By: Maya K. (’24)
The majority of people on this planet should become vegetarian. Being vegetarian is not only better for your health, but also better for the environment and for farm animals.
The largest contributor to climate change is not what you may think it is. Most people are quick to lay the blame on vehicles and transportation. However, according to the UN Environment Program, “[the] greenhouse gas footprint of animal agriculture rivals that of every car, truck, bus, ship, airplane, and rocket ship combined.”
So how does going vegetarian actually benefit the climate? A study done by Oxford University showed that the world’s food-related emissions would drop 63% by 2050 if everyone decided to go vegetarian. This study also concluded that going vegetarian or vegan is the most influential thing someone can do to fight climate change.
Vegetarianism has also been shown to help attain a state of good health and happiness. One of the biggest misconceptions in nutrition is that we have to eat animal protein to gain muscle and strength or perform at a high level. This statement, however, is untrue. All the protein that you get from eating a hamburger, or a steak, where does it come from? It comes from the grass that cows eat. For example, one cup of lentils or a peanut butter sandwich has about as much protein as 3 ounces of beef.
According to the documentary “The Game Changers”, the average plant-eater not only gets enough protein but gets 70% more than they need, while meat-eaters get roughly half of their necessary protein.
It has also been proven that plants contain the essential iron, B12 and amino acids necessary for a healthy diet. These sources of iron and amino acids that come from plants are much healthier than eating a steak for dinner. Actually, it has been proven that vegetarians tend to have lower rates of heart disease, type two diabetes, cancer, cholesterol and blood pressure.
Being vegetarian also helps to boycott the meat slaughter industry and their gruesome treatment of animals. In factory farms today, animals are being crammed into windowless sheds, wire cages, metal crates and other torturous devices. Most of these animals will never be able to raise their own family or do things that are natural to them such as building nests. The factory famers’ main goal is to earn as much money as possible without thinking about the animals’ needs or happiness.
“At the slaughterhouse, those who survived the transport. . . remain conscious when they’re plunged into the scalding-hot water of the defeathering or hair-removal tanks” PETA said. This sounds horrific, but there is a solution. If everyone were to become vegetarian, this dreadful treatment of animals would stop as farmers would have nobody to sell their meat or dairy products to.
Now it is noticeable that becoming vegetarian has a lot of benefits for the environment, for animals, and for your body. What measures are you going to take to change the future for mankind?