animals raised to feed the world, and 22% is beef.
Each of these species contributes to climate changes in a different way. The ruminantes emit methane gas with heating potencial 28 times bigger than CO2 and can stay in the atmosphere for up to ten years. Monogastric animals, which are no ruminant, emit nitrous oxide and CO2, which can stay in the atmosphere for up to 100 years.
To the UN for the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), livestock is responsible for 18% of greenhouse gases, much more than all of the public transportation exhausts in the world. Including its by-products, livestock accounts for at leat 32 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) every year, that is, 51% of all global greenhouse gas emissions.
Water resources, shallow or underground water available for all kinds of regional uses or water basins are also highly affected by livestock. Water consumption for animal agriculture varies between 33 and 75 trillion spent gallons annually. Only in the United States, agriculture is responsible for 80 to 90% of water consumption.
According to Michael F. Jacobson, to the Center for Science in the Public Interest, feed production for livestock consumes 56% of water in the United States.
With livestock, there is excessive water spending across all of the industrial spectrum, whether it is for the production of eggs, dairy and leather, but also for the production of meat itself. In a conservative estimate, it take more than 2 thousand gallons of water to produce 2 pounds of beef, but this figure can go up to 4 thousand gallons.
Animal consumption directly affects the environment. Water waste, deforestation and CO2 emissions.
What are the benefits of being vegan? In one year, one vegan can avoid the waste of:
401,504 gallons of water
Deforestation of an area of 14,929 ft²
8,933 lbs of CO2 (cowspiracy.com/facts)
In a sociocultural and economic environment, with large scale publicity aimed towards influencing the consumption of products and, as consequence, diets, we grow up with the idea that we need animal products such as meat and milk to achieve good health and, many times, social status. However, a strictly vegetarian diet is filled with all the nutrients ouar bodies need and is scientifically proved to be effective in keeping the body healthy in any stage of a human being’s life.
There are many studies which report of the benefits of being vegan and following a plant based diet. This kind of diet tends to offer more fibers, antioxidants, as well as being even richer in potassium, magnesium and vitamins A, C and E.
According to the American Heart Association, this type of diet is also effective at preventing cardiac diseases. A study was carried out by the association with 100 participants with pre-existing heart conditions to rate the performance of heart functions for patients with omnivorous and vegetarian diets. The vegetarian diet was shown to significantly reduce systemic inflammation and improved the lypidic profiles for the patients, while this wasn’t the case for those with an omnivore diet.
Among other benefits of being vegan is the potential to reduce risks for some types of cancer. Regularly eating vegetables may reduce the risk of cancer in 9 to 18%. Among the cancers that we can reduce the chances of risk, we have prostate cancer, colon cancer and breast cancer.
It can be observed that plant based living is not only healthy and diverse, but can also help is live better and longer.
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