By nature, anything humans do is corrupt.
Living–even simply–drives mankind to exploit the planet. In other words, interactions between human and Earth are almost always destructive. Even the cavemen were arguably resource-leeches.
But now, our perceived entitlement to anything and everything potentially beneficial to our species has reached a disturbing peak. We exhaust resources as if they are bottomless soft drinks at McDonald’s and we dump our pollution into once pristine, precious places. We abuse and torture animals and we impose billions of dollars in externalized environmental costs onto ourselves each year.
As highlighted in David Robinson Simon’s Meatonomics, the bulk of these problems stem from our animal-product heavy diets. Even more vexing is the common belief that we must eat animal-product heavy diets to achieve some level of nutritional balance.
That’s why, often times, veganism is looked down upon as the fate of nutso extremist hippies. But the notion that veganism is radical is absurd.
Think of it this way: when we eat plants, we are quite literally eating what the world is giving us. But when we eat meat and animal products, we are making the conscious decision to kill something that isn’t necessarily our’s for the killing. We are assuming superiority over other beings, as well as the right to damage the planet and deplete our water supply–all because we like how burgers taste.
As previously mentioned, anything mankind does is corrupt. One could argue that eating plants is exploitation of Earth, too. While this may be true from an ideological standpoint, eating plants is much less destructive than eating meat in every way. That’s why my blood begins to boil when someone says, “vegans kill millions of plant per day!”
The truth is an omnivorous diet is infinitely more extreme than a plant-based diet. According to Meatonomics, if we decreased U.S meat consumption by 44%, we would reap extraordinary benefits: 172,000 less cancer, diabetes and heart disease deaths per year, a “3.4 trillion-pound annual reduction in the emission of carbon dioxide equivalents,” $26 billion dollars in savings of Medicare and Medicaid annually, 708,000 square miles of U.S land freed up and several more.
And if we don’t decrease our meat consumption? We’ll keep sitting around, eating burgers and drowning in our national deficit, all while living in one of the most obese, diseased countries in the world. But at least the Quarter Pounder tastes good, right?
I understand that full-fledged veganism is not compatible with some lifestyles. However, it is naive and ignorant of Americans to regard plant-based living as something reserved for crazy people. When examined closely, veganism manifests itself to be the most logical, sensible diet in existence, while meat-eating proves to be quite the opposite.