Why Veganism Is Not A Healthier Lifestyle

Veganism is a way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as is possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation, of and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or other purposes. Following a plant-based diet can have a lot of benefits for our body and our planet, but often happens that following a very strict vegan diet can lead to inadequate protein consumption. According to a study made by (Larson, Johansson 2002) in the Umea University in Sweden, about the dietary intake of young vegans and omnivores, the dietary habits of the vegans varied considerably and did not comply with the average requirements for some essential nutrients.

First, let’s talk about all the benefits that come following this lifestyle: It can help losing excess weight due to the lack of saturated fat from cheese and meat. Elements of a whole-foods plant-based diet, with limited or no intake of refined foods and animal products, are highly beneficial for preventing and treating type 2 diabetes. The advantages of a plant-based diet also include the reduction in risk of certain cancers because vegans consume considerably more legumes, total fruit and vegetables, tomatoes, allium vegetables, fibre, and vitamin C than do omnivores, (Winston J Craig). All those foods and nutrients are protective against cancer.

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In addition, animals raised for food production are fed over half of all the world’s crops. 60% of worldwide deforestation results from land being converted for use as agricultural land, much of which is used for grazing cattle. Following a vegan lifestyle contributes less air pollution and puts less stress on our natural resources by requiring less land, fossil fuels, and water.

On the other hand, it is much harder to get sufficient protein from a vegan diet. Steak or fish contain 20-30 grams of protein per 100 grams of the product. The main protein sources for vegans are vegetables, beans, soy, tempeh, and rice. They contain only 5-20 grams of protein per 100 grams of the product.

An examination of the amount of calcium in strict vegan diets has found that these diets lack the calcium needed to prevent osteoporosis later in life. According to Connie Weaver, head of the Department of Foods and Nutrition, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Ind. many non-dairy foods contain calcium. However, the amount of calcium in vegetables is very low compared to dairy products, and what makes it worse, many of the vegetables contain substances that block the body’s ability to absorb the calcium. For example, spinach, which is high in calcium, contains oxalic acid that binds with the calcium and prevents the body from absorbing 95% of it. According to the study foods that have high levels of sulfur amino acids, like cereals, seeds, and nuts reduce retention of calcium, and these foods are often the only sources of protein in vegans’ diets. Eliminating these foods to increase the absorption of calcium would cause a serious nutritional deficiency.

Not to mention that in one study (R. Pawlak, S.E. Lester & T. Babatunde 2014), was found that vitamin B12 deficiency affected 86 per cent of vegans. According to Wikipedia: “Vitamin B” also called cobalamin, is a water-soluble vitamin that is involved in the metabolism of every cell of the human body: it is a cofactor in DNA synthesis and in both fatty acid and amino acid metabolism.” Vitamin B12 deficiency disorders are commonly seen only among pure vegetarians since this vitamin is present only in foods of animal origin. The deficiency may result in serious health threats like anaemia, nerve damage, neurocognitive changes, and, over time, paralysis.

Furthermore, a vegan diet has a much lower intake of Vitamin A, D, iron and zink. While plants such as lentils and leafy greens do provide some iron, it is not as well-absorbed as animal-based iron. Vitamin A and Vitamin D are particularly essential for immune regulation, digestion, fertility and hormone balance. A study (Joseph R. Hibbeln, Kate Northstone, Jonathan Evans, Jean Golding) found that vegetarian men have both higher scores on a test used to measure depression, as well as a much higher (about 2/3 higher) risk of depression. The authors of this study suggest that relative lack of cobalamin or iron could play a role in vegetarians increased depression risk.

After all, we humans are animals. And some animals need to eat other animals to be healthy. Some do not.

  1. VEGAN DIETS LACK SUFFICIENT CALCIUM. USA Today Magazine, 01617389, Nov2001, Vol. 130, Issue 2678
  2. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Volume 76, Issue 1, 1 July 2002, Pages 100–106, https://doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/76.1.100
  3. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Volume 89, Issue 5, 1 May 2009, Pages 1627S–1633S, https://doi.org/10.3945/ajcn.2009.26736N
  4. The prevalence of cobalamin deficiency among vegetarians assessed by serum vitamin B12: a review of the literature. R. Pawlak, S.E. Lester & T. Babatunde European Journal of Clinical Nutrition volume 68, pages 541–548 (2014)
  5. OVERCOMING VITAMIN B12 DEFICIENCY IN VEGAN DIET. Sridevi; Baby, Prasanna. Nitte University Journal of Health Science. Mar2014, Vol. 4 Issue 1, p104-105. 2p.
  6. Vegetarian diets and depressive symptoms among men. Joseph R. Hibbeln, Kate Northstone, Jonathan Evans, Jean Golding. Journal of Affective Disorders. Elsevier. 1 January 2018

Cruelty To Animals And Animal Testing

Animal cruelty can be defined in many ways: Being violent to animals in any way, failure to provide for animals, being neglectful to animals. Also causing animals psychological harm in the form of distress, torment or terror may also constitute animal cruelty (RSPCA). For example when picking out eyeliner or other makeup products, do people stop to see at the stores what kind of makeup they are buying and using? People could be supporting animal testing and cruelty and not even realize it. Today many makeup products, such as eyeliner and lipstick are being tested on animals. Defenseless animals are being tested on for different types of experiments all around the United States and the world. Animal abuse is a problem that people do not look at or pay attention to. This is from mostly everyone not being told about the kind of abuse that farm animals, pets and wildlife animals go through. Animal testing is expensive, inhumane, unnecessary, there are alternatives, and could get dangerous to humans that testing can go wrong for humans and should be banned across the world.

So many people and companies tests on animals when they do not need to do so. Testing on animals is inhumane. According to Humane Society International, Animals used in experiments are commonly subjected to force feeding, forced inhalation, food and water deprivation, and prolonged periods of physical restraint. Perfume companies have now have made all the ingredients needed to make a perfume. It is simple, they just need to know how to mix them properly. But companies do not care, they continue to spray the perfume in animals’ eyes, slice open their skin to rub the spray in, and other horrible tests. Another one is toothpaste, companies make animals eat tubes of toothpaste to see what will happen. According to statistics, Animals who suffer from cruelty most often are dogs (64.5%) and cats (18%). 25% are for other animals, such as horses (The Humane Society). Those are pets, those could be someone’s four legged best friend. Because there is no doubt that most of the animals being tested were lost animals, strays, etc. Imagine living in a locked closet not knowing what was going on. Never to choose when someone will feed and give water. It is like a prison for animals however they did nothing wrong. Animal testing is inhumane for many reasons as stated above. Another reason why animal testing is inhumane is because animals can feel what is happening to them, they have feelings and it is so hurtful to watch them be in pain, and get hurt for humans. How do the companies not feel bad?

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Animal testing is very expensive.So much money is being used for animal testing; hundreds of thousands, sometimes millions of dollars being used for testing. According to Care2Causes, Monkeys Getting High for Science in which a research facility in North Carolina received over $71,000 dollars to feed cocaine to primates. Animal testing is expensive, why waste all the money that is going towards animal testing and use the money for other things. The money used on animal testing could be used to try and find different ways to find cures, and find different solutions to different problems. Animals should not have to suffer because some people are greedy and want certain things like perfumes, and makeups, etc. According to change.org USA spends $16 billion dollars annually for animal testing at taxpayers’ expense and is subject to massive waste and mismanagement of taxpayers’ dollars. Companies are just wasting the people’s money. How are the people not furious by this? Companies are wasting so much money on hurting, and abusing animals, do people know this? Do people realize what all they are paying for?

Another reason why animal testing should be banned is because the result could be dangerous for humans but not on the animals that were tested on. Researchers may think that dangerous substances are not safe for humans to use. Just because it was safe on animals does not mean it will be safe on humans. According to Live Science, A 2004 study from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration found that 92 percent of drugs entering clinical trials following animal testing fail to be approved. The year is now 2018 so there is probably more advanced technology now but that still does not make it much safer. Another example from Live Science- A 2008 study in the journal Alternatives to Laboratory Animals showed that more than 80 HIV/AIDS vaccines successful in nonhuman primates failed in human trials. There is so much proof out there on how much testing has failed for humans that substances were tested on animals and yet people still use animal tested products.

Instead of testing on animals and spending money on them getting hurt on, and poked on by needles and knives; how about the companies try and find alternatives out there not keep on testing on these poor, helpless animals. According to NEAVS there are many alternatives, such as: in vitro (test tube) test methods and models based on human cell and tissue cultures, computerized patient-drug databases and virtual drug trials, stem cell and genetic testing methods, non-invasive imaging techniques such as MRIs and CT Scans. And there is so much more. The alternate tests are so much more reliable than the animal testing. Another fact from NEAVS is U.S. law allows animals to be burned, shocked, poisoned, isolated, starved, drowned, addicted to drugs, and brain-damaged. No experiment, no matter how painful or trivial, is prohibited “ and painkillers are not required. A website called petakids.com/save-animals show different pictures and stories of all the different animals and how it is like for them and how they would be feeling. For instance here is a short stories about one little rabbit that is so innocent, and cute, and yet he is being hurt. Hi. My name is Rabbit 32*. I’m one of more than 170,000 rabbits who will be killed in U.S. laboratories this year for cruel experiments and product testing. So sad, yet animal testing is still happening.

Sometimes there is some good that comes out of animal testing. For instance, animals are used to develop medical treatment, make sure medications are okay, check safety products, and other human care/ health care uses. Animals have contributed to many treatments and life saving cases. Most people think animal testing should be minimized and harbor the least suffering possible for the animals. Another reason why people may think that animal testing should not be banned is because people think that animal testing is helping the animals. That if animals would have never got vaccinated that the animal probably would have died from rabies, or some other disease or illness.

Another reason why some people may not see why animal testing should not be banned is because that means no harm comes to humans. If people and companies stop animal testing how would things be tested? Many people do not know that there are many different solutions to these problems. Animals are a lot like humans in many different ways. Meaning how they have the same organs like humans do. They even have a bloodstream and central nervous system like humans do. All animals/mammals do. Some animals also have a shorter lifespan than humans do and so people just see that. If people wanted to get super into why animal testing should not be banned they could say how animals barely have rights, therefore, it is okay for humans to experiment on them.

Even though, those two reasons why animal testing should not be banned the reasons above prove why animal testing should be banned. As said stated above so much money is being used to hurt poor, helpless animals who did nothing wrong. Testing animals are not really helping the urgent health problems in the world. Such as cancer, heart disease, stroke, AIDS, birth defects, and more. The year is 2018 companies should know by now that testing animals is not okay. The companies should have some way to take the animals away and make new ways to test objects and substances.

Cruelty is defined as to endanger life or health or to cause major mental suffering or fear. What is most sad about animal testing is that it is all over the world; in secret, in public, and companies use animals for profit. No animal is safe from experimentation, and that should really change. The words animal experimentation does not sound scary verses how people should really say hurting and endangering the animals companies test. How hundreds of millions of animals are used in science every year, trapped, cold, in the dark. This is not what nature intended for animals to have to deal with. Animal testing should be banned for many different reasons, those poor animals do not need to suffer anymore. Also sidetracks meaningful scientific progress. Animal experimentation is cruel and outdated. It wastes money and other resources in life that humans could use.

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