More than cows are at “steak” here

Going vegan can save money, benefit environment

Survey of 163 students from May 15 to May 22, 2018.

Amelia Johnson

Survey of 163 students from May 15 to May 22, 2018.

Tess Rempel

Since the 20th century, the public has viewed veganism as an extreme fad geared more toward hippies and activists than everyday people. Meat-free options were neither convenient nor palatable, but over time, this has changed. Now more than ever, it is necessary to consider and support the veganism movement.

78 million adults in America are obese, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The Healthline, a website focused on physical health and medical information, reported that vegans are typically lighter than meat-eaters and are less likely to develop diseases and conditions such as obesity, cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure and heart attacks.

But, unbalanced vegan diets result in nutritional deficiencies that may nullify any benefits. In a study published by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers found that 92 percent of the 174 vegans studied suffered from vitamin B deficiencies, which can ultimately lead to neurological damage or death if untreated.

Still, vegan food continues to become more accessible and safe every year. By 2023, the meat-alternative market is predicted to exceed $6 billion, and researchers expect plant-based milk to reach $16 billion in profits, according to Plant Based News.

Vegans don’t usually decide on their diet solely for the health benefits. According to Vegan Bits, a website for vegan recipes and news, 87 percent of vegans surveyed consider themselves ethical as well as dietary vegans in an attempt to save the planet and wildlife.

A “global reduction in meat consumption” between now and 2050 could save up to eight million lives per year, as well as $31 trillion in reduced costs between healthcare and climate change, according to Food Revolution. By going vegan, America may not only see a movement to end obesity, but ultimately save the planet.

Another benefit of veganism is that it helps conserve water, which aids the hundreds of millions of people who do not have access to clean water daily, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. According to Global Citizen, it takes 100 to 200 times more water to raise a pound of beef than it does a pound of plant-based food. The website also states that veganism would also reduce the waste of 700 million tons of livestock consumed each year.

Vegan meals are everywhere: in restaurants, supermarkets, celebrities’ social media posts and even in your friends’ lunchboxes. Don’t be the last to join the vegan lifestyle; help save not only your own life, but millions of others.