You and healthy way of human existence

You have a box of strawberries in front of you. You can see and smell the fresh, organic strawberries. You can take a knife and slice through the strawberries and they look as delicious as before. Now you have a pig in front of you. You either think that that pig is a cute, cuddly, and playful animal or you see bacon, ham, sausage, pork, or a hot dog. Either people will see an animal, or they will see food. However, most wouldn’t be willing to take a butcher’s knife and cut through a living pig. Similarly, some people eat dogs in China but Americans could never imagine hurting a dog. What is the distinction between these two animals? Why would it be wrong to kill a dog but right to kill a pig or vice-versa? It all comes down to the culture in which one is raised. In American culture, dogs are considered as pets and our companions, while pigs are food. In other cultures, dogs are food and pigs are considered as pets. In some parts of India, the cow is a sacred animal, and certain Hindus wouldn’t dare to consume its meat. Many meat-eaters believe that consuming dairy and animal meat is the way humans are designed. However, because of the certain cultural beliefs people have, diet is learned behavior. Regardless of culture, everyone is a human being. The question it all boils down to is: what diet is natural to the human species? Veganism, the abstinence of consuming animals and animal products, is the most sustainable lifestyle because it is the most natural and healthy way of human existence and is also environmentally and socially conservative. The term “vegan” was first coined in 1944 and was initially defined as a “non-dairy vegetarian,” but then evolved into a more animal rights centered definition as “the doctrine that man should live without exploiting animals.” People normally think that veganism is only a diet that requires abstention from all animal food, such as land animal meat, seafood, dairy, eggs, honey, and gelatin. However, veganism is a lifestyle the branches to the abstention of all animal products as well: wool, fur, silk, suede, leather, etc. Vegans live off a plant-based diet that includes vegetables, fruits, nuts, grains, and the array of dishes that can be produced with combinations of these ingredients. With the rise of vegan versions of familiar foods: vegan hot dogs, ice cream, cheese, meat substitutes, non-dairy yogurt, and even vegan pizza, it is becoming increasingly easier for meat eaters to change diets and to adapt to a lifestyle free from animal products. Due to the diet’s growing popularity among celebrities, veganism is becoming trendy among millennials worldwide.Whether it’s due to health benefits, or animal and environmental rights, people may go vegan for several reasons. Vegan diets are known to contain less saturated fat and a higher content of many essential nutrients like fiber, vitamins C, vitamin E, and magnesium. Vegans are usually healthier and are at a lower risk of developing certain cancers, diabetes, high blood pressure and suffering from arthritis (Lin). Sustainability is also a key factor: the environmental benefits are considerable, such as the more efficient use of land and water saved from farming or the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and global hunger. However, many vegans don’t even realize that their diet is the most biologically natural diet for humans. Humans do not require animal products for survival; humans’ mouths do not salivate at the sight of a living pig as would a wolf, and many studies prove that our physiology itself is not suited for meat consumption. “You need to eat meat to get protein” is a common misconception that many kids are taught when they grow up.  It is easy to get the right amount of proteins that your body needs as a vegan. Ironically, what people often don’t realize is that in developed countries, the problem is not that people aren’t getting enough protein, it is that they’re getting too much. Eating excessive amounts of animal protein has been linked to the development of endometrial, pancreatic, and prostate cancers. It is all about the way one approaches a vegan diet. If a vegan eats a reasonably varied diet and consumes a sufficient amount of calories, he or she will undoubtedly get the recommended amount of protein. If a vegan lives off of a mere salad for all three meals, he or she will undoubtedly not eat enough protein. And, unlike animal protein, plant-based protein sources contain healthy fiber and complex carbohydrates. “Vegan diets tend to contain less saturated fat and cholesterol and more dietary fiber. Vegans tend to be thinner, have lower serum cholesterol, and lower blood pressure, reducing their risk of heart disease” (Craig).