When it comes to adopting a vegan diet, there are many reasons why people choose to follow this set of food parameters. For some, it is for health and nutrition reasons, because more plants afford lower risk of diseases and increased cellular and systemic function within the body. For others, it is for particular health conditions, such as obesity or diabetes. For others still, it is ethically bound, where they feel strongly against the idea of killing animals or using their products for human consumption. While many people who adopt a vegan diet will come from their own place of why and perhaps have several underlying reasons, it is important to be educated on all aspects, including ethical views.
Animal Lifestyle and Living
One aspect of animal ethics to consider is the living conditions which the animals assume. Many people are vegan because they do not want to support the poor, inhumane housing conditions of animals, such as cows and chickens. In some factory farm arrangements, animals live in overcrowded conditions, forced onto a daily schedule of eating through the automatic deliverance of food and controlled lighting. When presented with food, the animals will eat – whether hungry or not – and as such, grow at an unhealthy rate, being forced to put on weight at a rapid pace.
Consider as an example, that chickens will shrink their normal 10-year lifespan into 12 weeks. This leads to physical degeneration, increased risk of disease and an overall undesirable lifestyle for the animal.
Animal Slaughter and Killing
Another ethical component to address in animal consumption, isn’t simply how they live, but the fact that they don’t get to live. The choice to force-feed animals and then kill them for human consumption is met with disgust by many vegans, while others argue that they are there to be killed and grown for that purpose. While those supporting the latter will find evidence to indicate it is true, there is also evidence to indicate the extreme burden on the environment and resources when animals are continually slaughtered and grown simply to be killed.
The global livestock sector is responsible for 18 percent of the global greenhouse gas emissions, many stemming from the resources required for slaughtering and transportation of slaughtered animals. In addition, killing and manufacturing of animals also requires a great deal of water, and in 2000, agriculture accounted for 70 percent of water use. Each kilogram of meat that comes from killing an animal, requires 10 kilograms of grain. Indeed, the cost of killing, is greater than just the act itself.
While this may all seem negative and disheartening, it is important to remember that not all animals live in overcrowded housing and not all animals are killed in the same way. It is possible to offer an animal a very happy life, slaughtering it in a humane way, and making it a kinder option for consumption for those who choose to eat it.
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