Veganism: A Movement Headed by Millennials

April 19, 2018
By GNguyen BRONZE, Ho Chi Minh, Other
GNguyen BRONZE, Ho Chi Minh, Other
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

Modern but ancient, the term "vegan" has been heard but not understood by the speaker who says it. For many folks, eliminating red meat from their diet is a tremendous sacrifice already, but to remove fish, milk, cheese, eggs and all other animal's products? That’s too overwhelming. At least, that was the opinion a decade ago. Today, however, it's proved the vegan diet trend has taken off, leaving parents, teenagers and elders everywhere wondering: is this diet just a fantasy or is it here to be the savior of the world?


We used to own a dog named Handbag. That at least is what my grandmother calls her, probably because she takes her shopping in her handbag. She is a Pocket Beagle, and she is a perfection. Her most appealing element is that she is friendly to everyone, especially children. They love her pitch black eyes and her gleaming fur. She also has the most adorable little paws with a whippy and energetic tail. Her delicate but sharpened teeth can chew on anything, especially fluffy fabrics. Particularly it’s her cheerfulness which really attracts everyone's goodwill. Her slim torso is full of life. I’m certain she believes she’s a gazelle when chasing her toys.


I remembered when Handbag barked excitedly, bouncing around my grandmother. Grandma tossed the ball flying down the coast. Handbag took off, kicking golden sand back with her hind legs, as she bolted after the ball. Neck stretched out, legs pumping like wild. She ran under the horizon, and we waited a while and another while. Handbag went away with the dusk. Handbag was reported to be abducted by some strangers. Why, why do you want our dog? She is ours. Later that week, my grandmother told me Handbag was kidnaped for her flesh. If I have a chance to face the culprits, I would question them; “Why do you want to eat my dog?” You can surely find protein in white beans, healthy fat from avocados, and vegan hot dog would make a delicious meal. So why my poor dog?


In recent times, the reason for transitioning to a veganism diet has shifted from the well-being of animals to the health benefits for humans and the environment. As reported by Food Navigator, healthy diets, cleaner ingredients, weight-loss and environmental responsibility, account for 71% of the responses given by American consumers. Animal welfare holds second place with 23 percent of responses (Westervelt).

 

In it For the Health Benefits:
According to Marsh, the author of The Rise of Vegan Teenagers claimed that "Veganism is on the rise. In 2006, 150,000 people in the UK opted for a plant-based diet. Today, 542,000 do. That’s a 350% increase. The movement is driven by the young – close to half of all vegans are aged 15-34 (42%), compared with just 14% who are over 65" (Marsh). These statistics evidence that veganism is exponentially growing, and can be a new dietary trend shortly. However, the minor percentage of elders are vegan doesn’t indeed mean that midlife adults and retired people aren’t engaging with the converting to a vegan diet also. To support that, Marsh also suggests that in the U.S. 36 percent of consumers select milk alternatives and meat substitutes over the real products, and while that doesn’t make them a total vegan, it indicates the attraction is becoming more appetising (Marsh).


Another driving force that persuades people to convert to an animal-free diet is the health of the pulmonary system. According to Juliet Gellatley, the founder of the Vegan and Vegetarian Group Viva, propose to The Guardian that, "Animal fats account for 13 to 15 percent of the U.S.’s cholesterol-raising fats, which contribute to heart disease, hypertension, and various cancers" (Barford). As you can see, with the intake of animal fats, many threatening diseases can follow as accurate statistics have proven. Gellatly also inquires, why wouldn’t those experienced with heart disease or high cholesterol look forward at vegan diet (Barford)?


In many developed and developing countries, kids are not being recommended, but they are being pressured to no longer be able to eat vegan diets while they're young (Dearden). Dearden, the author of “Italy's Proposed Law to Jail Vegan Parents For Up to Four Years, Criticised As 'Discriminatory' Attack on Human Rights” asserted, “A proposed law that could see parents jailed for raising their children as vegans in Italy” (Dearden). As seen from the quote, the consequence for going against the law can be risky for parents in Italy. The driving forces for this belief are the government believed that due to a colder climate, children are required to have enough fat and energy by consuming animals' products. Furthermore, they also presume that to have a proper growth, meat will provide the needed vitamins, minerals, and most beneficial elements that can sustain healthy growth (Dearden).   


To justify those theories are erroneous, a toddler on a vegan diet program ingest adequate vitamins and minerals frequently, even extra than require. Vegan youngsters consume a higher amount of fiber, a more significant quantity of vitamins, and much less saturated fats than their non-vegan friends. As a consequence, as long as parents arrange their children's diets intentionally and provide them with sufficient dietary supplements their children can grow just as well as omnivorous kids. According to the Yankee Academy of Pediatrics and the Yankee Dietetic affiliation support a vegan food plan for youngsters. Vegan children intake greater nutrients and establish healthier ingesting patterns to maintain into maturity age. Even if these kids may not remain their vegan diet throughout their personal lives, an early vegan life practices an appreciation for healthful foods and discriminates youngsters reaching health difficulty in their adulthood (Dearden).

 

Saving our Greenhouse Gas Emission:
The changes in the climate on our planet have been the focal point of the general public. From only focusing on transportation to the industrial factories, we may have missed a fundamental aspect of the global crisis. It may sound exaggerated, but our categories of foods and the selections we make, for instance, sautéd beef and grilled pork can damage our environment specifically the greenhouse gas (Wang).


To express Wang's motivations, she states, "But mounting evidence of the impact requires our attention and action as global citizens, and each of us can do something about it, today, by taking what we eat as seriously as we take climate change" (Wang). Building upon this statement, we all can notice the essential and practical aspect of the message Wang was conveying.


To emphasize the stress even more concrete, Wang claimed, “An assessment by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations indicated the contribution of the livestock sector to global greenhouse gas emissions exceeds that of transportation” (Wang). With respectable analysis, we can now shift our perspective from transportation that contributed to carbon emission to a more substantial player of the game, livestock.


Firstly, emissions from the production of majority of legumes are 250 times lower than lamb and beef not including pork, chicken, and those which also fall under the same category, livestock as reported by to an assessment by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Two more powerful greenhouse gases compared to carbon dioxide are methane and nitrous oxide which are more than 250 times and 20 times more powerful. Those gases are developed via livestock raising projects (Wang).


The greenhouse gas emissions that brought life to Earth and can also put abundant life on shaky ground. Driving forces that direct greenhouse gas emissions to increase at an exponential rate are mostly our handiwork; and veganism can be the new game-changing concept to rescue all life on Earth. Connor also sparked a powerful question; Can we shine as an example influence meat consumers to end their hazardous formation (Connor)?
Some people are doubtful if they should be vegan and some ignore the question. Just following in our primate ancestors’ footsteps, our peril can eventually decline. Global’s leading scientist researching on a human's food plan and health progress, Professor T. Colin Campbell. He believes that the closer we approach a meat-free food plan, the higher the enhancement to our health (Connor).


William Roberts echoed Professor Campbell's concept. William is an editor of the Yankee magazine of Cardiology who claims that “‘Although we think we are one and we act as if we are one, human beings are not natural carnivores. When we kill animals to eat them, they end up killing us because their flesh, which contains cholesterol and saturated fat’” (Connor). The sooner we turn around from the meat consumption misconception, our health progress will stabilize. Our body system is not able to process to animal's flesh. However, we have been spotlighting the flavour of meat only to forget that our own body's health carries the consequence. As soon as we eliminate animal commodities from our diets for our fitness, our planet’s vigor and the lives of billions of animals can be improved. If all human beings can appreciate these life changing concepts, nobody would anxiously wait for their cherished pets to bring back laughter with a thrown ball.


The author's comments:

I am a pure vegan and I would really want to express the importance of being one. 


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