Demystifying veganism

Marina El Moufti
Contributing Writer

What comes to your mind when you hear the word “vegan”? Some might imagine kale-eating attention seekers, while others might think of humanitarians. Choosing not to consume animals or any animal-derived product embodies conscious consumerism. Vegans are actually aware of what they are eating, as they are of its source.

Why go vegan? Veganism is closely tied to environmentalism. Cattle release between 70 to 120 kg of methane per year. Methane is a greenhouse gas which has a negative effect on the climate, 23 times the effect of CO2. Therefore, animal meal production is actually more harmful than driving all kinds of road vehicles combined.

On another hand, cattle eat plants that have highly water-absorbent seeds, so one pound of beef requires around 1,799 gallons of water. Today’s world is home to seven billion people with almost three billion suffering from starvation and malnutrition.

Another way vegans serve the environment is by minimizing carbon production. The carbon footprint of meat and dairy farms is significantly greater than the production of non-renewable waste from cars and electricity combined; Cows feces from Texas alone can cover half of America.   

Refusing animal cruelty is one of the main factors behind the popularity of veganism. When a cow is artificially inseminated in order to produce more calves and milk, it is being violated.

The calf gets separated from its mother and deprived of her milk, milk that is essential to the calf’s growth. Then, it is slaughtered for its soft meat. Does it seem fair for an infant to be deprived of its own mother’s milk so that another species can feed off of it?                                                                                                                   

Other animals are skinned alive to make bags and shoes, or are mass-tortured in slaughter facilities.

No matter what your stance is on consuming meat, killing animals, or being vegan, there is one thing that must be recognized: it’s a great commitment to become a vegan, especially in countries like Lebanon where half of our traditional diet is based on chicken or meat. In today’s society, being vegan does much more than save animals’ lives, it can also save ours.

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