Miranda Nelson

Miranda Nelson

Posted January 26, 2010

Published in Lifestyle

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Plant-Based: A Better World

Read More: Vegan Plant-based Green Health

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There are may reasons why shifting towards a plant-based diet is desirable, whether it be for one's health, the earth, or the suffering of animals. People need to make a connection between the food the eat and the way they feel. Processed foods are filled with chemicals, unnatural sugars, added sodium, and unhealthy fats. Not only are these foods filled with junk, but they are high in calories. These ingredients make people fat and sick.

Studies show that fruit and vegetables are a foundation to good health. They are low-calorie, yet they leave the body satisfied. Fruits and veggies are packed with important nutrients including vitamins, fiber, and minerals. Additionally, they contain water, which helps replenish the body's fluids. Medical doctors say that people should have 2-3 servings of fruits and 4-5 servings of vegetables each day. Clearly, this is not enough. For optimum health, people should really eat nine or more servings of fruits and vegetables. Eating mainly fruits and vegetables reduces the risk of several forms of cancer. Some people believe that eating too much fruit can limit weight loss because of the fruits' sugar content. This is not true because the antioxidants and other beneficial compounds outweigh the downside of the sugar content.

Red meat and dairy are incredibly unhealthy for the human body. These foods are linked to cancer, type-2 diabetes, arthritis, infectious diseases, and many more. Cows are raised in an extremely unhealthy environment by the ranching industry. They are given illegal hormones, chicken litter, and ground up diseased animals as part of their daily meals. Also, they are raised on food that contains pesticide residues and heavy medals like lead. When people eat beef, they are getting these toxic substances because the animal's body stores them in their fat tissues. Simply said, cow's milk and other dairy products are unnatural for humans to eat because its purpose is to feed baby cows. The substance is nutritionally imbalanced for humans. It contains little magnesium and is actually hard for the human body to digest.

Too many people are concerned with getting enough protein verses any other nutrient. The truth is that there is enough proteins in plants for people to eat. Plants allow elephants, horses, and hippopotamuses to grow big. Also, all plants contain the right amount of amino acids essential for the ideal human growth, so it is simply impossible to be protein deficient. The fact is that people need to get over this myth and start being concerned with eating too much protein.

Being a vegan not only is beneficial to one's health, but it is also better for the environment. Producing a certain amount of meat requires much more water than producing the same amount of food in grain. It takes 5,215 gallons of water to produce one pound of beef, while it only takes 24 gallons of water to produce one pound of potatoes. To take a daily shower, on average, each American uses 5,200 gallons of water per year. A person can save more water by not eating a pound of beef than a person who wouldn't shower for a year. In addition, the number of people whose food energy needs can be met by the food produced on 2.5 acres of land is shocking. If the land is producing potatoes, 22 people can eat. If the land is producing beef, only one person can eat. World hunger would be ended if people were to stop eating meat, and there would also be much much more water for people to drink.

Lastly, a plant-based diet decreases the suffering of animals. Animals have feelings just like humans do. They love and want to be happy. It is immoral to kill an animal just for food. It would be one thing if it was the only food available, but obviously, it is not. Nobody would want to eat a cat for their dinner, so why would they want to eat a cow? Some people may argue that since the animal is not as smart as a human being, it is okay to eat it. Humans are smarter than dogs, so should we eat them, too? Many are not educated about how much suffering the animals people eat go through. Farm animals are kept so close together that they can not even move. Their living conditions are so small that they have no choice but to sit in their feces. The happy-go-lucky pictures depicted in children's books do not even come close to reality. Baby pigs are taken away from their mothers and put in crates where they can't even turn around. To produce veal, calfs are taken away from their mothers and put into crates where they can't even move. They are left in that crate so their muscles will be soft when people eat them. It is just devastating to know what goes into animal suffering. Eating a plant-based diet will automatically eliminate this problem.

Many people do not realize how good they will feel physically and emotionally when they follow a plant-based diet. People will have more energy in everything they do. They will feel happy about their good health, happy that they are helping the environment, and happy that they are helping prevent the suffering of animals.