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Saving the Environment, One Animal at a Time

by Mallory McKissick and Zoie Martin

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Veganism is a growing lifestyle that has not only taken over shelves of grocery stores across the nation, but also widened the variety of dishes on menus and created a whole new aspect of life for many people. Over 45 million Americans diet each year, which can include anything from vegetarian to vegan, and everything in between.

The Vegetarian Times, a group created for recipes, news, and other facts for vegetarians and vegans, states that 7.3 million people in America alone are vegetarians, and 1 million of those are vegan, which doesn’t include the many European countries that have adapted to this lifestyle as well. Vegans are the upcoming future of the culinary environment. Companies like Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods have created an empire for organic, vegetarian, and vegan foods.

With the many benefits of joining this popular lifestyle, The World Health Organization explains that about one-third of all cancers can be stopped by just a change in one’s diet. Vegans have a fifteen percent lower risk of developing cancer because of the amount of vegetables, fruits and legumes consumed.

For the sake of the environment, vegans have started a new way of preservation for the Earth. Peta.org states that about fifty-one percent of global greenhouse gas emissions is caused by animal agriculture. A necessary global shift to veganism will be able to combat the already worsening effects of the climate change.

“I love cooking so using that hobby to create healthy, creative foods is one of my favorite things to do,” explains Rainey Rizzo, a vegan for 4 months now. She is an enthusiastic advocate for veganism. Rainey states that she is a vegan because the impact it has on your life and body is something you can’t get from anything else.

“Switching to a vegan lifestyle has brought me many benefits. My thoughts are more clear, I’ve lost weight, and I feel like the healthiest version of myself,” she says.

Veganism has been transformed from a diet to a lifestyle and has created a sense of following that has become tighter than ever. More and more people are transitioning into a vegan diet. Despite popular belief, the plant-based diet is not a cult or a trend, and is instead a lifestyle and healthy way of being.

 

Veganism started out as a protest to the mass production of animal products and the abuse of animals during the distribution. “Meat is Murder” was the leading campaign, however, over time the reason for veganism has widened and is different for everyone. A quote from the END Trophy Hunting NOW foundation expresses that over 68 billion farm animals are murdered every year, making it 2,000 animals slaughtered per second.

Veganism has a large positive effect on people, including more than just a sense of positive change for the environment. Benefits for becoming a vegan includes lowered cholesterol and blood pressure, a higher amount of energy and a greater intake of antioxidants.

Other forms of vegan diets which still have many benefits, have less strict guidelines and are still able to have a positive effect on the body. The Paleo diet, also known as the Caveman diet, is primarily focused on lessening the intake of carbohydrates. Paleoism centers around proteins, or vegetables and occasional meat, however no other dairy products such as cheese, butter or eggs.

The growing number of vegans across the world is changing the food industry and is becoming a new kind of income that is drastically increasing. Forbes.com states that the predicted amount of profit from plant-based dairy alternatives is yearly around 4.9 billion dollars and the number is growing. The amount of meat-alternative foods is overall said to reach $5.2 billion by the year 2020 from statistics on plantbasednews.org.

Now yes, being a vegan has its difficulties, especially for cheese and butter lovers, and is a large shift in lifestyle. However the rewards and cause are worth the change and can give you a more positive outlook on life.

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Saving the Environment, One Animal at a Time