Is veganism logical or not?

Is veganism logical or not?

Jessi Rich and Samantha Homcy

Point – Why veganism is more logical than you think

There are a myriad reasons why people refuse to eliminate animal products from their diet. Maybe it’s the supposed grocery expense, or maybe they like steak too much. Maybe it’s that one vegan they ran into that seemed just a little too excited about kale. Whatever the reason is, going vegan may not be such a bad choice after all.


Looking beyond the surface, eating a plant-based diet has other benefits besides sparing animals’ lives. Deforestation not only destroys ecosystems, but also puts more carbon in our atmosphere, which results in global warming and the breaking down of the ozone layer.


Several forests are cleared out annually to create pastures and support the meat industry. For example, in Brazil, 5.6 million acres of land are used for growing soybeans–beans that go to animal feed rather than straight to dinner plates. Clearing of land for the meat industry also destroys habitats, increasing species extinction rates, and adds to the global water scarcity problem.


Meat and other animal products may be destroying your health, as well. Throw all the propaganda out the window–you don’t need cow milk for strong and healthy bones; the drink is made to nurse a baby cow, not a human. Humans have no nutritional requirement for animal milk…Throughout the world, bone fracture rates tend to be lower in countries that do not consume milk compared with those that do,” says a nutritionist, Dr. Walter Willet, in a JAMA Pediatrics publication. Kale, almonds, and oranges are all among the several foods that have more of the bone-strengthening nutrient calcium than a glass of dairy milk.


Though eggs have been advertised as a low-fat, good source of protein, they actually contain as much cholesterol as a Hardee’s Thickburger, roughly 200 milligrams. In the Freedom of Information Act, The United States Department of Agriculture even admits that eggs cannot be labeled as nutritious, low fat, part of a balanced diet, low calorie, healthy, good for you, or even safe.


Animal products also have been linked to a number of diseases. Red and processed meats, such as beef, turkey, and bacon, are carcinogenic to humans, according to the World Health Organization in an announcement made in October 2015 (

For women who have had breast cancer, just one serving of dairy a day can increase their chances of relapsing by 49%, says Candyce H. Kroenke of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.


The Center for Disease Control and Prevention predicts that 1 in 3 Americans will have diabetes in the next twenty years. Eating meat increases your chances of getting diabetes by a whopping 51%, increasing the probability of being part of that number.


Additionally, a number of toxins are found within animal products. The USDA permits a certain amount of pus cells in dairy products, and pus is a sure sign of infection. In the popular Netflix documentary What the Health, dead, diseased pigs are shown being pressed into meal for their still-living pig peers. Not to mention, meat continues to be the top source for food poisoning.


Even after the facts are exposed, making the switch still appears more difficult than it is. The question arises of how one will get enough protein and other nutrients in their diet, when in reality, Americans consume twice as much protein as needed. Besides, many plant-based foods–such as quinoa, nuts, and leafy greens–provide enough protein to keep the human body beyond healthy.


The truth is, it’s all a system. America is bludgeoned with ads telling them they need milk for this and meat for that, when all these substances are really doing is damage–to the earth, to the body, to the mind. The sicker one is, the more money the pharmaceutical company makes off of them. So, do yourself a favor, and don’t let your health into the wrong hands.

Jessi Rich


Counterpoint – Why veganism is more illogical than you think

The “vegan” diet –  replacing animal-based food with plant-based food – is becoming more and more popular. Vegetarians and vegans count for only ten percent of the population, but that number is looking to rise. However, not all aspects of veganism are as healthy as they seem. While there are some beneficial effects of switching to a vegan diet, the negatives outweigh the positives and potential vegans need to consider everything before making such a drastic decision.


One argument for veganism is that vegans typically have lower BMIs than meat eaters and vegetarians. While this is good for people needing to lose weight, it is bad for those struggling  to keep it on. However, weight does not always determine how healthy a diet is. Some vegans are “unhealthy” vegans, living on diets of refined grains, cookies, chips, crackers and other junk food. This is actually unhealthier than a normal diet. If vegan diets are not closely regulated, vegans can fall victim to nutrient depletion and an unhealthy lifestyle.


There is also evidence that eating too much soy, which are popular among vegans for protein intake, can have negative effects on health. According to a 2003-2007 study, genes encouraging cell growth were turned on when women with newly diagnosed breast cancer ate 52 grams of soy  protein a day. Soy also interferes with the body’s ability to absorb synthetic thyroid hormone used to treat thyroid disorders, and professionals advise that individuals with hypothyroidism eat soy in moderation. One in eight women will have a thyroid disorder in their lifetime.


What the Health, a popular documentary promoting veganism, contains inaccurate information. For example, Health claims eating an egg every day for your entire life is as bad as smoking five cigarettes a day, but this is based on outdated information and recent science suggests that eggs are not dangerous and the cholesterol in eggs is not of concern. The film also claims that, because meat was declared a carcinogen in 2015, it is as dangerous as smoking. It is true that meat is a carcinogen, but, according to the International Agency for Research on Cancer, just because “processed meat has been classified in the same category as causes of cancer such as tobacco smoking and asbestos…does not mean that they are all equally dangerous.” For reference, around 34,000 people worldwide died from cancer attributed to high meat consumption, compared to the one million due to smoking and the 200,000 from air pollution. Additionally, there is not enough evidence to suggest dairy products cause breast cancer, contrary to the film. In fact, one study claims that increased consumption of dairy can actually prevent the disease.    


Veganism will not solve deforestation – it will remain an issue. Agriculture is estimated to cause of about 80% of deforestation worldwide . If more people lived off of plants like vegans do, this number would increase. It is undeniable that the meat industry also contributes to deforestation, but asserting that veganism will fix deforestation is a misstatement.


This is not condoning the current horrific conditions of animals bred for food. The system definitely needs reforming and there are humane ways that animals can be raised for food in the future. But in the end, protein bars, leafy greens and some nuts won’t be able to replace a steak or chicken for needed protein. Humans need nutrients, and many obtain their nutrients through animal products. There is nothing wrong or dangerous about that.


You don’t have to become a vegetarian or a vegan if you want to live healthy- eating enough food for your body and making sure you get all the nutrients you need is more important than adhering to such a strict diet. It’s best to enjoy all foods in moderation, including animal products. Everyone is different and there is no “magic diet”- do what’s best for your own body.

Samantha Homcy