As another semester starts, our relished free time declines. Assignments and midterms will pile up soon, making it hard to spend much time thinking about our food choices. More often than not, we opt for a quick and easy meal without thinking too hard about it.
As it’s only the first week of school, here is a little food for thought.
Three reasons why you should reduce your meat consumption:
1. Environment: Did you know that the meat/dairy industry is one of the world’s largest contributors to climate change? A report published by the Worldwatch Institute shows that 51 per cent or more of global greenhouse gas emissions are caused by livestock agriculture. The energy that goes into producing meat is outstanding and the pollution created by the industry is completely unsustainable. According to the U.N., animal industries account for an astonishing 65 per cent of human-related nitrous oxide emissions.
FYI: Nitrous oxide is a greenhouse gas with 296 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide. Further, raising and feeding livestock takes an incredible amount of water. Animal agriculture is responsible for 20 to 33 per cent of all freshwater consumption in the world today. I could go on about habitat destruction, animal waste and land use, but I believe you get the picture.
According to an Oxford study, 31,000 deaths from heart disease would be prevented annually if meat consumption was reduced to only three times a week.
2. Health: Many of us know that meat, especially red meat, isn’t particularly good for us. In fact, there have been countless studies that determine that meat and dairy products can increase your risk for cancer and disease. Heart disease remains the main killer in North America. According to an Oxford study, 31,000 deaths from heart disease would be prevented annually if meat consumption was reduced to only three times a week. I know what you’re going to say: But what about the protein, dude? If well-informed, you can easily attain the recommended 40-50 grams of protein a day from plant-based proteins.
3. Ethics: Due to the high demand of animal products, livestock is mass produced worldwide. As many have already seen and heard, thousands of animals live their lives in extremely overpopulated factory farms and are then brutally slaughtered for human consumption. From egg farms in Ontario to turkey farms in B.C., animals are slaughtered in the most cruel ways… and report that it’s simply industry standard. Once you watch an undercover video on the Mercy for Animals page, you will (hopefully) rethink your food choices.
For more information on vegan nutrition, there is a seminar/Q&A on January 12 at 5:30 p.m. in ECHA room 2-190 with internationally recognized educator in plant-based nutrition, Dr. Michael Klaper, M.D.
Student Voices is a WOA blog feature that presents the experiences and viewpoints of current Arts students. Through their posts, you’ll experience the creativity and passion of our students as they present glimpses into student life. The views and opinions expressed within these posts are solely those of the authors.