The past few days I’ve watched a lot of documentaries on veganism. I have learned how the diet has helped people, but I’ve also learned that a lot of people doubt that it works. I think we have been feed a lot more lies about dairy and meat than we might think. With cancer and heart attack rates getting higher, I think it’s time we’ve finally learned the truth.
I will remind you that you can be vegan and still be unhealthy. You can eat pop, potato chips, and sugar and still be vegan. To get the full benefits of being vegan you have to eat fruits, vetables, legumes, and whole grains. Keep sugar intake low, you can still get it from fruits. Sugar by itself helps give you more engerny, but it has no nutritional value.
Dairy and meat isn’t nearly as healthy as we think. Milk has had a direct link to prostate cancer and possibly breast cancer. There was a study done on over 20,000 men for eleven years. They found that if a man had two and a half servings of milk each day the risk of prostate cancer increased by 34%. Even ovarian cancer has been linked to galactose, a sugar that is produced from milk. Red Meat products have been linked to colon cancer too. A study in Europe tracked 467,000 men and women who didn’t have cancer when the study began. After about five years, over 1,000 people were diagnosed with colon cancer. The people who ate the most red meat were around a third more likely to get colon cancer. I’m aware that what exactly causes cancer isn’t 100% certain, but I do know milk and meats have been linked to other deceases as well.
Studies have found a link between milk and Parkinson’s disease Parkinson’s is a chronic and progressive movement disorder and effects nearly one million people in the US. Robert Abbott, a scientist from Shiga University of Medical Science in Japan used a environmental scandal in Hawaii during the 1980s to investigate the relationship. Abbott and his coworkers studied 449 brains and recorded the density of neurons in specific areas of the brain prone to be affected by the decease. They found that men drinking over two glasses of milk a day showed the thinnest nerve networks in those areas. They also had residues of specific organochlorines called heptachlor epoxide They found that the increase of heptachlor epoxide occurred before the nerves were damaged. Giving a strong indicator that the chemical was responsible for the decease.
E. Coli is one of the most common deceases we get from ground beef. Over 70,000 people were poisoned by it in 1999, with about 60 that died from it. Even just eating excessive meat can kill you -it doesn’t even have to posoined. In 2016 Americans consumed around 24.1 billion pounds of meat. In the US, we eat about 270.7 pounds of meat per person each year and about 610,000 people will die from heart decease in the US each year. Countries with the least amount of heart decease, such as Japan consume about 154 pounds of fish each year, thats less than half the amount of meat Americans consume each year.
Consuming no meat whatsoever has shown to decrease cholesterol levels. We measure cholesterol in milligrams(mg) per deciliter(dL) of blood. With 100-129mg/Dl cholesterol levels to be considered healthy and 160-189 to be considered high. Over 30 million Americans have cholesterol levels of 240mg/Dl. People with high cholesterol have twice the risk for heart decease, compared to those with healthy levels.
Personally, I think that choosing a vegan diet has helped me feel healthier. I have so much more energy than I did before. Before I choose this diet, I ate eggs almost every day and drank at least one glass of milk each day. I could only run four miles before I got tired. When I choose to eat more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, I was able to run about six miles and I didn’t really feel tired afterwards. However, choosing the diet isn’t something I’m doing just for my own health.
I will admit, I’m not exactly doing this for animals. I’m doing this for people because they matter to more to me, even if I don’t always show it. Selling meat and dairy to people costs so much more than simply growing plants. We have to feed the animals corn and grains to fatten them up -which we could have eaten- as well as give the clean water -which we also could’ve used for people instead. All of the cattle in the world consume enough grains to fulfill the hunger of 8.7 billion people. If we choose not to eat meat, companies will no longer sell it -or at least sell less of it. We have the power in our hands to end world hunger, but we can’t do that if we continue to eat meat.
Some people will argue that vegans lack nutrients such as protein and calcium. Which is 100% false; protein can be found in chia seeds, soy beans, and hummus. Calcium can be found in corn, rice milk, and wheat bread. Even a friend of mind had a doctor that told her she needed red meat to get iron. Which in case you were wondering it can be found in cream of rice, beans, dark green leafy vetables and so many more plant based foods.
I know for some people a plant based diet doesn’t seem ideal. Bacon is just too tempting and there is still doubt that a vegan diet is healthy. However, we learn something new about the world all the time. Decades ago, cigarettes and coke used to be advertised as medicine and how many people do you think will believe that now?
If you continuously tell yourself something is true you will start to believe it. Don’t believe it in tell you’ve done as much research as possible.