Veganism – An Inevitable Lifestyle
Humans require a few essential items to survive. Air, water and food are the basic items for our survival. But over the centuries of our survival other than oxygen and clean water the food we consume has changed sporadically. This may be due to the soil, rainfall and other factors. Once again it is time to change our food habits due various factors which will be discussed below. Now the new form of diet has a popular name called veganism. Veganism for a few decades have been frowned upon but lately people have realized the importance of shifting their diet to a more sustainable and healthier form. Through this article not only am I going to point out the benefits of veganism but also why our country should ban all meat consumption very soon.
So why give up the amazing meat which we consume every day?
1.Your planet needs you to be vegan
It is a well-known fact that the earth is dying at an exceptional rate. The damage we humans have caused is not only irreversible but could very soon destroy our planet. As development increases the need for resources increases too. This leads to a large amount of carbon production which leads to global warming. One of the largest greenhouse gas producers is the animal industry. The World Watch Institute estimates it to be over 51% of the total world’s greenhouse emitter. This is a huge problem because we allow an industry to cause such a huge amount of damage without it even being essential for our survival. India is one of the leading exporters of meat in the world. A single buffalo consumes about 4 kg of green fodder, 7 kg of dry fodder, and 0.36 kg of concentrates per day. With a buffalo population of over 100 million, this translates into a daily water requirement of 1 trillion litres for dry fodder, 200 million litres for green fodder, and 29 million litres for concentrates, respectively. Now with such a large population of these animals present there is over 200 million tonnes of CO2 emissions every year. This in itself is a valid excuse to get rid of all animal farms. Not to mention the huge problem of animal waste, large amounts of deforestation to act as grazing grounds for cattle and various other factors point toward the undeniable fact that large cattle rearing is extremely harmful to the planet.
2.Your Body needs you to go vegan
For generations we have been taught that we require large amounts of meat, eggs and milk to be healthy and strong. But lately scientific studies have shown that vegan food not only helps the body to sustain itself but is actually even healthier. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition conducted a study in 2009 which showed that people who follow a vegan diet find it easier to lose excessive body weight, they have lower blood pressure and lower cholesterol. One of the most influential findings is that a vegan diet vastly reduces the chances of heart disease and some studies even show that it reduces the chance of cancer. One of the major problems with a vegan diet is that people do not have a balanced meal. This often leads to a deficiency in vitamin B12 which is mainly found in animal products. This can be also found in plant-based milk, meat substitutes, fortified cereals etc. There’s a common notion that a vegan diet cannot make you as strong and healthy as a meat diet. Sports personalities like Lewis Hamilton, Kendrick Farris and Novak Djokovic would likely disagree. As the German Strongman, Patrick Baboumian said “Someone asked me, how I could get as strong as an ox without eating any meat? My response was, have you ever seen an ox eat meat?”
3.The animals need you to be vegan
It is without a doubt that the meat industry is one of the most inhumane industries in the world. Everyday reports and documentaries expose the sad conditions these animals are forced to survive in and yet we can’t pass a tasty burger. Let’s look at the chicken industry and see how they’re treated. According to PETA India. over 90% of chickens raised for meat (called Broilers) in India are raised on industrialized factory farms. The poultry industry forces chickens to live in huge sheds with tens of thousands of other chickens. A typical facility may house 300,000 birds at a time with 40,000-60,000 birds per shed. Each contracted ‘grower’ may grow several million birds annually for the large companies. Chickens live on the ground of the shed on litter (wood shavings, rice hulls etc) mixed with faeces from previous generations. Broiler chickens have been selectively bred by animal scientists to grow muscle mass extremely fast. Their muscle growth far outpaces the development of their skeletal system and internal organs- as a result their skeletal and organ system simply cannot keep up with the unnaturally large muscles. These conditions aren’t any better for cattle or fish. The reality is that these animals do not deserve to be treated like this. They were born in unnatural circumstances and shouldn’t live a life of suffering just to be eaten later.
How can India adjust when meat is banned?
The Modi government already tried to ban the sale of cattle for slaughter but the high court of India decided to suspend the law. Whether the motivation for the ban was religious or not there was a right idea. Now I understand thousands of people make their lively hood off of killing these creatures but there might be an alternate course of action. Once the ban is complete a trillion-dollar market will open up. This allows huge companies like the Impossible burger and Beyond meat to open up. Not to mention local brands are going to start rising. This gives a huge number of job opportunities to a large number of people. Now this transition will not be smooth but some sacrifices must be made for this huge change.
Now India is in a position to perfectly transition to veganism. Majority of Indians follow the Hindu religion and do not eat beef. The other percent do not consistently consume meat. An average Indian household for breakfast eats idli, dosa, poori, paranthas etc. For lunch we consume rice, noodles, chapatti and dinner can be one of the above mentioned. All of these are vegan. The only small percent of non-vegan items we consume is the morning tea and coffee or the curd rice you eat for lunch. These can simply be substituted by using plant-based milk which is store bought or made at home. Paneer is another household item that also has an easy substitute in the form of tofu.
The transition to veganism is not going to be easy. But to achieve a final object everyone needs to make a few sacrifices. We need to ask ourselves what is more important- A glass of Milk or a Glass of Oxygen.
Author: Ben Jose Jose,
IFIM LAW School /1st year