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Bruno 1

Marisa Bruno
Derrick Bracey
English
2 December 2015

Meat or Not to Eat?

Thanksgiving is a great time to spend with family and friends until youre told You
ruined the meal. Everyone was gathered around the table with laughter and smiles until my
father went to serve me some turkey when I quickly gasped No, uh Ive decided to stop
eating meat. That made everything really awkward. My dad became so angry you could see his
little purple veins on his bald head squirming around, and the rest of my family just stared with
their mouths open. To lighten the mood my mom ended the silence by saying Well, thats
something new. But, um, lets get to eating now. I didnt care the least bit if my family thought I
was weird or crazy. My dad could get as mad as he pleased. Meat tasted alright I guess, but
nothing could compare to the satisfaction I felt knowing I was helping myself, animals, and the
world. Being vegan is better for your body and health, saves the lives of millions of animals from
torture and death, as well as protecting the environment and saving resources.
Veganism is quickly growing across the world, and it is a lifestyle that consists of using
no animal products whether it be in food, clothing or even makeup and body soaps. One major
reason for those who are vegan explain they do it because it helps save the entire world, not just
animals but humans and natural resources as well. Emma McGrath states Most of the world is
malnourished while the west produces many animal products and in doing so, deprives the rest of
the world of basic nourishment (McGrath 3). A documentary called Cowspiracy proves

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McGraths statement by explaining that it takes about 2,500 gallons of water to produce one
pound of beef. It takes such a great number of water for one pound of beef because you need to
grow the crop to feed the animal, as well as give water to the animal to keep it alive until its
time to make the meat. There are thousands of people all over the world who die of dehydration
and starvation every day and the agriculture market is a huge contributor. No one would have to
be deprived of basic necessities if the world stopped animal consumption because all of the crops
and water used to produce a small amount of meat, could be used to feed all of the unprivileged
people. In addition to preserving water, vegans prevent lots of deforestation, because there is no
need for cleared land for pastures for cows to graze on. Tamar Haspel successfully describes the
pollution added to the air from cow agriculture as stated Cows four chambered stomach digests
by fermentation which releases the greenhouse gas methane (Haspel 1). Eating meat causes
humans to not only kill another being, but also kill themselves in the process.
One reason people decide to become vegan is for their health, physically and mentally. T.
Colin Campbell did a study and his results shown Prevalence rates of heart disease and certain
cancers were strongly associated with animal-protein-based diets (Campbell 1). Becoming ill
from eating meat is plausible because many chemicals must be put into the animals in order for
them to grow faster and bigger to accommodate for the demand. With the large quantity of
people in the world all wanting meat, it doesnt make sense that all meat is naturally grown
without genetically modified organisms. Also in studies discussed by Campbell, it is said that
The main protein of cow's milk, casein, was shown in experimental animal studies to
substantially increase cholesterol and early heart disease. Not only does cows milk link to high
cholesterol and heart disease, but one must think that humans are the only species to drink the
milk of another species but yet we dont go giving our milk to other animals. When a baby calf is

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born it weighs around eighty five pounds and when a human baby is born it weighs around nine
pounds. The weight difference in calf to baby is not a proportioned ratio to justify that cow milk
should properly nourish a body much smaller than it was destined for. Adding to the opposition
of dairy consumption, eggs are extremely controversial. Although they do contain protein, they
are high in cholesterol and some people even view it to be a chickens period. People make this
claim because in humans, when they get their period its because of an unfertilized egg. Eggs
from chickens dont become baby chicks because they are unfertilized as well, so it is debatable
if it is a chickens period or not.
Although veganism can sound like a great idea, there is evidence that shows vegans lack
nutrients. In an article by Chris Kresser, it states Studies have shown that both vegetarians and
vegans are prone to deficiencies in B12, calcium, iron, zinc, the long-chain fatty acids EPA &
DHA (Kresser 1). B12 is used in the formation of blood and the functioning of the brain and in
order to get it vegans would have to take additional supplements rather than just obtaining it
from their everyday meals. Calcium is a problem because although vegetables such as kale and
spinach contain calcium, the bioavailability from the plants are affected by their levels of oxalate
and phytate, which makes the calcium not efficiently absorbed during digestion. Lack of the fatty
acids EPA and DHA is a problem because they play an important role in protecting against
depression, asthma, inflammation and even minor cases of Alzheimers. Another problem most
new vegetarians and vegans face is not doing enough research into recipes and food prep and eat
too many empty calorie foods that are high in carbs, thus not making their new diet any healthier,
or even worse than before.
In addition to the argument of health defects of eating meat, vegans have a better chance
of a healthier state of mind. There is a concept called the liberation tree related to moral ethics

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that deals with two philosophical theories that justify not consuming meat. The first branch of
the tree is Utilitarianism which advocates maximizing pleasure and minimizing pain and
suffering in the world, even to non-humans. Many will argue that eating meat makes them
happier then stopping ever would, but they fail to realize the temporary moment of pleasure they
receive cannot account for the eternal pain from the animal losing its life. The second branch
of the tree is Kantian deontology which states "All who have inherent value have it equally,
whether they be human animals or not (McGrath 2). Based on this perspective, animals are not
treated with equality. Most of the time, the animals are abused and forced to live in unsanitary
conditions in a space too small. If we should treat others how we wish to be treated, then
inflicting pain on others and expecting pleasure is irrational.
Other problems with veganism are the new experiences they wont get to have. If you
travel to other countries, you will miss out on so many new dishes because even a food that
doesnt have meat in it per say, will most likely have some sort of dairy. In an essay called Food
Ethics, Chris Ciocchetti states If nature is thought of as an ecosystem where life feeds off
death, then food can be an ideal means for engaging with the world and participating in this
natural process (Ciocchetti 6). One major reason people give for eating meat is the exposure of
tradition and culture. People say that eating meat has been done for such a long time dating back
to hunting and gathering as well as local animal farms. Hunting was necessary years ago because
there was no such things as grocery stores or restaurants so it was the responsibility of the
individual to get their food. If fruits or vegetables werent abundant in a certain area, or there
wasnt enough to provide for the family, animals could be found everywhere. Local farms are
also a great reason to eat meat because you know your meat is properly made, opposed to a mass
production filled with millions of chemicals and hormones. Supporting local farms is also good

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because you help provide for your neighbors, allowing them to make a living. In addition to
people making a living, although people still hunt, the meat industry creates a lot of jobs. If
everyone stopped eating meat, many people would lose their jobs, causing economic hardship.
When people first hear about being vegetarian or vegan, most will quickly exclaim they
could never give up meat. While the reasoning for eating meat can be plausible, the contrary has
a greater positive impact on the world as a whole. Consuming meat is something a wide range of
the world has done habitually for their entire life. When asked to consider giving meat up, many
become uneasy and quickly deny it, but if they realized the multiple justices it provides, they
may reconsider. Even if a small percentage of the population stopped eating animal products, it
would still make a difference and raise awareness. Humans living on the planet Earth have been
causing destruction in so many different ways, so if people are willing to make a small
contribution to try and help, it can still have some kind of effect. One interesting thing to
contemplate is if we eat food to feel alive, then why eat something dead?

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Works Cited
Campbell, T. Colin, and Nancy Rodriguez. "Would We Be Healthier With a Vegan Diet?" WSJ.
N.p., 18 Sept. 2012. Web. 05 Nov. 2015.
Ciocchetti, Christopher. "Veganism and Living Well." Journal of Agricultural & Environmental
Ethics 25.3 (n.d.): 405-17
Haspel, Tamar. "Vegetarian or Omnivore: The Environmental Implications on Diet." The
Washington Post. N.p., 10 Mar. 2014. Web.
Kresser, Chris. "Why You Should Think Twice About Vegetarian and Vegan Diets."
N.p., 20 Feb. 2014. Web.
McGrath, Emma. "The Politics of Veganism." Social Alternatives 19.4 (2000): 50-59. Web.