By: Colin McCann and Logan Ansteatt
Among the young and old, a continuously growing trend in today’s society is the adoption of a vegan lifestyle.
According to Christopher Shuff, a nutritionist, dietician and weight loss specialist with Love and Fire Nutrition, this way of life is beneficial to one’s health and the environment. Therefore, veganism benefits the lives of every living thing.
“When we’re thinking about feeding a global population [the ecological aspect of it], you really need to start assessing how well we’re doing at feeding people, and livestock just really isn’t the wisest of the choices,” said Shuff.
Raising livestock for food causes enormous pollution, depletes resources and takes up much of our available land. The amount of grain used to feed livestock is enough to feed the world’s human population. According to Grace Communications Foundation, the amount of freshwater used to produce just one pound of beef is around 1,800 gallons.
However, Shuff explains that there is more to veganism than just deciding to give up animal products. Research and planning are necessary to make sure nutritional needs are fully met.
Lenel Mattek, who has been vegan for over two years, agrees with Shuff. Mattek believes people should start off eating vegetarian, slowly removing animal products from their diet one by one. Mattek also suggests prospective vegans should watch YouTube videos for nutritional advice and to gain ideas for vegan meals.
“It was two years of learning a lot of stuff about veganism, and my health, and what it does to the world before I made the change…it took a lot of knowledge to be able to know how to cook [vegan food],” said Mattek.
A common misconception, according to Shuff, is that eating vegan is more expensive. Shuff said he eats vegan often and finds vegan food more affordable than meat.
There are many reasons to become vegan. Whether it be to end the slaughter of animals for food, to save the environment, to eat healthier, or even to help end world hunger, do so with caution: there is a healthy way and not-so-healthy way to do it.