What if We All Went Vegetarian?

You sit down in a comfortable chair and bite into a juicy, bacon-wrapped cheeseburger. You are starving and ready to satisfy your burger craving. But do you stop to think about the damage you could be applying to yourself and even the world? 

Pieces of meat are displayed in a meat butchery. The next time you visit the grocery store, it is encouraged that you purchase a vegetarian protein option instead. (Photo by Sophia Tranisi)

80 billion innocent animals are butchered each year for the world’s meat consumption and there are increased risks of cancer, stroke and heart disease associated with eating meat. In addition, there are 11 times as many greenhouse gas emissions as a result of meat production.

Some individuals feel they can only get their protein from meat and that meat is purely beneficial. Even though there is protein in meat, we can also get protein from other foods, without having to slaughter animals. 

An excellent alternative to meat is “Beyond Burgers” and “Impossible Burgers.” Both companies have become new vegan options for a great source of 20 grams of protein. It is recommended to consume about 60 grams of protein a day, so these burgers provide a third of your recommended daily intake of protein.

“Beyond Burgers” and “Impossible Burgers” patties are much more preferable than a standard hamburger: these patties use 99% less water than a standard beef patty and it requires 93% less landmass to produce.

It requires 2.5 pounds of grain to produce just one pound of beef. If we eliminated meat from our world, the food used for animals could be used to diminish world hunger. 

Two “Beyond Burgers” cook on a hot pan. The “Beyond Burgers” looked exactly like regular beef patties and they were much better for the environment. (Photo by Sophia Tranisi)

In addition, we can also get protein from other foods such as beans, cheese, oats, nut butter, tofu and even broccoli, meaning we don’t always have to rely on meat for protein. 

Animal science researcher Robin White has a Ph.D. in animal sciences. She claims that you can still check off all of your daily nutritional requirements without the need of consuming meat. 

“With carefully balanced rations, you can meet all of your nutrient requirements with a vegetarian diet,” White said.

Thanksgiving, one of the most popular national holidays, is also known as “Turkey Day.” It seems like a lighthearted, fun day, but in reality, it is a major issue in America. 46 million turkeys are butchered each year because of “Turkey Day.” 

Thanksgiving is also harmful to the environment because of the amount of land used to raise the turkeys. Greenhouse gasses are released (that add on to global warming, causing it to be even more severe) and 520 gallons of water are used to raise one turkey.

Vegetarian Molly Glass is a sophomore who personally chose to change her eating habits to not consume meat. 

A local grocery store supplies many choices of vegetarian options which are better for the environment than meat. Their options have ranged from burgers to even meatballs. (Photo by Sophia Tranisi)

“Raising livestock is really bad for the environment so eating less meat would probably stop a lot of big climate change issues,” Glass said.

Glass’s prediction about the negative effects of having meat was clarified by population health researcher Marco Springmann.

“The results indicate that – largely thanks to the elimination of red meat – food-related emissions would drop by about 60%,” Springmann said

It would be stellar to be able to have a world that’s completely vegetarian. Land would become more freed up because there would not be as many animals and a need for them to roam and world hunger could decrease because the farmers would be more focused on feeding people instead of animals.

Biomedical teacher Juli Bachman has worked as a teacher for about 7 years and is knowledgeable about how meat affects the body.

“When you eat meat, especially if it is processed meat, like a hot dog or a sausage, it contains the cells of those animals, plus whatever else was in there,” Bachman said. “It could actually cause your body cells to become damaged and if any of your cells are starting to become cancerous, it could actually feed those cells and encourage them to continue to become cancerous.”

I ask you to consider switching your diet to consume less meat. Try to have eggs instead of bacon for breakfast or try a “Beyond Burger.”  

If you start switching your hamburger meat to Beyond Burger meat, this small change could save more water, land and animal feed. It could also make you less likely to suffer from heart disease or a stroke in the future.

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  • Hundreds of pounds of meat are sold everyday in the grocery store. 20% of meat and dairy products are thrown out in grocery stores every year.

  • A customer purchases a meat product from the butcher shop. The butcher sells a variety of over 20 kinds of meat products.

  • “Lazy Acres” sells a variety of different foods to fit everyone’s allergies and dietary restrictions. “Lazy Acres” is a grocery store that offers many vegetarian options that I recommend you try. Their vegetarian sushi rolls and their spring rolls were a hit for my family.

  • “Taste of the Himalayas,” serves up a spicy dish to a table. Located in Carlsbad Village, It was a wonderful Indian Restaurant that offered a variety of vegetarian options.

  • A line graph shows how meat consumption in many countries has increased since the 1960s to 2010. Almost all of them have increased dramatically except for India.

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