Should the world go Vegan?
Can an ever increasing human population support the agricultural status quo and continue to dedicate massive resources toward the support of farm animals without significantly destroying what is left of the world’s wildlands? Also are the ethical arguments concerning global food distribution and animal welfare (especially concerning factory farming) strong enough to reform the way people view their diets and where their food comes from? How shall we feed ourselves in the 21st Century when the Earth's population is likely to be 9 billion by 2050?
Please cast your vote after you've read the arguments.
You can also add to the debate by leaving a comment at the end of the page.
The current livestock situation is unsustainable
whats a vegan
We must conserve the earth
i like meat..
dont take away ma fukkin ritez muthafukka!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Yes, conservation is important, but livestock alone are not causing species extinction. The species listed opposite have been driven clost to extinction through human destruction of their habitat; but for living space, crops and natural resources like wood as well as grazing space for livestock. Hunting has also been an important factor for some species; but for sport, not food. If everyone switched to a vegan diet we would only start using more land for crop production for human consumption; that won't bring these species back.
It will facilitate world food distribution
Agricultural systems are not there to feed people. Western agriculture is designed in the end to maximise profit. A host of security problems such as poverty, famine, war, and corruption are rooted in the underlying problem that there is an unequal access to food. Western lifestyles, which are the particular beneficiaries of this system – and diet in particular – can play a large part in depriving the world’s poor of much needed food.
wow u guyz hav no freekin life...
Prevention of Animal Cruelty: The Killing Fields
The meat and dairy industry also primarily exist for profit. However their commodities are animals which are treated in an appalling manner in order to churn out the most product- the meat these animals provide as well as their by products: milk, eggs, wool, skin and whatever other remains may be used in other industries.
The welfare provided for the animals is minimal; farm animals suffer a lot in their lives in order to produce the tremendous and unnatural amount of produce which they are forced to give.
Animals which produce foods are manipulated in such a way that they work on a maximum rate of production to their expense. Chickens are a well known example in the UK, with a popular consumer movement encouraging the use of free range eggs.
Common conditions for many factory animals include filthy and cramped conditions; enough to kill many who can’t cope, injection of drugs in order to increase growth rapidly which can resulting bodily deformations as well as mortal illness.
Those animals that are designated to breed are artificially inseminated regularly and have their young taken away prematurely before being impregnated again.
Forcible mutilation is another necessity. For example, piglets and chickens have their teeth clipped and parts of beaks removed without anaesthetic.
Slaughter is not a painless event. 9.5 million pigs were slaughtered in the UK alone in 2007 through stunning, being shackled upside down, and then having their throats slit. It is the sticking (slitting of the throat) which kills the pig, not the stunning, and there are many instances of the pig still being conscious whilst they are being sticked.
'Mad Cow Disease' (vCJD) came about through a cost cutting expenditure, as cattle were fed neuron tissue from sheep and other cattle. It is blinkered to ignore the fact that the meat and dairy products that are consumed in restaurants, fast food chains and supermarkets comes from somewhere which we might not like. The only way to provide such cheap meat at such an enormous quantity (the shelves never run low) is to make production cheap which is at the suffering of the animals that are born, reared, transported and slaughtered in miserable conditions for our priveliged lifestyle.
The idea of stunning an animal before slaughter is to render it paralysed and unconscious while the killing takes place. We cannot be 100% that it is an entirely painless experience, and probably there are occasional mistakes made, since the process in repeated hundreds of times a day. But the experienced professionals who slaughter animals use their skills to make it as clean a job as possible.
Prevent Global Warming
Reducing the demand for meat and dairy products is an effective method for tackling climate change.
The rearing of cattle and other animals gives huge carbon emissions and is the driving force for virtually every major category of environmental destruction; deforestation, soil erosion, water scarcity, water and air pollution, and biodiversity loss. The production of meat and dairy itself is responsible for almost a fifth of global greenhouse emissions, and as meat consumption is set to double by the middle of the century, it is only going to be more destructive.
If we want peace....
To meditate for world peace, to pray for a better world, and to work for social justice and environmental protection while continuing to purchase the flesh, milk and eggs of horribly abused animals exposes a disconnect that is so fundamental that it renders our efforts absurd, hypocritical and doomed to certain failure. --Dr. Will Tuttle in the World Peace Diet
Do the lives of animals matter? We continue to learn that animals are more than we have understood. People around the globe are awakening to the importance of of becoming more compassionate. Someday people will look back and wonder how otherwise good people could have been involved in such a barbaric practice as torturing and killing other beings in order to eat their flesh. Corpse food is on its way out. There will be a big celebration the day the last slaughterhouse closes down.
Educate yourself on the issues. Listen to Vegan World Radio, telling the story of the vegan revolution that is saving the animals, the planet and our health.
Our bodies were not designed for a vegan diet
Humans evolved as meat eaters; we need essential nutrients such as proteins and iron to be healthy. It is true that these can be obtained from vegetable sources, but not as efficiently, and a vegan diet can easily lead to deficiencies without careful management. Currently the 'Western diet' does contain too many animal products, especially fats, and we would all benefit from replacing some of these with vegetable based foodstuffs. But we should be looking to consume meat in moderation, not rule it out entirely. Eating fewer animal products would solve a lot of the problems highlighted by this debate; but eradicating it from our diets entirely could cause health problems and is simply not necessary.
Recent research by anthropologists shows that we had an arboreal past. Our genetic ancestors were once tree dwellers. At that time, our genetic ancestors depended upon products of the tree, and later upon the fruits of stalk and vine for our sustenance. Dr. Alan Walker, an anthropologist of John Hopkins University in Maryland, has done research showing that early humans were once exclusively fruit eaters. By careful examination of fossil teeth and fossilized human remains with electron microscopes and other sophisticated tools, Dr. Walker and his colleagues are absolutely certain that early humans until relatively recently, were total fruitarians. These findings were reported in depth in the May 15, 1979 issue of the New York Times. Dr Alan Walker and his associates, anthropologists at John Hopkins University, using the most modern electronic microscopic equipment, state: "Preliminary studies of fossil teeth have led to the startling suggestion that our early human ancestors (Australopithecus) were not predominantly meat-eaters or even eaters of seeds, shoots, leaves or grasses, nor were they omnivorous. Instead they appear to have subsisted chiefly on a diet of fruit. Every tooth examined from the hominids of the 12 million year period leading up to Homo Erectus appeared to be that of a fruit-eater." - NY Times, May 1979
The essence of Walker's research is that even though humans have adopted omnivorous and carnivorous eating practices, our anatomy and physiology have not changed. We remain biologically a species of fruit eaters. The human digestive system has been adapted to a diet of fruits and vegetables for more than 60 million years of development. A few thousand years of aberrant eating will not change our dietary requirements for optimum health.
Nutrients such as calcium, iron, and protein (including all the essential amino acids) can all be found through plant sources. Vitamin B12, Vitamin D are nutritional requirements that can easily be taken through fortified breakfast cereals, soya milk, or vitamin supplements.
Plants are primarily responsible for protecting against cancers, heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and other sort of ailments associated with aging. Whereas an animal-based diet generally provides an excessive intake of protein, fat and “bad carbohydrates” (like sugar and refined flour), a whole food, plant-based diet increases the consumption of vitamins, antioxidants and complex carbohydrates (e.g., fiber). Protein in animal-based foods are better able to foster the development of cancer and catalyze the formation of cholesterol, which leads to the formation of atherosclerosis in the blood vessels. Diets that avoid animal-based foods tend to have lower levels of saturated fat, cholesterol and animal protein, and higher levels of carbohydrates, fiber, antioxidants, phytochemicals and essential vitamins and minerals. Saturated fatty acids are mostly found in animal-based foods, with rare exceptions (as with coconut oil). Polyunsaturated fats or unsaturated fats, in general, are found in plants. Fruits and vegetables contain antioxidant substances, such as vitamin C, vitamin E, and carotenoids, which protect cells against oxidative damage, which is related to cancer risk and other health problems. Phytochemicals, manufactured by plants, include cartenoids, thiocyonates, daidzein and genistein, and dietary fiber, and vitamins. These help prevent the formation of carcinogens, reduce cholesterol levels, help move food through the intestinal tract, and help keep cells healthy.
Some do not have the range of food necessary available to them. It is still overwhelming however how much over-consumption there is of dairy and meat products and a vegan diet poses no danger for those who wish to take an ethical step to help prevent the inexorable food crisis this planet will be entering into this century.
Meat consumption should be reduced, but does NOT need to be eradicated
All the arguments above focus on the problems that arise from mass production of animal products; intensive farming, factory animals, mass slaughter. For all of these reasons, and for our general good health, we should consider reducing the amount of meat in our diet. If we all ate a smaller amount of organic, locally produced meat, then we could still enjoy a diverse diet without having such a negative impact on the environment.
It is up to consumers to demand good quality products, rather than high volume at a low price.
A Vegan diet would not be practical in most parts of the world
In the West a Vegan diet is fairly easy to follow if you have motivation, but in some parts of the world this is just not feasible. For example Inuits follow a diet mainly consisting of the meat they can find and hunt locally, which has been suggested to be “effective in keeping the body warm, making the body strong, keeping the body fit, and even making that body healthy" [Edmund Searles, “Food and the Making of Modern Inuit Identities.” Food & Foodways: History & Culture of Human Nourishment 10 (2002): 55–78]]. In some parts of the world it is just either highly impractical to find Vegan food or it would be highly unwise to eat in this way given the specific climatic or geographic conditions of the region.
Why does the entire world have to obey?
Many peoples in various cultures hunt and eat meat and various animal products and are conscious of the impact everything they kill has on their environment. In the western world, if our diets become a threat to our environment, we blame the government and leave it to the authorities to deal with. The best thing to be done is to raise as much awareness as possible about the unsustainability of meat, the alternatives and so on. A lot of people simply don't have the awareness. However, asking "Should the world go Vgean?" is an impractical question. Think about it? Could a worldwide law be passed to prohibit everyone to stop eating meat?
What do you think?