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Meat eating and Veganism
It is quite controversial on why, individual eat meat while being vegan is not in itself controversial. This subject ignites a lot of debate among various people in the society. It is argued that being a vegetarian or vegan is ideally a choice of striving to stay healthy, but coincidentally individuals are failing to understand why it is that individuals who diet on meat are also healthy. Some people who choose not to eat meat have gone to the extent of avoiding all animal products including milk, eggs, cheese and additionally honey which leaves unanswered questions about what is important over the other. This paper aims to discuss the issue of eating meat and various issues regarding vegans. This controversial issue has been a subject of many debates over a long period and it can be proved that there exists a misunderstanding on the possible way of action of deciding what is the right thing to do.
In the Wall Street Journal’s 2012 article, “Would We Be Healthier With a Vegan Diet,” there is reference to a 2012 poll which determined currently 5% of Americans classify as vegetarian and only 2% classify as following a vegan diet, numbers that express vegetarianism and veganism as remaining a small minority amongst those choosing to consume meat. It can be postulated that in making a choice aimed at avoiding the consumption of animal products, individuals aim at expressing compassion more than any substantial evidence to choose over other products. Many people are torn between making healthy choices and showing compassion for animals. It is quite challenging to comprehend why vegans proactively despise their counterparts. It would seem that many vegans believe that individuals choosing animal products do not express compassion for animals and that a lack of compassion is what drives the choice of most individuals to eat meat. Vegans make claim that animals are equal to humans and deserve compassion as humans. This in fact constitutes the mainstay argument most vegans use to promote the banishment of meat products. The amateur lifestyle blog VeganRabbit pronounces this in extreme fashion, stating that individuals who consume dairy contribute to the “torture and infanticide” and exploit the reproductive system of cows, however, animals do not have the ability to distinguish between right and wrong, which leads to majority of people to question who has the authority over animals and should in consequence address their need for protection. Human beings have a tendency of exploiting and consuming animal products up to an extent of forgetting their moral obligation to over protection but it is debatable if the obligation to protect includes the obligation to avoid all consumption.
Vegans along with many other individuals feel compassion for animals and concern for the safety and well-being often animals used for food. Those who remember their moral obligation to protection of animals report that the common conditions of meat production constitute cruelty to animals. The term for the manner of production is factory farming. The Food and Water Watch website explains that factory farming references to the large farms that raise a high number of livestock on the property, often in inhumane conditions, with order to increase profits and efficiency at expense of the animal well-being (CITE). Because there are so many livestock on the farm that are contained within small quarters it is necessary to ensure their survival free of infection and illness and it is critical also for owners to ensure that animals grow at a rate that is adequate for the sale of the animals as a food product. If animals are afflicted by infections or remain small the profit to the owner is lessened. Animals on factory farms are provided antibiotics, animal food that is high in calories yet low in nutrition value, and hormones that promote growth to promote large growth in animals and therefore receive larger profits CITE).
Debates and controversy have resulted in the ethical dilemma of consuming animal products. The primary moral concern over eating of meat solely relies on the belief that the act is not just for purposes of surviving or health concerns, but simply because individual like just the taste of meat above everything else. This concern seems to accuse individuals who eat meat of acting selfishly and with little concern for the well-being of animals without examining the many valid arguments an individual has to choose to consume meat products. It is held that human beings have a choice of deciding what to consume while others argue that even though one has a choice to decide on some matters it rests upon their individual obligation of deciding whether to consume the animal products or not. It is sometimes challenging to address issues that no much research has been conducted an therefore finding the right balance on what individual should do has remained a controversial subject. People from various regions eat meat or remain vegans solely on cultural grounds. while others base their arguments on religious beliefs, others too argue based on morality. This combination of varying needs results into a never ending debate on what should be done concerning this subject.
On the other hand, vegans argue that it is unethical to eat meat due to various reasons ranging from its production and religious practices. Those in support of meat eating have defended their actions by referring to the nutritional, scientific, and environmental arguments to support the practice. According to Goodland and Anhang, livestock farming such as factory farming claims responsibility for at least half of all greenhouse gases releasing into the atmosphere. Greenhouse gases are those thought as exacerbating global warming therefore Goodland and Anhang assert that the consumption of meat is a culprit of environmental degradation and should be considered by those assessing their choice to follow a vegan diet or consume meat products. In his book, Author Clark et. al(560) questions the apparently straightforward question of what they should dine on. He further suggest that, before the era of current transportation technologies and food preservation, the existing dilemma was largely resolved, mainly through cultural influences. The said technologies have led to the creation of the dilemma, majorly by making the obtainable foods that were formerly regional or seasonal. Food-society relationship, which was once moderated by cultural influences, happens to face confusion. In order to study those choices, Clark et. al (561) takes a keen follow up of the food chains that contribute to human sustenance. Such include organic food, industrial food, and the food we forage ourselves; like from the source to an eatable meal. Through this process, he maneuvers to write an evaluation of the American manner of eating.
On the other hand, organic foods demand can be supplied from state of the art food processing machines that involve complicated organic process. It is held that the consumption of whole foods have been used by many consumers as compared to the use of animal products.
Through various organizations support the use of animal products, individuals normally focus on what satisfies their individual needs. Most people try to involve themselves in doing things that sometimes go against accepted social norms but it is ideally the only legit means through which they can express their varied cultural setups. It is also imperative to note that certain religious organization equally detest the idea of consuming animal products, or certain types of animal products, such as refusal to eat pork products in Judaism and a refusal to consume all meat products in Buddhist traditions, but research has proved that majority of the individuals go against such beliefs and use the products anyway.
Ways through which different individuals interpret ideas provides researchers with contrasting views on what people should eat and what they should not eat. Food is portrayed as a basic necessity and it should therefore be pleasant to the soul. It should therefore be considered in high regard and proper choices be made in order to avoid making detrimental health mistakes. Among the key interesting topics highlighted in this discussion was the argument of whether or not vegetarianism is neither the healthier nor the moral thing to do. One notices that various peoples seem to struggle with this question, leading them to quit meat until they feel they are not committing some crime. Only at the end does he conclude that the omnivorous lifestyle is the best choice to adopt. It is very unappetizing to argue with nature. Most individuals believe in following the natural laws that nature has for humans, and it seems as though nature intends us to consume meat.
Another biological factor that suggests that individuals were meant to consume meat is their incapability to eat grass. Grass is among the most energy-packed foods found in nature, yet the only ways of getting nutrients from it is by eating animals, which digest grass. It is a primary reason that ascertains that we shall remain omnivorous. It can be argued that since the beginning of time, man has always been eating meat in addition to several other animal products. Humans are created to be both vegans and animal products users. Some proponents argue that meat remains to be one of the highly nutritious products in the entire universe. As reported by Christopher Joyce in his piece on National Public Radio, “Food For Thought,.” early humans consumed dietary products consisting of raw plant products such as roots, berries, leaves, and demanded increased energy to digest, leaving a minimum of energy for growth in the brain. In fact, Joyce also reported a numbers of scientists have stated that to eat meat was the factor that created rapid growth of the brain in the early humans and caused humans to become smarter, because early humans did not further require such increased amounts of energy to digest tough raw foods. According to Joyce the critical result of early humans gaining intelligence is a development of tools, which is the earliest form of technology; tool use encouraged early humans to rapidly progress with advanced knowledge without which humans would not have developed to our current intellect. This and the fact that humans did not and are unable to participate in the consumption grass as other animals do combine for powerful evidence that humans are created to eat both meat and vegetables.
On the other hand, vegans argue that eating agricultural products improves their health as compared to eating meat. It therefore becomes challenging to explicitly determine the standing point and making of rational decisions what is best for humans. On the moral grounds, vegans argue on this controversial subject that eating animals should be avoided since it is not right to sacrifice the animals for bodily gratification. The sources of food avoided by vegans in the name of not eating meat are universally considered to be the greatest sources of valuable nutrients in the body. Numerous nutrients in acceptable foods eaten by vegans are missing and are critical for the ongoing health and development of the human body as explained by Craig, in the research article “Health Effects of the Vegan Diet” for the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, such as B-12 vitamins, calcium, and zinc which are found in ample amounts in meat and meat products. Nevertheless, vegans only consider other alternatives like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, which they consider it quite nutritious, despite the lack of nutrients that science has determined are important in diets. However, although a vegan diet causes an individual to lack certain nutrients, in fact the vegan diet is elevated in other important nutrients such as dietary fiber, folic acid, iron, vitamins C and E. It is also worthy to note the reduced risks of dietary afflictions including obesity, type 2 diabetes, and cancers in individuals choosing a vegan diet (Craig). Debate has also been held on how the BMI is influenced in people eating meat and vegans. It can be held that the BMI is quite high for individuals to higher health risks as compared to vegans. Though there exists a wide gap in dietary studies to lay claim on some of the assumptions, it is still widely believed that despite demonstrating deficiencies in several nutrients vegans lead a healthy lifestyle.
Debates between vegans and those who eat meat is quite controversial since individuals need to make a choice of which way to follow. The presence of several contrasting views on the subject affects individuals ability to think without the worry of the forthcoming consequences. Ideally, some individuals consider eating meat a habit instead of some type of secret ritual. It is believed that morally, individuals are required to decisions based on their moral beliefs as compared to animals which cannot make any form of moral choice. The choice on whether to eat meat solely relies on satisfying bodily needs.
In conclusion, human beings have the ability to act in a way that can ideally sublime to instincts while also taking into consideration their cultural needs. On the other hand, animals do not possess such abilities and therefore they do not have the rights that human beings enjoy. It therefore implies that deciding on moral basis that animals should have rights and should not be eaten is quite controversial. It brings us to the understanding that man has an authority over all other creatures and therefore can do whatever he pleases. Animals do not have a choice, its the humans who can decide to either eat meat or stop eating.
Anhang, Jeff, and Robert Goodland. “Livestock and Climate Change.” World Watch.
Worldwatch.org, November/December 2009, Web. 30 Mar 2015.
Craig, Winston. “Health Effects of Vegan Diets.” American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Ameri
can Society for Nutrition, 11 Mar 2009, Web. 30 Mar 2015.
Joyce, Christopher. “Food For Thought: Meat-Based Diet Made Us Smarter.” National Public
Radio. National Public Radio, 02 Aug 2010, Web. 30 Mar 2015.
“Torture and Infanticide: Why Vegans Don’t Eat Dairy.” VeganRabbit. VeganRabbit, 2014, Web.
31 May 2015.
“What is a Factory Farm?” ASPCA. ASPCA, 2015, Web. 30 Mar 2015.
“Would We Be Healthier With a Vegan Diet?” Journal Reports: Healthcare - Wall Street
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