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Veganism And A Sustainable Lifestyle Essay

1955 words - 8 pages

Albert Schweitzer, French philosopher, physician, and musician, said “until he extends the circle of his compassion to all living things, man will not himself find peace.” This is a tacit statement, humanity will not be able to “find peace” until it adopts a more sustainable lifestyle, and it has been proven time and time again, that veganism is that lifestyle. Becoming vegan is a powerful experience, and one feels rejuvenated, both morally and physically, after acclimating to the diet, and, although the opposition claims that veganism is either detrimental or useless, the diet is, in fact, beneficial to the environment, to animals, and the individuals who follow the lifestyle.
Meat production is wasteful, expensive, and harmful to the environment; the vegan lifestyle on the other hand, is less taxing on the world, and would feed more people at a lesser cost. While, conservatively, around five million people die of starvation a year, the meat-industry continues to waste food to produce meat. The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals estimate that “it takes up to 16 pounds of grain to produce just 1 pound of meat,” (para. 6). This wasted food could be used more effectively to feed the hungry and impoverished, instead it festers away in the stomachs of cows who will be ritualistically and mercilessly slaughtered so America can feed its meat addiction. By those numbers, the amount of grain it takes to indirectly feed one meat-eater a pound of food, could feed sixteen others at a lesser cost, and more quickly, as, while it only takes months to produce grain, it takes years to produce livestock. If one were to look at the issue of meat production from a purely environmental viewpoint, the benefits still become apparent as, according to Sustainable Table, the animals in meat facilities produce around 17.5 pounds of waste a day (para. 3). This waste is not effectively disposed, and has a very negative impact on the environment surrounding the plant (para. 4). The animals themselves aren't the only ones producing pollutants, the “chemical fertilizers and pesticides” used in factory farms have “turned agriculture into a leading source of water pollution,” (para. 8). L. Baroni, of the Department of Neurorehabilitation at Villa Salus Hospital, et al., concluded that a diet higher in animal products is more detrimental to the environment than one absent of them (282). This is expounded upon by a report by the EPA that estimated that “animal agriculture” has polluted over 35,000 miles of American river (Sustainable Table para. 20). While the world's rivers, lakes, and oceans become more and more polluted, it becomes apparent how irresponsible it is to support the meat-industry by buying their packaged flesh, because, as demand for meat increases with the world's growing population and waist-line, so will the harmful emissions and slurry produced by these “farms.”
In addition, the opposition argues that the environmental benefits of veganism are...

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