Farms are often considered
However, for many animals, they are anything but comforting. To make the most money, industrial farmers often crowd livestock into confined spaces where they endure pain and stress. Seventy percent of antibiotics used in America prevent and treat the diseases that affect them because of their unhealthy living conditions (Hoelzer, 2016). The consumption of the meat, dairy, and eggs from industrial farms deprives animals of free and happy lives.
Industrial agriculture requires many
The plants livestock eat could feed humans more efficiently. Rather than consuming the products of animals that have eaten many years' worth of food, consumers can go directly to the source of their nourishment. Cows eat seven times more grain than Americans do each year; this amount would satisfy 840 million people (Pimentel & Pimentel, 2003).
Grain-fed meat usually requires eleven times more energy from fossil fuels, such as coal and natural gas, than plant foods do (Pimentel & Pimentel, 2003).
Plant-based protein uses 47 to 99 percent less land than conventional meat ("Plant-Based Meat for a Growing World," 2019).
Fertilizers and pesticides are chemicals that help plants grow and keep insects away, but drain into the water supply. Plant-based meat causes 51 to 91 percent less aquatic nutrient pollution ("Plant-Based Meat for a Growing World," 2019).
One kilogram of animal protein involves 100 times more water use than the same amount of plant-based protein (Pimentel & Pimentel, 2003).
The use of these resources contributes about nine percent to greenhouse gas emissions, which trap heat in the atmosphere and speed
Fossil fuels release carbon dioxide when they are burned. These provide the energy to house animals, as well as to grow and ship their food.
Nitrous oxide is released from the production of fertilizers and pesticides.
Ruminant animals, such as cows, emit large amounts of Methane due to the types of bacteria contained within their stomachs (Koneswaran, 2008).
You can find local foods and meet the farmers that produce them at
If you want to ask the farmers about the ways they raise their livestock, there are several terms that may describe their methods.
This term means that animals are not caged, but they may still not have enough space to be comfortable.
Free-range animals have access to outdoor spaces where they have at least two square feet of space to themselves.
Animals raised this way have more than one hundred square feet of space to roam (Amidor, 2016).
Grass-fed animals have access to pastures where they can eat grass for their entire lives.
Animals whose products are labeled organic should eat organic feed without antibiotics or growth hormones and be raised on organic-certified land that has not been treated with industrial fertilizers or pesticides (Rinehart, 2011).
Can you stay healthy while making a
If you would like to start reducing or eliminating animal products,
you may be worried about meeting your nutritional needs. You are
right to be concerned; if they are not careful, vegans and
vegetarians may miss out on several nutrients.
With proper planning, though, the American Dietetic Association says you can still thrive on plant-based foods at any stage of life (Craig & Mangels, 2009).
Protein is important for building and repairing not only muscles, but other body tissues as well, such as skin, bones, and organs.
Many essential functions of the brain and body, including the maintenance of healthy nerve cells, formation of red blood cells, and replication of DNA would not be possible without Vitamin B12.
Iron helps transfer oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body.
Calcium is best known for building strong bones and teeth. It also aids in blood clotting, as well as sending and receiving nerve signals.
Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium and aids bone growth.
Omega-3 fatty acids can lower blood pressure, prevent heart disease, and improve brain function (Craig & Mangels, 2009).
If you visit a dietitian, he or she will likely tell you that most of the nutrients you need can be found in
Fruits, including apples, peaches, oranges, mangos, and berries, are from flowering plants and contain seeds. Along with their sweet taste, fruits provide a variety of vitamins and minerals ("The Science and Philosophy of Plant-Based Nutrition," 2019).
Vegetables come from other parts of plants, such as roots, leaves, and stems; they offer a wide range of vitamins and minerals as well. Carrots, peppers, leafy greens, and broccoli are all nutritious vegetables ("The Science and Philosophy of Plant-Based Nutrition," 2019).
Legumes are foods such as kidney beans, peas, and soybeans found in pods. In addition to providing plenty of protein, they also tend to contain calcium and iron. Nuts including peanuts and cashews are legumes, too, and offer healthy fats ("The Science and Philosophy of Plant-Based Nutrition," 2019).
Grains are the carbohydrate-rich seeds of certain grasses and are usually moderate sources protein and iron. They include wheat (which is most often made into bread or pasta), corn, oats, and rice ("The Science and Philosophy of Plant-Based Nutrition," 2019).
Taking vitamin and mineral supplements can also help you avoid deficiencies; Vitamin B12 is especially important, since it cannot be obtained from plant foods alone. These nutrients are also added to fortified foods, such as cereal and soymillk ("The Science and Philosophy of Plant-Based Nutrition," 2019).
Soymilk is one of many plant-based substitutes that mimic the flavors and textures of real animal products. Whatever your favorite is, it probably has a delicious alternative.
Taking vitamin and mineral
supplements can also help you avoid
deficiencies; Vitamin B12 is especially important, since it cannot
be obtained from plant foods alone. These nutrients are also added
to fortified foods, such as cereal and
soymillk ("The Science and Philosophy of Plant-Based Nutrition,"
Soymilk is one of many plant-based substitutes that mimic the flavors and textures of real animal products. Whatever your favorite is, it probably has a delicious alternative (Doris, 2018).
When helping animals and preserving the environment, there is no need to miss out on your