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The number of reasons some people choose to give up animal products may surprise you…
Vocabulary. Read and check you understand this before you read and listen to the article:
to remain: to continue to be
to be aware of: to know (about)
burden: pressure, weight, difficulty
crops: plants grown and farmed
to feed: to give food to animals
dairy: products derived from cows’ milk
to take a stand: to oppose sth
calves: baby cows
slaughtered : killed
no matter: regardless of, without taking into account
For the animals
For many, preventing the exploitation of animals remains the key factor in their decision to go and stay vegan. Having emotional attachments with animals may form part of that reason, while many believe that all sentient creatures have a right to life and freedom.
For your health
More and more people are turning to a vegan diet for the increased energy, younger-looking skin and eternal youth it promises. Well-planned plant-based diets are rich in protein, iron, calcium and other essential vitamins and minerals. The plant-based sources of these nutrients tend to be low in saturated fat, high in fibre and packed with antioxidants, helping prevent some of the modern world’s biggest health issues like obesity, heart disease, diabetes and cancer.
For the environment
From recycling our household rubbish to cycling to work, we‘re all aware of ways to live a greener life. One of the most effective things an individual can do to lower their carbon footprint is to avoid all animal products, since the production of meat and other animal products places a heavy burden on the environment – from crops and water required to feed the animals, to the transport and other processes involved from farm to fork. The vast amount of grain required for meat production is a significant contributor to deforestation, habitat loss and species extinction, and contributes to human malnutrition by driving impoverished populations to grow crops to feed animals, rather than food for themselves.
A plant-based diet requires only one third of the land needed to support a meat and dairy diet. With rising global food and water insecurity due to a myriad of environmental and socio-economic problems, avoiding animal products is one of the simplest ways to adopt a more sustainable way of living and take a stand against inefficient food systems which disproportionately affect the poorest people all over the world.
Because going vegetarian isn’t enough
The production of dairy products necessitates the death of countless male calves that are of no use to the dairy farmer, as well as the premature death of cows slaughtered when their milk production decreases. Similarly, in the egg industry, even ‘ethical’ or ‘free range’ eggs involve the killing of the ‘unnecessary’ male chicks when just a day old.
It’s tempting to want to believe that the meat we eat is ‘ethical’, that the animals we eat have lived full, happy lives and that they have experienced no pain or fear at the slaughterhouse. Yet the sad truth is that all living creatures (including humans) fear death, no matter how they are treated when alive.
“Let’s chat about that!”
- Do you find these reasons convincing?Which and why (not)?
- Do you think we can have a balanced diet without animal products?
- Have you got any vegan or vegetarian friends? What are their reasons?
- Would you consider reducing the amount of animal products you consume?
- Do you think we’ll all be vegetarian or vegan in the future?
Write your answers and send them by email to your ECP coach. Why not record your voice too? Listen to yourself speak and identify what you have to improve on 🙂
Adapted from https://www.vegansociety.com/try-vegan/why-go-vegan