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November 29, 2022

 

Are vegans good for kids?

When I read articles and books, some people say that being a vegetarian as a child does not matter to their health but others say that it matters and it affects children with malnutrition. I think that kids need lots of various nutritions, which don’t include in plant-based food, and it is important to consume various nutritions such as vitamins and calcium. Plant-based foods have nutrition that people need to consume but they are lack of nutrition that need for children or don’t have the nutrition that children need to consume.

According to the article, ‘Do Vegan Kids Get Enough Nutrition?’, the author said: “Vitamin B12 is another important consideration. Whereas meats, dairy products, and eggs are B12-rich, plant foods aren’t, so vegan kids can easily get too little of it.”. The author also explains: “In the 2014 study mentioned earlier, vegans consumed 40 percent less calcium than meat-eaters did.” According to the article, ‘Should Parents Recommend The Vegan Diet To Their Kids?’, the author said: “growing kids need to have a lot of calories and protein. Plant-based foods tend to have fewer calories than animal-based ones. And while too many calories can be bad, children still need it to grow and support daily activity. Protein is also very crucial since it helps with muscle building and all sorts of other bodily processes. Furthermore, protein is also easier to get from animal products since the ones you get from plants are less accessible to the body.”

I learned that plant-based food is not enough for kids because plant-based food doesn’t contain enough calories for kids and proteins. Nutritions, which is really important to kids, cannot be satisfied with plant-based food. Vitamin B12 is also important to kids and the vitamin relates to the human brain. Vitamin and Iron are hard to be found in plant-based food, and kids have to consume those two nutritions for bones and blood. Parents should not be forced their kids to do but if they want to, parents lead them in the right direction.


Growing Meat Consumption and its Effects on the Environment.

Following my last post on veganism, I wanted to extend further research on the effects meat consumption has on the environment and how a person who follows a vegan diet can reduce these problems.

Last year, meat consumption was higher than any other year over the past four decades. Rabobank, a research firm specializing in food and agriculture, calculated per-capita meat consumption to be roughly 193 pounds of meat annually; 3.7 pounds a week. With this much meat consumption, factory farms are producing more meat than ever before. An alarming 56 billion animals are killed a year for food. But what affect does all this have on us and our world?

Livestock production alone accounts for 18 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, 9 percent of carbon dioxide, and 37 percent of methane gas emissions worldwide. These gases effect our planet by warming it up and being a top contributor to global warming. LEAD researchers also found that the global livestock industry uses an extreme supply of freshwater, destroys forests and grasslands, and causes soil erosion.Animal agriculture is the leading cause of species extinction, ocean dead zones, water pollution, and habitat destruction. 1-2 acres of rainforest are cleared every second for livestock production and is responsible for 91% of Amazon destruction. A whopping 136 million acres of land has been used for animal agriculture and that number is continuously growing. According to COWspiracy 110 animals and insects are lost everyday because of rainforest destruction. The pollution caused from livestock production even affects the ocean. As the climate warms coral is bleaching killing off many homes and food for wildlife, fish are migrating to colder parts of the ocean decreasing food for some animals and changing the ecosystem, and ocean acidification which is damaging many ocean species that use calcium carbonate to form their skeletons and shells. 

Factory farms also use and produce an excessive amount of animal waste and fertilizer. Runoff of these things contaminate our rivers, lakes, and oceans. Not only does the runoff carry fertilizer and animal waste, but also many antibiotics. Since livestock accounts for 50 percent of the use of antibiotics around the world, drug-resistant strains of bacteria may be passed directly between animals and humans, to humans who consume meat and milk from infected animals, and both drug-resistant bacteria and un-metabolized antibiotics may be released into the environment through the animals’ excrement. Much of what we are drinking and eating can cause drug-resistant infections and illnesses, meaning bacteria is evolving so rapidly that human made antibiotics can no longer fight off infection. According to farmsanctuary.org, the large groups of confined animals on factory farms can become breeding grounds for pathogens, and such zoonotic diseases as salmonella, E. coli, avian influenza, and swine flu. Without proper medication for infections, such as these, by 2050 ten million people could lose their lives.

As the consumer demand for meat production continues to increase meat eaters are helping to contribute to the global destruction of our planet and endangerment of not only various nonhuman animal species, but our very own species as well. Going vegan can help reduce many environmental issues. A person who follows this diet produces 50 percent less greenhouse gases and use only 1/13th water and 1/18th land compared to a meat eater. If we want a better world to live in, we must start making changes to many aspects of our life. Although there are many ways to help the environment, veganism is the top contributor in helping nonhuman animals, humans, and the environment. Think about it this way; if you make the decision to become vegan you are literally saving yourself.  

Here is a link to my hypothes.is

 


Against Veganism

 

This research aimed to examine both the benefits and the drawbacks of following a vegan diet. More specifically, however, its purpose was to point out the biggest flaws in the new trend. It dispelled the popular myth of rapid weight loss through a study comparing weight loss on different diets. Additionally, I examined the deficiencies most commonly found in people who are vegan and their effects on the body. Primarily, the vitamin D deficiency that can cause bone deterioration and even rickets. In all, this paper argued against the practice of veganism.

downfalls of veganism


More Findings on Veganism

Upon continuing my research, I have found there seems to be more information in support of veganism rather than against it. Several articles, I have read claim avoiding animal products not only helps your body physically, but also mentally. According to the Department of Nutrition, Benedictine University, decreasing consumption of animal products has been “associated with improved mood.” More specifically, those who consumed a vegan diet versus an omnivorous diet saw changes in stress level. The same study however proved that fewer people with depression or anxiety saw the same benefits.

One study in the International Journal of Nursing Practice tried to link veganism to bone fractures and the more common occurrence due to lack of vitamin D. After analyzing several studies, however, it can be concluded that there are “issues with the generalizability of the studies because of sample size and subject characteristics.” Overall, there were too many factor that led to this study being unreliable and not useful for proving a correlation between the two.

A recurring theme seems to emerge as the number one issue with veganism: lack of nutrients. An article focusing on vegan diets for dancers points out that often times those who are vegan “many vegetarians and vegans are missing the veggie part,” and as a result are eating foods that may not come from animals but also don’t have any nutritional value. Also in this article, it is pointed out that other health risks include “lack of calcium, low calorie count, diminished muscle tone, limited variety, and too little fat.” These deficiencies are especially prevalent for dancers and other athletes who expend a lot of energy daily.


The Meat Industry and the Environment

As most people know, climate change is a very important issue that needs to be addressed. Having heard about movies such as “Food Inc.” and “Cowspiracy” I was curious as to how the meat industry truly affects the environment. I found some really shocking numbers and information on Gale. The meatpacking industry first was brought into the world view by Upton Sinclair’s “The Jungle” which led to the Meat Inspection Act of 1906. Last year 25.1 billion pounds of beef alone was consumed by Americans. About 30% of the world’s total ice-free surface — is used not to raise grains, fruits and vegetables that are directly fed to human beings, but to support the chickens, pigs and cattle that we eventually eat. Not only does it take up space where plants could be growing, but it is estimated that the meat industry contributes about 15$ of the greenhouse gas emissions worldwide. Cows and sheep emit large quantities of methane. It is estimated that a vegan diet might make as much as a 20% difference to your overall carbon impact but simply cutting out beef will deliver a significant benefit on its own. I’m looking forward to learning more about this topic and finding out ways to help. 
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/jan/19/how-to-reduce-carbon-footprint https://www.jhsph.edu/research/centers-and-institutes/johns-hopkins-center-for-a-livable-future/projects/meatless_monday/resources/meat_consumption.html

 

Photo by streetwrk.com


How do Our Dietary Choices Impact the Environment?

Climate change is affecting our planet now more than every, and people may have a bigger part in this worldwide issue than they realize. Different media outlets have tried to advertize easy, day to day choices we can make to help reduce our carbon footprints. Typically, these suggestions have been things like take shorter showers, turning the water off while brushing your teeth, or carpooling as much as possible. There could be a relatively easier change to implement; one that substantially helps. Studies have shown that one of the most dangerous and harmful industries to our planet is the meat industry. It contributes to almost half of the greenhouse gases, more than the entire transportation sector combined. One of the most advertised solutions to combat our carbon footprints is to limit our contributions to greenhouse gases, one the most harmful phenomenons facing our planet. As stated so in an article by Sharon Palmer, plant-based nutrition expert, “…the greenhouse gas emissions for a vegan diet are 41.7 percent lower compared with non-vegetarians…” (Sharon 2015). Making conscious decisions throughout our day to day lives regarding nutrition could be the easy solution many environmentalists are looking for.

 


Controversies of a Vegan Diet

In my quest to find out if veganism is truly a beneficial diet, I have found several opinions on the issue. In the article “A Vegan Diet Can Cause Malnourishment, Especially in Children,” Mann writes of her findings on the effects of a vegan diet on her children. She said she first noticed that her children were noticeably small for their age At first this didn’t seem to be an issue, but she later realized something was wrong. She believed this was a result of vitamin D and protein deficiencies. This is a common problem with the vegan diet, as certain nutrients can only be found in animal products. Kris Gunnars, a nutrition researcher, states that deficiencies of other essential nutrients such as B-12 and creatine have also been noted in vegans. Approximately 92% of vegans have a B-12 deficiency, which is a problem because it is involved in the function of every cell in the body as well as blood production and brain function.

While some are very critical of a vegan diet, the book Is the Western Diet Making the World Sick? states it has been effective in helping to decrease chance of diabetes, cancer, and other auto-immune disorders. Also in this book, the discussion of the meat industry comes up. Some claim becoming vegan is the responsible response to the meat industry and should be embraced by all to avoid further atrocities.

 

Overall, there are a lot of thoughts on whether or not veganism is an effective and healthy diet. I hope to find more research in specific cases proving which side is genuinely more beneficial for human health.


Why is Veganism Suddenly Trending?

Veganism has become increasingly more popular as of late, yet I have heard it is more difficult to get essential nutrients so why are people making this choice? Is it trending because it makes you thinner? Or are people genuinely trying to save the environment though their eating habits? In my research paper, I hope to look at the new trend of being vegan more in depth and figure out the motives behind it. More specifically, I’d like to focus on both the effects veganism has on the body as well as the planet. It seems to be a fairly controversial diet plan, so I’d like to look at the contrasting opinions.

According to Authority Nutrition, being vegan is not a good idea for your health. This is primarily because you are deprived of many essential nutrients such as B12. Additionally, you do not consume the amino acids that you can get from animal protein. Additionally, they say there is no evidence to support a vegan diet being superior for weight loss to that of other diets. Conversely, according to a study done by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, vegan diets are higher in fiber, magnesium, folic acid, vitamins C and E, and several other things. Another benefit of the vegan diet is a lower risk for cardiovascular disease, which has become a very relevant issue in the US today. There are certainly controversial opinions on the matter, but I hope to look more into which side of the argument appears more scientifically sound.

Photo by Rockspindeln

https://www.youthvoices.live/tag/vegan/