Vegan - Health- Environment- Benefits
Hippocrates, a Greek physician, once wisely stated,
“Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food.”
What one chooses to feed his or her body either benefits or harms it. With cancer, diabetes, obesity, and heart diseases increasingly becoming a prevalent problem, it is more important than ever for one to reevaluate what he or she is consuming. There have been many scientific studies which prove that there is a direct link between common diseases and one’s diet. Meats and other animal products, which are pumped full of antibiotics and fillers, are harmful to one’s body. Sadly, with the rate of the consumption of such products going up, so too are doctor’s visits and medical bills rising.
A scientific study on diets was conducted by a group of Adventists. Beginning in 2002, the Adventists studied the weights and health of vegans, vegetarians, and those who consumed meats and animal byproducts. One of the first studies the Adventist group conducted evaluated diet and its link to cancers. They noted that vegan and vegetarian diets, compared to non-vegetarian diets, were the only diets which significantly lowered cancer risks – for gastrointestinal cancers, there was a 24% decrease in risk; for respiratory cancers, a 23% reduction in risk; and for female cancers, vegans had the greatest decrease in risk out of the other diets.
Next, diabetes risks were researched, specifically type 2 diabetes. Unfortunately, it is estimated that 29 million Americans suffer from diabetes! Through the Adventist study, however, it was discovered that vegans and vegetarians have half the chance of developing diabetes than one who consumes meat and other animal products.
The researchers also found that the vegans, overall, had a significantly lower BMI, with the average being 23.6. The non-vegetarians’ BMIs, however, averaged at about 28.8, which is considered to be overweight, and close to being obese.
Lastly, a study was conducted to evaluate the correlation between diet and heart diseases. It was discovered that vegan and vegetarian diets offered the lowest risk of cardiovascular diseases, compared to non-vegetarian diets.
From the study above, it is easily seen that there are many benefits to a meatless diet, and even more benefits to a diet that eliminates both meat and other animal products.
Chart on decrease in health risks.
Veganism, however, not only helps one’s body, but also aids greatly in the preservation of the environment, which is at risk due to the high demand for animal products. In fact, according to a scientific study,
“It takes more than 11 times as much fossil fuel to make one calorie from animal protein as it does to make one calorie from plant protein!” (yourdailyvegan)
Because fossil fuels are not easily replaced, just think about all of the natural energy resources that are being depleted due to over-consumption! In addition to fossil fuel usage, raising livestock is also responsible for 91% of the Amazon rain forest destruction, a majority of the air pollution, and 30% of the world’s water consumption, and much of its contamination. With all of the threats to our environment, it is more important than ever to take action. Switching to a more plant based diet is a great step in protecting forests, keeping the ozone layer clean, and making sure water sources are not being contaminated and depleted. The earth is our most precious resource, and it is important to treat it as such.
Animal farming is responsible for deforestation.
In a day and age where cancer, obesity, diabetes, and heart diseases are more of a threat than ever, it is so imperative that one watches his or her diet. The fad diets many come across on a daily basis, however, are not adequate or healthy solutions. Switching to a vegan or vegetarian diet is the best thing one can do for his or her body – it decreases risks of cancers, heart diseases, obesity, and it can even prevent and/or reverse diabetes. And if keeping one’s own body healthy is not a good enough reason to make the lifestyle switch, eating plant-based also helps protect the environment, our most precious resource. So, why not go vegan?
Angle-Traegner, KD. “Our Environment is in Serious Trouble.” Your Daily Vegan. Vegan Lifestyle Guides, 22 February, 2017,www. yourdailyvegan .com/environment. Accessed 20 Feb. 2017.
Palmer, Sharon. “A Plant Based Diet Has Impressive Benefits.” Vegetarianism. Greenhaven
Press, January 2014, link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/EJ3010705254/OVIC?u=kctcsbgtc.
Accessed 22 Feb. 2017.