The Sage Publication is the student news site of Sage Creek High School in Carlsbad, CA

The Sage

The Sage Publication is the student news site of Sage Creek High School in Carlsbad, CA

The Sage

The Sage Publication is the student news site of Sage Creek High School in Carlsbad, CA

The Sage

Staff Spotlight
Caleb Fletcher
Caleb Fletcher
Staff Reporter

Caleb Fletcher is a freshman at Sage Creek and is a returning Staff Reporter on The Sage.

The Sage Investigates the Pros and Cons of Veganism

Photo By Isaac Danon
A woman buys bananas at the Costco fruit aisle. Bananas contain healthy nutrients and potassium for vegans.

When it comes to veganism, the simple definition is that it’s the theory or practice of abstaining from the consumption and use of animal products. 

A vegan diet is a plant-based diet that includes vegetables, grains, seeds, nuts and fruit. Vegan diets exclude meat and dairy products, along with occasionally honey. 

“I think eating a vegan diet is not only important for our personal health and well-being, but the well-being of our environment,” said Sage Creek Principal Josh Way.

Some argue that being vegan is beneficial for your health and well-being, while others contend that being vegan will put individuals at a disadvantage. 

In terms of benefits, studies indicate that vegan diets can help humans achieve weight loss, avoid heart disease and balance  blood sugar. Vegan-friendly foods can help lower body mass, along with blood pressure and increase cholesterol management, bringing out cardiovascular health benefits. 

By choosing vegan-friendly foods, individuals will reduce the amount of bacteria, pollutants and other inflammatory components in their diets. 

For me, it began as a personal choice because of naturally high cholesterol at an early age,”  Way said. “I’ve seen a decrease in overall cholesterol, lower blood pressure, more energy.”

 Veganism can help reduce the risk of getting cancer, such as colon cancer. Also, vegan nutritional diets can manage diabetes by lowering A1C levels as vegans tend to be lower in saturated fat and higher in phyto-nutrients.  

Being a part of vegan societies can help vegans feel connected to other people who share the same interests including their identities. 

“It’s so cool to be a part of the vegan community and feel connected to so many people just because of my diet,” said junior Kalista Medlock. “ I also have experienced a lot of health benefits, like clearer skin and generally feeling healthier and more energetic.”

Costco sells vegan bowls and snacks in their vegetable aisle. Superfood vegan bowls are great lunches for vegans to munch on. (Photo By Isaac Danon)

Research reveals that vegan diets resulted in seventy-five percent less climate heating emissions, water pollution and land use for meat. 

According to science department chair, Courtney Goode, “Reduced demand for meat products reduces the number of farms required for cattle, lowering our methane footprint.” 

Vegan diets are one of the prominent solutions and tactics in combating climate change. 

“More space is being set aside for plants and crops that help draw CO2 out of the atmosphere as demand for plant-based products rises,” she said. 

Veganism is also seen as an alternative towards the discouragement and the abandonment of ancient farming norms. Traditional farming methods lead to deforestation, water, pollution, greenhouse gas emissions and soil degradation. Sustainable farming aims to reduce chemicals, improve biodiversity and preserve soil health. 

“A vegan diet helps us move away from the traditional destructive farming and agricultural practices,” said Way. “When you realize an animal doesn’t have to die so you can eat, a deep compassion for living things emerges.”

 Veganism, on the other hand, can also have a negative impact on both physical and mental health. 

Vegan diets can be low in fat and protein, which makes it hard to consume fibrin, a blood-clotting protein, without using any protein supplements. 

A vegan diet requires one to make sure they’re getting all of the necessary nutrients they need to grow and be healthy,” Way said. “Not all vegan diets are healthy.”

In most cases, athletes are advised to have higher protein intakes, which promotes muscle retention & recovery and prevents hunger strikes. 

With regard to social life, vegans often experience communal and interpersonal limitations while interacting with non-vegans. “Going out with friends is always a struggle because there are limited options for vegans at most restaurants, especially fast food,” said Medlock. “There are also a lot of stereotypes people assume about me because I’m vegan.” 

Additionally, vegan diets can raise the risks of depression and anxiety. According to the National Institutes of Health, a systematic survey of vegan diets indicates that vegans and vegetarians were at a higher probability of depression. Although the survey stated that most on vegan diets had lower symptoms of anxiety, most participants under the age of 26 experienced higher scores of anxiety. 

Costco offers dried mushrooms to customers shopping in Costco’s dry food aisle. Dried mushrooms and other dry vegetables are great snacks for vegans. (Photo By Isaac Danon)

Most Sage Creek students on campus say that being vegan is a piece of cake, but in reality, it can be quite a challenge while enduring its physical and mental downsides. 

The best advice that students can take is to start removing meat and dairy products from their diets at least once a week. If schools would like to contribute to vegan awareness, they could hold a “meatless Monday” once a week during lunch. If that doesn’t work, Sage Creek students can encourage their family and friends to prepare less non-vegan meals during the week. 

For example, burritos, stir fry, salads and sandwiches are great meals to start skipping on the meat and cheese,” Way said. “You’d be surprised how good a bean, guac, and potato burrito can be.” 

 Students should have an evenly balanced protein and nutrition diet and can eventually achieve their vegan comfort zone this way. 

“It is really hard to jump all the way in because you will still crave meat and dairy since you’re so used to it,” Medlock said. “That’s okay too! Listen to those cravings but still stray away from them.”

For those who respect and support veganism on campus, teachers and students should encourage them to avoid asking questions regarding their purpose of maintaining their vegan diets. 

I suggest dropping the question “what do you eat then?” because it’s lowkey annoying after the 30th time,” Medlock said. “Instead, think about it deeply and ask questions like ‘What kind of meals or restaurants are your favorites?’”

Overall, veganism is a practice that can carry numerous benefits and limitations on a person’s health and well-being. It takes time for individuals to be in sync with its methods. People who are interested can start in moderation by consuming vegan products that carry sufficient amounts of protein and carbs to play it safe.

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