Intro: Many people believe that humans are naturally supposed eat meat and dairy and that there is a humane way to produce meat and dairy products, when in reality, that is not the case. That idea stems from childhood. Diet is a learned behavior just as religion and culture is.
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Usually, a child may grow up in an omnivore household, eating the average diet of fruits, veggies, meat, dairy, and grains. In a vegetarian household, a child may be taught not to eat meat or dairy. That concept is similar to religious and cultural influences on the diet. For an example, Muslims do not consume pork or alcohol and a traditional asian diet is high in carbohydrates and vegetables and low in meat. A diet high in meat and dairy can have negative effects on a person’s health and is known to cause many types of health problems. People should consider transitioning to a vegan diet because not only is it better for their health, it is also better for the environment, the animals, global issues, and is more ethical.
Veganism is not a diet nor is it a religion, it is a lifestyle. It is a philosophy and a way of living. Veganism represents the practice of using animal free alternatives for the benefit of humans, the environment, and the animals. In the vegan lifestyle, people may avoid using products that test on animals and avoid wearing fur, wool, leather. Legumes, grains, fruit, vegetables, and beans are included in the vegan diet. People would be surprised to find out how many vegan alternatives and versions there are of familiar and common foods, such as vegan pizza, non-dairy ice-cream, veggie burgers, and so many more.
Detail: What are vegetarians?
Detail: Why do they differ from vegans?
Many people think that vegans and vegetarians are the same thing. Although they are both very similar, there are some key differences between the two. According to The Spruce Eats, “a vegetarian is someone who doesn’t eat any kind of meat.” There are a few main types of vegetarians: lacto-ovo-vegetarian, lacto vegetarian, ovo vegetarian, and the semi-vegetarian. The lacto-ovo-vegetarian eats dairy and eggs but avoids all sources of meats, poultry, and seafood and is the most common. Lacto vegetarians consume dairy and excludes eggs and all sources of meat, poultry, and seafood. The ovo vegetarian is allowed to eat eggs but is restricted from eating other dairy and meat sources. Lastly, the semi-vegetarian is common among people who are transitioning or new to the diet. This is where people who are transitioning into the vegetarian/vegan diet slowly eliminates meats and dairy but occasionally eats animal products.
The vegan diet is a type of vegetarian diet. Vegans follow the same guidelines as vegetarians, except vegans go the extra mile of eliminating all animal products and sources such as: meats, dairy, honey, fur, leather, wool, silk, products that were tested on animals, and the use of animal entertainment such as circuses or zoos. Plant Based News.org states that, “veganism is a moral objection to the use, abuse and exploitation of animals.” The reason many people may go vegan, instead of vegetarian, or why some vegetarians transition to a vegan diet is because the dairy industry and testing on animals is just as cruel as the meat industry. The female cows are impregnated to produce milk and their calves are stripped away from them. Once the female cows have been through the same cycle a couple of times, they are then slaughtered. Male chickens are killed because they do not produce eggs. Female chickens are put into unsanitary, crowded conditions where they have to lay eggs until they are of no value and are then slaughtered as well. According to CrueltyFreeInternational.org, “animal testing includes: injecting or force feeding animals with potentially harmful substances, exposing animals to radiation, surgically removing animals’ organs or tissues to deliberately cause damage, forcing animals to inhale toxic gases, subjecting animals to frightening situations to create anxiety and depression.”
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